Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break Aftermath

Today is day three of normal life after Spring Break. Kind of. I'm not sure it's really normal when most of it has been catching up on things that I put off last week because the kids were home. Monday was mostly spent cleaning the house and putting it back in order from the weekend. I also cleaned out the boys room again. I filled an entire kitchen sized trash bag with trash and papers that were scattered all over their floor. They are down to pretty much beds and clothes in their room now, but somehow they still find ways to trash it. Go figure.

Yesterday I made granola and yogurt (we finished off what the kids made last week, and they've been begging me to make more). I figured out our meal plan for April, made a shopping list and went grocery shopping at Sam's Club. I went Visiting Teaching. I washed, dried and sorted two loads of  laundry. I walked to pick up the kids from school. Somehow during all this I injured my knee so now it hurts to bend if I put any weight on it (like if I wanted to kneel down to pull Peter's shoe out from under the desk so we could walk to school, or if I stooped to pick up clutter on the floor.) By the time Steven got home from work I was utterly exhausted. I read for a bit while Steven and the kids played outside, but when I could no longer keep my eyes open I went to bed. It was only 7:00.

Today I've taken care of some Primary business and I've been to the grocery store (for the things I couldn't get at Sam's yesterday.) I still need to clean out the fish tank, the kitty litter, and my bathroom. The kids get out of school in a little over two hours. We'll probably take advantage of the beautiful warm weather by walking to meet them again. I hope exercising my knee by walking is helping it to get better and not making it worse. I wish I could take a nap and still be able to sleep at night... but that doesn't seem to work for me.

At the grocery store this morning, the lady in front of me in the checkout lane had three children with her, and told me it was their Spring Break. She had been traveling the week earlier and her husband hadn't done the grocery shopping while she was gone, so she had to bring them all with her. She looked a bit frazzled when she caught her just barely three year old son "helping" by pulling cartons of eggs out of the cart to put on the conveyor belt. She expressed her frustration when things she didn't want had appeared "magically" in her cart, placed there by the two school aged children with her. I was grateful at that moment that I hadn't needed to go grocery shopping last week, and that today I only had one child with me, even if at that moment he was screaming at the top of his lungs in the attempt to see how loud he could possibly be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Last week was the kids' Spring Break. Five days, four kids, one mom, one snow storm.

Monday was sunny and warm. We started by straightening up the house from the weekend, then we went to the library for books to read during the week, and then played for an hour or so at the park. Hannah made Rice Krispie treats for FHE and cut out the pattern pieces for a dress. (She loves to sew, and I thought it would be interesting to teach her how to make clothes from a real pattern and cloth rather from just her imagination and newspaper bags.) We (Hannah, John and I) started writing stories and I had Hannah and John practice their times tables while Josh and Peter watched a "All I need to know in 1st grade" DVD that Josh's teacher had sent home for him to watch. All in all it was a fun, busy, and exhausting day.

Tuesday began crisp and cold. I got the laundry started for the day, and then we began a science experiment: making homemade yogurt. Once that was incubating (sitting for seven hours on a heating pad on the kitchen counter) I went outside with the kids and we played tag running up and down the hills in front of our house. After I was exhausted, we came back inside and worked on our stories some more and spent some quiet time reading. Around 3:00 it started pouring down rain and the kids went out to play in it. After a short while they were wet enough and came in to watch some of the movies they had borrowed from the library the day before. By the time Steven left work at 5:00 it was snowing pretty hard.

It continued to snow most of the day Wednesday. Pent up in the house, we worked on our stories some more, experimented with flavoring our homemade yogurt, watched movies, read books. Hannah cut out the fabric pieces for her dress. That evening, the snow had stopped and was heaped in piles on the sides of the road. As a reward for being pretty good over the last few days, Steven took us to Cici's Pizza for dinner that night. After dinner we returned home to work on pinewood derby cars.

On Thursday the kids went out to play in the snow. Hannah built a fort large enough to stand in while John built a smaller fort with a secret compartment in which he could hide his gloves.

