Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jackson's pirate performance- Aaargh!

Jackson's kindergarten performance was last weekend.  His school mascot is a Pirate, so they put on a pirate show.  It. was. adorable!  The best part?  Jackson sang the pirate songs at home non-stop, day in and day out, it was this pirate song and that pirate song, but the day of his big debut he was just about silent.  He would throw in a dance move here and there, but didn't really sing at all.  He cracks me up!  Jim recorded the whole thing, but we got a few pictures to remember his big pirate day performance.

This picture was kind of cool- he's running to his place on stage.  I don't think he was supposed to run, but he made the character his own.


Here he is in his big pirate debut.  no singing.  no dancing.
But he sure practiced his little heart out at home.


Can't forget a fun pirate family portrait-
(somehow I missed the memo that we were supposed to make pirate faces, I'm off in my own world here)


Look at this pirate face, isn't he a scary one??


And we can't forget our future pirate-
Here's Austin on his way to pick up his brother from school that day sporting a very piratey orange Powerade mustache.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Can I finally join the club??

I have issues with making anything with yeast.  It scares me.  I tried making rolls or bread in home-ec as a kid and it was a FLOP!  Since, I stay far away from baking goods with yeast, so of course, that includes homemade bread.  I LOVE homemade bread, but I've never made it.  I realize I'm not a real Mormon wife and mother because of this huge flaw, but I've managed to make it as a so-so wife and mom with this awful glitch in my character.  Then I came across an "easy" recipe for honey wheat bread (thanks for posting it on fb Liz Nuffer) and decided to conquer my fear of yeast.

First things first, I had to buy yeast- there are 394 different kinds of yeast.  No one warned me how many different kinds there were!  My fear began to overcome me, but I gathered all my strength and picked the most interestingly plain kind I could find.  Hopefully it would do the trick!

I followed the recipe, but it said to wait until the yeast "frothed".  What the heck!?!?  The yeast should look like it has rabies!?!?  It made no sense to me.  And just so you know, my yeast got thicker, but there was no rabies frothing or foaming- again, very confusing.  Next, I "kneaded" the dough, I think... This is what I ended up with.  It sure didn't look like Martha's bread on TV...


I was pretty skeptical, but I put it in the oven with a "warm bath" of water underneath to let it rise.
Here's where my first attempt at bread failed when I was a little girl.
BUT in an hour it did RISE!
Woot woot!


BAM!  I was feeling pretty good at this point.
But I had to let it rise again in the pans.  Would I fail here??


NOPE!  It did rise again!
Holla!
I'm practically a pioneer at this point!


Now, all that's left is to bake it-
TADA!


I did it!!  I'm a REAL Mormon woman now!

And the icing on the cake (or the butter on the bread, in this case),
it was delicious!
Take that yeast!  I'm a homemade bread making REAL Mormon wife and mother now!
So, my next challenge is cinnamon rolls.
I'm looking for a good recipe if anyone has one...

We finally saw the penguins

We made a deal with Jackson that if he made it through a whole week staying on green (his school behavior chart) then we would take him to the Science Spectrum and we'd take him to see the penguins.  SEVERAL weeks later he finally had a whole week of green!  He's a chatter like his mama, so he's often on yellow for talking at the wrong time- like mother like son.

Just FYI:  The penguins were fun and I'm glad we supported the SS because we LOVE the SS, but the exhibit isn't worth price honestly.

Funniest part about the penguins:  Austin thought he was literally going to be surrounded by penguins so he freaked out and cried and cried before I made him enter the exhibit to show him the penguins were behind a giant window.  He was still so frightened that a penguin might come walking out at any moment that he refused to take a picture in this little penguin board, so daddy jumped in-


We finally got him to stand with the picture of the penguins, but it took a lot of persuasion...


We eventually got him to actually check out the penguins behind the window- he was impressed once he realized they were never coming out.


