Friday, June 27, 2008

Patriotic Update

The countdown chains are getting shorter and we are having fun! The kids have loved doing fun patriotic things every day. Here is a rundown of what we have done for the past few days (just in case anyone is participating in my 4th of July brainwashing!)

One day, we looked online at the history of the American Flag and talked about Betsy Ross. The kids thought that was cool. (There are some fabulous websites out there on this subject, by the way! I wish we could have read them all!) Then when we were finished talking about the symbolism in the flag and looked at all of the different flags throughout history, I had the girls make a flag of their own - like Betsy Ross. It was a simple project, but they loved it and they are so proud of their creations.

Lana got a little carried away with the stars and didn't color the stripes just right, but hey, she is four! She did a fabulous job! And then they put craft sticks (or a straw if you are Lana) on them so they can wave them and do parades!

Then, yesterday, we talked about all four branches of the military. Again, I used the Internet and we found a really cool video on YouTube about the Navy. The girls loved seeing the ships and the planes. Pretty cool. Then we looked at other websites for the other three branches and talked about them.

Then I turned on my patriotic Mormon Tab's CD and we listened to the songs for all four branches of the military and danced to them. This is where it gets crazy: (some may think I am a horrible mom!) While we were dancing to the Air Force song (my favorite -something about jets - ohhhh, love it!) we were doing circles around the family room and had our arms out like we were flying planes. Yes, I looked ridiculous, but the more you get your kids moving the more they remember things. So I played along. I was the leader and they just started "flying" behind me and following me (closely) so every time that there was this one certain spot in the song, I would stop and they would run into my bum. They would go flying and laugh and laugh. (I think that if I was looking to make a memory with them, I have succeeded. Who could forget running into my big fat rump and then bouncing off onto the floor?) But we laughed and had lots of fun. Something must have worked because Rylee can name all four branches of the military no problem! Yay you, Rylee!

And the activity for today: We took sidewalk chalk outside with the girls' friends and drew flags, stars, and fireworks on the driveway. They loved it!

We are definitely getting in the 4th of July spirit here, as you can tell with the new blog background. EVERYTHING is patriotic around here!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Candy Firecrackers!

Okay, today for our Fourth of July activity we made the little firecrackers that I described in the previous post! So fun! You can use blue or red cups - either one works. But I really do prefer blue ones - it contrasts with the licorice well. But, hey, the store had red, so I take what I get because I am not wasting more gas driving all over looking for blue cups! Anyway, I let the kids each put their own candy in their cups and they thought that was great because they each picked out their favorites and loaded it up! And here are the girls' finished products:

Sorry. I hope you can see them well enough to see how to make them. Then if you make them for the sisters you visit teach it is fun to make a cute patriotic tag to go on them! Anyways, happy Fourth!

We Love America...

Or at least I do, and I am determined to make my kids all feel the same.

For those of you who don't know, I am a FREAK about the 4th of July. It is my favorite holiday, and always has been. There is just something about the BBQs, the fireworks, the picnics, the parades, the water games, the patriotic music, and my favorite part: the jets that fly over to start a parade! Oooh, gives me chills just thinking about it. I seriously LOVE the Fourth!

So, I decided this year to do something fun with my kids (and they will have fun whether they like it or not!) For Family Home Evening last night we made those little paper chains so they can rip one off every day until the Fourth. They turned out so cute! Bill went to the store and bought some little flags that we could attach the chains to and I already had some fun garland stuff to wrap around the flags and attach the chains with. Then when the chains are all ripped off, the kids have a fun flag to wave at the parade. This is what they looked like:

And this is Rylee making hers:

And this is where we hung them. Kind of a cute decoration, don't you think?! Rylee is such a ham!

So, with our chains, the kids get to rip one off every day until the Fourth, and each day that they rip one off, we will do something related to the Fourth to help them appreciate it more and learn about it. Just in case you are interested, here is a list of a few of the ideas I have:

~ Write a letter to someone who is currently serving in the military

~ Make Fourth of July hair bows

~ Get a Fourth of July outfit

~ Take sidewalk chalk outside and draw a huge flag on the driveway

~ Listen to and learn the songs on Janeen Brady's Take Your Hat Off When The Flag Goes By and take the quiz about America at the end of the book.

