Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.
 

Monday, June 30, 2008

Potato Bug Rules

Last night we had some friends over to play games. While we were playing games, the kids were outside collecting potato bugs and putting them in the little bug box we have.

This morning I had to laugh because as we were sitting at breakfast Athena mentioned that she needed to go out and feed them this morning and take care of them. She then told me that she had some rules for the potato bugs. She listed them for me so I hurried and grabbed a pen and paper. Here they are:


Potato Bug Rules
  1. Stay off the net or I will flick you off.

  2. If you flip over, flip yourself back or Samantha will come and flip you back.

  3. If you die, I'll throw you away and get a new one.

Unfortunately when we went out to check on the bugs they were all dead. Baked in the sun. I guess that 3rd rule will have to come into play, because after all, those are THE rules.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Joys of Home Ownership

We have lived in our house long enough now that we get to start fixing everything. Bummer! Here is Jeremy attempting to fix a kitchen drawer with parts that are too flimsy to fix it with.

We aren't that old and still find ourselves asking why they don't make things as good as they used to?? In the GOOD OLD DAYS.

We already re-stained our deck this year.

And we still need to re-stain the playset. I can't wait.

Another One??

A couple of days ago I was in our front yard and I noticed a bunch of weeds and what looked like stripped bark around our maple tree. I looked all around and checked the trunk of the tree and couldn't figure out why all that was sitting in the front yard. Then yesterday we were out there again and Samantha looked up and said, "We have a nest!" I said, "'Yeah, a hummingbird nest." She said, "No! We have another nest!" I looked in the tree, and right there at eye level is a robin's nest! It's so cool! I've never seen one so close to the ground. I also can't believe I didn't think to look IN the tree when I saw that stuff sitting on the ground.


I think it's so amazing to see the nest in the tree up close like we can. It's so intricately woven together. It's a miracle that birds can do that with just their beak. It is quite secure and shaded inside our little tree. Of course, seeing a nest so up close, I just had to check inside.

I bent the trunk of the tree slightly and peeked inside the nest and sure enough, there are 2 eggs inside. :) We are going to have our own little hatchery. It's so exciting! I was able to lift up all 3 older kids and let them see the eggs inside too.

Our house is well-guarded now by our birds. Jeremy and I have seen them battle each other in the back yard too. This is turning out to be quite an exciting summer! I hope we can have some pictures of little babies to share later in the season.

Good Little Treader

Yesterday at swim lessons Athena's class was having a little contest to see who could tread water the longest and Athena won! Good job Athena. :) She is really getting good at swimming too. She is also learning to dive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Vitamins??

I frequently talk about food choices and exercise with the girls to help them learn how to keep their bodies healthy. I currently have the unhealthy practice of eating chips with lunch if we have sandwiches. Yes, I know they are not real good for you - as are a lot of other things we eat. In general, I think we eat pretty good.

We were having lunch a couple of days ago and I made sandwiches. I then asked the kids if they wanted Cheetos or Doritos to go with their sandwich. Athena said, "Which ones have more vitamins?" After pausing and thinking for a bit of what a horrible mother I must be I replied, "uh . . . . neither. Chips are not really good for you."

I wonder if I'm the only mom that struggles with this. I eat junk myself, but then to knowingly feed it to my kids?? I guess my justification is that it's not killing them right now - and so many people live to a good old age having eaten a little bit of junk here and there all along. So, I'm not tearing myself up about it, but it did give me something interesting to think about. Thanks, Athena, for bringing it to my attention.

Swimming Lessons

Athena, Samantha, and Nathan are taking swimming lessons for this week and next. I signed up with Cathy so her kids are there at the same time. Athena and Samantha are in the same class together and they think that is just wonderful! Nathan is in the same class as Ashley and they think that is just wonderful too. :)

Athena and Samantha are in their lesson in this picture. Their heads are just above the water in the middle of the picture.


Nathan and Ashley are together in this picture of their lesson. Ashley in in the pink suit and Nathan is next to her with really squinty eyes.

