Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On the Edge

July is looking to be a busy month for us. The boys and I will be traveling most of the month and Josh will be frantically working to prepare for an interview in Baltimore and applying for a postdoc grant.

I am really excited for our trips though worried about not being here to support Josh in such a stressful time. The boys and I are flying to Utah where I will stay for a week and then leave the boys and fly back to Colorado. After a day with Josh I will be flying to Minnesota to visit my Grandma and my Aunt and her family. I'm super excited to see them and happy that I will finally be able to make it out there; I've been wanting to for awhile. I haven't been to my grandma's in over 10 years! I will then be flying back to Colorado and Josh and I will drive to Utah for the 24th and bring the boys home with us.

Meanwhile Josh will be flying to Baltimore sometime while I am gone to interview with Northrop Grumman for a REAL job. It's exciting and very scary at the same time. It makes me sick to think of moving so far away. If anyone has experience with living in the Baltimore area (Southwest side) I would love to pick your brain! He is also applying for a grant for a postdoc position available here in Colorado at the lab he is currently working in but with a different group. Graduation is finally in sight, Josh will be walking in December, and it is looking like after that we will either end up in Maryland or stay here (ironically the same choices he had for gradschool). STRESSFUL! Pray for Josh and for us as we decide were it is we should go.

My Brave Knight

We rented the movie The Tale of Despereaux (a very cute movie) last week and since then I have had a little night around the house fighting off the bad guys. His armor consists of a bike helmet, a container lid, and a plastic sword. He's even complete with fighting noises.

Elijah has also been making castles out of blocks, which is a hard thing to do with distructo Sam in the house. He managed to keep one together for awhile and we made sure to get a picture of it before Sam buldozed it over. The castle included bedrooms, a kitchen, and towers. Elijah put a lot of thought into it and was very proud to take a picture of it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Uncle Cuyler Will Be Proud

Elijah and Sam are playing with Playdough right now while I've been doing the dishes and such and I happened to hear this...

Sam had made some worm looking blob that he was very proud of and Elijah noticed it and commented "That's AWESOME!" Then he added, "Do you know what awesome means, Sam? It means really cool."

(Uncle Cuyler will be proud because "Awesome" is a word he uses often in his vocabulary. When he was out here for Easter he taught it to the boys. Elijah didn't like the word at first, but apparently he understands how to use it now.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Garden: Update

It's been raining here every day and/or night for the last few weeks. I've been soaking in the cooler weather and the moisture has been nice to have. Yesterday we were rewarded with a large, bright rainbow visible off our balcony. Elijah was super excited (he is still very much into rainbows) and got to take a picture of it. The rainbow was so bright it had a second one above it and repeated itself a bit on the inside. An awesome sight.

While outside I decided to take some pictures of our garden too. Things are thriving in though we haven't produced anything yet. Our peas are taking over the world. There are little vines everywhere trying to latch onto something and not much more room for them to go. I'm hoping it starts producing soon. We also have a lot of buds on our cucumber plants. I thought everything (except the peas) might be a bit bigger by now but I haven't killed anything yet. So far so good.

6th Anniversary

This past week Josh and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. I am amazed how the time has flown and how I love that man more than ever. He is my best, truest friend. I absolutely love spending everyday with him and look forword to countless more.

Josh took the day off for our anniversary. We haven't spent an entire day together for months what with work schedules and church callings. It was nice to have a lazy day together as a family. We took the boys to the builders exhibit at the local museum. Josh hadn't been there yet and we enjoyed playing with the boys at the exhibit. At one point they had a ball throwing war going on amid the massive blocks. The boys were in heaven (Josh included). I absolutely love my little family. They are the happiest thing in my life. I'm grateful I get to spend every day with them (I actually missed them while I was at the Expo all day, a little :)) I even enjoyed going out to dinner with all of my boys. It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary.

Josh got me flowers for my anniversary. The next morning Elijah runs into my room and exclaimed "Mom, you have flowers!" He was super excited about them. Later he sat down and drew a picture of them and brought it to me explaining "That when your flowers die you will still have the picture, Mom." Melt my heart! He had sat and studied the flowers and drew every one of them very carefully. It's prettier than the real ones. I really am a lucky girl.