~ Talk about Francis Scott Key and the Star Spangled Banner

~ Talk about and show the kids the different flags throughout America's history and talk about Betsy Ross.

~ Make a flag

~ Paint the girls' nails with patriotic nail polish and give Hayden patriotic animal cookies

~ Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's patriotic songs cd to hear the songs of all the different branches of the military and talk about each branch.

~ Make the fireworks candy cup I make every year for people I visit teach, but this year the kids will make some! They are super cute! (Instructions: Fill a large blue or red SOLO cup with candy. Get three pieces of Twizzlers licorice and cut the tips off of the top of them and stick them down into the cup so they stick out kind of looking like fuses. Then wrap the whole thing with clear cellophane and tie with either red, white, and blue curling ribbon or with the same kind of garland kind of stuff I used on the flags. Then make sure the fuses are sticking out the top and stick a match in the top of each one to finish the look.) They are darling, and yes, I did think this one up all by myself - and I'm so proud of it that I make it every dang year. My poor family is probably so tired of them! I will post pictures when we make them!

~ I want to talk about our freedom and have the kids all write on stars reasons they are thankful to live in America and put those all over their bedroom walls.

So those are some of my ideas, and I am really hoping that the kids will want to keep it gong even after the Fourth is over.

But we kind of started last night after they were done making their chains. We talked about the flag itself and why it has 13 stripes and 50 stars and about respect for the flag. Then we turned on the first song on Take Your Hat Off When The Flag Goes By, which is a great marching song and they took turns using the extra flag (we didn't make a chain for Kate) to "lead their parade." It was cute to see.

Hayden couldn't quite figure out how to march and wave the flag at the same time.

Lana was kind of a "flag hog," but the other kids were good sports about it.

And Kate was dressed patriotic, but was NOT in a patriotic mood. She wanted to go to sleep! Poor girl!

Then we had those Mothers Frosted Animal Cookies (the ones that are usually pink and white - but we got the red, white, and blue ones) for treats, and the kids were so excited! Maybe I will get them just as pumped about the 4th of July as I am! Wish me luck!:)

Friday, June 20, 2008

We Start Em Young...

Today since Bill had the day off we decided to take the kids miniature golfing. As we were walking in, I saw a bunch of kids walking out from golf lessons with these cute little golf bags and tiny little clubs. So adorable!

That got me thinking....Hey, this is a very smart thing we are doing here. You see, if we get our daughters golfing now, maybe when they are older, they can go golfing and attract the guys with money! Hehehe. So if we make a small investment now and get them golfing, maybe they will meet guys on the golf course. Terrible, I know. But, seriously, we all know that golf isn't a cheap hobby, so put two and two together and viola! Our kids have secure futures!

Or not...If we are judging by the way today went, I think only one of our kids has a shot at the future in golf...

Hayden was funny. He kept grabbing his ball, walking toward the hole and saying, "Watch this!" Then he would drop his ball in the hole and say, "I did it!" Silly kid. Whatever. He is two. He just had fun trying something new.... After a while, he did try to hit it with the club a little bit...until he decided he was bored and wanted to explore.

"Hey, Buddy, the putting course is this way..."

Kate just sat and enjoyed being her sweet, cute, chubby self! What a good baby! She is absorbing all she can by watching the rest of us. She will be a pro someday. She is learning quickly what NOT to do!

Bill tried to teach Lana how to hold her club, how to stand, and how to swing. But, nope, she wasn't having any of that. She will attract men someday on the golf course because they will be wondering what the heck she is doing. If she can learn to dodge moving obstacles (like her brother) and still sink a putt, she will make us millions. Nice try, Bill.

She kept turning her club on its side and pushing the ball like she was vacuuming. She is my kid who "thinks outside the box." Even though it wasn't the right way to golf, it was dang cute!

Lana pushed her ball all the way around the curve and into the hole - just like Bill told her to. And the other two had to be there to hover over her every move.

