Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sneak Peek

I mentioned Jeremy had BIG plans for celebrating this week.  This is why we didn't celebrate much for Hobbit Day.

Out of balloons, Jeremy built a room from Bag End (Bilbo Baggins' home from The Hobbit) in our living room.  It took him about three days to build and was displayed for about two after that.
Above is a sneak peek picture.
You can find another on my post about Happy Goose Day 2012.
More will be revealed later.  Bwah ha ha ha.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Goose Day 2012

Another one of those simple celebrating holidays.  September 29, Happy Goose Day.  My silly gooses and I played Duck, Duck, Goose, and sat down by the "fireplace" to read Mother Goose Rhymes.

Friday, September 28, 2012

October Holidays Coming Up

October.  Month of Halloween.  And apparently, most of our October celebrating before now has been for Halloween.  Here are links to how we've celebrated in the past.

October 6-7 is LDS General Conference
October 3, 2011- My Favorite Parts of General Conference

October 6 is Mad Hatter Day. 10/6.  We haven't celebrated this one specifically in the past.  But we did build Wonderland out of balloons at the Orem Library a couple years ago.  Included was the Mad Hatter with a removable hat that Jeremy was able to use during his juggling/magic show.

October 29 is National Oatmeal Day
October 29, 2011- National Oatmeal Day 2011

October 31 is Halloween
October 30, 2009- Catch of the Day
November 2, 2009- Trunk or Treat
November 6, 2009- Halloween Perks
November 13, 2009- Scarecrows
November 16, 2009- Fall Decorations
November 17, 2009- Pumpkins
October 14, 2010- Halloween Costumes 2010
November 3, 2010- Back to Business as Usual
October 31, 2011- Halloween Costumes 2011

Jr. Jr.'s Birthday is also coming up in October
October 28, 2010- Jr. Jr.- May be called "The Baby"

For more reasons to celebrate in October, check out our Calendar of Celebration on The Balloon Guy's Blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The KAT's Meow

Mommy: Jr. Jr., can you tell Jr. thank you for sharing his toys with you?
(Jr. Jr. nods)
Jr. Jr.: You're welcome.
Jr.: Thank you.

(Jr. coughs)
Daddy:  Sorry about your cough, Jr.
Jr.:  I forgive you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shel Silverstein's Birthday... with Friends

September 25th is Shel Silverstein's Birthday.  Shel Silverstein wrote the book, The Giving Tree.  In it, a tree does things for a boy throughout his life.  One of the things is giving the boy apples. 
We got together with friends for dinner.  We had apples in our jello salad and apples dipped in caramel for dessert.  Yummm.

It was fun to get together with these friends.  I love how easily our kids play together- it's that instant friend thing.

And now that this quick blog post about how we celebrated Shel Silverstein's birthday is over, I'm going to read The Giving Tree to my kids before bed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

National Bluebird of Happiness Day 2012

September 24th is National Bluebird of Happiness Day.  I had the question, "What is the bluebird of happiness?" when this day started.  I'd heard references to it before.  "Where happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow..." from the Wizard of Oz is one of those.

Even though we didn't let Jr. watch the Wizard of Oz today, he did get to look and sing along with a musical Wizard of Oz book.

But I still didn't know what the bluebird of happiness was.  Enter the internet.  Wikipedia gave me an idea and actually directed us to a movie we checked out of the library to watch for our Family Home Evening activity.
A 1940 Shirley Temple film called, "The Blue Bird."  In it, a little girl is unhappy.  She's not rich, yet she has two loving parents and a little brother, a dog, and a cat, a roof over her head and food to eat.  But she thinks it's not enough.  She complains about the things she doesn't have.  She and her little brother go searching for the blue bird because the blue bird means happiness.  They search all over, but don't find it.  Even in the "land of luxury" where there are all the things she used to wish for, the little girl doesn't find true happiness.  She misses all the good things she has at home, how her daddy would read to her and give her bedtime kisses.  When the children return home, they find that the blue bird was there the whole time.  And that is where the little girl learned to look for happiness.
Hey, we would have gotten the same message if we had watched the Wizard of Oz after all.

A good message.  And what did my children learn?
Jr.: I would like a blue bird for a pet.
Nichole: I'd like a hummingbird.

Actually, I think they get it.  We talk a lot in our family about being happy and grateful for things we have.  And our kids are good at getting excited about things.
For example:

Nichole was so excited because of the holiday to show me that one of her spelling words this week is "bird."

