Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pogo Progress

Scarlett has been practicing jumping on her pogo stick since she got it on Christmas morning and has really made some improvement. When she got it on Thursday, she was lucky to get two or three bounces. Now on Saturday she can do well over 100.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting up to date

We had a great Thanksgiving. I'm not going to type all the details, because I think my sister did a good job of it at her site here: , , .
A few things I will mention about the trip is first, we had tons of fun. The kids loved playing with their cute cousins, and John and I had fun playing games with Liz and Brian and my mom too. A few kids got throw-up sick, not fun. It wasn't really warm in Arizona. It was raining the day we drove down and kind of rainy on Thanksgiving. Then it was cool the rest of the time. Not what I imagined at all. The scenery going down to AZ from UT is amazing. There is so much diversity in the landscape it was really pretty to see it all. Not that the kids saw any of it (except when we stopped and made them look at the Glen Canyon Dam, and tail end of the Grand Canyon, which they thought was cool). They were watching movies on the DVD player for most of the time anyway. Dante travelled pretty well this time. Here is a funny story about him. We had brought a box of juices to drink in the car and planned on using them on the way home. THey were just sitting next to Dante's chair by the door the whole trip. While we were driving home, Dante demanded juice and I looked for the box and couldn't find it where we had it. John hadn't moved it either, so we didn't know where it went. Dante kept demanding juice and didn't want water, but we couldn't do anything about it. Later, when we were almost home, I talked to Liz and asked her if they found a box of juices on their driveway or something because it must have fallen out of the car. She told us when we were loading the car the night before, Dante had brought in the box of juices and set it with their boxes of juices in the kitchen. She didn't question why he did it, and we didn't know he did, so at least Liz got the juice and it didn't fall out of the car in the middle of Arizona somewhere when we stopped. What a good helper, doing things without being asked to! Aren't we lucky parents. He does really like to help out.

Now, I wish we had taken more pictures along the way. We saw some really pretty mountain/rock formations near Bryce Canyon and Zion's National Park. We will just have to go back some day to see all that again.

Only 2 more weeks until Christmas, and the kids are really excited. We seem to always be super busy with activities and this week we still have 2 performances at the school, and a ward service project/party. Hopefully we will remember to take pictures of these events and post about them later. I am really thankful for the season and how it reminds us about the Savior and his birth. I am in charge of sharing time in Primary this month, and even though it is super hard for me to be in front of a big group, last Sunday went pretty smooth. I was thinking the other day that I actually am enjoying serving in the Primary Presidency, even though it was always a calling I dreaded having. We have tons of fun as a presidency and I really do love all the kids. Sharing time I think will always be a little hard, but everything else makes it all worth the effort.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas in Salt Lake City

For the transplanted Utahns, here's a little video of the Temple Square Christmas lights from last year.

Hope everyone is having a merry Christmas season.

And here's another montage from this year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Give the Lord equal time."

I just read an article in the Deseret News about a fireside that Elder Ballard gave. In it, he mentioned that he spoke with a guy that was losing his testimony after reading anti-mormon literature. Elder Ballard asked him how much he was reading the Book of Mormon and he replied that he hadn't read it in a while. After 10 days of reading every day, he no longer had any doubts. Elder Ballard said "Give the Lord equal time."


Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Ghouls

John and I organized Valerie's class party this year, and we decorated sugar skulls (Mexican tradition for the Days of the Dead). We made the sugar skulls and the royal icing to decorate them with. The kids had fun decorating them in the class, and we had a few left over, so we decorated them at home after school. Also, Valerie and a group of friends planned and got permission to dance in front of the school to the Ghostbusters theme song at school. They danced it again at the class party, and this pic is from that. They each had parts choreographed and brought a strobe light. They also sprayed silly string at the audience. Very thorough preparation. They did a good job.

