Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Morning Swim

Monday morning we went to a friend's house to swim and chat. Tate loved it and spent more time in the pool than the 3 four year olds. I only took him out once and that was to put him near the sprinkler which was turned on to entertain the older 3. He liked that too, but refused to crawl in the grass so he just sat there waiting for it to get him.
Rubi, Jeffrey, Ellie and Tate
that's my girl!
Tate and Ali and Rubi (sort of)
Tate's little friend Ali didn't really like the water. It was too cold for her. She would be ok for a few moments but then remembered it was cold. Tate was the one who outlasted everybody. This kid loves water. And by the end of it, he was tired and took a long nap when we got home. Thanks for letting us come play Wendy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monkey Bars and Muffins

I found some really yummy recipes that I wanted to use for healthier snacks for the kids. The first is Monkey Bars Kinda like banana bread and all my kids liked them which is an accomplishment in our house! And I also wanted to make enough that I could freeze them and put them in Ayden's lunches or use for after school snacks.
So I grabbed a helper and got started.
Ellie did a great job stirring and pouring in the ingredients once I measured them. Her favorite part in helping was that she got to wear an apron!
The recipe calls for whole wheat flour, but since I didn't have any I just substituted all purpose white flour and it turned out fine. I also used applesauce instead of oil and that made the bars moist and they won't dry out so much after I freeze and then thaw them.Once they were cooled, I put them in the fridge for a while to make them easier to cut. Then I wrapped them individually and put them in the freezer. I forgot to get pictures of the monkey bars to show what they look like.
The next recipe I tried was Apple Pumpkin Muffins ( you have scroll down to the middle of the page to find it). I liked this recipe because it uses pumpkin (yum) and apples together in a muffin (double yum). With this recipe you can either make regular sized or mini muffins. And I also made a small bread loaf with it too. We made a second batch and used chocolate chips instead of apples which turned out very tasty too.
Here are the finished products all ready to go for the freezer
So now I have over 50 individually wrapped snacks to pull out when the kids get hungry. I feel like I accomplished a great feat, even though it was only a few hours of baking. But it will definitely help on the food budget and snack prep in the future.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Will work for Food

Tate is so close to walking. He will take a step or two and then fall down. He's so close! So today I thought I would try and coax him to get it down. So being the great mom that I am I bribed him with treats! M&Ms to be exact. And it worked...
...at first, but then he got tired of working for his treats. So he refused to do anything but eat his candy. And being that great mom that I am, I gave in. 
I love this one. stuffin' the face
Note: he did not eat that entire bag by himself! Ellie and I helped with that task. The bag is actually empty and he's trying to get every last taste that he can. He kept putting his hand to the wrapper and then would lick his hand hoping for some more tasty goodness!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Great Savings and a Laugh

I  like to coupon shop and try to do as much as possible to help with our budget. I'm finding this task not so easy here. Food prices are much higher here than Utah and the coupons I get in my Sunday paper don't match the few sale items at the stores. So I am always very ecstatic when I get great deals like today......
  •  Dawn Dish detergent $.49 each  (on sale for $1.99, used in store coupon for $.99 and mfc $.50 off coupon)
  • Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner $2.50 each (on sale for 2/7, used $1 off coupon)
  • Mitchum Deodorant  $.99 each (on sale for $3.99 used in store coupon for $1.99, used mfc $1 off coupon)             
  • Grand total of $10.03
All of these are things I was needing anyway.  I have never used scrubbing bubbles cleaners but at that price I will definitely give it a try, especially when I need shower cleaner anyway! And the same with deodorant, I was in need of it and no one can argue with $.99 each! 
While I was in the store shopping for these few items, my sister waited in the car with Ellie and Tate (love shopping without kids, no matter how many items). And "Apologize" by OneRepublic came on the radio and this was the conversation that Aunt Dani had with Ellie...
 Ellie: "this song is lying. it's NEVER too late to say sorry."
Aunt Dani: "that's right."
Ellie: "well, unless this guy is dying, then it might be too late."

Great deals and a hilarious daughter, I'd say that's a pretty good day.

