Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IPCC Fieldtrip

We had a field trip with our group to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It was kind of neat. I wished we had been there on a day with dancers. We had a fantastic tour guide, seriously wonderful, but they mostly talked about pottery and had displays of pottery. There is so much more to Indian culture, but the pottery is pretty neat. When the tour was done, the kids got their own clay and were taught how to make their own small pots or sculptures. Here's a bit of what we learned:

Basically three kinds of pottery. One color- as shown above, and polychrome, or many colors as shown in the next two below.

We learned that wild spinach is used to make black ink, however the black pots as shown below are fired deep in the coals of the fire and the clay is turned black from the carbon. Pretty.

And this one below is one that is used for cooking. You can't really see it, but it has a shiny sparkly surface. What they do is mix minerals into the clay (flakes from rocks like granite that are shiny), and then the pot can sit in the fire all day and not crack, and you can even pick it up with your bare hands because it will only be hot as far as it is full. Isn't that neat? I think that is a fascinating way of not transferring heat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Painting the Boys' Room

This last weekend we painted one wall of the boys' room. We all had fun and love the way it turned out! The boys learned about space in science for several months this year and put their knowledge out in an artistic manner. At the end is a discussion they had to wrap up the study of the planets.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 10 ideas for healthy, meaningful Easter baskets

I am really trying to eat healthier and to feed my kids healthy food.

I asked the kids how they would feel if they got fruit in their baskets instead of candy.

Sam said, "I would be sad, and mad and grumpier than I've ever been", which I confess I never want to see.

His response, however, made me feel disappointed that maybe my kids wouldn't just be thankful. What does an Easter basket full of sugar have to do with the resurrection of Christ anyway? So I said, "You may end up with candy, or you may get healthy stuff, but either way, I hope you can be thankful for what you get."

So I went online and found (for us) the top 10 ways to make our Easter Baskets healthier and a bit more meaningful and hopefully I don't have to see a grumpier than ever Sam. We can't do all of these, but these were the ideas I liked. And on mornings like these where they get a lot of sugar, we always make them eat a healthy breakfast first so they don't shoot sky high with sugar on an empty stomach.

Rock candy to represent the stone that was rolled away, (There is cool candy that really looks like rocks and is basically a large jelly bean)

2. Chocolate coins to remind us of the 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid for Jesus.

3. One chocolate egg (instead of bunny) representing new birth

4. Dried fruit, nuts or yogurt covered raisins inside plastic eggs instead of jelly beans

5. Seeds for planting- representing new life and Faith

6. A picture of Christ emerging from the tomb with a special note on back from parents

7. New Easter church clothes. A tradition in many families, which could be laid out alongside the Easter Basket.

A new book, Or bookmarks that represent the story of Easter.

9. A Lamb (stuffed animal) instead of a bunny. This represents the Lamb of God who was spotless, yet willingly laid down his life for us.

10. New crayons or art/craft stuff.

Another good idea I read was to go and visit a cemetery, or think of loved ones who have passed on. Then think of the empty tomb. Christ was resurrected, and because of that, we will all be resurrected one day and live again. Just like Spring beginning to bloom all around us, we will all live again after we die because of what the Savior did for us.

And if anyone HAPPENS to be sending a package to the kids for Easter and you've already planned for candy, we will still accept it and eat it happily so still send it! We are just hoping to alter a bit what WE do for our kids.

Besides, if I get too restrictive on what we eat, I have a hunch that one day, I'll find Pat hiding in a closet eating an array of Peeps. (Of course I'm joking. He'll just eat them in front of me like he always does without gaining an ounce.) Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any ideas too!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boss of myself

Evan (4): Mom, I want to be the boss of myself.
Me: (Looking thoughtful, and amused.)
Dallas: I want you to let me be the boss of myself too.
Evan: (Completely sure of himself) Yeah, since I already know everything.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

If I had one wish...

Evan says funny things to me all day long. Just his thoughts and everything. I wish I could write each one down and remember each one! Since he stutters a bit they take a long time to come out, but they are always a treat to hear.

Evan just said to me:

If I had one wish, I would wish for 21 more wishes, and then I would wish for a Hot and Cold dot on the Hot and Cold in the bathtub because I always forget which one is the Hot and Cold.

And earlier today:

Mom, I locked the doors on the van, because I don't want the coyotes to flip open the doors or break the windows.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This week...