Hike to the Y

We haven't posted in a while. A few weeks ago, when John was off work, we decided to hike to the Y on the mountain near our home. The girls had never done this yet, and really wanted to go, so we did. It is a good thing we didn't have any other plans that day because it took a while. When we started, Dante walked for about 2 minutes then stated he was tired. I almost made John go back to the car with him and just wait, but we thought he could make it. There are 10 switchbacks on the trail to get up to the Y, so we would just try to make it to the next switchback and take a rest. Ella and Scarlett practically ran all the way up there from excitement. Dante had a harder time and wanted to be held, but we made him walk and held his hand most of the way up and back.

We took a longer break and ate snacks when we got to the top. It was really steep though and we were afraid Dante would fall, so we made sure everyone was sitting when we were on the Y.

The way back down was of course faster, but Ella did trip ( might have been on the way up actually) and skin her knees and hands.

This sign is at the beginning of the trail but we took the pic at the end, probably the cause of Ella's face. The kids were troopers and made it. Afterwards, we went to the BYU Creamery on 9th and got grilled cheese sandwiches, fries and ice cream.
It was hard and fun. We probably won't do it again until few more years go by

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rome LDS Temple Site

A guy I know on the website for RMs that went to Rome visited recently and was shown the site for the new temple. It's on the edge of town. For more pictures, check out this link.

Here's another site with a ton more pictures and a little backstory about the property.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UEA weekend

This weekend is UEA weekend, where the teachers are supposed to go to a statewide conference and the kids get a couple of days off from school. Our school also has Monday off for a teacher work day, so this is going to be a really long weekend. Since John has to work, and he is leaving Sunday night for a conference in Texas, we can't really go anywhere. So today, we did this:

I was inspired by Kristen's friend who made gourmet carmel apples a few years back (Kristen shared them with us). They were so good and I have always wanted to try making them on my own. So ours are dipped in carmel and then dipped in nuts, or m & m's or Snickers, and then have milk chocolate and dark chocolate on them. We haven't eaten them yet, but I'm sure they will be really good. How can you go wrong with carmel and chocolate? You can't.
I also took the kids out to lunch, which we never get to do when they are in school. We had a good time.

Tomorrow John actually has off with his 9 day on 1 day off schedule, so we might go hike to the Y, since the girls have expressed interest in doing that. They may wish they never suggested it after they are half way up though. I guess you have to hike the Y at least once when you live in Provo/Orem.
Also, John plans on putting up the Halloween stuff in the yard tomorrow. More pics will follow on that I'm sure.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stop-motion or real?

Can you tell if this video is done with stop-motion miniatures or if it's real?

Bathtub II from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Conference Tradition

What a good conference weekend! I really enjoyed the talks and because I don't take notes ( I know I should, but it is hard with kids) I can't remember who said what. But I do remember certain themes that stuck in my mind. I liked the reaction President Monson got when he announced the temples and also all his talks. I also liked Elder Wirthlin's talk about simplifying your life ( I think it was him). Someone mentioned laughing at things that happen instead of having other reactions (might also have been Wirthlin) which was cute, but John says I shouldn't laugh at the kids when we are playing games. We played a game of Mario Party 8 during the break and it was funny. I really loved when the choir sang Faith in Every Footstep; I love that song. There are too many talks to remember, which is why they print it later, but it was all good.

Our family has a tradition of making cinnamon rolls every conference and the kids really look forward to it. John and I started this tradition when we were dating. On Sunday, Valerie even told her Primary teachers about it, who then teased us and asked when they would get theirs. I told them you have to watch conference with us if you want the cinnamon rolls. Which is true for everybody. If you come watch conference with us, I'll make cinnamon rolls for you. But you have to sit with four kids not paying attention very well. It is quite a struggle, but the cinnamon rolls are really good!

We have had pretty constant rain for the last 2 days, except for this afternoon when the sun came out for a little while. This week our bishopric came over for a family visit and we gave them some raspberry jam I made that day. Today during the break one of the counsellors called me and asked if he could bring the kids over some scones filled with our jam and topped with whipped cream. He lives behind us to the left so he said he would hand them over the fence. He is putting the whipped cream on a scone in the pic. I thought it was cute.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What is Twitter?

