Thursday, July 31, 2008


For those of you who have heard me talking about the biggest loser contest Casey and I have been involved in and thought "Wow, that sounds cool. I wish I could find something like that!" Your day has come. The next session starts Friday (yes that is tomorrow, but I believe anytime this week is acceptable) and all you have to do is head over to my Moms site ( and leave a comment saying YOU WANT IN! Easy peasy. Each contestant is required to purchase a $10 gift card for a favorite place (Barns and Nobles, Dairy Queen, whatever) and I believe the prizes will be split up among the top three place winners. We weigh in each Friday and the percentages are figured and posted by my lovely mother. Each contestant can post encouragement, recipes or simply talk smack to the other contestants (my personal favorite). It's a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated. Hope to see you in the winner bracket.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer time, Summer time, Sum sum summer time

One of Casey's cousins, who I admire, did a week of activities where she let each kid plan a day and the day had to include meals, main event, service project, and quiet activity (unfortunately her blog is private so you can't see all the adorable ideas and pictures she posted). I loved the idea and since my kids are pretty young still I though I'd help them come up with some options. While snooping around on other peoples blogs I came across this list of fun summer activities to keep the munchkins busy and entertained.

Make homemade stickers
Paint with watercolors (I let them use my real watercolor paint)
Use potatoes carved with simple designs as stamps to make our own wrapping paper
Stamp birthday cards for family and friends, file them to send throughout the year
Make Christmas decorations or ornaments
Create scrapbook pages
Make home made pinatas
Break your pinata
Make playdough
'Stained Glass Windows' - Cover the sticky side of contact paper with several colors of tissue paper, make sure to leave about an inch edge all the way around so it will stick to the window
Make your own chalk
Make candles
Make papercrafts. This site has loads of fun printables to make and do!
Write Secret Messages

Bake a cake, decorate it, and sing "Happy Unbirthday to Us!"
Make popsicles
Bake mini loaves of bread, make butter to spread on them
Bake up different batches of muffins to freeze for snacks
Make homemade bagels
Decorate sugar cookies
Bake cupcakes and deliver to friends
Choose different cookies recipes to bake and freeze for snacks
Make Ice cream in a bag
Make tiny treats

Field Trips:
Go swimming
Pick raspberries
Go to the museum
Ride a horse
Go out for ice cream
Trip to the dollar store
Go to the movies
Attend a concert
Visit a nursing home or an elderly neighbor or friend
Go bird watching

Learn a new Primary Song or Children's Song
Check out a book from the library on paper airplanes. Make all different kinds and have competitions.
Make 'Slime'
Make a list of what you want to learn about this year (Homeschool)
Buy school supplies
Catch butterflies, compare them, learn the life cycle of a butterfly
Plant a garden
Learn about different types of poetry (haiku, limerick, acrostic) and write your own
Design a quilt
Sew your quilt
Read books all day or listen to books on tape
Write a story then illustrate it

Make patriotic bracelets
Paint T-shirts for the 4th of July (search FamilyFun)
Make patriotic hats
Attend a parade
Do patriotic activity pages (wordsearches, crossword puzzles, coloring pages) Do an internet search to find more than you can ever do!
Sing the other verses to the Star Spangled Banner
Ring the "Liberty Bell" by throwing rolled up socks at a bell hanging up on the ceiling

Boutique Week:
Make soap
Make chapstick and lip balm
Have a make-up makeover. Don't forget to take glam shots!
Paint toenails and fingernails.
Make charm bracelets
Make seed bead rings
Sew some cool new PJ pants
Make hair accesories - tie lots of ribbons around hair elastics or make ribbon headbands

Outdoor Activities:
Build a campfire, roast hot dogs and marshmallows
Camp out on the lawn
Blow bubbles. Use different wands. Be creative!
Go for a walk
Try geocaching or letterboxing. These are SO MUCH FUN!!!!
Play water games
Try some new outdoor games (search FamilyFun)
Have a nature scavenger hunt. Write a list for older children. For younger children paint different colors on the bottom of egg cartons (different shades of green, brown, other colors of nature) and see if you can find objects matching those colors. You'd be surprised at what they can find!!
Bike riding
Squirt gun fights
Water Balloon fights
Have different races: wheelbarrow, crab walk, crawling, etc.
Relax on the lawn watching for shapes in the clouds

Indoor activities (Sabbath appropriate):
Draw pictures and send to the Friend Magazine
Write down everything you are thankful for. Be very specific.
Read pioneer or ancestor stories. Act out your favorite ones.
Try writing your own song
Choose a cousin to write a letter to. Make sure to tell them all the things you admire and like about them!
Make your Christmas wish list (I like to get my Christmas shopping done by November)
Write real letters (not e-mail!) - to grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, or friends
Make your own envelopes out of wrapping paper to send your letters in (Look here for templates)
List 5 nice things about each member of your family
Play board games all day
Think of a good service project to do. Plan it out and carry through with the plan
Make a list of what to give everyone for ChristmasMusic Mix CD

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We miss our DAD!

