Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video or Scrapbook or who really cares?

So I take pictures. All the time. Video too.

Now what do I do with this photographic evidence of my children's lives?

I have picture albums up until our first baby (when we got our first digital camera).

And I have dvds of pictures and video up until January of '06.

So I'm stuck. Do I devote free time to making dvd's of my pictures and videos up until the present time? Just DVD's of the videos, then do digital scrapbooking and make real books of pictures? I'm having a hard time deciding.

My parents had no real picture organization at all, so I'm at a loss as to what I'll really want to look at in 20 years- watch a dvd of pictures? Or look at a book?

Do your kids look at their scrapbooks? Are they just for me when my kids are grown and my babies are having babies?

What do YOU do with all. these. pictures?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How are you feeling?

Today at Joy school the theme was all about honesty and feelings. I came up with the following activities to supplement all the stories the curriculum provided. I think they'd be fun for Family Home Evening or just for fun.

First, I took pictures of the girls making different emotions. Then, I loaded them onto Picasa, the free google photo software, made a collage, and typed in the emotions with the "add text" tool. Took me 3 minutes to take pictures and maybe 5 to make the collage.

We also traced a cup to make perfect circles all across our paper. Then drew different faces to make different emotions. The kids had fun drawing different hairstyles and features- rosy cheeks, big lips, little ears, etc.

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Surefire Way to get out of Debt

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spiritually Gifted

My family is really spiritual. This is Sophia at 8 months caught while trying to read the scriptures.

For example, my family home evenings are awesome. Last night John made this boat, and I filledit with chocolate cut out cookies named Nephi, Lehi, Laman and Lemuel. My kids were attentive for like the whole time cookies were 5 inches from their face. I even sense increased spirituality as they ate the cookie versions of these ancient prophets. So delicious. And spiritual.

And our prayers have been really moving lately.

Natalie's newest habit is saying prayer, and "needing help." Natalie thinks John needs help, so she waits for him to repeat after her.

This is how it usually goes:

Natalie: Heavenly Father, thank thee for our blessings.
And Jamie (my parent's dog). And the cats.

Long pause

John: And bless us to be nice
N: And the cats
John- And the cats

And thank thee for our blankets
pause until John repeats

And our plates
pause until John repeats

And food
pause until John repeats

And the ground
And my toys
And my pretty clothes
And my bib
And books
(gains momentum until unintelligible)
name of dedus dist Amen.

Like I said, soooo spiritual.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

House Tag

I've been thinking about playrooms.
Mine is awesome.
Let me refresh your memory:

This is the side with all the toys. The other half is dancing space and a love sack chair.

It's 4 steps down from the kitchen, pretty big room. I love the big windows and the location in the house (NOT the living room, you can't see the mess from the front door, but you can see the kids from the kitchen). I love that my kids have to drag toys upstairs to get them out of the playroom. It slows down the process.

All the houses we've looked at, none of them have a playroom right off the kitchen, unless we plan on making the "Family room" into the playroom.

So we're left with basements, a bedroom as a playroom, or a "Loft" on the second floor.

My question to you is- Where's your playroom? If you don't have one, where do you keep all the toys?

And Karalynne tagged me. Here are a few of the things I love about my house, the ones I will miss when we move.

Our big backyard, the flowers all around in spring, the big tree, and the duck pond so close.

The built in book shelves and fireplace. There's room for all our grown up books and magazines, plus hidden areas for all kinds of junk, like games, scrap paper, saxaphone, exercise videos, and all of John's old graduate school notebooks.

The built in desks in Sophia's room. All my craft/sewing stuff in one place. I have a drawer for projects I've never finished. And one for scrap fabric. Plus room for Sophia's clothes, and I even have a birthday party closet. Spoiled, I know.

I love how our driveway has parking lines. Great for when we throw keggers and invite more than 2 cars.

Our bathroom mirrors. I love how the flourescent lights buzz when they're on, how everythings plated in metal, and how they look like rocket ships. Plus pink tile. I always feel like I'm in the Truman Show whenever I turn on the lights and examine my humungous pores.

