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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Sunday School Lesson

I teach the class CTR 8B in primary. This is the class full of 7 and 8 year olds. This year I have 6 boys in my class. My lesson today was about being obedient. I told my class that they need to listen to and obey their parents because their parents want what is best for them and won't tell them to do the wrong thing. Then as a side note I added, and sometimes parents need to listen better to their kids. I threw in an example that I am sometimes so busy that I don't look at my kids when they are talking to me even though I'm listening, and that I should do better by looking right at them when they are talking so they can see that I am listening.

Well, then the lesson just took off onto that side note. The kids immediately followed this new train of thought and all of them had a story about their parents not listening to them or looking at them. I was like - WHOA! Then one kid in the class who is very full of personality said - "yeah, every time I need my dad I say to him Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . Dad . . . and he STILL doesn't even look up! Sometimes I will say, Dad will you get me some food? And he just SITS THERE! And doesn't even get up for like an HOUR!" I thought it was so funny! What's even funnier is this poor dad is getting thrown under the bus in primary and doesn't even know it.

Afterwards I started thinking about it and was thinking from their point of view. Kids really don't know we are listening to them when we are cleaning, using the computer, getting ready for the day, eating, watching TV, or whatever, unless we look at them and acknowledge them. I didn't realize it was such a sore topic for so many kids and I was surprised by how this conversation struck a nerve with every little boy in my class.

I think I need to pay better attention to my kids and let them know that I'm listening to them by simply looking at them and letting them know I'm interested enough to drop what I'm doing long enough to let them know they are heard.

Nathan's First Playdate

Nathan had a friend come over to play for the first time. Well, this is the first time he has specifically invited someone over to play with only him.


Nathan was so super excited before his friend, Alex, came that he could hardly stand it. By the time Alex knocked on the door, Nathan was really giddy and all over the place. I think he kind of overdid it. Overall they really had a blast together. I think it will take some practice, though, for Nathan to know how to act when he invites a friend over. He was practically mauling Alex with all the attention he gave him. It sure did make Nathan happy for the rest of the day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Alexandra's First Ponytail!

We have reached another momentous occasion in our house. Yes, this is a day to remember. Our little baby has finally grown enough hair that I can pull it all up together and call it a ponytail. This means that we are somewhat exiting the baby stage and moving forward into the toddler stage. I know it is meager, but it's enough to pull up. She looks so cute and grown up to me now!

I'm not sure that I'll take her out of the house like this yet, but it's fun to have it at home as a "practice to be able to go out" hair.

So, here it is - - - TA DA!




Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let the Games Begin!

Last night we had the pleasure of attending Samantha's first soccer game. I really had fun watching her play in her first game! She looks so cute in action. She said that she liked playing in the game a lot. It will be nice if she finds she really enjoys soccer and keeps playing as she gets older.


Here are all the kids in a typical kid-game formation. Ball in middle, everyone kicks. Surprisingly this didn't happen as often as I thought it would, though. The kids were pretty good about keeping the ball moving. Samantha is wearing a yellow shirt, she has a ponytail, and is behind the blue jersey #4.


A good action photo. Samantha is coming in for the kill - or something.

Samantha is on the left, shirt tucked in.


During the game Samantha tried really hard and I could tell she was doing her best. Every time we would yell out to her to kick the ball or to cheer her on she would get a big grin on her face.


Last of all, here is the kids in action. Samantha is #8. She is proud of herself that she picked that number because she knows it's my favorite number. Funny.

video

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nathan's First Talk

Today Nathan gave his first talk in primary. He is in sunbeams this year. I wrote his talk for him and helped him with the words. He wasn't scared or nervous, he just got right up and gave his talk. I think it helps that he couldn't see all the kids over the microphone because he is too little. Here is the talk that he gave:

When I am 8 years old I want to be baptized. Jesus Christ said that people must be baptized to belong to His church and enter the kingdom of God. I will prepare to be baptized by keeping the commandments, following the example of Jesus Christ, and by living His teachings. It won't be scary to be baptized because I'll only be in the water for a small moment.

By being baptized I will make a promise to Heavenly Father that I will keep His commandments. He will promise to me that I can live with Him in His kingdom. These promises are called covenants.