Some of you may have noticed the sidebar of the left that lists my recent Twitter updates and may have wondered what Twitter is or what it's for. Check out this video that has a simple explanation of Twitter and what it's all about.

If you sign up for Twitter, let me know so I can follow you. You can follow me by going here

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ready for Halloween

Ready for Halloween
Originally uploaded by mrklaw
Someone in our family is ready for Halloween now.

New Shelves

John and I put up some new shelves in the girls' room. They line 2 walls of the room and the girls are putting their pottery, statues, nicknacks, and other random things that they don't want touched up there. I am happy with the way they turned out. Now we need to get their room new blinds. You can see the peacock embroidery we found at a garage sale on the wall as well.

The influence of friends...

This week some of my friends invited me to come on a hike with them. I haven't hiked in years, so I guess I really didn't know what to expect. They also didn't really explain much about where we were going or what it was like. Anyway, we went to Pleasant Grove and a trail head called Grove Creek Canyon. It was pretty much uphill the entire 2 1/2 miles to where we stopped by a stream. It was really pretty and there were waterfalls from the stream. Going down was quicker, but we kept slipping on the rocks. I was so sore Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was really hard hiking up, but was also a lot of fun and I'm glad I went.
This is where we stopped and rested. We just sat on the bridge and ate our snacks. One of my friends even got all the way in the water, as there was a small pool just south of the bridge.

These are views of Utah County from inside the canyon. You can see Utah Lake in the second pic.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11

Today I went and volunteered at the school while Dante was in pre-school. I went to Ella's class first and the teacher had me listen to the 1st graders read one at a time. The secretaries started to do the morning announcements, which I assume they do every morning, but they were mentioning the twin towers, and all that happened 7 years ago. Then they had the entire school say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless the USA. I was all choked up while they were talking about remembering the attacks, had to mouth the words to the pledge, and definitely couldn't sing anything because I was so emotional. Even the teacher started crying and actually left the room to gain her composure for a minute. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised since everyone knows that Klinglers are bawl babies. I am actually glad that I went in to the school today though, because I might not have thought about the attacks as much (just a little, everyone had flags in their yards to remember, thanks to the scouts). I hope everyone had a little time to reflect on our freedom today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Google Reader

One of my favorite internet sites is Google Reader. It helps me keep up with all my favorite blogs including all of my family blogs, tech news sites, recipe blogs, flickr friends pictures, local news, etc. It also lets me share interesting articles with Becky and other friends. I used it to share interesting articles with Olympics trivia during the last couple of weeks.

If you want to learn more about it, check out this little video. It describes what Google Reader does in plain english.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home grown produce

Our garden is producing tons of stuff right now. I'm really excited about all the cucumbers the kids have been eating lately. Dante was calling them cumebutters, which was really cute. We have already picked tons of beans, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash, some tomatoes, basil (we made pesto this last weekend and that was really good) raspberries, & carrots.

We have a couple of pumpkin plants growing, one from the compost pile at the side of the house. This is just one plant and it is a volunteer. It is also doing much better than the one in our garden. It must like the compost it lives in as well as the water from the lawn sprinklers. There are 2 pumpkins growing on the vine in the 2nd picture. I saw a few more little ones when I took the picture today. We also had a few volunteer cantaloupe plants growing in the garden, and I saw a baseball sized cantaloupe on it today. For some reason though, we have a hard time telling when they are ready to pick so they usually rot before we pick them. Maybe this year we can figure it out. Gardening sure takes practice.

Pottery Class Results!

We got the pottery back from pottery class this summer.

Valerie created an alligator (no feet, I guess they ran out of time) a fish, and the sea bowl where she has a clam with pearl inside, a starfish, a seashell and some kind of fish.

Scarlett also made an alligator, a fish and her sea bowl has a whale, a sail boat, a shark fin, and I don't know what the green thing is.