And now that the older kids are in bed, Jeremy and I are going to celebrate National Punctuation Day (also September 24) by watching Victor Borge's routine, "Phonetic Punctuation," where he reads a paragraph from a book and every punctuation mark he comes to he emphasizes it with a sound. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

National Checkers Day 2012

September 23 is National Checkers Day. 
Guess what we did to celebrate.  That's right.  We played checkers.  And with four people able to play a two player game, there were numerous games to be played. 
Daddy vs. Mommy, Jr. vs. Daddy, Jr. vs. Nichole, Daddy vs. Nichole, etc. etc.

 Jr. was very pleased (but not prideful) to win his first game against Daddy.
And Daddy made popcorn for us to eat while playing and watching each others' games.  He said, "It's about time I made popcorn while the kids are actually up."  Too often he pops popcorn after the kids have gone too bed and we take time to sit down and watch a movie together.

This was a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon activity.
Nichole and Jr. even took some time to do some painting when Jeremy and I were playing our first game.  Which is another relaxing Sunday afternoon activity.
And Jr. Jr. took a nap.  Another relaxing Sunday afternoon activity.  I should take one of those sometime.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Organization- A Reason to Celebrate

O.K.  So today, September 22, is the Autumnal Equinox.  We already celebrated by going out to enjoy the Fall colors last week .  Today, September 22, is also Hobbit Day.  The kids and I celebrated just a little.  I showed them a few select parts of The Lord of the Rings movies (nothing too scary).  Just a couple parts in the Shire "concerning hobbits."  Jeremy's got BIG plans to celebrate next week.

So what did I do today?
Something that has been on my To Do list for a long time.

Organized our pantry.

Here are some reasons why this is worth celebrating:
We can now close our pantry doors and I will no longer trip on things or have to step over things to get items out.

There are no longer random pantry items in various places in the apartment.

This project is no longer consuming so much of my thoughts and time and space that I can now focus on getting other things clean and organized enough for Jeremy's BIG project next week.

So we're all set... until the next time we go shopping.

Friday, September 21, 2012

If You Were To Build a Time Machine...

what would it look like?

To celebrate H.G. Wells' birthday, September 21, I gave my children that challenge.  H.G. Wells wrote the novel, The Time Machine, so I asked them, "If you were to build a time machine, what would it look like?"

Jr.'s picture of his looks very much like a clock.

Nichole built two kinds.

We ran out of time today, but we plan to take one of Nichole's models for a test drive sometime soon.  We get to pretend like someone is going back in time to when I was a kid.

On a different note, before bed tonight Jr. requested to look at a Where's Waldo? book.  He told me, "because it's Waldo's birthday."  That kid pays attention.  Jeremy and I were mentioning to each other how this year is the 25th anniversary of when the first Where's Waldo? book was introduced in 1987 and Jr. caught on to that and wanted to celebrate.

Today is also International Peace Day.  Jr. heard me mention it at breakfast and got excited to tear off a "piece" of his zucchini bread to show me.

Whew.  Busy day for celebrating.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

National Punch Day 2012

It's amazing what kinds of things will spark meaningful conversation with your children.  During lunch today, I was sitting down with the boys as they were enjoying their Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Jammers.  We were discussing how today, September 20, is National Punch Day (hence the Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Jammers).  Jr. and I were discussing how if the conditions were right (meaning the kids are using good behavior, everyone does their homework, and there's enough time), Nichole and Jr. would be able to play LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean on the Wii later (because some of the characters punch each other and it's National Punch Day).  Then Jr. and I got into a discussion about how different families allow different things in their homes.  There are some families who wouldn't allow their children to play that game because it has punching in it.  And that's fine.  There are other games that I wouldn't let my children play, but I'm comfortable with the Wii LEGO games.  Everything is made of Lego pieces so when something or someone gets destroyed, they just fall to pieces.  And the kids know that even if characters punch each other in the game, we shouldn't do that in real life.  So Jr. and I had a nice little discussion about some of these things.  Every home and family is different, but it's important that our children know what is and what is not acceptable in our home.  I also won't let Nichole and Jr. watch the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, at their age, though I know some other families who do.  But I will explain to the kids what's going on in the game because it's based on the movies and I have seen the movies.  In fact, Jeremy and I watched the first one last night to round out Talk Like a Pirate Day, even though we did our big celebrating early.

P.S.  As I was writing this post, Jr. called to me from the other room where he was reading.  He pointed out to me in the book where one of the characters playfully punched another in the arm.  National Punch Day!  Woohoo.

Jeremy and I have talked about when our kids get older and they realize that not everybody celebrates so many holidays.  I wonder how many people will start celebrating more because of our children's influence.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

National Play-Doh Day 2012

O.K.  National Play-Doh Day.  Some people say it's September 16th every year.  Some people say it's September 18th every year.  I say, what a great excuse for me to finally make the edible playdough I'd been wanting to for a long time.  I got a recipe for peanut butter playdough from the site, Our Best Bites.  And we had fun.

