28 November 2010

Train around the house

A quiet Sunday with Laura and myself being sick. We mostly laid around, letting the kids watch movies, because neither of us had the energy to play. When the evening came, the kids definitely wanted to do something active. So, Laura encouraged me to get up and play with them a bit.

So, Laura and I took the kids on a train ride around the house. Laura and I were pulling them around on this blanket. They all laughed so hard at the fun they were having. It was hard not to enjoy it.

They continued the fun by spitting water at each other in the bath. Laura took some (gross) pictures. At least the kids are laughing when they get spit on.

27 November 2010


We're thankful for so many things, but most of all family. We have the greatest family. This Thanksgiving was both Abigail's and Jared's birthday. With Laura's parents and grandmother, we went to my parents for dinner. The kids had a fantastic time playing dress-up, flipping a beach ball around with Aunt Cyndi, and fanning their Aunt Kory.

Most of us ate too many appetizers to take full advantage of the rest of the meal. I'm thinking the way my family makes appetizers, we should start with them at lunch time to build the appetite for dinner. Just before dinner is way too close.

Ben's a fan of his Aunt Kory

Kids played dress up. There was some royalty and some servants. Someone asked if Julia was a princess, and she yelled "No! I'm a servant!" I don't think I've seen someone more defensive of their servitude. Probably most interesting was Lily's green wig.

We brought one of Abigail's cakes and sang happy birthday to her (and Jared).

And, we did the piƱata, which we never got to at her kid birthday party. This was one of the more fun events. The kids started cheering on whoever was at bat.

At the end of the evening, someone wanted to take a picture of all the children of my parents. I'm not sure whose idea it was (certainly, not Josh's). Here's a good one:

From Thanksgiving 2010

21 November 2010

Birthday Party for Abigail

Abigail soon turns seven. Laura gave her the option to have a small party so that she could take a few friends to a movie or other (costly) event. When Abigail started listing the friends and family, it was clear this wasn't going to be a small event. She listed more than 20 children to attend her party. And, I think we got close on attendance. Instead of having a late morning party as we usually have, Laura planned it to start at 4 pm. That worked out great, though. We were able to prepare all day for the party, perfecting the cakes. Laura wanted to try fondant for the first time.

This was the cake Laura decorated - Abigail saw this design in a magazine and really wanted it:

And, here's the one I did:

The kids came into the house where I was filing balloons from a rented helium tank. These balloons became a game into themselves. The kids had tons of fun running around with the balloons. Gabriel couldn't stop trying to grad every new balloon I was blowing up.

Laura had all sorts of games planned with prizes.

We started with a guess on jelly beans - number in the jar. First guesses included 15, 30, & even 20 (Abigail's). I stopped the game, counted a section of the jar to help calibrate the kids, and they made new guesses. Still, they were low-balling, but Julia got to take home the prize by guessing 120. There were 317. Here's Aya seeing if Laura has written down her guess with Alexa looking on:

Laura included a 'memory' contest - a quick showing of items on a platter, then having the kids write down what they remember. Aya & Alexa tied for remembering seven items correctly.

Also, there was a hunt for sticks of gum around the house. Truman took the prize with finding three sticks.

Finally, the last contest was the cookie and cupcake decorating. Jada is expertly applying the buttercream:

Everyone won a prize for their designs:

Laura decided to put a whole new 'spin' on an old party game: spin the bottle. Though, this game was to select in which order Abigail was to open presents.

Finally, my favorite pictures - Abigail getting her cake and, eventually, eating it too:

Happy Birthday Abigail!

And, kudos to Laura for planning such an amazing party that we all enjoyed. It was never too crazy, despite all the kids in the house. Laura did a lot to make this day special, and we're all very proud of all her preparation for this party.

18 November 2010

Bookstore & ice cream

Tonight, Abigail's request for night out with Dad was to go to the bookstore and then get ice cream.

Abigail was excited to purchase a bunch of books from the Magic Treehouse series of books. Her school library introduced her to the series, and she loves reading them. Much better than the school assigned decodables she's required to repeat reading five times in a row. So, I read her book #2 at the bookstore. And we purchased four others that had enticing covers.

After the bookstore we went to Coldstone to have a cone before coming back home. Successful night out!

