Friday, December 30, 2011

A Few Holidday Books for December

The Christmas Shoes by Donna Van Liere -This book was a fun read to get the Christmas spirit. It was sad and yet happy in the end. I think the parallel stories were kind of cool and then seeing them weave together was special.

A Red Herring Without Mustard (flavia sereis #3) by Alan Bradley

Another great mystery. I love the chemistry and poisons used in this book. I never suspected the killer...
My favorite part is how this little girl can be so grown up in her thoughts yet so delicate in her 11 year old way. She really misses her mom and her sisters are so mean. She is so smart she ranked right up there with the great detectives like Sherlock Holmes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Hyde Park has a skate night each December at the ice ring to collect canned goods for the local food pantry. My children look forward to it each year! They are all pretty good skaters for their age. Jill uses a skaters walker but she can get along pretty good. Here they all are being silly and making a train.
Peter was off with his friends and he can skate backwards and forwards. I think it was all the rollerblading he did in the driveway instead of homeschooling last year.

Mike came too and held the sleepy baby then he woke up very grumpy. Lucy fell and slid on her nose and lips. A nice neighbor picked her up and took her to the nurses room for them to clean off all the blood, there was a lot of blood. She sat out with an  ice pack the rest of the time because her nose was red and sore.

Finally Edmund was happy enough to go out in the stroller for a fun slide around the rink.
Go Go Jill!
Yes even I skated! Someday I hope to play Women's Hockey all winter long! It would be a great workout.

Secret Santa Surprises

I went to my at my mom's house a few days before Christmas. I drove the truck and since I had lots of space in the back I threw in the old chair Mike likes but the cover was ruined about 6 years ago. He had mentioned just the other day it would be a nice Christmas present if it was covered. This project was put off for years and I just never had the right material to cover it. It was a very ugly chair with just an orange foam piece sitting on a frame. The kids kept picking at the foam so it looked scraggly and sick. Occasionally we would find a sneaky cat in the house curled up fast asleep in that old chair. It was out of sight out of mind down in the movie room so it was forgotten but not thrown out yet.
So I threw it in the back of the truck with the rest of the luggage and headed down to grandmas and my sister Danna's house was on the way. She said she might have a piece of upholstery material in her fabric collection that might fit over the chair. She did and we decided to try and covered it right then. 3 hours later and she fed us lunch too we had it covered. She did most of the work I just poked myself with a few pins and talked her ear off about this and that. When I got to my mom's house I brought it in and she just finished up a few more edges with her serger and it was done! I was so excited to surprise Mike. (you probably think it looks ugly but it is an improvement from what it looked like before, really, and not bad for a first attempt at covering it. The pillow was an extra nice touch, Thanks Danna!)

 While I was being sneaky someone else was cooking up a surprise of his own back at home!
When we returned from out of town the kids noticed right away random bows stuck all over the place. They pointed them out to me but I was confused.

Well, finally I got it. All the outlets were switched from the old original ones that were two pronged and upside down and the plugs always fell out because they were so loose to

Now that is sneaky. BUT WAIT THERE WERE MORE RANDOM BOWS! In the kitchen under the window, hmmm, I had no idea. He had to tell me, he plastered the wall where it needed patching. There used to be holes and cracks now it was smooth. Then in the bathroom there was a bow on the toilet. The toilet was still pink but the handle was a new shiny white! For the last month the toilet would run if you didn't jiggle the handle just right and sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night to water running and have to get up and go giggle the handle! Well no more! New handle and insides. In the downstairs bathroom the towel hanger that has been broken for a while also had a bow and was fixed good as new!
I was very happy with these home improvements but then....I found another bow! When I plugged the humidifier in I had to unplug it each morning and sometimes the little boy that shouldn't play with plugs and electricity would want to do it too. Now there was a new power strip there with an on and off button! Simple!
I was very glad to have all these home improvements and just when I thought there couldn't be more Mike pointed out one that I would never have found - Behind our bed there is a plug for the bedside lamp but it stuck out so far from the wall the bed had a big gap at the top where we would loose children and small toys. Now it had a flat plug and the bed could be moved closer to the wall! Brilliant!

I really should go out of town more often!

Merry Christmas Mike! I love you! I also got a Kindle but that was nothing compared to all the hidden surprises all around the house!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day!

 Christmas morning and Santa Came! We had to get to church at 8:30am so no one was allowed in the living room until 12:30 after church. Everyone was happy to open presents and spend time together on his Blesses day!
 Here are the kids that are ready to head to church!

