Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts

While I had many intentions to blog other things between these two posts, it didn't happen. So here are a couple of fun things to do with the kiddos.

These ideas come from Disney's Family Fun magazine. I recently got a subscription from my Disney Movie Reward Points. Wahoo! Free stuff! It was fairly simple to make, but it was a little time consuming. Click here to download a template and instructions. Here's how mine turned out.

Pretty cute I think. I made two sets of food so it can be a matching game. My sister is going to attach scriptures or quotes about thankfulness to each piece of food for Family Home Evening.

Here's the next one. I made a set of these years ago when I worked at a before and after school program back in MD. This activity is a little time intensive too and works best with older kids. Some people on the site said they used these as centerpieces for over 10 years. Wow. Anyway, click here for measurements and such.Hopefully these will keep your older ones busy for a little next week. If you don't like these, there are tons more ideas on Family Fun's site. Have fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simple Halloween Crafts

I had some friends and their kids over earlier in the week to do some Halloween crafts and this is the first time I've had to post about them. They are seriously so easy that if you read this before Halloween and want to do them, you will be able to without too much fuss.

First is a spider. You need 4 black pipe cleaners per spider and some pony beads.

Take the pipe cleaners and bend in half. At the bend, twist a couple of times to make the head.

Then, spread out the ends to make the legs. Put a couple of beads on each leg. Bend each pipe cleaner about 1/3 of the way down and add a couple more beads. Make one final bend about 1/2 inch from the bottom, in the opposite direction to help your spider stand.

You can make it more Halloweeny by using orange pipe cleaners or beads - I could find neither. Super cute and super easy.

Next, paper lanterns. First take piece of construction paper and fold in half length wise. Cardstock works as well - just make sure it is a heavier weigh paper so it will stand. Next, make lines about 1 inch apart starting from the crease and stopping about 1 inch from the end. It should look like this.

Now, cut the lines. Once cut, open up your paper and tape the ends together. Decorate with cut out shapes. Punch two holes at the top for a string or whatever to hang your lantern. You can make anything really you want. I made a pumpkin, ghost and cat. I was thinking it might be fun to do Frankenstein or Hulk with older kids.

Last is a mummy. Take a wooden craft spoon and glue on craft sticks for the arms and legs. You can either cut regular size craft sticks down or you can buy smaller craft sticks.

Once the glue has dried, start wrapping 1-inch strips of muslin around and around. Glue down a starting point and wrap. I used about 3 strips per mummy give or take. Glue the end down. Add a couple of wiggly eyes and you have your very own mummy. (If you are local and want some muslin or sticks ready to wrap, let me know - I have lots extra.)

Super easy and fun. You can make these easier or harder depending on the age of your little ones. Just have them do as much as they can. Have fun!

I am going to try and post craft ideas for different times of the year - hopefully sooner than just a few days before the holiday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

These Kids Need a Bucket of Chicken

Every year in honor of Pioneer Day, Bountiful has a parade on the 23rd of July. It's kind of the trial run for the Days of '47 Parade in Salt Lake on the 24th. We go every year. Benjamin wasn't sure what to expect. He must have slept through the parade last year, but not this one.

Here he is just chillin', wondering what the heck we're doing sitting on the side of the road.

And then the parade started. Screams of terror when ever a band, fire truck, police brigade or anything else loud passed by.

He gave up by the end and just chilled until it was over. I hope we haven't traumatized him for life.
Here's the KFC float. We always have to clap real loud for this float and take a picture. Growing up we used to have our family vacations to Utah. My Grandpa Dixon, without fail, would say to my mom, "These kids need a bucket of chicken!" and then head off to KFC to pick up said bucket. Many summer memories were made with our grandparents around a bucket of chicken. Thanks Grandpa!

Here's a video of the crying boy in action. Sorry, Benj, sometimes I need to get a video instead of comforting you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bear Lake

Since our mini vacation that we were going to have was canceled due to Tim's surgery, we used Tim's work retreat to Bear Lake as our vacation this summer. You could camp out if you wanted but we opted to not. I love camping, but with a baby, at someone's house I don't know, I didn't want to chance it. Last time we did that, Benj had the worst cold ever and we were all miserable that night.
Benjamin wasn't too sure about the sand. He stayed on the blanket for the first little while.

He ventured off a little and was kind of disgusted.

He realized it wasn't that bad, except when he tried to take a swig of milk from his sippy covered in sand.

And soon there was no turning back. Try changing a diaper when your kid looks like that folks. Not fun!

We sufficiently wore this little guy out.
Tim's work rented wave runners. Josh was super safe and had tons of fun. We thought he might be a little scared but he was a pro.

They also had some ATVs. Josh had a blast on those. The lawn was torn up by the time all the kids had a turn riding around.