Leia made her first animal sound today! Which animal was it? Guess...

A Fish! (They make a tiny sound with their lips at our house.)

Leia made the correct sound whenever we pointed at the fish!

The last couple of nights she has been sleeping with us since she's had a fever. This has not helped us to have restful nights. Pat and I just keep passing her back and forth.

At half past midnight she HAD to look at pictures. We have some pictures of the boys and Jesus in our room and she would cry if we walked away from looking at them. We kept thinking she was pointing to her cup or something, but no, it was the pictures. Finally Pat said turn off the light so she can't see them.

More crying.

So we went and found a picture for her to hold in bed. She played with it for 45 minutes. It was a picture of Brigham and Jillian our old friends from Provo/Springville. She LOVED it. She LOVES any and all pictures. I have no idea why.

Then she HAD to lay horizontally on the bed, kicking her dad, and pulling her mom's hair. I tried to ignore her but after a half an hour of playing dead, I realized my head REALLY HURT! So I moved her and then she wanted to lay on my neck. She is never satisfied laying NEXT TO us... she has to be on us, preferably our neck or face because that's soooo comfortable. If we tell her to stop she cries like we hurt her feelings.

I told her, Look sister, you're only here because you have a fever. If you didn't you'd be in your bed where you can pull your own hair. Actually in her bed she pulls all her clothes out of the drawers and into her bed.

Maybe she's suffering from conditioner poisoning. Yep. I said conditioner. Conditioner poisoning is what you get when your dad doesn't read labels.

Pat saw this new bottle of conditioner and smoothed it all over her skin after she got out of the bath, thinking it was lotion. It's not even like a lotion bottle!
By the time he figured it out, her skin had absorbed it all, so we just left it since it seemed okay. Pat said he thought it was the best smelling lotion ever.

He also didn't see the label at a buffet we went to recently indicating that a pasta dish was SPICY. He brought it back and LN took one bite and howled so loud the entire restaurant went quiet wondering what I (because Pat and the boys were getting their food) was doing to that poor baby! We didn't even have our water yet and so she just kept screaming. Someday I'll look back on this and laugh, so I'm writing about it so I can do it someday. I've never been more embarrassed in a restaurant and that's saying something.

FYI- Our chicks are two weeks old and we've been working on upgrading the old chicken house for them as they'll move outdoors in a few weeks. Here's how they're looking now! We took them outside to get some fresh air and exercise.

Pat did the nicest thing for me today. I'm always one for getting things done, and he just wants to relax on the weekends. It causes a bit of contention since I wait forever to have him around to help, and he doesn't want to relandscape the entire yard every weekend.

So today I was telling him I needed him to unscrew one wall on the chicken coop so I could saw a door into it, and then he could *** it back on, and he sighed at the thought. So I held his hand and grinned and gently led him, pleading with him to help me, and he grudgingly went along. We walked all the way out to the chicken house and suddenly I looked and was shocked to see the door was already cut! He knew I wanted it done and he had done it all while I was out!

It's hard to describe how funny it was and what a surprise it was! I know it sounds dumb here, but I could not have been more surprised or happy.

After we finished laughing since he had really played up the grumpiness and got me good, he told me that he had asked Dallas to help him and when they finished he said, "Okay Dallas, let's clean everything up and go in the house and act like we're being lazy so when Mom comes home she'll get mad at me and we can surprise her."

Dallas rolled his eyes, and his dad's plan was executed perfectly.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


People in Ireland said Brilliant! a lot. Here are some things that I think are Brilliant!

Sam kept wandering out of bed, so I asked him to come to me and I told him how special and wonderful he is and I told him all the many ways that he blessed our family. He decided to lay on me and I sang him songs until he fell asleep. I don't know how he bottles up so much anger and sweetness simultaneously in his little body, but I love him so much. He is a really fun guy. I felt bad because I had gotten really upset at him last weekend. We were painting our house and he knocked a can of paint off a table and it spilled all over that wood bench we just made and colored, all over the fireplace and stove, my pants, the carpet and the tile floor. It was an absolute disaster, and he had been told not to be in that area. It's hard to believe they can be so much trouble when they are asleep, and you feel sorry for ever being mad. I love you Sam.

Here's EG's new talent.

LN's got an addiction. Pacifiers.

This song isn't perfected, I just decided to record D practicing because it's my favorite song he's ever been assigned. I just feel like dancing.

