Wednesday, December 11, 2013


There was a lot going on for Halloween this year. We went to a party with dozens of other school friends, (pictures to come soon), and we had a lot of fun in the classroom on Halloween as well. Here's some pics of what we did in school, and a few other things.

Here's Alan looking at brown sugar through a mircroscope.

 Here's a sugar molecule as Sarah saw it through the microscope.

 Kaitlyn finding the circumference of a pumpkin.

 Some more activities. We figured out the volume of the pumpkin,  weighed it,  determined whether it would float or not, among other things...

 Here I froze some peices of candy (in sealed wrappers) in water in a latex glove.
 We posed the question:

 Making candy and learning about the chemical properties of sugar....

 Candy Alan and Sarah made...

 William loves school!!

 A view of our Halloween adorned classroom...
 Sarah and William doing a witches cooking show...
 This is supposed to be a sugar molecule.... we didn't have enough balls of the same colors to make it look accurate, but it's close in structure...
And one final view of our Happy Halloween classroom...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kaitlyn's "Un slumber Party"

Invite graphics from
       For Kaitlyn's 9th birthday party we had an "un slumber party", and it was soooo fun!!!  Since we don't do sleep overs in our family, and many of Kaitlyn's friends don't either, we thought this was a great alternative. It was wildly successful. Many parents were very happy to not have their daughters spend the whole night :)
We decorated with blankets and pillows everywhere, and we even covered the food table with a comforter and pillows.
    The food was breakfast food! We had mini cereal boxes, poptarts, fruit, etc. For the cake, I made cake batter and cooked it on a griddle like pancakes, and then stacked them all up and covered them with frosting too look like syrup on pancakes.

Here the kids are preparing for the party by making "nail polish" (marshmallows with tootsie rolls on top, then dipped in food coloring) Some of the "lids" fell off, but it was still fun to do.

 We also made slippers out of nutter butters. Not something I would do again. It took forever!  You take the nutter butters apart and use the peanut butter in the middle to shape into the top of the slipper. Then you dip them in melted chocolate and cover them with sprinkles.
Here's what they looked like half way through the process. 
And here's the finished product. Some of the guests knew what they were supposed to be, some didn't. Sure sign that they didn't really work. 

 For the activities the girls made tie pillows out of fleece, played nail polish spin the bottle, and sang Highschool Musical Karaoke on the wii.
      For some reason I didn't get any pictures of them making the pillows, but they had a lot of fun. A few weeks before the party we went to the fabric store where they were having a sale on fleece. We picked out many different patterns and colors of fleece and cut them into squares with strips cut around the edges. All the girls had to do was pick the fleece they wanted, tie it, and stuff it. Very fun. The girls had the most fun stuffing the pillows. They all seemed to try to stuff their pillows with as much batting as the could. Some of them ended up with these huge deformed rock hard pillows. It was hilarious.
      Here they are playing "nail polish spin the bottle".  The girls loved getting to put different colors on their nails. We deliberately picked the boldest colors at the store for this game. :)
 Here some of them are singing Karaoke with Zac Efron, while others are doing their nails.
    We ended the party with watching "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" a spin off Highschool Musical. And because all of Kaitlyn's friends love Highschool Musical, they were all really excited to watch it. (If you notice the subtitles on the TV, that's because one of Kaitlyn's friends uses hearing aids, so we needed to have subtitles)
    Here's a few more pictures of the fun:

Saturday, November 09, 2013

One CRAZY summer...

