Friday, April 30, 2010

Things that Make Me Happy

My friend Raimi at If You're Happy & You Know It, had a great post about things that make her happy. What a great way to start the weekend then by focusing on a few things that make me happy!

1. I'm almost done with my literature class, especially the Othello part.  I love taking classes, but by the end of the semester life always seems so busy that I just want to be done!

2.Science experiments.  This is how we grow salt crystals.

3. I have some great things planned for Cub Scouts in May.  The theme is "In the Spotlight".
4.Princess and the Frog.  I recently watched it with my children.  It was my first time, but a couple of the kiddos had seen it before.

5.Building my food storage.

6.Building a dinosaur with one of my kiddos.  Really, it'll be a cool robot dinosaur thing when we're done.
7.Reading scriptures and having my children ask thoughtful questions.

8.A clean shower.

 9. Another try at growing seeds - I'll figure out this gardening thing someday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diamnond of Darkhold Book Club

We wrapped up another family book club meeting. This time our book was The Diamond of Darkhold by Jennie DuPrau.  Read my post on Arizona Mama for all the exciting details!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feild Trip: Oceans

Two of my children have been learning about oceans in school, so we went on a field trip to watch the new movie "Oceans".  I like to learn about nature and the wide variety of animals and their habits, but some documentaries are pretty dry.  "Oceans" had a good flow and didn't put me to sleep!  Sometimes it was the opposite; the movie covered so many different creatures and locations that there was just a teaser of information.  We learned a little about animals I never knew existed like the Marine Iguana who lives on the Galapagos Islands, and the Leafy Sea Dragon.  

I was amazed at how much my kiddos already knew!  When the movie mentioned the Stone Fish, they told me about how quickly its venom could kill.  It's nice to know they are paying attention in school!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Furniture Arrangements

Even after my book purge several months ago, we still needed another book shelf, which we acquired last month.  The challenge was finding a place for said bookcase to live.  After much contemplation we were able to put it in the "library" with most of the other bookcases.  We only had to rearrange four rooms to fit in one bookcase!  It also required a garage sale to get rid off more things all together.  Fortunately, we have 3 empty shelves - so hopefully this will continue to meet our bookshelf needs for quite a while!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family Home Evening: Mother's Role

We started off our lesson by reading Alma 56:45-48 and 57:21.  What lesson on mothers would be complete without a reference to one of my favorite Book of Mormon stories?  We also read the family proclamation to find out what it said about a mother's role.  We discussed the qualities a woman needs to teach children to have faith and to live according to that faith.  We talked about how these principles can help us where we are at now, as mothers, fathers, future mothers or future husbands.  I challenged everyone to record their thoughts in their journal.  This lesson was taken from the Personal Progress book, experience 2

Our activity was a partial game of Apples to Apples.  Can you tell we really like that game?  Our treat was a delicious lemon cake with lemon frosting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Sentament

Since I have Shakespeare on the brain from reading Othello, this quote seems appropriate.  It also goes along with my feelings of being overwhelmed!  "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast" - William Shakespeare.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring into Action: Plant a seed

We started off this week's den meeting with Kim's game, which is a memory game Kipling wrote about.  We started off with about 10-12 items.  After the boys studied them for a minute, they closed their eyes and I took away one item.  When they opened their eyes, they had to guess which item was missing.  They were too smart for a mere 12 items.  When we played again at the end of the meeting,but we added more items.  They found 20 items slightly more challenging, but could probably handle a few more.
In keeping with our Spring into Action theme, we planted seeds.  They wrote down what they planted under Elective 15c.  Actually all of Elective 15 is about growing plants, so the boys whose families grow gardens are set to help. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weddings on a Budget

I have a new article on the Homemaking Cottage about Weddings on a Budget.  There's some great tips for cutting wedding costs.  Just another example of the great information available with a subscription to the Deluxe edition!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family Service Walk

