Thursday, August 30, 2012

Partners Night Out

Alittle explaination since alot of people have been asking us to explain when we say "Partners"
A few months ago I read this amazing book

Mike and I are the first to tell anyone we have no clue how to be GOOD parents. We were blessed to be parents of 4 amazing but very different children. And no manuals were given out to us on day of birth so we read everything. And in my opinion anyone can be a  "good-enough" parent. But we want something more for our family. So we read books and articles, talk to friends and family, listen to books on disc, and pray ALOT for ways to improve our parenting. Most books have been helpful even in the smallest ways. 

However this book was amazing. It gave so many wonderful tips and really helped us focus more on Heavenly Father type parenting. A few things for example were instead of a time-out bench we call it ''The Repentance Bench". So not only is it used for  someones individual purpose but also those who argue. They'll sit, talk it out, and ask for forgiveness for their actions. 

Another amazing idea was partnering up kids. We have the right amount of kids and age differences for this to work properly. Mason & Lily and Hailey & Ducati are partners. The older ones help the younger ones. They help their partner brush their teeth. Not literally brush their teeth but help putting on the water, watching to make sure the toothpaste doesn't magically get poured onto the mirror, or etc. Mason and Hailey will practice their reading skills by reading a story to their partners. They'll hold hands to cross the street or in a store. While at the park they include them in their games....the list goes on and on. And it's absolutely amazing to see the bond between siblings change for the positive. They have learned to trust each other, learn from each other, be more kind to one another, and so much more. Mike and I really like how this is playing out. 

And in the book the parents call their older kids "tutors"....we call ours "partners". Anyways they took their tutors out once a month to help celebrate their hard-work and helpfulness. That's what we did tonight. Lily and Ducati went to a friend's house to play for an hour while we went out with Hailey and Mason.
While eating an ice cream cone we talked with them about some of the rewards and struggles they are having. However much to our surprise they were enjoying being partners. Hailey liked knowing how and who to help. Mason liked teaching Lily all about dinosaurs. They expressed some things they would like help with. For example,for Mike and I to support their partnerships by reminding Lily and Cati to listen to their partners. Easy enough.
These kiddos are so wonderful!  After we finished our cones we headed to a park to play for a while.

Right when I was telling Hailey to be careful climbing on top of the slide I see Mike doing the same thing.  I guess she learns alot from him.

Hailey must be exhausted from playing....haha..she's so funny. It was such a great night.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taking Action in Time of Need

I absolutely love reading the messages in the Ensign. This months message Taking Action in Time  of Need I read in the beginning of the month when the Ensign came in the mail. However with things and more things I lost it in our house somewhere. 
( Even though deep down I feel one of my  girls has it hidden somewhere...just my thought)
So when my partner and I went visiting teaching I had to print it off
Thank goodness for the Internet! :)

I really liked this message. I prayed on how to demonstrate to our sisters that they are in our thoughts and that they could count on us when they need help. Then I seen these emergency kits on-line along with a cute printable( here )and felt prompted to make them one of these tiny emergency kits.

 All the items were from around my house. Chapstick, cough drops, bobby pins, q-tips, a pen, band-aid, a cleaning wipe, earring back ( <---- I tend to lose those more often than I'd like to admit), a thread and needle, safety pin, nail file, and a small roll of Tums. It's amazing how much an Altoid tin can hold. But the most important part of these kits were the information. On the top sheet of paper I wrote my partners email and cell number along with my information.
Our sisters loved these kits! Most will be keeping them in their cars or purses.
But the message wasn't about making an emergency kit I felt it was about trust. With 14 million members and growing visiting teachers should rejoice.

"..the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about his great work"~Alma 26:1,3

We are given the blessing to love, serve, and strengthen our sisters and their families. But in my opinion this comes with trust. I need to trust my own visiting teachers when they tell me that I can call on them for anything. And they have shown me I can trust them by their kind acts, monthly visits, and their eagerness to serve me. So I pray that I am showing my sisters I visit teach that they can trust me and know I will be there for them. Like the tag says either for a helping hand, listening ear, a casserole, or a cupcake we'll be there for her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

End of Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation is over. All is left is 1 more weekend and then Mason and Hailey will be back in school. So for the last few days we've tried to do some fun things to end summer on a good note. 
After a few visits to parks and libraries we ended up in New York!

Here's Hailey by the Brooklyn Bridge
HAHAHA.....we went to NYPD pizza place in Layton :) Had you there for a second!
 Our kids love going out to restaurants. As well do I since I don't need to do dishes.
 Afterwards we went to Krispy Kreme for some free donuts.
Hailey is showing off her 2 donuts. Since it was her day she got to have the last one. Lucky girl!