    Ok, so I know I'm posting this in November, but that just tells you how long it has taken me to recuperate from this past summer.  I won't go into all the details, I wish I could, but it would just take forever.
 So here goes an attempt to summarize this summer....
    To pick up where my last post left you, 3 days after Sarah's 12th birthday party, my Aunt Joyce flew out to watch our kids for a week while Tom and I flew to San Antonio Texas for his back surgery.  I was so thankful that Joyce came because it was a VERY hard thing for me to leave them for so long, and the worst part about it was that it was an indefinite amount of time that we would be gone. (It was indefinite, because we were unsure as to how Tom would do in recovery right after surgery, and the Doctors were not going to let him go until he was ok to fly home)  The kids LOVED every minute of their time with Aunt Joyce, and still talk about how fun she was, and how they wish they could see her again. She was a great blessing. I do have some pics that the kids took while she was here, but I'll get those up later. :) (Hey, don't complain, at least I'm posting something, right?)
      Joyce stayed for as long as she could which was Monday through Saturday, and then our kids were watched by a wonderful young couple in our ward, Ashleigh and Shaun Edwards.  They had a blast with them, and got to ride horses on the farm that Ashleigh worked on. It was the first time any of them had ridden a horse.
    Tom's surgery was on Thursday, May 30th, and we were able to fly home on Monday June 3rd. Tom probably needed an extra day of recovery in Texas, but we were anxious to get home because Sarah was leaving for Girls Camp for the first time on Tuesday the 4th, and I wanted to be there to help her get ready.  Alan also had scout camp to go to on Saturday the 8th, and I wanted to help him with that too.  The kids were very happy to see us home, and I was happy that they had such a good time while we were gone.
     I can't tell you how hard it was for me to leave them for that long. I was actually pretty angry at the government for forcing us to fly to Texas.. Please don't ask why the army made us fly all the way to San Antonio for his back surgery when we have perfectly good surgeons here in Columbus, because then I would have to go on a rant about how the current Government Administration is making such huge cuts to the military that it was actually cheaper to fly him to Texas for surgery at a Military hospital there, than to have him have the surgery here at a local hospital in Columbus.... but I digress...
     Recovery was hard for Tom, and he even now in November, he still has significant amounts of pain from time to time. He goes to physical therapy twice a week, and has many Doctor appointments. The hardest thing about this is that he's been unable to do hardly anything. He can't sit for very long. He can't stand or walk for very long. He can't lift anything over a few pounds, and he definitely can't bend over very much. But it's getting better. We have faith that he will be back to normal by next year. He has had many priesthood blessings, and they have helped immensely.
   Three weeks after his surgery was our Stake's Activity Day Camp which I was in charge of. I had planned for months for the Day Camp, but those 3 weeks of getting all the details of the camp worked out was intense.  It was actually one of the hardest times of my life, but I got through it, and the camp turned out amazingly well.  The theme was "Happily Ever After", and it was based on the talk by President Uchtdorf.   It was a wonderful camp, and the girls had a great time.  One day I'll have to add details about it. I'm so thankful to Heavenly Father for sustaining me through it, and helping things to go well at the camp.
     Here's the Salt Lake Temple I made out of foam board. I had it in the Gym in front of the stage throughout the camp. At the end of each class they got a puzzle peice that they placed on the ground making a pathway toward the temple.

 Here's the giant paper dolls I made for the modest class we did. The girls got to dress up the dolls in modest paper doll clothes that I made with the help of the Sister missionaries.
 For name tags at the camp I thought of doing foam crowns so the girls could write their names on them. They were a big hit.
 Here's some girls in the modesty class dressing the giant paper dolls shown earlier.  I also designed the shirts they're wearing.

    Then in July we went to SeaWorld. Tom was fully equipped with all his pain medication and so he was able to endure it fairly well. He really wanted to do this for us since June had been so hard on us. We had a lot of fun. One of our favorite things we did was walk around "Downtown Disney". It was free to go to and there was so much for our kids to look at that it was almost more fun than SeaWorld!

  Bubbles at the end of the evening at Sea World:

        In August, Alan turned 14!! He invited all of his friends over for a Percy Jackson Marathon of sorts. The 2nd Percy Jackson movie came out a few weeks before his actual birthday, and he wanted to see it for his birthday, so we had his friends come over and watch the first one at our house, and then we took them all to see the 2nd one.  It was a good party for a 14 year old boy, I think.  Sarah begged us to let her go too. I was surprised that she wanted to go with all of those boys, but she did.... but that might have something to do with the fact that she's 12, and I think she kind of liked being the only girl with all of those boys around her age... :)
      Also in August, we began school. Our play room has officially become a classroom, complete with bulletin boards and a class theme.  Our classroom theme is k12 Candyland. (We use the K12 system). I put up a giant candyland board on the bulletin board, and used it as a way to mark their progress in their classes. Every time they complete a lesson they can move up on the board.  They all made it to the end of the board right about when the first quarter ended, so we had a candy land party to celebrate.  It's been a lot of fun. The best part about it for me was being able to decorate the class room with so much candy themed things. I love decorating.

Here's a link to all the pictures I have of the first day on facebook:

     I know each of these things could have taken their own post, but I was afraid I'd never get around to putting them up. Hopefully I'll have the time to get pictures up soon.


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