Monday, December 26, 2011

Report on Boot Camp

This is what the kids woke up to this morning.

As soon as I got up and announced to the kids that we would be doing "Momma's Boot Camp," Arden burst into tears and ran back into his room.

Wow. Apparently my reputation preceeds me! I had no idea the kids even knew what a boot camp was!

Arden was fine when we finally convinced him to come out, and he realized Mom's bootcamp simply involved eating healthy foods and picking slips of paper out of the boot with fun, active ideas on things to do throughout the day written on them.

Boot camp went o.k. until our neighbor sabotaged our efforts by bringing over a big plate of goodies. It was all over then. Curtis apparently decided that since he had already messed up, he might as well go whole hog, and dug around in the closet until he found the junk food bag.

Sigh. This will definitely be a process. Can't wait for my family to get here tomorrow so they can help get rid of the goodies!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Richard Eyre

About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a lecture given by the man in this photo--Richard Eyre.

He and his wife have nine kids, they founded the popular "joy school" program, have written numerous books, including the New York Times' bestseller "Teaching Your Children Values," and travel worldwide lecturing and teaching parents how to become better parents and raise responsible kids who have strong values.

Anyway, after hearing what he had to say about kids and entitlement, I was fascinated, as entitlement in any form (other then God-given "entitlements") is one of my pet peeves. Immediately after the symposium was over, I went to his book signing at Barnes and Noble and bought his book, The Entitlement Trap.

Again, an AMAZING book. I love his humorous stories, and his down to earth style of writing. Not only was it a fun read, but it was chock full of wonderful ideas. As I read, I marked the things I really liked, and after finishing the book, wrote down an entire page of ideas from his book that I would like to implement into our family life over the next year. on the lookout in blogs to come for some great ideas from Richard Eyre and his lovely wife! If you just can't wait, I would highly recommend just purchasing his book. It is one of those buys that I feel is worth every penny. Even if your kids are still really young, it might be nice to get a jump on things. One of the things I do love about his book, though, is that it is geared towards training grade-school-aged kids. Get 'em while they're young!

The Practically Perfect Plan

Remember a while back when I longingly mentioned how I would love to have my children be like the happy toilet-swishing kid pictured on the front of Marilee Boyack's book, The Parenting Breakthrough?

Well guess what, guess what?!!! It has come to pass! Maile actually begged me to clean out the toilet the other day. Wow. Hats off to me. Well, and the authors of the wonderful books I get my inspiration and ideas from. I have no problem giving credit where credit is due!

I loved what Marilee says about how frustrated she would get that the most important job we do in life--being a parent--didn't have an instruction manual or a plan on how and what to teach our kids! To remedy that somewhat, she and her husband came up with a list of all the skills they thought were important for her kids to know before they left home, and divided it year by year.

Click here to see Marilee Boyack's Plan

Based on her recommendations, I came up with a system for my kids that is kind of halfway between the Personal Progress Program our church's Young Women participate in, and Marilee's skills list. It has been working great thus far. The kids get to pick what goals they would like to work on, who they would like to train them in that particular skill, and then once it is passed off, they get to pick a treat from our big treat basket.

Posted by Picasa

Yeah for instruction manuals!

Momma Boot Camp

Well, it has been pretty much a perfect Christmas day, other then the fact that I ate exorbitant amounts of candy, chips and chocolate and way too many greasy fish sticks. I feel slightly bloated and gross at the moment. This evening I surreptitiously went around the house digging in everyone's Christmas loot boxes for all the junk food, which I put in a big grocery sack and hid in a closet. I am hoping out of sight, out of mind.

Tomorrow, I have decided we are going to start "momma boot camp."

I am ready to get a "running" start on things with some healthy bran muffin batter in the fridge, ready to pop in the oven for breakfast, then we are going to eat as healthy as we can all day, and do lots of different exercise-y type things. (I am pretty sure that is a word.)

Well...that is my vision anyhow. Hopefully it will go over o.k. with the family! If there is any complaining, "Drop to the ground and give me 10! Grrrr!"

Of Koala Cash

I don't know if you can tell what this is from my is a little koala bear.

Curtis had a business trip to Australia a couple of years ago and brought a bunch of them back for the kids. Ever since we've gotten them, the kids and Curtis and I have had this ongoing game where Curtis or I will hide them somewhere in the house, and when the kids find them, they get a reward. We have hidden them in some pretty intense places, and sometimes it takes the kids a few months to find them, but they always seem to get found, somehow or another! This one was underneath the piano in the far corner.
Posted by Picasa

I have no idea how Arden found it, just out of the blue. My favorite was the one Curtis hid inside his computer. (He has one of the boxes with the mostly clear side with the lights and know what I am talking about.) Anyway, if you ever come to visit us, keep your eyes out for one of these little buggers, because there is cash and prizes for anyone who finds one!