Flying Robots

Elijah had yet another idea to "recycle" packaging into a robot costume. Elijah drew the design on paper and I got in on the action this time and together we created robot costumes for Sam and Elijah. We used empty soymilk boxes, alluminum foil, and packing tape. They both look pretty cute together. They've been zooming around the house for a copule of days now. The wings are made of plastic/foamish padding that is bendable which is a good thing cause otherwise they couldn't make it through doorways. Last night they were flying around showing off their costumes to Grammie and Papa on the webcam. It was pretty hilarious. We'll have to get Grandma and Grandpa back on and show them too.

Later Elijah wanted to sit out on the front landing and he dragged some chairs, a box, and art supplies out with him. He was out there for a good while, coming in and out as he wanted. I peeked in on him and found him sitting out there in his robot costume, coloring away with his bunny. What a silly!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Family History Library: Summer of Sleuthing

I am still very much on a family history high. It was a great weekend and I am very engergized.

Last week I came across mention of the Family History Library's summer program for youth and families. I looked and looked for more information on Familysearch but was unable to find anything. Then while at the Expo one of the speakers mentioned the program and gave reference to it being on Familysearch Wiki. I looked it up today and I'm EXCITED to share it.

  • Are you looking for a fun activity to keep your children occupied this summer?
  • Would you like to learn more about your family?
  • Do you need a kick start to organize your family records?

The program includes a series of family history related challenges and activites that will help you learn more about yourself and your ancestors.

It is divided into age levels: preschool children, children, teenagers, and adults. There is also a series focused for LDS families that includes activites to complete activity day, young women, and young men requirements.

There is also a link to a website for children: Family Tree Kids which has many games and activites for kids focused on family history.

I am very excited to do this with Elijah and Sam. I'm all for starting 'em young.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Expo Highlights

Well, the Family History Expo is over. I had a great time and have posted my highlights on my Family History Blog. I would highly recommend an expo or conference to anyone remotely interested in Family History. They are a great way to energize you and get you involved in genealogy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

They Say the Silliest Things

The other night for dinner we had a salad with grilled salmon and feta cheese (super yummy even though I'm not a huge fish fan). Somehow it came up that feta is goat cheese and it is made from the milk of a goat. Elijah was surprised by this and we went on to explain that all Mammal mommies feed their babies milk so their is panda milk, and cow milk, and dog milk etc. Elijah then asked what the daddies do? Josh and I responded that they don't do anything. Elijah quickly agreed and said "Yeah, when the daddies have an itch they just scratch it." Oh so very true.

Sam took his scriptures to church yesterday. During the Sacrament he was looking at the pictures in the front and Josh pointed out the Gold Plates that Moroni was burying. Sam then asks "Where are the spoons?"

Then this morning Sam came into my room while I was reading my scriptures. I asked him if he wanted to read his with me. He trotted off and got his Book of Mormon (with his name on it) and climbed into bed next to me. He opens up the book and starts looking at all the pictures in the front. He points to Samuel the Lamanite and says "That's Sammy, like me." I say his name is Samuel and he corrects me ands says "NO, Sammy." Eventually he gets to the picture of Moroni burying the gold plates I ask him what Moroni is holding and he says "Gold plates, and forks, and spoons."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Family History Expo in Loveland, Colorado

My anticipation is building for the Colorado Family History Expo which is NEXT week (June 12-13). I spent yesterday afternoon studying the schedule trying to figure out what classes I am going to take. It's going to be hard to choose, there are so many that I am interested in. I'm hoping the syllabus will help me decide.

I will be sharing the expo experiences with you on my family history blog Family Tree Climbing so be sure to check in.

Meanwhile the word is getting out about the conference. I'm excited to meet, mingle, and learn with people that share my interest in family history. Check out the links below to get in on the excitement.

TV Commercial produced by Family History Expos and broadcast via Channel 4, Comcast, & Bresnan Cable

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Estes Park Trail Gazette

Blogger of Honor Laura Craner

Friday, June 5, 2009

Amazing Lightening Storm

As I was blogging the dinosaur dig post I kept hearing thunder outside. I stepped out on my balcony after I finished then quickly went back inside to get my camera. I haven't seen a lightening storm like this in a long time, if ever. I didn't have any hope of getting a still shot so I resorted to recording video. This is looking East off my balcony over the rooftop of the building next door. It doesn't do the powerful storm justice at all. But it gives you a glimpse as to how amazing it is.

All I can say is WOW

Dinosaur Dig

The cubscouts in our ward asked Josh to help them do a dinosaur dig for pack meeting like the one he did when he was cubmaster a few years ago. Josh was really excited to do it again and I made sure to take pictures of the process. It's really a cool thing to do, especially if you have little people interested in dinosaurs.