06 November 2010

Daisy scouts: investiture

Last night, we attended Collette's investiture ceremony for Daisy scouts. This is the first meeting where she and the rest of the group was welcome to Girl Scouts for the first time. She was brimming with pride as she accepted her first patches of the year.

I don't think these pictures capture her excitement. Before the ceremony a group of girl scouts came in to sing 'repeat' songs with the Daisies. It was really neat to see the older girls get the younger ones involved in fun songs. First, she received her insignia pin, demonstrating that she was officially welcomed to Girl Scouts.

She was praised for her responsibility (receiving the orange petal) by bringing her plants to the meetings each week, showing their growth, and eventually planting them in a community garden. Her plants were the first to grow and ended up being the largest when they finally went into the ground. Also, she earned patches for the gardening with a little watering can. Other petals received were rose for making the world a better place and light blue for being honest and fair. She also, in front of the entire group, (quietly) recited the Girl Scout promise.

We're very proud of Collette's accomplishments, and her enthusiasm in the program. Today, she spent a few hours outside Jamba Juice selling cans of nuts. She practiced before hand what she would say to folks coming by the table. And, the leaders said she did a good job getting past her shyness by talking to others.

04 November 2010

Trick or Treating!

With all of the festivities going on, my kids were still constantly asking when is the REAL trick or treating going to happen? They were very excited about it. But, I have to say, for all the excitement, I was shocked how they were totally trick or treated out within an hour. I thought they were going to last a lot longer.

We went out with two other families and our kids had a great time together.

Here's the lot of them:

Meet our pumpkins (from left to right) Laura's, Ben's, Abigail's, and Collette's

Our front porch

The kids in action!

03 November 2010

Halloween mayhem

WARNING: Super picture heavy. Maybe a post only loved by grandparents

Holy Cow! I can barely catch my breath from all the activities we had going on for Halloween. I think it was like 7 activities in three days. It got very crazy around our house with all the costume changes.

The Saturday before Halloween our family went over to the pumpkin patch that my kids love the most. Because you get to hold baby chicks..that's all they cared about. I offered ALL kinds of fun, far away pumpkin patches but no. They wanted the one in a parking lot in front of a Sears. Here's a couple shots from there:

Just because I think this kid is pretty darn cute:

Here's Collette doing what she did for the entire time we were there. She stopped briefly to play some games with our family but went right back to the chicks. Yes, there is a chick in those hands of hers....

Abigail was pretty happy as well. She loved the time holding these little guys...And No, I have no idea who that other girl is in the picture. But she was in EVERY one of my pictures.

Ben thought the chicks/ducks were cool but much preferred the other "activities" at this parking lot pumpkin patch

We have some cute boys!

Thursday morning started the festivities with Ben's preschool parade/party. I, was already running crazy and forgot my camera. So...sorry Ben but we had a good time there!

Thursday afternoon was the Google Halloween party. It got a little crazier when our neighbor kids got locked out of their house. Their daughter is a great girl in sixth grade at Abigail and Collette's school and their son is in Abigail's class. So, I threw them in the car and we headed over to Google. Okay, so I don't have any pictures to show for this either...but it was a lot of fun and our kids and the neighbor kids had a blast.

Friday morning Collette had her kindergarten parade. I helped out in her class all morning so Joel showed up with Ben and Gabe and the CAMERA!

Here's Ben and Gabe waving to Collette as she parades around school

Here's Collette on the far right dressed up as the witch-- along with many other kindergarteners!

Then there was Abigail's parade later that day. And I did bring the camera but I can't find the pictures for it. I'll have to look harder but I don't think I got very good shots anyway...

Friday NIGHT was a family party. We had lots of soup and yummy rolls and we carved pumpkins. It was super fun!

Saturday morning was the school Halloween carnival. The kids had a great time. The had all kinds of games, a cash vault, and a cake walk which was a favorite of my kids. In the end, we only won one time. But look at that spread!

Gabe liked the basketball game. But the volunteers liked him and just kept giving him turns without tickets :)

Having a little lunch at the carnival. I love how Ben can't just smile...

Saturday night was our church party. The church party was fun but this is essentially what my boys did the whole time-- someone in our ward manages a Golf Land (miniature golf place) and brought a mini putting station. My kids were hooked!

I will be posting Trick or Treating pictures separately. For everyone's sake :)