Monday, April 28, 2008


So the other morning, Sage had gotten up pretty early and pulled out a bunch of toys in her room to play with. When I went into her later on and told her to clean things up before she could have breakfast, we got into quite a debate over who cleaned the house more, me or Sage. I should have kept my mouth shut. Anyway, when we finally got to breakfast, Sage said the blessing and asked, “And please bless Mommy so she won’t be so mean.” This parenting stuff is pretty crazy—new challenges and funny moments like that one every day. Sage was also doing something silly with her food the other day, and I asked her what she was doing. She replied, “Oh, just being my little self.” I love it.

Oh, the chicks are still alive, if you can believe. They’re ugly and mangy with their feathers growing in right now, but the kids still love them.

Jacob’s brother and his wife came to visit from Arizona this past week with their 3 cute kids. Kalei is Sage’s age so they had a blast playing with each other. They really wore each other out, I think. One night they had an all-out pillow fight. Pretty funny to watch. And Talon is Kei’s age, and they just followed each other around. I sure wish we lived closer to all the cousins so they could play more together. Anyway, it was a really fun visit. We did the Pueblo, drove the Enchanted Circle (where we discovered the fish hatchery which was great fun—the kids thought it was the neatest to feed the trout), saw the big old Rio Grande bridge, and Jacob and Justin went out hiking around for antlers one morning. Maile and I took the girls over to Twirl for storytime and craft one afternoon and came home to find all the boys sitting on the couch watching a hunting video. It made me laugh. In an effort to catch the culture of this crazy place, Jacob whipped up some really good fry bread, and we attempted to make tortillas again. They were a little bit better than our first attempt a few months ago, but we still have a lot of room for improvement. I guess that means we’ve got to stick around here for a while longer. Anway, I think everyone had a good time. So, start planning your trips to Taos. We’re all about visitors.

Ok—So here’s the skinny on the preschool stuff. Since we’ve moved here, I have been doing a “preschool” with 2 other moms who have 5 year old daughters. We rotate each week, so every 3rd Tuesday, I have the girls from 9:30 to 12:30. Everyone brings their own lunch, and we have a different theme each week. For example, I’ve got preschool this week, and we’re doing “Cinco de Mayo.” We’re going to read some short books about the history of the holiday, make piƱatas, guitars from boxes and elastics (our own little Mariachi band), Mexican flags from gluing colored rice, and try to make homemade tortillas yet again since they won’t care if they don’t taste that good! We’re going to also learn a few Spanish words, maybe counting to five or something like that, mainly because I just want to learn Spanish! So this preschool set-up has been really good for us, especially since formal preschools around here are so costly. Sage has a great time just playing with friends and learning a few things too. And I don’t mind a few hours with just Keiger. The bummer is that we’ll lose the other two girls in the fall to kindergarten, so I’d like to continue if we find some other kids Sage’s age who are interested.

A few weeks ago, we had water day. Here are some of the other activities we did. They all come from the book, “Water Wonders.” It is part of a “Fun Projects for Kids to Do” series by Better Homes and Gardens. They’re really cute. The “Dandy Dinosaurs” gave me super fun craft ideas for crafts for storytime at the library last week. You can make darling…I mean scary, T-Rex snouts to tie around your face from a paper cup. Who’d a thought? I have this goal of compiling all of these cute activities into one big resource book since they are all just stuffed in file folder.

Anyway, here comes our tried and tested fun water fun:

“Rainbow Goop”

¾ c. water
1 package unflavored gelatin (inexpensive)
3 custard cups or bowls
Red, yellow, and blue food coloring

“In small saucepan, stir together water and gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Cook and stir over low heat about 3 minutes or till gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat. Divide the mixture evenly among the 3 custard cups (about ¼ cup each). Add 3 to 5 drops red food coloring to 1 of the custard cups. Stir to mix well. Repeat with remaining gelatin with yellow and blue food coloring. Chill in the refrigerator 5 minutes or till partially set, stirring mixture during chilling.”

Now you can put some of each color of good into a plastic baggie and let the kids squeeze it all around, or you can experiment with mixing colors. For example, put a little red and a little blue in a baggie and let the kids see what color it makes when they squish it around. Very fun.

Paper Boats
You’re just going to have to look on page 20 of the book to see the easy directions for folding papers boats that float just long enough for the kids to have fun.

Drip-Dry Pictures
Fill up some small bowls with water. Add food coloring to the bowls to make whatever colors you want. Fold up a paper towel or square piece of scrap fabric several times till it is small and manageable. Dampen the towel or material, but squeeze out extra water. Dip one corner of the material into a color and repeat with each corner into a different color. When you unfold the towel, there will be a fun tye-dye pattern. We thankfully got through this project with no one getting dye on their clothes!

Bubbling Bubble Machines
Fill a small cup with ½ c. water and 1 T. liquid soap. Cover the cup with tin foil. Put two small holes in the tin foil, and put a straw through one of the holes. Blow into the straw and bubbles with ooze out of the other hole. Just be careful not to suck! I learned that one from experience!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chicks and water day

So a few weeks ago, Jacob went out with the missionaries, and he came home so excited. I thought something had gone really well with one of the lessons. Truth be told, he had been talking with one of the sisters in the ward about chickens. This sister had just bought some chicks to raise as egg-layers. Apparently, Jacob thought this was the coolest idea ever, so this week we purchased 3 of our own little chicks, which Sage has lovingly named: Spotty, Chick-Chick, and Dotey (I actually thought of that one). Right now, they are living in the garage under a heat lamp until it’s warm enough to put them outside in a coop that Jacob is constructing. In about 4 months, they should start laying eggs. Oh, the adventures we get into! Who knows how this will work out, but for now the kids are having great fun with their new little pets. They are cute, but a bit stinky. In fact, Jacob is just showing me this home video he took of Sage doing her “Welcome Chick” song and dance in the garage. Wish you could see it, it’s pretty funny.
I had preschool at my house this week which was sooo fun because we discovered this book, “Water Wonders” that had the neatest ideas of stuff to do with water. We had all sorts of fun experiments that kept us busy all morning. The “Bubbling Bubble Machine” was particularly fantastic. Just add a tablespoon liquid soap into ½ cup water in a cup. Cover the cup with tin foil. Punch a straw through the foil, then punch out another hole. Blow through the straw and tons of bubbles come out the hole. I know I had more fun than the kids did during this preschool morning. Let me know if you want any of the other cute ideas in the book. It’s crazy how much more fun I have with my kids if I just take the time to do some creative activities with them. It keeps us from getting bored, and I know Sage really thrives on it. She’s been a bit restless lately, anxious to learn new things and grow, I think. Grandma actually discovered some computer games for her. It’s remarkable how computer savvy these little guys are. It took me a few minutes to teach Sage how to use the mouse and navigate this Sesame Street art workshop program, and she was off! I can’t believe how quickly she picked up using the computer.
Jacob was out of town for work a few days this week riding horses somewhere, so the kids and I had plenty of time to play together. Here’s a great pic of Keiger with the paper wings Sage wanted to make. I love his belly-rub. I really think she believed in her cute little heart that those wings would make her fly. Keiger’s saying some more words now. He just added “ear” and “eye” to his vocabulary today. Most of the time though, he says, “azab, azab, abadaba.” Pretty funny to listen to.
We were ready to get some stuff done in the yard yesterday, but woke up to a couple inches of snow. I love it. It did melt off by the afternoon.