Josh makes a rough sketch of a dinosaur (this year it was a stegosaurus) and then makes a few batches of salt dough, grabs his plaster of paris and plastic wrap and he's ready to get to work making bones. The process takes awhile because it takes time for the bones to set up but in all it isn't that difficult.

Josh uses the salt dough (in this case pink) to make the molds to pour the plaster into. The plastic wrap helps keep the dough from getting sticky and sticking to the bones. Josh roughly follows his sketch and makes impressions in dough to make the bones. He does it in batches and changes the mold as needed. (Pictured are some vertebre.)

The result is a pile of plaster bones. The thicker you make them the less likely they are to break. The biggest threat to breakage is trying to pull them out of the mold too soon. I figure that a broken bone is okay because that's the way you find them in the ground.

The fun part is putting it all together. Our stake has a pavillion and volley ball court on one of the chapels' property. We used the sand in the volleyball court to bury the bones. Josh layed them out first to look like our dinosaur and then you bury them. To hide the evidence of where we put it, Josh tossed on top. Sam and Elijah were very much interested in the whole process from pouring the molds to laying out the dinosaur and covering it up. Sam was off somewhere when it came time to excavate the bones but Elijah was in the middle of all the action.

The cub leaders and Josh brought paint brushes for the kids to use to excavate the bones. It helps them to go slower and be more careful at uncovering the bones and it makes it feel a bit more authentic. It was quite fun to see this hord of kids gathered around a spot in the dirt exclaiming that they had found a bone in the sand and carefully brushing away ll the sand. (Another cool thing is the way the bones look with the sand filling in the little crevase from the plastic wrap. It makes them look old.)

The whole process of uncovering probably took 10 minutes and I think everyone was rather pleased with their work --especially Josh.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Menu Board Revisited and LOVED!

A few months ago I picked up a few wall charts. I blogged about possible uses for the charts and I am still using one of those ideas. I thought I would show a few more details about my menu board and how I use it.

The menu board is working really well for me. I like that it is big, dead center, and hard to miss. Planning and actually cooking what I plan has become a lot easier. When it gets to be 3 or 4 o'clock and dinner starts to weigh heavily on my mind, I can look at my board and feel relief knowing what is on hand for dinner. All I have to do is throw it together, all the brain work has already been done.

I have created for myself a little menu planning station. I have a maganet clip on the fridge with my printed grocery list along with a magnetic basket to hold a pen, dry erase marker, and my menu cards. You can print off a copy of my check-what-you-need grocery list and/or save it on your computer and customize it for yourself (which is what I did with a list I found online).

I'm a sale shopper so I keep tabs on what's on sale in grocery ads for the week and they greatly influence what I'm cooking. I can go through my menu cards and pick out the meals that use the ingredients I know are on sale. It is so much easier to do this with the cards in hand then trying to dig through all the recipes or do it mentally. If I decide to do a paticular dinner I circle what ingredients I need to buy, make a note on my grocery list, and put the card up on my board. Some meals I generally always have the ingredients for and others I will have to complete with my shopping. By circling the needed ingredients I can remind myself at a glance whether I have the ingredients yet or not depending on which day I actually make it to the store (always an iffy thing depending on whether I have the car and what mood myself and my children are in).

Also on the cards I can make note of what leftovers are in the fridge so Josh knows what is availible for lunches.

For those recipes I decide to try that are new or haven't yet been solidified into my regular cycle of meals, I simply write them in with the dry erase marker on the back of an existing card.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Be a Girl"

Sam came up to me this morning and asked me where his "BB" was. I helped him find it and then continued brushing my teeth. Later I found him watching his favorite show Curious George with "BB" on his head. He does this when he wants to "be a girl" with long hair.

His blanket is still his friend and lovey. It is obviously showing the wear and tear of being a little boys best friend. You might also notice that Sam is wearing his crocs on the wrong feet in addition to his jammies and messy face from breakfast. He's my cute little friend that loves to give me big running hugs.


I am happily sitting at my finally revived desktop. I can finally do all the projects that of course came to mind while my computer was down and I couldn't do them.

It turns out the part that Josh ordered to fix our computer did not have the right connectors and wouldn't work. With the shipping cost it wasn't really worth sending back and ordering another. Then it dawned on me that our frineds had an old computer sitting around waiting to be escorted to the recycle center. (Not sure why I didn't think of it a week ago.) Thank you Ashley and Quinn for donating your old computer so Josh could salvage parts off the carcase! It worked and we are happily in business again. Josh, you are amazing once again.