Monday, March 18, 2013

Busy, Busy

If I am a little absent for the next several weeks, there is good reason.  We have:
an almost toddler who can't stay away from the toilet and an older toddler who won't go near it
father and son's outing
family coming into town
one baptism
two birthdays
a baby shower
an out of town wedding

It will be an exciting and busy time, and I am looking forward to it all.  However, my to do list is daunting right now.  Wish me luck.  We'll talk later.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Spy ABC Tub

You know I love a little I Spy fun at my house.  I have found lots and lots of sensory tub ideas all over the internet and came up with a fun variation on an alphabet tub for my boys, borrowing and adding to lots of great ideas I've seen elsewhere.

I started with some white rice and some alphabet pasta, dyed with the trusty Wilton gel food colors.  I wisely kept the dye out of Mr. Three's reach.  (It was a fun little experiment for the boys to take the baggie of uncolored pasta and squish it in the plastic bag with the vinegar and food coloring and watch it turn colors.)

After putting that together, I added 26 water bottle tops with scrapbook sticker alphabet letters stuck on the inside of the lid, and tossed them in.

I also tossed in a set of magnetic fridge letters and some round colored abc beads.

Then, the funnest part for my boys:  scoops, funnels, magnifying glasses and a pencil-magnet fishing pole to catch the letters.

I also put a cookie sheet with a sun bleached magnet puzzle and a homemade dry erase board (a cd case with white paper inside) alongside the tub to use to explore the letters.

They loved sorting the letters and examining the tiny pasta abc's with the magnifying glass.

I spy some B's!

I was happily surprised when Mr. Three immediately took to finding "his" letter in the box, excitedly pulling out his T's and showing them to me.  He is really fascinated by beginning letters in names right now and points them out on store signs, books, street signs, food packaging.  The kindergarten teacher in me does a little happy dance at this.

Mr. Two, who is starting to read, began making words with his letters and writing them on the homemade dry erase board.  Victory!

Oh, this tub will be put to good use!  I'm so excited that it turned out and that my boys love playing in it as well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!

We had another fun day celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday this year.  As an added bonus, it was on a Saturday, so everyone was home to enjoy it together.

We had our traditional green eggs and ham for dinner.  (Well, green eggs and bacon, close enough :))  Mr. Two was hesitant to "try them, try them and you may" but found that he did like green eggs and (bacon)ham.

Mr. One does not like green eggs and ham, he does not like them Sam-I-am.  But give him toast, he likes that most.

Mr. Four loves green eggs, well, to play with at least.  Eating? Not so sure...

Mr. Three said no to the green eggs, but loves the (bacon)ham.  Yum!

We also had some strawberry-banana Cat in the Hat skewers.  Those were a big hit with all the boys.

Mr. Two is crazy about his fruit kabob!  He and Mr. One assembled them for our family dinner, cutting bananas and threading the fruit on the sticks.  A fun way to sneak in some pattern practice, too.

Mr. Three loves his fruit!  Chomp, chomp!

We couldn't have a Dr. Seuss dinner without a fun dessert, so some sweet eggs and ham were on the menu.  Now these were green eggs that everyone was willing to try!  (Made with a pretzel under a candy melt, melted in the microwave and topped with a green M&M.)

The boys liked hearing a few favorite stories, Green Eggs and Ham (of course) and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, to name a few.   We also played a new game together: this cute fishing game found here.  I had a few more Seuss crafts and activities planned, but the boys were happy playing on Seussville and so I have them all pinned and partially prepped for next year.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Several weekends ago, we visited MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ with my parents and some of my siblings.


It was fun for the whole family.


You are able to wear headsets that sych with the exhibits, so that you can hear music from all over the world as you look at displays that show different instruments and artifacts.

There are huge rooms for every continent (well except Antarctica, no musical penguins I guess), as well as a large space with different musical genres, from jazz and blues to hip hop and rock.


There were famous musical artists' signed guitars, show costumes, pictures, etc.


But the best room of all was the hands-on room with instruments to play.


We had to peel the boys (and the rest of the family) away from it all.

They had so much fun.

I would most definitely go back, as there was so much to see, hear and do, we couldn't possibly enjoy it all in one outing.


Plus, the boys really rocked those headphones!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lego FHE

My boys love Legos.  Mr. One and Mr. Two can sit and build for hours and hours.  Mr. Three likes to unbuild what his older brothers create :).  He likes making things with his Duplo blocks as well.  Mr. Four loves to chew on Legos.  We have to be very vigilant about keeping the little pieces out of his reach.  When they are not building, they are often discussing various Lego adventures.

I hope that the language of faith and the Gospel come as easily for them as talking about their favorite playthings.  As I was pondering this, I had a light-bulb moment.  I could use Legos to help my children better understand the gospel.  Here's how Mike and I did just that.

I purchased two identical small Lego sets and placed the pieces only (minus the mini figure) in two small boxes.  We told the boys that we had a gift for them.  (We gave Mr. Three a Hot Wheel to open just to be fair because he is too young for the little Lego sets.)  We let them open the boxes and dump out the pieces.  Then we simply said, "OK, now build it."  They were a little confused and asked us what they were building.  We just told them to figure it out.  They started examining the pieces and experimenting with putting them together.  Mr. One kind of enjoyed this, although you could see he was confused about what he was supposed to do, but it was clearly frustrating to Mr. Two.  Mr. Two quickly said, "We need instructions!"  We asked them if just a picture would help, and we showed them.  That gave them a better idea, but still was difficult to know how to put everything together.  Then, we gave them the instructions.  They were both able to put their model together fairly quickly.

We asked them to explain why they needed the instructions.  They said that they told them what to do, that they made building easier, that they helped them understand how to fit all the pieces together the right way.  We then asked them if they knew of anything that they had that might be like their Lego instructions to help them in their own lives.  Perhaps a book of instructions to help them know how to live.  We were impressed when they quickly connected the instructions to the scriptures.  Bingo!  We were able to have a good, short and sweet talk about how the scriptures are a guidebook for our own lives.  They can provide answers to our problems.  They can give examples of righteous people to follow.  They can be an answer to our prayers.  They tell us how to live so that we can return to our Heavenly Father.  Just like the Lego instructions, that they can go back to to help them rebuild a model, the scriptures help us build our testimonies, and we can learn from them each time we read.

We shared our testimonies about the power that comes in reading the scriptures.  How they have blessed our own lives and answered our own questions and prayers.  We expressed our desire to have them love the word of God, to be eager to read and study them individually, to have their own testimonies.

I am grateful that inspiration can come through the most everyday items, and that even Legos can be a springboard for a meaningful gospel discussion.