Also on Thursday we worked on painting our pinewood derby cars, and writing our stories, and we watched movies and read books. That afternoon we made cookies and I helped Hannah sew some of the first seams on her dress. We were supposed to have a pack meeting that evening but it was canceled so we spent the evening putting finishing touches on our pinewood derby cars.

On Friday we finished our stories and read them to each other. John's story was a little confusing, about monsters with monster trucks attacking a castle in a forest (I think). Hannah's story was a very creative  account of a day in the life of Lamoni (one of our kittens). I made the kids do their chores and clean up their bedrooms that day (I had been a little lax about chores earlier in the week and the house really needed a good pick up by then.) and when they had completed their work, their reward was a new movie! I pulled "Pete's Dragon" out of a drawer where it had been hidden all week, and they spent the afternoon watching that. That evening we got to go to the pinewood derby (as previously reported) and had lots of fun there.

So that was our Spring Break. We kept busy enough that the kids didn't complain about being bored, and we didn't have too many fights or tantrums. I was exhausted by the end of the week, but I wasn't feeling as drained as I have in the past. I just might be ready to have all the kids home for the summer. Maybe.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2nd Annual Savory Ponds Ward Pinewood Derby

Last night we had our 2nd Annual Savory Ponds Ward Pinewood Derby. We have been working hard over the last three months to prepare for this exciting event. The oldest four (Steven, Myself, Hannah and John) each made our own car.

If you like these cars, tell Steven! Email him at
Steven: Last year Steven's masterpiece was a dragon. It looked fantastic! How could he improve on a dragon? Well, last year, his dragon was so awesome that there was no place to put any weights in, so it was severely underweight (2.3 oz)  and couldn't reach the end of the track. So... This year he figured out a way to add weight. The story is this: Dragons like gold. Dragons like to guard gold. His dragon decided to eat gold to keep it safe... and died of gold poisoning (and maybe starvation since Steven never fed it anything.) This year's car is a dragon skeleton with gold weights inside. Steven was the only one of us who injured himself enough in the making of his car, to require stitches.

MaeLyn: This was my first pinewood derby car to create ever. I wanted to do something kind of different, but not too difficult, so I made a covered wagon, complete with luggage. I made a canvas top for it, but took it off before the races so it wouldn't slow it down too much. It was really slow anyway... I think maybe it was being pulled by oxen because it was "oh... so... slow." It looked cool though. (Hannah made the little man to go with it. Pioneer Bob!) I was the only one of us who was not injured in the making of my car.

Hannah: As her first real experience with a carving knife, Hannah had high aspirations. She decided to make a green snake on a brown dirt platform. She named it Snaker. She cut two fingers in the making of her car and still has a small scar, about a month later.

John: He made a green monster with an open mouth. He used a saw to get his basic shape, then carved the mouth out by hand. He was the only one of us to use a saw. All the others were chiseled out completely by hand. John got a small cut on his finger. He got to wear a "Toy Story" bandaid.
We arrived at the church building, got weighed in (most of us had to add a little weight to achieve 5 ounces) and ate dinner. Then the excitement began! Our names and car numbers were called and we got to go up and place our car on the track.
Then the lever was pulled and the cars raced down the ramp. Judges sitting at the end of the track determined, with the help of a digital score board, in what order the cars reached the finish line. Each car got to race four times.

None of our cars was particularly fast, and I'm kind of grateful because the prizes given out were hubcaps. Each person received a certificate though: Steven for "Most Creative", Me for "Most Old Fashioned", Hannah for "Most Ferocious" and apparently they ran out of certificates before they got to John, but they promised to bring him one on Sunday. Steven also got a prize for spending too much time on his car, the "Get a Grip" award. It was the inside of a car door.
In a family race between just our cars (after the awards and everything), Hannah and Steven tied. In a race-off between the two, Steven won by a hair. My wagon came in last place.