My two tvs. Set up for simultaneous tv watching and p90x exercising.

I just love our freezer. Our teeny tiny freezer. It's a bit overloaded. So to keep it shut, we're ghetto bungee cord fabulous.

And my kitchen floor. I will miss it. I mean, it is so ugly, the last time I mopped was November? December? Not sure. But pretty sure you can't tell the difference.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turn it on!

When I was 8, my parents got their first computer. I spent hours looking at the different programs and figuring out how it worked. And how to change the settings and drive my father to new levels of stress. In 7th grade, I figured out that the Oregon Trail game just takes the name you put in for siblings and puts them on the graves when your siblings die or do something. So my friend and I used obscene words. And we served detention for it.

In my daughter's life, computers are the most normal thing ever. As well as computer chips. Some things heard recently:

In target, looking at a toy "Mommy, turn it on!" "It doesn't turn on Natalie." Turning over toy and looking at every surface "Where's the button? Turn it on!"

At the doctor's office "Mommy, why's that phone on the wall? That's so silly!" -Sophia

My kids have also figured out what really matters while I'm on the computer. They touch my wrist as I'm using the mouse to stop it. Gets my attention every time. But it is uber annoying.

And then there was the old keyboard they carry around and pretend to "check my email" on her computer screen- a sesame street baby toy. Either she thinks everything I do on the computer is monkey work, or she associates computers with songs and games.

The real question is, when my children are grown and microchips in your brain is normal, what will their kids say-

Mom, look at that phone, it's as big as your thumb.

Dad why doesn't your computer read your thoughts? You had to type it all in? How slow!
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Valentines Crafts

Here's what our valentine's day looked like:

First, some pick up lines for our family and my visiting teachees

Was your dad a baker? Because baby you've got some buns

If you were a booger i'd pick you first.

If you want a copy of the publisher file, let me know.

Second, we made some valentine's cards with heart foamie stickers from Target dollar spot. I love simple designs, and it was fun to do some horizontal creativity and figure out all the things hearts could be. (Balloons, flowers, game pieces)

The pinata below is from us, we paper mache'd a balloon, painted it red, added some glitter and foam hearts, and streamers. Then we popped the balloon inside.

We also made some mailboxes on Family Home Evening night, with some cards to deliver to each other.

Happy Valentine's Day!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Old Macdonald had an OPERA singer...

It's cold again today.

Another day inside, another day trying to stretch my children's play possibilities beyond "sit on mom's lap while she's on the computer" and "take all the toys from one room and hide them all under Natalie's bed."

I've mentioned before that I have a hard time playing with my kids. Mainly I'm easily distracted and once they're playing nicely my mind is buzzing with things I could be doing. Sometimes these things need to get done, sometimes they're just things I like.

I've been better these past two weeks because I've thought up some games we can play that involve me as a leader, rather than an idle observer.

Here are some recent games.

Old McDonald
1.Sing song and then challenge the kids to find that animal in the room or in a book

2.Sing it using different people in your family as you look through a family photo album. Use normal phrases

3. Sing the same song 20 ways, Old Macdonald had an opera singer, eieio... (Opera, nasaly, squeaky, robot, staccato, whisper, baby, loud man)


1.Animals- Yell out an animal, and the kids have to act like that animal across room- Penquin, ostrich, cow, dog, pig, Snake, Bird, etc. The kids love this one, Natalie regularly pretends to be an "anaconda snake."

2. Follow the Leader- rotate every person picking an exercise. We do the exercise 10 times, then it's another person's turn. My kids usually pick an animal, I usually pick some kind of sit up, running motion, leg lift or taebo exercise.

Cleaning up

1. I spy- One person picks an object that needs to be picked up. Everyone cleans up and when that item is put away, we yell "YOU'RE THE WINNER" and do a crazy dance. Then the winner gets to pick a new object

2. Freeze Dance pickup- Put on music, the kids pick up while music is on, then have to FREEZE when it stops.

Now, go play with your kids!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feast upon the scriptures

So next week there's a Primary Activity, and at the end of a scripture treasure hunt, the kids will find two scripture boxes with cookies inside. The idea is that they will be inspired to "feast" upon the words of Christ- so the cookies will be inside the scriptures. Get it?

