Sunday, May 29, 2011


Just like school, hockey is winding down for the year. It's been fun to watch Spencer really improve over the past 2 years. In the beginning he was more of an observer (we were happy if he ever touched the puck), and now he's one of the top players. He said that as his skills have improved, he cares more about his own performance than whether or not his team is winning. Which is good, because they're in 4th place out of 4 teams again this season. One thing I'm especially impressed with is that he passes to everyone, even the newest players. He says he remembers how that felt.

Facing off with his friend Ryan. Too bad they're on different teams this season.

He's especially good at maneuvering the puck past a crowd. Unfortunately he's had a few penalties this season for hooking.

It's just fun to watch him, and he has become so much more responsible. He gets all of his gear ready on his own (there's a lot of gear), and pushes us all out the door to get there on time. It's been really good for him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making Money

The boys are always looking for money chores. And since Spencer gets to babysit, Tyler is taking over the lawn. He gets $5 for the whole thing, and he does a good, thorough job.

He's lucky he doesn't have allergies, like Spencer.

It's so big and heavy for him. He really has to put his weight into it, especially on the turns.

Yep, he still his his wrist band from Boomers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mormon Helping Hands

Last month we participated with a big service project our church does every year, called Mormon Helping Hands. There's an article about it in the Paso Robles Press with a picture of Dave and Dallin and my friend Nancy. I had fun chatting with her the whole time.

This year we went to Centennial Park to pick up trash and pull weeds along the walking path.

Levi learned the word trash while we were there. He was so good, just hanging out on Dave's back and saying "trash" the whole time.

Here's Spencer and Dallin with Nancy's daughter Kaitlyn.

And Tyler with her daughter Madelyn. This picture cracks me up. Tyler's just standing there with his hair sticking up, and Maddie's posing all cute.

The boys worked pretty hard, but there were so many distractions, like the huge caterpillar they're looking at here.

As Brennan saw me working on this blog, he said, "Remember the dog poop mom? That was nasty. Let's go back and see it again."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

W is for Window

I had the letter W for preschool last month. We made windows by cutting out pieces of different colored tissue paper and gluing them onto the back of black paper frames -very pretty.

We made wheat flour (our wheat grinder is very loud, as you can see).

And made whole wheat waffles. They were a big hit.

Then we went on a walk. It was a hot day, and they had to rest in the shade every chance they got.

We found a cute yard with old antique wheels and farm equipment, perfect for pictures.

Brennan was a little nervous, since there were bees buzzing all around the bushes on either side of him.

Notice we were missing Brennen W. His family was on vacation in San Diego that week.

Thursday was wet and chilly, a complete change from our hot walk on Tuesday. For snack I told them, in all seriousness, that we were going outside to dig for worms. They thought I was crazy.

Eric was especially concerned. He kept saying, "They're just gummy worms, right? We're not going to eat real worms, right? I can't even eat gummy worms if they've been in the dirt." It's like he knew I must be kidding, but he had to be sure.

After we finally found a worm we went inside, where they found bowls of chocolate pudding with gummy worms at the bottom and Oreo crumbs on top. Brennan & Levi dug right in, but the other kids were still very cautious. They had to wait until someone else ate it before they'd even touch it.

The girls were very concerned about the mess Levi was making.. "Look at your baby! You need to clean him!"


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Awards and kites

Last week was our cub scout pack meeting. Tyler got his wolf badge and a couple of arrow badges. Here he's giving me the mom pin.

Spencer got his Arrow of Light, so that was cool. It's the highest award in cub scouts, and it's the only one that carries over to Boy Scouts. We were up late passing things off, the same night we were finishing his invention and sending him to his first 11 year old scout meeting. There's a reason the mom gets a pin every time the scout earns a big award.

Then he walked across the bridge, symbolizing his crossing over to Boy Scouts.

My camera was still set on a high ISO, so these are grainy too. I'll be sure to check that from now on.

We had our pack meeting at the park so we could fly kites after the awards. It's always windy there.

Levi's pointing at the kites. It was a fun night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Open House

Wednesday night was open house at school. That's the time the parents are invited to visit all the classrooms to see projects and visit with teachers. My kids love this night. They're so excited to show us their artwork and such. Plus some rooms serve cookies. Here's Tyler with his teacher, Mrs. Yarborough.

Spencer came straight from a hockey game (they lost, but Spencer got 3 goals!); here he is with his teacher, Mrs. Skinner.

