Saturday, February 28, 2015


We are coming out of our busiest week yet this year!  I think we made it through unscathed so that is wonderful.

Preceding our busy week, last weekend we were able to spend time with the Nowlands!!  I have enjoyed seeing my sister and her family more often.  Sarah and Jeremy went to Cincinnati to look for a house and we were able to keep their boys for a couple days.  Sarah and Jeremy returned Friday night and spent Saturday with us.  It was such a pleasure to be able to visit with them.  Their trip was a success as well.  They offered on a home Friday night and by Saturday afternoon had it under contract!

In this picture all the boys are piled on Rob...yes, he is under there somewhere.

Saturday morning with the Nowlands was filled with a snow storm and yummy waffles with strawberry syrup.  Later that day we took the kids sledding on the hill behind Brenna's school.

The snow was a little "slow" on the hill so we ended up on the playground after a while.

Brenna showed off her tire swing pushing skills and caused Jeremy and I to get quite dizzy.

Grant is always so good with little kids.  Here Anna is snuggling up to him.
 Brenna had a science fair project due Monday.  Saturday night Rob helped her put it all together  Her project attempted to determine which light bulb is better for reading: fluorescent or incandescent.  Fluorescent came out slightly ahead.

It is a good thing we have a King's sized bed, because on any given day we have a few extra sleepers in it!

Remember Sydney's pink princess crown?  It has now deflated enough that it fits Elise!

Seth was in the junior high play.  As an advertisement on opening day they wore their costumes to school.  The play was Winnie the Pooh, and Seth was Rabbit.  He was a little anxious about wearing a rabbit costume to school all day, but had an overall positive experience.

Wednesday night was the long-awaited Blue and Gold Banquet for cub scouts.  Long awaited due to the fact that we have been waiting for two weeks for the winner of the Pinewood Derby to be announced.  If you remember, the cub master had not announced the winner at the event due to a bug in his data program, but Rob and I were confident Grant had first place.

So imagine our surprise and disappointment when Grant was called up for second place... and the first place prize went to a boy we had beat in a race!

Grant was disappointed and upset.  He did not want to take this picture and in fact threw the ribbon down when Rob wanted to take it.
 And now for the difference between my husband and I.  Rob was saying things like, "It's ok,  It doesn't matter.  Just let it go."



I don't think so.

Especially since Grant really cared about it.  I mean, obviously the other parents and boys didn't really care that much or else they would have realized that their car had been beat in a race, right?

So there we are in the crowded cultural hall.  I am telling Grant (and Rob) to go talk to the Cubmaster, who by that point was standing on the side while other awards were being handed out.  Rob is telling Grant to sit down, we will talk to him later...etc.

Finally Grant goes to talk to him and Rob follows.  I was proud of Grant- he stood up for himself and explained to the adult that he should have first place because he beat Ben in a race and never lost a race.  So the Cubmaster checked the data and sure enough Grant was right.  So he told Grant he would get another ribbon and make an announcement next time.  This was the only part I was disappointed in- I wish they would have announced it that night even if though they didn't have a ribbon.  And I do not think they should have taken it away from the other boy- that would just be cruel.  But, as it is, Grant is satisfied and therefore so am I.  (Mama Bear's claws have had to come out a few times this week!)

The other fun think about the Blue and Gold Banquet was the cake decorating contest.  The theme was sports and the cub scouts were supposed to decorate the cake for the contest.  I looked online (because I am not creative but I can copy!) for ideas and found this one of a basketball in a hoop (in case you couldn't tell!) and I thought, that is something Grant could do!  He could stick licorice on a cake!  However, there were some other amazing cakes!  One was a flat round cake with Reese's Pieces put on to resemble a basketball- the brown ones for the lines and the orange ones in between.  Also a layered round cake with blue frosting and gold fish along the sides with a pretzel rod raft and a sail and fishing poles( I didn't get a close enough look to see what those last two were made of).  But alas, the winner of the decorating contest was a cake in which there was no mistaking that it  was decorated by an eight year old if you know what I mean.  :)  I admit I did a little touching up on Grant's frosting and actually did the white frosting myself, but now I know, the sloppier the better haha!  Maybe next year!  the prize was actually really cool- a wooden spoon with the Cub Scout logo painted on it.

Russell had a little more interest in making the frosting than Grant.

Grant built this impressive domino tower last weekend!

While visiting teaching this week Elise wanted to put this on...oh yeah!!

 Here is Seth in his costume after the play.  He did a great job.  I was so impressed with all of the acting.  The play was geared toward young children, which was perfect for our family.  All of us down to Elise remained interested and engaged the entire time.  Even the length was appropriate for little kids, lasting just under one hour.  The best part was that up until the last week the rehearsals were during lunch hour.  The performance was in the "commons" area of the school.

