Sunday, March 30, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

 We managed to find green shirts for everyone before school - always a major accomplishment! 

Several people on Facebook recently posted an article complaining that holidays are getting out of hand. Basically it said that parents are feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the expectations to make every single holiday amazing. That may be, but I like to do little things to make the holidays fun, especially through food. For dessert I made green cupcakes and topped them with shamrocks I made by cutting up green peeps. I actually came up with this idea myself!

Here's a green peep. I used scissors to cut the top from the bottom. I cut 2-3 heart-shaped petals out of the bottom piece and 1-2 petals or stems from the top. Each peep made about 1 1/2 shamrocks.

I thought they turned out really cute, and the kids loved them. That's basically why I do things like this. 

After a tasty dinner of corned beef, cabbage and Brennan's soda bread (it's actually called that), we got together with my family to celebrate my mom's birthday. She asked me to make a coconut cake - her favorite. I should have taken a picture of a cut slice, because it was beautiful. Four layers of cake, 7-minute frosting and coconut. I mixed unsweetened coconut (found at health food stores) with regular coconut so it wouldn't be too sweet. Next time I'll put a little less sugar in the cake batter, because it was still a bit too sweet for me. I feel that way about most cakes.  Between this and the shamrock cupcakes, it was a yummy holiday.

You got a little something in your hair, Chloe.

Friday, March 28, 2014

We love our frogs

Frogs make the best pets for us. They live under a big rock in our backyard, and the kids can pull them out and play with them anytime they want. They're not allowed to bring them in the house (they always want to show me while I'm making dinner, and I'm always yelling, "Outside!"), and they have to wash their hands with soap when they're done. Not only do they carry Salmonella, but they pee when they're nervous. The frogs, not the kids. 

Recently the boys caught a nice plump one, and Chloe went nuts over it! She held it for the longest time, and it actually let her. I was sure impressed. I'm always wondering if Chloe will be a girly girl or act more like her big brothers. I think she's the perfect mix of both. She loves pretty clothes with flowers on them, pink sparkly shoes and jewelry, but she LOVES getting dirty in the backyard with the boys.

Such a patient little frog!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Field trip and parade

I went on the California mission field trip with Dallin a couple weeks ago. I didn't get my camera out in time to get the class picture before they started to scatter. Oops. Dallin is in the middle, behind the boy in the red jacket.
He really liked this olive tree - apparently it's quite old.

The 4th graders here usually go to the San Miguel mission, which is just a few miles away. But a bunch of the kids (including Dallin) went to it last year when they were in the 3rd/4th split class. So this year they went to Mission San Antonio instead. It took a full hour to get there.

I've been to the San Miguel mission lots of times, so it was fun to see something different. They're very similar, though. It was the third California mission, built in 1771.

This is one of the other moms who went. At first they didn't think they had enough parents going, but then it turned out they had more than enough, so we shared a group.

Here's our group. One of the boys kept wandering off, so it's good there were two of us. Everyone else did great. It's always fun to get to know the other kids from school.

The only problem with the trip was that I lost a contact on the way there (I rubbed my eye), so I was half blind the whole time. I felt a little out of it, and I could never tell if the pictures I was taking were turning out. Driving home was challenging, too. I need to remember to keep a spare pair and saline in the car! Dallin especially liked all the ruins outside. We'll have to go back sometime because we didn't have time to see everything. We had to hurry back for a parade.

Our town celebrated its 125th birthday, and they wanted all the schools to be in it. It was in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday, which seemed like a strange time to have a parade.

Dallin and Eric are halfway back. That's Mrs. Young waving in the front - she's Teacher Of The Year this year, and we love her! I hope Brennan gets her next year.  

Spencer held the banner because he's been playing the oboe for concert band, and the oboe isn't a marching instrument. He could have played his saxophone, but he chose not to because his allergies were horrendous at the time.

It was a very short parade, ending in the downtown park for a whole program. We couldn't hear anything in the back, but that's okay because I just visited with Kristen and friends from church while the kids played at the park. Apparently they buried a time capsule. At the end we all sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes. They had enough for everyone there, hundreds and hundred of them! What a fun but exhausting day!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rock climbing camp out

Dave and Spencer went camping with the scouts a few weekends ago. They went up by Fort Hunter Liggett to a very rustic campground (i.e. no bathrooms) and then got themselves outfitted for rock climbing in the morning.

They drove over to Wagon Caves, which is great for all levels of rock climbers. I even did it once, and I loved it. We're thinking about going there as a family over spring break. It'll be a day trip - I don't camp without bathrooms.

I'm so glad Spencer likes to take pictures! He's great at remembering to pack a camera and taking lots of pictures. He knows how much I want to see them!

Dave was able to do a couple of climbs also - here he is repelling back down. I was happy for him - it had been awhile.

 Spencer loves it so much! He can't wait to go back.

He said they spent their whole priesthood class the next day making analogies between rock climbing and living the gospel. He even used one in his sacrament meeting talk about missionary work.

This was the hardest climb, called Maverick. No one in the group was able to get to the top, although one came close. Their scout leader who owns all the equipment and goes rock climbing all the time hasn't even done it yet. There's a big rock ledge that juts out, so they had to climb up it while their feet were dangling. That takes a lot of upper body strength!

Such a fun weekend for these two!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


My sister gave us a slip-n-slide for Christmas. We set it up a couple weeks ago and had a blast!

 It wasn't exactly hot, but it was mostly warm enough.

Chloe loved it and didn't want to come in, even when she was shivering.


 I love back-lit sprinkler pictures!

 Yep, we're ready for summer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Swinging good time

Some days I look out my kitchen window and see the kids being so cute I have to dry my hands, grab my camera, and go take pictures.  Dallin was pushing Chloe on the swing and making her laugh like crazy. 

I took a bunch of pictures, but most of them were blurry. Swinging pictures are tricky! Finally I switched to the sports setting and managed to get some really cute ones.

 I love how she was just cracking up at Dallin's silliness. He is pretty funny.

My kids (ALL of them) are on these swings every single day. I love watching them while I'm making dinner, and I hate it when I have to call them in to do their homework.