The Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, November 23, 2009

October Pictures

Buddies


I found this picture when I was putting the pictures on the computer. One of the kids took a picture of me while I was resting.


Porter is so sweet with our cat, Chelsea. Here he is sleeping with her and his build a bear frog that is named Porter. Since we temporarily have three bedrooms, Porter and Christian are in our room until everything is fixed. So Porter sleeps in a sleeping bag. Often I will find him sleeping with his favorite stuffed animals crammed in there with him. Their heads are always poking out like they are really sleeping. Chelsea usually joins the party.


There is a small canyon behind our house. We took some friends hiking up there. One little boy was nervous to climb a steep hill. Christian took the dog's leash off, fastened it on the boys belt loop. He then proceeded to pull him up. It was great to be in the mountains with friends, but the poor kid learned the true meaning of wedgie that day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Glenn's Experience with the Meteor

Glenn played basketball until late into the night. He got home and said his prayers. The second he looked up he saw a bright flash behind the blinds of the window. His first thought was that someone was behind our house and their headlights flashed on the window. (We live against a mountain with no backyard neighbors and a fire access road lining the back of our yard.) He quickly looked out the window and no one was there. It was the fastest get away ever. That made him so worried. He spent the next 1/2 hour searching because he was sure that there was an intruder trying to get into our house or doing something weird. He COULD NOT figure it out. It wasn't until the news the next morning that the mystery was solved. We laugh now because he is not usually the type to get scared.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oprah

So I went to Oprah last month to be in the studio audience. The trip was so fun. I stayed with my good friend from high school Janalee N. and enjoyed reconnecting with two other friends Kris D. and Chelsea G. It was my first time to Chicago and a very needed break from daily life. Every once in a while it is nice to step out of your little bubble of regular life and re-evaluate and look at things with a different view. I got a lot of time to think, read and contemplate.

The show I watched is going to be broadcast this Tuesday October 20th. Look for me. I'll be wearing pink and my best smile. (Actually, we didn't get the best seats so I'll be surprised if we get our split second of fame that we were hoping for.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Goalie


The coach is on the left and Christian is second over on the top row.

Christian didn't have his shin guards during his last soccer game. They were MIA, but that's not the point. Even though it is a rule to wear them, he was doing fine playing under the radar until a kid (you know the one that whatever crosses his mind comes out his mouth in auditorium volume) announces to all in two blocks distance, "Christian doesn't have shin guards." So the coach pulls him out. So then Christian has to be goalie. I don't think when the coach told him to be a crazy goalie that he meant what was about to transpire.

Christian's adrenalin was pumping. He had so much energy he was bouncing up and down kind of like our primitive ancestors (No, I don't believe we used to be apes, but that is another subject.) He would dive into the hoard of kicking cleats to grab the ball. A couple of times he picked up the ball and kicked it straight up. Luckily he was quick enough that he could return his own kick. At one point he went clear to mid-field on a break away. I don't know how much you know about soccer, but this is generally not a desired tactic. He would come way out of the goalie box and then would have to sprint back to where he was supposed to be to guard the goal. My favorite is when he was way outside the goalie box. There were only a couple other people around him. Instead of kicking it away from the goal, he turned toward his own goal until he got into the box and then he jumped on his own ball. That one caused all our heart rates to increase a bit, but his idea worked and he was able to pick the ball up and give it a big boot. There were a lot of shots taken. He blocked every single one and seemed to thoroughly enjoying himself. It was amazing, unconventional, and certainly entertaining. Wish you could have seen it.

Christian has a lot of spirit and is so fun. I love watching him play sports. This year was his first year in the older age bracket. It is when coaches stop coaching because they love kids, but coach because they love the sport. They don't want everyone just to have fun. They want to win. It has taken a bit of getting used to, but we have survived and he is now looking forward to wrestling and basketball.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Home School Campout





The night started out with a dutch oven dinner and then one of the dads told an old indian legend that ended with a chant that started the fire - magically. After roasting marshmellows, the adults visited and the kids played like crazy. These are the same kids that they go to clubs with, park day and Friday Fun Classes so our kids have developed good friendships.

I had been wanting to disect a fish for science and when it came down to it I couldn't get myself to actually touch the thing so Chris Jones did the dirty work for me. I like to look, just not touch. It was pretty cool to see the heart, liver, brains, stomach and contents. Even the eye was pretty cool once the ooze was cleared away.