He was very happy to see that his invention won first place in his class! All the 5th graders have to invent something, and they have judges come in during the day to talk to all the students about their projects. That's the highlight of open house night. We always love to walk around all the 5th grade classes to check out the inventions. Anyway, Spencer invented this thing that stops the spread of oil spills until they can be cleaned up. It's a series of buoys that surround an oil spill and pump soap into the center to prevent the oil from spreading. (Thank-you for helping him, Troy. The irrigation soakers worked great!) He got extra credit for inventing something that helps the environment. His majorly environmental teacher was very pleased.

I always like to get pictures of my boys with their teachers at open house, but Dallin's teacher Mrs. Young has been gone for a month because her son was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. We hope she can come back soon; Dallin misses her so much, and he prays for her and her son at every prayer. Here's our wonderful principal, Mr. Yee. We LOVE him!! He knows all the families at the school by name, and he even subs when needed. His favorite subject to teach is math.

As we were leaving they had to show us what they do every day after school. This explains why they come home soaking wet every day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Zoo trips

We went on a field trip to the zoo with Brennan's preschool. It's a very small zoo, but it's just the right size for this age. Afterwards we had a picnic lunch and played at the park.

Levi is really into animals these days. He likes to make roaring noises for all of them. He was especially excited about seeing the meercats.

He also loved the birds. I didn't actually get any pictures of the animals this time. Just us looking at the animals.

Then a week later we went to the same zoo for Dallin's class field trip. Levi was obsessed with the water fountain. We spent a lot of time here.

My camera was on the wrong ISO setting, so these pictures are pretty grainy. I didn't know it until I downloaded my pictures. Oh well, I'm learning.

Here's one of Dallin's best friends, Ronan. There were so many parents there that we each only had 2-3 kids in our group. I just had the 2 of them. I've never seen a class with so many involved parents.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Magical day at Disneyland

We had the most wonderful trip to Disneyland a couple weeks ago. Why was it so great, you ask?

1. It's Disneyland. I love that place. And we hadn't been there in 3 1/2 years, so we'd been itching to go. I was excited all week (we decided to go just 1 week ahead of time), and didn't tell our kids until the day we left. That was fun.

2. We didn't take Levi. It was our first time there without a baby or toddler, and it was so easy. We didn't even need a stroller! Thank-you Kristen and Emily Z!

3. We used Ridemax, which minimized our wait time for all the rides. Aaron and Marrisse introduced us to it, and it worked great. We typed in all the rides we wanted to go on and what day we were going, and then we printed out our itinerary for the day. It was definitely worth the $15.

4. We took the boys out of school and went on a Friday, so nothing was too crowded. Plus the weather was gorgeous.

This was a great time to go because the boys are all old enough to go on everything (there were just a few rides Brennan wasn't tall enough for) yet young enough to love the magic of Disney.

Brennan doesn't look too happy here, but it's one of the few pictures I'm in.

The Matterhorn bobsled ride was a favorite for everyone. We even did it twice.

Another favorite is Buzz Lightyear.

Such concentration.

The ride kept breaking down while we were on it, which was awesome because we got really high scores.

Sometimes we would wait while Dave ran to get Fastpasses. That worked out well.

I love Small World, especially in the afternoon when it's hot and sunny outside.

Brennan loved it too.

Brennan wasn't tall enough for Indiana Jones, so we did the trade-off thing. He climbed the treehouse and tried on hats while we were waiting. He was a little disappointed he couldn't go on 3 of the rides, since he wasn't afraid of anything. He's just like Spencer.

The boys liked it when we did that because they got to go twice in a row. Dallin was a little nervous beforehand (which made me worry he'd have another middle-of-the-line-change-of-mind, like he did for Space Mountain), but he LOVED it. It ended up being one of his favorite rides of the day.

So often Brennan won't look at the camera or smile for pictures. Everyone else does great every time.

One of Dallin's only memories from last time was the train ride. Once again, Brennan is not looking at the camera.
We ate dinner while watching the Jedi training. Too bad our boys didn't get chosen.

But we got a visit from Darth Maul, so that was cool.

Hat stores are the best.

The longest line of the day was definitely Finding Nemo. It wasn't even on our itinerary because we knew it would take awhile and didn't think it was worth it last time. But the kids really wanted to do it, and we had plenty of time before fireworks. It took 25 minutes, which I guess isn't too bad; but it felt like forever.

The last couple of times we've been to Disneyland they didn't have fireworks, since we went off season. They really have the best fireworks show - the perfect end to a perfect day.