Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Fall Weekend!

 Hey, guess what? We had another busy weekend. Yeah, just like all of you we are blessed to have a really busy life and we love every minute of it. First of all, it snowed and as far as I am concerned it is way too early for that stuff. None of it stuck to the ground but the boys had a great time chasing snowflakes to catch on their tongues.

Because of our lovely weather soccer was cancelled which gave us time to accomplish some much needed chores.  Saturday afternoon we had a birthday party at the Cub Run Rec Center.  It was so much fun and now I officially know where we are going to celebrate Atley's 8th birthday next May!  All the kids are such little fish that it was a pretty hard job pulling them out of the pool when it was over.

 The primary program was this Sunday and of course I think my boys were absolutely perfect and the most adorable.  Not sure if anyone else felt that way, but if they didn't  they are very misguided.  It was also Harley's first day of nursery. She will be 18 months old on Thursday. While I thought or maybe secretly hoped, that she would cry for momma. She just walked right in and never looked back.  None of my kids have ever missed me, I wonder what that means.  She is growing up so fast and it is breaking my heart.

Harley is definitely a tomboy. She's rough, loud, fearless, and has no problem defending herself.  But, she is also such a little woman.  She is constantly cleaning up around the house and yelling at her "BOYZ" to do something or other.  She loves to wear my necklaces and my shoes, has an obsession with chocolate, and talks constantly. She is independent and full of personality. She adores animals and has a puppy that she somehow believes has a chronic cold because she spends hours a day unrolling toilet paper and making the puppy blow his nose.  She thinks Atley and her daddy are the two most amazing people on the planet.  She likes music and seems to have a thing for Adam Levine because she can hum a perfect tune to, Moves like Jagger and My Hearts a Stereo.  She thinks getting her teeth brushed is the greatest part of the day and we are thankful for that. She is anemic and has to take iron drops, so if she didn't let us brush her teeth the iron would turn them brown pretty quickly. Her hair is getting longer and I am having lots of fun playing with it.  Here is her latest style!

She is almost always happy and we cannot imagine how we ever lived without a little girl in our house!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Begins

It seems like Halloween is always a week long holiday with school parties, neighborhood parties, church parties, and of course the actual Trick or Treating.  Last night was the beginning of our Halloween week with the Ward Trunk or Treat!  This year our family is going with a Star Wars theme. Harley was all set to be Princess Leia but she refused to keep those essential buns in her hair, so she is now an Ewok and a mighty fine Ewok if I do say so myself. She has the perfect physique for the role. My pictures aren't great but the good news is I have almost an entire week to capture some better ones.

Fittingly, Nash is Master Yoda!
Atley, the Jedi!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

As tradition dictates in our household, we carved pumpkins tonight, the Monday before Halloween. Hopefully, they won't be too moldy on the big night.  Someone told me to put those little silica gel packets from new shoe boxes inside your Jack O' Lanterns. Sounds to me like a perfect excuse to go buy some new shoes.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the blessed evening!

Harley's favorite part seemed to be the table dancing! We are only slightly concerned about what this might mean for her future.
TA DA!!!
 And finally a little fun Halloween photo editing, or is this natural? I will let you decide-(insert sinister laugh here)!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time Out For Women

My friend Jill and I abandoned our families this weekend to attend Time Out for Women in Richmond.  It was so lovely!  For those who are unaware, Time Out for Women is a program sponsored by Deseret Book.  It is a traveling women's conference full of excellent speakers and musical performances.  We ate our weight in chocolate, talked until the wee hours of the morning, came back a little bit tired, and of course perfect mother's and wive's.  I, for one, stayed perfect for at least 15 minutes.  Obviously, I consider that a fantastic success. If I may brag for a moment,  my sweet husband  managed not only to keep the children alive and healthy, but the house and yard was immaculate when I got home.  I actually thought about him at least once while I was gone when I saw this sign for a hot dog named the SCOTTZILLA!
The theme of the conference was to BECOME our best selves. We were encouraged to pick something we want to improve and become that person!  Although all of the presenters were incredible and I took something from each of their messages,  my favorite talk was given by a woman named Merrilee Boyack.  Using the letters BECOME U, she gave examples of women in history who succeeded in their life's mission.  She used each letter to represent an important principle that we were encouraged to implement in our life.  I want to share her thoughts with you.
  B=Be Bold
With God by your side you can accomplish anything, so be fearless!
              E=Eternally Minded
Reject Satan's message of worldliness and look at the big picture!
We are daughter's of the most creative being in the universe. A desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.
               O=Outward Focused
If we are complaining about our life it is because we are only thinking about ourselves.
Turn your hearts and will to the Lord.
Ask for inspiration and do what the Lord asks you to do each day!
Be yourself! Do not compare or try to change who you are!

