Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kindergarten Spring Concert

Grandma Betty, Greg, the kids, and I all attended Palmer's Kindergarten Spring Program.  The Kindergartners sang the songs they had learned throughout the year for the families.  It was very cute!  I've included a video of the Kindergarten classes singing "God Bless America".  Palmer is in the middle row in the white shirt with multi colored stripes.  You'll see that Palmer was very occupied with me taping him, and accidentally sang out during a break in the song.  He gets all bashful and he and the kids around him all giggle softly.  It's adorable.  We sure do love our sweet boy Palmer and are proud of all he learned in Kindergarten.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was nice.  Greg gave me money to buy a purse (He knows I'd rather shop for it and buy one I really like than have him pick one out.  Smart man.) and the boys each gave me a gift they had made at school.  Palmer made me a card and a couple flowers in Styrofoam cups.  Brody gave me a framed poem with a picture of him and his hand print on it.   Palmer also gave me a mug he bought from the dollar store with his own money.  The babies each made a little flower with their hand print in nursery for me too.  Such sweet gifts, I love their little heartfelt crafts.  My dear friend Allison also dropped off a bag of chocolate kisses for me and my sisters with a note saying "Your Mom is sending you kisses from heaven."  It brought tears to my eyes.  She is such a good friend to me and is so thoughtful.

We hosted a barbecue with both sides of the family.  Greg grilled hamburgers, brats and hot dogs.  We gave Grandma Betty and Grandma Nancy caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  We also celebrated London's birthday at the barbecue.

I tried to get a picture of me and the kids that evening.  It is always a rush to get ready for church, and then we were getting ready for the barbecue, so by the time we got around to it, all the kids were tired and cranky.  Brody wouldn't even get in the picture, little stinker.  So we took a picture of him throwing his fit instead.  Regardless, I love these kids - whether cheerful, cranky, silly, disobedient, it doesn't matter.  They are my life.  And although at times I get worn out, overwhelmed and discouraged being a mom, I wouldn't change it for anything.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Singing a Song is Fun to Do!

I was extended a new calling last month, Primary chorister.  When I was asked if I would accept the call I informed the Bishopric member that I am not very knowledgeable about music, but I am good at making up games and being overly enthusiastic with kids.  He said that's all the calling would take, and so I happily agreed.

I am a co-chorister so I only work in Primary every other week.  I've only done a couple singing times so far, but I am LOVING it!  I get to be creative, play and sing with a bunch of happy and eager kids.  It is fabulous!  I also pop into the nursery for a short time to do singing time in there.  I was a bit worried about how that would pan out with the twins.  They just started going to nursery willingly a week before I received the call.  But so far, it has been fine.  I spend most of the time in there with either Avonlea or Archer, or both of them, on my lap or in my arms, but it works.

I am also still serving as Relief Society Activities Chair, which I love too.  Last night we had a Family Feud activity and it was a lot of fun.  I feel very blessed to not only have one but two callings that I thoroughly enjoy!  Give me partying with girlfriends and playing silly with kids any day, and I am a happy girl.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brody's Preschool Graduation

Brody graduated from his first year of preschool.  Grandma Betty, Greg, the kids and I all attended the ceremony.  The preschoolers sang songs, and each told the audience what they want to me when they grow up.  Brody said a firefighter.  Only he and one other kid actually said a profession.  All the other kids said they wanted to be a princess, The Hulk, etc.

Brody only spent half the school year in preschool because of our move, but he did great during the short time.  He really enjoyed going to school, and made friends there and loved his teachers Mrs. Mele and Mrs. Autumn.

His favorite part of preschool was probably the day Greg came to visit.  The kids were learning about music that day.  Greg brought his drums and gave the kids a quick lesson and let them each have a try playing.  The kids then asked Greg to jam so they could dance, which he happily obliged.  Brody was so proud to show off his rock star Dad at school.  He also loved going on field trips with his preschool.  This year the class went to the library and the farm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Palmer's Minion Birthday

Palmer is a one in a "minion" kind of kid.  So when we decided he wanted a Despicable Me themed birthday party, we were all aboard with idea.  He celebrated his six birthday with about 20 other kids.  I made and distributed this invitation.

