Saturday, April 30, 2011

Every girl's rite of passage

Months ago Sydney cut her hair i.e. created bangs. It was so subtle I didn't even notice....Jeff did and we were at a restaurant so we didn't make a big deal about it. Many other people noticed her new bangs days later and said how good it looked especially when I mentioned that she got her hands on a pair of scissors and did it herself. Well, I guess her confidence was very high from all these compliments that she cut more bangs just days after the first time. This time it wasn't so cute and this time we made a big deal about it. To sum it up, she is never to cut her hair again. Some bangs were way to short and it definitely looks that a little kid cut it. Like I said it's been months and they are finally growing out (thank goodness).

After first cut:

After second cut:
Her thick hair is covering up a major patch of short hair underneath it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some bunnies love you

Like everyone else, I have to post some traditional Easter pictures. Here are a few Easterly/Sisterly love pictures.
Jordyn giving her big sister a kiss on the cheek.

whoooaaaa. Easy Jodryn. I guess the kiss on the cheek wasn't enough and laid a big one right on Sydney's lips. Another thing they won't be doing in 10 years...kissing each other on the lips.

Sydney took the 2 easter egg hunts she participated in very seriously. She was on a mission to get the most eggs she could.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Week-day 7

So thankfully I got 10 hours of sleep last night, so I woke up feeling refreshed and energized. I was glad we did the whole Easter baskets and egg hunts yesterday. Today seemed slow and mellow so we could take our time to reflect upon everything we learned this week and our gratitude towards the Savior.
Song: Jesus is Risen
Scripture: John 20:1-18
GAK 234: Jesus Shows His Wounds
This activity I actually made up on my own (wow that is unheard of, I know). I called it "Learning the last week of Jesus Christ through our 5 Senses." First I blinded folded the girls. I let them FEEL things from our easter egg lesson: a stone, dice, dimes, a nail, a cross, a sponge, a cup. They liked guessing what the items were. I had the SMELL spices, soap, and vinegar. We talked about each item again and how it related to the last few days of Christ's life. We HEARD/LISTENED to several primary easter songs. We listened to the words and that they mentioned that Christ has risen and we talked about that. Then we SAW/WATCHED the Lamb of God video. The girls watched the whole thing and it was pleasing to me that they knew in advance the sequence of events that happened and really had sympathy for Christ when he was suffering. Sydney mentioned that in the video they forgot to show them giving Jesus vinegar. As far as TASTE goes, our last sense, we made "resurrection rolls." They were de-lish! You dunk a marshmallow in butter and dip it in a cinnamon/sugar mix and wrap that in a crescent roll and bake. The marshmallow represents Jesus. After you take it out of the oven and let cool, open the roll, and the marshmallow is gone (ie Christ is risen). Sydney thought this was some kind of magic trick. She loved it and I thought it was pretty cool too. So there are your 5 senses. During dinner we each bore our testimony of Christ.
Wow, this was a big endeavor for me--not so much the activities but actually doing them every night. Next year should be easier since I have everything planned out and I know what worked and didn't work. For example, I will not have the "last supper" activity on the same night I go to mutual and hopefully it won't be the same week that Jeff is leading meetings and is "dead unto me" all week. With all that being said, it was totally and utterly worth the planning, commitment, and execution (I sound like some kind of coach or something). It was fun for me. I enjoyed observing the enthusiasm of the kids with every activity. I also was happy when I realized that I was building their testimony of the Savior. I can't think of any greater work or purpose that I can do in life.
I can say that I know the atonement and resurrection happened. I know that Christ lives. He is my friend and I love him for everything he endured, I love him for the example he set, I love him because he loves me. I'm grateful that I know these things are true and because I know they are true I also know that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on this earth today and I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I believe Pres. Monson is a modern day prophet. I believe that families can be together forever. I also know and believe that through repentance I can return and live with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
If you incorporated any of my ideas into your Easter celebration that is great. I hope that my written experiences perhaps enlightened you at the very least.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Week-day 6

