Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bits And Pieces from Spring Break

I'm going to post Spring Break in several bits, we've had fun so far, and there is more to come I'm sure. Besides, I've been such a dud about posting lately, this is sure to guarantee more posts within the next few days.

We started off with driving to Utah for Collin's baby blessing. We had a little bit of time to spare before church started and we had been in the car all morning. So we burned off some energy at the park. It was such a pretty day and SO nice for everyone to be able to play outside. I think our kids were shocked; it's not every day that I say, "Go play on the toys in your church clothes."


The toy was much more fun when used this way.



The girls are all about a good pose and asked me to take their picture sitting atop the monkey bars.

Even Dad enjoyed the sunshine.

Jarom and I sat and laughed at our 20 chins while trying to get a decent self portrait shot of ourselves. Then it was off to the church house and afterwards, dinner at Brandon and Emily's to celebrate with Collin.

Adorable Collin who didn't make a peep during his blessing. Such a sweet baby he is.

Emily had set Collin's blessing shoes and certificate on her shelf. I thought it looked too cute to pass up for a picture.

The happy little family.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Halle's Friends

Just wanted to get some pictures in here of Halle. She has the best little class at school. They are all very close friends, none of the "you're not cool enough for our group" stuff from these girls. After watching Alyssa cry for 45 minutes yesterday about the junk going on with her friends, I am SO thankful for Halle's class and for Mrs. Ball who just doesn't let that stuff happen. If you would like to learn more about Spectrum -grades 1-3 in the same room together- you can now go to Mrs. Ball's website which my husband has so generously donated his time to help her with.

Wild Hair

I had to get a picture (or two) of Kate's wild hair last week. She'd been in braids for several days and this is what happened when we took them out. Of course the day they came out, was also Sunday, the day I was way late to church, so this is how she went to church. Even Carter said, "Mom, Kate has really wild hair today." I mean, Kate's hair is always something slightly nuts, rats nests and all, but I guess he just wasn't used to all the volume. I think it was kind of cute.

Wild hair or not, she is one beautiful little girl.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Singing Time Sundays - HIde the "Prophet"

Okay so today was just one of those days that starts out with a dose of Excedrin and being EXTREMELY late to church. I was so frazzled and late that I didn't have time to get my Latter Day Prophets pictures hung on the board before singing time. I wanted to teach/relearn "Latter Day Prophets" and also work on the Pres. Monson verse of "Follow the Prophet." I usually have a cardstock music note in my binder which we use to play "hide the note", but of course today it had gone missing. So instead I used a little plastic figurine of Nephi -it worked.

We played "hide the prophet" to reinforce "Follow the Prophet". You know the good ol' standby game - someone hides the item, the kids sing loud if the finder is near, and soft if the finder is far away. My primary LOVES this game and would play it every week if I let them. That went over fine. Then it was time to learn Latter Day Prophets.

I'm just going to say that it was a bit of a disaster for jr. What I had wanted to do was have the pictures up and then let the kids put the names of each prophet up as we learned the song. But like I said, I was too late to get them hung, so I was scrambling trying to hang the pictures, find the names of the prophets, keep singing, include the kids, and get everything in the right order. Yah....I totally lost the little kids but with the help of one of the counselors we got it done.

Senior primary went over MUCH more smoothly. I already had the pictures up so all the kids had to do was match the names and put them in order. (Plus they already sort of know the song.) As we learned it, I removed the names of the prophets a few at a time until there were no names left. The song is so fun, the kids don't mind singing it several times in a row. (As a side note, to place emphasis on the rest that comes after "Latter Day Prophets are REST number one..." I have the kids clap. They love it.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The $15 "free" cub.

Last weekend I heard on the radio that Yellowstone Bear World (a local bear preserve and tourist trap) was showing the bear cubs for free, for 3 days only. So I loaded up my kiddos and we made our way there. Upon our arrival, we waited in a long snaking line for 45 minutes, only to realize that if we "really" wanted to see the bear cubs, we'd have to pay $15 to get our picture with one.

Yes, we could have stood here, at this point and watched other people get to cuddle and pet the adorable cubs. Well, I guess "stood" is a relative term. I should have said, "we could have waited 45 minutes and shuffled past this point on our way out the exit". My kids were ultra disappointed, so I shelled out the $15 and let them touch the little darlings.

Look at that little foot. SO cute! Amazing that it will be so big some day. These little guys were about 2 months old.