With 1 week until school start our kids wanted us (mostly me) to cram about 10 activities into 1 week. I don't think so. But I did promised them that we'll start doing alot more family activities. They understood and promised to exercise patience. They're such great kids! Now for me to start planning more outings  :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Van is back

After 6 months it's great to say- Our Van Works Again! Our entire family was happy when Mike told me to go get our van from a friend's garage. Such a great day for us all :) 
I had asked our kids what's something they would want to do after we get it registered again. After a difficult explanation on why someone needs to pay for a sticker when we have stickers at home they all said they just wanted to go on a family drive. 

So the next day that's what we did. 
 But to sweeten the deal we picked up ice cream cones which the kids were so happy about.
It's just a blessing to have our van working again. With school starting I was dreading the idea of walking everyday. We would still walk since it'll save on gas money. And since it's still nice weather out but it's nice to have the option of riding to school. The joys have having a van again. I love it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Waterfall Hike

My visiting teacher has told me so many times about a waterfall that is right by our neighborhood. Mike and I tried to find it once and we were unsuccessful. So when she came this month I had her literally draw me a map with instructions. :)

Today is Stake Regional Conference (or something like that) We should have gone to church but something about sitting with Lily and Cati with people outside our ward who don't know to ignore my children's giggles- we made it a family day instead.

With the map in hand we went up the canyon, took a small hike, and slide down a sandy hill since the road was closed. But we found a small waterfall.

 While our kids and I played in the water Mike went alittle further up to see what he could find. And I am so thankful that he is adventurous because Oh.My. Awesomeness.
 The hike was alittle harder but we aren't raising city kids.

We all held hands, climbed, slide, jumped, and sucked it in alittle to get here and boy was it worth it. Such a great waterfall with a shallow pool that goes up to your ankles....or in Ducati's case her knees. (side not she's so little)
This is the smile when Lily first seen this waterfall.
 Mike couldn't help but to climb alittle closer to it.
 He's so funny. He had a big-o grin on his face when he was touching it.
 Hailey and Lily wanted to climb the waterfall as well....but this momma was thinking No way. So instead of saying No I suggest the small cliff. It's about 3 feet off the ground. They liked it. And I liked that I didn't have to say No.
 Cati wanted a turn too but....
 She was really freaked out. Right after I clicked the photo she wanted off.
 I don't have many photos of Mason since he was out exploring. The girls tend to stay close to me;which is fine with me. But with Mason we (mostly me) are trying to help grow his independence so Mike found this stick...sort of looks like Gandalf's..... which helped Mason explore around the waterfall. It was great to watch him....from a distance :)
 Lily had so much fun skipping (more like throwing) rocks.
 Hailey loved it here. She asked that we go back every week.
 Cati is now a wilderness girl. (Giggle*) You know what I mean :)
 I was wanting a family photo but this bug wanted to join the picture. Which just lead to a bunch of girls shrieking. So Mike helped it relocate across the waterfall.

 We had so much fun. I am so grateful that my visiting teacher drew this map out or we might have never found this wonderful place.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

President Monson's Birthday

Today is President Thomas S. Monson's 85th birthday. 

Amazing right! 

With teaching our kids so much about President Monson from not only church but within our home I wanted to join in on his birthday celebration. So on Facebook I seen a few post from LDS pages and this one caught my eye:

Church News: What would be your ideal birthday gift?
Thomas S. Monson: Do something for someone else on that day to make his or her life better. Find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely and do something for them. That's all I would ask.

Tuesday the 21st is Thomas S. Monson's birthday. If you want to give him a birthday gift, do something for someone else that day.

So despite my sickness my kids and I made a plan to serve as much as we can.

This morning we took 3 birthday gifts and 1 baby gift to friends. While at Wal-Mart we all grabbed some shopping carts from the parking lot and returned them to the store. When we returned home we made over 100 cookies and 40 muffins. The kids helped bag them up and we passed them out around our neighborhood.
Which was nice since it gave me a chance to meet my new neighbors across the street who moved in 1 week ago. I didn't even see a moving truck. I guess it happened when we were inside sick. And  if it wasn't for Hailey knocking on another neighbors door I would have never met the most nicest stay-at-home-mom ever. While chatting with her we just had so much in common so a future park play date will be made ASAP.
And afterwards I showed my kiddos this photo I found on some Friend website.
A few of President Monson's favorite things to do. So when we went to pick up Mike from work I stopped and picked up some ice cream. Can't beat BK's 50 cent cones :)
 Hailey kept saying, "I love President Monson because we both love ice cream!"

After dinner we went outside to play some trampoline games and we roasted marshmallows. I would have taken a picture but my camera got stuck so I'm just going to have to try to remember their gooey smiles.