Ella didn't have time to make an alligator, but she made a fish and sea bowl. Her bowl has an octopus, a boat, and also something I don't know what is.

The teacher spent 2 classes letting them make the items, then the last class they glazed them. The only thing I didn't like about the class was it was over 20 minutes away in Highland. If she was right here in Orem, I would probably let them do classes all the time.

Now all I need is a place to put all their creations. I'm thinking of making a high up shelf in their bedroom to display their treasures on without little hands being able to get into them.

First Day of School

The kids started school on Aug 18th this year. Valerie is holding her backpack that we embellished this year. She was very excited to make the owl.
Ella started 1st grade and goes all day now. She likes to eat lunch at school now. She seems so young to me to be in 1st grade. I don't remember thinking that about Valerie when she went to 1st. I can't believe that Valerie is in 5th grade now, because the 5th graders seemed so old a few years ago. She gets to memorize states/capitols this year. Liz, maybe you could teach her the song or something. I never learned the state song when I was in school.
Scarlett is now in 3rd grade and seems to like her new teacher. All the girls are in dual immersion spanish/english and the teachers are all using a 1 week in english, 1 week in spanish program this year. (well maybe not the 1st graders, I can't remember what her teacher said). We have back to school night tonight, so I guess we will get better details then.
Dante is going to start a preschool next week 2 times a week in the morning. I am excited for that as well. I think he will have a great time learning, playing with kids his own age, and I definitely will keep busy while he is away. I'm excited to be able to go volunteer at the school without having to find a baby sitter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer birthdays

After months and months of anticipation, Ella finally celebrated her birthday. She is getting to celebrate it multiple times this year since we went out to dinner at Brick Oven on her real birthday, got her a bike the next day, had a friend birthday at Kangaroo Zoo the next day, and will have a family party for her when her grandparents are in town.

It has the Easter Bunny!

magnet fashions

We'll try to post some pictures from Kangaroo Zoo and the Dinosaur museum in a future post.

Running out of teeth

Ella's started running out of teeth in the front. When they get loose she starts worrying them until she can pull them out. I don't think she waited long enough for this one because she was saying it hurt a lot after she pulled it out, but then she said it didn't hurt anymore when we put her to bed. Our other kids treasure their tooth fairy money like collector's items, but Ella is pretty quick to invest or spend hers (or lose it).

Pulled out
You can often click on the pictures for a bigger version.

5K Fun Run

Becky and the girls did a 5K fun run on the 5th. They didn't take any shortcuts and did a great job. Dante was upset when they left, but he got over it eventually.


Race Completed

Our ward has also been doing a ward volleyball night once a week and Becky has really enjoyed playing. The girls originally just had fun running around while she played, but now they are getting interested in the game too.

Monday, August 11, 2008

LDS Temple Videos

There is a user on YouTube called lds9999 that has posted a video for every LDS temple so people can put them on their blogs. The videos include a slideshow of pictures of the temple and slides that have facts about the temple like when it was announced, when it was dedicated, who dedicated it, and stuff like that.

We live in the temple district of the Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summer Activities

This summer I signed the girls up for a pottery class through the UVU extension. They had 3 classes where they made 3D animals. The last class they got to glaze everything. We haven't picked up the finished projects yet. Probably sometime next week. The girls had so much fun at this class. Valerie, of course, wants to be a potter when she grows up (a goal for at least the last 4 years). She is excited for when she can do wheel turned pottery classes, and the teacher said she could teach wheel classes whenever we want to call her to sign up. So I guess we will have to do it soon. The other girls just naturally want to do what Valerie wants to do, so they love it as well. In the pictures you can see the fish, alligators and "sea bowls" the girls are working on painting. I can't wait to see the finished products.

The kids got passes to Classic Skating from the Public Library reading program this summer, so we went skating. Valerie is getting much better with the in line skates. Scarlett traded off from her scooter to her regular skates, and Ella used regular skates as well. Dante rode up a storm on his scooter when not trying to play the video games. It was a pretty fun night.