After I am baptized I will be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I will try very hard to repent of what I do wrong, to follow Jesus Christ, and to obey Him. Then His spirit will be with me.

I am thankful I can be baptized and confirmed. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


I'm happy that my kids have the opportunity to get up and speak at an early age, even if they don't quite understand why they are doing it or what all they are speaking about. It teaches them that they can take part in church and that they have something important to say. They also learn that it isn't that bad to get up in front of people and do what you are asked to do. Nathan did a great job. It's fun for me to watch him grow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We Love Our Friends!

Last night we had Tom and Peyton over for dinner with their son Brittan. It has taken us at least 4 years to finally get our schedules together and have a get together. They are the kind of friends that no matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, as soon as we together it's like we were never away. What a night! We had so much fun. We had a little barbecue and then hung out playing games for the evening.


We used to live next door to Tom and Peyton when we lived in our townhomes. We shared a porch. I think it was fate that brought us together as friends. Our first encounter with them was when they were moving in we came home from wherever we were and as we walked into our house, their front door was cracked open. I glanced over and noticed that right inside was our very same Victorian-style couch set! They had the same set that we had just picked out and purchased for our new home. The funny thing about the couches is that last night when they came in the house, Peyton came into our family room and said, "NO WAY!" Then Tom came into the room and burst out laughing. They just bought the EXACT same sectional couch that we have in our family room to replace their old set.


We used to have Tom over for dinner at least once a week when we were neighbors because Peyton would be working late and we didn't want him to be lonely next door. I once even knocked on their door to have Tom come and kill a spider for me. LOL.


This was just like old times, only more kids, more responsibilites, different setting. OK, so it isn't just like old times, but we did really enjoy each other's company.


Peyton is so much fun. She always has a new trick up her sleeve. Last night she brought over this funny game for the kids. They all wear a tail and try to chase each other down and pull off their tails. The kids looked so cute running around like mad trying to keep from getting their tails pulled off.



Alexandra wouldn't hold still long enough to let me get her picture. This is the best I could get, even though it's a little blurry because she is in motion.

The kids played together all night - in fact, until 1:00am and we (the adults) played games and then topped the evening off with a good laugh. We watched Napoleon Dynamite. AWESOME!

I have to share one more story about one of our first impressions of Tom & Peyton. It was in 1999 and Jeremy and I had just watched the movie Sixth Sense in the theaters. I was pregnant with Athena, so therefore, I was constantly up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. In the townhome our bedroom was on the 2nd floor. In the middle of the 2nd floor was the bathroom, with just the half wall behind it, so the hallway was really dark because it went down the stairs. I got up one night to go to the bathroom and I was kind of creeped out because of the bathroom scene in 6th sense. I was hurrying and I half expected to see someone dead walk in front of the doorway. All of a sudden I hear BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG on the wall. It was about 2am and I was freakishly thinking, "WHAT THE HECK!!!!" Come to find out, Peyton couldn't sleep and decided to hang pictures in the stairway of our adjoining wall. Thanks Peyton for just about scaring my baby right out of me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Samantha's Soccer Practice

Samantha has decided that this year she wants to play soccer. It's her first time playing the game and last night was her first practice. I think she looks so cute all dressed in her uniform with the shin guards that are too big. They didn't come any smaller.


Jeremy bought her a soccer ball to practice with and he has been teaching her how to run with the ball and kick it the correct way. Jeremy used to play soccer when he was younger, so he is quite enjoying the experience of having Samantha interested in soccer too.



Samantha was very attentive to what her coaches were saying and tried really hard. In this picture she is getting ready to run up and kick the ball into the goal.

I'm excited to be able to see how she progresses in her new interest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of School

So it is that time again - time to send the kids off for the day. I'm a little sad about sending them to school this year because I've really enjoyed having them home for the summer. We have done so many fun things. Now it's just back to the norm. They are excited to go, though, especially Samantha. She has been anxious to get back to school ever since she was let out of kindergarten. Now she is there all day long and she's been counting down for this day.


