Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We've done the Mommy Money thing with rewards and stuff for a couple of years now. Our children are almost 6 and 4 right now so we have been taking away privileges lately along with the whole Mommy Money thing previously mentioned. It is amazing how well it has worked. The problem is that I haven't been following through well -- for a few hours I'll take something away but that's easy. So, I made up a chart. This way Paul and I will know what's going on and so will the kids. Is this totally lame?
The sun means outside, the television is obviously no tv time, the computer is no computer time, and the people means no friends over. The box is for me to write whatever I think should be taken away. Then the numbers is for how many days they don't get that privilege. Lame? I dunno but it's already working. Collin has no computer time and Ryanne has no friends over both for one day. I put it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker on it. :) I'm hoping it works. We will see....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

Yay!! I love these things! We do this every year so it makes it easy to just go in and rearrange things and remove the ones we don't want to do again and add in new things that sound fun. :) Yeah... I'm excited. So, here's our plan for this year. ;)

December 1st: Start filling David's stocking with good deeds.
Every Dec 1-24 we read a scripture, sing a song and read a store each night. The first story is the story is about a family who fills a manger with straw for each good deed to make a bed for baby Jesus. In our family we fill David's stocking with paper for our good deeds. We can't give him anything else for Christmas so this is our weird little thing we do. :)

December 2nd: Ward Christmas Party

December 3rd: Prelude to Christmas (stake musical program)
Paul is playing the guitar in the swing band for this program so the kids and I are probably going to go and support him. :)

December 4th: Watch First Presidency Christmas Devotional

December 5th: Sing Christmas songs together.

December 6th: Make Graham Cracker Christmas House

December 7th: Write letters to Santa

December 8th: Make a "cup o'sunshine"
These are cute little things to help brighten the days that have gotten so short. You decorate a cup and fill it with something to brighten someone's day then give them away to people. :)

December 9th: Make peanut butter pine-cone bird feeders.

December 10th: Collin's birthday party

December 11th: Drink cocoa and look at pictures from past Christmases.

December 12th: Look at lights at the local gardens.

December 13th: Make snowball soap surprise for the kids' friends.

December 14th: Volunteer at the Salvation Army
We're doing this as a field trip with Collin's school. ;)

December 15th: Watch "Polar Express" and eat popcorn.

December: 16th: Make our own Express.
This is a train made of rice krispy treats and decorated with candy and frosting. Fun fun!

December 17th: Secretly do something nice for a family member or friend.
This is a challenge extended to the kids but Paul and I join in on the fun too.

December 18th: Drink cocoa by the fire and read Christmas stories.

December 19th: Drive around and look at lights.

December 20th: Make and eat snowman pancakes for dinner.

December 21st: Yule log hike.
We go on a hike in search of a yule log to light in the fireplace for the longest night of the year. ;)

December 22nd: Make all the treats for Christmas baskets for extended family.

December 23rd: Possibly caroling with some friends.

December 24th: Christmas Eve Program
We have a Christmas Eve program that intertwined with music and scriptures. Awesome!!

December 25th: CHRISTMAS!!!!! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ryanne!!

Yesterday was Ryanne's birthday. She is FOUR years old. Ack!! I can't believe it. =) Anyways... here's a post dedicated to little Ryanne. =o)

Here she was, almost 8 mos old and her first day with us. She's so small. haha! And quiet! Can any of you picture our little Ryanne quiet? Yeah, not me! =o)
                                                               She can be super cute!!


                                            She can also be quite indescribable. :)

 So, our little Lady Ronni Bug (as she prefers to be called now a days) wanted a birthday party this year!! :) Before the birthday party we had to spend some time dancing in her new tu-tus from Nana and Papa. :)

Kami got some great pictures of this little dance-a-thon that was happening in our living room. I'll have to post some of those later. So... on to the party!! We had it at... wait for it.... Chick fil a!! Yeah, are any of you surprised? haha! And one of my friends made an awesome princess castle birthday cake that was not only the most adorable cake ever but it also tasted delicious!!! (That's always important with a cake.)

Several kids were missing when we started singing. It was hard to get them all out of the play area. hehe! And, after we sang, everyone in CFA clapped. My face is turning pink all over again. LOL!

I am just so happy that Ryanne came to be part of our family and that we are able to celebrate her fourth birthday with her even if we were not able to celebrate her birth. She is such a joy in our lives and provides us with great entertainment and a new adventure everyday. I love that little girl so much and just so happy she is my daughter!! =o)

Update on us!

Yeah, I'm a bit of a slacker with this blog. Sorry. I've been very good at keeping up with the book review blog but this one I've been slacking off on. So, here's an update for all of you fabulous people!! :)
This is part of school -- "Life in a pond".

"Life in a Cave"

This went with our unit on Millions of Cats. Collin got to decorate his own cat and name him and he named him "Sparkly Harry".

We went to a circus activity w/ Collin's school -- it was a birthday party too. It was awesome! We all had to go with some sort of act so Baker participated. He was  lion and Ryanne was the lion tamer. :) Collin was a music man.... we attached instruments to him everywhere so he could play them all at the same time. It was awesome!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Reviewer... success??

So, for Christmas I received a Nook. Oh yes, it was the most wonderful thing ever!! The downfall was that the books were too easy to buy. I didn't have to go to a store or wait for it to arrive or anything. I just had to click, "Buy" and then "Confirm" and then it was right there. Right at my fingertips. I realized that I was spending too much money on books so I had to come up with a cheaper way to receive books. Free? Anyone giving away free books? It turned out that there were. The catch? I had to start reviewing book on a book review blog so I created my own blog to review books. I started the blog in March and received my first free book in July. I started going through smaller publishing companies.So, I would get a book and review it. No big deal. Anyways... a few months later my fan base has grown and I am now getting contacted by the marketing companies for authors and I'm super excited!!! As of right now I have three book review blog tours scheduled for November, three for December, an author interview and an author guest blog for December. I also have a book review blog tour scheduled for March and an author interview. I am super excited!!! :) Best of all.... all these books are FREE!!!! :) I am so excited for my little blog. Hooray!!! =o) I was just so excited that I wanted to share. =o)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life in a tree

In science Collin has been learning about what all living things need to survive. Yesterday we were learning specifically about how animals need homes and all the help trees are in this. So, we built a tree with animals in it in our dining room. :) What do you think?
I don't know how much you can see but in this tree there are two bird nests, two koalas, two monkeys, two deer (on the ground b/c trees provide shelter for them, too), two squirrels (one is on the electrical outlet), and two tree frogs. I think that's it!! :) Isn't it cool!! :) The kids each colored an animal so the strange colored animals (pink deer, purple monkey, purple koala are all Ryanne's :).