Saturday, November 26, 2011

Choosing Priorities

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to work on finding balance. Part of finding balance is prioritizing, deciding what things need to be put first and what things can be sacrificed. Sister Beck, the General Relief Society President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talked about essential things, necessary things, and nice to do things (see my link above). There are times when some of those nice to do things must be sacrificed. As much as I like blogging, that is one of those things that has to be sacrificed from time to time. So do a lot of other things on the computer.
Yesterday, I sacrificed some of the necessary things, like laundry, in order to focus on something very essential- my relationship with my children.
It's vacation- Thanksgiving Break. Jeremy was out of town working all day so the kids and I had a day for us. Luckily, lunch and dinner were taken care of since we have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers. Making meals is one of those necessaries that takes up a lot of time for me, but not yesterday. After we got ready for the day, including scripture study and family prayer, we took turns picking activities to do together (although I admit during some of the activities the kids didn't need me for, I did some dishes), and had a full day of fun.

We painted mini pumpkins.

Before and After

Jr. Jr. really wanted to do what his brother and sister were doing so he got a dry paint brush and pumpkin and enjoyed getting to do the same thing.

We played Disney Junior, Wii, and Game Cube.

We read books.

We watched a movie.

There were other activities we did as well but I didn't get pictures of everything. And there were times between activities or when I was taking care of the baby that the older two kept themselves occupied.

At the end of the day, Nichole and Jr. fell asleep in my bed. Jr. Jr. had kind of a rough night, so I spent some time in my bed with the kids and some time holding the baby, trying to help him sleep.

It was a good family day (though we missed Jeremy).

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

Documentation of Thanksgivings past.

A repaired oven so we could cook a turkey.

Counting our blessings.

Easy crafts with children.
This Mayflower idea came from the November 2011 issue of FamilyFun Magazine. We didn't have a pint carton. We had a 64 oz carton. I couldn't find the black tissue paper. I could find the brown construction paper. This is what we came up with.

Craft paper and crayons and imagination.

FOOD! and lots of it.

A baby who ate more in this one meal than he did in the last few days since he hasn't been feeling well.

The pilgrims in the Mayflower and the monster truck from the future.

Pumpkin Pie.

A family Thankful Book (also from the November 2011 issue of FamilyFun Magazine).

Not getting a chance to blog on Thanksgiving because I was having a great time with my family.

many many more blessings that I get to experience EVERY day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Slumber Party!!!!!

Thanksgiving Break. Nichole doesn't have any school today so she could sleep in. Jeremy didn't have work yesterday evening so he could stay home. What we normally have going on Tuesdays was canceled because of Thanksgiving Break so we all had a free evening. What did we do?


We ate pizza, pop, and popcorn.

Watched some Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials.
Read "The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks."

Danced to

Played some Wii and Game Cube games.
Played Uno and Candyland (and counted the time toward the Million Minute Family Challenge).

And put the kids on the floor in sleeping bags to fall asleep to Harry Potter (the first movie- it's the most tame).

It was a good family evening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

KAT's Kreation

Have I mentioned? Last Summer I was released as a Sunbeam teacher and called as the Primary chorister. And even though I've been in Primary for almost two years now, I had never participated in the Primary Program in our ward. I was called to Primary after the program two years ago.
Last year, I barely missed it because Jr. Jr. came along a few days before. Thank goodness for people who volunteered to step in and help with the Sunbeams during the program in case I couldn't be there.
This year, I did get to be a part of the Primary Program. I was able to help the children share their testimonies through music, and they did sooooo well. I thought the whole program went well.
And since the Primary children did so well and had worked so hard learning those songs, practicing week after week to get ready for the program, I thought it would be a nice break for them to have a week of just fun.
No practicing program songs, just singing fun songs, some that had their own actions and some that we could do special things with.
One of the sisters I visit teach suggested making a turkey with feathers that had songs listed on them, so that's what I did (once again, the benefits of home and visiting teaching).

Scissors + construction paper + paper plates + glue + crayon + sharpie + pencil + tape = Fun for Primary kids.

They did have fun. The orange feathers had fun Primary songs listed on them. If the song had it's own actions (like Popcorn Popping or Once There Was a Snowman), we did those. If they didn't have their own, a child would pick a yellow feather which had instructions on it, such as turn around every time you sing a certain word (you should have seen us on Give Said the Little Stream turning around every time we sang the word "Give." Do you realize how many "Gives" there are close together in that song?)
The feathers were just taped on so I was able to stick them back on between Senior and Junior Primary's sharing times.