Monday I took the kids to the school open house to meet their teachers. Athena's 3rd grade teacher is Mrs. Swenson. This is Mrs. Swenson's 2nd year of teaching. She said she has always wanted to teach 3rd grade and she is pretty excited to have a 3rd grade class this year. I hope Athena likes her. She seems pretty nice, but she also seemed a little nervous in front of the parents. I'm sure once things warm up she will have a blast with the kids.




Samantha's 1st grade teacher is Miss Montgomery (aka Miss Monty). This is the teacher Athena had for 1st grade and we loved her, so I requested that Samantha have her too. She is so full of energy and just a really fun teacher. I used to help in Athena's class a lot when she had Miss Monty and Samantha would come in with me every time. Samantha got to know Miss Monty and was really hoping to have her this year. I'm excited that Samantha gets to spend her school year in this class. Yesterday Samantha was filling out a poster for school about what she likes and for school she put that her favorite thing about school is lrning (learning).




Here is Athena this morning in front of the school. She picked out this outfit for her first day and it suits her perfectly. Of course she picked a dress. She is also sporting a nice, blue High School Musical backpack.



Samantha picked out shorts and a t-shirt for her first day. This is typical Samantha, very casual. Her backpack is pink with leopard trim.



Athena and Samantha are very excited for their first full day of school together. They already plan on trying to find each other for recess and lunchtime. I hope this excitement continues throughout the year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Other People's Kids

One thing I like is to listen to other people's kids. It reminds me that my kids are NORMAL and that I shouldn't get so frustrated with them.

Last night our family went to the track to exercise. Jeremy pushed the little kids in the stroller, I ran the bleachers, and Athena and Samantha rode their bikes around and around. As I was walking a lap around the track I passed 2 kids, a sister and a brother, who were pushing each other on a skateboard for fun. I turned and smiled at them and said,"Hi." They both smiled back and said hi to me.

As I walked away from them, I heard one say to the other, "She said hi to ME, NOT YOU!" and the other one said, "Nu uh, she said hi to ME!"

It was awesome. My kids are perfectly normal.

Monday, August 18, 2008

County Fair

This past weekend we took the kids to the county fair. The fair wasn't very big and we ended up spending about 2 1/2 hours there. We met Jeremy's parents and walked around together with them.

I took the kids over to the kid's booth where they had tiles for the kids to color on with Sharpie markers. This took longer than I thought it would, but it was fun. The girls were very creative with their new medium.
I sat with Nathan and managed his coloring. Mostly my job was to try to keep the markers away from his clothes. He loved using all the different colors on his tile. The pictures I took are an odd color because we were under an orange tent. Everything under the tent was orange.


Here is a little bit better view of all the kids sharing some fun time together. I think it's cute how involved they are.


Samantha's finished product. She colored a picture of our family standing in the sunshine.


Athena colored a mermaid. She realized afterwards that her mermaid is naked because she forgot to make shells. It gave us a good laugh.


Nathan wouldn't look up for his picture and he wouldn't turn over his tile either. I traced his hand on his tile and then he colored around the tracings with all different colors. He also colored in the squares on the back of the tile.


I was most fascinated with the Lego setup at the fair. I have been absolutely fascinated with Legos since I was little and even still I enjoy sitting down and building whatever comes to mind. All the kids enjoyed looking at the Lego display and we stayed there for quite a while admiring the details of someone's creativity.

On the left side of this picture is a field with bales of hay and a tractor. In the middle is an army coming out of a fort. You have to click on these pictures to enlarge them and really see the details.

Here are some pirate ships with one of the ships sinking due to the creature on Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, there was a train track that went around the whole setup with lego train running constantly.


In the background is a skyscraper with King Kong climbing it. Yes, he is made of legos too. In the front of the picture is the Xango dinosaur museum with the dinosaur in 3D on the side of the building. They also had a dinosaur busting out of the side of the building eating a lego man.


The Rio Grande train station.


Here is a medieval castle with all the little soldiers in there guarding and some on horses.


So most of my county fair pictures are of the legos. :) I really like them.
We also looked at animals that were covered in flies - pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. Nathan just thought they were all stinky and he was right. They were very stinky.
I got this last picture of Nathan standing on a farm equipment of some kind.

