Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I love spring! Flowers blooming, warmer weather, daylight savings, spring break, my birthday, and of course Easter. I just have to buy daffodils whenever I go to Trader Joe's. And Cadbury eggs. Yum!

One day last week after the kids came home from school, I took them to the farm supply store to look at the baby chicks. At just $3.99 each, I almost wanted to buy one. But I figured they're not allowed in my neighborhood. Then the lady at the store told me our town allows up to 4 chickens per household within city limits! When I mentioned it to Dave that night he laughed and told me chicken coops are very stinky. He knows - he used to clean them when he worked on a farm. They're also a health hazard. One of the questions he always asks people with lung problems is if they own chickens. Spencer's probably allergic anyway. Oh well. Plus they're not chicks very long. The ones above were just 2 days old. The 1 week old chicks were already much bigger and starting to get feathers. Not nearly as cute.

I guess we'll just have to visit the chicks every spring and buy eggs at the grocery store.

When we went to the zoo last Saturday they had a little temporary spring exhibit with lots of chicks,


and rabbits. I would also love a rabbit. But Spencer's probably allergic to those too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lovin' this weather

The weather has been so perfect recently - mid-70's and sunny. It feels so good to be outside.

We've gone to about 4 different parks in the past week. Plus the local zoo.

We walked to school to pick Dallin up from kindergarten every day (it was minimum days last week, so he went in the morning and got home before the boys). It felt so nice out that we didn't want to go in the house. We climbed the tree in our front yard and rode bikes until the other boys got home.

Dallin took these pictures of me and Levi. They're a little off-center, but I think they're cute.

Levi loves to chew on my hair.

It's supposed to be in the 50's and rainy later in the week, so we are enjoying this while we can.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kayaking on the bay

We finally got the chance to try out Dave's new kayak this past weekend. Between rainy days, illnesses and other activities, we hadn't been to the beach since Christmas.
We borrowed this little blue one from my friend Nancy, and the boys all took turns paddling around the bay. It was really foggy there, but at least it wasn't windy.
The boys loved the new kayak! First Tyler paddled Dallin around. Then he showed him how to do it. By the end he was kayaking all by himself and loving it. He was really concentrating.

Spencer spent most of his time finding sea life.

Brennan went out briefly with Dave, but then he spent the rest of the time playing in the sand. The boys were all so self-entertained, and we just sat and watched them while relaxing on the beach. Well actually Dave was busily studying for his recertification exam he has next week. It's a 6-hour exam he has to take every 6 years in order to keep his PA license. Next time we go he'll be able to do a little more kayaking.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Primary talks

I love watching my boys give talks in primary. They are confident and excited and share such a sweet testimony of the gospel. Dallin gave a talk on Sunday. To prepare I asked him how following the prophet keeps him safe, and he listed a few things. Then I typed it up, and he practiced it a couple times. Dave went up to the podium to help him in case he needed it, but then he was amazed when Dallin read it so well.

There is safety in following the prophet.
∙Prophets teach us to keep our bodies healthy.
∙They teach us not to hurt people.
∙They tell us to listen to our moms and dads.
∙They teach us to be baptized and listen to the Holy Ghost.
∙This will protect us from Satan.
I want to follow the prophet.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Here's a talk Tyler gave last month:
Jesus died on the cross because the people didn’t believe he was really the Son of God. His friends laid his body in a tomb. After three days he got resurrected, which means his Spirit came back into his body. Because Jesus was resurrected, we will all be resurrected after we die. We will never get sick or hurt again.
When I was really little I fell and hit my head on a shelf at the store. I had to get 10 stitches. A year later I fell again and had to get 3 more stitches. Now I have 2 big scars on my forehead. When I am resurrected my scars will be gone and my body will be perfect. I’m glad that Jesus died for me and I know he loves me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
And here's Spencer's talk, also from last month:
Through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved. Jesus suffered for all our sins. He was the only one who could do it because he had a mortal mother and an immortal father.

When I was four I took a toy away from my little brother Tyler, which made him cry. When my mom asked me what happened, I told her he fell down because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Later that night, when I was lying in bed, I felt really bad that I had not told the truth. So I went to my parents and admitted I had made my little brother sad and lied about it. Instead of being mad at me, they were grateful I had told the truth. They said they forgave me and gave me a big hug. Then they asked me not to do it again. I felt much better after that.
When we sin, we can go to Heavenly Father and tell him we have made a mistake and feel really bad about it. Because Jesus suffered for our sins, Heavenly Father will forgive us. Then we try not to do it again. I am grateful for my Savior. I know this church is true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, March 19, 2010

California mission study

Fourth grade is when the kids here learn all about the California missions. So a few weeks ago Spencer talked us into going to the mission just 10 minutes away, which we had never been to.
We did the self-guided tour, which led us through the living quarters. Here's the oven.

I loved all the old materials - brick, stone, and adobe. If we looked super close at the adobe, we could see small fragments of hay used to make it. So cool.

