Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blue & Gold

This upcoming Tuesday is our Blue and Gold. The theme this month is Invention and Resourcefulness. A few weeks ago Hunter brought home a paper bag full of stuff by his scout leader (me). There were 20 items in each bag and the scouts were to use at least 10 of the 20 items. They could add to it any way they wanted but the goal was to invent something. Hunter's bag had a toilet paper tube, a pink book mark, paperclip, styrofoam balls, pom poms, a sheet of felt, clothespins, wooden disks, a balloon, etc. We recently saw Dispecable Me 2 and since then that's all the kids talk about. He told me he wanted to make a minion with his stuff. I really didn't think he could do it but he sure showed me! He took a used #10 can and painted it yellow. He took his white balloon from the bag, blew it up, painted it yellow and stuffed it into the top of the can. Using the toilet paper roll he cut goggles and than raided the bathroom to find 2 more for the arms. He cut the pink book mark and used it as the tongue. The blue felt turned into the overalls. He used the pom pom's for the buttons. He painted the wooden disks and styrofoam balls black and used them for the shoes. He painted 1 finger onto a piece of paper and used the 2 clothespins for the other finger's holding his "Welcome to Scouts" sign. Not wanting the other hand to be empty to took one of our gloves and put it on. He used his paperclip for the name tag holder. He took one of my black pipe cleaners, cut it up and hot glued it to the balloon for his hair. I thought for sure he'd pop the balloon but he waited the perfect amount of time so the glue wouldn't pop his balloon but the glue would still stick. He found some large googly eyes and used duct tape for the wrap around goggle part. He was creative in using his resourcefulness. I was expecting some type of a robot or monster not a minion. I was very impressed.

Next month will be our Pine Wood Derby. Knowing that is the month the boys and Dad's do something together another Scout Leader thought it would be fun for the boys to make a cake with their mom's this month. We will be using the cakes for our dessert at the Blue and Gold. I wasn't terribly surprised when Hunter announced he wanted to make a minion for his cake. This time he wanted to make a evil minion, from Dispecable Me 2. We baked our cakes yesterday, froze them over night and decorated today. 
I didn't feel decorating a cake is a Sunday thing and by the time the kids get home from school we don't have a lot of time before bed time. So we chose today to make his cake. These cakes weren't suppose to be made by mom alone but by mom and son. He beat the frosting, he helped color the fondant. We both took turns cutting out fondant pieces to go over our cake. It took both of us working together to get the fondant onto the cake. Hunter made the goggle strap, the goggle and the eye. Madelyn wanting to help made the purple eye lid. 

While they were working on that I started cutting out the overalls. Hunter picked out and helped roll the design around the edge giving the overall's a better than plain look. Running out of fondant we used yellow marshmallow's (that's all we had) for the teeth. Thinking it still needed a little something we added a pocket and put Hunter's initial on it.

Hunter and Madelyn made the spikes for his hair. They had a hard time staying on the head so we broke toothpicks in half and slid them through the middle of the spike and down into the cake to hold them better. 

We ended up with a little split on one side but I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Especially with all the help we got!

We've had a good day. Hunter really learned how hard, how messy and how many dirty dishes are created when baking a cake like this. He didn't particularly enjoy sweeping up the mess on the floor either. It was fun spending time together. The cake didn't turn out exactly how we had planned but I think it works despite the missing feet. We ran out of fondant and I didn't have enough marshmallow's or powder sugar to make more. 

Now the hard part comes keeping the cake out of little fingers until Tuesday night.

Emily's Mystery Reader

Emily's 1st grade class has a Mystery Reader every Friday after lunch. Clues are read out loud to the class until the children guess who it is. It's a big secret and the kid's aren't suppose to know it's their parent or grandparent coming that day. The child than get's to go to the office to bring the Mystery Reader to class.The Mystery Reader brings a story to read and sometimes a treat to go along with it. 

This past Friday I was the Mystery Reader. In October I was also the Mystery Reader and chose to bring a Halloween book and treat. This time I chose one of Emily's favorite books, Pinkalicious. After the kids left for school I made hot pink cupcakes.

I then decorated them with hot pink frosting and hot pink sugar sprinkles.

Emily was so pleased with all the pink. 

 She said it was the perfect treat for Pinkalicious!

President's Day

President's Day Weekend we spent in Hurricane. Kory and I were able to attend the temple Saturday evening while my parent's watched our kids. On Sunday we went to church and then Kory's Uncle Rich from Mesa Arizona came to visit with us. He was going to be in Las Vegas all week for work but took the time to drive a few more hours to visit with our family. It was great seeing him again. He and his wife Ann were like grandparents to my kids while we were living in Arizona. We miss them. 

