Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Michael's Alien Birthday!

 This year was the first year that we got to celebrate Michael's birthday with him since he only joined our family last October.  He wanted an alien party.  That's harder to do than I thought it would be.

First, he played laser tag and went bowling with his friends.  Then they came home and made aliens out of green playdough.  Surprisingly, the boys all loved this part and the fact that they got to keep the playdough.
 Then they had an alien football cake.  When it was dark, they went outside to throw a flying saucer Frisbee into hula hoop targets that we pretended were planets.  The Frisbee glowed and had flashing lights.  It was very cool.  Then they played inside with glow sticks and flashlights until it was bedtime.

But the drama didn't end there.  One of Michael's guests, "A", doesn't handle sleepovers well.  After several hours of phone calls to his parents and trying to sleep, he went home around 2am.  It was a very long night.  But Michael said it was the best party ever, so I'm calling it a success.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Youth Group Camping Trip

 Danya went on her first ever youth group camping trip this summer.  I was so nervous letting her go.  Shannon, our babysitter, said she'd be there, and also our friend, James, who is a police officer in Denver.  She had a great time, even though it was crazy windy and rained on the last day.  It's so hard seeing her enter the world of teenagers.  This is her last year before she officially becomes a teen.  She is so mature and I'm so very proud of her.
 I feel like lately she has become someone that I can talk to and treat more like a friend.  There are still days when she gets in trouble or displays a bad attitude, but we talk about it and she usually comes to me and apologizes for her behavior.  I think she's becoming an amazing young woman and I can't wait to see her future... well, maybe I wouldn't mind if she holds on to childhood just a little longer.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Angry Birds Birthday!

 For Shane's 8th birthday this year we got to have an Angry Birds party.  I was so glad he chose this theme, because it looked like so much fun!  We had fun decorating the cake and setting up blocks with pig balloons for them to knock over.  I drew an Angry Birds character on each kid's cheek.  They actually turned out pretty good with those face paint crayons.

Shane was happy that his friend, Esi, who lives down the street came.  Esi gave him an awesome gift; an Angry Birds toy and a t-shirt.  Gloria even decorated one of Shane's gifts to look like the exploding bomb bird.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fishy Friends

 Since Brianna's friend, Kensey, was staying the night with us, we decided to do something fun and go to the Denver Aquarium.  This will probably be the only year we ever have aquarium passes, so we're trying to get as much use out of them as possible.

We were really glad that we happened to be there just in time to see the mermaid show.  Brianna loves that.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Free at Last!

I finally learned how to style Karyie's hair so that she can leave it free for a few days without it getting horribly tangled.  It's a process called "shingling" or "rake and shake" that involves doing small sections at a time and adding a product like Kinky Curly curling custard to define the curls.  She loves it!  Thanks to Rory, from Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care for the "how to".

Friday, July 20, 2012

Splashing Good Time!

 Spending time at the Peter Pan Park on a wonderfully hot hot summer day in July.  What could be better?  Well, maybe bringing water squirters that Grandma gave them and beach buckets to soak each other.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


 At the Smurf movie with friends.  The kids had seen it before, but it was fun to see it on the big screen at Harkins Theater.  They went around turning words into "Smurf words" for days.  The photos are blurry because they were taken on a cell phone.  But in my opinion, any photo is better than none.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Homeschool Paperwork Organization

I'm trying out a new system for keeping track of the kids' work this year.  They each have a daily school work chart that is in a page protector.  Using a dry erase marker that's in a zippered pouch connected to the binder the charts are kept in, they have to check off their work as they do it.  Obviously, not every subject on the list is covered every day, but it all gets covered within a two day period.

When they are done with their school day, they bring the work binder to me for approval.  Then they transfer the info to the main school work file on our computer (the top half of the photo).  After they fill out a month's worth of school days, we'll print it and add it to the binder.  So, by the end of the year, they should be able to look back and see exactly what they got done and how many days we did school this year. 

I'm hoping it will help us be more consistent, see if there are any problem areas, and help the kids to feel more like they have some control of their school day.  They are able to do about half the work on their own, so they can get their school day over with faster.  Also, after they fill out the main school work file each day, they get to write their name on a piece of paper and put it in the drawing box.  We do a nightly drawing.  They can get their name in for good behavior, good attitude, helpfulness and self-motivation.  If they win, they can either pick a prize from the prize box or stay up half an hour past bedtime with mom and dad.  It's a pretty good motivator.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gymnastics Party!

 Shane and Kevin went to a gymnastics birthday party for their friend, Samuel.  That's the boy that we think of as Shane's twin or doppelganger.  I couldn't stick around for the party, but they told me they got to jump in the giant foam pit, which is the highlight of any gymnastics party at Gymnastics Unlimited.  Then they ran around outside with the other boys until it was time to go home.  Best part for me?  They were exhausted and ready to quietly watch a movie when they got home.  Parent bonus!

Meeting the Nestle Quick Bunny

Dress Up Time!

 Katie and Karyie like to play dress up.  Sometimes they are princesses, or mommies, or cheerleaders, or super heroes.  Every once in a while they come out as puppies or zombies (Thanks to our Plants vs. Zombies Xbox game) or characters from some movie or show they saw on Netflix.  I'm glad they have such fertile imaginations and like to dream about what they could be someday.  Although I worry about the college bill, I like it when Katie pretends to be Dr. Katie.  My fears were relieved, sort of, the other day when she said, "Mommy?  You know what I want to be when I grow up?  A maid, so I can go in people's houses and make their beds and clean their toilets."  I guess she's basing her career plans on what she sees me doing all the time.  At least she'd get paid for it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bowling with Friends

 Our Sunday school class planned a bowling night together.  Daniel and I don't really bowl.  We've probably been a handful of times in the sixteen years we've been married.  We actually did okay, considering our lack of practice.  We were well matched with the people in our group and managed to have a fun time.  Daniel likes to do the whole professional bowler moves thing.  I just tried to get a good running start and pray it down the lane.  My gutter balls only slightly outnumbered my strikes, so I figure it's a good strategy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mystery Super Hero Party

 Danya and Gloria were invited to a mystery super hero party by their friend, Sarah.  It was like one of those "Who Done It?" mystery dinners.  They were each assigned a character to play.  Gloria was the Jester, Danya was Electra, the doctor by day and electricity wielding super hero by night, the unspoken leader of the super hero league.  They both said it was a lot of fun and that their friends went all out for the characters.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Teen Party

 Why?  Because it's fun and because we wanted to do something special with our favorite teenagers before they all grow up and move away.  We allowed our older girls to join in.  We played Scruples, the game where you ask your friends tough moral decision questions and guess what their answer will be.  It was surprisingly fun.  Then we played a game that gives you one liners and short scenes to act out.  And, of course, we recorded it.  It's called Camcorder Helper.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Frontier City 2012

 My brother, Shane, and his fiancee, Ashley, joined us at Frontier City for a little while so that we could all meet Ashley for the first time.  She is very friendly and seemed to enjoy our big crazy family.  She definitely likes kids.  Shane bought all the kids drinks and both of them didn't mind riding with the little ones on the log ride and the bumper cars.  It was a very hot day again, but we all had a great time!