They used sheep hide for window coverings. This mission is one of the few that still has the original intact.

Weaving spindle and looms.

Inside the chapel.

Old doors are the best. This led to the cemetery. My kids love old cemeteries.

The bell tour. More cool stones.

We went after a rainstorm - hence Brennan's muddy knees.
I LOVE these doors. I've decided I really like mission style architecture.

The traditional mission arches.

Funny story: when we first arrived, we could see that there was cactus all over the place. So we warned our kids not to touch the cactus. They do that kind of thing. Then we walked all around and had a great time. But as we were getting back in the car to go home, we saw that Tyler and Brennan were quietly crying. We asked them what the problem was. They said they touched the cactus, and now their fingers were hurting. We asked they why, since we had specifically told them not to. Tyler said they only touched the ones that didn't have spines on them. We explained that they did have spines, but they were too small to see. Dave and I decided this would make a great metaphor, and he ended up using it in his next high council talk. There are some commandments that don't make sense to us or that don't have obvious consequences. But when the prophet warns us not to do something, we need to have faith and follow him anyway.

Then last Friday Spencer's class went on a field trip to the same mission, and I met them there for part of it.

Levi was a huge hit among the students. I just love those big blue eyes.

Then today was their big fiesta, celebrating the end of their study on missions. We all brought Mexican food to share and ate lunch together outside. I was especially grateful for Spencer's interest in trying new foods - he excitedly went around sampling all the different dishes and raving about them. I saw lots of non-Hispanic kids with just chips and cookies on their plates! In making the food assignments, his teacher asked me to prepare a main dish. I thought - how can I compete with the authentic Mexican food the other parents will be making? Spencer wanted me to make something with guacamole, so I made 7 layer bean dip. And it got all eaten up. I specially liked the taquitos and posole. I really need to learn how to make more fun Mexican dishes, besides just tacos and enchilades.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Underwear is funny

Brennan thinks underwear, passing gas, and bums are just hilarious. All you have to do is say "underwear" and he cracks up. While putting together the alphabet puzzle this morning I pointed out the letter "p," and he laughed and laughed. A few weeks ago I made the mistake of taking Brennan with me to the lingerie section at Kohl's to look for a bathrobe. First he found a bright, tacky, red and white negligee and said, "Mom! You have one just like that, right?" Which I don't, but how silly would I look trying to explain that to the strangers looking on. So I decided to just leave and look for a bathrobe later - without Brennan. But on the way out he kept picking up the biggest, brightest underwear he could find and saying through his laughter, "This underwear is so funny!!" I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Note to self - leave Brennan home next time I go to Kohl's. Or any store that sells underwear.
p.s. Brennan just came to me crying because he fell off a chair. So I read him this blog, and he seriously cracked up, through his tears and everything.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

We went to the aquarium again this past Saturday, since we got a year's membership last December and Dave and Brennan didn't go with us that time. Plus we heard it might be rainy again, and after feeling stuck in the house the previous rainy Saturday, we wanted to get out and do something fun.First we went to lunch at Bubba Gump on Cannery Row. We've seen it there before and wanted to try it; then our neighbor raved about it recently, so we thought we'd give it a try. It was such a fun restaurant, covered with quotes from the movie Forrest Gump and ping pong paddles and such. We especially liked the signs in the middle of each table that we could change from "Run Forrest Run," meaning we don't need anything,
..to "Stop Forrest Stop," meaning we need help from our server. I think every restaurant needs something like that! They were so quick.
We got the kids something called boat trash, which was a bucket of all kinds of seafood - including lobster claws. These were a huge hit, and they played with the empty claw the rest of the day. Then we headed over to the aquarium. It wasn't quite as crowded as it was over the holidays, which was nice. My kids can't get enough of the hands-on stuff. That's what they spend most of their time doing there. Here's some pretty pictures from the day:

It was a chilly day, but it didn't rain until the way home.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Silver Medalist

Last week was our school's math and science Olympics. Each grade had a math competition, with the fastest contenders earning medals. The Kindergartners had to count down from 20, and Dallin got the silver medal! I didn't even know he could do that, but apparently they've been practicing in class.

He was dancing, striking a pose and jumping all around on stage, but he finally held still long enough for a quick picture. What a character!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rice cereal - yum!

Levi has started getting interested in our food. He stares at it with curiousity, although he hasn't learned to reach out and grab it yet. We thought it'd be fun to start him on solids, which is really more entertaining than anything.
This was quite a family affair, and the boys were all so excited to help feed him.

Levi liked it okay. He was all eager to get it in his mouth, but he didn't know what to do with it after that. So he pushed most of it back out.He was definitely more interested in the spoon.

Brennan loved feeding Levi. Then the next day he came up to me and said, "Mom, I fed Levi!" Uh-oh. I ran to check on him, and he was trying to navigate a huge pear chunk. I got most of it out with a finger sweep, but then he choked on a tiny piece of the peel and spit up all over. We had a little talk with Brennan after that.

Whew! That was exhausting. Time for a nap.