Thursday, April 22, 2010


Jake came in from the chicken coop this morning and handed me the eggs.

All he said was, "That poor chicken."

On the right, your average Large-sized chicken egg. On the left, well...

Having given birth to a 9 lb. 9 oz. baby myself almost 3 years ago, I empathize.

Clayton (in the bassinet) and the 5 lb. baby across the hall from us in the hospital.

I feel ya, momma chicken. At least you didn't have to have an episiotomy. I hope.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In a Tight Spot

Connor scoots. He's getting close to crawling, but for now, if he wants to get somewhere, he scoots on his bum. Sometimes, he scoots himself into cramped quarters. We try really hard not to laugh when he gets stuck. But sometimes that's impossible.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

See the Good

If you watch BYU TV, you know that this year, they are encouraging their viewers to "See the Good in the World." Both of our older children ended up in our bed during the wee hours of the morning the other day. Jake and I started our morning, and when he went in later to wake Caroline for school, this is what he found:

What more "Good" can you find than the sweet innocence of sleeping children finding comfort in being together - even in an unconscious state?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

When We're Helping We're Happy!

Monday afternoon I was bustling around the kitchen trying to get dinner ready. Connor was fussin because he was hungry and I was trying to get some visual aids for Family Home Evening printed, cut out and ready for our lesson and activity. Between spooning food into Connor's mouth and checking to see if the print job was done, I was running back to the kitchen to stir dinner. I came around the corner to feed Connor and I found this. At the same moment, Caroline was asking me, "Mom, what can I do to help you?" So I put her to work cutting out FHE stuff. I'm so grateful for such sweet little ones who show so much perfect love and teach me daily how to serve by their examples.
I'll take THAT, thank you!
Heaven help us if we've already hit the "do it myself" stage with Connor.
My happy little helpers.
I wish I'd taken a good picture of her outfit. She'd worn a skirt I made her to school with her "I'm the Big Sister" shirt I also made. Because the skirt was black & white polka dots with fuschia trim, she chose black & white striped tights. When she got home, she changed into a pair of long knit, fuschia pink shorts but refused to take off her tights. To complete the ensemble she put on a pair of fluffy boot-like slippers. She looked so stinkin' girly and cute!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Hunny Bunnies

The Easter Bunny stuck these cute bunny ears in the kids baskets. They love to put them on and hop around the house, and on this day, insisted that Connor wear his. I think it's a little big for his head, though!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April Fools!

I sortof forgot what day it was last Thursday, until about two hours before dinnertime. While I was scrambling for a quick, fun dinner to fool my family, my sister Marilyn called with some information for me. She's in pharmacy school and recently studied contraceptives. While she was here visiting, we were discussing them and she went back with questions for her professer. She called to tell me that the type I'm on may not be as effective as I thought. So after our conversation, the wheels began turning. I grabbed one of the pregnancy tests I always keep under the bathroom sink, took it apart, drew two blue lines on it, put it back together and dipped it in water to give it an authentic somewhat smeared look. When Jake came home, I launched into the, "So Marilyn called today.... and I've been not feeling well...and so...."

I had him pretty convinced for about 5 minutes.

Then I called Marilyn and pulled it on her. She believed me too. It was a good night for pranks.

Then we served dinner

Caroline helped make mini "hamburgers" to play a joke on Daddy.
We used Nilla Wafers, Thin Mint Cookies, a strawberry slice and green-dyed coconut.

Whispers, "$2.99"

The kids thought the mini burgers were a great dinner!

Then I pulled out dessert. I'd made a meatloaf cake with pink mashed potato frosting. It looked pretty convincing, but one whiff and Clayton was NOT going to eat THAT.

Photo courtesy of Family Fun. I forgot to take a picture, but this is where I got the idea!


We had so much fun dyeing our eggs!

Connor stayed entertained with a biter biscuit while we decorated eggs.

The Easter Bunny knows that at our house, we like to focus our Easter Sunday on the real reason we celebrate, so he always comes on Saturday. On Friday night, the kids put out their slippers (when I was little, the Easter Bunny always left a treat in our slippers) and then snuggled down next to each other on the floor in Caroline's room for an Easter sleepover. Even though they knew that the bunny wouldn't come if they didn't go to sleep, they kept getting up and coming into the living room. After the 5th time, a very frustrated Daddy said, "If you come out again, the Easter Bunny won't come tonight." When Caroline peeked her head around the sofa 5 minutes later, all he said was "Bring me your slippers." Saturday morning was a little sad when Caroline woke up and made a beeline for the slippers. There was nothing inside and no sign of the Easter Bunny anywhere.
Poor kids.