Our day was crazy busy and I thought I would have time to have our devotional tonight but I didn't. We got home from a party at 6:45 pm, our kids still needed baths, and they were zombies so making Easter cookies as part of our activity was out of the question. Kids went to bed at 7:30 and Jeff and I will be soon. We did celebrate Easter today, in terms of Easter baskets and an Easter egg hunt, so tomorrow we can focus more on the deeper meaning of Easter using our 5 senses. I hope it goes as well as I envision it. My easter treat to myself-a free loaf of Cinnamon Chip bread from Great Harvest. hmmmm. I can taste it now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Week-day 5

Song: I believe in Christ
Scripture: lots. refer to activity
GAK 230: The Crucifixion
We listened to the song twice. The first time we just listened; the second time I held up the picture and described the scene at Calvary and the words spoken. Finally after suffering in Gethsemane and by giving up his life on the cross, his mission was complete when He said, "It is finished. Father into thy hands I commend my spirit." I think this picture/scene/moment in time (along with the Garden of Gethsemane) are two of the most tear-swelling, lump in throat, soften heart reactions I have when I think of the love, devotion, faith, and tender mercy of our Savior towards us. I'm rambling. I could go on forever but that wouldn't come close the deep feelings I have of the Savior.
Activity: Easter egg lesson. I had a dozen plastic eggs and put items in each egg surrounding the crucifixion and ressurrection. This idea has been around for awhile and there are many variations to this.
Here is a list of what I put in the eggs, there are corresponding scriptures to each egg, but I'm too tired to write them all down. If you're really interested you can message me.
1. Cup
2. 3 dimes
3. Twine
4. Soap
5. Red Cloth and thorns
6. Cross and nail
7. Dice
8. Sponge and stick
9. Rocks
10. White linen and stone
11. Spices
12. leave egg empty
One by one we opened each egg. You do want to open the eggs in this order. The girls loved opening each egg and then curious to hear how each item related to the Crucifixion and/or Resurrection. For example, I knew that Jesus was given vinegar but didn't remember that they soaked the vinegar in a sponge before making Him drink it. Still not sure how much this is sinking in the girls' sweet, little brains, but I'm pretty sure it's not a whole lot; thus, confirming to me that we need to do this week long easter celebration every year.

Easter Week-day 4

Song: He Sent His Son
Scripture: Matt. 26:47-56
GAK #227: The Betrayal Of Judas
Activity: Today we had our FHE/devotional during the day because we had plans as soon as Jeff came home from work. After reading the scripture, looking at the picture and describing what happened, we talked about what friendship, betrayal, and loyalty means. We finished our devotional with a game. It was a "friendship matching/memory" game. On the cards of friends it told us what friends do: tell the truth, take turns, help each other, share, etc. It was good timing to have this specific lesson because wouldn't you guess that Sydney and Jordyn weren't getting along prior to our devotional. We also talked about how we can be friends and loyal to the Savior.
To follow Christ' example of service from day 2, we took one of those "cookie ingredients in a jar" thing to a young widow up the street and wanted to invite her to church. She's gone for the month so we gave it to her house sitter. Too bad, it obviously would've been way cooler had she been home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Week-day 3

Song: He Died that We Might Live Again
Scripture: Mark 14:12-21
GAK 227: "Jesus Praying in Gethsemane"
Activity: I read "Jesus Christ's Atonement Is the Greatest Gif of Love" by Karen Ashton. After reading and discussing the article along with the GAK picture we completed a crossword puzzle together. Unfortunately Jeff worked late and then had some church meetings to attend so he has yet to come home and I miss his help; emphasis on help, because I rely on him for all scriptural sound details (if that makes sense to anyone). I wanted to do the crossword puzzle a little more creatively than just fill in the blank on the piece of paper. I made the crossword puzzle from post it notes and put it on the wall and the girls filled in the puzzle them self. Tonight the girls learned the words atonement, resurrection, and Gethsemane. It is hilarious to hear them say those words too .Our finished crossword puzzle. I was surprised how well Sydney comprehended an article that didn't have the words princess, crowns, or jewelry in it. She was able to answer most of the questions to the puzzle.
This cute beast had to be tamed in his booster seat so he wouldn't tear down the post-it notes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Week-day 2