We headed home Monday morning with the intention of spending a few hours in Zion's National Park. Being we buy a yearly pass to drive through we thought it would be the perfect time to actually stop and use our pass. We didn't realize it was a "free" day and the park was packed. It took us a while to find a parking spot but we eventually was able to get out and enjoy the great outdoor's.  

There was still snow and ice on the ground is some spots.

Kylie had fallen asleep and wasn't ready to be woken up. Daddy got to carry her a lot of the way.

Brayden enjoyed playing with his binocular's. He was trying to find a bear but didn't have much luck.

Kylie finally woke up enough to try walking by herself. Some spots were pretty steep for a 21 month old and she needed a hand to help her. 

The kids loved all the little ridges that they could climb on.

Here we are taking a little break. Enjoying the warm sunshine on our backs.

Our girls!

When it was time to head back down Kylie did not want to walk. Madelyn was hoping she could help her but didn't have much luck.

Mommy and Brayden taking a rest.

Daddy wanted a turn with the camera and wanted to capture some motion pictures. This was one of the best ones. Emily jumping over a rock.

Mommy and Kylie playing in the sand.

Brayden wanted to build a castle but Kylie was trying to help him. He finally went a few feet away to get away from her "help".

Castles are fun to build but they are even better to knock down.

While the little ones and I were playing in the sand Daddy and Hunter were rolling sand rocks. Watching them burst when they finally hit bottom.

We had so much fun! We really need to take advantage of our Zion's Park pass more often.

Hunter's Valentines Party

A few day's before Valentine's Day Hunter's, class Room Mom called and asked if I would plan his party. How could I not say yes? After talking to Hunter I learned that most parties consisted of going to the gym and playing basketball. I knew this had been happening but I didn't know that this was all that was ever done. No games and lots of times the room Mom brought chocolate chip cookies for the snack. 

This is very likely Hunter's last year at school where he will be having school parties. Next year if we are not living here he will be attending middle school (6th-7th) or a 6th grade center. School parties will than be that of a past time. It makes me sad knowing he's growing up and some of these fun things are coming to an end in his childhood. Wanting go out with a bang for this party I came up with some fun games. Some we've played at ward parties, minute-to win-it parties and other's I got the idea off of Pinterest. With all the snow melted and being an abnormally warm day (53 degrees) we held the party outside. 

Our first game we split into 2 teams. At the moment the class is evenly tied between boys and girls so they chose to split up that way. The boys made a line between two tables and the girls made their own too. The first in line had to bend over and scoop a conversation heart out of a bowl with a spoon in his mouth, no hands. They each then transferred the heart into the next person's spoon, again no hands.

When the heart got into the last person's spoon they had to bend over and drop it into a bowl, again using no hands! It was a bit harder than I thought it would be but the kids seemed to have fun. After about 4 minutes we stopped and counted up the hearts that made it to the bowl. Boys won!!

Our second game we stuck with our teams, boys vs. girls. Each team was given a balloon.

Everyone taking a turn had to put the balloon between their legs and run to the chalk line and back. If the balloon fell they had to start all over. There was so much laughter going on during this game. So glad the kids enjoyed themselves. Everyone had do this twice and the team that finished first won. In the end it was a tie. The girls won the 1st game and the boys won the second time it was played.  

Our 3rd game was a tossing marshmallow's into a bowl a few feet away. The kids decided to keep our teams boy vs. girls.

Look at the concentration! It was so fun to hear the kids joking and teasing each other. They were really enjoying themselves.

Our 4th game is one of my favorites. Each player sticks their nose into vaseline and than into a bowl of cotton balls. They have to run to the other table and try to get the stuck cotton balls to fall off into another bowl without using hands.

The boys decided that they really wanted to win this game. They smeared vaseline all over their face so that they could take more than one cotton ball at a time.

When they got to the other table it was so fun to watch them shake and dance trying to get those cottonballs to fall into the bowl. If it fell outside of the bowl they could leave there for no points or try making it stick to their head again to put it in the bowl.

Some of the girls tried using their hands. 
This game really got the teacher and her aide laughing. They enjoyed what looked like a huge booger hanging from the kids nose.

Our last game was the cookie game! An Oreo is placed on every ones forehead and not using hands you have to get the Oreo into your mouth. 

I love the facial expression's you see during this game.

Our last activity was decorating sugar cookies. What kid doesn't like that?

According to Hunter it was the best party all year! So glad he and his fellow class mates enjoyed themselves.

Valentines Day

It's Valentine's Day!
My kiddo's woke up to a yummy a breakfast of egg in the middle of toast and their favorite of the day, heart shaped strawberries. 