Rylee did pretty well. She is the only one who actually tried to get the stance, the swing, and the follow-through down (follow through means guiding the ball with the club into the hole.) She even got a hole-in-one! She was supposed to hit the ball through a wishing well into the hole in the other side. But, nope, my little "Tiger" decided to hit the ball AROUND the well and sink her putt instead. She doesn't want to take the easy way out! It was great! After she made the putt, I said, "Rylee, you got a hole-in-one!" She said, "Is that good?" Funny girl! We even called grandpa on the way home to tell him. He was proud! I'm thinking we need to buy her some clubs and let grandpa teach her!

Then we came to one of the last holes. Funny little story here: As we approached, I asked Rylee what it looked like to her. Here is the hole (with Rylee trying for about the tenth time to get her dang ball in the hole) we were at:

After I asked Rylee what it looked like (I was going for an ant hill), Bill replied, "It looks like Kate's boobs with the indented..." Well, you get the idea. Seriously, I about peed my pants right there.

And after her many tries, Rylee finally got the ball in the hole! And she was so excited! I love her little excited dance!

We had a lot of fun and maybe our girls will benefit from our little excursion someday...if we keep at it!:) And, hey, we can keep going back since we didn't get kicked off the course today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Poor Sap Has Been Officially Stuck For 9 Years!


Aw, don't we look so cute!!!??? Wow, we look young! Now I really feel old!

Yep, that is right, Bill has been stuck with me for nine years (officially.) But if you count the almost year and a half that we dated that makes for over ten years! Holy cow! And he hasn't dumped me yet!:)

Just a little walk down memory lane. We were married in the Logan temple nine years ago and it was the BEST day! We went to the temple fasting because we were extra "spiritual" - or dumb! By the time we were finished with the pictures and wedding video outside after the ceremony, we were dying. We hadn't had anything to eat or drink. AHHHH! So as soon as we could leave the temple, we stopped by the grocery store in Logan and bought a bag of chips and bottles of water on the way to our wedding lunch. That is funny to tell people who are just milling around in the store that you just got married. Kind of surreal.

On with the story...We had a fun wedding lunch with all of our close friends and family. We had a lot of laughs and Bill and I were able to stay until the last few people were leaving the lunch. We really did eat up all the one-on-one time we had with family and friends there.

From there we ran to my parents' house for the reception. We quickly changed and got ready for pictures. The reception was fun, and we had so many people we love surrounding us. What a great day!

The Girls!

The Handsome Guys!

The Cake!

After the reception was over we stayed at my parents' house until 10:30 or 11:00 and just visited with the family that had come in from out of town to be with us. It was so nice. My mom had made pasta salads and other yummy food just for that reason (to feed people who had travelled and were hungry.) She is always such a good hostess. We loved spending that time with those relatives and our immediate families.

All in all, it was such a great day! We both had a little bit of a hard time because of the fasting thing. Like when we did the cake, we both felt gross and didn't really want any because it was taking us a while to recover from the fasting. We finally had more of an appetite after our reception, so the food my mom made tasted SOOOO good.

Anyway, happy anniversary Honey! I am so lucky that you chose me, and to all the people who said we were too young and that we would never make it -Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na! We showed you! Here's to many, many more years! I love you, Honey!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Nothing Day

Do you ever have a day where you just really don't care if you get anything worthwhile accomplished or not? Well, today would be one of those days for me. It is two o'clock in the afternoon and I have done zilch (is that how you spell it?)today. I will say it is because I worked my tail off cleaning yesterday and organizing the pantry and storage room downstairs. Ugh. Yucky jobs! But they are done. So here is my list of tasks I have "accomplished" today and you can see for yourself how lazy I am today.