Casey went to Utah this week to spend some quality time with his brother (and sister, I didn't forget you Mal). They were going caving and I'm sure he'll post about it when he gets back, but he sure sounds like he's having fun. So in an effort to keep up here are some of the fun things we've been up to while he's been gone.

  • Porter and Maya are on round two of swim lessons and are loving it this time. Our lessons are at 11:30 so it's much warmer out (Maya is especially happy about that) and Maya and Landon are in the same class so that is exciting for them (not so exciting for their poor teachers).
  • We went to tropicanoe cove and swam for half price on Family Day. The kids really had a good time there even they are all too small to go on any of the cool slides.
  • Nana and Hanny came to stay with us for a few days so we had lots of fun having them here. We played a big game of kickball in the back yard last night which was real fun except for uncle Steve made both of my children cry by beaming them with the ball (agressive).
  • Porter picked out a seeded watermellon (spoiled kids have never had one) and we ate that in the back yard and spit seeds at each other. They thought that was the coolest thing ever!
  • Aunt Sarah taught Bennett how to say Uh-Oh. It's cute (sorry about the blurry pic. it didn't look so blurry in the preview stage).
  • And I went to see The Dark Night (without Casey. I think he was kind of bummed). It was sufficiently creepy, and I'm dreading sleeping alone the next few nights. Hopefully I won't have nightmares of the joker coming to get me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm taking a photography class (a wonderful lady from the ward is teaching for R.S.) and I'm really loving it. I haven't had quite as much time as I'd like to take pictures, but we are on the last segment of the class which is portraits and of course it's my favorite. Here are some of the pics I'm loving so far. I'm sure they are not the best as far as design goes, but I can't help but love the subject matter. Let me know what you think. I have to start choosing picture to submit for the CD she's putting together and for the gallery we'll do in a few weeks, so I may be asking for more input.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer money making venture

Setting up shopThe wares
Who could resist this little beauty?

The first customer
They are offically obsessed. Everyday they ask me "can we go sell today?" When people actually buy stuff they get so excited. I love watching them, and I love that they play so well for so long even if they do end up eating all their suckers (they are supposed to sell them for 10 cents a pop) and drinking all their juice (also 10 cents). Yesterday Porter came running downstairs with his wallet and when Casey told him not to take his money outside he said "but I want to buy some juice, it's real hot out there". I guess they havent learned one of the perks of store ownership is skimming some off the top.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grandparents Camp

So we went down to the Porter's for the 4th and left our kids there for the following week for the first annual Grandparents Camp. From a parents perspective it was wonderful. Although we had Bennett with us, we slept in to the furthest extent of the law and our house stayed reasonably clean (aside from the places where I frequented most, Computer Desk, Fridge, Recliner...) Amanda was in the middle of helping a friend move and that took a few days, but by Wednesday, we were planning all sorts of trips we could take without kids with the Harwards.

Our Pie-in-the-Sky first pick was driving to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant 11 hours away. However, after a 3 hour drive back from Louisville with Addie and Bennett tag team Screaming for 3 hours, that plan was quickly nixed.

So we pared back to just going to Kirtland only 6 hours away, but when we found out that Steve had a late meeting on Thursday night, that plan got scrapped as we wouldn't have enough time to pick up the kids early Saturday morning.

So we searched for something fun to do in the state of Indiana, and we quickly considered going to the Dunes up on Lake Michigan or driving down to Indianapolis and getting hotel rooms and haning out and doing stuff down there.

However, we then learned that Sarah remembered that she had to attend a relief society birthday party on Friday afternoon so those ideas got thrown out and we ended up using this summer's buzzword and had ourselves a little "Staycation" where we played Monopoly on Thursday Night, woke up early friday and went golfing, and then got a babysitter for the remaining two monkeys and were completely and totally free for 3 hours as we tubed down Wildcat Creek. It was a lot of fun. We ran some pretty serious rapids that knocked Steve off his tube and he cracked his skull in 1' of water.

Yeah, we live the exciting life.

This morning we drove through apocalyptical torrents of rain to pick the kids up south of Indianapolis and we were actually thrilled to see them...until about 3 hours after we got them home and Amanda and I locked ourselves in our bedroom where were hastily drew up the negotions for the next Grandparents camp that can't come soon enough.