Friday, July 30, 2010

Sophie's first book Report

I am like Lanie because I like to be outside. In the American Girl Lanie book by ? Lanie learns that she can have fun in her own backyard and doesn’t need to travel to other places to enjoy nature.

Lanie is the only person in her house who likes to be outside until outdoorsy aunt Hannah comes. She helps plan a wildflower and vegetable garden with Lanie but has to leave before the garden is done. Lanie has to do the work herself so she talks her younger sister, who is scared of bugs and dirt, into helping her. The whole family especially loves the squirrel feeder.

While Aunt Hannah was still there she helped Lanie identify bird calls. Lanie was able to recognize the Carolina Wren and the chickadees that she sees in her yard. Lanie takes her sister to a cemetery to see lots of birds, including the scarlet tanger. Lanie and her sister even watch a Carolina Wren build a nest in an old boot that was in their yard.

In Lanie’s sister’s class there is a glass terrarium with caterpillars that Lanie gets to help feed. She watches as they turn into butterflies. Lanie learns a lot about butterflies from this experience. In her garden at home she plants some milkweed cuttings because monarch butterflies like to lay their eggs on it. Lanie is very excited when she sees a butterfly in her neighborhood.

From reading about Lanie, I learned that I can have fun in my own backyard. I can learn to identify the birds in my neighborhood. I can plan a garden and enjoy being outside. I really liked this book and I think other girls will too.

We have been working through a Weekly Reader Book Report Guide this month. Sophie picked the book she wanted to read and report on. She has gone through each section of the guide and completed all the assignments. This is the book report she wrote as she finished the guide. I think she did a good job.

I admit that I really had to push her to do this assignment. I gave her a due date and she had to complete the assignment on time. She got so frustrated when she had to actually write the rough draft. She had a hard time going from the seemingly easy note taking steps to the actual writing. I can't say the guide did a great job teaching the actual switch from just taking notes to writing a report.  But it was a good jumping off point for her to work with.

I think we will do another book report soon so we can give this another try. It was a good exercise for my non motivated writer. As a reward for doing this report she earned the 2nd Lanie book which should arrive on Monday. Maybe that will be our next book to report on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doing some Yoga

I go to the YMCA almost every morning. I love my hour of cardio and weights. There are days I am not able to go but still want to exercise or at least do something physical.  So I turn on a Yoga DVD that I have had for years. At first my kids just thought it was fun to watch me move from pose to pose. They soon started to join me down on the floor. They started to use all the names for the different poses.
They love to point out when they see Molly doing a yoga pose. "Look Molly is doing downward dog". I need to get a picture of them doing their poses but I am usually doing it with them. Some day I will catch them in the act.

At the library while looking for something else I came across a few fun books and I brought them home and just put them on the shelf.  A Yoga parade of Animals goes through several poses that all have animal names. The kids noticed that some of the poses are ones they already knew but learned them with a different name.  My husband evidently had to read this one the other night for a bedtime book. He and the kids were doing each of the poses as he read about them. They all loved it. His favorite was the"sleeping snake".

I also found Babar's Yoga for Elephants. My kids love Babar books so this one has been well loved. I was surprised by how much they have read through these books. I often hear Sophie leading the boys through a series from the book. And they love to show me the new moves they master.

This morning I turned on my DVD to do a half hour of Yoga. I started off alone and before long I had two little guys one the floor with me listening to Rodney Yee tell us how to bend into strange positions. Even my husband who was getting dressed for work couldn't help but join in for a few minutes for a bit of a stretch. We love doing yoga and I am glad that my kids are enjoying doing a little exercise. I am always happy to have them join me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Golfland was so FUN!

There is a Man in our ward that owns a miniature golf place. Today his wife hosted a little golf land summer fun day.  We took advantage of his generosity and enjoyed a round of golf and then the boys gave the water slides a try.

