Monthly Archives: April 2013

An April update

A few notes about life of late, as told by the random photos on my camera!

March 29: Lately Raine has been asking what different body parts are for — neck, ankle, etc. Today while she and Carter were putting on their shoes to go outside she asked: “What are your cheeks for?”
I was making up something about them letting your mouth open big when Carter chimed in: “They hold your nose on.”


April 8: This photo documents two facts about Carter: First, he loves cereal. Carter will eat it three meals a day plus snacks if I let him. Second, he is still working on giving up naps, but frequently can’t quite make it. There are two things that always put him to sleep in the late afternoon: (1) riding in the car and (2) eating. On this day, he got hungry before dinner so he helped himself to some cereal . . . but all that chewing put him right to sleep. It’s a good thing he didn’t fall out of his chair since no one was around to see him bob!


Speaking of falling out of his chair . . . a few weeks ago, Carter fell asleep during dinner. DJ took him to the bathroom and set him on the toilet while he went to find pajamas. A few moments later we heard a thud and some whimpering.  Poor little Carty had fallen asleep and tumbled right off the toilet! It was so sad . . . and yet SOOOOO funny!

April 13: Raine really is a budding artist. Her favorite things to draw are people, cats, and butterflies (as seen here). She also likes to draw penguins.


April 14: Carter has turned into “such a boy”! He used to be a real scaredy-cat but now he is jumping off everything in sight and running around like a lunatic.


He wants to be just like Daddy.


April 14: Uh-oh! Here comes the tickle monster! RUN!!!


April 16: Warm spring evenings are perfect for enjoying our new tire swing. Raine loves to “swing crazy” so I knew the tire swing would be the perfect replacement for our out-grown baby swing.


I already mentioned that Carter used to be a scaredy-cat. One of the things that he was scared of was swinging. He would SIT on the swing but heaven forbid it moved at all. Then one day, he wanted to swing and kept telling me to push him higher. I stood there trying to figure out what happened to my little chicken as he gleefully yelled, “Oh what fun it is!” over and over.

April 18: Here they are with Olivia just two days later, trying not to freeze to death. We have had several cold fronts blow through and drop our temps down into the 40’s and 50’s. We go from the high 70’s at noon to the low 50’s in the evening, the kids are having a hard time trying to figure out when to wear shorts!


April 28: Last night I came down with a debilitating head cold. I was teaching Primary today so I had to pull myself together long enough to make it through church. When we got home, I headed straight to bed. The kids were entertaining themselves in the other room until they got hungry. I heard them pulling things out of the pantry for lunch (animal crackers, oreo cookies, frosted mini-wheats) then they sat down to eat.
Raine: “Let’s say a prayer.”
Carter: “Like at school?”
Raine: “Yeah, OK. First, put your hands up like this.”
Carter apparently wasn’t following instructions because Raine continued to tell him to put his hands up. Eventually she continued in a sing-song voice:
“Hands up high, in the sky. Down below, just like so. God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. A-men.”
Ahhhh, parochial school! I hear the Baptists are even more intense than the Presbyterians so it will be interesting to hear what she comes home with next year!


Zoo Run — Raine’s first race

Daddy had been itching to run a race and tried to convince us all to sign up with him, but Raine was the only one that he could talk into it. So they signed up for the Zoo Run and ran it last Saturday.

Daddy ran the 5K.


Then he and Raine ran the 1K. Raine really wanted to stop and look at the animals as they passed by, but Daddy kept her moving!


Raine was thrilled that she received a ribbon and cup of water after all her hard running.


Carter was happy to play with sticks and clap for the runners.


There are always some wild critters at the Zoo Run!


Here’s her big finish!

A note about her training run — yes, there was only one. Daddy mapped out a 1K course around the neighborhood and took Raine out to run it. I saw her walking out the door and suggested that she put on some shorts, take the ginormous bow out of her hair, and leave her necklace at home. But no, fashion does not cease just because you’re running!


General Conference . . . prepared!

This year I decided to do a little prep work in order to be able to listen to General Conference uninterrupted — at least as uninterrupted as possible with a four- and two-year-old in the house.  I found plenty of websites with ideas that I deemed rather excessive, but I pulled a few ideas from them that I then dummied down to my level!

This first idea turned out to be both brilliant and simple; it is a twist on the classic Conference BINGO activity. The advantage to this one is that it gives them continuous instant-gratification when they are listening — especially when you use basic pictures like these . . .

Prophet/Apostle, Jesus Christ/Lord/God/Savior/…, missionary, temple, family, Joseph Smith/First Vision/Restoration, baptism, sacrament, pray[er].

I had a big bowl full of cereal next to the board — the kind of cereal that I would never let my kids eat as a meal, e.g. cookie crisp and trix — and every time they heard one of the words on the board, they could eat one. The kids didn’t listen the entire time, but when they did they really listened. There were times when I would have sworn they weren’t listening but then they would hear one of the words and pop up to get a treat.

Another activity that worked well for both kids was this simple beading task. They just thread the beads onto the pipe-cleaners then pull them off and repeat. The pipe-cleaners were much easier for their little fingers to control and kept the beads from falling off if they were tipped over.



I found these dot-painting pages for the entire First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, but I didn’t have any do-a-dot markers. Instead, I found some small round stickers for them to put in the circles. It was great because the fine-motor skills required to get them in the circles made it take a lot longer than just dabbing a marker.


Raine spent a lot more time on these than Carter did, but that was expected!


Another activity that I came up with based on some online ideas and then simplified to use things I already had around the house was this sorting / flower making game. They started by sorting the pipe-cleaners by color into the corresponding cup. After doing that a couple times, they used foam flower stickers to make the pipe-cleaners into flowers (this was where we lost Carter, but Raine spent a lot of time working on these).


I also made a couple new folder games. I taped paper clips to the back of the main papers before gluing them to the folder so that the magnets on the smaller pieces would stick — it worked great!


Then there were the toys that I pulled out of the back of my closet — the ones that I bought during the after-Christmas sales. Everyone loved the Imaginets. It has an assortment of magnetic blocks that you use to make the figure on your card. This one kept them busy during multiple sessions.


The four new Thomas the Train puzzles got plenty of use as well.


In the end, all my preparations paid off. Raine sat through all four sessions of conference and said she loved it. Carter sat through most of them and would go play with his blocks or animals in the other room when he needed a change of pace. Daddy and I were able to listen to and enjoy conference without nagging, shushing, or banishing anyone!

Easter 2013

I REALLY wanted to get some good photos of the kids in their Easter clothes this year. Saturday afternoon we got them all dressed up, bribed them with all sorts of good stuff, took them out back and . . . only got a bunch of squinty eyes and distant looks. I guess it just wasn’t overcast enough.

Here are the “best” few:






Sunday we tried a couple more photos. The kids were cute but the lighting was terrible. Oh well, someday I will get this photography thing figured out — I just hope it’s before the kids leave for college!




Here are the photos from the rest of our Easter weekend festivities:










(Rubber bands . . . in case you were wondering 😉 )