Sunday, April 30, 2017

Breaking in Spring

My mother came and visited for Spring Break this year. It was the perfect time to visit, because we were all ready to do nothing but play games and chill. Some years we have a schedule and expansive plan, but this time around, we went minimalist.

Color Me Mine made the short list. Only the older girls painted with Grandma (since they had to pay their way) and they spent most of a day creating their designs.

June and Robyn didn't finish yet, but Grandma's turtle turned out very nicely.

We played a bazillion games while Grandma visited. When we weren't beating her at cards (or being beaten), the girls (especially Pearl) liked to do her hair. This was a favorite style.

Grandma's hair is fine and wispy so you can comb it into fun dos.

I took her to a play one evening. We got Tricia and went to Peter and the Starcatchers. I thought it was very fun, but the dialogue was a little hard to follow at the beginning, so it left us guessing at a bit of the plot. But it was still worth the trip.

Naturally. we did our family Crack Off, but that is worth a post of its own...coming soon.

We finally got our flip flops. I found them for super cheap at Hobby Lobby. I didn't let anyone pick, I just grabbed different colors, but I think they look very cute.

It was a really great week hanging out with my mom. I wish more of my family could have visited, but we will take whoever we can get.

Luckily, she is just as silly as we are, so it's a perfect match.

Come anytime, Grandma!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Feast for the Stomach and Soul

Tis the time of year for Conference. There is something so relaxing and invigorating about a weekend focused on improving and learning. Usually we start off Women's Conference with the Keens, but this year, June was at the writer's conference right up until go time, so we picked her up and went to a random Stake Center nearby to watch conference.

We did meet up at the Keen's after for dessert, but I forgot to take any pictures.

We did bring back breakfast on Sunday morning where we invite another family. We had the Hulse's over for crepes. I had no idea how long it would take to make four batches of crepe batter; over an hour. Wow.

But it was totally worth it. Everything was delicious.

June was our Sous Chef, putting all the crepes together, while I just made one after the other in the background.

Here are some of the minions working on their own concoctions.

After breakfast, we all squished into one room to listen to conference. We had all sorts of stuff going...stitching, journaling, coloring, snuggling, etc. It was a great session.

I love this picture of these two sillies sharing the couch.

We continued our conference wall tradition. Remember, we did stickers this time...

Only four of us reread all the talks. (It was close for June...she went right to the wire.) We opted for breakfast this time around instead of dinner. We tried out a new place called Bake 360. It is French cuisine. It was amazing. Check out some of this food.

This was my favorite. I call it Apricot Heaven. (I had to take this picture at home. This was the one we bought for Grandma Dargan. The first one disappeared too quickly to make it into a photo.)

We had a great time.

I'm sure one of the littles will come next time. In fact, Daisy already has a sticker on every one of the 12 and the presidency. (And that was within the first week after.) Such a blessing to have such easy access to spiritual guidance and inspiration.

Science is About Having Fun

As you may recall, Ivory's science fair project moved on from the district level to the state level hosted at BYU. There are few things better than missing a day of school because you are awesome. I dropped Ivory off in the morning and dutifully waited the few hours before coming back.

There was no rock wall this time around, but they did set up a ropes course that the kids seemed to really enjoy. Ivory was small, but she moved around pretty well.

For awards they post a list an hour or so after the fair. I forgot to check them before I took Ivory to gymnastics, but I didn't expect Ivory to win an award at this level.

I should probably stop doubting her. I think Ivory must interview very well, because she got an award. They list all the numbers that get awards and Ivory's was right there in the mix. It doesn't say what the award have to go to the award's night to find out.

I picked up Ivory from gymnastics and told her the good news and took her out for a celebration dinner.

On awards night, she received a fourth place in Product Testing and Consumer Science. Good job, my lovely Ivory!! She even got money with her award.

