Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book of Mormon Bash

In celebration of the primary kids receiving their very own Book of Mormon, we were visited by some ancient dignitaries last Saturday.

King Benjamin (with his loyal body guard right along side him) taught us how if we serve our fellow man then we are also serving God.


King Benjamin was even gracious enough to descend to take a picture with his lowly subjects.


Then the stripling warriors taught us how they were protected in their battle against evil because of faith in the words their mothers taught them of salvation through Jesus Christ.


Everyone was very excited to meet them and feel the strength of their convictions.


Next, the Broth of Jared shared with us his experience of talking with the Savior and seeing the Lord’s finger touch 16 stones to provide light in their ships as they crossed the ocean.


He even gave each of the kids a little pouch of stones to help them to remember his story.


Nephi told us of using this sword to obtain the Brass Plates.


Everyone even got to write on some ‘plates’ of their own.


Thanks Nephi – you are awesome!


Then Joseph Smith shared with us how he was searching for truth and when he prayed, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him to give him the knowledge he sought.


The spirit in the room was so beautiful and strong.  Every heart was touched.


Then it was time to PARTY!






Monday, June 29, 2009

Gingerbread Cookies

For one of our activities from our summertime fun calendar we read the story of the Gingerbread Man and then made gingerbread cookies.

I don’t know why, but in the past, I have always reserved cut-out cooking making with my kids as a Christmas time activity.  That was not very creative on my part, because we had such a good time.  I mean just one look at Layton’s face in this pictures tells it all:


The cookies turned out so yummy.  So good in fact that Mandy couldn’t even be bothered with waiting to put the icing on them.  She just dove into them plain.


Layton too.


But, Dallin, he really got into the decorating of them.


Isn’t his little Gingerbread Teddy Bear cute?


And as the story said, “But at last, that gingerbread cookie went the way of every single gingerbread cookie that ever came out of an oven.  It was all, all gone!”


Friday, June 26, 2009


“I love you Mommy”

“I love you too Mandy Moo”

This little exchange is repeated over and over and over and over again all throughout each and every day.  Sometimes there are little variances with “Mommy” being replaced by Daddy or Dallin or Layton or sometimes she’ll refer to someone not present and just randomly pipes up with “I love my teachers”, “I love Nana”, “I love Meme”, “I love Granddaddy”, or Mema or Grandpa or Mama Doris or her baby doll, or her toes, or chocolate, or just whatever she thinks of.  Mandy is just so full of love that it spills out of her heart almost constantly.  She might be bossy, opinionated, even tyrannical sometimes, but she sure does love with her whole heart and can give some of the best hugs and kisses you’ll ever get.  We sure do love you Mandy Moo!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Father’s Day Pool Party

Nathan’s mom and dad got an above ground pool last week, so for Father’s Day, we decided to try it out (on the Saturday before Father’s Day, not on Sunday, because we are good little Mormons that way (occasionally)).

Nathan is a wonderful father.  He takes time to play with the kids and to be there for them whenever they need him.  Being a father does have its perks though.  Especially in a pool.  Where you have the opportunity to get back at your kids for all the bratty things they do:


Ah, sweet revenge.


But watch out Nathan, I think Layton might be coming to their rescue!


Dallin wanted me to let Nathan know that his favorite thing to do with him is to play soccer.  And Mandy’s favorite thing to do with Nathan is “dunk-a-roos.”  And Layton’s favorite thing to do with Nathan is to give him kisses.  They each have their own special relationship with him because he takes the time to make them feel special.

Thanks for being such a great dad, Nathan!  Dallin and Mandy want to applaud you with a big splash!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It looks like Layton is in the mood for a story.


He had a hard time choosing which one to read so he just decided to take out each and every book in order to make his decision easier.


Let’s see which one did he decide on.


Looks like Fancy Nancy is the winner. He must be feeling a little fancy today. Maybe he’s been spending too much time with Mandy who is always trying to convince him to dress up in her princess accessories.


Time to read the story. Over and out all. Ya’ll have a good one, while I go read about an explorer extraordinaire. And maybe doing a little cleaning. It seems that now I have a bit of mess on my hands. What a surprise, especially considering Layton was involved.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Dallin

Today marks six years since our handsome Dallin was born. He is such a blessing to us. He makes us laugh. He stretches our imagination. He is an amazing big brother. He is curious about the world around him and finds wonder in even the smallest of things. We love him so very much.

To begin his birthday celebrations, he received two very fun letters in the mail yesterday. One from Mama Doris and one from Mema. Now he is a rich little man.


He is so excited about his new found wealth. And just to let you know how very thoughtful and sweet he is, do you know what his first thought was to do with the money? Put the money in the bank to help save up for us to buy a mini-van. I guess he has heard Nathan and I talk about saving up to buy one and he wants to help out the family too.

I am so proud to have him as a son. He brightens my day every day. Happy Birthday Dallin!

(P.S. Today also happens to be one of my very best friend, Kylia's, birthday too. The 23rd of June must be a major holiday in heaven for them to send down so many great people on this day :) Happy Birthday Kylia!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Swimming Lesson

Both Mandy and Dallin are pretty scared of the water.  We have been trying and trying unsuccessfully for the last couple of years to get them more used to it and to try to learn to swim.  So this year, we decided to enroll them in swimming lessons at the YMCA.


Convincing them to even jump to the the teachers was quite the task.  Look how Mandy is holding her arms back in a defensive position, totally unwilling to reach out to the teacher.


