Saturday, November 29, 2008

Family Fun at Nanna's

We spent most of Saturday with Joanna and the Neyman's...another memorable get together!

Justin finished the oil painting that he started his last trip down in the morning with another lesson with Nanna! Can you believe this???? This is the combination of a talented and loving art teacher with an eager and talented student.

Unfortunately, my scanner is too small to get the entire painting, but this is the main portion of it.

Of course they had to take several breaks to play ping pong throughout the lesson! Justin REALLY loves to play ping pong with Nanna! And Max love to do what Justin does. I wonder how long that will last???
We always look forward to time with Nanna. She is wonderful in everyway, and loves her grandsons with nothing to spare. My boys adore her!
The other families arrived a little later for dinner and fun. The dinner was delicious, and as always we all love spending time together.

A tradition that Joanna has has been to make sock babies for Humanitarian Services. This was our first year to be around when they made them, and they are fun to make and very simple...something for everyone to do.
A little later in the evening, the kids made a slide out of Nanna's mattress pads down her stairs into the basement. It provided their entertainment for most of the evening! I love it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks Giving at Grandma's House

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Justin came out this morning and said, "Here's your turkey!"
This season Justin has been very concerned about the turkeys. He told me, "Mom, there's one thing I DON'T like about Thanksgiving... Everyone is going to kill a turkey for no other reason than to EAT IT. I don't get it. I don't even like turkey!" But he was able to get past the turkey and enjoy everything else!

We always love spending Thanksgiving with family, and it seems quite often we have been fortunate enough to spend it at my mom's house.

A couple of things that always show up for dinner are...
the "Pineapple Turkey" and the turkey napkins...fun memories that have been apart of my Thanksgivings for a very long time! (We didn't always have this particular creation with the napkins, but we always created something with them!) I love the simple yet memorable traditions!

Grandma began the event by telling the "5 pieces of corn" story from the first meager Thanksgiving (Which I will insert when I get it from her) while everyone ate the 5 pieces of candy corn on their plate (the appetizer as well as the symbol for the story).

Then the feast began! This year we had everyone one except for Roger and family who are in North Carolina, and Char's family in Washington (Boo hoo...we missed them!) We fortunate to have Geoff's mom, Joanna join us as well.
The meal was scrumptious (as it always is) which included...turkey, potatoes, yams, corn, stuffing, shrimp, all kinds of cranberry sauce, marshmallow cranberry salad, green salad, rolls and then...
pies! pies! pies!
Apple, pumpkin, peach, cherry cream, & cheesecake.
After the feast came the festivities. For some reason the boys ended up playing together with many of the little kids playing Blokus (one of my favorite games)...
...and the girls played a card game called "Sneak." After we played Scum (of which--for the record--I was Queen or in this scenario "Santa Claus" the entire game)...I love playing scum!


A little Piano time

Cousins...
Brinley, Justin Lincoln, Abraham, Sammy
Maddy, Kailey
Charley, Jentry, Max, MaKayla, and Katlyn
We love being together!
Thanks Grandma and everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Homemade Doughnuts

I had to laugh at our doughnut Night. Justin was in charge of refreshments for FHE. He seriously informed me that he has NEVER had a doughnut in his WHOLE life, and expressed his desire to make them for FHE.

So I went to the internet and googled "Homemade doughnuts" and clicked on the first recipe titled "Quick and Delicious home made doughnuts." Sounded like a winner to me. The ingredients were as follows: can of pop open biscuits, oil. HMMM. So this is what homemade means now...cool! I laughed right out loud, and proceeded to make my own recipe. I basically just used my own whole wheat biscuit recipe and sweetened it a little more. WOW...they were yummy! A Huge hit!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here are Justin's two recent songs he has learned on the piano. He has done so well especially considering he basically teaches himself. We have been taking the "Thomas Jefferson" approach to his piano ...he chooses his songs and decides when he wants to practice and for how long. I LOVE watching him play because he wants to, and not because I'm nagging. My job is to encourage. And Geoff certainly inspires him. It's so motivating to hear Geoff play the piano. We are blessed to have beautiful music playing in our home much of the time.