Porter adopted one of the fish that his friend Dylan caught as his pet. Despite the fact that it was dead, he took it around with him and thought it was a fine idea to put it in a fish tank at home. That one took a little explaining about decomposition.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Brother Christian

Dear Christian,
I just want you to know how thankful I am to have you in our family. You are the kind of big brother I think every kid should have. I know it is a hard job at times, but someone has to be the oldest and I'm so glad that it is you. Your brother look up to you and want to be around you and do what you do. This is a good thing because you have so many wonderful qualities. You are brave, friendly, kind, creative, thoughtful, sensitive to the Spirit and a hard worker. You do thing even if you are scared or afraid. You reach out to others and befriend the lonely. I see kindness as you play with your baby brother. You have made so many tools out of random things. If you want a bow and arrow and we don't have one, you find a way to make one. You even made a few racoon traps. You are a great inventor. You think deeply of the things of life and strive to find answers. You are aware of the Holy Ghost and are very good at following his promptings.

Thanks for being the one in our family to grow up first.

It doesn't matter to me what you become, but I want you to be happy. I know you have the tools to walk on that path and make good decisions.

I love you bud!
Mom

PS Here you and Bubs are playing dress-ups at Grandma's house. He loves playing with you and is a very lucky kid to have you in his life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lagoon

This was Stafford's first ride ever in his life. I put him in with Porter because I was a little nervous about how Stafford would react. I told Porter to hold onto S. He took the job very seriously. I tried to explain that he didn't have to hold onto his neck, but the message didn't get through.


I took Christian to go on some of the bigger rides and Grandma and Grandpa stayed with the younger three. Here are the three little guys.


I often wonder what is going through my kids' heads. Stafford is very serious right here. I think that he thinks that he is really driving and one false turn will result in a very serious crash - complete with an airbag in his face.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pioneer Day

We celebrated this day by pulling old fashioned taffy and a BBQ at Granny Day's house. My kids' best friends in the neighborhood are the Day Family. They have two married daughters who give the kids lost of attention when they visit, a 16yo son that has adopted them as the brothers he never had. Also two other girls ages 13 and 9 who are great babysitters. The boys love it there and sometimes go over just to play with their dogs, Copper and Cleo. Anyway, we joined their family for a BBQ at Granny Day's house that is just around the corner. (Gramps was the bishop when Glenn was a boy.) After a great meal, we celebrated with fireworks that the 16 year old started with a blow torch - that was a hit with the boys. Somehow at one point they started dry grass on fire. I'm not sure if it was the 5 year old's idea or the 16 year old. I'm finding they aren't much different as they grow older.

We bought a pre-packaged array of fireworks. I'm certain it was called the Package of Pain. There were not only the loud shrill whistles that make you cover your ear due to the pain of hearing damage, but there were about a million (or so it seemed) of one that is like a strobe light. It is so bright that everyone has to look away due to the pain of eye damage. I kept thinking, "How is this fun?" I'm still not sure, but hurrah for the pioneers and in their honor I now can't hear or see as well as I could before the festivities.

Warrick was so tired that in the middle of the cracks and pops, he curled up on the grass and fell asleep.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grandparents

Grandparents are magical and so is going to their house. The hard part is saying good-bye.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chuck - A - Grandma


Somehow when my parents visit or when we visit them we often eat at least one meal at Chuck-A-Rama. My younger kids really think it is called "Chuck-A-Grandma". I'm starting to believe it too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jolley's Ranch


We often go up the canyon to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. This is a picture of when we went with the Wiltbank family. (We knew them while we lived in Colorado. We lost touch with them when we both moved and then found out we lived only a mile away from each other. Small world.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boys Club - Walking Sticks


For boys club we made walking sticks and then went on a hike.

Part of the hike included the discovery of a rock that when pried open there was a stone box with silver plates in them - they were actually Hersey bars. It was a great object lesson on the Golden Plates by my friend Gloria J. The kids thought it was pretty exciting that they were hidden there. We have been to that spot several times since we moved here and didn't know that box was there until now.

They spent the rest of the morning playing at the park at Jolley's Ranch and running through the sprinklers.

Stafford

Let me explain. My friend printed her blog and I loved it. That is the reason I have started to blog more - for my family history. I realize that posts like this only interest me, but it is here so that I can remember the things I think I'll never forget.

This little guy is not a talker, but he says a lot of gibberish. He can understand quite a bit, but can't quite get his ideas into words just yet.

His first word was, "Mmmmm," said the way you say it when something tastes very good. He used it appropriately too.

His second word was, "Uh-uh," meaning no to most people, but that is pretty much how he answers every question. I guess if you're not sure what is being asked then just say no - it's safer that way.