Next, we headed to the museum part, the boys are well acquainted with the museum.
They LOVE the SS!
Jackson checking out the race car-


Next, we headed to Olive Garden for dinner (because I had a pretty nice coupon).  I'm cheap.  I embrace what I've become.
While waiting in the lobby for a table Jackson kept wanting to hold Austin on his lap.  It made me giggle because he would say, "Austin, come here big boy!  Come sit on my lap".  Austin might be 2.5 years younger, but he's almost as big as Jackson already, so there wasn't much room on his lap.  They're so cute!


Austin had to return the favor-


It was a fun night, but this mommy is more excited that Jackson made it through a whole week on green!
...it hasn't happened since.  It probably won't happen again.  Dang chatter-box gene!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Daddy takes a day off to surprise the boys!

A while back, I came across a book, The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems.  I loved it!  The boys loved it!  Since, our entire family has become big Mo Willems fans.  Mo just came out with a new book, The Pigeon Needs a Bath, and it's fantastic just like all his other books!  Anyway, after reading it for the 100th time Jackson asked if Jim would go to his school to read the book to his class- what a awesome idea!  Jim was super excited to fulfill Jackson's wish, especially since he had planned to take a day off soon.

Well, the day arrived!  Daddy took a day off and didn't tell the boys.  After talking to Jackson's teacher, who was excited and eager to have Jim come read a book to the class, Jim surprised Jackson and his class with the new Mo Willems book.  They were thoroughly enthralled with The Pigeon Needs a Bath.  Jim's such a amazing dad!  

Reading to the class.



And Daddy came equipped with Dr. Suess pencils and some M&Ms for everyone!  
Jackson helped Daddy pass out the treats.


Everybody say, "CHEESE"!!


Austin and I stayed home because the little girls in Jackson's class just adore Austin (they all want to be his mommy- it's adorable!), but I wanted this to be Jackson's day with his Dad.  However, Jim wanted to do something special for Austin while Jackson was at school, so we took Austin to Toys R Us and let him spend his birthday money.  Austin was super excited about his surprise from Daddy!  He found the coolest toy and Jim was pretty excited about it too.  He found a Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood neighborhood WITH the trolley!  Jim almost peed himself he was so excited to find this toy (a toy he wanted as a child, but they didn't have when we were kids), and he was even more excited when Austin wanted to buy the same toy.  It was a match made in the Land of Make Believe heaven!

I didn't get pictures of Austin picking out his toy, but here he is playing at home-




My boys have the best daddy!  
Needless to say, he definitely made both of his boys' day today.
He's their hero!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Big Poppa turns 3!!!

It finally happened- my Little Tiny turned 3!  I'm not very shy about my dislike of 3 year olds in general, so I was a little sad for this day to come, but Austin is actually a pretty mellow 3 year old, thank goodness!  I think it's safe to say, he's my very favorite 3 year old at the moment.  ;)  I swore that I was just going to throw a simple party for the family, but Austin REALLY wanted a Mickey Mouse party and if my baby wants a Mickey Mouse party then he's going to get a Mickey Mouse party.  Besides we threw Jackson a Blues Clues party at 3 so it's only fair to give Austin a themed birthday too.  I did bring down our birthday budget this year AND we came in well under budget including gifts, so I'm pretty proud of the outcome and, most importantly, Austin LOVED LoVeD loved his Mickey Mouse party.  He still talks about it- and that makes it all worth it!  In fact, Jackson keeps telling me that he wants a Mickey Mouse party too.

When I throw a simple party for the boys I make them a cake and let them decorate it.  I also let them loose in the Dollar Tree to pick out their wrapping, party hats and favors, and table ware.  They LOVE this and it never costs more than $10- that's the part that Jim loves.  ;)  Anyway, Jackson really loved decorating his own cake at his "simple party" (his 4th birthday), and all Austin talked about was blowing out candles at his birthday party, so I just had a simple cake made (because I love the frosting at our local market) and I found Mickey Mouse cake decorations on Amazon and let Austin loose.


