Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Swimming Lessons

I really love being in West Lafayette. There are so many things offered for families and they are usually priced so families with multiple children can afford to do them. There are tons of great parks and columbian park has a free zoo (with an amazing petting zoo-there is a llama and horses and goats oh my!). Porter and Maya started swimming lessons Monday at Happy Hollow Swimming Pool (only $15.00 per kid). This morning we had thunder storms so we didn't get to go but we're looking forward to getting wet tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

DC Panhandler

This is the inspiration behind Porter's street drumming obsession. When we were in DC in Early May, we ran across this dude just off the main mall and Porter and Maya thought he was awesome. Little did we know, it would spawn a deep desire to live on the streets and perform for a living. We're now grooming him by teaching him to clean car windows with a dirty rag, spinning on his head and breakdancing in the middle of the street, and by stomping around with trash cans tied to the bottom of his shoes. The latter 2 have been harder for him to master, but we assure you he will be ready for STOMP in 3 years or our name isn't the Magnificient Elmer's!

Losing weight and losing my mind...

Lately Porter has been pretty interested in money. The other day he came into the kitchen asking for a jar. I was thinking he wanted one to catch bugs so I asked "what do you need it for?" He said he just needed it, and I said "well I need to know what it's for because if it is for bugs I need to get you a jar with a lid, so I need to know what you need the jar for so I can know what kind of jar to give you." He then proceeded to tell me he had set up a drum set in the front yard using a little tykes table and chairs, and a little tykes car, and he needed a jar for his drums then if people liked his drumming they could give him money. I gave him a big plastic bowl thinking he wanted to drum on the jar. After a few minutes I look outside and he has the bowl turned right side up and has loose change in it. HELP MY CHILD WANTS TO GROW UP TO BE A PANHANDLER! Anyway our neighborhood usually does a yard sale each summer so I told Porter we would learn how to make lollipops and candy and we could have a lemonade stand with goodies to sell at the yard sale. We were all pretty excited about that idea until our lollipops turned out ugly and our saltwater taffy turned into a huge disaster! It tasted pretty good and I'm thinking of just charging the neighborhood kids to lick our hands.

My mom and dad went to the great state of TEXAS last week and fulfilled one of Porters dreams. They got him a really great pair of cowboy boots. He loves those things and wears them everywhere (for added proof check out my sisters blog of us picking strawberries).

Last note...My family did a biggest loser competition two months before we left Philadelphia and Casey and I won!!! There was so much interest we have now started a new competition that is open to the public, and this week I ranked first in that competition. I'm pretty much the MAN! For more information on this competition you can click on Biggest Loser Doing it Solo on my side bar under Fun Blogs (or click here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Leigh, this is for you

This was a little experiment we tried out two summers ago called "Landscaping for Less" or "Mow What You Wish You Could Afford." Basically, we just let the lawn grow long where we thought we'd like to have beds and it looked pretty cool for a while and mowing time was cut in half. The kids loved it and would run around in the tall grass and play hide and seek, but eventually, we cut it all down at the end of the season.

This is the fence we ended up building around our yard, It's more of a good neighbor fence than a privacy fence, but since we were the only ones on the block to put a fence up, we felt we had to go that way. We designed it and built it ourselves, but it didn't turn out too bad for our first fence. The fence has the horizontal runners on both sides of the fence so it has a great finished look on either side and we liked the vertical boards extending below the bottom runner, but not all the way to the ground.

Kites, Turtles and Hot Tamales

Yes, so that was the theme of last night's Family Home Evening. We got together with the Harwards (which we seem to be doing a lot of lately) and we went to a nearby park to fly kites for FHE. The weather was beautiful and there was enough wind to really get our dragon kite which Grammy and Poppy gave us so long ago that I'm certain Grammy has forgotten that she gave us a kite and is saying to her self, "I never gave them a kite." Well Grammy, you did, and it was a hit. It's maiden voyage was superb and all the kids wanted turns flying it but as you can see by the above picture, it was hogged mostly by the dads.

Why not a little family impromptu photo shoot, good thing all the kids cooperated on this one.

Maya loved flying the kite, that is whenever she could wrest it away from her father, who probably enjoyed it more than she did. While we were running with the kite, we almost tripped over this huge turtle that was lying in the middle of this field. Maya immedeatley drops the kite handle and runs to the turtle as she loves all things Animal. Luckily we saved the kite from blowing away, and the kids' attention was diverted now to this massive turtle laying in the lawn (see below photo.
No, that's Landon, i'm talking about the photo below him.)

So with the turtle around to distract the kids, I was able to fly the kite to my heart's content and leave Amanda, the other animal lover in our family, the chance to stand guard around the turtle as she really wanted to see it crawl. Yes Elaine, she still does these things even though your not around anymore.

Maya, upon discovering a living creature in her vicinity.

Another staged Elmer family photo, again, 4 out of 5 cooperating ain't bad.

Our little strawberry blonde.

Sibling rivalry has always been encouraged during family home evenings, else, how could we dare call it by it's pseudonym, 'Family Fight Night'. Addie is just happy to be held.

Aunt Hannie joined us and though she tried to take her turn, Porter quickly jumped in to save her crashing kite.

Lastly, I know there has been no mention of Hot Tamales up until this point, I wanted to keep you in suspense, but it's pretty anticlimatic since they were the dessert for last night.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Long time no see...

It has taken us a while to get our computer up and running but we've been having a blast in the meantime. Here are some pictures of the kids from the past two weeks we've spent in Indiana.

We went to my parents house for 6 days last week and spent a wonderful amount of time in the swimming pool. Bennett loved it, and so did Porter and Maya. Casey, (my brother in law) Steven, and my Dad built the kids a really awesome tree house (unfortunantly I didn't get any pictures of it, but I think my sister did). We also got to go to the temple which is always great.

Here's a picture of Maya with a birds nest she discovered while climbing the trees in the back yard. She is quite the little monkey!