My latest article on Arizona Mama sprang from my exciting "trash" walk with the Cub Scouts last week.  Click here for the full article!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm not talking about the challenging game of strategy; nope, I'm talking Shakespeare's Othello. I read Romeo and Juliet in high school and liked that well enough, but I never read much (or any) Shakespeare on my own.  Othello's vocabulary is difficult, but the story is OK so far - I'm close to the end of the first act.  The beginning of the play seems a little vulgar.  I don't really think of people being like that in those days, which is obviously silly; there's always been vulgar people.  A quick read of pretty much any book in the Bible proves that!  I'm a little concerned that Othello is standard reading for our state's high school kids.  I'm hoping that they had an edited version :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Garage Sale Tips

We recently had a garage sale.  I had stopped doing garage sales, after a lesson about sharing our excess at church.  Back then we drove by Deseret Industries fairly regularly, so it was easy to drop things off as we needed.  Now, it takes more energy to donate.  Plus the community has garage sale days and the kids like to participate.

A few years ago, the kiddos wanted a Wii.  I encouraged them to go through their clothes and toys and purge the things they don't use anymore to sale at the garage sale.  All the money went into the Wii fund.  Since then we've done the same type of thing, but for our vacation fund.  We've never made hundreds of dollars from garage sales (I guess you have to have cooler stuff to sale).  The biggest satisfaction for me is reducing the amount of clutter in the house.  It's also added insight on what not to buy our children for gifts. 

One thing that we always seem to have a lot of is clothes.  I tried something new at this garage sale to avoid having so many clothes left over at the end of the day.  I put out a bunch of plastic grocery bags and a sign by the clothes that said "Fill a bag for $1". We made more off clothes than in the past and there was half as many left at the end of the day than other times.

We didn't make a lot of money, but we are very likely to make our vacation goal!  And there's more room in the house :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Family Home Evening: Citizenship

We based our lesson on one of the points in the Faith in God book.  We read and discussed the twelfth article of faith, then discussed what it means to be  good citizen and how our actions can affect others.  We have great neighbors so it was easy to point out how blessed we are to have good relationships with our neighbors.  We also talked about how nice it is to serve and be served by our neighbors. 

For our activity we played our new favorite game, Apples to Apples and had my yummy homemade brownies for a treat!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Sentament

"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! - Lucy Van Pelt

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring into Action: Volenteer

Yesterday, the boys sprung into action with a little service after we did a bug word search.  We walked around the neighborhood picking up trash.  I was worried that there wouldn't be enough to do, but they found bags full of trash just walking around the block!  One of my neighbors was disappointed when he realized they weren't selling cookies or any other goodies.  Our "trash walk" fulfilled Achievement 7d. 

I assigned Requirement 7e as homework.  National Geographic has a very helpful website with stories of people protecting the world.

My awesome new assistant (yeah!) brought "Ants on a Log" for a treat (aka - celery with peanut butter and chocolate chips sprinkled on top)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poetry Contest Results

My hubby was just asking "What ever happened with that poetry contest you entered?"  I didn't expect to win, I didn't even figure I would hear anymore about it.  Lo and behold, when I checked my email, there was the nicest "You didn't win" email ever.  Not that I get a lot of "you didn't win" emails, because I don't enter very many things I could win.  But I truly felt like my submission was appreciated! ...just like everyone else's :)

So for all of you who are anxiously waiting to read my "not the winner" poem, here it is!

Can’t Slow Down

Too much to do,
Have to keep running fast,
No other way to get through.

Just trying to meet the needs
Of my family, school and church,
Maybe some time for me too.