Very impressive. That finishes up another round of Science Fair for us. But don't worry, we'll be back again next year, since A.L.L. does it both fifth and sixth grade. The good news is that I'm dreading it less each year.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

March is So Last Month


Is this thing on??

Are you still there?

I'm back.

I've been living life a thousand miles a minute and it has been great. Of course, I watch  my blog list grow and grow with each new adventure. Looks like I will have something to do all summer. (You know, besides playing with the kids non-stop.)

So, where were we??

Ah yes...back in March.

Today seems like a good day to get all those extra pictures taken care of. So begins a random phone dump...

Dr. Seuss day was sometime back there in March. Naturally, I was completely unprepared and the kids wanted to dress up. We came up with this impromptu costume idea for Daisy.

Pearl, luckily threw a tantrum and lost her privilege to dress up, thus saving me from having to come up with another costume. (Who says drama can't work in your favor?)

I have been promising Pearl (and Daisy) that I would teach them to crosstitch this summer. Pearl saw an opportunity and pounced on me one afternoon. I figured it couldn't hurt to try a few months early and two new stitchers emerged. They are actually quite good for beginners.

June and I continue to work on our matching project. I stay ahead, but just barely.

Daisy got her hair cut last month. It is so normal to me now, I forgot she got it cut recently. She is such a cutie and the short locks fit her perfectly.

This is Thatcher. We watched him one afternoon as his family packed to move. He was such a delight. So inquisitive and he spoke very well. I'm sad his family won't be in our neighborhood anymore.

One day we had quite a few chickens in our yard. I know my neighbors have chickens, but they usually don't come as far as our yard. We chased them off, although one stayed longer and we had to pick it up and take it up to them. Naturally, we put Robyn in charge of that. She was a little hesitant to wrangle a chicken.

Ironically, the chickens didn't belong to the people I thought they did. They were owned by my back neighbors. I feel a little foolish delivering their chicken to a different neighbor, but in my defense, they all look the same to chickens. (I think the chickens made it back to their original owners, but I don't know that for sure.)

Here is another amazing art piece by the Juniper. The actual big art show happened last week, so I already know how the awards went, but I won't spoil anything for you. You'll have to wait patiently, and trust is worth the wait.

Track should be its own post, but I was not very camera happy this year. Some of the track days were quite gloomy and rainy. June ran the mile and 800 and did a great job, but she wasn't quite as fast this year. She is not running in Alpine Days this year, but I loved going to the meets to watch her and cheer her on. She is still a good runner. I think she will still choose to run Cross Country this summer.

Since we are still focusing on June and her endeavors, let's add how great she is getting at the violin. It is really entertaining and enjoyable to listen to her practice. I love going to her lesson each week and sitting for an half hour listening to her and her teacher play duets together. One particular day I noticed that they were both standing in a similar pose. It was funny enough that I took a picture.

In normal Daisy fashion, her front teeth refuse to come in. She lost them back in October and still they haven't broken through the gums. I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure they will come through in their own sweet Daisy time frame. In the meantime, she decided to go and lose another tooth.

This girl can't bite into anything. She has such a huge gap in the front. I measured and it is 3/4 of an inch wide. Impressive. Any bets on whether she will lose that last front tooth before anything grows in?

Robyn and I went on a date to see the Spring Play. It was Madame is Murdered, Tea Will be Late. The kids did such a great job. The microphones weren't the best. The dialogue was lost now and then, but we managed to follow the general plot. I loved that there was a picture of the drama teacher, Mr. Oquendo, on the wall.

Robyn found Briana after the show. Her nickname is Batman. Robyn could never remember her name although she could recall that it started with a 'B'. She finally decided to dub her Batman. So, now when they are together it is Batman and Robyn.

Spring means writers' camps. Robyn went last year to the Tween Author Boot Camp. June is old enough for the official Teen Camp. She was very excited to spend the entire day going to workshops. (That is how my kids roll.) Although she was alone, she had plenty of friends that she found later that day.