They came downstairs to our heart table cloth on and sprinkled with candy. I had intention's of making homemade candies and filling a little heart box for each of them. My week ended up being packed full and my best intention's just didn't happen. In the end they all received a heart shaped, crunch bar on a stick.

Brayden loved his snake candy!

I spent my day at the school doing class parties and when I got home I was exhausted. I must have forgotten to take a picture of our Valentines Dinner. It was our usual, Spaghetti and meat balls, heart shaped roll, red jello salad, and red Kool-aid. For my kids it was perfect!

Madelyn was invited to a friends birthday party later that night. We weren't given the invitation until the day before. Not having a gift appropriate for a 10 year old girl we ran up to the nearest gas station and came up with this candy card.  Sounds like it was the hit of the party.

Almond Joy

Hunter has suddenly come down with a huge sweet tooth. He get's on Pinterest and finds candy he likes and talks me into helping him make them. He and I love the candy, Almond Joy. It didn't take much convincing to talk me into this one. 

First we made the sweet coconut that had to dry out overnight. The next night we dipped them in melted chocolate. 

Even Kylie got into it.

All of my children loved them. Even the ones who don't normally like coconut. 
Love my funny kiddo's!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

School Valentines

We love valentines at our house. The kids and I have a great time looking at all the different card designs at the stores. My kids love picking out their own candy to attach to their cards to give to friends and their teacher. I remember feeling quite surprised last year when the checker told me my balance and all we had bought was valentines to give away. It bugs me that most of the boxed valentines only has 18-24 pieces. All of my kids classes have 25-30 kids in it meaning I get to buy 2 boxes of valentines and sometimes 2 bags of candy for each child. That add's up really quick! Wanting to do things a little different and cheaper yet still fun the kids and I searched Pinterest for many day's before we made our trip to the city. Brayden fell in love with the bouncy ball valentine. What little kids doesn't like their own bouncy ball?  

 His card we were able to print off on our home computer for free says, "Valentine, you make my heart BOUNCE." I was able to buy the bouncy balls at Wal Mart in their valentine section. They came in little packages of 6/$1. Being he goes to school 4 days a week he got to have a Valentine Party two days in a row. It also meant he needed to bring 36 valentines. His valentine cost me $5 this year. Definitely cheaper than two boxes of valentines and all the candy to match.

Emily loves making Kool-Aid. It's something she can make all by herself with out any help! 

She was so excited to find this idea on Pinterest. We bought our silly straws at the dollar store for 6/$1 and found packages of Kool-Aid for 10/$1. It cost me less than $8 which is probably about the same amount I would have spent on candy and cards for her class but these turned out so much cuter. I'd like to say this way had less sugar but knowing Kool-Aid calls for a whole cup of it I'm sure it wasn't. It does make me feel better knowing the straws will last a bit longer than all the candy they received. She's a little OCD like her mom and wanted to match up the color of her straw with her package of Kool-Aid. That's my girl!

 Madelyn's was by far the cheapest valentine. I bought a package of 300 glow sticks really cheap on Amazon about a year ago. We used them at all of our Family Reunion's last summer and a few here and there through out the year. I'm glad she remembered I still had some as I had forgotten.

Thanks to Pinterest again we found some free printables for the tags. It says, "You make my heart glow." She was thrilled with the response she got from them at school from her friends. They all loved it!

Hunter and Emily are very similar in personality. Hunter really didn't care what he did but he thought the saying for the glow sticks was to girly so went with Emily's idea. Being it's usually one of these two kids always asking to make Kool-Aid it fit him to a tee! Apparently the kids in his class thought it was pretty cool and was able to talk their teacher into letting them use their straws at lunch that day. He was pretty stoked! Hunter's class had some kids move away recently and he's down to 20 kids, the smallest in the school. It cost me about $5 for all of his valentine's.

I spend a lot of time at the kids school. I know their teacher's and aide's very well. I know that most of their teacher's pass the candy given to them out to their grand kids or just throw it away. I wanted to give something that the teacher's would benefit from. About a year in a half ago I came across a pretty good deal on the internet. Staples had an online sale of their Clorox wipes. These are the smaller canisters that only holds about 100 but they were less than a dollar a piece, around $.70! I ended up ordering a case of them and to sweeten the deal it was free shipping too. Kory bought me a really nice steam cleaner recently and I just don't use the Clorox wipes like I use to.  Having an overabundance we gave each teacher and aide a Clorox with a helping hand to go along with it. I have been thanked by many of them for a great gift that wasn't sweets and something that they can and will use. 
I wan't sure how the kids would like passing out valentines with no candy but it didn't seem to bother them. They each loved what they gave and want to do it again next year. I think we had great success!