 My little Christmas girls. They were on the Nice List and tried to be good all through church despite not having their dad there, he had a cold. I sang and then the primary children sang and the youth had a choir number too, Peter sand in that one. Susan missed it all because she was home being sick.
Finally we opened presents!

 Spatula City, home of the best Christmas gifts! Thanks Grandma!
" I have too many PJ's for Christmas and want more toys" Edmund was thinking.
" Doll house! We will play all day!" Lucy and Jill almost didn't want to finish the other presents when they discovered this.
 Poor pok-a-dots for Christmas girl. Her favorite gift this year was Benadryl. She had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was taking. Of course this happened on Christmas Eve  and everywhere was closed so luckily a few neighbors stepped up to give a blessing and find some medication for the itching.

 Her back looked even worse in the morning. The rash even covers her face and whole body.
She is doing much better and doesn't feel sick just looks a festive red.

We left the sick ones and the tired ones at home and went to Pam and Dan's for Christmas Dinner. Yum, Chinese Chicken Salad and Trifle. Sorry no pictures. Then we played our new scrabble game and a game called Blurt. Dan always won. It was still fun.

Christmas Eve!

We stopped in at Aunt Danna's and opened her presents there. Then we stayed for 3 hours and finished covering a chair for Mike for a Christmas surprise. 


 Grandma's house was so much fun. Aunt Marty stopped by to visit. Grandma made chocolates and treats and had a well stocked fridge with Chocolate milk. The kids thought they were on vacation, oh they were! We did rake a few leaves just so we could burn off some calories and energy. We also went to the Timpanogos  Temple and did baptisms for some relatives that have been waiting a long time. The kids and their grandpa and I had a great experience. Grandma made a ninja outfit for Lucy. She had it on her Christmas list with a mask. She looks a little scary. Happy Birthday Grandma Carol we had so much fun at your house!
This is the Brigham City Temple. It is our favorite and we keep an eye on it as it slowly progresses. The window are in and it has a roof. We can't wait for the open-house!

When we got home we made some food and headed over to Kami and Craigs to play with the cousins and eat Christmas Dinner.We had a little piano recital and the kids played on the computer. Mike and Susan were not feeling very well so they stayed home.

 My first attempt at a cheese ball. It wasn't exactly round but close enough. yum!
 The Jello gets a 2 out of 5 stars for appearance but a 5 for taste! Peter was helping me and didn't understand the importance of timing so the pomegranates didn't sink but just sat on the top because it had already set. That was pretty funny and we tried to poke them down with a spoon but they would just stay on the top. Then somehow they shifted in the fridge very quietly when no one was looking. :)
 Don't forget a few veggies. We also had 4 other jello salads and a green bean casserole plus three pies.
 Slushy juice, delicious! Cranberry pomegranate salsa. Very interesting and yummy.
 Mini cheese cakes with pomegranate! They didn't last long.
 Funeral potatoes and homemade rolls! I could have just eaten this all night long!
Such a fun Christmas Eve. Pam and family were there too! Oh, and Kami's parents and aunt and uncle.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Piano Recitals

The girls have been practicing Christmas music for their recitals. They both really took this seriously. First we had a FHE/recital at the neighbors home. Everyone did great. Other family members could share talents too and Peter sang Oh Holy Night A Capella with me. It was fun. Lucy played a solo piece and a duet. I got to play that with her. Then Jill was going to recite a poem about Baby Jesus but she was too shy. Edmund got right up on the piano seat and played a little song. Everyone clapped and he jumped back down and ran to sit on his dads lap. Susan's recital was at a rest home. All the residents were invited and all the families. She was really nervous but did a great job. Here is a picture of her. I will post a video later.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Jill my youngest daughter is 5. She loves to dance. A homeschool mother offered a class for one day a week for just 4 weeks for $15. The mom is a long time ballet dancer and now she has a little girl of her own so she wanted to expose her to a ballet class. (the mom is about 5 months pregnant and so in shape!) Mainly it was to help little dancers have a taste of what a real class would be like with following directions and learning the names of the positions and moves that are basic and doing some stretches. It was all the way past Providence in Millville, which is about 20 min. South from our house. That is a long way to go in Cache Valley for a dance class. Luckily all the little girl cousins, 3 of them also wanted to dance too! I only drove once! Thanks Aunt Pam and Kami !

They had so much fun! It was fun to watch them just jump around and try to point their toes. The mother teaching the class has a large downstairs basement area with a good floor for dancing. (By the way, we have lots of dancing clothes but she always insists on wearing the outfits that don't exactly match. The pink little skirt would have been so cute with blue and white. )

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday fun!

