Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Break

 The kids had Spring Break last week. We had colds over the first few days, the only ones who didn't ever get it were Annabelle and Scott. So the first few days we spent at home. Having a big family means the children always have a friend to play with. This was a pajama day we had when the majority of us were nursing runny noses and sore throats.

We watched Frozen a couple of times.

I wanted to get a picture of Elisabeth's braids because we put her in them after she takes baths, which is a few times a week, in the evenings. We do this because it makes doing her hair so, so fast and easy. She just takes them out in the morning and she has cute crimpy hair, minus the straight bangs, which are also cute, just not crimpy.

 Our little firecracker :).
 We spent a morning at the WOW children's science museum, which was also Jane's birthday; more on her birthday in the next post.

 They were having Nano days that week and had some extra activities for the kids.

 Another day we went to Four Mile Historic Park with a few friends from church. It was a bit cold and windy and not all the activities were open yet, apparently they don't open everything til May, but we still had a good time being with one another.
 One of their favorite things was seeing the horses. They had the huge horses, the ones that pull carriages.
 Another day we used some of our Boondocks coupons we got from the Scout auction and did mini golfing. It was 70 degrees and gorgeous!
 I look so serious in this picture; I guess I was focused on the hole.
 Jane looked so cute using the club. Do you like her pink sparkly tennis shoes, magenta leggings, turquoise skort and red long sleeve shirt? Yeah, she pretty much looks like this every day.
 Daddy helping Annabelle hold the golf club the right way.
We had a very nice Spring Break and I wish it were longer. I can't wait til their next break!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

First ever General Women's Meeting

 Last night Elisabeth and I were able to participate in a historic event for our church. They've always had adult women meetings once a year that are broadcast from Salt Lake City, UT all over the world, for all adult women to see, and a broadcast once a year for the teenage girls, but yesterday, for the first time ever, they had a general women's meeting/broadcast for all females ages 8 and up. It was so special being there with Elisabeth. In the beginning of the meeting, sister Wixom, the general Primary president (president for the children) got up and asked all the girls ages 8 to 11 to stand up. Sister Wixom began to hum a primary song and asked the girls to join in singing once they recognized the song. Within humming just a few notes all the girls were singing and then they asked all the women to join in for the second verse(no words to read, all memorized). What a powerful moment, to have all the girls and women singing together "Teach me to walk in the light". Here are the words:

1. Teach me to walk in the light of his love
Teach me to pray to my father above.
Teach me to know of the things that are right.
Teach me, teach me, to walk in the light.

2. Come little child and together we'll learn
Of his commandments that we may return
Home to his presence, to live in his sight
Always, always, to walk in the light.

I felt such a strong sense of sisterhood and love. Love of our Savior, knowing he has not left us alone. He has given us leaders, and specifically a prophet, just as in days of old, to lead and guide us in this life so that we can one day return to Him. I am so grateful for that knowledge. I am so grateful to know that families can be forever and that we have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior Jesus Christ, who loves us and is in all the details of our lives!

Below is Elisabeth with her good friend Addie; they are holding up papers flowers that were the centerpieces on our tables for the after-meeting-dessert part of our evening. In the center of the flowers it says things like, "General Women's Meeting", and "March 29, 2014", and "for ages 8-98" etc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Disney Frozen DVD

It's no secret that our family loves the new Disney Frozen movie. I took the girls to see it in the theater in November and they've been singing the songs and obsessing over it since. Annabelle had a Frozen birthday last month and got the soundtrack which means the whole family knows all the songs by heart, even Scott(daddy) who hadn't seen the movie.

We had the dvd release date on my calendar for the past month and we told the kids that if they wanted to get it they'd need to do a couple of extra chores each before hand to earn it. I asked Annabelle to fold some laundry and she ended up folding three loads in one afternoon! Way to go Annabelle! I didn't not expect her, being 6-years-old, to do so much, but hey, that's awesome!  We picked up the movie at Costco on Tuesday, and then Friday night we had a family movie night so Scott was able to see it for the first time. There are so many cute and funny lines in that movie. Olaf, the snowman, is hilarious! They even had some good 'life' type lines, like the entire Fixer-Upper song which the trolls sing about how everyone is a fixer upper and that the way to fix a fixer upper is with a little bit of love :). And I loved this line of Olaf's: "Love is when you put someone else's needs before yours." So true!  I'm a little hyper-focused on love and marriage right now  because I'll be teaching an 8 week course on strengthening marriage at church starting this Sunday; it's constantly on my mind.

Monday, March 24, 2014

St Patricks Day

We don't usually do much for St Patricks Day, sometimes we'll make green foods and talk about the meaning of the holiday (which I always forget each consecutive year and have to read up on google once again). This year Charles came home from school one day a couple of days before St. Pattys day and said he was going to make a Leprechaun trap. We had never really talked about leprechauns before so I wasn't sure what exactly he had in mind or what he expected to find in his box on St Patricks morning, so I asked him. He said he was going to leave a silver coin since he didn't have any gold and that the Leprechaun would leave a healthy snack or treat. Sure enough the leprechaun came that night and switched out his silver coin for Cadbury must've been a daddy leprechaun because mommy leprechaun would've probably left apples :). We had green smoothies for breakfast, which is normal, but we made them look extra green, just didn't add any blueberries, or other brightly colored berries.

We had a women's church activity the week before and we made some traditional Irish foods. Did you know that Cornish beef isn't actually an Irish thing but something that started in Texas? We made Irish Soda Bread and Irish Potato Champ which is basically garlic mashed potatoes with green onions and peas. I recreated those Irish foods for St. Patricks day dinner, but we served the peas on the side and added some chicken with a vegan homemade gravy.