I'll rest just around the next bend,
Or when the next holiday is through.
Only to find there is still much more to do!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mom Time

Here's a preview to my latest post at Arizona Mama:

Do you feel like as soon as you pick kids from school, it’s cacophony of voices?  Do updates on the latest school drama, complaints that someone is breathing someone else’s air, and pleads for snacks fill your ears, until all the children are tucked away safely in bed at night?  I don’t know about you but it’s hard for me to stay sane, much less connect with my children under these circumstances.  Read more...
Click on over and check it out!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GPS Scavenger Hunt

Some ladies from church last week had a fun, GPS scavenger hunt activity.  We met together and gathered into teams, handed a GPS unit (and instructions on how to use it) and the first clue for our team.  Then we were off whizzing around the neighborhood (in a safe and responsible manner, of coarse).  I learned that my version of "slightly off the outlined trail" is different than other people's!

At some stops, we just had to pick up our next clue.  At others, we had to take something back to the meeting spot, eat a hot dog, or buy something for a dollar that was included with the clue. In case you are ever in the situation - when faced with a box of items and the clue says "grab the goods" and take them back to the original meeting spot; "goods" does not mean the whole box!  They will make you take valuable time to return said box back to its original GPS coordinate.

Our team did pretty good, we got 9 of our 10 clues and were on the way to buy our $1 whatever.  When we met back, there was a sundae bar and prizes.  It was a very fun night, and a much needed break from the monotony of carpools, homework and meetings!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring into Action: Be Prepared

This month's theme is Spring into Action.  We started everything off, by testing our jumping skills with the standing long jump (which is elective 20i).  After the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and uniform inspection; we discussed what Webelos means (We Be Loyal Scouts)  It might be a small thing, but I'm really loving having denners to assign prayers and take role!

Staying with our theme, we sprung into action to be prepared.  We talked about what should be in our family's first aid kit, what emergency supplies to take hiking, what to do if we get lost while hiking, and finally talked about the buddy system.  These are Electives 23b, 23c, 23d and Elective 16c. 

Then it was back outside for more fun! The boys did a couple of 10 second sprints to see how far they could run in 10 seconds.  They are fast!  This is Elective 20h.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spiritual Fitness

Shiloah, over at The Homemaking Cottage, sent out a request for articles on Spiritual Fitness.  Her article on that topic that is available for everyone to enjoy here.  My article is on the Deluxe site, that requires a subscription.
I really enjoyed writing this article; it was good to refocus on the core principles that keep us on the right path.  While life seems so complicated - the gospel is simple!  I need to remember that through all the meetings, carpools and work that continues to demand my attention.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Article on the Homemaking Cottage

My latest article is up at the Homemaking Cottage.  It's called 21 Fun Reasons to Get Out of the House.  Just another great reason to subscribe to the Deluxe Edition!

Saturday Sentament

Lord, unwrinkle my tired soul
unsnarl my garbled thoughts and words
unwind my gnarled nerves
and let me relax in Thee.
- Marian Wright Edelman

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tips for My Teenage Self

Over at the Mother Huddle, Rachel Meeks had a great post about what she wishes she could tell her teenage self.  What a great way to step back and look at how far we've come since those awkward years. 
  • Beware of people who act differently around different people.
  • Things that seem so important now, won't be in a few years.
  • Things that seem fairly unimportant now, may be very important in a few years.
  • Have the courage to fail.
  • Date just to have fun and to get to know people.
  • Soap operas are a waste of time - so are those teen romance books.
  • Good looking doesn't equal good.
  • You're a lot stronger than you know.
  • Life gets better, much better!
They say hindsight is 20/20.  What do you wish you knew then?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Gap" Books

Nathan Bransford, a literary agent, had a fun post about "gap" books, those books that everyone else has read and you feel lost when they come up in conversation.  The list reads like the 100 books that must be read before you die.  I haven't got around to reading a lot of the classics, but I had read a few that others missed - like To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the FliesTwilight was mentioned, but I don't have a desire to read that one.  There were several that I've never even heard of so I don't feel like I missing out there. 