He can say "Hi!" and "Ma!" and likes to use those a lot. "Ma" actually means "help I'm stuck" too.

He also has added "Ba," for bye.

He clapped and waved way before our other kids, but walked later about just after a year old. His first crawl was more like he was dragging his lame leg. I love to see similarities with the kids and also their differences.

My favorites are when I say hold my hand and we are walking together, his hand shoots up in the air without even looking. Glenn asked him where his binkie is and he walked to the couch and started looking in the cushions.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cowboys Can't Have Hunting Dogs



As Warrick and Porter ate a bowl of cereal at the table, Glenn hears Warrick say in a very serious tone, "If you're ever a cowboy, you do not want a hunting dog." Porter replied, "Yeah, you do. Cowboys need hunting dogs. That's what cowboys do." Warrick said emphatically and put off that his brother didn't see the obvious, "They'll hunt down your horse and chickens." Porter saw the wisdom in that point and said, "Oh yeah, right."

Tortilla Roll-Ups

We tried this last night and I really loved it. Glenn even liked it when wraps generally are not his thing. I like summer meals that don't involve the oven.

This is for two. The kids had plain sandwiches.

1 high fiber, whole wheat tortilla/wrap (Glenn had a white flour tortilla.)
1 T. cream cheese (Or enough to cover the tortilla)
2 tsp. green chilies or 505 Green Chili Salsa
1-2 green onions sliced
Shredded lettuce
2 slices nitrate-free sandwich meat (we used ham)

Spread the cream cheese over the tortilla. Add the green chilies, green onions, lettuce and sandwich meat. Roll the tortilla. (Optional slice into 1/2 inch thick circles.)

I got this recipe at cleaneatingdiet.blogspot.com. (I'd make it into a cool litte link if I remembered how. Sorry.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Grotto


This is a perfect hike for young kids. It is short. It has several places to cross the strem on flat logs. At the end is this beautiful water area. Christian was still with his grandparents when we went on thie hike. It is hard doing family things when the family is not complete. We miss Christian.




Suddenly at the end of the hike you turn a corner and this is what you see. (Plus a cute little couple sitting on a rock, so in love. :)

The First Day of School




We started school August 3rd. We kicked off the day by wearing new school clothes and going with Glenn to IHOP for breakfast. When we got home we went to our desks ($1each at the school district warehouse.) and started school.


We're starting school this early in the year because we take a lot of breaks during the year. In the winter, sometimes we just want to go sledding and in the spring, who can sit indoors? Also, my kids are excited about their new curriculum this year and so I thought I would start while the excitement was still there. (Update: that excitement lasted about 1 1/2 days.:)

We are using K12 for Christian's curriculum.

For Porter we are going to use Happy Phonics (A program that focuses on games to learn how to read by Diane Hopkins.) And Math U See for math. I have heard a lot of good things about this math program and I'm excited to try it. I still have not purchased it yet because I'm not sure what level to put him in. I think he could jump to 1st grade math, but I want him to like it so I'm leaning toward doing Kindergarten so that he can breeze through it and feel accomplished and will be on the same level as the kids that are in his grade. He will join Christian for science.

Warrick does workbooks and colors while I teach the others. Often times he can do what Porter does and I just water it down for him.

This is part of Porter's math. There are numbers on each card and he puts and unit cube to match the number.

This is Warrick's version of what Porter did.


All of the boys will participate in enrichment classes each Friday with the homeschool group that I belong to. These are classes that vary from dance and orchestra to health and history. They have good friends in this group and also attend clubs during the week with the same kids.

We are also going to attend a Options Program at a local Charter School on Tuesdays. This is another enrichment program. We will take classes like art, PE, and science lab.

I'm excited for all of these options and opportunities for my boys. Hopefully they will all workout, but if they don't I know I have other options and avenues we can travel.

This fall Christian will also do flag football and soccer and Porter will do soccer too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christian


Christian is spending a few days with my parents down south. I miss him! He is a great kid to have around the house. He is sweet and kind and sometimes he is even helpful. I saw some pictures of him at church on a bulletin board and it hit me how the days of a simple eight year old are fleeting. Soon he will be older, have more complex problems, and won't even live in the same home. I want to cherish his youth. I want to enjoy all of his questions (I want to, but that doesn't mean that I will.) and curiosity of youth. I want to bask in his hugs and in him wanting to be in the same room as me. As four little ones flank the sides of me whereever I go, I want to remember that one day they will be far away.