* Um, I got out of bed.
* Uh, let's see, I changed three poopie diapers.
* I fed four kids breakfast and four kids lunch.
* I read a chapter in the third Twilight series. (I only have about 350 pages left, and if my kids didn't need to eat or be entertained I could finish it really quick! I WILL read more today!)
* I cleaned chocolate off Kate's face after Hayden so nicely fed her a KitKat. Thanks, dude.
* I ate a whole cup of those mini Chips Ahoy cookies. Yep, I'm a cow.
* I checked in with the MOFia for a few minutes.
* I folded a batch of laundry.
* I turned on Sesame Street so Hayden would go to sleep.
* I have held Kate while she whines because she doesn't feel well.
* I nursed Kate twice.
* I drank a Pepsi.
* I broke up two fights.
* I yelled at Hayden for throwing his cars and "buddies" all over the railing down the stairs for the thousandth time today.
* I checked other blogs.

Okay, enough of my "nothing" list. I guess I will go and do my girls' hair right now so that it looks like I have tried today. I haven't showered and I have no plans to do so. So sue me! All I want to do today is the minimum effort required (yep, I am a neglectful mother too - just add that to the list right behind "cow":)) And after I get my kids' hair done and send them off to their little dance thing, I am going to dump toys out all over the floor for the two little ones while I read Twilight. Oh, happy day of nothingness. Sometimes we need one of those days, don't ya think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Father's Day


I am doing my Father's Day post a little early so that I can really pay attention to Bill this weekend and not spend so much time on the computer (although how could he complain about me doing a blog post about him?) But I just wanted to write about my wonderful hubby as well as my dad in honor of Father's Day. The pictures are just some random pictures that I put in of Bill with the kids just because I love them!

I asked my kids (okay the ones who can talk) what they love about their daddy. Rylee said that she loves that Bill makes funny faces and talks funny with her and her friends. I love that about him too. The girls' friends always love to be around him and he is so sweet to them. When I asked Lana she said that she loves daddy's hugs and kisses and that he wrestles with her. I love those too!:) Then the girls both chimed in with, "We love that he has pillow fights with us." So cute! He is such an awesome daddy! My kids are so lucky to have him and I am so glad that Hayden has such an amazing man to look to for an example of a wonderful husband and father. My kids can all learn so many good things from Bill.

I feel so blessed this Father's Day to be able to say that Bill is the father of our four kids and that he still loves me and treats me better than I ever expected to be treated in a marriage. He is truly the most unselfish, sensitive, sweet, kind, patient, giving, fun, hard-working, to-the-core-good, loving person I have ever met. He always has the best interest of his family at the heart of all decisions he makes and takes his responsibilities as a husband and father very seriously. He always loves me and I always know that he is there through anything. I am so lucky to say that I know he is the one I am supposed to be with forever and that I look forward to forever with him. What a blessing!

I love the way he can still turn my head all the time - he doesn't even have to be all dressed up. I love that every morning before he leaves for work, I can think to myself, "Self, you have yourself a good-lookin' husband and he chose you! (Now, take a shower you stinky thing so that he doesn't gag when he gets home!" :)

I love that he still loves to hold me and that he is so affectionate with our kids as well. I love how safe and content he makes me feel when we are together. I love that he puts lotion on my feet and scratches my back and brushes my hair. I love that he is interested in our kids and what they have going and that he never misses a program or parent-teacher-conference, or other important thing for our kids. I love that he happily slaves away putting together a swing set and even lets the kids "help" without getting frustrated. He has the most amazing patience.

One of my favorite things about Bill is his sense of humor. He surprises me all the time with little comments. My kids love it too. He knows how to lighten a mood and to make us all smile.

There are so many things that I love about Bill and reasons why he deserves to be recognized this Father's Day. But the bottom line is that we all love him and appreciate him so much. And I will never forget the way he looked the first time he held each of our kids for the first time. I think those have to be some of my favorite memories of him EVER. The way he looked at each one of them and the way he still looks at them melts my heart. He is the most amazing husband and father and we love him so much. Happy Father's Day, Honey! We love you!



My dad also deserves a big "Happy Father's Day!" My dad is such an amazing man, and I love the above picture because that is what my kids love about him. He loves to snuggle my kids and he treats them like gold. I love that my dad loves to take the kids to Hungry Bear pizza and let them eat tons of dessert pizza and soda. The kids always feel so special when he takes them there and that is just kind of a special "grandpa" thing to them.