We are starting our Seven Peaks season now. We try to go at least once or twice a week. We went last night and all the kids had so much fun. I'm happy to see them enjoying our family activity so much - especially it's fun for me to see Nathan learning how to be comfortable in the water. He sees the girls swimming and wants to be a part of it. He's coming along quite nicely.

Camping Reunion

For the Slater reunion, we went camping to Payson Lakes last weekend. It was for 3 days and 2 nights and was quite an experience! We used to camp a lot, but we haven't been for 2 years because I didn't want to go last year with a new baby. It turns out we still know how to camp and the kids all had fun.

This is the best place I had to keep Alexandra. She sat in it a lot while we were up there. She also got carried around in the little backpack. It's turned out to be a lifesaver! We have had this little backpack since Athena was a baby. Alexandra really liked riding in it and didn't complain at all while I was walking. She didn't love just sitting in it. I'm hoping she will start walking soon so I can put her down when we go outside.

We arrived Thursday night and set up our bedding in the tent and unloaded everything else we had to bring with us to survive for a couple of nights. Then Jeremy and I and the kids all headed down to the lake so Jeremy could start to fish. He was really anxious to start fishing.


It was so cold on Thursday night that we all had to really bundle up. That is NOT my idea of a good camping trip! I was freezing! Even by the fire the kids had to wrap up. Here are Nathan and Samantha just trying to survive. :) (You'd better hope we never REALLY have to survive in freezing temperatures because I honestly don't think we could do it! - It was about 45-50 degrees in these pictures.)

We had a rough night on Thursday. The kids said they were warm, but I was awake for half the night because it was cold and my feet were numb. Then for the other half of the night I was awake because Alexandra woke up and was laying with me and couldn't sleep - so therefore, I couldn't sleep. By the time morning came I was so grateful to just get up and move around so I could try to warm up a little.


Friday morning we ate breakfast from the dutch oven and it was soooo tasty! Jeremy made his usual breakfast with hashbrowns, eggs, onions, bacon, and cheese in the dutch oven. After breakfast we cleaned up and headed down to the lake for the day. I walked down with Alexandra on my back.

This is the view from the trail as I walked from our camping spot to the lake. It's so pretty!


Here is the lake in the morning once I got down to it. The morning was cold, but everything was so crisp and fresh. Once I started moving it wasn't so bad.


At the lake, everyone had a chance to catch a fish. We were at the lake most of the day and we had lunch at the lake. Athena was the first one of the kids to reel in a fish using Jeremy's pole. What a fun experience for her! After she caught the fish she was really excited to be at the lake, fishing.

After Athena caught a fish, of course Samantha wanted a turn. She sat in the chair very patiently waiting. Jeremy left Samantha for a little while and told her to watch his pole and if it moved to pick it up because it was a fish. Samantha sat in the chair for a little while longer and just watched the pole. When Jeremy came back, Samantha was holding the pole and reeling in the line. Jeremy told her to put it down and she said there is a fish. He said no, there isn't a fish, the pole probably just moved a little in the water. Samantha was unphased and kept on reeling. All of a sudden she lifted up the line and pulled out a fish! It was so funny. I guess Jeremy should have listened to her. She is really good at standing her ground. :)


Nathan tried the little pole for awhile, but without much luck. Then he fished with Jeremy, using Jeremy's pole and was able to get a fish too!




Other than the fishing, the kids kept themselves entertained by running around playing in the grass with their cousins and whatever else they chose to do. For more than an hour Nathan sat by the side of the lake and threw rocks in. This picture is of Nathan sitting with Hunter, his cousin. I thought they looked so cute just sitting so nicely together.


Mike (Jeremy's brother) brought his boat up to fish in. Athena and Samantha are all ready to go with their cousins Amber and Heather.

Samantha did a great job rowing and didn't complain about her arms hurting at all. Halfway through they traded and Athena got to help row them back to shore.

