Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Brennan has been having so much fun at preschool. Two days a week seems just right for him, and it gives me a chance to catch up on shopping and housework.
It was my turn to teach last week, and we had the letter "c." I had more fun doing it than I thought I would. We pass the materials (above) around each week, and we start each day with the pledge of allegience, the days of the week, and the weather. Then we introduce the letter of the week, practice writing it, read books about things that start with the letter, and do related crafts and science and math activities. We eat a snack that goes along with the letter (cantaloupe, carrots, crackers, cheese, and of course cookies), and the kids pack a lunch. They also bring something to share that starts with the letter. We are all using, but I also came up with some of it myself.
I didn't take any pictures my first day, when we made cookies (they made the dough, rolled it out, cut out shapes, added sprinkles, baked and ate them - what a hit!), learned about the life cycle of a caterpillar for science and did counting for math. On Thursday one of the girls wasn't there, so I didn't get any pictures of her this time. They drew circles around all the C's and all the pictures that start with C.
Then we mixed colors and painted pictures. They wore big old shirts inside out for smocks.

There are 2 girls and 3 boys in our group. This is Kimber.

This is the other Brennen, whose mom's name happens to be Hilary. Isn't that funny?

We learned about coins for math. For science we read books about clouds, then we made cotton ball cloud pictures. I already have my mind thinking about my next letter, G, the week before Halloween - ghosts, ghouls, gourds, glitter, green, gobs of goo...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Evening hike

We went on a family hike after Tyler's soccer game Saturday. He had a late game, so we didn't get started until after 4:00. But that was good because otherwise it would have been too hot.

Levi grew out of his other carrier, and this one seems so huge for him. It probably weighs more than he does. I need to look for a medium-sized one.

There were lots of fun boulders to climb along the way. But we moved along pretty quick and hiked 3 miles in 1 1/2 hours.

We usually hike around this lake in the winter, when it's lush with wildflowers. But I enjoyed all the bright yellow grass everywhere, and I still thought it was pretty.

We started this particular hike once before, but I twisted my ankle towards the beginning and we had to turn back.

The end of this hike is called Eagle View, and it has beautiful views of the lake and surrounding hills. It was definitely worth it. And it really wasn't too steep.

I've probably said this before, but hiking is the perfect activity for little boys. They're outside, they use up all their energy, there's lots to see/feel/explore, and they get to use their hiking sticks they made at cub scout day camp. Spencer even thought to bring along his first aid kit he made at day camp, and the tweezers came in handy to get thorns out of Tyler's hands.

I was so proud of Brennan for hiking the whole way on his own. Look at that little red face - what a tough cookie. We had to hold his hand to prevent falls and help him keep up. While I was taking this picture, he had a hard time holding still. I asked him if he had to go potty, and he said yes. Well of course we were in the middle of no where, so I told him he'd need to pee behind a tree. Without hesitation he pulled down his pants and peed right where we were. Good thing no one was around.

There were some huge birds flying around the top. I don't know if they were really eagles, but we had fun calling them such, since we were at Eagle View.

Heading back down. That's the easy part.
Tyler spotted this gigantic hairy tarantula in the middle of the path on the way back. It scurried to the side before I got there, but then it just stood in the grass and let us take pictures of it. Yuck!!! Of course Spencer wanted to keep it.
The three big boys ran most of the way, there and back. Afterwards we drove over to the lake and had a picnic at the park. Whenever we take the boys hiking we have so much fun and decide we need to do it more often.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little guy, Levi

Look who's almost 1! It's so hard to believe, but our little October baby is 11 months old.

Levi loves his baths. He splashes and crawls around and stands up and plops back down onto his bum, laughing hysterically.

When I mentioned to Tyler that I took cute pictures of Levi in the bath, he said, "I hope you didn't get a picture of his private area. You could go to jail for that!" I assured him I was very careful not to.

Levi has changed so much in just the past couple of weeks. He waves 'Hi!" and "bye," crawls on all fours, weaned himself from nursing, eats table foods, drinks from a straw, walks along furniture, stands alone for approximately 2 seconds, and pulls books off shelves and food out of the pantry and pots out of the cupboard and dishes out of the dishwasher. In fact he makes a b-line for the dishwasher whenever he sees it open.

He laughs and makes everyone happy. He wrestles and rolls around on the floor with the big boys. He thinks he's just as big as they are. He screams when we don't feed him fast enough and gets all excited when I make the sign for "more," meaning, "do you want more food?" Then he throws food off his tray when he's done.

I love to go places with Levi when Brennan's in preschool. He's such a good little shopper, and he gets lots of attention wherever we go. He's just so stinkin' cute.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last minute temple trip

Around the middle of last week, we realized we had nothing planned for Saturday. And since we've had something going on every weekend for months and will have soccer games every Saturday for the next couple of months, we decided to head down to the L.A. temple Friday after work. We had a good book to read in the car, which makes me not even mind the long drive.
We were so excited to see that after 3 years of renovation, the visitor's center is finally open. And wow, were we impressed. It is so beautiful, and it is full of hands-on activities for all ages.

There was a whole kids area, and the boys had fun drawing digital pictures and watching lots of touchscreen videos.

There were multiple small rooms, and this one was really cool. It was an ancient scripture scroll room with a big map showing where key events of the Savior's life took place.

There were computers and videos everywhere, so instead of everyone watching one movie at the same time in a big auditorium, we could walk around and pick and choose videos to watch on our own. No wonder it took them three years to remodel this place. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you check it out. Afterwards we went to Ikea (which I hadn't been to in probably 15 years), and Tyler, Dallin and Brennan loved the kid play area there. If I lived closer to an Ikea, I'd go there weekly. Free babysitting while I shop - what a genius idea. It was a lovely weekend, until the drive home when Levi decided he did not want to be in the car anymore (the little pill refuses to sleep in the car, like all babies are supposed to do), and he screamed the last hour or so. I just had to read extra loud.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brennan and Eric

The sad thing about last week was that Brennan couldn't go to school. Every day when the boys left he cried and cried and insisted that he is big enough to go to school. So I tried to plan fun things to distract him from the injustice. One day we invited Eric to go to the children's museum with us, and that was lots of fun. And since school was back in session, we practically had the place to ourself. Luckily for everyone, Eric and Brennan started preschool today!! They were so excited. It's a co-op, so each of us 5 moms will take turns teaching 1 week in our own home (Tuesday and Thursday), and then we'll get 4 weeks off. After I dropped them off, Levi and I went shopping at Target. Now I am enjoying a lovely quiet house while Levi naps. Aaaahhhh!