Can you see why I came home so PERFECT!!!  I truly am grateful for the opportunity I had to attend and I hope I can implement much of what I learned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winning, Learning, Calming, Creating

This is a post about a whole bunch of random things: 

Item #1-The PIG TROPHY
My kid's make disasters everywhere. Some of their favorite places to do gross things are in the bathroom and at the dinner table.  I am constantly nagging and complaining at my family to clean up after themselves.  Something had to give. So, I glittered up a plastic toy pig using Mod Podge.  The Pig Trophy is awarded to the biggest pig of the day and that person has to clean up the bathroom, the basement, the kitchen, or wherever the disaster occurred. We all have a love/hate relationship with the Pig Trophy.

Yes, Harley is not quite 18 months old and no, I am not one of those crazy mom's who is already trying to potty train her, but she is showing an interest in the potty chair. She really enjoys stripping off all of her clothes and sitting on the "POTTY!" What is up with getting completely naked to use the toilet? My boys are the same way. 
Sometimes she gets distracted and goes exploring.
And sometimes she dethrones to do a trick or two.
Unfortunately, she also has accidents on the floor. But, Harley fears the Pig Trophy and is always willing to clean up her own mess.

This may come as a surprise to most of you, considering my superb mother skills, but my children are often completely OUT OF CONTROL!  This is especially true when we have visitors or when we are getting ready to do something really exciting.  We also have a bit of a temper problem in our house, mom included.  Hence, the SETTLE DOWN JAR!  This jar sits in our kitchen and when one of my little monsters angels gets a little CRAZY they must shake the jar 10 times and sit down while watching the glitter settle to the bottom.  Hopefully, they are settling down just like the glitter does or in other words finding their ZEN! (Yeah, I have been having fun with glitter this week!)

Scott brought me an old pallet from work and I went crazy with spray paint and hung it in my living room. I am loving the color burst on my brown walls!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mod Podge Halloween Lanterns

I saw this fun idea on Our Best Bites which is a fabulous cooking website.  Use Mod Podge to adhere small strips of tissue paper to glass jars. Allow the mod podge to dry and glue on faces with construction paper. Place votives or tea lights inside.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Father & Son Campout

Last weekend Scott took the boys on their FIRST EVER father & son campout.  They were so excited they could barely contain themselves.  Can you tell?  Just look at Atley before they hopped in the truck to go.
I was fairly certain after they drove away that their first Father & Son campout would probably be there last, considering how much Scott dislikes camping and how wild my boys behave sometimes most of the time. But, fortunately I was wrong. They had a great time riding their bikes, playing in the reservoir, making smores and hanging out with their Dad.
 Nash's favorite part- having chocolate milk in the morning.  His least favorite part was when he discovered that there wasn't a microwave to warm his chocolate milk.
Atley's favorite part was riding his bike in the mud puddles. His least favorite part was when the older boys said he was going to be their first sacrifice when they lit the bonfire.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day

I think I am becoming a bit of a hermit.  Usually, when Atley has the day off from school I have big plans to go there and visit here, see this and learn about that, well today we just stayed home. Maybe it is because we feel like all we do is run around. With soccer, piano, school, and church stuff staying at home is actually becoming a rare treat.  We decided to celebrate the reason for Atley being at home-Columbus Day. We watched a few short movies about Columbus on YouTube, colored a few maps of his voyage,  baked some yummy treats, and created our very own Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.

The highlight of our day was the river we made in the back yard for the kids to sail on their own global adventure.  I got this idea from Pinterest (my new favorite addiction).  Using a few yards of tin foil with the sides folded up slightly to retain water, put a hose at the top of a slope and sail away!

It was a fun day, a little messy but fun!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mom FAIL!!

Every fall when school starts again I get a feeling of  nostalgia, a twinge of desire to get back into the classroom.  Then I convince myself that my kids need me more at home. We recently went to a party with a bunch of kids who are being raised by nannies or swapped from babysitter to babysitter while their parent's pursue their careers. Guess what, MY KIDS WERE THE WORST behaved of everyone in attendance. Obviously, not-so-super nanny does a heckuva better job than me. Then I see Harley playing with her puppy and I convince myself that I need to be home with my kids.  But, the last 24 hours I have be reevaluating once again.  There have been a few incidents at our house that cause me to question my fitness as a mother.  I am not even talking about Nash's foul mouth on the soccer field or the fact that while trying to find images of school buses online the boys came across some scantily clad women posing rather provocatively on top of a school bus.  I could just hear them giggling and Nash saying, "Print it Atley!"  When they got busted Nash's reply, "Come on Mom!  It is not like we are looking at Naked Women.  They are in their swimming suits."  Oh, great I feel so much better about your life on the World Wide Web.