Later in the day, Jeremy and I took Athena, Samantha, and Nathan out on the boat while Jeremy fished from the boat. I stressed to them the importance of not standing or moving too much so the boat wouldn't tip over. For a minute, Samantha and Nathan got into a little argument and started pushing each other. I told them they'd better knock it off and sit still or they were going to make the boat tip over. They both stopped immediately and Nathan sat still for the rest of the time we were out there. It was awesome! For that reason it would be nice if we were on a boat all the time.

Jeremy caught a fish while we were on the boat! Here he is removing the hook and getting ready to throw it back in.


Jeremy is all done for the day and heading in.

When we got back to our campsite we had our traditional golf game tournament. I drew up a bracket and everyone took turns competing while the others watched.


Here is Athena in action.


Jeremy snatched this picture of our evening cuisine. Dutch oven chicken and vegetables. MMMM!

Friday night was much warmer, but still no sleep. Nathan and Alexandra took turns waking each other up, which meant again, no sleep for me! I don't mind camping, but I HATE that part of camping. Kids who don't sleep. When morning comes, it doesn't matter how much sleep you didn't get - it's morning and you have to get up. So alas, when morning came, I got up.


Saturday morning we packed up and then spent time playing cards with the adults while the kids played. That was a nice break. I brought up a bucket and I gave it to Nathan. It kept him entertained for quite some time. He made it look like so much fun that a bunch of the kids resorted to digging for the morning. They got sooooo dirty, but at least they had fun.


I think the camping trip turned out to be fun, but I have to admit, I'm so glad it's over for this year. Hopefully in years to come we will get a little more sleep as the kids get older. I have to remind myself that it's all for the memories we are creating for the kids and the time we are spending together.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh No! My Teeth!

Samantha was sobbing downstairs. I asked her to come up and tell me what was wrong. She and Nathan had had a little fight earlier and her teeth got knocked. She told me that Nathan made her teeth loose. I checked them and sure enough, her two front teeth are loose. I explained to her that it is time for them to be loose because she is going into the first grade and that it isn't Nathan's fault her teeth are loose. She still kept crying and crying. I told her it would be OK and they weren't going to fall out tomorrow - it will take time. She finally said,"Well if my teeth come out then I won't be able to whistle!"

We Have a Hummingbird!

Yesterday Jeremy went out onto our front porch and a hummingbird was flying around the porch and watching him. He called all of us to come and see and it was still there flying around the porch. We noticed that it was watching us all very closely and it would fly farther away, then swoop in real close and stay within a few feet of us while hovering in the air and chirping. It kept doing this and I told Jeremy that it must have a nest around here - otherwise it would fly away. We looked around for a minute and Lo and Behold! It has built its nest on the electrical outlet Jeremy has used for the Christmas lights!


We figured there has to be eggs in the nest or the hummingbird wouldn't be protecting it so profusely. Jeremy was able to stand up on a chair and hold the camera over the nest to get a picture of the inside. Here is what is in it:


Jeremy has been talking about getting up and taking down the lights for quite some time but hasn't gotten to it yet. Thank goodness he didn't or we wouldn't get to take part in this exciting discovery. :) The hummingbird has been extremely territorial. If we even walk out the door onto the porch it swoops towards the porch and watches very intently while hovering. It will also go to the bush on the side of our house and sit and watch from there if we go out into the front yard. I opened up the computer room window to see it closely and it even swooped at me on the other side of the screen!