Wake up Daddy!!

Tate would play this game all day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I saw this and thought how true it is.....

Do you ever notice when you're looking to buy something, you see it everywhere?
Say you're looking into buying a red Jeep;
you start to see red Jeeps all over the place.
It's not that there actually are more red Jeeps, you are simply more aware and notice them more easily.

The same is true with the Godhead;  our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
When we are looking to invest in a relationship and seek them out,
we become more aware of their existence in our lives.
We see their workings all over the place.
We more easily recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost,
we see the Lord's hand in our everyday life,
and we notice the blessings that come each and every day. 

I am very grateful for the knowledge of my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and my relationship with each. It's amazing how many blessings we can find, even in the middle of trials, when we take the time to notice them. I am  grateful for how the Lord has guided and directed me in my life.  And know as I seek them, my life will be blessed and full of joy. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Date Night

Spencer and I have not been out together, alone for a date of any kind since the beginning of March. Right before he left for Alabama we went to a movie together. That was the last time. Until last night! I decided it was time to ask my favorite person out on a date. I am not the most romantic person. I like romantic things and Spence is very good at doing them. Me not so much. But I decided to give it a try. I sent him an email (told you, I'm not very good at romantic) and asked him out. Here's what I came up with:

You can’t pick your stress, but you can pick your fun.
Therefore, you are cordially invited to a night out with your wife!
Please create your special night from the following choices:

Option A is a movie and dessert.
Option B is a movie and late dinner
Option C is Dinner, dessert, and “shopping” with your wife

If option A is your choice, please select from the following movie and dessert options
         Harry Potter
         The Help
         Sky Kids 4
         Great American Cookies
         Cold Stone Creamery
         Cheesecake Factory

If option B is your choice, please select from the following movie and dinner options
Movies:  see option A

        Logan’s Steakhouse or Texas Roadhouse
        The usual fast food ie. Arby’s, McDonalds, KFC
        Olive Garden

If option C is your choice, please select from the following dinner and shopping options
Dinner: see option B
Dessert: see option A
         The Promenade
         The Pinnacle
         The Shops of the Grand River

Please make your selection and submit your evening plan to the party planner (your wife).
Please note all choices are subject to change at party planner’s discretion.
Warning: party planner’s mood is also subject to change based on options chosen and late submissions!!!! Any submission is due back to party planner by the end of the business day Friday.

Spencer has been more stressed at work lately, so I wanted to take him out and have fun. He's been wanting to see the Harry Potter movie since it came out and he loves seafood(me not at all) so I wanted to give him options I knew he would want, but also include silly ridiculous ones like Spy Kids 4.  Ironically, when Spencer received the email (late Thursday night) he was having a stressful night at work and he said my invite put a smile on his face. Already mission accomplished! He did "submit" his evening plan to the "party planner" and we went to the movie and had a late dinner. 
While we were getting ready, Ellie asked "why are you and daddy going on a date?" I told her "mommies and daddies go on dates to help them stay in love and spend time together." To which she replied, "oh." Later she told her aunt(who was babysitting) "my mommy and daddy went on a date so they can love each other forever."   Exactly!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful

I love Ellie in the morning! She is so cute when she quietly walks out of her room holding her puppy and rubbing his ears. 
She has had puppy since she was about 7 months old. And the only name he's ever had is "puppy". He goes everywhere and we usually spend 5-10 min every night trying to find him for bed. She loves him.
And I love this! When she first wakes up, she likes to snuggle with you while you "cuddle" her. Which means we lightly tickle her arms,legs, and back. It's nice to have a few moments with her before she fully wakes up and starts going a mile a minute. Good morning, Ellie Belle!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bubbles and Spiders, just another night in 'Bama

Bubbles....another simple thing that brings excitement and happiness to my kids. They love them! Saturday we enjoyed a cool evening outside. The kids took turns blowing bubbles and popping them. Tate loves them and gets so excited but he can't move fast enough to catch them. So he spent a lot of time doing this!