Some things I like about edible playdough:

It's really easy.

I'm not afraid to let my littlest play with it.

The kids are allowed to eat it.

And I can even join in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day Observed 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day is on September 19th, but we are going to be too busy that day to celebrate how we would like, so for Family Home Evening on Monday, we had Talk Like a Pirate Day Observed.  This holiday is a big deal for us.  We don't do the simple, quick celebrating for it like we do with some holidays.  We really get into it.
 And put a lot of work into it.

Three years ago was when we really started getting into this holiday.  I blogged about it in 2009.

Last year, we added some more fun.  I blogged about it on September 19th and a few days later.

Some of the activities have really become tradition as the kids have come to expect them.  Jeremy always builds a pirate ship out of our couch with a PVC mast and material hanging from it as a sail and an upside down unicycle for the helm.  We also always have a balloon cannon.  This year it didn't work as well.  I think it got bumped too many times.  Oh well.  We still had fun with our balloon sword fight.

For dinner this year, we had squid dogs and carrot hooks and ketchup and grape juice.  The kids wanted the squid legs to be pink so we squirted some red food coloring into the water and it worked really well. 

I was the galley cook who dished out the food.  Arrrr.

For Family Home Evening Treat, Jeremy made skull and crossbones cupcakes for us.

Jeremy put together a treasure hunt for the kids.  The clues were very clever and they did a really good job figuring them out.  As they figured out clues, they earned gold dubloons (like in Jake and the Neverland Pirates from Disney Junior, for those of you with little kids).

The first clue came as a message in a bottle.  At the end, the treasure was a bunch more dubloons and the game, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean for the Wii. 

And earlier in the day, as Jeremy, Jr. Jr., and I were getting ready, we put on some pirate music and worked and danced.

And after school Jr. used a piratey pencil while he worked on homework.

And of course through it all, we had fun talking like pirates.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Piratey Post

Ye be lookin' for a family, though bears they may be, they do have a problem eating healthy foods while living in their tree.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Collect Rocks Day 2012

September 16th is Collect Rocks Day.  We did all our rock collecting yesterday while we were hiking.

If you want to see some cool things you can do with the rocks that you collect, check out my brother and sister-in-law's Tidal Art blog.

Did you know you could create such art by balancing rocks?  Cool, isn't it?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

And Sometimes You Don't Combine Them

September 15 is Agatha Christie's Birthday.  It is also Make a Hat Day.  If I really tried, I could combine the two.  You know I could.  But we had other plans.  So I did celebrate both, just not together.

This morning found me starting to read Agatha Christie's Autobiography.  I'd been meaning to read it again for years and today was the perfect excuse to start.

This afternoon/evening found me hiking with my family at Big Springs to look at the Fall colors.
 Remember, click on the pictures to see them bigger
Since it's early enough (Autumnal Equinox is a week away), but not too early (we didn't want to miss the colors), we were able to see green, yellow, orange, and red leaves, some of them on the same tree.  That was cool.

We didn't get to go there to see the Fall colors last year, so the last time we did was when I was pregnant with Jr. Jr.  I went a lot faster when he was still in me.  That boys loves to play in the dirt and throw rocks.  There were so many times I had to go back and pick him up and carry him to catch up with the others because he would just stay in one spot playing in the dirt and throwing the rocks.

But you wanted to know about Make a Hat Day, right?  I started with an idea from the September 2012 FamilyFun Magazine.  In a section about family hiking, it suggests putting a loop of packing tape (sticky side out) around someone's wrist, then they can stick the treasures they find along the way to it.  I thought that was a fun idea, but since it was Make a Hat Day, I thought it would be nice for the kids to stick things to a hat instead of a bracelet.  Now, I didn't just stick a loop of packing tape around their heads.  That might be a little uncomfortable.  Since we picnicked at the park before going hiking, I took unused paper plates, cut out the inside part and stuck the remaining loop on the kids' heads.  You would be amazed at how much those kids liked those "hats."  They all kept them on the whole time (even Jr. Jr.).

Nichole and Jr. Jr. were both content with the hats as they were, but Jr. liked it when I added some of the treasures he found to his hat.

Nichole enjoyed collecting rocks in a bucket (we only let her keep three at the end) and Jr. Jr. was happy to throw rocks or add them to Nichole's bucket.

Did I mention he likes playing in the dirt?
Unfortunately at one point, he was going too quickly downhill, tripped, and ate it... literally.  I don't think he minds getting dirt all over his face, but not in his mouth.
I'd say celebrating Agatha Christie's Birthday today was successful.  I'd also say that celebrating Make a Hat Day today was successful.