Here a couple of videos. The first is Benjamin crawling around in the sand. The second is when we got back to Tim's parents' house that night. Benjamin was a little crazy watching the dog run around.

Trips Downtown

Josh loves trains. Check out this post here to see just how much. To get in his train ride fix, we would drive downtown, park at the Salt Lake Central Station and hop on the Trax. Trax is free in the downtown area and there are lots of fun things to do there.

Josh did a lot of people watching on the train. I was always afraid that he was going to say something inappropriate about someone. We dodged that bullet way too many times.

Alright, this picture is next since I can't manipulate the pictures the way I want. Anyway, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a museum downtown. For the past couple of years they have had an "I Am a Child of God" exhibit. We decided to go down one last time since they were going to change the exhibit at the end of August. You can find out what exhibits they have currently here.As part of the exhibit you could build your own temple. Josh was a little disappointed that his didn't turn out just like the picture.

This is a picture of Josh showing off his swag. A summer camp at the Planetarium was doing an experiment outside. They were making mini rockets or something out of paper and straws. Josh found one and had to have it. His Simon doll came from the arcade. We went to play a little skee ball and some man, who I can only assume was an arcade regular, left some tickets in the game machine he was using. Josh took them to him and in return gave him the Simon doll. He was so proud of it.

We would go to Clark Planetarium as well. They have movies and stuff you can pay to watch but even better are the displays which are totally free! This picture is really fuzzy but after like 10 attempts, I was done trying.

And I'll end with cute Benj. He loves the train rides too. Just recently we went on the Front Runner train. He would look out the window until something caught his eye. Then he would follow it with his head until it was out of view. I should have taken a video. It was pretty funny to watch.

Playing Catch Up

I have lots of things I want to blog about but I don't take the time. Josh has a friend over and they are eating lunch, so I figured it was a perfect time to get a little blogging done.

I guess I'll start with our trip to the park. We tried to go to the park every so often, but we didn't go often enough. Sometimes we'd take a lunch with us and have a little picnic.

Josh spent most of his time swinging. He can pump pretty well now but still wants pushes to go higher. When I taught preschool up in Logan, my rule was one push per kid. I've since changed that rule with Josh. It's much too fun to see him so excited to go higher.

Benjamin spent most of his time eating snacks. There are only two baby swings at the park so you have to be fast to get one. He didn't mind too much. He loves goldfish!

When I was off pushing Josh on the swing, things would get a little messy!

I just like this picture of Benj. I have some of the cutest kids!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Best Dressed Kid in Town

My sister-in-law is a good shopper. She finds the deals by shopping the sales, the clearance and the extra percentage off. We're not just talking Target or Walmart deals though. We're talking Polo, Gap, Carters, Old Navy, OshKosh, etc deals. So my nephew is a well dressed kid . . . and so is Josh. Why Josh you ask? Well, my nephew was kind of a surprise to their family and he is definitely the last kid over there. With only two older sisters, he needed all new clothes every year. Well, since Josh is the nearest cousin in age, sex and distance wise, he gets all the hand me downs. Josh has more clothes than Tim and I combined. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.

Here we have jeans and shorts. There are six stacks each about 4-5 deep. Wow.

Here are the short sleeved shirts. Again six stacks - each one about 9 shirts deeps.

And here we have the long sleeved shirts and sweaters.

Here we have the pajamas. Yes folks, a whole drawer full of pajamas.

And last, but not least, the church clothes. Here we have a half a closet of clothes he can wear to church. There are enough choices in there that he doesn't have to wear the same thing to church for four and a half months!
You might say, "Why don't you just put some in storage. Oh, we have. We have about 8 big storage bins in our neighbor's storage shed. These are just the clothes that fit him right now. I'm thinking about opening my own Kid to Kid when Benj is finished with these.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Plea to Jane Austen

Ms. Austen - I'm sorry that I haven't given your books and movies the time they deserve this past year and particularly this summer. I have spent my time watching dribble including Desperate Housewives and Teen Mom instead enjoying the literary splendor that are your great works. I know that I skipped over Sense and Sensibility on Netflix streaming to watch something lame that I can't even remember. I know that Pride and Prejudice has been sitting on my shelf for many years without being watched. I know that the only reason that I read one of your books recently was because it was part of book club a year ago. I am sorry and did not mean to offend. I suppose watching The Jane Austen Book Club when it came on tv was not enough. I will begin watching Pride and Prejudice today during quiet time. I will go to the library and check out Sense and Sensibility. Please, just please let me find my copies of Persuasion. Both are missing and they are not streaming on Netflix. I need to find my Persuasion. Again I am sorry and any help you can render would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Don't Forget the Sugar!