I'm glad it turned out like it did.
Now to get to work on Christmas songs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

William Tell Day 2011

Friday, November 18, was William Tell Day. How did we celebrate?
Jr. woke up that morning and came into the kitchen. In his sleepy voice he asked, "Mom, what day is it today?"
"It's Friday," I told him.
He replied, "No. What holiday is it?"
So I checked the calendar, as I hadn't been thinking about a particular holiday (I was too concerned with the guy coming to put a new heating element in our oven, which he did. Hurray!).
"Oh. It's William Tell Day."
"So what food are we going to eat?" he asked.
Ah ha. Apparently there is a lot of food eating associated with our celebrating. Our son has come to expect it. Well, this was an easy one.
So there was definitely apple eating. How else did we celebrate?
Nichole took an apple to her school teacher.
There was dancing by Mommy to the short version of the William Tell Overture (no picture of that one), and we listened to the long version (12 minutes and 13 seconds)

in the car on the way to get our Thanksgiving turkey from Stokes Market in Salem, Utah, whose logo happens to be an apple.
This was Jr. Jr.'s reaction to the music.

Jeremy built a large apple out of balloons for the Stokes Market grand opening a few weeks ago.

It was still hanging there when we got to the market, not looking as plump as it originally did in this picture.
We also celebrated by having an archery contest on the Wii, though in the original legend William Tell used a crossbow and not a bow and arrow to shoot an apple off his son's head.
We had fun and Jr. Jr. even joined in.

Sometimes it's nice to know you can celebrate simply. The best thing is doing it together.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade Pizza and Homemade Bread

Saturday, November 12, was Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day. I had such plans. We love doing homemade pizza and thought it would be fun to have a variety, including pizzas with more than one style of toppings on each. Here's what we managed before the bottom heating element of our oven went out:

Pizza #1 All red sauce, half pepperoni and olive, half ham and pineapple, all mozzarella cheese
Pizza #2 All alfredo sauce, one quarter meatball, one quarter meatball and red pepper, one quarter chicken and ham, one quarter chicken and ham and red pepper, all mozzarella cheese and maybe some parmesan cheese.

It was taking so long to bake the second pizza and we had just had taco pizza a few days before, that I decided two pizzas was the limit that night. I finally realized that the reason the second was taking so long was that the bottom heating element was broken.

Let's hope it gets fixed by Thanksgiving. We'd love turkey and pumpkin pie.

Today, November 17, is Homemade Bread Day. Did I mention our oven's broken? Kind of hard to make homemade bread with a broken oven. Oh well. I'll just show you what we did a couple week's ago. Jr. and I made a cream cheese braid. Yumm. And Jr. did most of the braiding. Nice for a 4 year old isn't it? We used the Pantry Secrets dough that I like making.

The recipe is also from Pantry Secrets. The filling was cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with some strawberry jam on top. Yumm.
I do look forward to when we can make homemade bread again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The KAT's Meow

Nichole (coming in with her shirt on backward): Look what I did.
Mommy: I see your pajamas are backwards.
Nichole: Only the top.
Mommy: You're silly.
Nichole: I know. Just like Daddy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Combining Holidays

Sometimes two holidays fall on the same day, or a holiday and someone's birthday. It's a great excuse to combine celebrations. September 13th was National Peanut Day and International Chocolate Day. Great excuse for our version of peanut buster parfaits. Yumm.

Today, November 8th is Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day. It's also Bram Stoker's Birthday. Bram Stoker wrote the book, Dracula, so the obvious choice for something bold and pungent is garlic. So we had garlic bread with our dinner. Also yumm.

It's so fun finding reasons to celebrate. And finding ways to celebrate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hug A Bear Day 2011

It's Hug A Bear Day today, November 7th. I thought, "I can do a simple blog post for this one. All I have to do is put a picture of the kids hugging teddy bears on the blog and title it, 'Happy Hug A Bear Day.' That'll work."
The two oldest were absolutely in favor of it. So I took some pictures of them.

Then we added Jr. Jr. I don't think he quite got that it was Hug A Bear Day. For him it was more Chuck A Bear Day.

It really entertained the older kids, though. So we got to celebrate this holiday with laughter and silliness.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Catch of the Day

Don't you love it when children show an interest and want to be involved in what their parents do?