His brothers miss him, his dad misses him, and so does his mom.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Quite a Pair


I'd like to brag a little bit about my dad. My dad may not be able to beat up your dad, but let me tell you what he can do.

My dad inspires kindness. He is full of compasion and unconditional love. I have always known that he loves me. I have always known that he would stick by me. I have always known that he would have time to chat with me, even if it is the seventh time I have talked to him about the same problem. He founded my fan club and has faithfully remained one of it's few members. He has always believed in me. As I grew up he built me up and gave me confidence to go out and try new things. I knew he would be there if I fell. I'm thankful for growing up with my dad and consider myself very lucky (blessed) to have such a dad.

I love my dad and even though his role has changed a bit as I have grown older and gotten married, he has always been close by, just in case. That means so much to me. Thanks dad and happy birthday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Backyard Bird Show

We hosted the Boys Club at our house and had a bird show. Warrick took this picture. You may be imagining that he used the zoom button, but no, much to my discomfort, he walked right up to the bird and snapped this shot. I don't think this Red Tailed Hawk was too happy about it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cub Scout Day Camp

Since I am a den leader, I got to go with Christian to scout day camp. They did lots of fun things. Here are some highlights, shooting BB Guns, archery, sling-shots. The leaders got to participate in the sling-shot target practice. We played a game where we would pick a target and see who could shoot it first. I was the first to hit the first target and before I knew it, I was cheering just as loud as the boys as the game progressed. Just like an eight year old, I snuck in one extra shot after we were told to stop. I've got to get me one of those!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple

This is the second open house that my boys have been to. They love to go. (When we were in the Draper Temple Celestial Room, Christian experienced his first "happy tears".)
Our favoirite part of this tour was the ride to the temple from the parking lot in a golf-cart-type-thingy. Porter was up in the front hollering with joy with his hands up in the air. It was fun to watch the type of joy that children display on a regular basis.

Here are the boys all touching the temple.

This is a picture from my seat on the golf-cart-type-thingy. Porter is sitting next to the driver and having a GREAT time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4th of July Weekend

This is the fourth year in a row that we have gone to Grandma's house for the 4th of July.
Our little Stafford was named after my brother Stafford. Here they both are. Little Stafford would pick grass and put it in the shovel and Uncle Stafford would put it on top of little Stafford's head. They worked this way, like a machine, for quite awhile. They got in a rhythm and it kept them both out of trouble for awhile.


Glenn and Christian won the father and sons race in Paragonah.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cherries $1


Christian is always looking for ways to earn money. He liked the idea of selling cherries. After several tries and a couple of downpours he and his brothers and the neighbor, Brooklyn D., made $21 and divided it up quite unevenly.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Art City Days 5K



Glenn and Christian's first 5K.
This was lots of fun and will hopefully become a family tradition in years to come.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Salem Pond



Friday morning I met with my homeschooling group at Salem Pond. Warrick found a baby robin on the ground that let him pick it up. He loved it and called him "his bird". It grossed me out that he was handling it, but by the time I saw he had the bird, I realized that the damage was done and I let him touch it. Then I talked him into leaving it by the tree that he found it in hopes that the mom would still help out, but then a jumble of kids swarmed it and the bird became "their bird".

Later that afternoon we returned to Salem Pond for a Varifit company party. (If you haven't heard, Glenn is now working for Varifit.) Warrick greatly anticipated seeing "his bird" again. I tried to explain that it probably wouldn't be there still. He kept the faith and sure enough he came walking through the grass with his little bird in his hands and a big smile on his face. He packed it around with him the entire time we were there. He'd set it down so that he could go and do something fun and then he'd return to it and it would still be in the same area. One time he even hired (for free) two little boys to babysit while he did something else. They took the job very seriously and gave it back when it was time. At one point, I found Warrick on the blanket of a family. The mom was complete with two lip rings, a nose rings and a plethora of tattoos and the teens were of the same make and model. They thought Warrick was great entertainment. They told me Warrick was talking to the bird and saying, "I'm your father. I don't look like you, but I'm your dad now." They even donated their drinking water so Warrick could wash the bird poop off of his swimsuit. Just before we left, the bird disappeared. I was a little relieved since I didn't want to explain that it wasn't "his bird" and that we had to leave it. He was heartbroken and searched everywhere in vain.

Meanwhile, Porter made friends with a grandpa that was there with his family. The guy began teaching him to fish and he caught one just as we were leaving. They became good friends and we exchanged phone numbers so they could call us when they came fishing again.

Ah, the friends you make when you go places with my boys.