A while back on facebook I talked about some zucchini chocolate chip muffins I had made. The were super yummy so I thought I would post the recipe here. I started to make some yesterday. I got them in the oven and then realized I didn't take any pictures like I wanted to for the blog. Oh well, no big deal. But then I realized I had forgotten something that was a big deal - the sugar! I debated whether I should put sugar or Splenda in but didn't put in any at all. I took the muffins out of the oven after about 3 minutes, spooned them all back into the bowl and mixed in the sugar. I was hoping beyond hope that it would work since I had made a double batch and that was a lot of ingredients to just throw away. I kind of knew it wouldn't work though. My first clue was that some of the bottoms of the muffins were already cooked. My second clue was that the chocolate chips had already melted and when mixed again with the sugar, my beautiful tan colored batter became a nasty brown color. Here's what they looked like when they were "done".

Well, I made them again today - a single batch - remembered the sugar and to take pics. So here you go.

1 1/2 cups flour (I use a mix of white and whole wheat)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup oil (can substitute some applesauce)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini (I used my food processor and a big zucchini and the shreads were pretty big so I chopped it a little more to hide the zucchini from Josh)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened. (It will be a little thick. ) Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Voila! The finished product. These are great for breakfast or an anytime snack. They freeze really well too! We just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and it tastes like it just came out of the oven. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Don't Do Trash ... Wait

I don't do trash. That's one of the jobs in the house that is strictly a boy job. It wasn't long into the marriage that Tim found out this little tidbit about me. After almost seven and a half years of marriage we haven't had any problems.

I have been off for the summer and have been trying to get some deeper cleaning
and organizing done. Needless to say there was a little more trash than normal. Tim had been pretty busy at work so he didn't get around to taking it out. This is what things looked like after just two days.
There was even more by the door. Gross, I know. But remember, I don't do trash.

Well, I didn't do trash. Just a week after this incident, this happened.
My trash man was in the hospital. Tim started complaining about his stomach hurting Thursday morning when we were getting ready for our niece's wedding. I didn't think much of it. He complains about pains a lot. We made it through the wedding ceremony and he was still complaining. I thought he was just hungry because I didn't let him stop for doughnuts on the way to the temple. But after the luncheon he was still complaining. He didn't have too much time to think about it though because of all the goings on that day.

Friday morning rolled around and he was still hurting. He said he was going to call the doctor because he thought he might have appendicitis. I probably rolled my eyes. He's always self-diagnosing. I have to remember though, he's usually right with his self-diagnosis. He called from the doctor's office saying that he was going in for a cat-scan. He ended up coming home first because he had to drink something or other before hand.

We got to the hospital, had the procedure and they told Tim to go home. I thought that sounded pretty weird so we stopped to ask. The tech came out about two minutes later and said, "Wait right here. Don't go anywhere yet." Then in another two minutes she came back out and said, "Come with me. We're going to admit you for surgery." Crazy!

Things went really well with the surgery and recovery. He even got some nice flowers and balloons out of it. But the thing he liked the best, I'm sure, was that he didn't have to take out the trash for a whole week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Announcing the Next Democratic Candidate in Utah!

I live in Utah. It's not a big surprise that Republicans abound here. We do have our fair share of Democrats though, but apparently not enough. I got home from work a few weeks ago and there was a message on the machine. I listened to it. I couldn't believe what I just heard. I had to listen to it again to make sure I had heard it correctly. I had. It was the Utah Democratic Party inviting yours truly to run for office this year. Apparently they are so hard up for candidates that I look like their best bet and I'm a registered Republican. Go figure. Better luck next year in Utah Dems.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Seven Years and Counting . . .

It was seven years ago tomorrow that I married the love of my life. It's been better than I could have hoped for and there are still many more great years ahead. I still remember the feeling of comfort that came over me in the temple as Tim and I sat next to each other right before we were to sealed for time and all eternity. I will never forget that feeling. We were in the right place, at the right time and nothing could stop us, not even a water main break.

That's right, a water main break. I got a call from the temple on Friday. They said that there had been a water main break at the temple and it was closed. Uh, really? "What does that mean?", I asked. Basically, they said we had three choices. We could wait a week and get married in the Washington Temple when the break was fixed. Not an option. We had plane tickets to Florida. I was not spending my honeymoon in separate rooms. We could head down to North Carolina and get married in the temple there. Again, not an option. We didn't have a marriage license for North Carolina. Last option, we could get married in the Washington Temple as planned, but our parents would be the only ones allowed in with us. We were breaking the fire code to do it, but what else were we supposed to do. I spent the afternoon calling all the people we had invited to join us in the temple to tell them not to come.

While it was kind of crazy to think this was how we were going to start our married life, it was the most amazing experience. The temple was so quiet. We were pretty much the only ones there. Lights would be turned on as we entered a room and then turned off as soon as we left. There was such a feeling of peace, more so than any other time I have been to the temple. I could not have asked for a more memorable experience at the temple.
I love you, Tim and can't wait until I can say we've had another seven years together!