We did this same event last year one day before Molly was born. I had come to Golfland with my Mom who was there waiting for me to finally go into labor. We walked the entire course and let the kids have a good time hitting the balls. I just remember it being so hot and I feeling so heavy. Little did I know that less than 24 hours later I was going to be delivered. I kept thinking about that as we walked the course this time. Especially since we had just celebrated Molly's birthday yesterday.

Last year we didn't attempt the water slides. Henry wasn't tall enough and Sophie and Ian weren't that interested in doing it. This time the kids were all excited to give it a try.

Ian jumped right in. Or I guess I should say climbed the hill and then slipped on in. He didn't even hesitate. Sophie climbed the hill, got to the top and then had second thoughts. She really doesn't like tube slides. When she was little she always called the ones at the park "scary slides". She just couldn't bring herself to go down the slides so she came back down the hill and watched.  I told her that was fine. It isn't a requirement to go down the slides. She actually had a lot of fun just lounging in the shade talking to all the other moms as we watched our kids come down the slides.

Henry climbed the hill and walked back down. He just wanted to swim. The lifeguard wouldn't let him get into the splash pool and told him he had to go down the slide or go out of the area. He climbed the hill again and came shooting out of the slide with the biggest grin. He loved it.

They spent a good hour and a half climbing the hill to the top of the slides and coming down again. They tried out all three of the slides and had a great time. It was hard to pull them out of the pool.

This black tube actually goes underground and the boys thought they were so brave to do that one.  I can't believe I actually caught a picture of Henry coming out. It was not easy to predict when they would come to the end.

After all the sun we spent a little time (and money) in the arcade. We played a few games of air hockey, skee ball and a few others.

Molly loved this game. I kept finding her standing in it watching the light go around and around.

Of course the boys had to play one of the shooting games. Boys and guns!?

The rest of the day they kept saying that Golf land is so fun. I know they will be asking me again and again when we will be able to come again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Here she is, our brand new one year old.
It is hard to believe how fast the year went while at the same time if feels like Molly has always been a part of our family.

She got the Red Plate for dinner. And she loved the enchiladas I made. She had two helpings along with some baby food green beans. I guess she was hungry or maybe they just tasted really good!

And of course there were gifts. We had let her open her new sand toys after breakfast and she even took them to the park this afternoon. There were a few more for her to open after dinner.

A cute pink dress from Grandma.

She loved the balloon we picked up at the dollar store. She was actually more interested in it than in the gifts.

Is this not the cutest baby doll. It is so soft to the touch and very squeezable. Sophie made sure Molly got a webkinz. Sophie even named it for her.

Molly is getting quite good at walking. She practiced and practiced all day and is almost deciding it is a better way to motate.

Sophie looks so good in this pink shirt I had to take a picture of her too.

Of course there was cake. Molly had a cake all her own to play in. I decorated it with blueberries and strawberries. At first molly just picked them off and ate them. She eventually dug into the cake.

I think she had a great first birthday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What does my Fridge say about Me.

I went shopping today. I actually did all my grocery shopping today. I shouldn't need to go again for two weeks (I could, most likely, even go longer). I don't usually get to go to Costco, Target, the farmers market and the regular grocery all on the same day. The only store, that is in my regular rounds, was whole foods but I went last week and am all stocked up for awhile.

I have to say my fridge, freezer and shelves look very full. Here is my side by side in its full glory. Don't look too closely, I am sure it needs some wiping down.  So what does it tell you about us? I guess first thing I notice is that it is absolutely not organized. The freezer especially. No rhyme or reason to how I put things in there. As long as it fits it works. I think I need to work on that one.

