Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last of January

Sadly, Lee and I don't go on a lot of actual "dates". We will watch movies or play a game at night while the kids are asleep.  Awhile ago we started doing dates, swapping every weekend.  But after we moved our dates were more sporadic.  My sister Deb tells me every now and then how it's her turn for a date, or her husband's, and what they are doing.  Sometimes they stay at home, sometimes they go out. But when it's their turn they plan something specific and have a fun treat/snack.  I was thinking about this and realized we need to start having dates every week, and not just watching a movie or show on Netflix. I took a turn last week.  We stayed close to home because the gas budget was gone for the month.  After dinner at home we headed to...Lee's office!  After playing two games, we had cheesecake and watched a show.  It was a fun night.  I am excited to see what Lee comes up with this weekend......
Jan 25 2013 date

It took a few tries to get a picture of us with the timer...
Jan 25 2013 Lee Ruth

After the date, we packed up and headed to Lois'.  We swapped going to the temple on Saturday and spent Sunday with them too.  One bit of news, Lee has basically has Saturdays off now!  He's been working six days a week since November 2011.  Of course there were a handful of Saturdays he didn't work-like when we went to Utah. But in general, Sunday was his only day off. Lee hired another eye doctor who is working two days a week for him at Wal-mart--one of those days being Saturday.  Whether it's financially beneficial, time will tell.  But right now we are grateful to have him home on Saturdays! It was great to be able to stay the weekend in Maryland.  We haven't done that for awhile.  Saturday night Lois took me to Trader Joe's. We mainly looked around.  What a fun store.  I was introduced to Trader Joe's on my mission in Los Angeles.  Shanna and Haley tagged along for a little date. One of Lee's contract doctor's gave Lee a sampler of holiday cookies from Trader Joe's.  I love the peppermint Joe Joe's. SO GOOD!
Jan 26 2013 Haley Shanna

Some kids made tents that night....
Jan 26 2013 Cal Reed

Jan 26 2013 Shanna

As I mentioned we stayed Sunday too.  Church was pretty eventful that day.  Church is split up into three hours.  Generally the schedule is this: the first hour the entire congregation meets together to partake of the Sacrament and then listen to various speakers as they spiritually teach us from an assigned topic.  The second hour is Sunday School.  Each year we study different books of scripture in Sunday School.  We rotate between the Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price--we're on Doctrine and Covenants this year. Third hour the men meet together, and then the women meet together (same for those over 12, the young men meet together and the young women meet together).

Anyway, the women meet together in Relief Society the third hour.  It's actually the world's largest women's organization.  During the third verse of the opening hymn, the alarm system went off.  A voice told us to exit the building.  Since we were visiting, I was worried about my kids being in this situation with people they don't know.  While people were exiting I went back into the hallway to see if I could find my kids.  I found them outside and thankfully they were calm.  While we were standing in a group, the Bishop told us to go home because a water line broke.  A firetruck came soon there after.  Jeff had to walk to the other side of the building to get to his car, and got a picture of the leak caused by the broken pipe.  Actually the pipe to the sprinkler system (for fires) inside the building broke.  If you can zoom in to the picture, you'll see that water is pouring out between the eaves and over the door-way entrance like a water fall.  Jeff said it was gushing out of the windows too.  You can also see water streaming down the wall.  The pipe(s) apparently broke where the stake offices are located and the guys down there got drenched--they were trying to save papers. Quite the time at church!
Jan 27 2013 Lois' ward, sprinkler pipe broke (2)

Jan 27 2013 Lois' ward, sprinkler pipe broke

We spent the rest of the afternoon, chatting, eating and relaxing.  Lois made a yummy dessert--buttery cake (I can't remember the exact name...).  We enjoyed some right before we went home.  Thanks for the nice weekend Lois and Jeff!
Jan 27 2013 Haley Clark

Jan 27 2013 Ruth

Jan 27 2013 Shanna

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A teeth-pulling-no-school day

Last week school was canceled because of the weather--about an inch of snow.  I love that school is canceled sometimes because of the weather.  I always loved those days when I was younger.  I do wish it would snow more here though.  We'll get an inch or so, and then it is gone in just a couple of days.  I missed out on the big snow storm that hit this area a couple of years ago.

While the kids were home that day, I pulled out two of my children's teeth!  For some reason, I like doing it and I bribe my kids to let me pull them out (when the tooth is loose of course), but they always say no. But there is an exception to that rule. When an "adult" tooth starts peeking through--and the baby tooth is still in the mouth--I get to pull it out; right away.