In this one though, she is actually semi-smiling.  So I think she is starting to trust her teacher a little more.


Dallin on the other hand has an absolute look of terror on his face.


Here, the teacher pretty much had to force him to put his face in the water to blow bubbles with his mouth.


I really got to hand it to those girls.  They absolutely knew how to work my kids to make them to those simple little swimming exercises.  During this last week, they have really made a lot of progress.  Mandy leaves the lesson each day rhapsodizing about how much she LOVES her teachers.  Dallin has been much more trepidatious about it.  He has come up with excuses almost everyday last week for not to go.  One day he had a stomach ache, the next day he was too tired, the next day he thought we just needed to stay home that day.  This morning though, he is actually excited to be going, which is a huge step forward for him because he knows that there are lots of dunking underwater coming and he is still excited to go.  I think some of the success of the program is having seven other little kids doing it too.  Ah peer pressure.  One of the few times that I think that I am actually GLAD that Dallin is giving into it :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

You Snooze you Lose

That is a lesson Mandy learned very quickly just a couple of nights ago:


I guess Layton has already learned that in this house, with two older siblings, if he wants something he has just got to go for it.


He is surprisingly good at knowing the precise moment when someone walks away from their food for even a second.


He has no compunction at taking advantage of someone’s inattention to the detail of pushing in the chair behind them when they leave the table. Layton, Layton, Layton. What are we going to do with you? Give you a big kiss, I guess, because even when you are a theif and very messy, you are so stinkin’ cute!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Random Dallin Thoughts


Taking a peak inside Dallin’s mind sometimes is a singularly hilarious experience. Seriously some of the stuff he comes up with…


Song Titles

We have a digital piano and on it are about15 different demo songs that display the different sounds the piano can produce. Dallin and Mandy love to play them and then dance to them. Recently Dallin has taken to naming some of them and then doing a specific dance or hand motions them. Some of the titles are “Special Baby” with an accompanying baby dance, “I Can’t Stop the Boys” which requires a good deal of running, “The Mice Go Running” with ensuing running on tiptoes, “Swinging Boat” with arms swaying side to side like a rocking boat, “Kanga Catches Pooh” where Dallin chases Mandy all around the house, “The Eggy Dance Song” where you spin around and jump up at random times.


Party Planner

Dallin apparently has all his birthday parties all planned out for the next few years. This year the theme is soccer.

“Mom when I turn 7 I want my party to be a baseball party. And the next year basketball. And the next year football. And then I want my party to be about running. And the next year tennis. And the next year bowling. And the next year swimming. And the next year…um…hula hooping…Mom is that a sport?"



“Mom, I love cookies and milk. I know these cookies aren’t homemade, but this milk taste homemade. I love homemade milk.”

Yep that’s right folks, it’s homemade milk, pasteurized, homogenized, bought from a store, poured out of a plastic jug, homemade milk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Early Father’s Day Present

In our stake, for some reason stake conference falls on Father’s Day every year. So this year in our ward we decided to celebrate Father’s Day a little early. Our primary president had this fantastic idea to let the kids make their dad a tie to wear on our early Father’s Day. Our primary secretary was nice enough to cut out ties from a variety of fun material. Then we let the kids choose which tie they wanted to give their dad and then they decorated them with a tacky lovely rhinestone “tie-tack”. The kids had a blast with it and made little cards to go along with them. Since both Dallin and Mandy are in primary, Nathan ended up with two ties and good naturedly wore them both. It was fun seeing him walk around church with a red, white and blue Snoopy tie and a pink heart tie.


Layton thought they were pretty cool too.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Run for the Pies

Every year there is a 5k race held in downtown Jacksonville called the “Run for the Pies”. If you run it super fast (or what I consider to be super fast – 3.1 miles in around 22 minutes or less) you win a pie as you cross the finish line. Nathan has run it several times in the past and has even won a pie. Not this year though. We are both pretty out of shape, although I don’t think that I could run a 5k in 22 minutes even if I was in peak condition!!!! This year he ran it for fun, along with a group of people that he works with. The kids and I decided to go with him and cheer him on. Funny thing is, we didn’t exactly do a lot of cheering – mostly just waiting. But somehow we still managed to have a lot of fun.

See, this is us waiting under an underpass for a quick rain shower to pass.


We made a run for it to get inside the shopping area and wait for people from Nathan’s work to arrive. We got a little wet, but Layton seem to enjoy the mad dash in the sprinkling rain. Gladly it stopped raining very shortly after that.


This is us waiting for the race to start by killing some time in a full little toy store, which we amazing left empty handed. Still not sure how we managed that, but awfully glad just the same.


This is us waiting for the elite race to finish. To run the elite race you had to have a qualifying time from a previous race and the men that ran the 5k in less than 16.5 minutes and the women that ran in less than 20 minutes got new running shoes!


Waiting and smelling the flowers.


Layton was so relaxed enjoying the waiting that he decided to take a little nap.


Oh, the excitement the race is about to begin.


Now, we’re waiting some more.


Waiting and talking about tree bark.


Waiting and talking about what princess Mandy wants to be. I think she settled on Ariel. Although Cinderella came in a close second. I wonder who would win if they ran a race??


Waiting and talking about why sticks fall off trees.


But wait – what is this we see…..Nathan is coming down the last little stretch to the finish line!


Yay! The waiting is over! Or not. Nathan is walking over to tell us that now we need to wait for all the other people from his work to finish so that they can take a picture together.


They do make a fun looking little group don’t they. And honestly, it has been a long time since I have had that much fun – just waiting.