Monday, April 25, 2011

Last little bit of Yellowstone...

 There were buffalo, everywhere. Just roaming in the middle of the street...At first we were all kinda scared then realized it's totally normal in Yellowstone!

 We hiked several times during our short vacation. Here we hiked to some hot springs and to the Mammoth Geyser.
 To think, I traveled with ALL theses BOYS!! Even so, I had a blast with each and every one of them! Cute picture of them all!! I sure am lucky!
 I know we were not (technically) suppose to touch the water, but we all wanted to. It was pretty warm, not boiling like at some other parts of the park.

 Even Naters thought it was pretty trippy to see huge animals right outside his window!
 We went on one hike, which was probably the most fun. There was no snow anywhere, except for on the small wooded ramp that you're suppose to walk on. It was extra slippery and your legs kept falling through if you didn't step directly in the center of the snowy path. So we hikes on top of 4-5 feet snow looking at different geysers and wilderness. Here is Papa next to some of the heaping snow we had to climb.

 Everyday we went swimming in the pool, many times a day. It was a huge indoor pool with a kids pool and two Jacuzzis. (Even Papa came in with us one time!!) We'd be sitting in the nice warm jacuzzi and then run outside and lay in the snow. And repeat. FUN!

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I'm in the middle UPDATE!!
I just finished reading a very fascinating book by Amy Chua, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". Have you read this? WOW. It's so interesting. She is a crazy, extreme harsh parent, but I give her a lot of credit for things she and her girls have accomplished. I think Scott and I are more strict than not, but now my point of view is changing. For example, I have the boys practice their musical instruments for about 30 minutes each day. Usually 6 days a week. She had her girls practice 3 plus hours a day! Mine may not be long enough of a practice but hers is excessive. (Her girls were 6 and 8 years old!) So here are some questions I've been pondering today and want to ask what you think.
If I allow my boys to watch (limited) TV, have (selected) sleepovers and have 2 or so play dates a week am I being a nice, kind mom or giving them too much freedom? If one of my kids comes home and missed 1 or 2 on a spelling test should I praise him or punish him? (I've never gotten mad at one of the boys for getting A's or B's)

I feel like each of my kids (and others for that matter) should experience different classes, sports, areas of life. If I sign one of the boys up for soccer or an art class I don't expect them to become a huge soccer star like David Beckham or a world renowned artist like Van Gogh. I just want them to experience a little of everything. Am I wrong?

At the same time I wish I knew what each of my kids' God given gifts and talents are (I'm starting to figure some of them out but they also seem to change a little as time goes on.) If I knew Jackson was going to be a golf star I'd do everything I could (and become a "Chinese Mother") to help him achieve everything golf has to offer. I'd love to know what their "gift" is. I pray every night that I am inspired to know. If an average male practiced basketball as long as (a younger) Michael Jordan did, Michael Jordan would still be better than that other male. Why? Because ONE of Michael's "gifts" was/is basketball. I don't care what my kids "gifts" are, sports, academics, musical talents...I just wish I knew. But, maybe then I'd become a "Chinese Mother". Would that be wrong?

The book pretty much kept me spellbound. It was so intriguing. One part that still makes me cringe a little is how (most of the time) she treated her girls. They were screamed at for not doing extra credit at school, and shamed for wanting to do anything different from what was demanded. Children need to be pushed. I just think she pushed a little [a LOT] over-the-top.
I did learn a few things that I will share with you about this book.

1. I want to be more involved in my kids lives. I want to do more in order to help them succeed and be the best they can be.

2. Be more consistent with my boys. If I tell them there will be a punishment  I need to enforce it (Which I am usually good at)

3. I want to expect more from my children. Often,children will surprise us with what they're capable of.

Side note...I read this while on vacation with my family in Yellowstone and every once in a while would tell a story of what I just read or I would read a passage from the book. My Boys were mortified and when I looked at them and you could see the terror in their faces.  They kept asking (begging) me not to parent like that! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Callings

I received two new callings a couple months ago and have wanted to write about it and never got around to it. Today I was reminded again to write this post because Scott was called in a new position at church. (He had 4 callings!! So when they called us last week to meet we were stumped!)
Scott (was a Gospel Doctrine teacher, High Priests teacher, something with scouting and something else) but now he was called to be the Scoutmaster. What a wonderful calling for him! He will be great in this new adventure! (At church they didn't release him which was kinda funny. They said they would so he will only have 1 calling!)