Mostly frozen fruit for making smoothies and veggies for when I run out of fresh.  There is a bit of frozen meats and I try to freeze a lot of muffins and breads that I bake. That way I don't eat the whole batch and so we always have snacks/desserts on hand that I can just pull out of the freezer.  During the summer, frozen pumpkin or banana blueberry muffins are really nice. There is no baking involved, so the house doesn't get hot.
As for the fridge... there is a sort of organization to it but in the end I too resort to putting things where they will fit. I had a hard time getting the watermelon into the fridge. I wouldn't have bothered but I really like watermelon when it is cold and since we are planning to have it for dinner tomorrow I stuffed it in. But I had to use the shelf where half of it can be pushed back, to make room for it. The whole space will look very different come Monday when that watermelon has been cut down a bit. At the moment my fridge looks like my Mom's. No offense Mom, but usually I am able to see the back of the fridge and am even be able to put a jello in to set without too much trouble.

What about the items. Do they say something about us.  We drink a lot of milk. Three different kids are currently reside in the fridge; whole cow, Almond and rice milks. Most of the milk is up on that top shelf. Next to it is my #10 can of my freshly ground wheat flour. Behind that you will find a few containers with other flours that I rotate through; bean, buckwheat, and rice. I keep them all in the fridge so they don't spoil but I only grind up what I think I will use in a week or so.

The next shelf is eggs, bread and tortillas. Nothing that exciting there. We have been getting eggs from the farmer's market recently and my husband swears that the free range, organic eggs taste better.  We also love the tortillas that aren't cooked yet. My boys love being in charge of cooking them when it is time to eat them. One day I will actually try to make my own, rather than buy them. For now I am going with these. I am sure they aren't that hard. I am just not excited about rolling them out. Maybe that is why I haven't made pita bread in awhile either. I think we are going to have lessons on rolling out dough soon so my slaves children can do it for me.

Other than one drawer which has cheese, hummus and a few other odds and ends in it the rest of the shelves and drawers are full of fruits and veggies. I think there is a big tub of yogurt in there somewhere. Mostly likely shoved to the back behind that watermelon. I need to get back in the habit of making yogurt again. The tub is full of plain yogurt so perhaps we will add lessons on how to use the yogurt maker to our list for coming week. That way we can use lots of yogurt in our smoothies.

Everything else, butter, condiments, dressings, jam, maple syrup and such all have home on the door.  The little flip door at the top is where I keep my yeast and bouillon. A bag of broccoli always lives in that bottom section. I really should get that little metal bar replaced. I can't put anything heavier there.

So that is the tour of the refrigerator. Are you bored yet?

Do you want to see the pantry too?

Here are the bottom three shelves.

Here are the top three.
I admit they aren't very organized either. Story of my life I guess. Good intentions but don't actually follow through. I know where everything is but I send my husband or kids to find something and they don't have a clue. My husband always talks about getting one of the shelf reliance shelves to rotate the cans but we don't have space for anything like that. So instead I just keep shoving more and more into these few shelves.

Oh... and did I mention that we bought a small chest freezer a month or so ago. Guess what... It is packed full too. Thanks Dad for the beef! We topped it off with lots of Ice Cream. The kind I like was on sale this week and with a birthday next week and two more in a month or so I figured we would get a few and keep them out of sight for bit.

Those little freezer jam tubs are actually full of an artichoke hummus. We bought a huge tub of it at Costco today and I knew we wouldn't be able to eat it all before it went bad so I hope hummus defrosts well.

So that is the tour of our kitchen stores. We will have to live on this for the next two weeks. I am really trying to keep it to twice a month.

One more thing. I splurged on a new appliance. I knew I would most likely never win one from the Pioneer Woman (She gives them away all the time but when you are one of thousands that enter her giveaways.... may be waiting a really long time before your lucky number comes up.) so I talked my husband into buying me a Kitchen Aid Mixer and it isn't even for my birthday or Christmas. 

Yeah... no more hand mixer.  I look forward to making bread and let it do the kneading. My arms could use the toning but I just think my bread will turn out even better when it is kneaded longer than I was able to do it.