We made a few fun decorations.  On the front door we placed Gru welcome sign that read, "Waaaait a minuuute... Just a few party rules: You will not cry, or whine, or laugh, or giggle, or sneeze, or burp, or fart.  No annoying noises.  Now you may come in."  We wrapped Twinkies in minion wrappers that were used as prizes (Palmer also took these to school for his birthday treat to his class).  We put minion goggles on yellow balloons that were placed all over the house.  We had a minion language translation poster on display.  For favors the kids got to take home a freeze ray (water gun) and a bag of popcorn that looked like a minion.

We made a box of shame, like the girls had to sit in at the orphanage.  All the kids thought it was hilarious to get their picture taken inside of it.  It was a huge hit!

We played a version of hot potato, but instead of a potato we passed around a bottle of the formula PX-41 (purple colored water in a bottle).  We played music from the movies while the kids passed the bottle around.  If the music stopped when you were holding the bottle you became a purple minion and you were out.  Last yellow minion standing one.  It was a lot of fun.  They kids all loved it!

We then took the freeze rays over to the nearby park and had a water gun fight.  The kids were supposed to freeze for five seconds if they got hit with the water.  It was also a lot of fun and it got out a lot of energy, always a plus in my book with kids.

We came back to the house and opened presents.  Palmer really wanted a fart gun based on the movie.  The boys had come across the toy almost a year ago, and still remembered it and wanted it.  It's not my favorite toy, but a kid only turns six once, so we got it for him.  He was thrilled, as were all the other kids at the party who wanted to play with it.

Sariah and I made minion fondant tops for cupcakes the week before.  They took a long time!  But they came out adorable!  I don't like fondant, so I put them on the cupcakes with a yummy buttercream.  Which was a good idea because most of the kids at the party pulled off the fondant and just ate the cupcake with the buttercream.  We sang happy birthday, Palmer made a wish and everyone ate up.

We ended the party by watching the minion movies while the parents came to pick up their kids.  It all turned out to be so much fun!  One of the best parties we've had.  Thanks going out to our family and friends who helped with preparation and came out to party with us!

Recipe - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

I first tried this dip at a friend's Super Bowl and loved it.  They served it with pretzel crisps.  Chocolate covered pretzels are one of my all time favorite treats, so it's no surprise this variation was a hit with me.  Last night I made it for our family home evening treat.  I served it with pretzels crisps, of course, and also vanilla wafers.  Graham crackers, animal crackers, strawberries and tart apples would taste awesome with it as well.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla.  Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 60 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture.  Mix until combined.  Refrigerate a couple hours before serving.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Palmer at Six Years Old

Six year old in the house!  Palmer turned six on May 2.  For his actual birthday he asked for donuts in the morning and to go to Chuck a Rama for dinner.  We held a Despicable Me party with friends the next day.  He is a great kid.  He is so charismatic; everyone loves him.  He loves being the big brother in the family.  He takes care of the babies and he likes to boss Brody around (we're working on this one.)  He has been testing his limits a bit lately with talking back and lying, which I'm sure is just part of this age.  He is very friendly, and is always seeking out others to talk/play with.  He loves arts and crafts, physical activity, games, socializing, and pretty much life in general.

He has learned a lot in kindergarten this year.  He is getting really good at reading.  Math comes very easily to him.  We just got his report card and testing results from Kindergarten and he is excelling in everything.

I asked him to tell me a few of his current favorite things and this is what he said:

What is your favorite color?   -Green
What is your favorite food?  -Spaghetti and blueberries
Where is your favorite place to go?  -Chuck E. Cheese
What is your favorite TV show?  -Charlie and Lola
What is your favorite movie?  -Despicable Me 2 and Frozen
What is your favorite book?  -Diary of a Wimpy Kid
What is your favorite thing to do?  -Crafts and Swimming
Who is your best friend?  -Ethan and Abby