Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roller Party

We celebrated the start of Spring Break with a school-sponsored roller skating party at Starland last night. Abby loved socializing with all of her friends and getting used to having her feet be on wheels again. She was a little unsteady at first, but was soon getting around just fine! She especially enjoyed when her favorite song "Call Me Maybe" came on twice!!
Landon struggled a bit more but thankfully Dad was there to help him out...
This little man had to be content with watching all the excitement happen from the sidelines. The smallest roller skates they carry is a size 8 (currently a size 4) so maybe next year he'll be able to join in on the fun!

Now hopefully the weather will cooperate so that we can have a fun Spring Break here in Maryland!

Easter Week -- Day 4

Not much is known about what happened on the Wednesday before Christ was crucified, but I imagine his time was spent healing and teaching, just as he had done throughout His life.
So today we talked about the parable of the 10 virgins and how we all need to be ready for when Christ comes again. Since the oil lamps were a little difficult for modern kids to relate to, we switched it to be like flashlights and batteries. Doing things like reading the scriptures, going to church, saying our prayers, service and being kind to others will help us stock up on "spiritual batteries" so that our lights can shine even when the world around us may be dark.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Boy and His Shoes...

Even if you're a boy, you may still be obsessed with shoes (especially of the high heel variety!)
I just love how he's wearing Abby's shoes while holding mine. Ahhhh, if only we were blessed with four feet instead of two, huh Nolan!! 

Easter Week -- Day 3

Today's lesson was on the teachings that Christ taught from the Mount of Olives about service. We talked about how when we serve other people, we are really serving Christ. We also talked about Judas' betrayal of Jesus to the priests for 30 pieces of silver.
Here are the kids counting out their 30 pieces of "silver"...
(Nolan was remembering the previous night's lesson and enjoyed tossing the coins around the room just like Christ did when he overturned the tables in the temple!)
Abby counting out her silver pieces (do not ask me how she can sit like that...I have no idea!)
Landon took his counting very seriously!!
We also had to act out the part with Judas and the priests and how sad that made us to think of one of Christ's apostles betraying him for money. Such good lessons we are learning!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Week -- Day 2

Last night was Day #2 of our Christ-centered Easter week. We talked about Christ cleansing the temple (they loved acting it out and throwing the "gold coins" everywhere). We also talked about the cursing of the fig tree and ate some fig (okay, not really fig but a pitted date and since I've never eaten a fig outside of Fig Newtons, I thought that a date was close enough!)
Although Abby and Landon look like zombies in these photos, they really are enjoying these little lessons about Christ's last week on earth. Here is another link with ideas for the rest of the week:

Final Snow Day (I Hope!!)

On Monday we woke up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Somehow Mother Nature failed to get the notice that it is now winter and all snow should cease accordingly. School was cancelled (of course) but instead of wallowing in my misery (I am really ready for Spring!), I joined all the kids outside and we had a great time making lots of snow tracks...
And another snowman!!
(Doesn't that horeshoe mouth just make you smile!!)
Jumping on a trampline full of snow is always fun too!!
We came back in and warmed up with some hot chocolate and enjoyed the remainder of our snow day inside. It was a fun day, but I'm ready for warmer temperatures now. C'mon Winter, you've had your fun now, time to move along because Spring Break starts on Thursday!! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Week -- Day 1

I have been wanting to emphasize the spiritual aspects of Easter for my children and have our celebration of this special holiday be more Christ-centered. I found this great idea on a blog I follow here: that incorporates learning about Christ during the entire week preceding Easter and emphasizes some of the events the occurred during the last week of Christ's life on earth.
So we started "Day 1" last night by talking about "Palm Sunday." We read from Matthew 21:1-11 and explained how Jesus was returning to Jerusalem and arrived on a donkey while the people threw clothes at his feet and waved palm branches while crying "Hosana." We acted this all out, complete with our own "palm leaves"...
And each child got to take a turn riding in on a donkey (Daddy!) while the rest of us would wave our "palm leaves" and shout Hosana. 
The whole thing took less than 10 minutes and was very simple, but I hope that incorporating these things into our Easter celebration this week, our children will have a greater appreciation for this sacred holiday and realize that it is about so much more than the Easter Bunny.

Let the Easter festivities begin!

We spend last Saturday hopping around from one event to the other. Two of those events included some community Easter egg hunts that the kids were really excited about (especially since our candy bucket has been running on empty the last few weeks!)
We forgot our phone cameras and had a dead battery in the one camera we remembered to bring for the Egg Hunt at the Agriculture Center, but fortunately we got some pictures at Egg Hunt #2 at the Misty Meadows Creamery (I am an ice cream lover and this Creamery not only has the BEST ice cream I have even eaten, but also has lots of fun games, activities, a petting zoo and little playground for the kids to enjoy!)
Landon really enjoyed the bean bag toss...
And all the kids enjoyed riding the tractor bikes...
Abby and Landon really enjoyed the corn table (but Nolan got quite frusterated since he wasn't quite tall enough to reach in yet!)
Nolan quite enjoyed his first experience finding Easter eggs though, and grew to love it even more when he discovered that there was candy inside each egg!!
Abby was the only one brave enough to stand next to the Easter bunny (Landon wanted NO part of this furry thing and Nolan enjoyed watching from a distance.)
We are still a week out from Easter and our candy bucket is already full to the brim with these two Egg Hunts. Hopefully we'll survive the sugar overload!!

Turning 7!!

