The girls asked me to paint their fingernails with the flag on it for the Fourth of July which is coming up next week!
Jane starts kindergarten in August so we're working on putting letters together to make words.
Annabelle and Charles had their first piano recital with their new piano teacher this past week. They both did very well. Charles played "Presto" from one of his Faber books, and Annabelle played a duet called, "Friends Forever" with her piano teacher. Charles, when he practiced his piece, usually had a couple of small mess-ups, but when he performed for his recital, he didn't have any mistakes! Great job!
Later that night our family friends from Colorado, came to visit. We had dinner at the our house and then went to the city park for their 150th year celebration where they opened a new park, and had a couple of musical performers including Alex Boye and the Osmonds and then fireworks.
We love the Halatakoa's. When we first moved into our Colorado ward, Rachel was the Primary president and I got called to be one of her counselors so we got to know each other pretty well.
Charles and Sifa bought some Star Wars light up swords from a vendor.
Nora loved Solome and so she tackled her a couple of times :).
It is tough to get a normal looking picture with this group. They are just all too goofy.
And so we got several goofy shots, and I didn't even post them all here.
And then it wasn't until I said, "Okay, I'm just going to keep taking pictures until I get a good one", that we finally lost the bunny ears and most of the silly faces.
Scott requested stuffed French Toast and Bacon.
Since we don't eat meat very much, especially meat other than chicken, when I do buy meats, I'm totally okay with buying the more expensive kinds that don't have any hormones etc added. I figure, we still spend way less on our meat, with the little amount we eat, than most. I, of course, just had the stuffed french toast, since I don't like the taste of meat (or smell). We made whipped cream and a vanilla syrup to go over top which was delicious. Doesn't it look like a perfect 4th of July breakfast? And the middle was stuffed with a cream cheese and strawberries mixture which colors also go well with the 4th of July.
The kids made Scott Father's Day cards and a couple of them made him books of coupons with helpful things they'll do for him around the house (I love those!).
Jane and Nora were sick with colds and fevers so they were not up to joining us for breakfast or pictures. We hope they get well soon.
Here I am, rubbing essential oils on Nora's back, which she loves to have done when she's sick.
And actually, by the end of Sunday evening, Jane was in the living room, playing with the guitar and singing, so she's already feeling better.
We got dad a new tie, since we know how he loves a variety, and an Olive Garden gift card so that mom and dad can go on a prepaid date :), even though, technically, it was prepaid by him :). Either way, it still feels like a free meal :).
I am so grateful to have Scott in my life, as my husband, my best friend and eternal companion, and as the father of our five children. He is so supportive and loving and kind, such a hard worker and I definitely find strength and comfort in him, on a regular basis. I am also so grateful to my father and to Scott's father, for all their hard work over the years, and their continuing love and support. And especially for our Heavenly Father, who has given us all and who loves us and knows us best.
I love the kids artwork, but I don't like having lots of papers around the house so I will usually display their artwork on the fridge for a couple of days, take a picture of it, put it on my blog and then call it good and we can recycle that artwork knowing that it will appear in next years published blog book. I loved this picture 5 year old Jane drew of some princesses and a rainbow.
Elisabeth is taking piano lessons from Bridget Johansen who lives in Draper. She is really good. I like to watch her piano teacher as she teaches Elisabeth. She'll sometimes sit back and look at the position of Elisabeth's fingers and hands and posture and correct her,
She'll sometimes lean close and use the metronome or write things into her music,
And she'll sometimes bump her off and demonstrate what Elisabeth's doing, then how she wants it, and then she'll ask Elisabeth what she needs to do differently or what didn't work as well. She wants perfection and Elisabeth is happy to learn and aim for perfection. This might not go as well with some of my other kids, but for Elisabeth, she's perfect.
We're also going to the church most weekdays to practice on the organ. We downloaded these podcasts called New LDS Organist, which was done at BYU or by BYU, where they give you 12 lessons on how to play the organ. We finished lesson 4 last week and Elisabeth is loving it. I think once we finish all 12 lessons, I would like her to get with an organist, for just a couple of lessons, and have them give her some feedback on her technique and any tips and advice on things she could be doing differently that might help.
Here is a short video clip of Elisabeth playing Sweet Hour of Prayer:
I can't believe Elisabeth is going to be 11 this week! I can't believe I'm old enough to have an 11 year old :). We've recently started to allow Elisabeth to babysit for short periods of time if I have to run out to the store or do some other errands. She is very responsible and is getting in some good practice for when she can start babysitting for other families. She came up with this chart all on her own :); like mother, like daughter, huh? I love charts and I'm glad she finds them useful, too! She gives the kids points for good behavior and cleaning up etc, and then she's gathered together some of her old things that she thinks they'll like, and put them in a gallon ziploc bag, and once they get a certain amount of points, she allows them to pick a prize. Brilliant Elisabeth!
