Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Read This; Read That!

I am officially addicted to the library! From just regular books to digital books for my kindle, I am in a huge book phase. I can't get enough!

Right now I am reading two different series, have 4 books checked out from our local library, and one digital book checked out for my kindle. I just wish I could read all day long. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What did you do, Danny?

(As a side note, Danny sprained his ankle a while back. By a while I mean months ago.)

Ellie got a little scratch on her finger yesterday. I put a bandaid on her ouchie and this is what she said...

Ellie: "I'm really sorry daddy hurt his uncle. But I'm glad his uncle is better now."

Later that day (after having told him what she said)...

Me: "Danny, what did you do to your uncle?"

Danny: "I buried him." :)

Language Barrier

Preston: "Guess what I learned today, mom."

Me: "What?"

Preston: "I learned how to say 'here' in Spanish. Aqui. I live aqui. That means I live here."

Me: "Wow! Who taught you that?"

Preston: "Mrs. Blackaller. She told us that she knows a lot of spanish. I think she must have lived in China for a while or something."

Me: (trying really hard not to laugh) "Or something." :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Playground Pests

I really dislike how cruel little kids can be...

Kaden is naturally a very kind-hearted kid. He really cares about others and wants to please them.

Last year we had an issue with one of his "friends" beginning to bully him. This "friend" tried to shove wood chips in Kaden's mouth, kicked him as he was hanging from the monkey bars, and continually hit him with his backpack. We had a long talk with Kaden about sticking up for himself, and throughout the next few weeks we basically took care of that situation.

Last night we asked Kaden how his day was. I could tell something was wrong and tried to pry it out of him. He then started to cry and explained how he had gotten into a fight that day. We asked him what happened. He said that he was playing kickball with a group of kids, he called out how many outs there were, and one of the kids said, "We know, Kaden!" in a really rude voice. Kaden, being too timid to say anything, walked away. And that was the extent of his fight.

We told him we were very proud of him for simply walking away. We explained that it's the right thing to do instead of yelling back or hitting. By this point he was just so frustrated that he was crying because (in his words) he is 9 years old and he should not cry like that at 9 years old.

I just want to say how much I love this kid! He is emotional and even overly sensitive sometimes. But I am the same way. :) I tend to read in to others actions too much as well. I guess he comes by it honestly. :)

In reality, though, I just want him to realize that these things happen and we just have to move on. At the moment, it seems like the end of the world. But give it a week and you will barely remember what happened.

These are the things we are dealing with on a daily basis as a parent. We try to teach them things that we as parents haven't even mastered. And in the end, we hope it's enough.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


While taking a bath...

Ellie: Are you clean, mom?

Me: Yep.

Ellie: I need to get all clean, huh.

Me: Uh-huh.

Ellie: Cause you don't like stinky little kid girls.

:) So true. :)

Smooth Criminal

Last night was AMAZING! There was one part when it almost felt like the church of Michael Jackson, with people yelling, "We love you, Michael!" Plus there were a couple of songs that were just plain cheesy. But overall I would give the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil 2 huge thumbs up!

There were so many highlights I couldn't list them all. One of my favorites, though, would be the one-legged man that danced so crazy good! He had his forearm crutches and danced with the rest of the crew. You could hardly tell he only had one leg (except of course that one pant leg was empty and pinned up). He was amazing - break dancing and everything. So cool!

And Thriller! That song was so awesome! I tried to record it but the recording is awful. But they did such a great job on that song too.

This is the video that turned out the best, but it still doesn't do the show justice. The music was so loud that the audio is very distorted in the video. And you can't even really see some of the coolest things. But, here's Smooth Criminal...

A big, huge thank you to Danny! I love that man! Thanks for the surprise. You are the best!


Ellie has started to really love to "talk on the phone". She will pretend any toy is a phone and this is what we see every day now...

(I wish the quality was better - I recorded it on my phone)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Christmas Break

We had a very enjoyable Christmas break. We started it off by going to the Birds of Prey exhibit/museum. Kaden had gone for a school field trip and loved it so much. He brought home a family pass and begged us to take him. Kaden's favorite was either the HUGE condor or Luigi the big Harpy Eagle. Preston's favorite was either the bald eagles or Luigi. Ellie's favorite was Luigi. And my favorite was Luigi as well. We actually got to see Luigi fly, so maybe that's why we all liked him so much.

Next, we had a movie day. We took the kids to see Puss in Boots, went to Outback Steakhouse (yum) for dinner, then Danny took me and Ellie home. We watched a girlie movie at home while the boys all went back to the theater to watch a "boylish" (Ellie's pronunciation) movie. It was an enjoyable day. The only downer was me feeling sick throughout the weekend (which is why I had to come home with Ellie).

