Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pinewood Derby

We all went to our very first Pinewood Derby last night.  Lee and Clark had been working on Clark's car for a couple of weeks.  Clark was very excited for the derby.  And being the sweet boy that he is, he was excited that we would all be there too.  I haven't taken the whole family to Pack meetings, but last night was a good exception.

Clark let Lee design the shape of the car, and Clark designed the artistic touches. Clark placed 5th out of 13 kids.  Clark was a good sport about getting 5th place; and with 13 kids 5th isn't bad.  Well, 13th wouldn't be bad either for that matter!
Jan 25 2012 Clark

The kids really enjoyed watching the races...52 of them actually.  Okay, so my kids didn't watch ALL of heats, but they enjoyed many of them.
Jan 25 2012 Clark Ruth Shanna Haley Cal

Jan 25 2012 Pinewood Derby

Shanna loved getting Clark's car after its race.
Jan 25 2012 Shanna

Clark and Lee. Dad's first pinewood derby with his oldest son, with many more to come!
Jan 25 2012 Clark Lee Elden

Some of the Cub Scouts.  They all look so young!  And of course they are.  Sometimes I forget that an 8 year-old is still a young kid. Definitely a photo for the photo album (when I finally print one).
Jan 25 2012 Clark and pack members

Lee brought one of his boyhood pinewood derby cars and raced it against Clark's.  Lee won.
Jan 25 2012 Lee with Clark and Lee derby cars

Monday, January 23, 2012

Babysitting Weekend

A few weeks ago Lois told me about an upcoming trip her family was going to take to Philadelphia. I brought up the amazing suggestion (if I say so myself!) that she and Jeff go by themselves and I'll watch her kids.  Well, she loved the idea and they had a fun get-away last weekend.  Clark asked if they went on a honeymoon; too funny.

Shanna got a hold of the camera one morning...
Jan 11 2012 Shanna (2)

Jan 11 2012 Shanna (3)

Jan 11 2012 Shanna (4)

Baby Blake slept so well for us! Grover was pretty good too. I didn't know he was so shy.
Jan 12 2012 Blake sleeping

Cal doing a "storytime" with Reed and Shanna.
Jan 12 2012 Reed Cal Shanna reading time

Jan 12 2012 Blake

I love that Elden and Blake like to play with each other!
Jan 12 2012 Blake Elden

Funny enough, with two extra kids for the weekend, we had a great time!  Blake and Reed enjoyed themselves.  Sacrament meeting wasn't too bad either.  There was some extra squiggling, but it was Elden that was making the most noise! Lois and Jeff met up with us last Sunday evening for dinner.  Lois spoiled me by staying an extra day when they came to pick them up (they left Monday night).  We had a fun trip on Monday to Sharp Shopper and watched Rachael Ray...exciting, I know! 

When Lois left on Monday she took Haley with her.  I was sad that she was gone, but Haley seemed to have a wonderful time at Lois'.  It was weird not having Haley here for a few days...and Elden and Shanna were bouncing all over the place!  I guess Haley has a calming factor?

Elden has been building little Lego creations of his own lately...and they're so cute!
Jan 16 2012 Elden

Jan 16 2012 Elden (2)

Jan 16 2012 Elden (3)

Jan 16 2012 Elden (4)

Since the boys didn't have school on Friday we went to DC, picked up Haley and swapped going to the temple with Lois and Jeff.  Lee and I also went to the commissary and Aldi for some February groceries. If all goes as planned we'll stay in budget for groceries in January!  Well we better...the money is all spent!

We met up with Lois at a shopping center.  There was a little music/play group thing going on in the mall atrium.  After we stopped at McDonald's and Lois and her friend treated all of the kids to a snack.  Thanks!  My kids loved it!
Jan 20 2012 McDonald's in Rockville

The night before we went to DC the PTA showed Cars 2 at the school.  It was a fun night. The PTA gave away 50 door prizes!  Clark and Elden won some fun Cars 2 paper/pens/paint things.  My friend Laura's kids each won something! We actually didn't stay the entire time because the speakers weren't broadcasting the sound very well and it was pretty noisy.  Lois had rented Cars 2 so we watched it Friday night while she and Jeff were at the temple. Well, I watched a little.  I took a nap so I could drive home.