Since Elisabeth is babysitting now, Scott and I will go out and exercise together one or two days during the week, the other days we mostly exercise at home. It has been beautiful lately and we got up at 530 and rode our bikes down to the outdoor swimming pool and swam laps for 20 minutes and then rode back home (4 miles round trip) and then I jogged a mile. When we left in the morning it was almost 65 degrees and when we were done it was nearly 70. Perfect for swimming and biking. We're preparing for a multi-stake, mini triathlon in August; though we are both super rusty when it comes to swimming. I think we'll need to take a swimming lesson and learn the proper technique before we can get any better :).
Speaking of babysitting, we watched Jessa last week. She is the daughter of our very good family friends, whom Scott and I have been friends with since the very beginning of our marriage. We met when we were going to BYU, we lived in the same student family housing complex, and Gina was my visiting teacher. I remember the first time we met in person was when I found her number and called her up to see if she could give me a ride to my dentist because our car wasn't working, and that's what visiting teachers do, right? They help :). Anyhow, we started walking together, while pushing our strollers, most, if not every, week day and our friendship blossomed. We also took our first cake decorating classes together and had a combined birthday party for Elisabeth and Evan when they turned one since they were only a couple of weeks apart. Anyway, we sure love that family!
Saturday night we had their family over for dinner; we had breakfast for dinner :). Their kids play the piano too(three of their six kids at least) and Elisabeth and Sara did a good amount of piano playing; Sara even gave Elisabeth some tips on learning how to play the piano backwards! That would be fun!
Elisabeth turns 11 at the end of this month (also the first year Harry Potter went to Hogwarts :)), and we'll be in Seattle with family for her birthday so she wanted to have a friend party before we left. I got Elisabeth her own Pinterest account and she's been pinning ideas over the past month or two for her Harry Potter birthday party. We had her party this past Saturday, but the week leading up to the party, she did a lot of the prep work herself, getting things ready. We went to the dollar store and bought white balloons for her Hedwig invitations which she did all on her own. While at the dollar store we also picked up dum dums for acid pops, twizzlers for licorice wands, crate paper for decorations, squishy balls and hoola hoops for our Quidditch game, disposable(and griffindor house colors) plates, forks and napkins and a couple of maroon plastic table covers, one for the table and one to turn into Platform 9 and 3/4. The other supplies we bought were jelly bellies, Bertie Botts every flavor beans, lemon drops and I bought chocolate frog molds on amazon for a few dollars. The most expensive things were the jellie bellies and bertie botts beans. I think if we did it again I wouldn't get the jelly bellies, but just the bertie botts beans so that we can play our 'guess what flavor of bean this is' game.
I love this image she found online and printed to put on our toilet. It says, "Ministry of Magic, This Way" with an hour pointing into the toilet.
And of course, since I do cakes, we had to make a cool HP cake. She wanted the cake completely covered in buttercream, with some fondant accents. So I did a fondant scarf, HP logo and balls border. Many thanks to Marie, who was visiting from CO (she and her husband came for a couple of nights; her husband Stephen worked with Scott) who helped me roll the fondant balls when I was quickly trying to finish the cake at the last second ;), and to Kim who brought over some Harry Potter figurines she found in her basement that she thought we'd like to use for the cake and which were perfect!
Elisabeth as Hermoine and me as Professor McGonagall.
Entrance to Hogwarts through platform 9 3/4 .
We played two games of quidditch in the backyard before it got too hot. The golden snitch that we hid for the seeker to find was one of those white chocolate balls in a golden wrapper, and we taped wax paper wings to it.
Wand making station. We used chop sticks, hot glue for decorations and to make a thicker handle, and paint.
My favorite game to watch and video: Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean guessing game. Before the party, I separated the beans by flavor into little snack sized ziploc baggies. Each baggie had a number inside, labeled 1-20. The girls each got a piece of paper, numbered it one through twenty, and then they'd try each flavor and write down what they thought it was. The worst tasting ones are vomit, earth worm and rotten egg. Grass and dirt weren't very good either.
And we forgot to pull out the butterbeer (basically cooked brown sugar and butter, mixed in with cream soda and whipped cream...super sweet! a little too sweet, in my opinion) until half the girls had already left! Boo. But it was fun to try. Happy 11th Birthday Sweet Elisabeth ! You are amazing!