Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Independent Girl

One night while Nichole was brushing her teeth, from the other room we heard a scooting noise, then we heard water running. I went to the bathroom to see that she had scooted the stool over to the sink and had turned the water on by herself to rinse her toothbrush.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Catch of the Day

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: That's not a hymnbook. It's a her-book.

Jr.: What's that?
Mommy: That's a picture of Paco.
Jr. (patting me): Very good, Mama.

The 4 year old: We're going to watch Peter Pan? That's awesome.

Jr. climbed into our bed in the middle of the night. A few minutes later, while he was asleep, I heard him sing, "I'm just a little black raincloud."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Go with the flow

Sometimes you have a plan. You decide what you're going to do, maybe when you're going to do it. Then... things don't go according to plan. One child sleeps in longer than expected. The kids decide they don't want to participate in this activity you have planned. What do you do? Go with the flow.
A while back, I wanted to let the kids help me make butterflies using empty toilet paper rolls and egg cartons. What did we make? Glasses for the kids to wear, using empty toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners. Nichole also made a birdhouse with my help, using the toilet paper roll and egg carton.

A few days ago, we were talking about birthdays. I had printed out a couple of birthday pictures for the kids to color. Nichole decided instead of coloring they needed party hats, so...
We made party hats. I didn't have a plan for how we were going to make party hats, so both of them were a little bit different from each other, but acceptable to the kids. Nichole let me know that we should use glue to put hers together. We just used staples for Jr.'s.

The kids really help with creativity. Nichole's good at figuring out how to put things together. Either she'll suggest a material to be used or she'll tell me what it should look like or be shaped like.
The kids also help me be spontaneous. I'll ask them if we should do one thing, and they'll suggest another. Should we go to the store? No, we should go to the library. O.K. Let's go to the library.
Spontaneity. Go with the flow.
These children are precious and as I try to teach them, I am also learning so much from them. What a blessing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Catch of the Day

We caught them. 11 fairies right there in our living room. Can you believe it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: I like the wicked witch... and rainbows. And I also like the click on the feet. Click. Click. Click.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hiccup Sticks

Nichole: What's that?
Mommy: That's a stick from a game called Pick-Up Sticks.
Nichole: Oh, like this. Hic. Hic. Hic. That's from Hiccup Sticks.

That's how a new game was created. Hiccup Sticks. When the stick points at you, you hiccup.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Family Day: Bunny Tails

For Family Day a little while ago, we based our activities on a children's book titled Fuzzy Wuzzy Bunny Tails By Raegan Randolph, Illustrated by Margie Moore.

We read the book to the kids the night before so they knew what to look forward to.

In the morning we got up and had breakfast like they did in the book.

Then, the bunnies picked flowers in the garden, and we made flowers. We traced all of our hands on construction paper and cut them out. We curled the fingers with a pencil then glued the bottoms of two hands to a popsicle stick stem. So we ended up with 4 flowers, a simple craft for the kids to be involved with.

The next part in the book, the bunnies help pick vegetables for dinner. We cut up vegetables and meat to throw in the crockpot for our dinner.

Time to go to town. "The bunnies stop at the general store." We went to Costco to get supplies for our Monticello trip, and enjoyed a nice lunch there as well.

The next stop in the book was the candy store where the little bunnies each got a bag of jelly beans. We took our little bunnies to the dollar store where they each got a bag of jelly beans.

When the bunnies in the book got home, they painted Easter eggs, so we printed off a few Easter egg pictures from the internet and let the kids go at them with paint.

We were running short on time so we skipped a few parts in the book (parts the kids wouldn't miss too much) and went on to the dinner part of the book.

We had one more errand to run after dinner, so as the Mama bunny read the bunnies their favorite bedtime story in the book, we loaded the kids in the car and read them the bunny book one more time so they could fall asleep while we were driving.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Catch of the Day

Jr. got sent to his room for being mean to his sister. When I went back to check on him a little while later, this is what I found.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Legend of Zelda... with Balloons

We may be the only parents in the world who have children who play act The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask with balloon masks and weapons.