So this ends this long post. I can't believe you made it to the end of this long boring post. I just feel so blessed to be able to live in such luxury. To have all this when I know so many have much less. We certainly don't starve and hopefully eat pretty healthfully.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not just cruisin'

This morning Molly insisted we take a walk. This of course meant that we get her little car for her to walk behind. We have been doing this walk the last few days and I am always surprised at how far she will go. Yesterday she walked down our block to the cul-de-sac, around the entire cul-de-sac and then back home again. She didn't want me to carry her at all. She wanted to be down and doing it on her own.
I could tell she was getting more and more sure footed and was able to stand up from a squat without having to hold on to anything. I knew it wouldn't be long before she wouldn't need the car anymore.
Tonight as we were all gathering for family prayer Molly took her first unassisted steps. I caught her walking from one of the toy boxes to the bed nearby. I quickly grabbed her and made her repeat her feat again. We all clapped and she stood and clapped and clapped. She loved the attention and kept walking to one of us and then clapping and clapping for herself.
When we finally settled down enough to have family prayer, Molly spent the entire prayer walking from one to the other of us and clapping. She couldn't understand why we had stopped cheering for her.

We have a walker on our hands now. Running isn't far behind!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where does the Time Go?

My Mom told me that she keeps checking my blog and has been disappointed that I haven't posted anything in awhile. I don't know why I haven't written anything. I guess, we have just been busy living life and I just don't have the energy to write about it. But here is a quick update of how we have been spending our time.

1. We play at the park.
This is one of my kids favorite parks. The frogs spit water at each other. My kids just love to climb on them and stuff grass in the frogs mouths and see the grass shoot out when the water sprays.

Molly couldn't be happier when I let her get down and crawl around. She loves to get dirty just like her siblings. I don't have any kids that don't love to play in the muck.

2. Nature Hikes - We have been on a hike just about each week. On this particular hike we saw a mama deer and her faun. They didn't seem that concerned that a bunch of kids were watching them graze.

3. Library visits.
During the summer going to the library is way more fun. We make sure we go when they are doing an activity that goes along with their Summer reading club. This years theme is "Splash into Reading", so we have done pirate crafts and had a fish fairytale puppet show. My kids particularly like the intermission when the frog puppets came out and told frog jokes.

One week they even had one of the marine institutes in the area bring in some sea creatures. The kids actually got to touch, or pick up in some cases some of the critters.

Here is Ian demonstrating the right way to pet a fish, with just two fingers. Wait... he is petting a crab. Sophie above is petting a fish.

Henry had to pick up this decorator crab. This crab had little shells stuck on him. His spit is sticky and it glues shells onto its body to camouflage itself.

4.  Just playing outside as much as we can.
Here the boys are enjoying a big rusty tractor at a little apple farm near Grandma's house. From the look on his face, can't you just hear the sounds Henry is making. .

At this same farm the kids found some new kittens. Sophie was so excited to get to hold actual kittens. One of them even looks like her favorite stuffed kitten, Abby.

The kid have been having a lot of adventures right in our own yard. They have been making elevators in the trees to bring up stuffed animals. There have been all sorts of digging and dirt play. I just know they come inside and need a bath each day.  I guess this is what Summer is all about.

This little lady is almost 1. She isn't walking quite yet but is, oh so close.  She has suddenly become an eating machine. She is constantly hungry and eats and eats. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I weaned her and she is compensating. Of maybe it is because she has a number of red bumps in her mouth which will shortly sprout some more teeth.  For what ever reason, she is eating lots and lots of blueberries (her new favorite finger food), quinoa (a new grain we are trying to eat more of), and buckwheat pancakes. With a little green smoothie mixed in there each day, I think she is doing pretty well.
We are just living our every day, ordinary lives. It just doesn't sound that exciting when I go to write about it.  I can't believe the Summer is already half over. At a meeting I went to recently one of the other moms said that her kids only have about a month left of Summer vacation. I guess the public schools here are starting mid-August. I can't believe how quickly everything is speeding by. We still have lots to do with our California Studies. I don't think we are going to jump into our next school year anytime soon. Maybe we will start it in October. That would give us a few more months to enjoy being out and about and still give us time to give CA a fair study. There isn't any rush.