And just what did I get for my time and money? A lovely "Bear World" print and 4 very happy kids.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Singing Time Sundays - Memory Match

I'm really struggling this month with "Follow the Prophet". There are SO many verses and SO many words in each verse. And even though I've only chosen 5 of the 14 some odd verses to teach, I'm just not sure how to get the kids to know all the words of each one. I think I've finally made the decision to split the primary into 4 groups, each group will get one verse and then the entire primary will sing the verse about Pres. Monson. So I think from here on out, I'm going to just focus on the final verse. (Well, that's the plan as of now anyway.)

Today we did a "Memory Match" game. For the jr. kids I split each verse into two phrases (with pictures and words both printed) and then they had to come choose two papers to try to make a match. (Matching the first half of the phrase to the 2nd half.) I used the same pictures from last weeks visuals, but I wish I would have just printed two of the exact same pictures to match. It would have made more sense to the non-readers I think.

For the sr. kids, I did words only, no pictures. They weren't tricked at all by this (which means they know the song Hooray!) and matched up the phrases no problem.

I also focused on the rhyming words in each phrase, hopefully that will help them remember the words a little better.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Alyssa was on one couch reading, Halle and I on the other. Next thing I knew, Kate joined us with "Runaway Ralph" in hand. She sat and stared at the "stripes" (that's what she calls the words) for at least 20 minutes while the rest of us read. Oh I hope she'll love to read one day!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Singing Time Sundays - Follow the Prophet

This month we get to learn new verses from "Follow the Prophet". This is a favorite for the kids. I often use it as one of the wiggle songs. It has a fun beat that they can move to in a variety of ways. Because of this, we already know a few of the verses. The song has 9 original verses and several more have been written and can be found in March '10 and June '01 church magazine The Friend.

Choosing which verses to learn and polish is the hard part. On Primary Singing Ideas she had several visuals already made for several verses. I decided to go with Adam, Jonah, Joseph Smith, and Pres. Monson. The senior primary also requested Daniel, so we may add him.

Anyway, I basically just introduced the new verses today, using the visuals with words printed. I pulled out the handy dandy Easter egg rice shakers and the kids took turns doing shakers during each chorus. They will shake those things all day long, so it made repeating the 9 million verses an easy thing to do.

Friday, March 05, 2010


A very happy boy who finally knows he 6!

Leany leany cake. Don't topple over before the party starts!

Lego box prop up to the rescue.

Yesterday was Carter's birthday party....not to be confused with his birth date. And even though he had a blast, there will NEVER again be a little boy party with 10 party goers in my house ever again. For one thing, my kids don't ever need that many gifts at one time again and for another thing, little boys are a whole new experience as far as birthday parties go. Girls.....girls will sit and play the planned party games. Yes, they'll squeal and such, but it is NOTHING like boys. I sure had my eyes opened!

Ten little boys, screaming, shouting, fighting, gun shooting, running, punching, jumping off the stairs, wrestling, ball throwing, tennis racket smacking, depantsing, throw in a pair of siblings squabbling, some tears, and a pouter who did his own thing, and you have Carter's party.

I tried to do organized games, but somehow every single one turned into "wrestle your neighbor and yell a primal scream at the top of your lungs". It was the most wild thing I have ever witnessed. At one point, I turned to my mom and said, "If someone doesn't leave here with a bloody nose or a broken arm, it'll be a miracle."

Look how red in the face they are. Man, they ran themselves ragged. The presents were a hit.

I almost hesitate to post this picture, but I honestly can NOT get over the gifts Carter received. Does this look like a toy store or what??!! Insane amount of goods. Even a $20 bill from one friend! I am such a cheap gift giver.

The rowdy crowd. They're a cute bunch, but from here on out, this mom can only handle a few of them together at a time.

Told you there would be a bloody nose. Poor little girl thought she could keep up with that many rough and tumble boys.

Blow out the candles, make a wish, and hope the next 15 minutes go by quickly until moms come to pick up the friends (well, that was my wish anyway, I doubt it was his).

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Little Collin B.

Brandon and Emily didn't get to join us in the fun at the cabin this year. Why?
Because this little man was sure to come any day. We all have been waiting for a VERY long time to meet little Collin. He is a modern day miracle baby and we are so happy that he is here. Congratulations to Brandon and Emily who have waited patiently for this little guy to arrive.
And this picture makes me ULTRA jealous because I still haven't seen Collin yet, but Jarom has. Totally not fair!