Song: He Died That We MIght Live Again
Scripture: John 13:1-30
GAK #226 "Jesus Washing the Apostles' Feet"

Tonight Jeff came home from work and me and the girls were dressed as people in the New Testament. Jeff joined us in getting properly dressed. We reinacted the Triumphal Entry; except we used a toy airplane as a donkey and then we had our own version of the Last Supper. Maybe when all my kids are in school and I have all day to plan and prepare an authentic meal that Jesus would have eaten I will do such a thing. I'll make unleavened bread and cook lamb and find a store that sells part of a honey comb. Currently in my circumstances I'm all about making it easy on myself. So I made a chicken dinner, had grapes and figs (which I'm sure Jesus ate). We ate at our coffee table (or in our case hot chocolate table) sitting on some pillows on the floor. While eating our meal, we discussed the picture, discussed things Jesus wore and what he might have eaten, we talked about serving others and how we feel when we give and receive service. After dinner Jeff filled a basin (aka postpartum little tub from hospital) full of water and washed and dried the girls' feet. The girls really loved ALL of this and so did I. I think this is something the girls will definitely remember and that's what it's all about. I'm thinking this easter week-long celebration will become a tradition. It's only day 2 and I'm liking what's transpiring. All dressed up ready for the Last Supper
The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Washing of the feet

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Week-day 1

I really want my children to learn the true meaning of Easter, but not only that, I want them to experience it. So I have plans for a week long Easter experience I got from "A Christ-Centered Easter" and sugardoodle. We will do these activities each evening...kind of like a evening devotional/activity. I am using one picture (from the Gospel Art Kit) and discussing it as well as a few other things each day.

Monday, Day 1:
Song: Easter Hosanna-we listened to it because let's be honest Jeff and I don't know any of the words to any of the primary easter songs.
Scripture-Mark 11:1-10
GAK #223 "The Triumphal Entry." Discussed the picture. Talked about the meaning of the word Hosanna (read the definition from the bible dictionary). Talked about palm branches. Later Jeff and I discussed the symbolism of the palm branches (from a 1996 article in the Friend Magazine).
Activity: Made our own palm branches. Made edible tombs: cut a cupcake in half, scooped out the cream filling, placed a vanilla wafer as the stone to cover the tomb.

The girls were excited. I told them in advance that we were going to have FHE every night this week to learn more about the last week of Christ's life. I probably learned more than the girls. Jordyn mostly stared at the picture during the lesson. She couldn't eat her edible tomb because she made the decision not to eat dinner. Sydney liked listening to the Easter Hosanna song. She thought the word Hosanna was funny but later learned what it means. We could've acted out the triumphal entry scene to reiterate the story. I'll probably do this tomorrow when Sydney comes home from preschool. These lessons would probably be more effective in the morning when the girls are happy and alert but then Jeff wouldn't be around. I'm excited to learn more about the events leading to Christ's resurrection, honoring the Savior everyday this week, and hopefully feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost in our home and hearts as we learn together as a family. Stay tuned each day to read the lessons and activities we do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A few updates

1. St. Patty's Day
St. Patrick's Day morning the girls woke up to find green things in their shoe along with gold coins and nuggets. We played hide and seek with 4 leaf clovers. The gold ones were worth more points.

2. Gift for friend
It was my friend's birthday and she went on a cruise. I made her this little gift for her birthday and trip from a 6 pack of root beer. Initially, I wanted to put candy in each glass bottle but the glass bottles were brown. Clear bottles would be cuter so you could see all the colorful candy. I'll have to try that again.

3. Personal Progress
A few months ago I was put into Young Womens. It had been 8 years since I last was in YW so I am excited to work with youth again. I decided that I would complete all the personal progress projects like I did when I was in high school. This project was part of "Good Works." I relearned how to sew again and work a machine. I sewed 4 dresses for Little Dresses for Africa. Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit, Christian based organization which provides relief to the children of Africa. Simple dresses are made and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy! They had me and others follow a certain pattern. They also have a pattern to sew shorts for boys. Don't hate the fabric they were donated to me. Other women in my ward sewed dresses as well. We're sending about 150 dresses to this organization in Africa next week.

