Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Annual Family Home Evening Flu Shots

To the kid's disappointment, last night we had our annual Family Home Evening flu shots. They survived and were all rewarded with a fun bandaid and a fresh peach shake afterwards.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chess on the Brain

Chess has been the theme of the household for the last little while. It all started when I rediscovered my love for the 1984 London musical Chess. Ever since I was introduced to Evita as a young girl - I have loved listening to musicals. During my teenage years my favorites were Les Miserables, Into the Woods, Phantom, Sunday in the Park with George, Miss. Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love, The Secret Garden, Joseph..., and Chess. For some reason I stopped listening to musicals after high school until several years later when as a family we fell in love with Wicked. Since that time - I have introduced my kids to my favorite musicals and to my delight - they love them too! But Chess was one I had completely forgotten about until about a month ago.

As I recently discovered, Chess had an interesting beginning. Tim Rice (Evita, Joseph, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) teamed up with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson (both formerly of ABBA) to write the musical and released it as a concept album before it even hit the stage. Which was probably smart because listeners loved the ABBA/rock influence which made it sound very unlike most musicals that had been written up until that time. However, when it was produced on the stage in London - it received mixed reviews. And when they tried to produce it on Broadway - it was a complete flop. Mainly because it has very empty characters and a ridiculously complicated plot. But fans love the music just the same.

After I introduced my kids to the music (after "bleeping" out a few words) I found out that there was a DVD of Chess in Concert that was performed about a year ago with Idina Menzel (Elphaba) and Josh Groban. I watched it with my kids and it was pretty good - amazing talent of course! I wouldn't recommend it unless you really love the music - which I do - and so I really enjoyed it. And again, I hate to recommend something for kids without giving the warning that there is some swearing.

With the subject of chess floating around the house - I decided to rent another DVD: Searching For Bobby Fischer (PG). This is a great movie that my older kids have enjoyed watching. I had forgotten that this movie has such a fabulous cast! Check it out!

And to continue the chess theme, the kids are playing chess with each other every chance they can get.


About a month ago I posted about a terrible bicycle accident involving the brother of my dear friend Liz. Well I am happy to report that he is making a remarkable recovery. There was an article in the Deseret News about Dave's progress if you are interested...


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Productivity Times Two

The roof of the treehouse is finally complete - just in time for the turn of the seasons. Wes started it a couple of weeks ago and hasn't been able to work on it again until today. It has been quite a precarious project and in order to be as safe as possible (which in some ways he does more for my sake than his own!) - he rigged a series of rock-climbing ropes and clipped himself in.

Today was devoted entirely to applying the tar paper and shingles. Since we happen to have a professional roofer living around the block from us - Wes was able to borrow some tools that helped him do the job. And no, we do not own two extension ladders. Ours is the shorter one and the 26 foot ladder (!) was a loaner.
A closer look at the new roof.
Lest you think that all I do is sit around taking pictures of my husband building a condo in our backyard, I actually teamed up with my sister and parents to bottle peaches and make pie filling. Hooray!
And with both of her parents heavily involved in projects - this little one was left to her own devices. Which meant spending the entire afternoon in nothing but a shirt and diaper and getting very, very dirty.

Being a roofer for a day really takes its toll on a guy! Actually he started feeling sick so he rested for a while.
All in all - a pretty productive day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grandma's Birthday Haircut

Isaac made this really cute birthday card for Grandma Jan. This is actually the second of these cute "instruction" cards that he has made. For his other grandma he made "Grandma's Workout" and it was equally as clever but I forgot to take pictures. But you'll get the idea (be sure to enlarge the pictures so you can see the detail):

"granma's birthday haircut - instructions on back"

1. little snip on the sides - a little water spray in beetween

2. comb top

3. snip around the forehead

4. cut behind the ears

5. slightly part it

6. flip it out

7. go home and addmire yourself in the mirror

8. take a nap

9. uh oh time for a new haircut

Here is the post-nap Grandma - ready for a new haircut

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Growing a Monarch

We've been growing a monarch caterpillar since last week. This is what he looked like when my friend gave him to us (about five days after hatching from the egg).