 The Winter Choir Concert was fun to see this week. The two oldest kids sang and played the bells. Iv sang a duet to start off the evening, the Star Spangled Banner. He was scared but did a great job.
 Irish Dance recital and they showed us a few dance steps too. A neighbor taught a small class for one of her YW Goals. It was just right and didn't cost too much. The girls had fun!
 Irish Dance Class!
 We 14 pink candles and a few white ones so he only got one candle. We celebrated early with a friend party because Iv earned his Duty to God before his Birthday this Sunday!
 He had a great time playing Settlers of Catan and Knights of Catan for 3 hours and eating pizza and rootbeer floats! There was veggies too but only two boys ate a few. It was fun meeting his friends from school. They are all really good kids.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I love this book! Pres. Thomas S. Monson said he reads it every year with his stack of Christmas stories to help him get in the Christmas Spirit. I had already grabbed it from the library but hadn't got to it yet. It was a quick read and much better then all the movies I have seen of the book. It was amazing how fast Scrooge changed from his bad attitude to a better one. I love how he gets so excited when he sees his friends and sister from the past Christmases. He really was a good guy at heart he just forgot how to care. It as a good book to read unabridged and in the original. Whole Book! Will read it again next year!

Friday, December 09, 2011

History Fair

They did it! They actually completed their joint History Fair project for school and turned it in! I can not believe the tears and procrastination that went into this project.
I volunteered to help judge. It gave me a head-ache. There were a lot of projects that were done last minute. Then there were some that stood out and were above the rest. Those were a delight to read and interview the kids. They were prepared and intelligent kids.
This project could have been great but it only went so far then and fizzled. The projects that were the best took the topic all the way and from many different angles so history was covered completely. Next year we know what to do and it will be a website not a board exhibit. Piece of cake if we don't leave it to the last second! And it better be something you are passionate about or you won't make it to the end.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Susan turned 12! She gets to be a Beehive! She finished her Faith in God booklet and graduated from Primary! The Bishop had her recite the 13th article of faith to the whole congregation. She spoke slowly and clearly but she was VERY nervous. I think she is brave and set a great example for her siblings. I went into YW's later and read a paper that tells about her. She got her favorite candybar, a Twix bar. In Primary we sang her favorite song as a good-bye. I Belong To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I can't believe my oldest girl is so old! She was the only kid in her class in Primary for the last two months because her Birthday was so late in the year. She is now with all her friends again and best friend next door. And if you ask her where is her favorite place to vacation is if she could go anywhere in the world she would say her grandma's in CA.
Cinnamon Rolls for the Birthday Girls Breakfast surprise. They rose all night and were ready at 7am to put in the oven. Only no one was up at that time so they got a little bigger for a couple hours extra. Warm and delicious it all worked out.
Frosting and it's the cream cheese kind! Squirt it on thick!
Presents! You can't help but notice the little helper that really wanted it to be his Birthday too.
Her grandma in Utah gave her some shoes, she really needed shoes because her feet are all of sudden a women's size 7! She also got some clothes and a very pretty brown skirt remade to fit her in her skinny little waist. Her grandma in CA sent a DVD that is now memorized and quoted at the most random times! She was so excited to get this! I think we watched it 5 times before school started again and it was back to the old grind.
She asked for Pringles and she got them! But she only gets them in her lunch and only the green ones. They are lunch sized.
Happy Birthday! Oh and a funny thing. I took the pie out of the oven and it was cooling. Susan couldn't wait to eat it and have presents. She had been waiting all day and no one was very excited or in a hurry but she was. She got the candles out and put them all in just right then we all got distracted for a while. I walk into the kitchen and notice that the candles are all sideways. I pull one out only it is just a half of a candle. They had all melted into the pie. There was a little puddle of blue or green candle in every spot where she stuck on in the Hot pie. Ha Ha! We ate the pie anyway of course and she learned the first lesson at the age of 12, patience!
Extra stuff... Little Edmund is really into snowman. He sings the song, does a snowman dance and also makes snowmen at every chance he gets, it doesn't have to be much snow or even snow at all. Here is a glob of play-dough that he mixed with another blob and he happily plays with it every day and makes it usually into a... Snowman! AND A Very sad thing...My very favorite large 8 or 10 cup measuring/mixing bowl from pampered chef bit the dust. Literally it shattered to dust and chunks! It didn't fall very far but when it hit the counter is was gone. I am so sad. It took 4 people including Mike to help me vacuum and pick up, wipe up and throw out food to clean up all the pieces. The little ones wanted to help but it was too Dangerous. It was all the way across the kitchen in places you didn't think pieces would be. No one was hurt and the kitchen is cleaner then ever now.