Haley came up to me and said that she saw a little tooth poking through....poor girl. Her adult tooth was coming in and her baby tooth was still intact. I think she was a bit surprised that upon hearing this information I was going to pull her tooth out right away.
Jan 24 2013 Haley's 1st loose tooth

Jan 24 2013 Haley Shanna

Cal had a tooth that had been loose for weeks. I told him it could just fall out on its own.  I had just pulled out Haley's tooth, and took a closer look at Cal's loose tooth.  To my delight I saw an adult tooth barely poking through, which gave me the excuse to pull it out--right after Haley's!  Two teeth in one day, how lucky is that?! Ha ha.
Jan 24 2013 Cal

Each time a tooth was pulled Clark went outside.  It was pretty funny. Haley lost her tooth later that day and I told her to just draw a picture of herself and leave it under her pillow.  Cal came up to me and asked about getting money under his pillow and all.  We don't really do the tooth fairy around here, which shouldn't be a surprise since we are very frank with our kids that Santa isn't real either.  He then asked what I did with the teeth.  I said I threw them away. Cal was very surprised and asked why.  I told him I didn't want to save his teeth, that I thought that was gross.  But that he could save his tooth if he wanted. But he left it under his pillow, became a $1 richer and I threw it away.
Jan 24 2013 Haley

Jan 24 2013 Haley and Cal

Jan 24 2013 Shanna Haley Cal

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Field Trip and then some

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Cal. I had no idea but there is a local ABC station in Harrisonburg!  We got to see the "filming room" (not sure what it is really called) and find out a little bit about broadcasting the weather and the news. We then went to the children's museum where the kids listened to a story/presentation about animals and weather. After that they got to play in the museum, followed by lunch at Cici's. The children's museum has free admission the first Friday of the month.  I want to take my kids there next week.

The tv station:
Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (5)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (9)

The children's museum:
Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (7)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (6)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (8)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (3)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum (4)

Jan 22 2013 Cal field trip TV station and children's museum

This past weekend Lois and Jeff and co spent the weekend with us.  They haven't been down for awhile so it was great having them here! I thought it was cute seeing these boys looking over the Lego book together.
Jan 13 2013 Elden Reed Blake

Our weekly watch-a-General-Conference-talk-and-have-a-treat.
Jan 20 2013 Haley Blake Shanna

Monday afternoon we made "puffy" snowmen.  We were going to do this over Christmas break, but that didn't happen.  You mix shaving cream and glue together.  I took a big yogurt container and filled it up about an inch from the top with shaving cream.  Then I dumped in about 3/4 bottle Elmer's glue.  I stirred it up with a paintbrush.  After decorating the snowmen you can let them dry.  They stay pretty "puffy" and have this weird soft, foam like texture. If you do want it "puffy" make sure the shaving cream mixture has some height to it. Dollop it on. If you just swipe the stuff onto the paper, it will dry flat.
Jan 21 2013 Cal Reed Shanna

You have a long tongue Shanna.  And yes, she can touch her nose with it.
Jan 21 2013 Shanna Haley

Cal's friend played here on Monday too.  They all had a great time.  They spent quite a bit of time outside and I thought it was cold.  I looked at the weather though and it was 45.
Jan 13 2013 Reed Cal Shanna Sawyer Wilson

Lee gave me an ice cream maker for my birthday.  Sunday night we were going to have ice cream sundaes with homemade hot fudge, but the cream wouldn't ice up.  I thought there might be a defect or something with the machine, but no, we didn't have the bowl frozen enough. (Glad there is nothing wrong with it!) It's a pretty cool machine actually.  You freeze this bowl that has some sort of special liquid in the "shell" of the bowl--probably the same kind of liquid found in those reusable ice pack thingys.  You pour your mixture into the bowl, turn on the machine, and about 1/2 hour later you have soft-serve ice cream!  It will be fun to use this machine and try out recipes. We went ahead and had the sundaes Monday night after FHE. YUM.

Thanks to my friend Lori Jacobson, I have a great hot fudge recipe. Here it is:

Lori’s Hot Fudge

1 ½ T. flour
3 T. cocoa
¾ C. sugar
½ C. milk
2 T. butter
½ tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan, mix dry ingredients, add milk.  Stir constantly over medium-high heat. Boil hard for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

So easy and delicious! Happy half-way week day!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Haley's Dream

Our kids have been learning/reviewing about Martin Luther King, Jr. in school the past few days.  I liked Haley's "dream" that she wrote. I don't buy candy a lot--for holidays I definitely buy it--but normally we don't have candy around.  My kids are already asking for candy for their birthdays. 

"My dream go to candy store."
Jan 18 2013 Haley

I will admit, I am not sure why some great presidents of our country don't get their "own" day--like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  It's just all mushed into one day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Breakfast at Chick-fil-A

For three Fridays in January our "local" Chick-fil-A is giving away free breakfast.  I went last week with Elden and then did some shopping afterwards.  I thought it would be fun to go with the whole family--something out of the ordinary for breakfast.  Though it wasn't completely "free", as we bought the tater-tot rounds and used gas to get there (it's about 25 minutes from our house), we had a fun time.  Clark even saw his challenge teacher there and she asked him if he was skipping school, which was funny.  We woke up early to go on this little family date so that the kids would make it back to school in time.  And they did.
Jan 18 2013 Elden Shanna Cal Haley