Since my kiddos are such big readers, their conversations are the ones I'm left out of if I haven't read the book.  I'd have to say my biggest "gap" books right now is Hunger Games and the Ranger's Apprentice series.  (I'm glad I finally read The Work and the Glory Series otherwise it would have to be on the list!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Take Flight: Balloons

There was so much going on last week, I didn't get a chance to post the final Take Flight Cub Scout meeting.  We focused on balloons. We started off outside with a silly game of balloon tag. All but one of the boys stood in a circle facing each other passing a balloon around the circle, while the boy outside the circle tried to tag the boy holding the balloon. When he succeeded, the boys traded places. The winner was undoubtedly the wind!

Next we spent quite a bit of time learning how to do an outdoor flag ceremony.  Not exactly balloon related, but totally Scout related!  We finished off our meeting with a Nose Balloon Relay.  We did this game inside.  The boys were in two teams.  Each team had a balloon to push with their noses only to the line at the other end of the room then back to the next person on their team.  They only needed a few reminders that Cub Scouts play fair and use only their noses!

Now it might seem like Cub Scouts is all party and games, but there are life lessons being learned in a fun way.  The boys learn sportsmanship and teamwork.  They learn respect and patriotism.  They learn they can have fun without a screen (as in TV, computers, or video games) and exercise is fun.  Most importantly, they learn that they can be a part of something bigger than themselves, serve others and make the world a better place.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Risky Spring Break

Here's an excerpt from my latest post on Arizona Mama:

One of my favorite things is to see one of my older children initiate playing with the younger children.  That is exactly what happened over Spring Break. Read more...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Enlightenment: The Resurection

Yesterday was the big day; the crescendo of the week's celebration.  We started off with our traditional Christmas and Easter breakfast, then the kiddos egged our neighbor.  She loved it.  She thought the basket of plastic eggs was just for effect until she noticed the slip of paper one of the kiddos put in the basket that said "open these".  She was amazed as she read 30 things we love about her.  She said she needed a bigger hat!  This is a woman who spent Saturday and half of Sunday cooking food for the less fortunate. Not only is she not used to being served, she's not used to being complemented on her awesomeness!

Yesterday's reading was John 20:1-23.  We also read the sweet comments from our Love One Another board (we also read the not-so-sweet comments, but there weren't too many of those).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Enlightenment: The Jewish Sabbath

The Easter Bunny visits us on Easter Saturday so we can keep Sunday spiritual.  I love that tradition we inherited from my in-laws!  After the egg hunt, we read another great story that teaches about the universality of the Atonement, Seminary Donuts.  I've decided to make reading that story an Easter Saturday tradition, along with having donuts for breakfast! 

This Easter is extra special in that it's also General Conference.  We double up our Easter traditions with our Conference traditions, which help the kiddos (and me) pay attention and listen carefully. I am so grateful my children look forward to conference!

Last night we read Luke 23:56, discussed the Jewish Sabbath, and had a Plan of Happiness Hunt.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Enlightenment: Trial & Crucifixion

Yesterday we read Matthew 27. We discussed Jesus' responsibility and care for his mother and the responsibility we have for our family members.  Then we had the Easter story in eggs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Enlightenment: The Last Supper

Yesterday we read Mathew 26:17-75.  That evening, Jesus ate His Last Supper, suffered in Gethsemane, and was betrayed! 

We discussed the tradition of the Passover; where it came from and the preparations Jewish people make for the Passover feast.  Then we talked about preparing for our Easter celebration by cleaning the house of clutter - I know it's a sneaking way to get their help in a little extra deep cleaning! 

Finally we read a story called "The Belayer" from A Christ Centered Easter by Janet and Joe Hales.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Paper Plate Bunnies

Here's an excerpt from my latest Arizona Mama post:

Last fall, our family went on a paper plate craft spree!  We made paper plate owls and paper plate pumpkins.  Do two things make a spree?  Read more...

Somehow I forgot to mention the Paper Plate Snowmen!

Easter Enlightenment: Parable of the Ten Virgins

Yesterday we read Mathew 25:1-13. We discussed the symbolism of the ten virgins, the bridegroom, the vessels, the lamps an the oil from an Ensign article


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