Sunday, October 24, 2010

Healthy Me, Healthy You!

Along with the fall comes back to school and sharing. Lots and lots of sharing. Ok, most sharing is a good thing. It shows complex reasoning, higher thinking, creativity, etc. Unfortunately, it also means we all get sick:) Lucky for us, we haven't been too hard hit so far. I wanted to nip that idea of sharing germs in the bud by doing a week of Healthy Me, Healthy You. I think we may have a follow up week on nutrition after halloween because it was a HUGE hit! We had a GREAT dramatic play area this week with doctors and poor little cabbage patch patients (they ended up covered in bandages and oxygen tubes, gauze, etc. We were able to make doctor nametags, stethescopes, lots of germ demonstrations and experiments among other things. I think it made a real, lasting impression too! Ike keeps singing "5 Little Germs!" instead of 5 Little Ducks now:)

Ok, I know you're dying for the words...
5 Little Germs were busy at play
on a child's hand one day
They were playing side by side
Then the child washed and one germ died! (Each time you sing this line, the child takes a bar of soap and pretends to wash really well). ** I have great germ clipart that goes with this for feltboard

One demonstration was putting blue soap/paint mixture on one of the kids' hands and letting him touch several different objects in our classroom, thus showing how we spread our germs if we don't wash.

We also made doctor bags and painted at the art center with different doctor supplies like gauze, cotton balls, q tips, sponges, etc.

The other day, we paired up and I squirted blue paint/soap on one partner's hand. The other partner had to take a baby wipe and try to wipe it all off their partner's hand. This demonstrated how well we have to scrub tops, bottoms and in between. It was a great week!

writing prescriptions

Wouldn't you trust them to take out your appendix?

Artwork called "Tissue Tina"

Colors of the Rainbow

Well, did I mention how busy I have felt lately? Thus 1 month has transpired in the blink of an eye! Week 3 of Preschool was spent learning and experimenting with color. We learned many ways to mix colors and get different results. Our favorite books this week were: Little Blue and Little Yellow (followed by mixing yellow and blue jello globs in a baggie- a very neat experience)! and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Our imaginations were running wild! The color pyramid we made this week with our handprints was such a concrete demonstration for the kids on color. I LOVED it!

rainbow jello- I made all the colors the night before and the kids added them in order by the scoopful the next day


Rainbow cheerio necklaces

Little Blue and Little Yellow in a baggie

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All About Me and My family

In case you didn't know, I have taken on the great challenge (and reward) of starting my own home preschool for Ike and 5 of his little friends (and Z of course)! We started at the beginning of Sept and are going T/Th mornings from 9-11:30. Ike is so proud and happy to be going to preschool and (I think) to have his mommy doing it:) I will address the comment that seriously so blessed put this week... I'm not turning "all polygafrump"- a funny post if you haven't seen it- although, I am a little more pressed for time. It doesn't seem that 5 hours a week could add up to that much extra work, but if you know me at all, you know I'm a perfectionist by nature, and an overachiever, type A as well... put it together and you have late nights sitting on the carpet laminating, cutting, and preparing in every way possible! The result is what I'll put here... fun preschool days and sleepless preparing nights:) And, I love every minute of it!
     So, week one and two were All About Me and My Family (the kids' not me- though that would be funny to do a week theme on ME- I can see it now:) I digress... some of my favorite things from this week were:

Journals- we have started Journals we will write an entry in every school day. I just use composition notebooks but I am LOVING the thought provoking entries and answers already! For example:
"Today I read a book about a pet boa constrictor. If I could have any pet, it would be... a small dog that doesn't jump!"- Ike

We did measurements: height/weight and a writing sample of their names as well.

We also played lots and lots of getting to know you games these two weeks b/c the kids for the most part, did not know each other... Some of our favorites: Who's missing? The kids closed their eyes (no peeking- yeah right) and I tapped one person on the head. That person got to go into the other room. When the kids opened their eyes, they had to figure out who was missing- Very good at helping them be aware of each other!
Pass the Ball- we passed a beach ball back and forth, but before you could pass it, you had to say the person's name who you were passing it to- the kids LOVED it, but it was challenging at first:)
Commonalities- "stand up if you have blonde hair" "hand on head if red shoes" etc... pretty fun to find commonalities among the kiddos.

