Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter 2011

We had a lovely Easter weekend.  The weather could not have been more perfect:  sunny with a light cool breeze.  We had my sister-in-law in town to celebrate with us, to play with the boys and read them stories, and to stay up and visit with Mike and I until the wee morning hours.  The kids got to participate in three Easter egg hunts.

We spent time with family, had a picnic and enjoyed some delicious food.

We dyed eggs.

Our Sunday service was a perfect reminder of the importance of the Savior and his atonement and resurrection in each of our lives.  Mike had shortened church meetings so he could be with us the majority of Easter day.

I finished all the Easter basket projects early.  Bunny pattern here.

My boys looked adorable in their new bowties.  (More on these later.) There were Cadbury eggs and Sees chocolates aplenty.  My kids were well behaved... for the most part.

Like I said, it was lovely.   We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fathers and Sons Outing

A few weekends ago, Mr. One, Mr. Two, Mike and my dad went on the annual Fathers and Sons outing with our ward (church).  They talked non-stop about it until they finally went.  They were so thrilled to be going on a boys only camping trip.  This was Mr. Two's first time going and Mr. One filled his head with the wonders of this annual event:  the food, running around in the dirt, shooting bottle rockets and sleeping in tents. 

The weather report predicted lots of rain, wind and cold conditions.  Rain or shine, the event would still go on.  The reports were accurate, and they were in for a cold and wet evening and morning. Thank goodness for tents, SUV's, tarps, thick sleeping bags and warm clothes. 

The plan was to come home late in the afternoon Saturday.  They were home before lunch.

Here's the only pics from the outing.  The boys were nice and snug in extra layers and sleeping bags.

From the boys' perspective, it was a perfectly good outing.  They got to eat at a "restaurant" (Happy Meals at McDonalds), have ice cream at the campfire devotional (who decided on ice cream over s'mores?), sleep in a tent with an air mattress and sleeping bags (I think they were having more fun jumping and sliding around on said bed...), got pancakes in the morning, and they got to pick a drink at the convenience store (Batman juice and orange soda) on the way home after breakfast.  Best of all, they were able to spend time with their daddy and grandpa. Just the boys.

If only we could see the world through a child-like lens.  I know we would all be a lot more content.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter FHE

Have you seen the Resurrection Eggs that are all over the web right now?  Here's just one example.  Do you have your own?  I have two sets that were given to my by friends in years past, and they make a perfect Family Home Evening lesson for Easter.  We take turns opening one egg at a time, examining the object inside, reading the scripture and discussing the events of Christ's death and resurrection. 

I am amazed at how much my children already know about these events.  Mr. One knew almost all of the details as we opened each egg.  Even Mr. Two remembered the basic story.  After going through the eggs and singing a few Easter songs, we had our treat.  We made these sweet rolls, but used them as an object lesson for the empty tomb.  The marshmallow melts and leaves an empty center to the roll, to remind us that Jesus's tomb was empty after three days, that He lives.  They loved this!

We're heading to the Easter Pageant later this week with our family.  I can't wait!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Basket Sorting

I found these cute rainbow colored mini baskets at the 99 Cent Store and the bunny confetti at Hobby Lobby.  They made the perfect materials for a little color sorting and fine motor grasping activity this morning.

abc button

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter Ideas Collection

I have Easter on the brain big time lately.

I have even found myself feeding Mr. Three baby bird style, just because it's cute.  (Well, minus the regurgitation, just the open-wide-and-plop-food-in-your-cute-baby-mouth-while-you're-standing feeding.)

In the last few days, I have found a collection of great Eastery ideas for my kiddos.  I am excited to use some of them.

Here are two wonderful printable Easter units.  Musings of Me has another great Easter unit.  Oopsey Daisey has a Mommy School Easter unit.  I especially love the Magic Egg story.  I am pulling out my felt stash right after I post this to put it together.

I just want to borrow a dozen chicks and snuggle them, like they did here.
But I know what they turn into when they grow up.  And what they smell like.  And what they do to floors.  I think we'll stick to our chenille chicks for now.

I want this book!  I think I may have to get a copy and paint some shoes.  I'm a sucker for a good book.

My Montessori Journey has two more wonderful egg activities that I am going to try and put together this weekend.  Go here and here.