We have managed to keep really busy this summer and I can't believe that school starts in less than 2 weeks. Time goes by so fast.

St George Trip

St. George Temple Visitor Center
On Pioneer Day weekend, our family took a trip to St. George, UT. Even though it was hot, it was a lot of fun. One of the missionaries at the visitor's center at the St. George temple told us that even though it was around 106 degrees down there, it was 101 in Salt Lake, so the difference wasn't that bad.

We went swimming every day while we were there. There were two pool areas at the resort. One had a little waterfall. We took advantage of the gas grill on our balcony. We made shish kabobs with beef, shrimp, onions, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers.

We stopped by Cove Fort on the way down. The kids really enjoyed it and the kids got one of those toys with a disk and string that you spin around. While in St. George we saw Brigham Young's winter house and Jacob Hamblin's home. The tour had lots of historical facts about who made the chairs and Brigham Young's favorite kind of pie. I would have liked a little more church history thrown in there.

At Petroglyph Park in St. George. We saw some petroglyphs on Friday. They were in this tiny park in a residential area of town. We accidentally drove right by it at first because the park was so small.

The Dinosaur Tracks Museum at Johnson Farm in St. George. After that, we went to the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. It's a museum that was built around a site where a bunch of fossilized dinosaur tracks were found. After looking at the different footprints, the kids did some coloring, stencils, and rubbing imprints.
Tracing dinosaurs at the tracks museum.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Witch Head

I was working on a new prop this weekend. I bought a 2-part witch mask in a group buy a few months ago because I wanted to make it into a witch prop for our porch. This weekend I combined it with some hot glue and aluminum foil (for the structure of the head), the mechanism from a talking Douglas Fir tree and life-sized doll eyes. The video shows my progress so far.

I'll try to do an update about our trip to St. George on Pioneer Day weekend if Becky doesn't get to it first.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Primary Parade

This morning was the annual Primary Patriotic Parade for our ward. This time I was on the planning end of it. I think it was pretty successful for our first real activity. We had the scouts walk the flag around the circle one lap, then all the kids rode around the circle on their bikes, scooters or whatever they brought. We had snow cones for them afterward, and then we made rockets out of paper that shoot in the air with the help of a compressor. It was a lot of fun for the kids to make the rockets and also to watch them go in the air. They were going really high, we guess at least 50 feet.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Polygamy Site

I just helped post a new site yesterday that was created to help clarify the confusion about Mormons and Polygamy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My quilt group quilt

Originally uploaded by mrklaw
I just finished the applique on this quilt. The ladies in my group each made a bunch of the same color blocks in the center and traded with each other. I made mine with more blocks and did the applique in the borders. It was a really fun project and I am glad that I am done because I will probably be very busy from now on since I just got called to be in the Primary Presidency in our Ward (2nd counsellor). I will miss playing the piano for primary, which I did for the last almost 7 years. I got lucky they left me there for so long, and it was the best calling ever. BTW, this is not John, I just forgot that when you post from flickr it uses the flickr account, which is John's.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our week so far

We have had a fun week this week. Valerie and I participated in a 5K run on Saturday morning. We really walked the whole way, but we had fun. Valerie worked really hard and made it to the end. We all won prizes when the race was over (stuff from a camping store). We had fun at Orem's Summerfest and then saw the movie Horton Hears a Who afterwards. Dante still isn't ready for the movie theater.

Sunday it was Morgan's birthday party so we went to Kearns. The kids had fun playing with their cousins.

Tuesday night we went to Thanksgiving Point Farm and saw the animals. The kids had fun riding the horses and feeding the animals corn. We saw some baby goats that were born that day and an all white peacock as well as regular peacocks.

A few weeks ago we bought a new patio set and started eating dinner outside. It has been really nice and fun. Yesterday Dante didn't get a nap and he fell asleep at the dinner table at 6 pm. He slept all night. Dinner must have been boring