That was our experience of the fair. We had fun being together and being with Grandma and Grandpa, but overall I think the fair was very small and pretty lame. We wanted to top off the experience and go to the demolition derby, but we had to leave and go to a wedding. Jeremy and I love to watch a good demolition derby, it's hilarious. Maybe we will catch it next year.

Just Doing Their Job

I sent Samantha outside to shake the kitchen rug out. She went out just like she was asked to do her job. I was sweeping the floor and then after awhile I noticed she still hadn't come back in. I started to wonder what on earth happened to her. It didn't take THAT long to shake a rug.

I started looking out windows and I saw her in the back yard with the rug, so I figured she must have gone back there to shake it. Then I noticed Athena wasn't in the house doing her work either. After about 5 more minutes went by, both girls came in and they were VERY proud. I asked them what they had been doing and they held up the bug box. LOL!

It was so much more important to them at this time that they catch a great big grasshopper!

It may not look so big in the picture, but this is a full-size grasshopper and it looks so GROSS to me! I didn't know my girls were so brave. I asked them how they did it and Athena said that they waited until it landed and was holding still. She then hurried and put the bug box over the grasshopper, let it crawl inside, and slammed the door. The opening is just as big as the grasshopper is, so it must have taken a real steady hand to get it over the bug without touching it.


So that's why it takes so long to shake a rug.

Sharing

Alexandra wants the sucker.
Alexandra gets the sucker.

Everyone is happy. :)


Nathan is such a cute big brother! He is getting to be much nicer with Alexandra and I love to watch their nice interactions. Also, Alexandra gets what she wants in this house. The kids see to that!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Camping with Neighbors

The weekend after our trip, we went camping for one night with 3 other families from our ward. It was fun, but it's way too much work to camp for just one night. I think, if you are going to go to all the trouble of packing up everything you own plus lots of food and driving up into the mountains, at least stay for 2 or 3 nights. Just to make it worth it and so you can have some relax time. Overall it turned out fun and the kids had a blast. Jeremy and Nathan went fishing a couple of times and caught a few fish. Athena and Samantha played with their friend, Adrianna, for most of the time. I spent most of my time chasing Alexandra and keeping her away from the water, or the fire, or from the hillside, or whatever else she wasn't supposed to get into or she would get hurt.

We didn't take our camera out much, so the only pictures we got were the morning after camping when we were at the lake. I'm sitting here playing games with Jeremy and a couple of our friends.
This is Mike. He is one of our good friends that we hang out with.

Nathan was itching to get out on the canoe and go for a ride. Our VERY nice neighbor was so kind and he took Nathan out on the canoe all by himself and let Nathan paddle to his heart's delight. That just made his day!

Here is Nathan coming in for a landing.

I hope we have the chance to do this again with our neighbors and hopefully we will extend the stay a little.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Visiting Grandma & Grandpa in the Mountains

The day after we got home from our Disneyland trip, we went up American Fork Canyon to visit Grandma and Grandpa at their camping site and have dinner together. It was a nice, relaxing evening after having been on the road for so long.

The kids played for a long time on this little hillside. They just ran up and down and up and down. Woo hoo! It's great to be a kid!

I enjoyed a little bit of gaming time. Also, notice how nice and neat this camping area is? Grandma always keeps her spot immaculate. It's like a little home away in the mountains.

Nathan is enjoying his relax time. He loves this chair and always wants to sit in it.

We roasted marshmallows, made smores, and then tried roasting starburst candies. They are actually quite tasty when you roast them just right. I perfected my technique and made a few for Jeremy too. After they are roasted, they end up a little crunchy on the outside and real soft and chewy on the inside. YUM!

What a little cheeser! Alexandra is starting to understand that you smile for pictures. She is so fun.

She finally gave in on Grandma's lap.

Nathan sat cozied up with me in front of the fire for awhile. I finally had to put him down, though, because he is sooooo wiggly.

We made a last-minute decision to allow the girls to sleep over with Grandma and Grandpa in the mountains. They were very excited to get to sleep in the trailer. The next morning they helped pack up and we picked them up at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Grandma finally gave in too.

I always enjoy going up into the mountains. It's a relaxing place to be (except for the bugs). Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for inviting us. :)
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