I was in the primary and was called to help in the Relief Society as the monthly Newsletter coordinator and I team up with another sister and we're in charge of the Mid-Week activities. And that's what I wanted to post about. Our presidency wanted us to plan at least 6 months in advance but we ended up going all the way to January of 2012! The Presidency wants us to focus on these four themes as we decide and plan the monthly activities. Relationship with God, Relationship with our fellow men, Relationship with our family, and Relationship with ourselves.

In March we planned a "get to know you" activity along with a small Birthday Bash (the RS birthday!) We handed out bags for the sisters to bring with them on the night of the event. They could put whatever they wanted to inside to help us learn most about them. It was a very fun evening.

In April we did a "Women's Health Night". We met all together and handed out water bottles with a scripture tied to it (D&C 89:18-20) we also had the sisters write down their names for a drawing. (We had 5-$5 gift cards to Subway Sandwiches) There were 4 mini classes provided that ended up being about 12 minutes long. A nutritionist spoke about the food pyramid, healthy snacks, water and calcium intake. She also brought fliers and snacks to share with everyone.
Another class was exercise. How much, how often and what kids.
The third mini class was a Meditation/relaxation class and she showed us how to rub our our hands and find the pressure points that would help relieve stress.
The fourth class was taught by a doctor and he spoke about different tests women need to make sure and get and when. An overall health look at a women's body no matter what the age is.
It was a very fun and enlightening evening.

For May we have planned "A Mother's Tribute". We're having four sisters talk to us for about 5 minutes about a mother that has inspired them. Were serving different soups in bread bowls and having pictures of (as many) sisters from our ward as we can on the big screen showing through the evening. Each table will have a different center piece about some kind of Motherly theme. (sewing and crafts, cooking and baking, infant and baby stuff, gardening and canning, and a pampering center piece. There is a beautiful song that a sister is going to sing and another funny poem about motherhood. It should be a fun evening as well.

Here are some other upcoming fun mid-week activities:
June "Service Auction and Humanitarian Aid" (We're auctioning off services to other sisters and were decorating scrap book pages for Primary Children's Hospital)

July "FabuLESSly Frugal" I'm heading a deals, coupons, and budget class.

August (the other ward is in charge of)

September "Cultural Arts Dinner" Decorating each table from a different country and having a pot luck of foods from different countries.

October "Super Saturday Craft Day"

November a Christmas themed evening. A Spiritual evening with dinner provided.

December "A New Year. A New Spirit" Getting ready for the new year by setting goals for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects in our lives.

I am thrilled about this calling and can't wait for these fun, uplifting and enriching experiences!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg hunt

 We were invited to attend a neighborhood egg hunt this morning. followed by a pot luck lunch. The hunt was held at the Towers backyard. It's a nice large spacious area, perfect for an Easter egg hunt! There were 20 kids and 12 adults. It was a lot of fun.
 They let out the kids that were under 3 years old first. Naters and Brigs were in that group and were so excited to collect eggs and place them in their bags.
 Two minutes later ages 4-6 were let out. Gavin ran full steam ahead and found some "lucky" eggs.
 By the time the bog boys made it out Nathan had already found his 10, was sitting at the kids table eating his candy. So dang cute!

 There were 2 huge eggs found and Will found one of them. He was thrilled!
The eggs had candy, silly bands, poppers and other small toys. They kids LOVED it! And it was fun to watch! We then all ate a yummy lunch together!

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center (part 1)

 Across the street from where we were staying in West Yellowstone was a place called the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. (While out in Yellowstone we didn't see any bears, and we really wanted to, especially the boys. So we decided to go here and check it out.)
 It was pretty neat. There were several bears and wolves and also museums with pictures, videos and stuffed animals where we could touch them.
 There were 2 places for the wolves, 2 different packs. They were beautiful animals too.
 Here I am with my sweetheart who planned this fun vacation. (I have always been the planner, but Scott took the reins on this one and did a great job!)

