Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Just For Guacamole

While making guacamole to go with our traditional New Year's Eve nachos, Jeremy mentioned that you can put an avocado pit in water and let it grow. So I looked up this website about different science experiments you can do at home and growing an avocado tree is #2 on the list (counting down from 10).
So Jeremy set it up.

The kids helpfully looked on.

And now we have an avocado pit sitting on our windowsill waiting to grow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: Mom, what does s-p-a-g-h-e-t-t-i spell?
Mommy: Spaghetti.
Nichole: What does f-a-c
Mommy: f-a-c-t-o-r-y? Factory. The Spaghetti Factory.
Nichole: The Old Spaghetti Factory.
Mommy: Right. The Old Spaghetti Factory.
Nichole: Why is it old spaghetti?

Daddy: Jr., would you give our blessing?
Jr.: I need some help.
Nichole: I can help.
Daddy: Would you like Nichole to help you?
Jr.: No, I need a grownup to do it.
Daddy: Do you want me to say the prayer?
Jr.: No, I need a grownup to help me say it.
Daddy: Can I help you say it?
Jr.: No, I can do it myself.

Jr. proceeds to say the prayer.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

The milk and cookies have been set out with cards from Nichole and Jr. Now we just have to wait until the kids are asleep before Santa will come. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Polar Express Party

Last year I mentioned that one of our Christmas traditions is watching the Polar Express movie and drinking hot chocolate. This year on the last day of school before the holiday break, Nichole's kindergarten class had a Polar Express party. They read the book, did a few activities, and even had their own tickets to ride the train. A few days before the party Nichole was convinced that she was going to get to go to the real North Pole. We had to explain to her that going to the North Pole was just pretend. It would take too long to get there and it was too far to do during school. They would pretend and just stay in the classroom.
Jeremy volunteered to premake Christmas balloon animals (by animals I just mean little sculptures in general- there were trees, reindeer, snowmen, Santas, and elves) for Nichole's class. He also built a 5 foot balloon train for the party and stayed to help out.

Nichole's teacher got to take the train home.

We decided to have our own Polar Express party the next day. That morning Jeremy made eggs and bread shaped like the front of a train.

Since we had to rearrange the pieces of the couch to fit our balloon Christmas tree anyway,

we set them up like a booth on the train with a table to hold our hot chocolate. Jeremy read the book then we watched the movie while drinking hot chocolate of course.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Light of Christmas

Last year we started a new tradition. We watched lights that danced to music. Check out my blog post about it from last year- December 2, 2009. It was a nice easy family activity as it was only 10-15 minutes from where we live. This year they held it at a different place which was even closer- less than 10 minutes away.

So we combined going to see the dancing lights with driving around looking at Christmas lights. Jr. had fun saying, "It's a miracle," about the different lights we saw. It was so cute.
Since we could see the Mount Timpanogos Temple in the distance a number of times while we were looking at Christmas lights, Nichole really wanted us to drive to the temple that night. So we ended the night by going to look at the temple. In our advent scripture study, we'd been talking a lot about angels appearing to people telling about the birth of Jesus (both before and after he was born). While looking at the angel Moroni on the temple, we explained how he was the one who told Joseph Smith where to find the gold plates to translate into the Book of Mormon. And what is the Book of Mormon about? The kids knew the right answer- Jesus.

It felt really good to end the evening like that. Whose birth do we celebrate this time of year? Then why not visit His house as part of our celebrating?

Monday, December 20, 2010

This is my blog post

But I didn't post it.

And neither did he, though he does look suspiciously happy about something...

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Santa came to our ward Christmas party again this year. Jeremy did not make balloon animals as Santa's helper this time. He did take our kids to sit on Santa's lap, though.

I wasn't on the activities committee this time so I just sat back and enjoyed the party... and my new baby.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The KAT's Meow

Jeremy: Caesar Augustus told the people to go to their ancestral homes to be...?
Jr.: Taxis!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Joy Is...

Watching your children go sledding down a big hill then watching them bring the sled back up to do it all over again.

Joy is also watching your husband help them with their sledding.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Advent Fun

We decided to take the kids out to see some sheep after reading about the shepherds watching over their flocks. We knew of a place that had sheep out in a field, so we planned that on the day we read that set of shepherd scriptures we'd bundle all the kids up, get them in the car, and make the story a little more personal.

As we drove up past the fields we noticed something. No sheep. They had been moved to a little pen just behind the owner's house. We did what we could though and parked in a nearby church parking lot. We took the kids across the street and had them peek around the fence at the distant sheep.

In the end I'm not sure how powerful it was for the kids, but it sure felt nice getting out as a family. And the kids enjoyed getting out and running around a bit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quick, Hide Your Red Nose

From time to time Jeremy is given a theme to work with but not a specific sculpture that someone wants. He loves those opportunities because he always has ideas of things he wants to build. This was one of those- some sort of Christmas themed sculpture. Remind you of anyone? (and don't say your little brother)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More About the Advent

And... I'm back. O.K. So last year I wrote about our advent activities every day. This year... obviously I'm not doing that, so I'll just be doing normal blog stuff. As far as our advent countdown is going... it is. It's going well. Every day we ask the kids some questions about previous discussions. We find that day's skewer and read and discuss the scripture that goes along with it. We ask the kids more questions about what we discussed that day and if they've done well, they get a mint M&M. There was only one day when Jr. didn't get one. He was too distracted and kept doing what we told him not to do and got sent to his room. It was also the day when we decided to do our scripture reading in Mom and Dad's room instead of at the table (I wasn't feeling very well that day and was resting, and Jr. thought it was more fun to bounce on the bed than participate). We learned our lesson.
We're quite pleased with how it is going and Jeremy is already excited to prepare a countdown to Easter. It's great motivation to keep up with our family scripture study as there is something specific for each day, and we see that our children can actually get something out of it when we review what we'd learned previously.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We're making a whole advent out of it!

You might remember that last year we tried to do an advent calendar, complete with little balloon numbers for the kids to discover and things for us to do each day. Click here if you want to see some of what we did.

This year we want to be careful to put even more focus on Christ, so while we are again doing an advent calender, this year it is connected to our family scripture study. Each day we pull a little bamboo skewer from a vase filled with mint holiday M&Ms. On the skewer is that day's date and a set of scriptures. It could be prophesies of Christ's birth from the Old Testament or ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon. It could be watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional or it could be reading about the events surrounding Christ's birth from the four Gospels. The point is they all center around Christ.

Each day after we finish reading, and maybe doing an associated activity, the children have a chance to tell us what they learned and get in return a mint M&M. A little motivation never hurts.