Thanks to our friend Jerry and our neighbor Warren who both offered to come help out when I had a flat tire and was stranded at home. Pat was out of town on business for three days and I was feeling pretty stir crazy imagining being stuck at home for three days. Luckily I didn't have to be. And thanks to Jenn for always finding me amazing clothes for LN at the thrift store!

I did a lot of gardening this weekend which makes me so happy! Tried to get the dirt tilled and start prepping for a garden and also weed all my flowerbeds so that the flowers all have breathing room to grow now that it's that time again!

I started playing basketball whenever I can with friends. I've only actually been once so far. It's good exercise, but I'm not very aggressive. The one time I tried to steal the ball, I jammed my thumb and boy did that hurt. Plus people kept saying that I was not allowed to run without dribbling. My brother used to let me jump on him and do whatever I wanted when we played, but apparently there are rules. Dribbling really slows you down.

I got a call last week on Friday from our friend Larry asking how long I had been in my calling as the music leader for the children. I wanted to say 3 months, but I knew that since he had been my pianist about 2 and 1/2 years ago that he'd know the truth. I knew what was about to happen... the very next day I was released from being the chorister and put into the young women where I will be teaching the 12 and 13 year old girls. I only cried for 24 hours. I think I am much better at the music with children than at teaching teenagers, but the Lord puts us where He wants us and I know that if I do my best it will be a great blessing. I wish I had blogged about all the music activities I did with the children though for the last 2 and 1/2 years. It was a big part of my life and I loved it! I have games and posters, musical thermometers, buttons, puppet shows, bells, bean bags, a huge dice, shakers, items for dressing up, finger plays, and props for so many songs, not to mention the entire year already planned out!

We just finished our spring break week. We took a break now because we knew that these gals were arriving. Six new baby chicks! Each one is a different kind of chick. We got them primarily for the eggs that they will lay someday, but for now we are writing our observations in our science journals every day. They sure are cute and since they currently reside in our living room we hear constant cheep cheeping all day long. Usually it's pretty soft and you don't really notice it, but a couple nights ago they were all peeping like crazy at about 4am. I went out to check on them and they were playing Frisbee with a sticker off a banana that somehow ended up in their box. They loved grabbing it, throwing it, and then chasing it!
I guess I'm as caught up as I'll be today so now I'd better go to sleep!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More on teachers unions...

The growing unrest in our country and the great numbers that want to sabotage her are troubling to me to say the least.

Today's subject- teachers unions.

I have nothing against teachers, it's the unions. They are abusing the reason for which they were created, and they exist now primarily for themselves and their radical causes, pumping so much money into elections and heavily influencing legislation.

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was a featured item on the National Education Association reading list.

Here's a quick video of a Union leader saying outright their real motives. It is shocking, even though I already believed this, still it is chilling.

US Socialists and Union Activists are now being investigated by the FBI for providing material support to the Islamic Terrorist & International Marxist groups they work with.

When is it enough?

Some people think good people should try to change the schools from the inside out. That may work, for all I know, but it seems near impossible. I wish good teachers would get together and start private schools. Good establishments would get a good reputation and people would be lined up to get in I believe. I just worry about those who can't afford to pay. Like me! We would have money if we weren't taxed so much already to pay for the government programs.

If the government was out of education, can you imagine the amount of taxpayer money saved? Getting government to give up money, power and control though is far fetched.

Here in New Mexico the Superintendent over all the Albuquerque schools just said that per child they spend about 15,000 per year, state and federal government combined. He refused, however, to give the real amount, factoring in the wages of all the staff, the buildings and all that goes into running a school. I shudder to think how much money that is all together! And yet we were asked all the time to contribute more for art, fundraisers, books, etc.

When is it enough?

There would be a lot of difficulty running our own community or private schools, but something has to be done. There must be an alternative! I'm sorry for thinking out loud, but is the convenience of public schools really worth laying down and continuing to give the government and unions more money while they slowly destroy our individuality, our freedom and our country? I hope not.

By the way, I say destroying our individuality because one of their goals is to have all children in public schools and to make home schooling and private schools disappear. I am a member of a home school legal defense association, and their quarterly magazine is full of stories about the government coming after homeschoolers illegally. Usually it is a Superintendent or Child Protective Services that comes out and threatens that if the children aren't in school they'll be taken away.

All I can say is that I think it's important to stand for freedom before it is too late.