They had bunny ears so they could run faster,

A Cucco (Chicken) mask with an ocarina so animals would follow them.

Of course they needed a sword and shield,

And a fairy in a bottle.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

License Plate List

Remember playing the car trip game where you list how many different states/provinces you see license plates for?
We did it on this trip to Las Vegas. So through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, these are the license plates we saw (in no particular order):

New York

So we got half the states (and a couple of provinces) between the three states where we were traveling.

Now here's the funny part. We went through Arizona to get to Nevada, so I just assumed we'd see some Arizona license plates. We saw not a one on the trip there. Then, on the day we came home, there were two Arizona license plates in the parking lot of our motel. Then on the way home, we saw so many Arizona license plates in all three states.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Diamond Artist

The Diamond Artist competition at the Diamond Jam is a balloon sculpting competition where the contestants have all three days of the convention to put together their entries. This year there was only one entry, but this guy, Mark Verge, had enough dedication to put together an amazing sculpture even though he was going to win anyway. Check out some other things he's done:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Las Vegas/Diamond Jam

Jeremy attended the Diamond Jam in Las Vegas. The Diamond Jam is a convention for balloon twisters. Since it was several days long, we decided to make a family trip out of it. We took the freeway down through Southern Utah, through part of Arizona, and into Nevada.
The last time I was in Nevada was when I was an infant and I'd never been to Arizona before, so this was so exciting. It was also my first trip to Las Vegas.

Arizona felt very welcoming.

Nevada didn't feel as welcoming.

It was kind of nerve-racking driving into Las Vegas. I kept telling Jeremy, "It's just like Salt Lake. It's just like Salt Lake, only brighter." Then I realized that a better word choice is, "It's just like Salt Lake. It's just like Salt Lake, only more colorful."

So, Jeremy went to his convention and we stayed in the motel most of the time. I did not want to go out in Las Vegas with two little kids by myself. With Jeremy, we went out for a walk one day in over 100 degree weather. We walked around the block to see the Tuscany where Jeremy's convention was being held and by the time we got back to our motel, we were having a hard time. Thank goodness we brought water bottles with us.

Another night we walked the block to the strip. It was late enough and the kids were tired enough that we didn't stay out very late. We watched a couple of shows at the Bellagio fountains. Those things shoot up really high.

The Eiffel Tower was across the street.

We walked indoors around some shops. Nichole really wanted to go into the Georgio Armani store, but we thought that might not be the best idea (not in our budget for this trip), especially since as we were walking by, the men in the store escorted two young gentlemen out. That store doesn't have well dressed shopkeepers waiting to welcome you in and help you with your clothing decisions. It has well dressed bouncers waiting to escort you out if you aren't the right clientele.
I thought this would be the perfect time to give a shout out to a store in the mall here, also specializing in suits (not Armani): Mr. Mac. We've only been treated with kindness and helpfulness in that store, whether buying or not.
It's funny. Ever since I turned 21, I've been wanting to go to Las Vegas just because I can't get kicked out of anywhere. I wouldn't gamble, I wouldn't drink alcohol, but if they carded me, I'd be old enough to not get kicked out. Now that I finally made it to Las Vegas, guess what? I can get kicked out of places since I brought two little kids with me.

Jeremy had a good experience at the DJ. It was definitely worth it. He learned some new ideas and new twists to help him in the future with his twisting and his business.
He made an impression on some of the people who were there. He got to meet Larry Moss, who said he'd be interested in working with Jeremy and took his business card. Woo hoo. And if you don't know who Larry Moss is, check out this link:
Jeremy competed in a few competitions and won third place in the Diamond Seeker (a busking competition). The contestants were one by one supposed to take 5 minutes in front of an audience who were encouraged to heckle them (but not too much) and see how they could handle it. Yay for Jeremy doing well. His prize was a bag of some Betallatex balloons, a check for $50, and a crystal award. They're going to put his name on it and mail it to him, so I haven't seen it yet.
I'm glad it was a worthwhile experience. I'm so pleased with Jeremy's talents and what he's using them for. I absolutely support him going to these conventions. It was so fun to listen to him tell me about the things that went on each day when he'd come back to the motel.