This is what he looks like about a week and a half later.

Last year I spent a lot of time posting about the development of our monarch caterpillar all the way to a butterfly so I probably won't go into as much detail this time around. But if you are interested - it is a fascinating process and I shared some interesting information about the development in my posts.

This makes a great summer project - although I think it is probably too late in the season to find any eggs now. But there is always next year!

In the search for fresh milkweed for our caterpillar I ran across a pod filled with seeds. I wonder if I should try to plant some in our yard?...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scissor Happy

A few weeks ago we were at dinner with some friends when their oldest daughter called. She was home babysitting and called to inform them that their five year old daughter had just cut her hair. My friend was shocked as her daughter tried to describe how much of her five year old's lovely long locks had been snipped. As we all had a good laugh about it, I thought to myself how I doubted Cate would ever do such a thing but I probably would have "the talk" just in case. And so I did.

Wasted breath.

Yesterday Cate cut her hair. I have no idea why except she said wanted bangs like Sarah Jane. I wish I could say I reacted as calmly as my friend did. But I was pretty upset. We had just spent the last two years growing Cate's bangs out so her hair would all be one length - and she had just received this cute little haircut. I ranted (a little), Cate cried and we all kind of laughed in disbelief! I hope we made a big enough impact that she won't dare do it again! (And by the way - the black eye has nothing to do with this episode. A few days ago she and Isaac were horsing around and bonked heads.)
Here's the result. I guess it could be worse.

But wait, the story isn't over yet. After Cate left for school this morning, I took out Sarah's braid left in from yesterday. And to my dismay a chunk of hair came with it. It looks like Cate's scissors did a little wandering!

What is it about five year olds cutting their hair?!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

For Anyone Who Cares to See...

Bars - her favorite



Saturday, September 12, 2009

This One is for Grandpa Dave...

(Dave - be sure and click on the pictures so you can see the detail of I-man's drawings)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Family Movie Transfer

I have recently been working with my brother-in-law Brian on two different projects. The transferring of my parents' old family movies (dating from 1960s - 2000) from VHS to DVD and the transferring of my old 8mm tapes to DVD. My parents' movies were transferred from film reels to VHS several years ago and now we are currently in the process of transferring the VHS tapes to DVD. There are close to 20 tapes that need to be transferred and we are about halfway through. But all the 8mm tapes of my own children have been transferred and it truly is a wonderful thing! It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and I am so happy that my family movies are finally preserved to DVD. I now find that we watch the movies more often and with the DVD organized into chapters - it is easy to watch just one specific event. I am thrilled with the results. So I asked Brian if he would be willing to offer this service to friends and family that might be interested.

So if you have ever thought about transferring your old 8mm tapes or VHS to DVD - and keep putting it off - now is your chance!!

Here is what he has to offer:
1. $50.00 - each two hour tape transferred to 1 DVD. This would include include 5 chapters (additional chapters would cost $1.00 per chapter), jewel case and only written title and menu on DVD.
2. $15.00 extra if you want a case with a cover including the title, menu and a photo (you would need to provide a photo).
3. $5.00 - additional copies
4. Discounts given if transferring several tapes.
5. Brian can transfer the following formats: 8mm, digital 8mm, mini Dv and VHS. Any other formats - he would need to use your camera.
6. If you want chapters - you would need to provide him with a clearly written or typed copy of the events on the tape - with names, dates, etc.

I know there are many businesses and individuals offering these same types of services - and if you look around - these are very competitive prices.
You can email me with questions or leave info in the comments and I will put you in touch with Brian.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birding on Antelope Island - Next Saturday!

Yes we love birdwatching but we love it even more if it involves Merrill Webb! So we are going to try to join this Bean Museum excursion to Antelope Island next Saturday. Anyone is welcome but if you are going to ride up with the group from the museum - they need an RSVP and $10.