I tried to show him how to spread the Mickey sprinkles around, but he much preferred to put them in one big crunchy pile right on his name.  Whatever floats my baby boy's boat!
He was quite proud of himself and the finished product-


We put up some simple decorations that Grandma Marlow and I made.  Then it was time to put the cake and snacks out.


The cake and snacks-


I found Mickey Mouse duct tape on Amazon, so I just used that in place of the bottled water label to make the water a little more party fun.


And, of course, every birthday party needs some presents!


Minnie made it to the party!  Austin actually loves Minnie more than Mickey.  He desperately wants to have a pink and purple glittery Minnie Mouse t-shirt, but I just can't do it.


We kept the party small and only invited family, except we just had to invite Maggie.  Not only is her mom a very dear friend of mine and basically like family, but the boys ADORE Maggie.  Sarah (Maggie's mom) and I were informed that day that she and Jackson were getting married.  We're all for it, but lets a few years...  Anyway, the party started with a few games!


As people arrived they filled out an "All About Austin" survey.


We supplied Mickey pencils-


Everyone had fun trying to figure Austin's likes and facts out!
Everyone filled out a facts sheet!  Some of the responses were hilarious!



Maggie guessed that Austin only weighs 10 pounds right now and Jackson guessed that he weighed 500 pounds at birth.  Yikes!!


Also, as everyone arrived, they all guessed how many of Mickey's Magic Beans were in the jar.  Mike came closest so he won all 747 magic beans!  Jackson came in second!


We also played Pin The Ears on Mickey!  Maggie won!
And a bean bag toss game (no good pictures of this one.  Boo.).  Jackson won!


Here are some random shots of the birthday boy-



The birthday boy felt Grandma needed some Mickey ear


Then, it was finally time for Austin's favorite part- time to sing Happy Birthday and blow out candles!!  He'd been talking about this for weeks!


And then we ate CAKE!!



Austin opened presents next.  I didn't get any pictures of this because grandma took video, but his favorite gifts were a Thomas the Train train set (thank you, Maggie!), a Mickey's Clubhouse playset (thank you, grandpa Tyler and grandma Viv), and the Mo Willems books daddy and I gave him.

Another favorite gift was a high chair feeding station for his baby.  Best part about this gift was how long it took Jim and Mike (2 very grown men) to put the thing together.  Daddy can put together a Batman cave in minutes, but hand him a baby doll toy and he's clueless.  Awesome!


Sarah also had to help daddy put together a baby stroller for Austin's baby.  Poor guy, he's not up on his baby doll toy installation.

And last, but not least, I made found little Mickey Mouse treats and put them into a cute Mickey Mouse cup that grandma made for the littles to take as a little memory of the party.



Afterward, Austin requested going to Chick Fil A for lunch so he could play in the play area, so that's what we did!  
It was a really great day!  Thank you everyone who helped celebrate Austin's arrival into the world!

Happy Birthday, Austin!



Friday night drive-in

During Vomit Fest 2014 we were hauled up in our home, obviously.  Well, to make the weekend more fun, and since we couldn't go to the real drive-in, Jim had the genius idea to bring the drive-in to our house.  He came home with a couple boxes and prepared them for transformation.  Then we all decorated their cars.  THE BOYS LOVED THIS!!  They loved decorating and creating their own cars, they love sitting in their cars, the love watching movies in their cars, and they love pushing one another in their cars.  It's been almost a month since we made their cars and they're still in great condition AND the boys still love them!  Seriously, this was a genius idea.  GOOD JOB, DADDY!!

After Jim made the boxes into cars the decorating commenced!  Look at this cutie-pie!  He was so sick, but having a fun night at the Nuffer Family Drive-In totally cheered him up!


Jackson was very serious about pimping his ride.


Then they decided to make their cars very unique- Jackson turned his into the Bat-Mobile and Austin turned his into a Luxury Lorax Mobile.


That first night we watched Ghost Busters at the Nuffer Drive-In.  We've since seen Wreck It Ralph, Tangled, and most recently, Frozen.  Here they are the the house premier of Frozen-


It's Friday once again...  I wonder what's playing at the Nuffer Drive-In tonight??