Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dancing with Birds

April 29 is International Dance Day.  We spent the day birding with some dancing thrown in.
We went to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.  There were birds... and there was dancing.
 Jr. didn't want to dance but demonstrated what it is like when you've danced too much.

We went to Golden Spike National Historic Site.  There were birds... and there was dancing... and rabbits.
Jr. has been learning a lot about Utah history this year so this was pretty neat to visit a place that has an important part in Utah's history.

We went North searching for short-eared owls.  There were birds... and Jeremy and I were doing a happy dance on the inside when we found short-eared owls.
Good birding and good dancing day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pretzels and Plays

April 26 is National Pretzel Day.  Lucky and I (Jeremy helped) made homemade pretzels to eat while watching The Jungle Book as a family. 
We watched it for Family Home Evening tonight since we weren't able to have FHE on Monday.  The reason?  Jeremy, Jr. Jr., Lucky, and I went to watch Nichole and Jr. in their performance of the play, The Jungle Book.  They both did such a good job.  It was fun to watch.  Tuesday, they performed again and Jeremy went to watch it again.  I stayed home with Jr. Jr. and Lucky.  Monday night, Lucky came down with something unpleasant and he was resting and recovering Tuesday evening.
Jr. played a crocodile- part of the jungle chorus.  Nichole played part of Kaa the snake.  We couldn't get a picture of her in her full costume since she's attached to 5 other people, but it was awesome.
This was Jr.'s first time doing the school play.  He did such a good job- he was very enthusiastic in his singing and dancing.  Nichole continued to do an awesome job with her second school play.  Last year she was in Aladdin.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jelly Beans!

April 22.  National Jelly Bean Day.  Read a book while eating jelly beans?  Why, yes we will.  Thank you very much.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dance Party!

The library's reading ideas calendar had this for today:  "Play music and dance to the beat.  Stop the music and have your child freeze."  The kids and I did this tonight and we had a blast.  We put on several songs and they were pretty good most of the time about freezing when the music stopped.  Sometimes they were laughing and making so many sounds that they couldn't hear when the music stopped, but it was still fun.
I love at home dance parties.
By the way, we did read some books later as well.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Breaking at a National Park

April 7 of our Spring Break was National No Housework Day.  We left home behind and spent the day at Zion National Park.  The kids were real troopers getting up so early in the morning and getting home so late at night.  Since Jr. is in 4th grade this year, he was able to get a special pass which lets him and his family get into national parks for free.  Woohoo.
We did some hiking, some birding, some shuttle riding.  It was great.
We saw lots of cacti and Jr. Jr. had so much fun pointing out every time he saw a cactus.  "There's some cacti."  "There's more cacti."  "There's more cacti."

A highlight for Jeremy and me- seeing a pair of California Condors.  Wow.  That would be the rarest bird we've ever seen.  At one point the total population of California Condors in the world was 22 individuals.  With conservation efforts, that population has grown to over 400.  They are still endangered, but we were able to see two at Zion.
It really was a great trip.  The kids had fun (though you can't always tell from the pictures).

The adults had fun as well.  Good family time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Garlic Day 2017

April 19 is Garlic Day.  
Garlic bread?  Spaghetti with "cheese and garlic" spaghetti sauce?  Why not?
Eating with your fingers instead of a fork?  Why not?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Animal Crackers in my Trap

April 18.  National Animal Crackers Day and it's Hayley Mills' Birthday.  What better way to celebrate than by eating animal crackers while watching The Parent Trap.