The BIG, long-awaited, and exciting day finally arrived on Wednesday, Februrary 20th. She had a great day at school wearing her birthday sash and button and getting some extra special attention.
After getting all dressed up for the occasion (I even let her wear my pearl necklace which she has been dying to wear for a long time), we opened up her presents...
(I know this present looks like a cross or something, but it's actually the present she wanted the most...a doll form to sew her own doll clothes. Not sure where she got this idea since I don't sew, but she loved it!)
We also got her some fabric, a sewing kit, and a little sewing machine to make her "doll dress making" dreams come true!
She got some new clothes for her "American Girl" doll from Grandma Julie and Grandpa Don.
Anda bit of cash from the Calls and her Cleveland aunts (can you tell she was excited about it!!)
Then we ate dinner at the restaurant of her choice (Golden Corral...woohoo!) before coming home to celebrate with cake and ice cream.
Happy Birthday to our sweet little girl. She is a great role model and a wonderful big sister to her two younger brothers. She loves going to school and is a voracious reader (she is really into the Magic Treehouse series right glad she is over the Junie B. Jones phase!!) She has really improved with her gymnastics skills during this last year and it has been fun to watch her excel in something that she enjoys so much. She just finished memorizing the Articles of Faith and is now trying to finish reading the Book of Mormon before her baptism next year. We still can't quite figure out where the last seven years have gone, but we sure couldn't imagine our lives without our Abby girl!

Party of Princesses

Abby celebrated her 7th birthday in "princess-style" once again. We had her birthday party on Monday, February 18th (President's Day) from 3-5 p.m. She invited 12 little girls from church, school, the neighborhood, and gymnastics who were all giddy with excitement about dressing up in their very best for this special occasion.
We started off the party by having everyone make their own colorful princess necklaces...
And then each girl was given 10 golden "tokens" which they could use at the "Princess Store" in order to purchase some glamorous jewelry, trinkets and candy.
After picking out their prizes, we headed down to the basement where we played a wild game of tag with their light-up wands. One or two girls would be chosen as "IT" and they would turn their wands on and chase the other girls. Once they were tagged, they would turn on their wands and then would join in trying to catch more of the princesses! (This game was a HUGE hit and involved lots and lots of a good way!!)
We also had a pinata (no pictures of that since Jason was in charge of swinging it from the top of our foyer and I was in charge of keeping the girls from getting clocked in the head!)
Then we headed into the kitchen where each of the girls made their own ice cream sundaes for a special treat...
Then it was time to open presents...
We finished with a fun dance party and jumping on the trampoline before saying good-bye to all of our little party princesses!!
Abby was in heaven the entire time and loved having all of her friends gathered together to celebrate her birthday!!
(On a side note:I thought I had lost all of these pictures from our camera, but fortunately Jason was able to find them again. I would have been very sad not to have a record of this special day!


Landon got his "superhero" action on during the Recreation Department's Superhero Party on Saturday, February 18th. Before leaving the house, he had to practice a few of his favorite moves...
This time Jason took him for his monthly date (something we're trying to do better with) and the two of them had a great time together.
(In order to help us remember their montly dates, we try to do it around the day of their birthday each month which seems to be working for us so far. Since Landon's birthday is the 4th day of June, his monthly date occurs around the Saturday closest to that date and Abby's is always around the 20th. We alternate who takes each child and Abby and Landon have loved having this one-on-one time with mom and dad!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Little Bruiser

It was a dark and stormy Sunday afternoon. The kids were being their normal crazy selves after being cooped up at church for three hours. They started to wrestle, the stairs were nearby, and this was the result...
Landon got a HUGE goose egg on his forehead that lasted for over 3 weeks. The bruising actually seeped down into both eyes, giving him a double black-eye (I was sure I had taken a picture of that look, but can't seem to find it now.) He was quite the sight and made a scene everywhere we went. It looked pretty painful but hardly stopped this little wild man.
When people asked him about it, he would tell them that his sister pushed him down the stairs (sounds awful right?!?!) I would try to explain that they were really just playing too close to the stairs and he fell down them, but Landon insisted on telling it his way. Abby felt really bad about the whole incident and actually cried more about it than Landon did.
Oh the joys of sibling love!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Our Indoor Weekends

One of the best purchases we made this fall was a yearly pass to the Discovery Station in Hagerstown. Our kids love touring all the different exhibits and playing in all the fun little areas. Surprisingly, it is never crowded and a perfect way to spend a Saturday when the weather is cold and nasty.
Nolan is very much involved in all of the activities now...
Every time we go, the kids seem to enjoy a different part and discover a new interest (Abby quite enjoyed the magnet room duirng our last visit.) I guess that's why they call it the Discovery Station. Love that place!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Power Balls

I am always on the lookout for good, healthy, non-processed snacks that my kids will actually eat and enjoy. Here is the latest recipe that my kids are loving. We call them "Peanut Butter Power Balls" and the original recipe can be found here: (one of my new favorite desert blogs!) You should definitely check out her other recipes, but here's the recipe (slightly modified) in case you don't want to go there...
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
(I use freshly ground natural peanut butter from our local farm market so it has no added sugars or oil)
*3/4 cup raisins
*1/4 c. roasted peanuts (I use the lightly salted kind)
* 1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
Blend everything in a food processor (I'm loving my Ninja I got for V-Day)...
Form into 1 inch balls (I can get about 18-20 balls from this recipe)...
Wrap in cellophane and store in fridge until ready to eat!
These are easy, quick and my kids love them. A win-win-win in my book!