Guess Who? Parents answered a short questionnaire about their child's likes/dislikes, families, etc. And then I described that person while holding their baby picture for the whole class to guess who was who. Again, a big hit!

Class Memory- I made memory cards with the kids' pictures I had taken and we played memory with pictures of the kids in our class- We are still playing this one 2 weeks later! The kids love it!

We are also "cooking" everyday. This is one of my favorite things and a way to incorporate science each day, as well as give the kids a Healthier snack than oreos or you know...

Anyway, this week, we made trail mix out of a variety of things... cheerios, popcorn, raisins, etc. Oh, and the secret ingredient: yogurt colored craisins.

Also, we made mini bagel faces with strawberry cream cheese, licorice mouths, and raisin eyes- pretty cute and a big hit.

For the first day/week of school, I had the kiddos bring their favorite book from home. This was a great way to learn a little about them and to find out what they might be interested in. It also gave them a little familiarity at school. We took turns reading these at storytime the first week.

I could go on, but this is a pretty good idea of the first two weeks:)

Reflection Paintings- I covered cereal box cardboard squares with aluminum foil (so they could see their reflections) and let them paint them with a cornsyrup/food coloring paint I made. There were 4 colors and they made AWESOME paintings. Again, this is hanging on our fridge.

Paper Boys and Girls with custom shirts and pants/skirts made with different scrapbooking paper and textured paper... complete with little mary janes, belts, hair yarn, etc. super cute- I added a magnet to the back of Ikes- I think he has the fashion sense of my dad in high school... plaid pants, striped shirt:)


Class Quilt- Took a picture of each child and had them glue that pic to a 6x6 piece of cardstock. They then decorated their "quilt block" and I fastened them all together. This hangs in our classroom everyday... A visual that they indeed belong here, together:)

All in all, it was a really fun week!

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have a friend who collects pics of ridiculous signs and I think it's a pretty good idea. Some people... you know what I mean?? Anyway, I'll post more as I find them. I'm constantly making Ben take pictures of them for me. In fact, I actually took a few pics in high school... Signs like "No Stopping or Standing" right in front of a crosswalk. This one is pretty special (inside the train, so we couldn't not touch it...)

This reminds me of a story about bizarre collections... Last summer my parents were visiting Jackson, WY and while my dad was at a urinal, a man came up next to him and took a picture. To which my dad replied something like, "Hey buddy, what do you think you're doing?" To which the old, presumably bored man replied, "Oh, everywhere I go I take pictures of urinals. I collect pictures of urinals from all over the world." 
What?!?! Who would've thought... I can't wait to see which of his kids inherits that gem!

Another collection... at my friend's garage sale, a man came up to us and asked, "You don't have any 35 mm cameras do you? I collect them." 
Oh! What an amazing collection you must have since all of us have at least 3 which have died over the course of our lives! Thats like collecting old remote controls:)

As you can see, I don't have much use for *most* collections, but I do respect the right of every individual (outside of my own household) to collect whatever they see fit... Just please don't will it to me:)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


too funny... almost makes me wanna drive a minivan. almost:) I'm not "3 deep" yet, as one of our friends put it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Robin Hood

I know! It's been a LONG TIME since I've been to a movie that not everyone has seen yet! Here it is... Last weekend Ben and I went on a date (thanks Mike and Chalece)! and Ben won out in choosing the movie... I don't love violence, scariness, or stupid flicks... I LOVE Love stories, happy endings, etc. Ben deems these movies "not necessary for the big screen." Thus, the battle goes on... The sad part is, I'm actually with him most of the time... Why spend $9.50 when I could wait a few months and see the same flick with my BFFs for $1 (one dolla)! Anyway, THIS movie, Robin Hood, was totally worth it (granted, we used gift cards, but even if we hadn't, it would've been worth it, I probably would've just insisted on eating at home beforehand!
    So, if you care anything about my movie opinion, there it is. This movie was violent and intense enough for Ben, yet had a really great love story too. I think I also just like the medieval setting as well (and yeah, Russell Crowe and Kate Blanchett were pretty awesome- and this bad guy from LOST).  So, if you're sitting around having this same debate with your husband, let him think he "won!" You won't be too sorry!
    Oh, and you can see the trailer HERE:)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Something Stuck...

Wow! Can we say slacker??? I guess I owe it all to Zach... busier during the day and sleepier at night. I'm not complaining at all!
    Anyway, I will get to the point before I forget to.... The other night we had an FHE devotional with a bunch of dental students (have I mentioned how much I love Ben's school?) Anyway, the doctor (and his wife) that did the lesson is over Ben's dental lab. He and his lovely wife said a lot of really amazing things that I have been thinking about, but one thing has stuck with me all week and probably will for a long time in the future. He quoted Sheri Dew from one of her books. She had asked a general authority how they could tell how close someone was to the Lord. She thought their answer would be textbook like by how much they read their scriptures, etc. Anyway, the general authority said that he could tell how close someone was to the Lord BY HOW THEY TREATED OTHERS. Profound. I have been thinking about this all week. I totally get it. Its not how much we know or how much people know about us. It's not how good we sing or if our kids know all the answers... What really matters is how we treat each other. What a novel idea, huh!
     Looking back through the years and thinking about the most spiritual people I have come into contact with, including general authorities, it is easy to see that people close to the Lord do not care about status or anything worldly about that person. They are far more interested in the individual and recognize them as our brothers and sisters and our Heavenly Fathers children. I'm going to try a little harder to do that too. Sometimes I forget. Especially in a long line with grouchy retired people;)

This experience from Sheri Dew reminded me of President Uchtdorf's talk: I hope you will take a couple minutes to read it. It has truly changed me. Here is one of his promises: "As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."

I don't know that anyone actually reads this blog, but if you do.... I want you to know that I love you and the Lord loves you. He is aware of who you are and what you are going through. He wants to help you and He will, if you will let Him in:) I really am happier and a more receptive person when I am able to serve and show this Christlike love.  

Monday, March 22, 2010


I witnessed something Saturday that really struck me for the first time ever. Well, first off, I actually went shopping with Zach (he didn't really give an opinion on the dresses I tried on, but I guess I'm training him for his future female relationships:) Anyway, as I am searching for a semi-formal dress at 10am on a Saturday in Macy's, a young teenage girl is browsing the formals with her parents. She is clearly MAYBE 13, probably even a little younger... and OF COURSE I eavesdropped... Like I said, it was just me and Zach (and a gillion old people, since no one my age could get their rock star selves out of bed that early)! Party on GenX... Back to the story... The parents are trying to be hip, "Oh, honey look at this cute dress." "This one's super cool." Oh, parents of teens... parents trying so hard... Anyway, as they go along through some pretty promiscuous dresses (short, cleavage, short, etc... not something a 12 year old should wear...) I hear the mom say, "Well, how short did the school say your dress could be?" Really parents of an almost teenager?! Are you going to let a school policy dictate how your child should dress. Scary. I am certainly no expert on raising children, let alone teenagers, but something tells me my children should have standards (and morals) that go beyond the public school system. Anyway, note to self: instill values and standards in my kiddos before they rely on the public school system to do it for them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A first... Chino Bandido Takee Outee

If you are obsessed with the Food Network like I sometimes am and like a sense of adventure, you'll love this:) In the show Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Chino Bandido of our very own Phoenix, was featured. So, of course, it has been on our list of places to check out:) Well, far be it from us to procrastinate anything to do with eating... especially when it comes to Mexican and Chinese fusion. It's like our marriage put to food. Ben LOVES Mexican, I LOVE Chinese. I thought, if this restaurant is successful, our marriage will be too, right? I was also pretty sure this sounded like a, albiet bizarre, WINNER.
     So, off we went into a "Mexi Ghetto" in Phoenix. It took us about 30 minutes or so to drive there, but it is still on our "side" of the valley. The parking lot was totally full, so that's a good sign... As we get our kiddos out of the car, I realized Ike is not wearing shoes. Wow. We are THOSE people! For the record, I had asked him to put on his shoes, he didn't, then Ben whisked him off to the car while I was on the phone with my dad (KU had just won the Big 12 Championship- it was a Big day)!
      Anyway, so since this place literally is a DIVE, we had to carry Ike and Zach through the whole place... ughh. I won't go into that. The restaurant used to be just take out, thus Takee Outee, so you just order at the counter and they bring you your food several hours, I mean, half hours later... The interesting thing is this.. Mexican and Chinese foods are listed on the menu. You have "Jade Red Chicken"- sorta like Orange Chicken at Panda. Anyway, it can be served with fried rice, steamed rice, in a burrito or in a quesadilla. Strange. BUT, interestingly good. Ike happened to LOVE it in a quesadilla! I also ordered "Emerald Chicken" with fried rice, staying true to my chinese love. It was just eh. Ben ordered the largest Chile Relleno I have ever seen (at least 4 inches long)! with fried rice, refried beans and Jade Red Chicken. All the food was good... not great though. I guess the best part for us were the snickerdoodles that come complimentary with every meal. They were worth the wait! Yumm! Anyway, a very bizarre option if you are ever in Phoenix. We'd probably even take you there ourselves, even if it was just for the snickerdoodles! Have you ever come across bizarre restaurants like this in your neck of the woods? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not exactly Redneck, but what??

Ok, so you can find more about our trip to California here, but I just had to post this photo... As we were driving down the freeway in LA, I happened to look in my rear view mirror to find this bad boy. "Quick Ben! Grab the camera!" Yep, that's right, I made my hub dive over the seat to get the perfect shot of this pseudo-mercedes-camper... What a combination. I would call it redneck, but I'm not sure a Mercedes is redneck. But then what?? Ah, to be the one with this clever idea.
"Honey, I'm sick of having a sedan with no leg room. I can't quite get comfortable on my long commute home. I know! I'll take off the top and add a camper. Genius! Now we can camp in the wild jungles of LA!"
"Brilliant!" as Ike would say.
The sad thing is, this may be a sign of the times and the economic crisis of California. Oh the depths to which we are sinking...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Can't forget...

I LOVE a good book. Specifically, I LOVE a book that I can read and remember days, weeks, months later. THIS is one of THOSE books! Three Cups of Tea is an amazing reminder of the POWER one man (or woman) can have in the world. I don't want to spoil it by telling too much and usually I'm not "in" to NonFiction as much, but this just blows my mind. This man, Greg Mortensen has done so much for the people of Eastern Asia and has truly changed my outlook. period. As I was watching the Olympic opening ceremony last week, I couldn't help but think of the teams from this area of the world with a kinder spirit. I WANT them to succeed. I want the whole human race to succeed, but I guess this was a reminder to make this part of the world a little less abstract. Definitely check it out, but be warned... It's going to make you want to do something:)

*disclaimer* this book has lots of foreign names/places, which can be a little distracting at first... power through it! It's totally worth it! Also, check out the link... you can watch videos and read a lot about the mission involved... I am so IN LOVE with this idea:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What do you do when this shows up in the mail???

Yep, guess what came to yours truly in the mail today... I am SO NOT AMUSED Mr. AARP! Just because this year is my 10 YEAR REUNION, doesn't mean I'm quite ready to call it quits! Ok, so I do wish we could just retire and move to Grand Cayman somedays, but come on... I'm pretty sure my aging bones still have a few non-retired days left in them:) Not sure how I got on that list, but looks like we'll be going to IHOP for the EARLY BIRD SPECIAL and getting discounted rates at Marriot:) Come on people! This really STINGS:)-- someone quick... pay me a compliment on how young I am or how I don't have any gray hairs yet... something!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eating Out

Being students this year and living with student loans is really a drag... Ok, it's not THAT bad, but it has put a damper on our ability to eat out:) Here's the thing... everything tastes better if I don't make it. That's not a slam to my abilities, I can make some mean asian cuisine, among other things... However, the fact that I didn't have to "slave over the hot stove" makes it taste better:) Don't you think?
     Well, lucky me (and Ben); We were able to go on a lunch date to Elephant Bar, which happens to be about a mile from our house and the result is.... (drumroll please... ) I'm in L-O-V-E! Ok, first off, the place was carpeted in leopard print- who doesn't love that? It reminded me of a chic restaurant in Vegas, not trashy, chic! Beyond the ambiance, the menu had over 10 ITEMS that I would order! That's amazing! I'm not picky, but I am a bit of a foodie, and a health foodie too. I love that this menu offers everything that comes with rice to come with brown rice as an alternative. ALSO- my dish- Cashew Shrimp something... had only about 1/2 cup of brown rice, so it wasn't super carb-y. It had almost a POUND of shrimp, though. AND we're not just talking shrimp, but fresh, tender NON CHEWY shrimp. I'm in LOVE with Ben, but may have to make room in my heart for that SHRIMP!
     Anyway, if you see an Elephant Bar, I've heard some in Colorado aren't that good, but the one in Peoria ROCKS! Let me know what you think...

Oh, Ben's meal was good too, but my was clearly the WINNER!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'll Be Happy When...

      I, like I'm sure most of you, have uttered these shameless four words... I will be happy when... I will be happy when we finally get into school... when I can finally stay home with my boys... when I have this baby... when my baby sleeps through the night... when I lose five pounds... when we are done with school... when the weekend comes... when my house is clean... when I move to a bigger house... when I can afford__... and the list goes on. I think I have uttered this phrase too often to lately. In fact, it tends to sneak up on me and make me feel not so great about myself. Well, my thick skull just may be getting somewhere now... I am going to make a conscious effort to be happy now. today. tomorrow. everyday from now on. and yesterday too!
      I guess it's not that I'm particularly unhappy now. It's more that I'm always looking forward to the future and not really savoring Right Now like I should. After all, I am 27 years old. This is my prime. When did I forget that? When is there ever going to be a better time than today or tomorrow or everyday after that?
      The one exception to my lack of savoring is with my boys. I want to hit the pause button on the remote control with them ALL THE TIME and just take in what has happened, whether it be hilarious (like when Ike was pretending he was a real estate agent showing me around his room to see if I would buy it, even though he pretended he had just "created" the mocha paint on the wall... or when I peek around the corner to see Ike making Zach laugh hysterically)... or when I realize that I just got upset with little boy for doing something he shouldn't... like throwing an apple across the room where it SPLATTED on the tile floor. I love and cherish these moments like you wouldn't believe.
      It is the rest of life that I find myself trying to move forward and look beyond. This, my friends, is not good. I guess I'm writing this post more to remind myself in the coming days and months, and even years, that I am going to be happy right now for this minute. I will be happy with who I am not who I will be when I have more time, or more money or more ambition. I think I'm, like you, constantly pushing myself to be more and that's ok. BUT, it's not ok to hold off on life until you are that person. It's always easier to see in other people, so let me use an outside example... I have a friend who just moved to a new town (this really isn't me... it just sounds similar:) really. My friend just moved into their first house (a great accomplishment) and she wants to make new friends. She has thought many times about inviting people over for a dinner party, but told me the other day... "I will do a get together, but right now I'm too embarrassed by our front door, so I'll wait 'til we paint it or get a new one, then I'll meet people and be happier here." Who are we kidding? Since when do our friends or future friends judge us by standards like a front door, or 5 extra pounds, or how tender our pot roast is or how well our furniture matches? What kind of friends would those be anyway? Today is the day to start off being happy and living my life (and you yours:) for who you are... accomplishing what YOU want and what you are INSPIRED to do... not because life is perfect and you finally have the time and energy or right color of front door, but because it is what you were meant to do and NO ONE can take your place.
     I hope this makes a teeny bit of sense. I guess what I'm getting at is this. I'm going to be happy. Even if I'm not as buff as I'd like to be right now or even if  the feng shui in my house does not flow as perfectly as I'd like or my hair does not have the body that it did last week. I'm going to try my best to look past all of my imperfections and BE HAPPY that this is my life. I sure don't want it to pass me by because you know what? It's pretty good:)
     Is anyone else feeling me?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Redbox Movies of December

So, in the midst of my Christmas "Break" I had the opportunity to watch a couple chick flicks with my momma (finally!) Anyway, I will give you a short run-down, even though I'm pretty sure most people on the planet are ahead of me on these:)

The Proposal- cute... a classic chick flick, with some good humor... I actually could've really liked this without the partial nudity scene (yikes!) Anyway, if you have some way to keep that out, it's a classic, feel good, the world's o.k. sorta movie:)

Julie and Julia- I thought I was gonna love this and Ben would hate it... Turns out I fell asleep on 3 separate  occasions trying to get through this one! I liked the story line, but it was a littly e dry and I realized I just can't handle Meryl Streep's vocal impression of Julia Child. It did make me hungry though:)

Four Christmases- another cute, classic chick flick comedy. The comedy was good, so Ben liked it too! Very lighthearted... the kind that you are almost embarrassed you rented, but then you throw all caution to the wind and think, "Whatever Walmart Redbox Renters, I don't care what you think of me, I'm renting it before you get your greedy paws on it!" Then you turn around and realize it's someone in your ward that you're gonna see tomorrow and decide to use the Redbox at Circle K next time you rent something you don't want everyone to know about:) True Story!

Angels and Demons- ok, this is my kind of action flick. Yeah, transformers blah blah blah. I can stomach that, but I really like believable story lines about things I care about. Like religion. Ok, so it's a stretch, but I can buy into the idea for a couple of hours. I think I should've probably watched it twice, if it wouldn't have been 1 am by the time we finished... Anyway, good flick. I recommend it to any of my non-catholic, or rebel catholic friends. You know who you are:)

I guess I should also mention New Moon, though it wasn't at redbox. If you haven't seen it. You should. Shame on your Robert Pattinson hating heart! It was good. I thought the storyline stuck well with the book and actually liked watching this movie more than reading book 2. It flowed well and didn't dwell too much on the ensuing depression. Let me say this. I'm still not a Jacob fan and I thought that Edward could've had a better bod too, but I'm not really in to that part anyway. If you get caught up in the physicality, then it is what it is. I, on the other hand, like the storyline. And in this case, it was worth it. Granted, I went to the matinee on Thanksgiving morning and only paid $5. Hey, we're in school, give my desperate self a break!
That's it for December... I guess it's been a long fall without movies! If you have any suggestions for my soon to be lonely, single parent self (ok, not literally, but widowed by dental school for sure!) Let me know. I'm open to suggestion.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toys and the Winter Let Down

Ok, once again... I need some HELP! It seems that Santa was extra generous this year and brought WAY more toys than we ever needed. Ok, so grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends helped (thank you) but now what? We had some friends over for dinner tonight and their kids, along with Ike, really did a number on his room:) While I'm glad they could entertain themselves for a couple of hours while we hung out like real adults (doesn't happen very often!) I wish that there wasn't SUCH a mess to clean up afterwards. I actually felt a little embarassed that they could pull so much out and that our friends had to help for 15 minutes while we all put things back together... So, what do we do? The kids love all their toys. AND the likelihood of us getting any other new toys before next Christmas is very slim... I'm thinking about putting some away and rotating (just like at the Open School). I just hope I remember to rotate them! Any other suggestions? I would hate to donate them all to starving Ethiopian children, but I'm trying to think of something here!!

Also, we are now officially entering the winter let down. Festivities are over. Decorations are coming down and Ben's back into school full swing tomorrow morning... Ugghh. I don't remember what it was like to be on our normal schedule and I'm not sure I want to go back to the way things were... We'll see... I feel like I need something else to be excited about soon:) Maybe I have seasonal depression, but it certainly can't be from lack of sunlight. I live in Phoenix for Pete's sake!