I think this snack idea is genius.  I'm not sure how much of the veggies my boys will eat, but one can hope...

Here are some of my past Easter related posts, here and here, just for fun.

What Easter-themed fun are you participating in with your families?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mr. Three is One

My baby is now a toddler.  Walking and babbling and getting into all sorts of trouble.  Then again, how could you not love this adorable face?

The phrase "time flies by" just sounds cliche, but that's how I feel.  I can still remember holding him as a tiny newborn on Easter weekend, and it feels like such a short time ago. 

Mr. Three had a fun and simple birthday celebration last week.  Presents, cake, ice cream, and lots of extra attention.  Just what he wanted! 

He loves:

knocking down towers
noisy toys
putting things in pans and containers, then dumping them out
food, especially strawberries, cereal, string cheese, crackers and cookies
giving wide mouth frog kisses
carrying things around the house in his mouth or in his hands (this is quite entertaining to watch)
shadowing his brothers
books and magazines (which he loves to rip and chew and throw...)

Can I just say that I love!  They had all the presents we wanted to get for our little guy, and at unbeatable prices.  He loved his peg board and fill and spill bug jar.  Grammy and Grandpa got him a baby band set that he loved as well. 

He really had a blast ripping the paper on the presents.  I think he had just as much fun with the packaging as the gifts themselves.

I had envisioned making a fabulous city scape/ tower cake for him to topple over.  I had a cute little dino hat for him to wear, and I imagined him stomping his beautiful cake like Godzilla and laughing in glee.  This was a fantastic idea. In my head.

Let's just say that reality didn't exactly echo my vision.  He hated the dino hat, and refused to wear it.  The cake kept crumbling and ended up a huge mess, despite our best intentions.  He didn't really like the cake (note to self:  spice cake is not a baby favorite).  He kinda stuck his fingers in it and nibbled, but grew tired of the massive mound of sugar on his high chair quickly.  I guess I should be relieved that he didn't want to eat the whole thing...

Happy Birthday Mr. Three!  We are so blessed to have you in our family and look forward to many fun times together.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Flowers

Over seven years ago, when we were just settled into our little home, we noticed a strange looking plant growing in the bare flower bed along the brick wall on our front porch.  It was tiny and green and fan-like.  It was probably a weed.  It was unsightly and odd.  My first instinct was to yank it out.

My husband thought better.  After examining it, he suggested that it might be fun to see what it grew into.  It most definitely wasn't a weed.  Maybe an onion.  Or a flower. He wanted to give it some time.

I reluctantly agreed, thinking that we may end up with an onion patch on our front porch, stinking up the neighborhood.

It took several years, but one early spring morning, we noticed a shoot.  Soon after, there were buds.  They grew and turned purple.  Finally, one perfect morning, a beautiful iris bloomed.  Now, a few years later, we have a purple-hued array of irises every spring.  The blooms are delicate and only last a little while, but they are splendid when they arrive.  Mother Nature's testament to new life, a perfect reminder of Easter.  New life.  Resurrection.  A hope in better things to come.

I can't help but think about my little slow growing flower bed and how it relates to life.  So often, things come up that seem odd, bothersome, unexpected.  My instinct is to rip them out.  Fix the problem.  Make drastic changes.

My husband knows better.  He is the patient one.  The one who sees the flowers in the small green shoots.

So often, the better solution is to let changes come.  Give them time.  Let them grow.  Work with what is given and be content.  The weeds and problems that I see today aren't always weeds.  Frequently, they turn into the beautiful irises of tomorrow.

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows what each little seedling can become.  A Father who plants unexpected things in our path.  In our own challenges and struggles,  may we all grow and see the beauty, and the divine potential, that is in each of our lives.

Ladybug Math

I love these plastic ladybugs that I found several years ago from Oriental Trading!  Unfortunately, they don't sell them anymore, but you could use ladybug erasers, foam shapes, beads, etc.

This is a simple addition activity that my kindergarten students loved.  Just spin, count out your ladybugs onto the leaves, then say and/or write an addition problem.

I recently pulled this out for Mr. Two (who is three) and modified the activity.  I spun one spinner and Mr. Two the other.  We counted our ladybugs onto our leaves, then pointed to the group that had more (or less).