Friday, April 11, 2014

AR Medallion

Zander finally got his medallion for having 25 AR points.  He was extremely happy!

He's been anxiously awaiting this award.  He reached the 25 point mark almost two months ago but the teacher in charge of AR missed his name the last time she handed out medallions.  Zander is a great little reader.  He devours the books I bring home from the library.  He thinks he may have a chance of catching up to Brayden someday, "Since Brayden will be in 6th grade next year and won't do AR quizzes anymore."  Hee hee...that's one way to look at it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Break 2014

We had two glorious weeks off of school for spring break.  We had a nice balance of being productive, relaxing and enjoying time with friends.

Backing up a bit, just before spring break, Bryn and Kylie started their journey on the road to straighter teeth.  Both girls have an expander on the top.  Poor Bryn couldn't swallow after the ginormous contraption was installed in her tiny mouth.  It only took a couple of hours for her tongue to adjust though.  Kylie cried the first time I turned the key in her expander.  I felt horrible for inflicting pain on my child!  I won't post a picture of their mouths because that would be gross, but here's Bryn with the coloring she did for the ortho office's St. Patrick's Day wall.

Kylie tried out and was accepted to perform in her school's talent show.  She played three Harry Potter songs from memory on the keyboard.  She did an awesome job as her fingers flew across the keys!

Now, back to spring break...

We signed up for the In-N-Out reading program at the library.  Three free hamburgers...per kid!!! I splurged and bought everyone their very own milkshake since we were on "vacation."

It was good park weather during spring break so we went a few times...sometimes twice in one day.

Justin bought a super-cool dragon kite from Costco that flies really well.  There were some nice windy days to test it out on.

We watched a Harry Potter movie every night.  Yes, even the little kids.  We had them close their eyes and/or plug their ears on the scary parts.  And what's a Harry Potter movie without a little butterbeer?

Bryn and Zander fell asleep while watching a movie one night.  When they woke up in the morning and discovered that they'd spent the night on the couch, they thought it was the coolest thing ever!

We got a little creative, too.  Bryaden planted his very own garden, complete with a picket fence.

While he did that, Zander hunted for chicken his pajamas.

Kylie sewed a purse.  And learned how to take out stitches...something every seamstress must know how to do.

The kids begged me for these blockhead people that you decorate with markers and stickers.  They bonded over deciding who got which stickers and discussing whether Bryn's doll looks creepy with her baby mouth.

Brayden found a scrap of wood and painted rivers, bridges and trees on it so his Legos could stage a battle.

The last day of spring break we drove to Ontario to watch Justin's friend, David, race his Porsche. 

He taught us a lot about race cars and it was quite interesting.  He even let the kids sit in his car.

I got to hold the door...which, by the way, costs $6,000 so don't drop it!  He should've told me that before he handed it to me! 

And did you know that they burn through a set of tires each time they race?!  We got to see the car lift up on pistons which allows the crew to change the tires in the middle of a race.  Pretty amazing what these cars and drivers are capable of.

Overall, the kids got along well and I really enjoyed having them home.  It's been a little rough getting back to "real life".  Bryn and Zander are both doing soccer and it's amazing how three practices during the week and two games on Saturday can increase our level of busyness.  Yesterday, I was in the car for a total of two hours doing school drop-offs and pick-ups, scouts, a playdate and soccer practice.  And I never went more than a mile and a half from my house.  Crazy!!! Why do I get the feeling life is only going to get busier as the kids get older?!  Good thing I have a husband who makes me milkshakes at the end of the day to pull me through :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Justin:  "Who wants a brownie for dessert?"

Kids:  "Me!  I do!"

April Fools!!!
(No children were disappointed in this April fools farce...we gave them ice cream to make up for the inedible brownies:)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Zander Turns 6

What happens when you extend your 10 year old's bed time to 8:30?  He steals your computer...Every. Single. Night.  That is until he and Zander pooled their money and bought Minecraft on my tablet.  So tonight I get the computer!  Let the blog catching up begin...starting with Zander's birthday.

I can't believe I don't have a five year old anymore!  Zander's birthday was two weeks ago and his breakfast of choice was cinnamon rolls from a tube.
And his dinner request was yams and asparagus.  I kid you not.  I've never met a kid who likes veggies like he does.  I added some barbeque chicken to round out the meal.

A lady from church was the substitute teacher for Zander's primary class two weeks ago and she appreciated how he answered her questions was so impressed with his good behavior that she bought him a birthday gift.  A Max Steel transforming motorcycle.  He was one happy six year old!  (Good thing she didn't see him two nights ago when he got sent to bed early for hitting his brother, talking back to his mother and kicking the couch and table when we were at our friends' house...sheesh!)

Zander wanted a Max Steel party.  Or a Ben 10 party.  Or a Beyblades party.  He settled on a Max Steel cake with a couple of Ben 10 games.  Ben 10 fights aliens and one of them is a mummy-like creature.  So we wrapped Kylie and Brayden up in toilet paper like a mummy.  Simple game but Zander thought it was great fun!

Bryn was concerned that mummy Brayden couldn't breathe, so she helped him out...

Zander was just a little excited about this game!

Next, we played a Max Steel game.  Max has turbo energy but if he gets too much of it, he blows up.  The blue ball is the turbo energy and if you're caught holding it when the music stops,  you're out.  And you get a Blow Pop.

There was some frenzied passing of the turbo energy as the circle slowly shrunk!

There's an alien on Ben 10 that has four hands so we put one of Justin's jackets on two kids and presto!  You have a four-handed alien.  They had to stack as many cups as they could in one minute.