Here comes the big stuff. Yesterday, Atley came off the school bus with a scowl on his face.  One look at me and he says, "How could you let me wear these pants to school?"  I looked down at his pants and thought they were rather cute. Baggy, yes, but he is a skinny kid, baggy is inevitable.  I reply with, "What's wrong with your pants?"  He says, "They fall off.  In fact, they fell off in the middle of music class all the way to my ankles and now everyone calls me underpants man!"  Upon further examination of the pants the snap button was broken. I was aware of this problem and was sure that I  had thrown the pants out, but apparently I was wrong.  As if sending your child to school with pants that don't button is not example enough of terrible mothering.  My reaction further proves my rottenness.  When Atley said they now call him UNDERPANTS MAN, my first thought was, "Oh, thank goodness he had on underwear."  He has a bad habit of going commando.  Then, I started to giggle.  UNDERPANTS MAN, I mean, it's funny, right?  No, it isn't, not when you are seven and it should never be funny to your own mother.

Fast forward 16 hours.  We are running late for school.  I end up throwing a sweatshirt over the top of my pajamas.  Mind you, these are silky bright green pajamas.  There is no time to walk to the bus so I pile the kids into the van.  I did check Atley's pants. I even made him jump around a little to ensure that they weren't going to fall off during the day.  Nash is in his PJ's. Harley is in her PJ's still smelling like a night's worth of pee.  I strapped her in her carseat, at least I think I strapped her in her car seat. I definitely hooked the top harness across her chest.  We sped to the bus stop and of course we sat their waiting for a bus that was at least 20 minutes late.  Finally, the bus arrives. I push a button to slide Harley's door open and let Atley out. At this moment my unaffectionate child decides to shower me with goodbye kisses.  I was so excited by the attention that I failed to notice my 17 month old slide out of her crappily harnessed carseat, climb out of the open door and rush towards the kids waiting at the bus stop.  Suddenly, Nash yells, "Look, mom! Harley wants to go to school."  WHAT?  Prepare to be alarmed.  I thought, "Oh no! I can't go get her I am in my silky pajamas. All the parents will see me and they will call me PAJAMA LADY!"  So, I yelled at Atley to go retrieve his sister. He complied and then got on the bus turning towards me ever so slightly to give me yet another scowl as if to say, "Mom, please hire a nanny and get a real job, because you pretty much suck at this one."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Decorating Fun

Have I mentioned before that I really love the fall?  Yeah, I guess I have.  Another reason for this is I heart decorating for Halloween.  Halloween is such a "KID" holiday, so I try to involve the KIDS as much as possible.
Step One:  Make Scary Pumpkin Head Man and pose for the camera! He is an annual tradition in our family.  We did this while Daddy was at work. When Harley noticed her daddy's pants stuffed and sitting in a chair with no body or head, she had a baby meltdown.  I think she thought the boys and I  had dismembered her father. She warmed up to the guy once we attached the torso and head!

Step Two:  Make a new wreath for the front door.  Last year I made a Candy Corn wreath that I loved, BUT we had an unseasonably warm October and the Candy Corn melted all over my front door.  One year later there are still traces of the uber sticky candy on our door.  I am fairly confident that this wreath will not melt.  I spray painted a twig wreath black, made some flowers out of scrap material and buttons, and stuck Mr. Crow in for good measure.

Step Three:  Bust out the MUMS and baby pumpkins!

Step Four:  Make something with the kiddos. These little ghosts made from plastic cups are sitting on top of some electric candles but battery powered tea lights would work even better.

Step Four:  Try to scare people...BOO!  I picked up these IKEA frames for $4 several months ago.  Eventually, they will hold some of Harley's pictures but for now, they are Halloween decor.  I love the detail of the frames and when I think about spray painting them in fun colors after Halloween, it excites me.

Step Five:  You can never have too many pumpkins. I made these pumpkins out of a dryer vent.  I cut the vent into three equal parts, painted them, (I used spray paint on some and craft paint on others) formed the vent into a circle and hot glued it together.  Then I stuck a stick in the middle and some mossy stuff to purtify!