This is the view from the computer room window:

Here she is hovering and watching me while I took the picture this morning.


video

It's funny to me that last night before Jeremy and I went to bed, Jeremy went and slowly opened the door to check on our little bird. Then he whispered to me, "She's sleeping." I went and looked and she was all tucked in her nest with her head down. She looked so cute! So, for now we will watch our little bird and wait for the eggs to hatch.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Salem Pond to Feed Ducks

On Tuesday we went to Salem Pond to feed the ducks with Cathy and her kids. It seems the ducks aren't that hungry lately because they wouldn't come over and just take our leftover bread and tortillas! When Cathy and I were on the phone together to arrange it, I told her I had leftover "duck bread" that I was saving for whenever we could go. I didn't hear her ask if she needed to bring bread - but I would have answered "yes" because I didn't have very much. Just a few heels and some tortillas. She thought I told her not to bring bread, so the portions were meager.
While we were at Salem Pond we saw a lady come to feed the ducks with her son. She had a huge grocery bag full of "pre-ripped" bread. Cathy and I were laughing about the fact that she sat at home and ripped all her bread in preparation for feeding the ducks. We would just hand our kids a slice of bread and tell them to rip it up in little pieces. It was like she sat at home preparing duck sacrament so she could come. We had a little laugh about that. Then, as we were walking around the path feeding the ducks, we noticed she was in front of us and she was attracting all the ducks with her fancy pre-ripped bread. We went over close to her because that's where the ducks were. She saw us coming and threw out a bunch of fancy bread to the duck group and walked away. So all of her bread is on the path that you can see. And funny, I just noticed I can see that lady in the picture! She is farther up the path in the white shirt holding a bag. LOL!

After we ran out of bread, the lady made her rounds again and came with her bread. We had noticed that she didn't seem to want to be where we were feeding the ducks. The kids still wanted to feed the ducks, but because of our meager amount of bread, we had run out. I told Cathy I would give her a dollar if she went over to where that lady was throwing out her pre-ripped bread, and when the lady threw out her bread, Cathy would hurry and gather it up off the ground. Cathy refused. What's wrong with her?

I found this little group of ducks hiding right next to the shoreline in the brush. The kids LOVED seeing all the cute ducklings. :)

On every trip to Salem Pond you HAVE to go across the bridge. Jacob was very nervous about going across the bridge because he thought he was going to fall in. This freaked all the other kids out and no one would step on the cracks between the boards. It was funny to watch them walk so carefully!


Here is Jacob trying not to fall into the cracks.

video

After walking around we spent some time with the kids at the playground. Everyone had a lot of fun together! Here is where Alexandra spent a lot of her time.

Here is Nathan on the play bridge.


Turns out this bridge is quite popular and a good place for posing. All the kids had to have their turn!



Alexandra LOVES to slide. I tell her 1-2-3-go! She waits for the "go" and then pushes off with a big smile. I almost didn't get this picture because she pushed off to go so fast on her own. She is such a fun little baby girl.

Here is proof that I went on this outing. Thanks Cathy for your photography skills. I'm so happy that it's summer and we can spend more time outdoors all together. This is my favorite time of the year!

My New Swimsuits!!!

I'm so excited!

I have real swimsuit issues and whenever I go shopping for swimsuits it is a big letdown because there isn't anything decent in the stores to choose from. I finally broke down and ordered a few from Victoria's Secret. I was so nervous that they wouldn't fit right and I even had a dream about getting them in the mail and having them be all wrong.

Yesterday I received my shipment via UPS. I ripped those suits out of the box so fast, and when I tried them on all 3 were a perfect fit!! I've never had that kind of success rate in the store. :) They all have great support and cover me where I want to be covered. I'm happy that I'm finally happy with my swim wear and I'm anxious for it to get warm enough now to sport it.

Father and Sons Campout

Last weekend Jeremy took Nathan to the Father and Son campout sponsored by the stake. They went to the Old Pinery by Nephi. I'm glad that Jeremy took Nathan. At first Nathan didn't want to go for whatever reason. He was complaining about going and whenever I would ask him about it he would say he did NOT want to go. He loves going into mountains and ended up having a lot of fun.

Here is Jeremy enjoying some time with the adults. Nathan ran around with the other little boys and played with them a lot.

Here is our cute little camping boy. :)

I love my boys. I also bought a little bug box for Nathan to take with him to catch bugs in on his campout, but they were too busy to look for bugs. It's been used for potato bugs at home instead.
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