We made good time coming back home. We stopped once in St. George, Utah, for gas (and a shout out to my cousins who live in that area), and stopped once at a rest area because the kids were getting a bit cranky. While at the rest area, there was a group of people who had three little dogs- a black dog, a white dog, and a green dog.

I had to do a large picture so you can see that the dog is in fact green.

Good family trip.

Catch of the Day

"Drawing" on the sidewalk with the misty mate.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


A while ago our friend, Nessa, went out of town for a few days and we got to petsit Rose, her guinea pig, while she was gone. We cleared it first with the managers, because normally pets aren't allowed.
The kids enjoyed spending time with Rose, and often things like this could be heard while the children were trying to coax her out of her little house:
"Rosie, do you want a carrot?"
"Rosie, drink water, please."
Isn't it great that they were looking out for her well being?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hot Shadow

The kids have made up their own game. It is called "Hot Shadow." They go to an area on the carpet or couch that has sunlight shining on it and jump around shouting, "Hot shadow! Hot shadow!" then jump out of the area to where it is "cool." Sometimes when they see water they shout, "Cold water! Cold Water!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catch of the Day

Mommy: What are you doing?
Jr.: I'm riding a zebra.
Nichole: Vrrm Vrrm.
Jr.: Push the button.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catch of the Day- Prayer Works

As we sat down to take pictures at the North Window Arch in Arches National Park, a gust of wind blew Nichole's hat right off her head and over the edge of a dropoff. So sad. Jeremy went down to see if he could get it or if it was gone for good. The kids and I stayed sitting right where we were and said a prayer to ask for help for Jeremy to be able to get the hat if it was possible. If not, we would try to get Nichole a new hat, but this was her special hat. I saw Jeremy coming back up with empty hands, but he gave me a thumb's up so the kids and I immediately said a prayer of thanks. Apparently after the dropoff it became a more gentle slope, so Jeremy was able to go around on a bit of a switchback to where Nichole's hat fell. If it had been blown just a few feet more in one direction, it would have ended up in some crevices where Jeremy could not have gotten it. After that Jeremy kept Nichole's hat in his pocket. We were very grateful for the blessing of getting Nichole's hat back and for the reminder once again that prayer works.


Jeremy had a show in Monticello, Utah, this last weekend, so we all headed down for a few days. We got a good start, hoping to leave at 9 or 10am, we actually left at 11. Not too bad with 2 toddlers.

At the rest area on the way, the kids had some cool down time with the misty mates (pump 'em up, turn 'em on, mist away). Jeremy took time to photograph lizards.

On the way to Monticello, we stopped at Arches National Park to see a bunch of rocks. I'd never been there before so I didn't know what to take pictures of so Jeremy turned off at every viewpoint and I jumped out of the car to take pictures. At Balanced Rock we decided to let everyone out, and of course it started raining. Lightning in the distance and thunder rumbling. At least it wasn't too hot for August. It was also quite windy and the kids' hats kept blowing off. At one point, Nichole's hat blew off and almost blew off the trail. I said I would have sent Jeremy off the trail to get it if it had, even though they had signs saying, "Please, stay on the trail."

We went across the street from Balanced Rock to picnic. It was fun to watch the ants with food we accidentally dropped. Man, those pincers on the ants are huge when zoomed in with the camcorder. I know it says don't feed the wildlife, but I didn't mean for the chips to fall.
We drove on looking at more formations until we got to a nice walking/hiking area. Actual arches. In the Windows Section of the Park- North and South Windows and Turret Arch.
As we were walking up to the North Window, some of the people walking down were cheering Jr. on for doing such a good job walking up. Some others saw his baby cougar BYU shirt and showed their approval.

We spent some time at North Window where there was a beautiful arch of a rainbow through and above the rock arch. It was a bit of a dropoff through the arch, so I made the kids sit down by me while Jeremy took pictures of us with the rainbow.

After the windows section, we headed out of the park by way of the Visitor's Center, which was closed by then but the bathrooms and drinking fountains were open. That and they had some animal statues that the kids played with. My hair got totally windblown while we were in the park. It was pretty fun.

Before we got to Monticello, Jeremy mentioned that he'd been thinking about how there was the construction on the road in front of the motel last year, but there wouldn't be this year. So as drove into town, guess what? Construction on the road outside the motel. It made us laugh. Also as we pulled into town, we saw a building not too far away that looked like it had a gold statue on top. I didn't realize there was a little temple in this area. Cool. Saturday before we left we took the kids by it so they could see it and Nichole could sing, "I Love To See The Temple."

Good family trip.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: Now you can sing. Can you sing, "Blah Blah Blah?"

Nichole: I'm not feeling very well. Maybe pancakes will make me feel better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where do the kids sleep in the middle of the night?

This happened to me one night:
I couldn't sleep so I was up for a few hours in the middle of the night. When I decided to go back to bed, I turned off the light and went into my room. Climbing into bed, I felt an extra body that wasn't there when I had left. My husband was still there but my daughter was now lying there as well. I picked her up and carried her back to her room, practically stepping on my son who was lying right inside their doorway asleep. I guess he didn't get as far as his sister.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catch of the Day

Daddy, I'm making balloon animals.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Purple Turtle

Jeremy and I were working on a big project all week, a project that involved me making lots and lots of balloon animals and not giving my children enough attention. We all had a rough week and we were all somewhat sick with something. The project is over, the balloons have all been popped and thrown away, so today we celebrated. Jeremy volunteered a couple Thursdays doing balloon animals at our local park. To say thanks they gave him 4 cards each good for $5 worth of food at the Purple Turtle. For you non-Utah Valleyites, the Purple Turtle is a kind of land mark in Pleasant Grove. It's this little fast food restaurant, the shape of it and roofing makes it look like a turtle shell. And it's purple. Hence the name. It's one of those places most people around Utah Valley know what you're talking about when you say The Purple Turtle. It's been around for years. Well, it just so happens that we now live a couple blocks away from the Purple Turtle. We pass it quite often, and Nichole is very familiar with the Purple Turtle by sight. Blah blah blah, ramble ramble ramble, now back to the plot. As soon as we got inside today (packed with people like most days), Nichole started getting really excited. "The Purple Turtle," pronounced by her without the R's (so cute). "I want ice cream." So, this is what we got: a kid's combo with corn dog, small fry, and a small drink, we got a chocolate kiddie shake, a hot fudge sundae (meaning vanilla ice cream with some fudge on it- I wasn't all that impressed), a turtle deluxe (hamburger with beef and ham/bacon and cheese and the usual toppings), sweet potato fries, and a Bubblegum shake (with real pieces of bubblegum) all for $2.65. That's what we had to pay after the $20 off. The prices at the Purple Turtle are horrible for fast food, in my personal opinion. But they're always so busy it seems. This is only our second time going. The last time was years ago. Anyway, the food we ordered all ended up being everyone's food. Well, we were all sick with the same thing so it couldn't get worse, could it?
We didn't finish all the "ice cream" so we brought them home. Luckily we live so close because they were enough of puddles just sitting in the car for the short ride. They are now in the freezer ready for the kids to enjoy them later.
When we got home Nichole wanted to show off her "hair brushing." She's so cute. Yay for celebrating.