When we left DC I drove through a little snow storm on the way home.  Thankfully we arrived home just fine. It took over three hours to get home though, when it normally would only take two.  I am glad people in DC are very cautious though when it comes to icky freeways! I couldn't believe a movie my brother shared about the snow storm in Utah this weekend! Keep it muted to by-pass the swearing.  And all this happened in front of some guy's house! CRAZY!

I have been enjoying my primary class.  I team-teach with another lady and I thought that would be weird, but it's great. We teach the sunbeams and we need two people in there--mainly because there are quite a few of them. They are sweet kids. I taught the lesson a week ago and really enjoyed the spirit that was in the room.  It was great telling each of the children one by one that they lived in Heaven before they were born and that each of them is a special daughter/son of God.  I still love Relief Society, but I also am loving Primary too!  Plus, there are so many primary songs I need to learn!

Besides everyday life, not much else is going on.  I hope our last tax form comes soon as I would like the taxes submitted soon. Also, I want it to snow and to have a snow day!  We FINALLY bought sleds.  Three of them actually.  We've never bought them before because they were always so expensive. Our previous neighbors were nice and let us use theirs...or we would use some pool floaties I bought for a really cheap price. But of course now that we have sleds, there is no snow!  The little amounts of snow that have come down this winter melted quite quickly. At least it's only January.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Friend April

First off, some random pictures.
Jan 9 2012 Shanna's bear

Jan 9 2012 Cal

My friend April from my old ward in Missouri visited me last week.  They visit the local resort here every year or so, which happens to be about seven miles from my house!  It was so fun seeing her and her family. 
Jan 10 2012 April Brown, Ruth

Jan 10 2012 Haley, Elaura Brown

They came again a couple days later for another visit.  Thanks for stopping by April!  We loved seeing you!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Though my sister Lena has been encouraging me to do this for several years, I just started making my own wheat bread. I bought 50 pounds of wheat, pulled out my wheat grinder a few weeks ago and I'm still baking bread!  It's been fun using the wheat flour in other things took like brownies and pumpkin muffins.

When Lee's parents were here last fall they bought me some cans for bread "pans".  I didn't think I had any, turns out I did!  But I like baking the bread in these cans.  It's fun to have round bread!  I still buy bread for the boys' lunches.  Maybe this fall when 4/5ths of my kids are in school they'll be using homemade bread for sandwiches. 
Jan 7 2012 making bread

Jan 17 2012

Jan 17 2012 (2)

Jan 17 2012 (3)

My mom would sometimes make scones when she made homemade bread.  I made some too.  I didn't have a block of cheese, just shredded.  So I stuffed the scones with shredded cheese.  They were yummy.  I like putting the cheese on the scones AFTER they're made, but this was a good alternative.
Jan 7 2012 making scones

Jan 7 2012 scones

Jan 7 2012 scones (2)

Here's to years of bread making!

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year's Eve

The day after by birthday is New Year's Eve.  We had another fun day with Lois and co.  We took another trip to the park.  It was still nice out!  Here was the fashion that Shanna and Haley were sporting that day--with no special coordination.  Pretty funny!
Dec 31 2011 Haley

Dec 31 2011 Haley Shanna

Dec 31 2011 Reed Haley Shanna

Dec 31 2011 Elden (2)

Dec 31 2011 Blake

Dec 31 2011 Clark

Dec 31 2011 Cal

New Year's Eve is a fun evening I look forward to every year.  It's the final big party of the holidays. I mentioned previously how between my Dad's Christmas Eve birthday, Christmas Day, my brother Darrell's birthday on the 29th, mine on the 30th and New Year's Eve the 31st, it's quite the celebration time! We don't eat a lot of "appetizer" type foods or junk food, growing up or now.  But New Year's Eve growing up we would always have chips and veggies with dip, sausage balls, little smokies, cheese ball with crackers, sometimes breaded cheese sticks, root beer floats, maybe some candy, bean dip and pizza.  We always looked forward to the yummy food.  We also play Monopoly and watch the ball drop in NYC.  Usually there is a Star Wars marathon, but I don't have Stars Wars.  I tried to get a copy of it, but didn't get one...nor did I try super hard either.

This year Lee and I made homemade pizza for dinner.  Then we had cheese balls, crackers and root beer floats.  We didn't go all out as my family usually does, but it was still yummy!
Dec 31 2011 Party!