I also love that my dad works so hard and is such a respected man in the business world. He is brilliant and, yet, even though he is busy at work he still takes the time to email me almost every day with a little "I love you" and "I hope you are having a good day." I love that we are email buddies! He sends me the best jokes through email and I love being able to share fun emails with him as well. This brings me to the next thing...My dad has the coolest sense of humor! He appreciates bathroom humor like I do! I love being able to joke about farts with him! So fun! We can always have a good laugh together.

My dad loves unconditionally and deeply. His concern and love for all of his family is amazing. He would do anything for any one of us and we are all so blessed to have him as our father. I love that he loves his sons-in-law and treats them with so much respect as well. They all look up to him and respect him so much.

I asked my kids what they love about my dad and Rylee said that she loves it when he talks in his funny voices (He does a great Donald Duck!) and she loves how he snuggled her during General Conference. Lana said that she loves it when grandpa snuggles with her and takes her to Hungry Bear (see, they love that place!)

We hope you have a fantastic Father's Day, Dad! We all love you and think you deserve a great day! Thank you for being my dad and for being such an amazing grandpa to my kids. We are so lucky to have you so close and I love that they have your influence and example in their lives. We love you!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Write In Ballot for President...

My dad sent me an email the other day saying there is a new word just added to the English dictionary. Here it is:

Electile Dysfunction : the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.

Amen, Dad. Amen. So, here is who I would be excited about electing as president:

I could really get behind this one because the dude is GREAT! He is always happy, he takes his job very seriously, he is totally honest (crap, the kid felt guilty for stealing a balloon on "Free Balloon Day), his problems always just seem to work themselves out because he is just innocent. He has quite the laugh (we've had a few presidents with trademark laughs), he is very loyal as a friend and employee. The kids would love him. And Congress would be a piece of cake for him to deal with after working for Mr. Krabs. I could list so many reasons why Spongebob would make a great president. Seriously, I would love to live in a country with such a sweet, innocent, good-to-the-core leader.

Go, Spongebob! You have my vote!!! And maybe as Vice President:

Papa Smurf with his never ending wisdom! What do you think? I think we have a winner team!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Little Bruiser

A few minutes ago I heard Kate screaming, so I ran over and this is what I found:

I know, not the best picture, but I had to take it quick so I could hug her. But she had claw marks from her fabulous big brother on her neck. And not that I think she deserved it, but maybe she provoked it. You see...

Lately, this little darling dolly has been picking on her brother. He hasn't felt well for the last week or so and has liked to just hang out with his pillow and favorite blanket on the floor in the family room. Kate also loves his favorite blanket, so she goes after it. She sneaks up on him, grabs a corner of the blanket, and starts rolling. She wraps herself up in it and Hayden doesn't have time to react and by the time he realizes what happened he can't pull her out of his blankie either because she is wrapped so tight in it. And it doesn't end there...

She will go up to him and grab his binkie right out of his mouth and haul off crawling with a big grin on her face as fast as she can. When he catches up to her she just tucks her hand under her tummy and plays keep-away with his binkie. Man, it frustrates the crap out of Hayden! And me, being the bad mom that I am, just laugh at the whole thing.

My daughter is quite the little bruiser. She will rip your face off when you hold her and loves to wrestle. And we were worried about Hayden not having a brother. I think she is as rough as any brother would be!:)

So, in the end, Kate stopped crying, thanks to a big hug from her Big sister!

Hayden wasn't about to hug her because I think he was just getting back at her for all the times she has tortured him. I know, I am trying to teach my kids better than that, but sometimes you just gotta laugh at the whole thing, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


So I have a question that no one seems to have an answer to:

You know those turnabout things in the road that are like intersections, but there is no stop sign? There are just yield signs on all four sides. You know the things I am talking about right? So my question is: What are the rules for navigating these things? I don't remember learning this in driver's ed. And it seems that no one else was taught this concept either. So if they are putting these things in all over the place, shouldn't we be taught how to navigate the darn things?