Here's Justin!!!

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The percussion in the background is Max bowling in the kitchen!
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ABC's by Max

Max is learning so much, and talking all the time. He loves to have us read to him and repeat what we say. He especially loves to say big words...his favorites being, polka dot, porky pine, pomegranate, and baby book. My favorite word he says is "Max" because he really emphasizes the "x" so it sounds like "Maxssssssss." He is so expressive and so darn cute!

Here is Max saying his ABC's. The funny part is the end when he says "10" instead of "z". We always count to 9 and then let Max say "10" to finish the count. He switched the numbers with the ABC's here. Too funny.

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Max LOVES to sing songs. His favorites right now are I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee, Popcorn Popping (played below), When ever I hear the song of a bird, Little Teapot, and Head, shoulders Knees and toes. I love how he signs "tree" at the end.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

A long week at an end

Geoff FINALLY arrived home at 1:30 late in the morning from his 8-day business trip to Florida. I put a movie in so I could keep myself awake until he arrived. It is always such a SWEET REUNION when he comes home! I'll be so excited to have him home this next week!

A fun day with the kids, being able to attend the temple tonight, and having Geoff come home made for a perfect day! Life is good.

Twilight

Okay, crazy as it seems, I must admit that I love the Twilight series, and really wanted to see the movie when it came out. Today, I took an afternoon "off," Geoff watched the boys, and I went to the matinee all by myself. Needless to say, I loved the movie! I'm such a sucker for a sweet romance.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tamales out our ears!

Tonight, Holly Scott and I made close to 100 tamales. Don't ask me why we decided to triple the batch on our first attempt at such a feat. I LOVE tamales, and had grand expectations. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the process and time with such a good friend, the tamales totally tanked! The Masa mixture had the texture of something like rubbery seal fat...ugh!! Back to the drawing board and maybe just one batch next time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Famous People we look like

There have been many times people have told us we look like a certain famous person...here are the most frequent comments...

People think Geoff looks like Steve Burns from Blues Clues. His most often comparison is with Matt Lauer from the Today Show.
Many have often said I look like Martina McBride (I got that comment a lot when I had short hair), and Melissa Gilbert. I think when people made the latter comparison, they were thinking of Little House on the Prairie!
Nobody has said that Justin reminds them of the Pizza Hut Noid, but I have often thought that his facial expressions are "vivid & animated" like the Noid's. (The Noid used to be my FAVORITE character back in the day...I thought he was so cute and absolutely hilarious...just like Justin!) And of course Justin NEVER escapes the comment that he looks JUST LIKE his dad!
And Max, well he reminds me so much of Gromit, on Wallace and Gromit! Again, it's the facial expressions. I've been trying for months to capture some of his "gromit" expressions on camera, but have never retrieved my camera in time. His "concerned/distressed" look is an exact duplicate.

Who do people say you look like?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Max at 5:30 AM!

Max has been getting up VERY EARLY lately. This morning he was insistented on pancakes at 5:30am. What I love about this picture, is his pajama outfit...yes, he happily picks out his own outfits, which almost always include his Thomas shorts!

How do you say, "NO" to this face?

An evening with E11even

Tonight, the Scott's accompanied us to the Kofoed's annual Christmas concert. This is a family from our previous ward (Eagle 4th). They are so talented. The show was amazingly entertaining for every age that attended. All the Kofoed's have beautiful voices and a lot of personality. Every child has his debut moment on the stage...so adorable, funny, inspiring...! It was a very fun evening!

I love listening to the older girls sing, Justin's favorite song was sung by 4 year old Jacquline about Santa being too fat to get down the chimney. Their 10 year old son was dressed up like Santa, and was trying to fit down a skinny little chimney (to no avail) throughout the song. So cute!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

FAMILY--a marvelous thing!

In a world where the family is under attack in so many ways, I can't help but marvel at the uncountable ways I have been blessed by my family. Siblings, in-laws, and children have all been without doubt my best friends and greatest supporters. All of them have married wonderful spouses and are raising incredible children. They ALL in their own way continually inspire me to be a faithful spouse, dedicated mom, loyal friend, involved in community and humanitarian efforts, and on and on!