Christmas Eve was a cookie-making day. We took our time making yummy sugar cookies for Santa Claus. (This is probably a good time to mention that Kaden found out the truth about Santa this year. So all day long he would ask questions like, "So, do you and dad actually eat the cookies we set out for Santa?" or, "What happens to the oats we lay out for Rudolph?" It was humorous to see his mind work out the facts.) We talked about the Christmas story that night and sent the kids to bed.

We really enjoyed Christmas this year. It was really low-key, but very nice. No extended family the whole day (which we missed) but we really enjoyed being together. I was really surprised that the kids didn't wake up early this year. They insisted that they wanted to wake up at 4 in the morning, but in reality I finally woke them up at 7. We opened Christmas presents, ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast, went to sacrament meeting, came home and ate a nice steak and shrimp dinner, and played with each other.

We spent the next few days playing with new toys. Kaden got a ripstick that he continually practiced riding. He's getting really good at it. While Kaden rode his ripstick, Preston and Ellie rode their new scooters. They loved it! We also played a lot of xbox with our new kinect. It is pretty fun. Also, each year santa gives each of us a Jamba Juice gift card, so we made our annual trip to Jamba. Oh, and we got ready for New Years Eve.

We invited a couple of family's over to bring in the New Year. We had LOTS of snack foods/appetizers, played lots of games including the kinect, and enjoyed friends & family. It was really fun!

Yesterday we went skeet shooting with some friends - So Much Fun! Then we went out to lunch with them. The only thing that would have been better is if Brandi (the mother) could have come. She woke up with a migraine yesterday so she had to stay home. :(

Then the kids had their friends come over and play. They love all of their neighbors. I love them too. My kids always have someone to play with and can never really say they are bored. I love it here.

That brings us to today. It is the last day the kids have out of school. I am taking today to do laundry and get groceries. They are taking today to get as much fun in as possible. Danny surprised me last night by getting us tickets to the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil here in Boise tonight. I was really SHOCKED! So I rushed to find a babysitter and we will be going to that tonight.

And that was our Christmas break. It was very fun for all of us. And this wouldn't be a proper 1st post of 2012 if I didn't say, "Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Glow-Stick Dancing

We just received the best gift from some friends of ours. It came with a CD (with fun, up-beat Christmas music), and some glow sticks. We were supposed to:

1. Pop the CD into the player
2. Turn off all the lights
3. Crack the glow sticks
4. Let Loose!

Wow! Who knew it could be so fun just dancing in the dark with glow sticks? Even Danny got into it! So Much Fun!!! Thanks to the McDaniel Family!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


We've started a new type of chore chart at our house. We got the idea from my sister over Thanksgiving. It goes like this...

My kids don't have to do any chores if they don't want to (unless I ask them to do something).

There is a list of different "chores" and the price tag on each. If they do a chore, they put their name by it, and they get the money associated with that task. If they work together at a task, they split the money for that task. They can also get money for doing extra tasks that aren't listed. Essentially, they get paid a commission for helping me.

Their bedroom and their toys/toy closet is considered their space. They are in charge of their space. If I have to intervene and clean their room, they have to pay me a commission for helping them.

They have to pay for half of what they need. If they need a new pair of shoes, they pay for half. If Kaden needs another recorder for school, he pays for half. And they pay 100% for any wants. (Of course, that is besides presents that we get them.)

The reason I am taking the time to document this is because it is working! My kids are not only keeping their room clean (they don't want to have to pay me), they are looking for ways to make money.

Last night my kids unloaded and loaded the dishes - 2 different tasks on our chart. But then they hand washed all of the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, swept, and wiped off the table. Kaden has helped me with the laundry (very unusual in our house), and Ellie has even gotten excited about helping. My kids don't grumble about cleaning. They are starting to realize that they want/need money to buy the things they want/need. Kaden says that tonight he is planning on helping me with laundry, vacuuming, and possibly mopping. All things he never would have volunteered for before.

Another aspect that I like about this is that they think it's worth it. Some, if not all, of the tasks have a pretty high price on them. I thought about decreasing the price from what my sister had set. In fact, I did a little bit. But they still get paid a whole $1 to take out all the garbages in the house. And because the price is set so high, they think it's great. They totally want to do the chores because they get paid pretty well in their eyes. And for me, if I am expecting them to pay half of all their needs, I figure they need the opportunity to make enough money to save for those things. And lets face it... I would be paying for 100% of all of their needs if not for this system. So if they're willing to work for the money that I would be putting towards their needs anyway, I'm all for it!

It's a win, win situation! Thanks Jodi!