Bill and I have decided that the object is to just get through without hitting anyone or getting hit by someone else. I think we should all hold hands and do ring-around-the-rosies and everyone just gets out of the circle when they are at the street exiting the circle that they need to be on.

I know these little turnabouts are supposed to help keep traffic moving, but really everyone either A: completely stops because they are frozen and have no idea who is supposed to go first or if they are supposed to completely stop (as they look around shrugging their shoulders at all the other drivers because no one has any idea what is going on), or B: flies through it without even glancing around.

So, really, what are the rules? Do cars going from east to west, or north to south have the right-of-way? Is it like a 4-way stop where it is in order of who was there first? Or is it that you just close your eyes and fly through the thing and hope you are the biggest car around?

If anyone can enlighten me, please do so. I would greatly appreciate it, as would many others I have discussed this with. I'm really glad they have these little turnabouts with pretty flowers in the middle, but those flowers are going to soon be potpourri if we don't get this figured out quick.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Houston Friends

Yesterday was so much fun! When we lived in Houston we made some of the best friends (I think that is why we loved Houston so much - we met the neatest people in all of Houston) and we were able to hang out with some of them yesterday.

Jenn and Ryan flew in from Houston with their two sweet kids, Jeffery and Alyssa this weekend on their way to a family reunion. Of course we had to have a barbecue with them! So we invited some of our other friends that we also know from Houston who have since moved out here to Utah and had a fun afternoon! We wish the other couple of families we met in Houston that are now in Utah could have made it as well, but either way we had a blast!

After we ate, the kids had fun running through the sprinklers and having water fights with water guns. They loved it! Jeffery looks like he just sprayed the girls and now he realizes he is seriously outnumbered and he better run for his life!:)

Oh, no! The girls are after the adults with the squirt guns! They thought it was pretty funny to squirt those of us NOT in swimming suits! Stinkers!

The adults all hanging out in some shade. (Thank goodness for the shade from the neighbor's house! It was HOT!) Standing in the back is Ryan Hatch, sitting from left to right: Beth Howard, Bill holding Kate, Jenn Hatch, and Nate Howard, who enjoyed sun bathing when he wasn't participating in all the "water fun!" :)

This was the best news of the evening: Hayden fell asleep! Holy crap, the kid was a bear! I was so excited when he finally stopped whining at me and fell asleep. Then I was able to go enjoy the evening!

Jenn holding Kate outside while I was dealing with Hayden. Kate LOVED Jenn! And apparently Kate has already learned to stick her tongue out at the camera!

Beth, Jenn, Kate and I all enjoying some "girl talk" out in the shade. (Kate learned a thing or two:)) What a nice night!

Jenn and Ryan with Kate. Kate got real comfy on Ryan's lap and it was so sweet. Ryan is darling with babies and Kate was so content with him for quite a while. This means free hands for me! Always a good thing! Don't these two look cute with Kate? More kids, Jenn? :)

Beth and Nate and their little boy. We were all getting cozy in front of the T.V. for a movie after the afternoon in the hot sun. Before I took this picture, Beth was sitting about as far away from Nate as she could, but decided to "pretend" that she likes her husband for the picture!:) They are so much fun!

Okay, all of us came in the house but these three girls. They LOVED playing together outside. From left to right: Zoe (Nate and Beth's daughter), Lana, and Alyssa (Jenn and Ryan's daughter.) Look at those happy little faces!

And Ryan is STILL holding Kate. She kept slumping down into that position. She would not sit up straight for anything. My kids loved Jenn and Ryan so much that I think we should have sent them all to Idaho for their family reunion for the week. Come on, Jenn, you know you want to take six kids to Idaho for your family reunion! You could say, "Surprise! We adopted four kids. This is our new family news!" That would be great, don't you think?

I put this picture on here because I just think it is a great shot of Jenn and Ryan. I love Jenn's smile - it is SO HER! She is amazing and is always so happy and positive and I wish I were more like her. I am so lucky she is my friend and I love her to pieces! I really wish she lived closer! And I love the way Ryan is looking at his sweet wife. Thank you, Ryan, for being so fun with my kids and for taking time to come and visit. We loved having you all here and can't wait to see you again!