Tuesday, April 21, 2015

General Conference Store!

I am always looking for fun ideas to keep my kids engaged during General Conference. I want it to be something that they look forward to every six months and sometimes it's difficult for even adults to pay attention for all 8-10 hours of Conference over a two day period. This year I created a little store with candy, games, juice, and small toys and gave each item a price. They started off the first session of Conference on Saturday with $2 in Conference Cash and earned $1 for each talk that they listened to reverently and could tell me what the talk was about (they took notes during each talk to help remind them...first time we've had little note-takers at Conference which was pretty incredible in and of itself!)

So how did it work out? It was FANTASTIC!!! Abby and Landon did such a great job listening to almost every talk and earned their money to buy things they really wanted. As long as Nolan was fairly reverent during the talk, he earned a $1 too and he really loved shopping at the store (I let them make purchases during the congregational hymn and then again at the end of each session.)

My kids loved this so much that they are already talking about doing it again in October. Jason was pretty skeptical about the whole thing when I first starting setting things out, but the amazing behavior of our kids during all four sessions convinced him it was a pretty awesome idea after all!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mini Trip to Pittsburgh

In our effort to see more areas around us, we spent the first two days of Spring Break last week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (about a 3 hour drive northwest from Hagerstown.) We spent Monday at the Science Center which was pretty amazing. They had a huge sports complex where the kids got to try their hands at all different kinds of sports/movement experiments.

Here they are as human yo-yos...

Landon loved practicing his fast pitch...

And this other "kid" did too!

Nolan was testing his hockey reaction times to see how we would compare to NHL athletes.

Jason and Abby braved the roller coaster simulator and both LOVED it. I think Jason has finally found his roller coaster partner!!

Climbing the walls (in a good way this time!)...

Just jumping around...

And showing off a few tricks too!

We then headed into the main part of the science center where we learned about water and ecosystems...

Played air hockey with a robot...

Drew a design and watched a robot make it come to life!!

And had a wet and wild time in the water area!

Abby spent over an hour playing with these huge blocks and constructing her own mini city!

Despite such a fun place, the kids were being really whiny. Abby complained because we didn't have time to go back to the roller coast simulator and Landon declared it "the worst day EVER" because we didn't let him have soda at lunch. I developed a headache from all the ungratefulness and told the kids that we would just drive home that night if their attitudes didn't change in a major way. I think they got the idea because they were golden for the rest of our trip. Good thing too, because I wasn't joking!

We spent the night at a hotel which is always fun for the kids (not so much for the adults with 6 of us all in the same room.) Our kids actually did pretty well overall. I wish the same could be said about the rowdy group of teens next door. I finally had to call the front desk at 2 a.m. because they were still banging on the walls and running up and down the halls. This grumpy old lady needs her sleep!!

The next morning we went swimming for a bit in the indoor pool at the hotel and then headed back to downtown Pittsburgh to visit the Children's Museum.

It was located in this pretty cool building...

Unfortunately there were a million school groups there that day so we did our best to tour the areas that were the least crowded. The kids enjoyed doing several different art projects...

Abby and Landon REALLY loved the electricity experiments. They spent about an hour here in the morning and then a bit more time right before we left!

Pittsburgh is the home of Mr. Roger's neighborhood so Jason and I enjoyed seeing Trolley,

And the other puppets from one of our favorite childhood shows!!

Abby put on a little play using King Friday's castle too!

All the kids really enjoyed the "garage" area where they tried their hands at making race cars, making tracks, using all different kinds of levers and gears and pretending to drive this little smart car!

Maylie was a little angel and just loved watching everyone have a grand old time around her. Here she is playing in the infant area but we didn't last long in there since they other kids found it pretty boring!

Overall it was a fairly successful little getaway and a fun way to start spring break! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Abby (Age 9)

Landon (Age 6)

Nolan (Age 3)

Maylie (Age 6 months)


Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Fun Day!

We always celebrate Easter fun day on the Saturday before Easter. It was a bit crowded since we also had General Conference and a baseball practice game that weekend, but somehow we were able to squeeze all of our celebrations in there. 

On Saturday morning the kids went on a picture scavenger hunt in order to find their Easter treats and baskets...

We also had a little visit from the cutest little bunny rabbit that I've ever seen!!

It was kind of cold and windy that day, but we had to spend some time testing out our new scooters...

And lawn mower!

We dyed some Easter eggs too before the first session of Conference began...

We spent the time between Conference sessions having an Easter Egg Hunt with our neighbors in the front and back yards. It was a great way to celebrate the fun/secular/bunny/eggs/candy/chocolate side of Easter for us!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Maylie's Half Birthday!

I know I say this all the time but I seriously cannot believe that our little Maylie girl is six months old today. The time is flying which makes me so sad because I really love this baby of mine. But I am also so excited to see all the things that she will learn and do and become as she gets older.

She is seriously the sweetest baby ever. I love her to pieces (we all do!!) and we cannot imagine our lives without her special spirit in it.

She is a very happy little girl and spends most of the day grinning from ear to ear. She loves her older siblings and they have fun getting her to laugh and play with them. This last month she has especially enjoyed her new bouncer and spends many happy moments just bouncing away in it.

She has recently discovered her voice and loves talking and squealing to her little heart's content. I just love the sounds she makes, especially since she never tells me "No" and what a mean, horrible mother I am. I seem to get that a lot from the other three kiddos around here!:(

She is not crawling or sitting unassisted yet, but she can definitely get around with all of her rolling. She is also our first child who doesn't really enjoy sitting in the Bumbo chair for long. She likes to move, move, move by either rolling around on the floor or bouncing away in her bouncing chair. I guess she takes after her mommy in that way!

We started her on solid foods at five months based on our pediatrician's recommendation and her sleep has gotten SOOOOO much better. She takes regular naps now that last from 1-2 hours each and she is only waking up one time to eat at night and then going right back to sleep. Her sleeping issues were the one problem we had with her and now that we figured out she was just hungry, she has become just about the most perfect baby ever!!

Oh, Maylie Magoo how we adore you. You are so sweet, cuddly, adorable, and fun and I could spend all day just kissing those fluffy cheeks of yours. Would you just stop getting so big so fast?!?!?!