 In case you can't decipher the costumes: Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Roo, Pooh.

Sydney and I got our hair cut today.  The hairdresser put a cute braid in her hair today and I wanted to get a picture of her "princesss" hair.  Unfortunately my timing was poor as I was just putting her down for a nap so she was rather sour about life.

But they are pretty entertaining pictures after all...

Ha ha!

This little girl is growing up too fast!  We have cured her thumb sucking thanks to a nasty tasting product we painted on her thumbnails.  As a result, she does not play with her belly button anymore.  We have had a whole week without a potty-training accident (hallelujah!) and just got her "baby hair" trimmed off.  I really wish she wouldn't grow up so fast (except for the potty-training- I am ready for that)

It is always a party around here, that is for sure!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Last week was Grant's very first Pinewood Derby!  Our troop had a newly purchased track which was actually quite amazing (we were used to a wooden one in Idaho)  This track had sensors at the finish line to determine the placement.  Rob was impressed that each lane was the same speed.

Rob is a veteran now at Pinewood Derby cars and Grant did not lose a race!  They did not announce the definite winners due to a glitch in the Cub Master's Excel spreadsheet (our ward is so high tech).  But Rob was paying close attention and since Grant did not lose any races, and the only other boy who was undefeated eventually lost to a boy Grant beat, he feels confident it will be Grant for the win!  (Winners will be announced next week at the Blue and Gold Banquet!)

Here is our cute little (?) cub scout.  We do not know why he chose to wear the camo hat that night...

This Derby included the most creative cars I have ever seen.  And they take it seriously around here!  They had cardboard "garages" to house the cars while waiting for their races.  Shown here next to Grant's is a "Beatle's guitar" shaped car.  Others included two cars that looked like a giant lego brick (two twin boys) and a black "Toothless" from How To Train Your Dragon complete with upright wings.  This car did not have much speed, but was definitely cool!!

Here is the 'Toothless" car:

Last week Sydney, Elise and I were invited over to play at the home of a dentist who works for Rob.  She has a daughter just older than Sydney and they live in our neighborhood.  Elise fell in love with this toy piano that actually plays!
 It was just her size!

 Sydney enjoyed reading the princess books.

The other night I caught Elise holding her bottle in this unique way

 Here is Sydney pretending her salad dressing is lipstick.  She would put it on and then ask me a question in a very soft, feminine voice.

This boy is super excited to be playing on a basketball team!  The team consists of five and six year olds.  Russell is a star!  Not that many kids that age can dribble or shoot, or run as fast as he can!  The league barely had enough kids sign up that age, so there are only five players on his team.  We were quite surprised at his first game last week when it lasted a complete hour!  I think a shorter length of time would be better for this age.  Needless to say, Russell was tired out by the end.  He did A LOT of running!  Not only from the other team, but sometimes even his own teammates :)

The night before Valentine's Day I set out some fun treats/gifts for the kids.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Seth had made some plans of his own:

I just love that boy!  Each heart that he hid had some positive attribute of the corresponding person listed on it.  So creative and fun!  He waited until he knew Rob and I were in bed, then got up around midnight with a flashlight and planted his surprise!

 There are daily aerobics classes at our church building.  I have been attending more regularly lately.  Yesterday Sydney went right up by the instructor and was matching all she did (quite well, in fact)  She is such a joy.
 Tonight our Chinese neighbors surprised us by bringing over Chinese food for Chinese New Year!  It was delicious!
 And a Chinese girl in Grant's class gave these to all the students.
 And here we have a random picture of Elise enjoying a treat.

Sweet Brenna attended her first New Beginnings on Sunday!  Here she is with the other eleven year olds in our ward.  I can't believe she will be in Young Women's in six months!  She was a baby just yesterday I am sure of it!

Now I will describe some of the 'funnies" happening around our house lately.

Elise is trying very hard to jump.  She concentrates very hard and bends down and then lurches upward with her upper body, but her feet do not leave the ground.  This process usually leaves her giggling and trying again and cute!

We are pretty sure that she sings "Let it Go"!!

My friend in Boise posted this on her FB page: (aren't they beautiful?)

I'd say we are pretty far away from anything blooming here, wouldn't you agree?

Today Russell was singing to the tune of Oh Suzanna:

Oh California!  Oh that's the place for me!

I agree, Russell, I agree!

I gave Brenna her first voice lesson today!!  She was a bit hesitant at first and I had to remember she has not grown up listening to her mother give voice lessons like I experienced as a child, so she thought it was a little weird and embarrassing!  I can't wait for my mom to teach her!  Brenna has a beautiful voice and I am excited for her to develop it.