But later, in between Conference sessions after we'd had lunch, Daddy suggested that he and the kids go check on the little birds we're chicken-sitting for a friend. With a wink, he suggested that Mommy have "a nap". Which I gladly did, for about 2 minutes when I saw the van pulling into the drive. It was fun to lay there and listen to the surprise & excitement when they saw that the Easter Bunny had come after all. Clayton was the first to discover the visit. He ran into the living room, where the Easter Bunny had painstakingly "hidden" and arranged jellybeans and plastic eggs full of treats around the living room. I heard, "Dad, there's BEANS!!!!" and Caroline's delighted squeal soon followed. They ran in to "wake me up" and I loved every minute of it.

Amazed at the Easter Bunny's sneakiness.
Look! I found my basket!

Is that basket down there mine??? Nope...
...HERE's my basket!

Monday, April 5, 2010

General Conference Weekend

Connor familiarizing himself with the leadership of the church. :)
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have the wonderful opportunity twice a year to listen to the leaders of the church speak to us, give us counsel, teach and inspire us, guide us and bring us comfort. It is broadcast from Salt Lake City to our local church buildings and if you're lucky like us, to BYUTV available by satelite.
I always look forward to Conference, for the rejuvination that I feel and the renewed determination to do better. I usually prepare in advance by praying about something I've been struggling with or something I need help with, such as a decision or just an everyday issue I want to handle better. Always, more than one talk is an answer to my prayers and direct inspiration from Heavenly Father to help me. This year was no different - in fact, it seemed every talk offered insight into my particular problem - and I'm so grateful for a loving Father that is intimately aware of me, my needs and desires and who is so willing to bless me with the grace & help I need to do better.
I want our children to develop their own testimonies of the reality of our Heavenly Father as our literal father. I want them to know, as I do, that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer. I want them also to love and look forward to hearing a living prophet and apostles speak to us. Caroline was already pretty excited when I mentioned the upcoming conference last week (she couldn't wait to play bingo!) But for such little children, four 2-hour sessions spread over 2 days is a little bit much. For the last couple of years, I've had friends and family members forward me different "General Conference Packets" full of activities and ideas to help children get the most out of conference.

Connor "helping" me with the packets.
This year, I took several of those as well as some ideas from online to create a "Conference Zone" for Caroline & Clayton. I made them each a General Conference Folder, which I laminated (er, covered with Clear Contact paper, since that's what I had). I also made 2 activity packets that were stapled together - one for Saturday and one for Sunday- that had a little more age-appropriate activities for a 2 and 4 year old than some of the other packets I've seen had.
Caroline working on her activity packet during one of the Saturday sessions.
I saw another idea we also tried. We set up a "reverence tent" and talked about the story of King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon. For those unfamiliar with him, King Benjamin was a very good, wise king and prophet who worked hard alongside his people and taught them to serve one another. Near the end of his life, he wanted to speak to all of the people, so he had a tower constructed near the temple that he could stand on to speak so his words would reach as far as possible. The people pitched their tents all around the tower, facing the temple, to listen to the prophet speak. We likened that to General Conference and faced our tent toward the prophet.
At the blog "Love Hugs & Giggles" I saw a "Conference Wall" which we also made a with pictures of each of the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They listened to the speakers and then put their pictures next to a word that described what the address was about, such as "Faith, Love, Family, Jesus Christ, Atonement, etc..."

The "Reverence Tent"

Our "Conference Wall"

Saturday morning, even though I told them they only had to listen to one talk, they were so into listening and playing "Conference Bingo" in their folders that they sat quietly through the entire 2 hour session. Towards the end, Clayton decided to play with his little Superman action figure, but he was still very quiet and whispered until the session ended - without being prompted!

Clayton playing quietly during the first session of Conference.
Preparing a way for our children to enjoy conference took some planning and work, but after seeing how excited Caroline already was and how much both she and Clayton got out of conference, as small as they are, made it all worth it.
Caroline helping prepare our "Conference Wall"
For ideas to make Conference wonderful for your whole family, visit The Idea Door, Sugardoodle, and the church's official website.
I know this picture is random, but it's a shot of our traditional "Conference Bread" that I make every year!