It was a really fun activity. I can't wait until next year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Rushed Morning

Usually our schedule in the morning goes something like this:

6:00 Alarm goes off
6:15 Steven gets up and takes a shower
6:35 Steven gets out of shower, I get up and take a shower while Steven wakes up the kids.
6:55 I get out of the shower, we gather the kids(supposedly dressed by now) for family prayer and scripture reading
7:10 Breakfast time (usually  cereal, store bought muffins or bagels.)
7:20 Steven leaves for work, I help kids finish packing lunches, getting shoes on, gathering homework, etc.
7:30 We head out to the car for school.

I don't know if the alarm wasn't set, or if Steven turned it off in his sleep. For whatever reason we didn't hear it go off. Here is our schedule this morning:
6:50 Steven woke up and got in the shower. I woke up the kids, packed lunches and got breakfast on the table.
7:00 I got in the shower.
7:10 We had family prayer and ate breakfast. We decided we'll do scripture reading at FHE tonight.
7:20 Steven left for work. I hunted for lost shoes while John frantically tried to finish homework he's had since Friday.
7:30 We headed out to the car for school.

I'm glad we woke up as early as we did. I hate waking up late when it turns leisurely morning routines into hasty panic. As it was we missed our morning scripture reading time, but Steven and the kids still managed to get to school on time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hannah Bunny

After the Spring activity, Hannah had fun playing with the bunny accessories.

She made herself a bunny tail and teeth out of toilet paper.
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Spring Primary Activity

This morning we had our Spring Primary Activity. It was a lot of fun. It started with a breakfast for the teachers. We had eggitos (egg and sausage filled breakfast burritos), muffins and orange juice. After an hour of good food and adult chatter (supposedly sharing ideas and discussing primary related topics), the children arrived for the games and fun. They started by dressing up their teachers in toilet paper, bunny ears, noses and ties, and then made them race. I'm so glad that all of our teachers are really good sports.
Then the kids and teachers were divided into groups to go to different stations. At one station they frosted and ate egg shaped cookies. (Yummy! Below is Joshua frosting his cookie.)
At another station they carried eggs on spoons, and then pushed them across the finish line with their noses. (Hannah had a hard time getting her egg to roll straight, and kept pushing it into her opponent!)

At another station they attached a cup to their foot, filled it with popcorn, then walked a distance and dumped it into a bowl, trying to fill their bowl with popcorn before the other team. (John did it like a pro. Josh took off his shoes and ran, spraying a lot of popcorn on the ground.)
The last station was a three legged race. (Peter was trying to drag his team mate without lifting his foot.)
It was a lot of fun, but I was exhausted when it was over!


My first bulb of spring has sprung! I love it! I look forward to when my daffodils come out. (They are my favorite flower.)
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Peter singing his favorite song

I posted this video on Facebook last night, but I'm having some trouble posting it here. I think it will work now if you click on the link to where the video is on my Picassa web album. It's cute!

From Family Photos 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Honor Roll Student

Today report cards were sent home for the second trimester. Hannah managed to get on the honor roll again with all As, and this time I actually remembered to bring my camera to get pictures of her receiving her certificate!
After the ceremony I had about 45 minutes until school let out and I didn't feel like going all the way home and back again so I accompanied Hannah to her classroom, and Peter and I took seats in the back to watch. Her teacher, Mr Wrzos (pronounced "Ross") had children read aloud stories that they wrote recently, and then the listeners gave feedback on things that they liked. During one of the stories, Peter decided to burp. Really loud. Several of the children broke out in giggles and I worried that Mr Wrzos would kick us out. Hannah read her story last, and I was impressed by both her story and the appreciation that the other children in the class showed for her writing. About 15 minutes before school let out, Peter told me he needed to use the bathroom. Luckily the story reading was done and so while the teacher was transitioning to another activity, Peter and I slipped out of the classroom. I hope we weren't too disruptive, but I did enjoy the opportunity to get a glimpse of what Hannah's classroom experience is like.