4. Moose
As I was driving Sydney and her friend to preschool I freaked out after I drove by this beast. I didn't see it until I was driving past it. Unless they're in the street they kinda just camouflage in the forest. Of course it seemed a lot bigger and closer in person. I made a u-turn and drove by it again so the car full of kiddos could see the moose.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

last time to sled this season (hoping so)

Last week for FHE we went sledding, thinking it might be our last time for another 6 months (which I'm openly excited about). Remember a few posts back I admitted to perhaps not-so-smart ideas coming from Jeff and me? We had yet another one....but no one was hurt so it doesn't count as a bad idea. It was risky because we took Levi sledding with the hiking backpack thingamajig. It is no surprise that he loved it so we went down the hill lots of times and luckily Jeff didn't fall, possibly squishing the little guy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

10 years from now

10 YEARS FROM NOW my kids won't....
1. run around the house naked (both)
2. put thier head to my butt and ask, "did you toot mom"?" (jordyn)
3. take baths with their siblings
4. give me a kiss with tongue out (levi)
5. scream from the bathroom, "MOM I WENT POO. WIPE ME." (jordyn. sydney used to.)
6. lay on top of me, squeeze me, and give me a big kiss.
7. fight with each other over who gets to put something away.
8. pick their nose in public
9. ask me to carry/hold them
10. ask me to kiss their bottom to make it better cuz they fell on their tush
11. use their sleeves as a tissue and napkin to wipe their mouth and nose

Sorry most of them are bathroom humor, but it's these things that make me laugh because I know it 10 years they would be mortified by doing any of these things. I have to write these things down now because they won't believe me (when they're 13,14,15 years old) when I tell them that they used to dance with each other naked or these other things.

Monday, April 4, 2011

General Conference

This past weekend was General Conference. General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders via satellite. You can listen to the conference by way of cable, radio, internet, or attend it live in SLC. I was shocked to hear that we currently have over 14 million members throughout the world. When I went to BYU, I went to the tabernacle (the old and new one) to see general conference in person. Since college, I watch it in the comfort of my own home. I recommend experiencing both. Either way though, you are left with a renewed sense of obedience to God. I also feel more joy as I know that the things I've heard are true. I am joyous because my testimony is edified. What is my testimony? In a nutshell my testimony is a solid foundation based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. My testimony is very personal, emotions of the utmost gratitude, happiness, and reverence surround my testimony, my testimony has deep, strong roots, it is tender, and I hold my testimony as a treasure.
For the past 5 years, since Sydney was born, listening to conference has been a little challenging as there are many distractions. However, this weekend, I was able to listen to about 95% of it. Of course there were distractions and I was unable to write down notes and feelings, but the girls were present for most of it. I say present, meaning they were there and listening as well as a 5 and 3 year old know how to listen for a 2 hour session. Saturday I presented them our new "conference buckets." Conference buckets have key words on them. When they hear a speaker say one of these five words (temple, prophet, family, faith, and scriptures) they go to the bucket and pick a piece of candy in each bucket. The girls loved this! I thought it would keep their attention for 10 minutes but it lasted at least an hour, for Sydney anyway. On Sunday we printed out packets from sugardoodle and they did the activities in the packets with our help. They colored, traced names, completed mazes and found hidden pictures, and we did a few crafts that were in these packets too. The girls definitely mastered the names of many apostles. It was fun to see my kids engaged, in their own way. It makes me glad that although I'm not getting as much out of it as I want, that we are setting an example to our children of what it means to listen and obey the words of the prophet and church leaders.I got the buckets for a dollar at Target. You can't see but they do have handles.
Peanut butter M&Ms anyone??
A mobile we made that now hangs in Sydney's room.
A craft Jordyn colored and made.
Cuddling, in pj's, is a must in our home over conference weekend.