 It was fun to try something new. Everything was yummy and I'm sure we'll be doing this again.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"I Am a Child of God"

Nora doesn't know very many words, but she does know her favorite song, or at least the tune and the sounds :). This is a sweet video clip of 9 year old Elisabeth and her 1 year old sister singing "I am a child of God" while Elisabeth plays the piano.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Food and Friends

The kids and I love German pancakes. This past week I found a recipe to make them in a cast iron skillet in the oven. I loved the way it turned out! The problem is you can't make very much, or at least not quite enough for our family. We each had a slice but they would have loved to have had more. I had also made waffles so we had those as well.

We have the missionaries over for dinner at least every other week, usually on Tuesdays, so we get to know them pretty well. Two of them are leaving this week, Elder Timothy and Elder Hemsley (back two), so we snapped this picture during dinner. We love having the missionaries over because it helps us to remember what's most important.
 Annabelle invited her friend from school, Alexis, to go to church with her this past week. Lexi came along and ate dinner with us afterward. They loved being together and learning about Jesus. We're glad our kids have made good friends.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Annabelle started piano and other fun things

We'd promised Annabelle that once she turned six she'd be able to start piano lessons. She turned six last month and she started piano lessons with Mandi, who goes to our church and is a family friend, a couple of weeks ago. She LOVES it! I'm sure eventually the new, exciting-ness will wear out and it'll become more of a chore as it is with the others but for now she loves being able to practice everyday :).

Elisabeth and I went on a date night and saw "Little Shop of Horrors" at the local high school. One of our regular babysitters was a main star along with her sister (Emery, our sitter is the one in brown and her sister is in the blue dress). They did phenomenal! They have beautiful singing voices and such a stage presence.  I don't really love the Little Shop of Horrors story though, and I had some explaining to do afterwards (feeding people to the plant etc, even if they aren't the best of people). We had a nice evening together and it was Elisabeth's first live musical.

Another night last week we had an auction for the Scouts at our church; they were raising money to go to summer scout camp. Everything was very well planned and the Scouts earned a lot more than they were planning to make! The scouts served everyone a spaghetti dinner, then there was a magic show (awesome! Kids LOVED it!) and then we had a baked good live auction and a silent auction was going the entire night where people were purchasing donated gift cards on tables and other items.

I donated this cake for the live auction.

And last random picture: I found this completed writing assignment in Charles back pack and thought it was cute. This is what it says: If I had 100 dollars I would use 50 to buy 5 dogs. And put the rest of it in to the bank for when I am a missionary. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nora's Hair

Nora's hair is just long enough now that it can fit up in a half ponytail, or at least it will stay in a half pony tail until nap time, then it's all over the place again. Nora sits nicely when I do her hair, I know it doesn't look like it in this picture, but this picture was taken about five minutes after I finished her hair; she freaks every time I take a picture because she wants my camera. Silly girl.

I can even get her hair in a little braid. But there are lots of little baby hairs so it doesn't stay in all day.

I love including my kids in the normal daily routine stuff like cooking and cleaning, and actually when I do most things because they're fun to be with, so here is Nora, just sitting on the counter right next to me, watching as I prepare the garlic bread to go with dinner.

This is what her hair looks like if I don't pull it's always in her face.

She is so stinkin' cute, hair nicely made up or not!

Sweet hugs for Elisabeth.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kids Activities and Loud Nora

 Whenever the weather is nice during the winter, I try to take the kids out for a walk or to the park. You'll notice snow in the picture above which was leftover from a big dumping we had a couple of days before but also notice that the kids are in t-shirts and shorts because it was 65 degrees and sunny!

We ate dinner at ipie pizza one night because a percentage of proceeds was going to Elisabeth's piano competition. Jane ate four slices, and she's not even four years old yet! That girl out eats me when it comes to pizza!
 The kids had a half day and so we went with our friends, the Burtons, to the World Of Wonders children's museum. We ended up buying a membership, or a years pass, because with five kids, we'd already had the price of the membership half paid during that first visit :). I know we will use the membership a lot though because we were there for hours and it was still hard to pull the kids away. They had lots of fun science activities to do, plus other fun kid activities like dress ups, a coloring craft room, a music room with a piano, a pulley hooked to a chair, a bank and a grocery shopping area. I loved that it wasn't so big that I was constantly worried about losing one of the kids but it was big enough to have a variety of fun activities to keep all my kids, ranging in age from 1-9, entertained.

 And look at this girl(pictured below)! I know I recently said I want Nora to stay little forever because I love the cute little baby stage, but at the same time, Nora is in an exhausting stage of life; well exhausting for me. Not because she doesn't ever want to keep clothes, socks or shoes on, though after I've put them on ten times in a day it does get a little old, but mostly because she is in a very LOUD stage of life. Holy Hannah, seriously, this girl has got some lungs on her. During church, when we're at the store, at home, in the car, in a restaurant, at the post office (all real examples) it really doesn't matter where we are, she will be heard. If she's happy she'll squeal, really loud. If she's mad, irritated, frustrated, annoyed, angry, upset that she's not getting exactly what she wants etc. she will scream, loud, and high pitched. Unfortunately, this happens A LOT. We get all sorts of heads turning our way when Nora is present because how could you not, I mean honestly, at that volume and intensity, how could you not turn and look? I would. We sure love our cute, strong-willed, independent Nora but we are VERY excited for her to pass through this LOUD stage of life, and until then we are practicing being long-suffering, loving, and patient and hoping she'll get it under control soon. Here she is in this picture, just talking to Jane in a very natural way, totally unconcerned that her bum is hanging out of the diaper she'd just attempted to completely remove. Now if only I could figure out a way to fasten her clothes in such a way that she couldn't get them off.