All 4 kids loved celebrating President Monson's birthday. And they can't wait to celebrate it again. It was such a great day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hunger Games Date

With the movie Hunger Games coming out on DVD this weekend Mike has really wanted to see this movie. But he hasn't since I was a big baby about it. I couldn't get pass the first chapter in the book without crying. Kids killing each other. Call me crazy but it made this mom cry.

Anyways back to our fun date. I was going to pick up this movie later in the evening but when I looked on Redbox this movie was gone within a 10 miles radius. I would have normally skipped this date and would have done something else but....I love Mike. So Hailey and I drove to Salt Lake City just to pick this movie up from Redbox. $1.28 rental plus 15 miles worth of gas. :) That's love ♥
                                        photo source

But I couldn't just call it the end with a movie like this. I've heard from so many friends about some of the details in the movie. And based on the previews I pulled together a pretty fun and entertaining date night for the 2 of us.

While we watched the movie I picked up some treats for us.

In the movie Pete is the son of a baker so I grabbed some yummy desserts from the store bakery. And since Target doesn't sell Nightlock (toxic deadly berries) I just picked up some blueberries :) Still very yummy!

After the movie Mike and I went outside to see how good our bow skills are.
 "May the odds ever be in your favor"
 I just taped some target onto our window and I grabbed this bow and arrow set from the toy section. The odds were not in Mike's favor.
 Me on the other hand...once I learned how to hold the bow I was pretty good. The arrow from the first picture is actually mine. And the rest of my turns I might not have got bulls-eye but I got close enough to injury my target.

It was a nice night. For having a cold and a late night date it was really fun.
And as for me and this Hunger series.....I am having to go read these books. Even though I cried when Katniss volunteered in the movie I am curious as to what will happen to her and Pete.

Kids Mud Run

My family has really taken to running. Well...all but me. I need a refill on my asthma inhaler- Then I would be into giving it a try. Any who.....

Our county fair was holding a kids mud run so I signed up all our kiddos. So for weeks our kids would go outside to practice their running. It was exciting to see them all run around our block. But at the start of the week they all had a small cold. I blame this crazy weather. So all week they relaxed, took their cold medicine, and said so many prayers asking for health so they can participate in their mud run. By Friday morning all 4 kids were good and only had small sniffles.

This made everyone so happy. You can see it on their faces on the morning of their race.
With 3 different age groups Lily and Ducati were up first. Mike took them to the starting line. Mike gave Lily a pep talk that when the man yells "GO" you run as fast as you can to the finish line. Even though she was at the very back (see the red shirt in the back- Mike is right next to that guy) when she heard "GO" she ran so fast that she must of placed 4th or 5th.
 Cati on the other can see Mike walking back to her. He was trying to coach her into running but I don't think she understood what was going on. So she stood and cried alittle.
 Lily- after running the only thing she got dirty were her feet.
 As you can see not a speck of dirt on her. She was so in the zone while running. I think we have ourselves alittle pro- runner on our hands.
 I'm not sure what she's doing...maybe yoga?

Next was Hailey's turn. She was alittle nervous. But she's always been a nervous type when trying new things. She gets that from me :)
 But from the looks of the photo she enjoyed herself. She smiled the entire time she was running.
 Just keep running.... You're almost there!
 Hailey after her race. All the kids got slap bracelets for participating in the race IF they cross the finish line. So Ducati was the only one who didn't get a bracelet. But she didn't care much.
Now it's Mason turn. He really wanted to run despite his stuffy nose. That's dedication.
 He mostly stood in the back which is fine. He wasn't use to running on such slippery surfaces.
 Here he comes...
 Mason was about to cough or sneeze. So with camera magic I was able to capture the only time he wasn't smiling. :)
 Finish Line.
 Here's Ducati who wasn't dirty at all before Mason's run. She got so dirty from just watching on the sidelines. Those kids can really splash!
 Mason showing off his prize. He was really excited that he finished this race even though he was slightly under the weather.

But now the real fun started. Most of the parents grabbed their kids and left. So that left only a handful of kids who stood behind and had a chance to..... PLAY!




So after about 20 minutes to running in the mud...which I slightly joined in to go "fetch" my kids...
Mason had a time out so he's not as dirty as my girls. But here they are after the race. Looking so happy :)
 But exhausted. Look at Ducati's face. She's ready for a nap.
But one more thing- to get cleaned up from the hoses. There was a huge fire house and a small garden hose. The fire house was good for cleaning off the dirt but man..did it hurt! I even chickened out and stood behind some braver kids. My kids went to the garden hose to clean up.
 Ducati trying to get warm.
And the staff were handing out snacks for the runners. So everyone grabbed a small treat for the car ride back home. But it's sad to report that this is where Mason, Hailey, Ducati, and I all got sick again. Fevers, coughs, sneezes,...the whole shebang. :(  Well worth it even though now Mike and I are in charge of nursing back to health a bunch of kiddos.