This is probably one of my most random pictures. Daisy lined up the chalk and colored the boards just a bit under each color. Very creative...until it rained. Oh well...there is always more chalk.

I lied. This picture is more random. We found a camel with an udder in our animal crackers. And yes...June is photobombing the camel.

And finally, Flibble got an upgrade. Ivory petitioned for rocks and plants in his bowl. I think it looks great and Mr. Flibble seems very happy with his expansion.

Phew...So much more to blog. Baby steps.

Next up...The end of Science Fair.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I apologize for the lack of blogging and the continued lack in the upcoming week. Life is super busy in such a wonderful way. The kids are keeping me on my toes and I am happier in my chaotic organizer position than I could imagine.

Keep the home fires burning for me, and I'll be back with you soon.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Miep Gies

You have heard a lot about Science Fair recently and there is still more to go...but have you heard about History Fair?

I didn't know about History Fair until last year. Apparently, it is a huge deal. I wouldn't say it is bigger than Science Fair, but I do think it takes more work to prepare for it. Each year, the people in charge choose a theme. Last year the theme was 'Exploration, Encounter, Exchange'. June did a project about the Mormon Battalion. There are many options of how you can submit your project; paper, exhibit, documentary, website, or performance. All the kids were required to do the paper, so most people submitted theirs as their project. June did that as well. There is a day set aside where the kids miss school (much like Science Fair) and they present their projects at UVU and are judged, with an awards ceremony at the end.

I was not exactly sure about how it all worked last year. I did come to have lunch with June, but I missed most of the displays because I arrived there later in the day.

This time around the theme was 'Taking a Stand in History'. Projects can be done in groups and Hannah and June decided to work together. This is great because it means they share the work, but it is also harder because it means getting together often. (Remember how Hannah was here for St. Patrick's Day? That was a normal occurrence. There were many late night.)

The girls chose to do their project on Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide Anne Frank and her family in the annex. They decided to do an exhibit, which is usually a Tri-fold board, but you aren't limited to that. June and Hannah decided to be ambitious and make a spinning pillar of info for their display.

It was good to see them do a little internet searching to create a revolving base and you'd better believe that Tyler was excited to help with a project that meant more power tools for him.

It took a little while to decide on how to build it. With a combined effort of brain power, we decided on foam core, runners on the bottom to slide the pieces into (made out of foam core as well) and velcro on the inside to hold it together. Then the girls just had to design four panels full of information. I feel like it was a little word heavy, but I was impressed with the research. Check out the finished design. (There is a portrait of Miep Gies on one of the panels that Hannah drew with oil pastels.)

After weeks of work, it was the big day. I took the girls over bright and early so they could assemble their exhibit.

Here is a picture later in the day. You can see how the tables are now full of displays. They went around three sides of the room. So much hard work in one area, and that isn't even counting the website, performances, papers, and documentaries.

Judging took place throughout the day. I came back to have lunch with June, but the campus was closed for Spring Break, so we had to go eat elsewhere, but we returned for the award ceremony. Here are the girls waiting for it to start. Lauren is dressed up fancy because she did a performance.

They did all the other categories before exhibit. Papers/Essay is usually a large category. In fact, they told kids that they couldn't enter this category unless they had placed last year. They didn't want to be swimming in Essays. Lauren got first place in performance, with her sister Emily. Lots of kids from June's class and school did very well. I believe the boys won the website category.

Exhibit has so many entries that it is impressive to get an award. There are some extra awards from outside sources. I believe Kenzie got an award for doing a colonial project. (She got money for that.) Then they were calling the top three winners for group displays and June and Hannah came in 3rd place!

Good job girls!

Third place is actually an honorable mention. First and Second go on to State and third place is an alternate in case someone can't attend. Since first and second place were both girl groups from June's class, I think they won't need an alternate, but I was so proud of June and Hannah. We agreed 3rd place is best. You get recognized for all the hard work, but you don't have to do anything else.

It was really cool to see all the hard work come through for these girls.