April 18 is also National Velociraptor Awareness Day- just so you're aware.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter Egg Hunt

April 17 is Blah Blah Blah Day.  With dinner we had what we call "Blah Blah Blah" which is apples with peanut butter and honey.  In fact, we had some "roasted peanuts and honey" peanut butter in our pantry so we used that.  Yumm.
After dinner we had our Easter Family Home Evening including an Easter egg hunt.  While waiting for Jeremy to help the Easter Bunny, the kids and I read books in the kids' room.  The suggestion from the Orem Library's reading activity calendar for today was to "listen to classical music today while you read to your child."  Jr. read to the little boys while I held the CD player and speakers.  We put on Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite" so the kids could hear "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King."  That piece was a special request when we were talking about this activity coming up.
At dinner, Jr. Jr. suggested we save some of our carrots and put them out for the Easter Bunny.  That was so thoughtful of him.  During the hunt, Jr. Jr. noticed that the carrots had been eaten when he found one of his eggs in the bowl.
The kids had a good time but Lucky had a hard time opening his eggs.  This should be a good thing so he doesn't get into the candy too much, but he found he could open them by throwing them on the floor so they split open.  Unfortunately this meant that the candy scattered everywhere.  After a while, he allowed me to help him open them.
We had a good time this evening.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Church was great.  Nichole sang a solo with the choir and did a wonderful job.  It was so beautiful.  A friend of mine and her mom also did a musical number in Sacrament Meeting.  It was also so beautiful.  One of our bishopric members gave a talk and talked about peace.  There were definitely moments of peace today.  So wonderful.  I had one moment when we got home from church- I watched everyone else go inside and I just had a wonderful feeling of love for the members of my family.  I took the time to say a little prayer of thanks for that moment.  I am so grateful for it.

Dinner was great, too.  We had lots of food.  Plenty of leftovers.  Woohoo.  A few of the kids helped with making dinner.  They are wonderful.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Jeremy and Nichole had a daddy-daughter date yesterday and Jr. and I had a mother-son date this evening.
Jeremy and Nichole went to a book signing for Brandon Mull's new book, "Dragonwatch."  He's one of our favorite authors. 
This evening Jr. and I snuggled on the couch while watching a movie and eating brownies (I didn't take any pictures, though).
Jeremy took the other kids out while we were watching our movie and he did take pictures of them.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


One of the days of Spring Break was National Read a Roadmap Day, April 5.  Jeremy signed up to participate in a study/survey of short-eared owls so we all got to go with him that day.
The survey is known as "Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study" or "WAFLS."  It is to help track short-eared owl populations in a few different states.  We were given an area.  We made a route to follow roads in that area and made several stops to get out and look around for short-eared owls.  We did use our handy dandy road map printed off the computer for the survey.  It was great to celebrate the holiday that way.
Before we started the survey, we drove the route backward to write down habitats for each of our stops- grassland or agricultural area, things like that.  Then we stopped at our starting point to let everyone out to run around for a little while and gather our on-the-road dinner from the cooler and bags in the trunk. 
It would be too hard to get everyone out at each stop, so the kids stayed in the van reading books in a silly manner to each other and eating their food and snacks.  Jeremy and I stepped just outside the van so we could look around.  We took turns with the clipboard and with the binoculars and camera at each area.

At our second to last stop, Jeremy did see a short-eared owl but just through the binoculars.  We weren't able to get any pictures of it.  Then another bird flew across the road and away from us, but we weren't able to identify it.  It may have been a short-eared owl, but it could have been something else.  Oh well.  We saw plenty of other birds, though.

Before we left home for the WAFLS survey, Jeremy made waffles for us and had each of us in the family fill out our own Waffles Survey.
click on it to see it larger
Jeremy saw a short-eared owl, we saw lots of ground squirrels, but no short-eared owls eating ground squirrels nor ground squirrels eating waffles nor short-eared owls eating ground squirrels in the process of eating waffles.
When Jeremy mentioned that we ate waffles before heading out and that he did see a short-eared owl, the project leader in our area told everyone to eat waffles before they go out again to improve their mojo.  There weren't a lot of short-eared owls to be found in Utah the first time around.
WAFLS requires us to go out again through the same route on a different day to see if there are any differences.  We'll be eating waffles again before we go out.  I still want to see a definite short-eared owl.

On a different note, the next day, April 6, was the anniversary of the invention of the Twinkie.  The kids went over to the home of friends and their mom, my good friend, had bought Twinkies for them to have to celebrate.