Now, a funny from Kate. She adores Brandon (not a kid on this planet who doesn't), and she must have noticed that she hasn't seen him for a long time. They moved to UT not too long ago plus they weren't at the cabin. So Kate said to me, "Mom, Did Bwandon die?" LOL!! Oh, it was so pathetically cute. I told her no, that he and Emily moved to UT (remember?) and they just had new baby Collin (remember?). She said, " Ohhhhhh! So that's why. They had to get married!" LOL!! Hmmm...not quite, but close.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Snowmobiling We'll Go

Get you snow gear ready, we're going sledding! Last week was our annual Manwaring cabin trip.

Legs, legs everywhere. The stairs provide the perfect place for eating dinner.

A mad dash in your snow boots and swimsuit

to make it to the hot tub for a nice soak.

Sledding in the meadow = good times and cold toes.

I let Halle drive a little this year (while I was on with her). I think she's got a bit of dare devil in her. She was all about speed. Makes me nervous to let her go by herself in the coming years.

We decided that Alyssa and Payson were old enough to drive their own machine on the trail ride this year. They both did great, and it's fun to see them feeling comfortable on their own.

Some of the cousins at Warm Springs, which is anything but warm.

And just what were they looking at? Trout, 3 feet long, I kid you not.

Me....ughhh...I really hate pictures of myself from the snowmobile trip. But this one is semi-decent so I'll get over my vanity and post it for future posterity to learn where their incredible good looks came from.

Jarom sporting his Captain America beanie. Go USA! (After all, the Olympics were taking place.)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What? It's my birthday?

Today is Carter's birthday. He turns 6. Normally I'm thinking, "WHERE did the time go?!", but with Carter, I think I've thought of him as 6-ish for a long while now. He's somewhat of an old wise soul to me and six just fits him.

This week is a wee bit crazy around here, so we can't hold a birthday party until Thursday the 4th. I still wanted Carter to feel special today, so I hung a few balloons and let him open his new birthday clothes to wear to school. (And my camera has gone missing so I don't even have a picture to post of him on his big day. I'm just hoping it shows up in time for the party.) I also let him take birthday treats to class - Airheads, his request.

I normally just send the b-day treats to school with the kid and let them hand them out when the teacher says it's time. But in his words, "he really wanted me to come and help him hand them out because he loves me so much." So I went, at the end of his class time to deliver the treats.

His teacher looked at me completely confused, "Do you need to take him early?"

"No, I just brought some treats for him to share with the class for his birthday?"

"Today is his birthday? He never said a thing about it while we did calendar. I have tomorrow as his birthday."

"Oh, he must be confused b/c we aren't having his party until later this week."

So, she apologized, changed the date in her stuff (which I have already changed for her once at the beginning of the year, but whatever) and the class sang Happy Birthday to him.

On the way home, I asked him why he didn't tell his teacher that his birthday was today. He said, "I forgot it was today." Later, when we were home I asked him if was ready to go to his birthday lunch with dad. (He had chosen Craigos all you can eat pizza.) He looked at me with total confusion and asked,"Why are we going today?"

I asked him, "Carter, when is your birthday?"

"On the 4th day." (March 4th)

"No, that's when you're having a party, but today is your birthday. That's how come I gave you a present and sang Happy Birthday to you this morning."

"Oh....but it's the 3rd day on the school calendar."

Oh brother! I give up. The poor kid doesn't know when to celebrate. Guess I didn't need to worry about making today special b/c in his mind it isn't a birthday until there's a party.

The craziest thing about all of this is, that in my head his birth date is March 4th. For some odd reason, that is the day that I just assumed he'd be born (he wasn't due until the 10th), so that is the day my brain thinks is his birth date. I have to concentrate really hard to say March 2 when asked. And half the time, I'll look at a calendar on March 1st and realize, "CRAP! My kid's birthday is tomorrow!" (What kind of mother am I??) The one year, I'm actually prepared is the one year he doesn't know. LOL!!

And I know this post is getting long, but I have to tell one little funny he said. I was telling him not to talk about his birthday party at school because some kids might get their feelings hurt if they weren't invited. (I had to pull the plug after 10 kids. The boy would invite the whole school if I'd let him.) I could tell he was confused about this, so I said, "Just think how you would feel if someone didn't invite you. Would that hurt your feelings a little bit?"

He said, "No.....I'd just say, 'okay' and keep playing." LOL! And he honestly would. The kid has more confidence than anyone I know. The good kind of confidence, and I ADORE him for it.