 I tried my hand at fondant for the first time.  A friend sent me the link to a marshmallow fondant recipe.  It was easier to make and roll out than I thought it would be.  I definitely need practice to perfect the art of decorating with fondant but for my first time, I think it wasn't too bad.  Zander recognized the Max Steel symbol and loved it and that's all that matters!

Zander received more Max Steel toys, Disney Infinity characters, a board to play Beyblades on custom made by Dad, a scooter and, of course, Disney Infinity.  Brayden bought him a Mike Wazowski character and he became very concerned that Zander wasn't going to get the Infinity game for his birthday.  He asked, "What's he going to do with Mike Wazowski if he doesn't have the game?  I'm just wondering."  Lucky for Brayden, and Zander, I anticipated somebody asking for the game at some point this year so I bought it on Black Friday for a mere $35.  And the scooter we found stashed in the garage.  One of Grandma Jake's friends had given it to us two years ago and we hid it under some boxes in the garage and forgot about it.  Nothing like finding a free gift when you clean the garage! The Max Steel beyblades were on clearance at Toys R Us for $3 and they were buy one get one half off.  For $4.50 Kylie and Bryn each got him one.  I already had a piece of wood on hand and Justin bought some $3 molding at Lowe's and built him a board to spin his Beyblades on.  Being able to pull together gifts that make my kid happy and don't break the bank makes me happy, too!

Happy Birthday! Zander Mander


Monday, March 3, 2014

Scout Achievements

Two weeks ago Brayden and Justin went on the Mormon Battalion 5 mile hike.  Brayden was not a willing participant but he kept putting one foot in front of the other and made it...phew!  They learned historical facts about the Mormon Battalion along the way and stopped to cook hot dogs over a campfire for lunch.

 Brayden and Jacob
 I think he's had enough, lol...

In other scouting news, Brayden earned the rank of Webelos.  Which reminds me, I need to sew that darn patch on.  When he was given his achievements, I was called up to receive the pin but, like I've always said, it really should be Justin.  I do nothing with scouts.  Well, I do drive Brayden every week.  But that's about it.

Each scout had to decorate cupcakes to bring to the blue and gold dinner.  I failed to read all the details and apparently they were supposed to be "fiesta" themed.  Brayden made purple minion cupcakes.  The minions were at the Mexican restaurant in Despicable Me, so that's pretty close to fiesta themed.  They turned out cute with white lifesaver eyes and marshmallow teeth. 

In other news, we've been enjoying three days of rain.  The chickens maybe not so much.  They got stuck in the mud and had to be rescued.  After the kids put them in their nice dry coop they closed the door since the chickens weren't smart enough to stay out of the small river that formed in the chicken run. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Valentine's Weekend

The kids had Valentine's Day and the following Monday off from school so we had a wonderful heart-filled four day weekend!  I love days off.

Actually, Valentine's Day festivities started Thursday with Zander's kindergarten "Love Bug" performance.  The very last "Love Bug" I will ever attend.  Makes me feel both sad and happy at the same time.  Unlike his older brother, Zander enjoyed singing and being on stage.

The kids exchanged Valentine's cards at school.  The principal sent home the obligatory "no candy" letter but, like we usually do with rules we think are dumb, we ignored it.  Zander's teacher really tried to enforce the no candy rule by having each student bring in one vegetable instead.  It all went into a soup they made in class.  They were pretty excited about the cards and candy they took home,

Bryn requested a festive hair-do for the day.  She chose Cute Girl Hairstyles' Triple Braided Hearts style.

Friday morning the kids awoke to our traditional book and candy gifts.  (I can't wait to borrow Brayden's book when he's finished!)

For breakfast we feasted on heart-shaped cinnamon rolls with pink frosting, pink scrambled eggs...

...and Strawberry Sweethearts Cocoa.  It was very rich and delicious!  Some of us didn't drink it all because it was so sweet.  Next time I'll try it without the butter.

Brayden, Bryn and Zander had slept in the playroom in their forts and I heard them making noise until about 9:30p.m.  In the morning I discovered what they'd been up to...

We had carne asada fajitas with homemade pico de gallo for dinner...yum!  And Justin made creme brulee for a special dessert.  Some of us weren't refined enough to enjoy such an exotic dish.  It reminded me of our friends Nicole and Jon who made creme brulee for us when they visited us three years ago. 

Saturday morning Justin took the kids out for a bike ride and play time at the park.  It was a good way to work off all the sugar we consumed the day before!  I stayed home and enjoyed the peace and quiet and worked on Bryn's curtains.  Which are finished and look fabulous!  I'll blog about them soon.

We've been informed that this is a "baby" scooter and that Zander needs a "big kid" scooter for his birthday.

Sunday morning was the at 11:00, then choir practice at our house at 4:00.  Justin is the choir director and I'm the pianist.  Having people sing while I play makes me very nervous.  At least when I'm performing a piano solo if I need to pause or slow down it's no big deal.  Can't do that so much when people are singing.  It's been neat having the choir practice at our house though.  It brings a nice spirit into our home and the kids have listened to the same song so often they're starting to sing it, too.

Monday afternoon we met Mom and Duane at BJ's for the pizza and pizookie gift they gave us for Christmas.  It was a great gift that we all enjoyed very much!!

Monday night we went to a friend's house for their baby reveal party.  We were honored to be the ones Krystal and Chris chose to help reveal the gender of their first child.  Krystal drove straight to our house after the ultrasound and we opened the sealed envelope to discover that they'd be having a boy!  We wrapped a cardboard box in wrapping paper...grey with white polka dots, very gender neutral...and took it to Party City where we filled it with blue helium balloons. 

It was a busy, but still relaxing, fun-filled Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend!