After grocery shopping with Nichole and a nice discussion with the cashier about children using their imaginations, I was putting groceries away with Nichole in our kitchen. She saw one of the paper bags and immediately stuck it over her head saying, "Look, Mommy." She appreciated my laughter. I took another bag and cut two eyeholes in it. She could tell what I was doing and reminded me that I had to draw a mouth on it. Which I did. I traded her for the original bag and she's been having much fun ever since (including entertaining her little brother).
The other day we went for a picnic near Battle Creek Canyon. We got pictures of some of the wildlife we saw up there. Here they are, in no particular order (except that they're in the order I chose them to be):
a squirrel/a butterfly
this cute girl
these silly gooses
a honey bee/a yellow bird with a reddish-orange head
a carpenter ant/the coolest moth that looks like a hummingbird with how it hovers and beats its wings so fast
A reminder- you can click on the pictures to see them larger.
We went to the Orem Public Library and wanted to let the kids play outside in the little courtyard between buildings. As soon as we got to the door, we saw three people outside talking on cell phones. A few minutes later while the kids were playing, Nichole pulled a toy cell phone out of her bag and announced, "I need to call someone."
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of when Mount St. Helens blew her top. The BIG eruption back in 1980. We have some friends that we like to celebrate this anniversary with so we got together again another year for a volcano party.
For dinner, we had mashed potato volcanoes. And for dessert: Volcano Cake. You can learn more about making a volcano cake with this youtube video.
Nessa did most of the work although Jr. helped her spread the frosting on. That boy loves chocolate.
We all enjoyed the eruption.
And of course we all enjoyed eating the cake afterward.
Last week our ward had a father-son activity that Jeremy and Jr. were planning to go to. However, a show came up and Jeremy had to miss the activity in order to work. Luckily, Jr. is young enough that he didn't know what he missed. We hadn't talked about the father-son activity with him so didn't get him all excited about it.
Anyway, I thought that if Jeremy and Jr. didn't get to do something special that night (so Nichole and I didn't get to do something special while they were gone), both kids and I could do something. Unfortunately it was one of those days where I wasn't able to plan something special. So... I figured they could have a special treat after dinner. I could do that.
Jr. helped me. Since we were going to use bananas with our treat, he helpfully took the stickers off the bananas and put them on his face.
Then I put together the treat. Purple and Rainbow Ice Cream (otherwise known as Rainbow Sherbet), slices of banana, peanuts, and chocolate chips.
The kids enjoyed... most of it. They both refused to eat the banana slices. Sigh. So, I got some extra bananas in mine.
And yes. I'm the mom. I can load up my treat if I want. And my bowl was smaller to begin with.
It was one of those days. Things started out fine for a while. Then afternoon/evening hit and things went downhill. I'm not going to go into all the details. Just a few things. Each of the kids and I took turns in tears. I lost it with Jr. and even though I felt guilty, I was frustrated enough that it took a while before I was able to go in to tell him I was sorry. I tell you though, prayer really does help. When you are frustrated with someone, whether it's someone in your own family (in my case, children- aaaargh) or someone else, you really can turn to the Lord to help you get over those feelings and help you ask for forgiveness (even if it takes a while to calm down) from the person you were frustrated with.
Anyway, by dinner and bedtime, the kids and I were getting along and I was even able to get some cute pictures of them dancing to a "Pajama Time" song.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, but I'm glad for how the end of the day turned out compared to the middle.
If we can't be in the Pacific Northwest right now, it's nice that we're only a 5-minute drive away from an easy hiking spot. Yesterday we headed up to Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove. With a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and two adults, it took us about an hour to hike up to the waterfall. Nichole made a game where every big rock she stepped on, she would lift her arms and her leg in the air and call out, "YES!" Whether she was holding our hand or not.
The mist from the waterfall felt so good. It reminded us of home.
I thought it would be fun to get some cute pictures of the kids while we were there. Nichole of course was the little model. Jr. of course decided that his poses must include his tongue sticking out.
It really is fun to get out and do family activities like this.
Yesterday, looking through the ads for the grocery store, I saw that a lot of good things were on sale- a lot of good things to be used for Mexican food. So to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we had food. Yum. And we had our friend, Nessa, over to eat with us. Yum. Fortunately, I was able to get good ingredients for making good food yesterday. Unfortunately, I was up with Jr. late last night because he said his ear hurt. Poor little guy. Fortunately, Jeremy got up earlier than me and started making the food this morning so I could sleep in. Unfortunately, the kids weren't being so easy on Daddy so I got up anyway.
All in all we had good food and fun. While I was still making the food, Nessa went through some Spanish vocabulary words with the kids. Nessa also brought over a Wii game- Samba de Amigo, where you shake maracas. We had some fun shaking maracas for Cinco de Mayo.
Jr. didn't quite get the rhythm thing, but he was sure cute.
Nessa and I had some fun playing at the same time.
Nichole wasn't interested in playing the Wii game, but she loved dancing to the music. She can see her reflection in the glass doors of our entertainment center and loves dancing while looking at herself.
In case you're wondering, this is what we made- taco salad, salsa, cilantro lime dressing, refried beans, and spanish rice. Yum.
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When I was younger, on May 1, I used to pick flowers on my way home from school to give to my mom. "Happy May Day," I would say. Since today is May Day and since it has been too long since the kids and I have done a craft together, I thought it would be really good if we did some sort of flower craft together. The kids liked that idea, too. So I went to familyfun.com and found a Mother's Day flower craft (I figured it would work for May Day, and we can keep it around for a week for me to enjoy on Mother's Day as well), and we did it together. And it was an easy one. The flowers were printable, Nichole colored the vase (Jr. colored one, too, but we haven't turned it into a vase yet), and both kids helped put the straws through the flowers.
And that is our other project in the background. Jr. and I made no bake cookies this afternoon.
So I hope you are all having a wonderful May Day, enjoying whatever flowers are around your area (even if they are made of paper).