We played Monopoly!  Basically Lee, Lois and I played.  Monopoly can get pretty heated, so that is why we pretty much stick to playing it just once a year. Time was ticking on and Lois and I wanted to watch the last episode of He Knew He was Right before midnight. Lee had the most of everything, so we just let Lee win.  I think I had lost by that point too. Lee and Lois could have battled it out for hours I am sure, but it was nice ending BEFORE midnight.  Steph and my dad kept playing Monopoly till 3am!  Steph won....GO STEPH! Anyway, we finished the movie and watched the ball drop and went to bed. (I was dosing off at the end...not having a nap that day contributed to that! Lois was sweet and offered to let me have one, but I knew I would sleep for hours, so I skipped out)
Dec 31 2011 Monopoly Time

Some kids didn't make it till midnight.
Dec 31 2011 Shanna

Dec 31 2011 Cal (2)

Midnight!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Jan 1 2012Ruth and Lee  at midnight!

Jan 1 2012!

For awhile on New's Day my mom has made Scottish eggs.  They are so good! Usually I am with my Mom on New Year's Day (for the past several years actually!) and she always makes them.  I tried my hand at them this year.  They were pretty good.  Though next time I would switch out the cracker crumbs for cornflake crumbs--just like how you make them Mom.
Jan 1 2012

So, make hard boiled eggs, let them cool (if you wish), peel of shell.  Wrap in sausage and coat in egg wash.  Roll in I said I prefer crushed cornflakes.  I am sure there is something else you do do too.  Wheat bread crumbs? The baking I can't say for sure....maybe 375 for 35 minutes?  I just took my chances with the oven till they were done. 
Jan 1 2012 Scottish Eggs

Something else we did growing up was smashing our gingerbread houses New Year's at midnight.  By that time they've sat out all month, been picked over for all the good candy, and just need to be thrown away.  Why not smash them?!  We FINALLY had the kids break their houses...several days after New Year Day.
Jan 6 2012 Cal Elden haley Shanna Clark breaking gingerbread houses

Jan 6 2012 Cal Haley Elden Shanna Clark

Breaking time!
Jan 6 2012 breaking gingerbread houses

Jan 6 2012 Haley Elden Shanna Cal

Jan 6 2012 Haley Elden

Jan 6 2012 Cal

The night of house-breaking we watched a movie.  Some of the kids were pretty tired. The movie was pretty weird anyway.
Jan 6 2012 Lee Cal Haley Shanna

So far the New Year has been good.  Another family tradition is writing new goals, and looking over last year's goals.  Recently a few of my friends have pointed out that they don't like New Year "resolutions" because they feel it's always important to have goals, and constantly be improving. I had never really thought about that before--it's a great concept.  Also, my Mom sent a quote about how everyday is a new need to wait for the new year to change!  I have appreciated these opinions and I need to incorporate goals into my everyday life.  And maybe because I am just used to it, I do enjoy reflecting on the past year and thinking about the new one ahead.

I have some goals that I am still working on and hopefully will accomplish this year.  With a new year it brings us closer to buying a house someday too.  Though we can't really plan for it now, maybe the end of next year of the beginning of 2014 we'll purchase something!  I haven't been too interested in building a house in the past, but now I am.  I am curious about how construction loans work and such, so I need to do some research about that. And towards the end of the year, or hopefully sooner, we'll start up again with some long-term financial goals.  And with kids, I am going to potty-train Elden in just a few months!  The end of March to be exact.  AHH!!!  I do not like potty-training.  But, if he is like my other boys, we'll have a week of miserable pain and then it will be all over.  I am REALLY hoping Elden will be like his brothers! But it's even more exciting because Elden is the more potty-training for me! It is fun looking forward to the coming events of a new year. And hopefully I'll be sending out Christmas cards this year!  I was sad that I couldn't do it last year. 

Last year was quite the crazy, fun year.  Moving was definitely hard...or should I say leaving my Missouri friends was hard.  We went on lots of trips, saw family and some good friends which was fun.  We hosted my family reunion which was a blast.  Clark was baptized, Elden started walking, and Cal, Shanna and Haley learned to ride bikes.  Lee opened his own business and he is loving it!  We had a good 2011. Heavenly Father is ever mindful of us, for which we are grateful. 

HAPPY 2012 to all of YOU!