Shoes Around the World

My 6th grader had to make an "...Around the World" poster for school. She chose to do "Shoes Around the World." We first discovered the Bata shoe museum in Toronta Canada that provided her with most of the information for her project - the images came from other sources. It turned out to be a fascinating project! I thought I would share her work - after receiving her permission of course. (The only thing I didn't get was a picture of the finished poster!)

Shoes Around the World
Like in Japan, Koreans don’t wear shoes inside. They mostly wear black shoes and occasionally wear colorful shoes. Namakshins were worn for wet weather to raise them above the puddles of mud.

Middle East
In the Middle East most people are Muslim and cannot wear shoes in the Mosques when they pray. They wear babouches with a folded down heel for easy on, easy off. This shoe also helps their feet from getting too hot.

Chinese people with different cultures and social status wear different types of shoes. Although some women would bind their feet to make them look small, women from Manchuria would wear shoes with a single, column-like pedestal that would make them look tall and walk gracefully. They wore these shoes in the 19th century.

Feet and shoes are important in religious and social life. While most people go barefoot, the shoe is reserved for very special occasions. The mojari is worn in Northern India and has a curled toe and an open back.

Because of the hot climate, most Africans in the past either didn’t wear any shoes at all, or wore sandals to allow circulation of air. Leather and rawhide are the most common materials used to make shoes. In Ziare people wore wooden toe-knob sandals for ceremonies or very special occasions.

People in Greenland used to wear tall boots throughout the summer and the winter. They wore many different varieties of boots depending on the season. The boots were mostly made of sealskin and were dyed beautiful colors for special occasions.

In Japan people do not wear shoes inside. They mostly wear getas outside. Getas are shoes that have wooden stilts to lift them up so their feet don’t get dirty, and to make them look pretty.

United States
This is an example of the type of shoes a typical sixth grader would wear in the United States. They are worn for both fashion and function.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Wrap-Up

It was a nice weekend with plenty of time spent with family and friends. (And plenty of time spent on the treehouse too!) Since Wes had Thursday and Friday off, it turned out to be an extra long weekend for us.
Wes worked on the treehouse in the morning and then we made a quick visit to our brand new darling nephew born just three days before. We hurried home and readied everyone for family pictures - which is always an adventure. But any stress we might have felt disappeared after Doctor Dave sent us home with fresh corn, peaches, zucchini, tomatoes and a huge bowl of fresh blackberries and raspberries. All straight from his garden! We had planned to go out to eat after the photo shoot but instead went home to enjoy the bounty!

Wes spent most of the day working on the treehouse. He wanted to get the roof on so he and the kids could sleep out in it that night. As they settled in to watch Star Wars in preparation for their fun night, I opted to take the night off and went to dinner and a movie with a friend. Julie and Julia is a darling movie!

We joined my family for a picnic up South Fork canyon. It was very fun and relaxing and we enjoyed the perfect weather right up until we packed up to go home - then it started to rain. But that's ok because the plan for the rest of the day was to stay home and watch the BYU/Oklahoma game. They won!

Cate with her new hair cut!
Climbing trees
Eating yummy food
Addie is picking out Papa's stiches leftover from a racquetball injury. But the injury was not in vain because he was a champ! For this years Senior Games he won First Place in doubles and Second Place in singles! Go Dad!

Playing in the river

It took all of Weston's self-control to not work on the treehouse.

Wes took advantage of his final day off to finish putting the roof on the treehouse - and the skylight. Yep - you read that correctly. The skylight. We had to cut his fun short to meet up with some friends at a park for a picnic. The kids were busy playing on the playground, in the sand, playing baseball and tennis and hunting for treasures with a $3 metal detector our friends bought at a garage sale. Hey they found .46 cents! Again - the perfect temperature and while the kids were preoccupied we talked and laughed and rested in the shade! Ahhhhh. This evening was spent cleaning the church and going out for ice cream after.

Look at those mountains!!!

Sarah won't stop picking at the sore on her face. So we slapped a big bandaid on it.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow...