Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Traditions- Christmas Eve

One tradition that we look forward to all year long is our Formal Christmas Eve Dinner. We had a 7 course meal this year. It was such fun, and a great way to teach manners and how to behave in various situations. I tried to keep it simple and nothing that required too much prep. time.

Course 1- Appetizers- we had crackers and cheese in the Parlor (ok- so really it was in the "toy room") and worked on small talk, and how to carry on conversations with others.
Course 2- Shrimp cocktail (and cocktail dogs, for my non-shrimp eating boys)
Course 3- Salad- we had a delicious Spinach salad with pomegranites and shredded carrots.
Course 4- Soup- I made this delicious Onion soup in the crockpot

Course 5- Sorbet (pineapple sherbet around here)
Course 6- The Main dish- we had Roast Beef and Broccoli.
Course 7- Dessert! Pumpkin PieAfter our Formal Dinner- we open 1 present on Christmas Eve- and's ALWAYS pajamas and a book. (though I'm not sure any of the boys have made this connection except Bug)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dec. Field Trip

We love our Homeschool Group, and the many activities that are planned. Today we went on a Field trip to a Japanese Restaurant and Sushi bar. We don't eat out real often, and when we do- it's definately not to a Sushi Bar ;) So we'd never had Sushi. I've been preparing my boys since we learned where the field trip was, that they would need to try Sushi. We've let them know that there will be times in their life when they'll need to try foods that they aren't familiar with, and this would be a good experience to practice.
Here he's explaining some of the various ingredients that go into his Sushi.
Roo thought this was pretty- cool- Octopus. Doodle volunteered to try Sushi first, I didn't get a pic of him, but he quickly decided he didn't like Sushi. I'm proud of him for trying it, and being so eager to be first. Bug wasn't so sure. I made him eat a 2nd piece so I could get a picture of him eating it. lol- Meanie mom- huh.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Journey to the Center of the Earth Study

Bug has been going strong on his State Studies for quite a while. He only has about 8 states left to do, and while he's enjoyed them (and has become a real expert on where you should visit if you go to a certain state, and how many LDS Temples are in each state) he's getting excited to be done with them. He's taking a break for December (as we always take a break in December anyway) But he's doing a simple unit on Journey to the Center of the Earth for fun. So Ben found these great resources- Vocabulary words for each chapter, along with writing assignments- at And this way cool Science Activity guide that goes along with the movie- Bug is enjoying this book- and really liked the first writing assignment- Make up a cryptogram message.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Traditions- Temple Square Lights

One of our family's favorite Christmas Traditions is to go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City and see the Christmas Lights and Nativity displays there

We rode down to Salt Lake on the Frontrunner train. The Boys all thought that was pretty cool, and we liked not having to fight Salt Lake Traffic. :D
Us on the Train:
Roo and TrishDoodle (who of COURSE is not looking at the camera), Bug and Pam. The Lights are simply amazing! We read in the Friend Magazine- that they begin putting lights up the end of August, and get them all taken down by the beginning of April. This is always my favorite Tree. It's HUGE and just covered with lights.
Walking around looking at the various Nativity displays.
Our family by the Reflecting Pond. Need to play around with Elements, and see if I can fix this picture.

Christmas Traditions- Santa's Lap

Tuesday night was our church Christmas Party, and we had a great time. Delicious pizza, breadsticks, salads and all the yummy desserts you can imagine. But the kids were most excited for the visit from Santa. Well- Bug and Doodle were excited. Roo was terrified. As Santa came in the door, he walked right past our table, looked right at Roo, and waved and him, and Roo just shrunk. Though I will have to say- he did better this year than last. Last year- Roo wouldn't even LOOK at Santa- or be on the same side of the room as Santa. So no pic of Roo on Santa's lap.
Doodle asked Santa for a Nerf Gun.
Bug asked for either a tent or a Harry Potter Computer game

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Traditions- the Tree

I have been a total slacker with my blog lately. I'm repenting, and here's some recent pics.

One of our favorite Family Traditions is to go and cut down our Christmas Tree. We went on Saturday with Ben's sister, Amber and her family. Thanks for the Wild goose Chase- Amber! ;)

We found an amazing tree. No- it's not quite the 18 feet tall that last year's was. Only 14 feet. But it's just perfect- as the Angel is perfectly centered in the top window. Here's the tree in the back of the truck (well, kinda in the back- I guess it's mostly on TOP of the truck) Oops- I missed the top 6 inches of the tree in this pic. oh well.

The kids love to pull out the Santa hat to wear while we are decorating the tree. Then the hat has to go on the Elk on the wall, otherwise they fight all season long over who gets to play with the hat. (It'd probably be eaiser to just buy each of them their own hat- huh)
I LOVE this picture of Doodle! He's always so hard to get a picture of- but this one turned out so darn cute. It shows his mischievious little grin.
I can't believe Bug has grown so much. He's such a great kid. So responsible, and always looking out for his younger brothers.
And my "baby" Roo. A neighbor at church mentioned on Sunday that he's lost that "baby look" and he's starting to look like a little boy. Yup- he's growin up.
Bug- Decorating the tree.Doodle, standing on the bar stool- to reach to decorate higher on the tree.

Doodle and Roo hanging their ornaments- We used the craft stick ornaments we made last year, and some red balls. It looks good.The completed tree. Ben was worried there wouldn't be enough lights on it. I told him with a tree this big, it's not the lights that make it great- it's simply the size. :D

Monday, November 30, 2009

Arches Vacation

After Thanksgiving Dinner- Ben, the kids and I headed out on an adventure. We were trying to find somewhere close to go explore that we'd never been. We decided to give Arches National Park a try. Thursday night we drove as far as Price, and stayed in a hotel there. Friday morning we got up early and drove to Arches National Park. We got the kids the Jr. Ranger books, so they could earn the badges. Roo was so excited- usually he's too young for them- but Arches starts at age 4- so even he could do it.

First we went on a short hike out to Balancing Rock. Any time there was a rock that looked somewhat climbable- 3 boys were up on top of it in a matter of seconds.We took a hike out to Delicate Arch. What a view. and (yikes! Hang on tight Roo!)Some Indian Petroglyphs on the way to Delicate Arch.
Hiking up the trailThe boys all completed their Jr. Ranger Badges- The Ranger is swearing them in as Jr. Rangers. We spent the night in Moab, and got up early Saturday morning. We set out on a l-o-n-g hiking trail- called Devil's Garden trail. This is Tunnel Arch. I think this was Double O Arch- or rather the bottom half of Double O arch."But Mom, I'm tired of carrying the water backpack!" Says Doodle.Yes- this was the TRAIL! Up the cliff. Hang on tight (again) Roo!
What a view- a sidewalk in the sky. Just don't get too close to either edge of the sidewalk. Ben sketching at a rest stop along the trail. We each took our sketch pads, and will include our drawings in our nature journals later this week.The end of the trail! We made it- Dark Angel rock formation.We'd planned on trying a couple of more short hikes Sat. Afternoon- but after this one (which was marked strenuous) and totaled around 7 miles (yes- even 4 yr old Roo hiked it- all but maybe 1/4 mile on the way back down when he rode on dad's shoulders.) We were all pretty exhausted. So we went for a ride, and found some more ancient Indian Petroglyphs. They don't show up too well in the pics- but we thought they were amazing.

Sunday morning we found a church, and went to Sacrament meeting before hopping in the car and heading home. It was a great adventure, and we're looking forward to more hiking adventures.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Few Field trip pics

We had 2 great field trips last week. First off- our local homeschool group went on a tour of the Pizza place.
We learned all about making pizza and breadsticks. It was a great field trip (and yummy too!)

On Friday- we went with Pam to Thanksgiving Point to their Museum of Ancient HistoryFeeding Doodle to the Megaladon

Roo checking out some of the fossils.HA!! Got a Pic of Doodle. So he's sticking his tongue out.... it's still a picture of his face! lolBuilding Dinosaurs. This exhibit was WAY cool. It was a great time- Thanks Pam!