Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've Been Cooking!

With two weeks off from my classes, I've enjoyed cooking almost every day! I've posted the recipes of some of the things I've made recently on my sister-in-law's (Frances') cooking blog, Quick and Healthy Meals. But since most of you aren't aware of that blog, I'm going to link them here. Feel free to check out her blog for other yummy things!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Birthday Bash

It’s hard to believe that Alice & Claire turn 1 on Monday, September 28! The year has flown by!Last Saturday, we celebrated their first birthday, as well as Frances’ nephew, Aaron’s. The weather was perfect for a party at Marc & Frances’ house in Emigration Canyon.Uncle Ted, Aunt Jean, and Lisa came, as well as Aunt Dott, Misty, and Misty’s kids. Ryan enjoyed playing with them.After we all ate, we had three different ice cream cakes to choose from, and cupcakes for the kids. Alice, Claire and Aaron blew out their candles (with help) and then REALLY enjoyed their cupcakes!When most of the guests were gone, we gave our presents to the girls. I gave them two “camouflage princess” outfits, and Ryan gave them very bright stuffed lions. The girls both love to growl, so we thought that was appropriate. Alice, especially, loved the lions!Rara and Papa gave the girls a great storage unit for their toys and books. Everyone was happy!My favorite part of the day…when everyone was gone, I fed Claire her dinner. It was chicken with mixed vegetables. I said, “What does the chicken say?” and then started going, “Bock! Bock!” Claire thought that was hilarious. After I did it a few times, she started going, “Bock! Bock!” We laughed and laughed! Let it be remembered that Aunt Melanie taught her this important life lesson.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fairs, Festivals, and FUN!

It has been a very crazy last couple of weeks. Needless to say, the blog is often the thing that gets bumped down the priority list. The good news is that I finished two more classes toward my PhD. The great news is that I earned As in both of them! I wish I still got paid for my As!

This is a fun time of year with the Greek Festival and State Fair. The Greek Festival was last Thursday through Sunday. Thursday night we had Pack Meeting, Friday I worked all day, and then Ryan had soccer from 4:00 to 5:00. As we were looking at our weekend last Friday afternoon, we realized that we had a full day on Saturday. If we wanted to make it to the Greek Festival, we’d have to go right after Ryan’s soccer practice. I can’t remember a year since we moved back to Utah that we’ve missed the Greek Festival. We knew we had to go.

We had a great time. We enjoyed our dinner – I got “the usual” – spanakopitakia (spinach, feta, phyllo), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and stefatho (beef and onion stew). We watched the dancers for a while, and Ryan played a couple of games, winning a couple of stuffed animals. Then we got our dessert to go in order to make it all last a few days. Again, “the usual” – galatoboureko (custard and phyllo), pasta flora (raspberry tart), an almond tort, and my favorite – kataifi (kind of like baklava, but with shredded phyllo on top). As always, we were glad that we squeezed this great event into our schedule.

Bright & early Saturday morning, Ryan had a soccer game. He scored his first goal of the season! (I bribed him with 5 “Mom Money”).We came home & Ryan changed his clothes, and we took Copper to DOG-a-POOL-ooza at the Rec Center. Every year at this time, they drain all of the pools (Ryan doesn’t have swim team for 2 weeks). They do the outdoor pool and splash pad last. Right before they drain it, they invite people to bring their dogs to play in the pool. It was hilarious! Copper was one of the smallest dogs there, and was very intimidated by the bigger doggies. He also WOULD NOT get into the pool at all. Ryan finally dragged him (quite literally, as you can see from the pictures) through the splash pad part.Kristin & Abby invited us to go to Orchard Elementary’s carnival tonight. Since my classes officially ended at 4:00, we decided it would be a great way to play and celebrate my classes ending. It was really windy, but the kids had a great time together. They enjoyed the bouncy toys until they were taken down after one went airborn! They spent the rest of the time in the carnival games and on the playground. We always love hanging out with Kristin & Abby!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ok, I know the picture is weird, but it was the only one I could find of 09/09/09.

Of course, Ryan and I wanted to figure out something special to do for 09/09/09. Ryan’s request was to go see “9,” the new Tim Burton movie that came out today. With it being a school night, and figuring that everybody else would want to see it today, I decided against it. So I created some activities of our own to celebrate the day.Since Ryan is in 4th grade, he will be spending a lot of time on multiplication and division. I made flash cards of the 9 times tables, and we went through those a couple of times. I also made a “Math-o” sheet (Bingo with numbers) with the products of the 9 times tables in the boxes. We went through the flashcards again, and placed Hershey’s Kisses on each number until we reached “Math-o.” Of course, after Ryan went through it a couple of times, he wanted ME to do it! Good thing I remember the 9 times tables memory hook!We also thought it would be fun to make a list of all of the words we could think of that rhyme with “nine.” I won’t bore you with the list, but we listed 34 words!

I came up with a scavenger hunt for Ryan. He had to gather 9 pine needles, 9 small rocks, 9 grapes, 9 leaves, 9 things to write with, 9 action figures, 9 pieces of sports equipment, 9 pine cones, and 9 pieces of dog food. How long did it take him? EIGHT minutes. :)

Finally, we calmed things down a little bit by writing 9 things he is thankful for in his “O Remember, Remember” gratitude journal.

As we had prayers and did our nightly reading (scriptures, 1 chapter in whichever “Magic Tree House” book we’re on, and 4 pages in Harry Potter), Ryan grabbed my face with both of his hands and gave me 9 kisses. He told me how much fun his 9/9/09 day was – “even funner than going to the ‘9’ movie!” Oh, good!

Now…let’s see if I can post this at 9:09!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mom Money

Does every mother have this problem? Some days I feel that I should just record myself saying something, and play it over and over.

I have been giving Ryan an allowance since he started doing chores at about age 3. He receives a set amount every week, but then has the option to earn extra money for extra jobs. That worked for a while, and he did a good job saving for things he wanted. Lately, trips to the store have become obnoxious again, with him asking for something on every trip.

In the latest Family Fun magazine, there was a story about "Dad Dollars." The kids in the story could earn "Dad Dollars" not only for doing extra jobs, but when someone noticed that they had done something nice for someone else in the family.

They gave the website (see "Festisite" or in my "Other Blogs and Websites" list). I made some "Mom Money," and it has been a hit! I told Ryan that I would give him one "Mom Money" for every time he did something the FIRST time I asked. If it took more than that, he would not get any. I also told him that I would give him two for things that he saw that needed to be done, and just did them on his own. The kid is cleaning up (literallly and figuratively)!

Here's how our "Mom Money" turned out:I also had fun making a little "Motivating Money" for him. I told him that when he made his first REAL million, he could remember me. :)