Of Historical Illumination

One of the goals I set for myself over this Christmas holiday was to listen to all of the Glenn Beck University history lectures. So far I have only gotten through the first three lectures, and can I just say, I am impressed. They are AMAZING! I love that everything that Professor Barton says is backed up by original documents--he's not just spouting his opinion. I would invite all Patriots to take the time this year to watch these wonderful lectures, especially considering 2012 is, of course, a big election year. I know you will be inspired, and the things you learn may very well change your life.

(They have a free two week trial, if you want to do a "marathon!")

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Maile's Bird Trap

What is this creation?, you may be asking yourself. I will tell you. It is Maile's bird trap. The plan is that the birds will be lured to the string of cranberries under the box, and then they will slip on the soap in the cups, the box will come crashing down, and the birds will be trapped.

Clever, very clever.

Posted by Picasa

Neighborhood Gift Idea

For my LDS readers, I wanted to post this gift idea for Christmas next year. All of our neighbors got one of these lovely "Book of Mormon baskets" this year, and they were well received, I think.

On a personal note, I have always loved the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, but I would like to publicly thank my amazing institute teacher, Sister Shupe, for her inspiration and her contagious excitement for the Book of Mormon. It has been wonderful coming to understand better the Book of Mormon's application to me personally under her instruction, and I can't thank her enough.

What a blessing we have in this marvelous book. Everyone needs a copy!




Gingerbread Mansions

Check out this bad baby! Curtis is always so creative when it comes to gingerbread house making. Last year he made a five story outhouse complete with pigeons on the eves. This year I think his creation includes a pool, hot tub, slide, pumpkin patch and several other amenities I am not quite clear on.

Maile and I were a bit more traditional with our house. Arden is following in the footsteps of his father, and unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of his creation, but suffice it to say, his was wonderful also.


This year I bought a cookie cutter house template that seemed to work really well.

A trick I learned from my sister-in-law for getting the pieces together, was to just pour some sugar in a saucepan and let it melt over medium heat. It makes a fabulous "cement" that dries in about two seconds, so it is way easier then using frosting to try to stick everything together. The only trick is, it is SUPER hot, so if any gets on your fingers before it has hardened, I guarantee you will be feeling it for a while. Probably best for an adult to do. Preferably your spouse.

Christmas Dodgeball!

Ooooh. I am a little sore today!
We had a most delightful evening last night with several other young families that work with Curtis. We all brought soups or salads and desserts and went over to our church building and had a great little potluck. Afterwards we had a rousing game of stuffed animal/sock dodgeball in the gym (hence the reason I am sore--just from being somewhat out of shape!), followed by Christmas carol singing and a brief sharing of favorite holiday traditions. It was one of those sweet evenings that are just so enjoyable and laid back. We are so fortunate Curtis works with such wonderful, down-to-earth people!

Maile Baile!

Kayla to Maile: "Maile, I like your pajamas!"
Maile: "Thanks! They match my blog!"
(Yes, my kids both have blogs. Before you are too impressed though, I think there are one, maybe two entries in each of them. We'll get better at writing when they are a bit older!)

Dad to Maile: "Boy, Leila is sure being a whiner!"
Maile: "I know, Leila is a 'whine-bibber.'"

Good to know she is getting something out of scripture study.

Maile to Arden: (She was mad about him taking something) "Arden, get your dusty hands off of that!"

I love how she hears phrases and gets them just a little bit off!

Maile (with great excitement): "Christmas is coming as fast as a weasel!"

Uhhh...does that mean it is coming fast or slow?

The kids and I were going for a walk a week or two ago. On one side of us there was a large hedge, and then a bare spot in the hedge where someone had planted some small bushes. Maile stopped, went over to one of the little bushes, and fluffed it up, remarking, "I'm trying to make it more comfortable."

Isn't Maile just the cutest thing ever?!

Oh, in big news for her, she lost her first tooth last week! Well, the first that came out naturally anyway. (A couple got knocked out when Maile was two and decided to test out gravity to make sure it really worked by leaping from her chair at the table.) The tooth-fairy was lame-o and didn't even visit for like three days, but finally came and left a note and some extra moola, saying she had been so busy with all the kids that were losing teeth lately, she was running behind schedule!

Of My Awesome (if I do say so myself) New Haircut

After about 20+ years of having more or less the same hairstyle, I have finally taken the plunge and gotten it chopped. Yes, it's gone. I am a long-hair girl at heart, but I am loving the change!


Posted by Picasa

You will also notice (or maybe not if you're used to me wearing contacts) that I have no glasses on! Yes, I also got LASIK this last week!

I love not having to worry about contacts or glasses, but I feel so guilty spending that kind of money on myself while so many others I know of have pressing needs. Gah.

Poinsettia Challenged

I have inherited my mother's love of plants, but unfortunately not her green thumb to go with it. Curses.

I must have bought about eight or nine poinsettias this season, because I love how beautiful and festive they are...until I kill them off one by one.

Maybe I will get fake ones next year.