I LOVE AND ADORE MY FAMILY!

My sister Char, husband Brent and 7 children--Alynn, Josh, Emily, Ben, Daniel, Hannah & Nate

My brother Russ, his wife Carrie and 3 girls--Makayla, Brinley & Jentry

My sister Leilani her husband Joe and 5 children--Lincoln, Kaytlin, Kailey, Maddy, & McKenna

My brother Roger, his wife Larin and their 3 children--Caleb, Courtney, and Becca

My sister Jolynn, her husband Alex, and their 3 boys--Abraham, Sammy & Charlie.

Geoff's brother Dave, his wife Lisa, and their 6 children--Christina, Jessica, Josh, McKenna, Kyle, & Rebekah.

Geoff's sister Liz, husband Val and their 7 children--Ryan (on mission in Russia), Daniel, Emily, Rachel, Spencer, Ethan, & Samuel.

Geoff's brother Mike, his wife Alisha, and their 3 boys--TJ, Nate, and McKay.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats

This morning we went to the Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats performance. WOW! It was SPECTACULAR! I am always a little anxious to take Max to these types of events, but once again, he LOVED it. Part of the time he sat in my lap and tried to imitate a lot of their moves. It was hilarious.
This was my favorite part of the show. This picture only shows ONE man going through, but they often had several going through at the same time doing all sorts of flips and leaps. Absolutely amazing.


This was Justin's favorite part of the performance. This is not a ladder, but several chairs carefully stacked on each other. Can you believe this????

Max absolutely LOVED the bicycle ride!

We were all totally amazed with the way these performers could manipulate and control their bodies. Their endurance and strength is insurmountable. It was absolutely incredible... and inspiring. I add that because since we've been home after this performance, Justin and Max have been jumping off our train table onto a bunch of mats. I love it!

Here is a picture of Max sitting next to Justin in the seat, which is where he wanted to sit for a good majority of the show. Justin is so good with Max, and Max LOVES to do EVERYthING Justin does. They are 2 peas in a pod!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cousins

Having Alisha and our Neyman cousins with us these last 3 days has been so fun. They sure love being together. We love that they take time out of their busy schedule to just come and hang out with us. It's some great bonding time. We love you guys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Da Vinci Days with a bunch of Little Leonardos

For these last two days, we spent much of our time doing a hodge podge of activities that helped us get to know Leonardo Da Vinci.

We began with Robot creations. Leonardo is so famous for his inventions. He had an amazing mind...and we found out that so do our boys!!!
Just look at these robots! I think they turned out so cute!

We decided we want to also work on creating some flying inventions, since that was some of Leonardo's favorite inventions. We are going to watch and study birds, and things that fly for the next couple of weeks and when we get back together for Thanksgiving, we will have another day to invent!

Our next activity was so fun...One minute Nature sketches. We basically just took a walk around the block (it had been a drizzly, rainy day, and so the small window of sunshine was perfect to get some fresh air!). All the boys had their own pad and pencil, and whenever I yelled, "STOP!", they would stop where ever they were, pick an item of interest, and take 1 minute to sketch it.
They all loved this activity, and I was very impressed with their sketches. I am quite often amazed at what such young minds produce. It encourages me to try harder to give them activities where they are able to use their OWN creativity and be free to let their talents shine.


We didn't have time to do the painting project while our cousins were with us, but we did have a lot of fun creating these mosaics. We used the foam pad sheets...and I thinks the boys enjoyed cutting all the little squares as much as they enjoyed putting together their designs.

Our last activity which was my favorite, and I think maybe a favorite for all were sculptures. Oh, I think I could do stuff like this forever...I think it is so much fun.
I have been wanting to make a Family Home Evening board, so we made FACES to represent each member of the family. Each person made their own face (except for Max). We used sculpy clay which you cook and the dough hardens so you can keep it forever.

The top is Alisha's family and the bottom is ours. I just love these! How can you forget family home evening when you have such a cute reminder???