This is a bear wood carving that is taller than Will but there was so much snow that Will climbed on it and was higher than the bear!

More fun at Yellowstone

 We drove around most of the upper western part of the park and saw many, many animals and geysers. It was weird because some parts of the ground had piles of snow 5 feet high and then across the street there was zero snow. (Because of the warmth from the geysers.)
  TylWaiting at Old Faithful, and man was it coooold that day!
er hanging out with one of the townsmen.

 Papa and I hanging out at another hot spot. We had to hike to this place, which was pretty easy hike, and fun!
We drove through Utah, through Idaho and stayed in Montana at our Time Share. Then we drove into Wyoming to go to Yellowstone. It was pretty fun for the kids to drive through so many states. Here, were at the halfway mark between the equator and the north pole. Pretty cool!


A couple weekends ago I took the little boys to see the new Yogi Bear 3-D movie. It was cute and we had a fun time! The boys kept their glasses on for most of the movie! I always buy the large popcorn with a free refill and bring along some cute popcorn holders for the boys. So fun!

First Day of Nursery

This is cute Naters on his first day of nursery with his big brother to show him the ropes. He had a real fun time in there. (I looked through the window every 15 minutes to check on him!) At the end of church when I came in, he ran over to me and was so excited that I came back for him. It melted my heart.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Falls

I forgot to add some pictures of the Temple and the falls together.

Idaho Falls Temple

On our way to Yellowstone for Spring Break we stopped off in Idaho to see this beautiful temple! (It was Scott's and the boys first time in the state of Idaho!!) It is such a beautiful building. We walked around it and went through the visitor's center.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring is HERE!! (when it's not snowing!)

 My compost is completed!It's so awesome! (Thanks Rosco and Lindsay for helping find he 4th pallet!!) There are two doors in the front. THANKS to Scott for building it for me! I LOVE IT! And we've already been adding "brown" and "green" stuff to it!!
 Papa and Will build a huge sifter. There are a ton of small rocks in the yard and its been difficult to garden and landscape the yard. This will defiantly help! Thanks boys!!

We have 3 fruit trees (apple, plum and apricot) and they are turning into beautiful spring trees! Blossoms everywhere! LOVE it!!
My garden is also starting to sprout and the plants inside are
doing great also!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

The other day we headed to Costco to pick up a few items and I came across their HUGE strawberries! I had to buy some, so I bought 2! All the boys have been eating them...they are delicious! This morning I made chocolate covered strawberries.  I left them on the counter until they cooled and then I was going to move them to the refrigerator... 

...about 10 minutes later I walked back into the kitchen and saw this! AWW! Each strawberry had little finger marks through each of them! I knew exactly who had done it! I went outside  and asked Brigham (whose face and hands were covered in chocolate!!) if he ate the chocolate on moms strawberries? "Not me mom!" Yea right Brigs!
I still ate some tonight and they were good!!

The Photographer...Gavin

Gavin takes my small camera all the time and takes pictures of all these random thins around the house. A picture of the trash can, a random toy and toothbrush on the counter. Here is what I came across last week. All these adorable shots of Brigham dancing, running, smiling...And Gavin was even able to get a cute shot of him and his brother.

SLC Half Marathon

One of my most favorite cousins, Bubbles, ran the Salt lake City half marathon this morning! I am so proud of her! She just recently started running and she never thought she could do it. I never doubted!! She ran her fastest run too! Also, a big shout out to Amy (another wonderful cousin) that ran with her! Great job ladies!!
It was so fun being there this morning. Some of the boys and I painted some signs and wanted to surprise her. We waited on the sidelines for about 30 minutes cheering on some of the other competitors. The marathon ended in the Gateway (outdoor) mall. The main street of the mall was divided into to lanes. One, for the half marathon runners and the other half for the marathoners. It was really neat being in the crowd and feeling the awesome vibe.
Again, I am so proud of Bubbles! You go girl!!