But then big sister came to help
sorry for the blurry pic

catch it!
ready at any time to start popping

It was fun blowing bubbles and Tate even took a turn. But instead of blowing, he put it in his mouth (no surprise there) and his face was too funny. He kept smacking his lips and tongue hoping the taste would go away. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it!

But then I noticed this....
 It isn't the best picture, but it was the closest I was willing to get. It's called a Yellow Garden spider and this was the smaller of the 2 I found in my bushes. Can I say a big GROSS. I hate spiders. So I decided bubble time was over.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

ready for school

Ayden started the 2nd grade at Moody Elementary today. He got up early and was completely dressed and ready before 7am. And by 7:25am we were on our way to school. He started to get nervous the closer we got to the school. At one point, I asked if he was excited and with a quiver in his voice he said "yeah, sorta. But I'm really tired." And if you know Ayden, you know he would NEVER admit he was tired! So we could tell how nervous he was. Spencer didn't get to meet his teacher last week or see the classroom so he wanted to walk Ayden to his classroom. And his teacher was so great. She could tell how nervous he was and jumped right in to make him feel better. She told him "hope your parents have a good day because ours is going to be awesome!!"

Ayden is a car rider which means that I drop him off and pick him up. They will not release the children unless the parent has a pink slip with child's name and teacher hanging in the front window. So you can imagine how long the wait is to pick up your child. School gets out at 2:30 and Ayden didn't get into the car until right after 3pm. When we pulled into view and could see him standing in line, Ellie goes "there's my brother! there he is!" She really missed him today, they've been best buds all summer. 

I asked Ayden how his day was and all I got was "it was good." Really? your first day at a new school and that's all you can say? Such a boy. Ellie would tell you every teeny tiny detail about who she sat with, where she sat, who she talked to, what that person was wearing, what her teacher was wearing, what she ate for lunch, what the other kids ate for lunch, what backpacks everyone had....but not Ayden. I have to pry any bit of information out of him.  So I do!
"reunited" after school

I am very happy that Ayden did so well today. I know how nervous I get in new situations. it's not my thing. So I am very proud that my 7 year old, handled it so well. Here's to a great year!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The kids love to color and draw with markers. And since they are really good with them, I'm fine with it. Lately, I've noticed marks on Tate from said markers. And I assumed it was Ayden and Ellie using their brother as paper. 
Then I found this the other morning.......
 Ayden and Ellie: you were wrongly accused! And I apologize.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet the Teacher

School starts in only a few days for Ayden. I am very ready for Ayden to be in school. He's struggled more than any of us with the move. It's been harder for him having only his sister to play with during the day (not that they haven't play well). With hardly any kids in our new neighborhood combined with the heat, he's missed playing entire football games and holding football practices in our front yard with the neighborhood boys. So school will be a great way for him to meet more friends and stay engaged.

Tuesday was "meet the teacher" day at Moody Elementary. As we walked through the hallway trying to find his class, we passed bins lining the hallway(on both sides) full of school supplies for each class. Unlike our school in Utah, we have a long school supply list here. Things like crayons, pencils, paper, glue (all the regular supplies he'll need) and also supplies like copy paper, whiteboard markers, and garbage bags.
Once we were in his classroom, I think Ayden started to get a little more excited for school. The classroom was decorated and looked very fun and inviting. And his favorite part was the reading loft in the corner of the room. His teacher, Mrs. Isdell was very friendly and even helped me by holding Tate while I filled out a ton of paperwork. Tate loved her, she had lots of fun jewelry for him to play with! The best part about Ayden's class is that there are only 17 kids. I am so excited for this smaller class size. His 1st grade class in Utah started out with 26 kids and by the end of the year had 24.
So Ayden, ready or not, Moody Elementary here you come!!
Moody Elementary School

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sweet Child of Mine

I love my sweet baby, but I can hardly call him a baby anymore. At 16 months, he's growing up too fast.
sweetness and smiles
 And I keep getting glimpses of the toddler years (and tantrums) yet to come. (these pictures were taken about 2 hours after the happy one.)
so tired and sad
 It's so hard being a cute baby! Tate is growing so fast and I love every moment of him in our lives, even the tantrum moments (although they don't have to last as long).