Here's how I made our scripture boxes.

1. I took two boxes, taped all the sides secure, then cut three sides of the top, to make it open like a book. Then I added a tab closure as in picture number one, so when the box was closed it would stay shut.

2. Then we crinkled some brown paper (mine was from an online package we received earlier this month) and paper mache'd it on so it looked like leather.

3. I glued white paper on the sides- where the pages would be.

4. I added gold glitter glue, and combed it so it would look like the gold pages from new scriptures. If I did this over again, I'd do the combing in black first, it would have stood out more and looked more like pages.

5. I glitter glued the names of the scriptures on the front.

I think it came out ok, but they look an awful lot like a 5th grade art project. If I had thought ahead more, and had asked for money from our budget, I would have bought some faux leather paper to glue on the box, and used gold vinyl lettering for the title. That would look way more professional, a lot easier and look more like huge scriptures, rather than a box painted to look like the scriptures. But as a last minute idea that serves one purpose, (to hold cookies) it looks alright in my opinion.

Another idea would be to take minature boxes and tape black paper on the outside, with scripture titles, then fill with cookies or treats. Everything's better in miniature!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sparkly Twirly Skirt

A normal twirly skirt, minus the edging, plus the tulle. So easy. Took me 1 hour, because sergers are the coolest.

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A shield, a book, a pinata, and a mystery

First, the shield. For defense against over zealous sisters. Very useful round these parts.
Then the books. Made it with my new paper cutter, bind it all and some borrowed stamps. Happy Birthday Primary kids!

The beginnings of a pinata. We're thinking Valentine's Day theme when we decorate it tomorrow. Can my kids wait 10 days for Valentines at Grandma's house?

And a mystery craft. What could we possibly be doing with brown paper, a box and modge podge?? Hmmmm.
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Crazy kiddos

Who's the Boss?
This is the universal Sophia signal for percieved injustice.
Stops me dead in my tracks.

The other day the kiddos were playing under a sheet and ended up with some Idaho/Utah Hair.
Which was good, I was missing mile high frizz.

Last but not least, we had some "going to my meeting" dressup time last week. Turns out more IS more. Can you spot all 10 dressup items on the girls?
1. Sandal
2. Slipper
3. Skirt
4. Cape
5. Hat
6. Bag
7. Wand
8. Tiara
9. Belt
10. Bucket.
I've been slacking, I only bring my scarf and notebook to meetings. Geez.
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Last week...

Was tough.

The week started out innocently enough, but I found myself doing nothing but things on the computer, not in the mood to work out, not in the mood to play. You know something's up with your hormones when you have the urge to eat a whole candy bar right before dinner. And then I had another week of watching a few more of my friends from back in the day announce their pregnancies. I never understood what it meant to covet, when I read it in the scriptures. But now I'm understanding what it means to desire something so much, that it hurts to see others enjoying that thing. I could give you a long list of silver linings to not being pregnant, but sometimes, you think- I think this is my month, and then it's not.

In the course of doing lots of computer stuff, I somehow strained the left of my neck, which meant I was impatient for 3 days because I couldn't get comfortable. My last post was the crescendo to a week of complaints.

This week has been better. Even though Natalie's got a flu bug, and threw up yesterday, and has had diarrhea every two hours today. My attitude has changed, and the whole town is blanketed in snow (still at 3 pm! It's a miracle! Snow always melts by noon here). I really need sunshine and a big to do list to keep my mind busy and pushing forward. I have 3 times as many things to do this week, but the challenge of stuffing it all in and getting it all done rejuvenates me.

So today, when Sophia says to me "Mom, I think I need a better Mom," I responded with
"Oh yeah, why's that?" rather than running into my room and crying. Which would have been last week's response.

Turns out a better mom would play with her more. True, so true. Apparently she's picked up on the fact that I am still figuring out how to have joy while playing with my children. It's a challenge for me. But this week, I'm ready for it.
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