Jan 18 2013 Lee Clark

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crazy Hair Day

Today is crazy hair day at school.  Thankfully I bought some green hair spray last Halloween and I actually found it last night!  Shanna has been so excited about crazy hair day.  She wanted her hair sprayed green for school a couple of weeks ago, but once I found out about crazy hair day, I told her we'd do it then. She's been counting down the days!
Jan 17 2013 Haley Shanna

Jan 17 2013 Haley Shanna (2)

I got the idea to add some pipe cleaners.  I should have wrapped the pink and purple ones around the base of her pony tail but didn't.  But Shanna was very happy with her hair.
Jan 17 2013 Shanna

Cal had his hair spiked, but then he started flattening it out.  Elden wanted in on the action so his hair is green today too. 
Jan 17 2013 Cal Elden

And lucky for me, bath night is tonight for the younger kids.  I don't know about the rest of you, but sometimes bath night is quite the routine with the younger kids, so we keep it at a minimum whenever we can-three times a week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Family Home Evening Game

Last night we invited some friends over for Family Home Evening.  Family Home Evening--or "FHE", the acronym we like to use--is something our church counsels us to have weekly.  No matter your family situation, once a week you gather with your family, your roommates, or your friends, to spend time with each other, uplift each other with gospel teachings, and strengthen family bonds through fun activities and spiritual experiences. We made our own "FHE" chart which states what each family member is in charge of each week, rotating it weekly.  Normally in our family, every Monday night we have a song, prayer, some sort of spiritual lesson, a talent or "spotlight", a sharing of testimony, then a game and treat. We also do family nights where instead of following our FHE chart, we'll do things as a family. For example: attend one of our children's school concerts, or play at the park or go bowling. I love this weekly time we set aside to spend with our family. And I love that my kids love it too!

Here is our FHE chart that my awesome sister Lena and her husband Mike made for me. I love it! I was going to make it, but he kept offering to sand the wood, then paint it, then space out the lettering, then Lena did the lettering on her vinyl cutter (sorry, Lena, can't remember what your machine is called) that by the time it was done I hardly did anything! I didn't mind one bit! I can't remember exactly who did what, but I know my effort was very small. And FYI, it is level hanging on our wall...
Jan 15 2013 FHE Chart

Anyway, last night we had our "normal" FHE and I was game. I love reading the blog posts on  On Christmas Eve they play games, which I think is so fun.  I want to incorporate some into our Christmas Eve celebrations this coming year. Check out the games Leigh Anne and her family played: I snagged the Oreo game idea and that's what we played last night. It was very fun.  I was the only one to get one in my mouth. Thanks for taking pictures Jenna!
Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game

Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Shanna Haley Elden Sawyer

Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Clark Elden

As you may or may not have noticed, I have been wearing my BYU hoodie a lot lately. I've noticed as I've gone through pictures to put on my blog!

Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Ruth

Almost there....and I did make it!
Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Ruth (2)

Lee was so close.  The cookie was about to go in his mouth, but it slid off at the wrong angle.
Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Ruth Lee Cal Shanna Clark

Jan 14 2013 FHE with the Wilsons, Oreo Game Elden
Afterwards we had homemade brownies for dessert (Lee said our game could have been dessert--true, true!), then adults visited while the kids played.  We had a nice night with our friends.  We'll have to get together again soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A bit from the kids

Since we were gone New Year's Eve we didn't break our houses till we got home.  We have a tradition to break our gingerbread houses at midnight on New Year's Day.  Though we actually haven't broken them then the past couple of years (or maybe ever with my kids?) we tell people that is when you are supposed to break your house.  Our kids took their houses outside and broke them one night with Lee. Here they are with their houses before they smashed them.  Well, Haley didn't smash hers. 
Jan 6 2013 Breaking Gingerbread Houses

We started a new job chart the beginning of the year.  In addition to Saturday jobs and the daily routine of taking care of yourself--brushing teeth, saying prayers, making your bed, putting your own dishes in sink/dishwasher, etc., once a day we each pitch in and help with one job that benefits the whole family.  I have been pretty good at teaching my kids to clean, but not cook.  Sure they help me bake stuff by dumping ingredients into the Bosch, but that is it. So one night a week each member of the family takes a turn making dinner.  I let the kids decide what they wanted to eat for one or two of "their" meals.  Last Wednesday Shanna wanted cheese quesadillas with a salad.  She was so excited about it--so cute!
Jan 9 2013 Shanna

Jan 9 2013 Shanna (2)

Saturday night Shanna made a "tent" and slept in it.
Jan 12 2013 Shanna's tent

Her nightly story.  Saturday night Lee read to her.
Jan 12 2013 Shanna's tent (2)

This morning Elden wanted to watch a movie.  I told him he had to clean his room.  He shares a room with Shanna and Haley, and every weekend it seems to get nice and messy.  Well, Elden went in his room and picked up practically everything off the floor and put it on his bed.  Too cute!  He was so pleased with himself.  "Look mom!  I cleaned my room!"  After he helped me straighten up the closet, we then proceeded to clean off his bed.  He was able to watch a movie.  Good work Elden!
Jan 14 2013 Elden cleaning