Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grandpa's 90th

I haven't posted for a while, and some things have happened that we haven't posted about like our trip to Oceanside in August. I'll post some stuff about those things later when I have access to our iPhoto library at home.

This weekend I got to go back to California to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday. My parents and my sisters were all able to be there. It was cool to see everyone together. We haven't been all together for years.

We arrived at LAX on Friday and after a quick meal at In and Out we decided to visit Redondo Beach and see the old house and the neighborhood. The house was under some heavy renovation and remodeling. The park was much different that what I remembered also.

My old house The park next door

After looking at the house, we went down by the Pier. There weren't many people on the beach since it wasn't very hot and it was a school day. The beach seemed much smaller and steeper than I remember. Our family has fond memories of riding bikes or roller skating on the strand along the beach for Family Night.

Redondo Beach Pier

Redondo Beach looking south

That evening, we had dinner with my grandparents and prepared some stuff for the party.

On Saturday, we had the party. It was fun to see cousins, friends and family and hear their stories. I got to hear a few WWII stories. We took a ton of pictures too.

Getting ready for the party Family picture

Mom and Aunt Gail Mom and Sharon

Mom and Grandpa

That night we went to a Mexican restaurant and tried playing a game, but everyone was too tired. We ended up playing "Bohnanza" and "Hit The Deck" on Sunday night. We also got to go to church with my grandparents and visit Aunt Bertie and her daughter Nancy.

It was a fun trip. I'm glad I could go.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

4th of July Balloon Festival

To view the whole set, click here.

On the 4th of July, we got up way too early and went to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Provo. I overslept a little more than I wanted so we didn't see the balloons take off, but it was still a lot of fun. The balloons would go up or down to catch breezes in different directions and they would try to come back to the field where they started so that they could drop bean bags onto targets or pop helium balloons that were tied to long strings. Once in a while they would fly right over our heads and they came close enough that we could easily see the people in the baskets and hear the roar of the flames as they heated up the air in their balloons.

On the way home we stopped by Macey's grocery store to get some supplies and they were giving away free french toast and doing demonstrations with mentos and diet coke.

During the day I dismantled our gazebo that had been severely damaged by the snow. It took a while, but it's mostly completely in little pieces now. All I needed was a screwdriver. Hopefully next week I can take all the aluminum from it to the recycling center and get a few dollars.

That night we all drove down to Provo High's soccer field and watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks. We had to wait a little while, but we had brought some books to read and glow sticks for the kids. A bunch of other people there had brought store-bought fireworks and it was fun to watch them light them off. The fireworks finally started and we had a good view of them from where we sat. There was a long gap in the middle where everyone was confused about whether the show was over or not. My friends later told me that they were retiring an old flag in the middle of the fireworks show. It was a nice show and when it was over, it was really easy to get home. We had barely any traffic at all. MUCH better than trying to drive home from over by the Provo temple.

We Made Flubber!

Wow, we haven't posted for a while. I'll try to post a few this weekend to catch up.

IMG_2899I had the day off on July 3rd and I decided to do a craft or something with the kids since I don't get a chance every day. I'm usually so busy on weekends that we never get the chance.

I remembered that when we were Cub Scout den leaders, we did an activity where we made some kind of slime with white glue and borax. I did a Google search for white glue and borax and found a bunch of recipes online for GAK or Slime or Play Putty or Flubber. I picked one out and it went something like this:


8oz white glue
Warm water
Food coloring (optional)

1. pour the white glue into a platic bowl. If you poured out the entire bottle, put some warm water in there and shake it around to loosen up the remaining glue and pour it into the bowl also.
2. Add some food coloring to the glue if desired.
3. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of borax in a disposable cup. Stir it until it is as dissolved as you can.
4. Start stirring the glue mixture and slowly pour in the borax and water mixture a little at a time. Keep stirring and adding the borax mixture until it is the desired consistency or the glue has soaked up as much of the borax as it can.
5. Pull the mixture out and start kneading it. It's ready to be played with!

When we made Dante's slime, we accidentally only added half a teaspoon of borax. His slime was much looser and stickier. It was fun to play with, but it stuck to your hands a little. We then added more borax water and it hardened up like the others.





Click here if you want to see the entire set of pictures.

Friday, May 15, 2009


The kids' school had a medieval fair today and the Knights of Mayhem came and did a jousting show for us. They threw spears from horseback, sliced cabbages in half with a sword from horseback, and then did a proper joust with solid lances. I'm glad I took today off.

Getting the kids excited


Sword Fighting



Right Before Impact

Monday, May 11, 2009

Painting, Planting, Pottery

First off, I felt it was warm enough to paint the front door last week. I got the paint last fall, but it always seemed too cold to leave the door open for a whole day, so I put it off. I really like the way it looks, and I also painted the white frame around the door as well, since paint was peeling on it. Now the railing needs a coat of paint too, but I will get around to that later. Also, last spring, we got more bulbs from the local park. They plant all new bulbs every year and just let the public come and pick them up when they get pulled out. So, I went one morning and grabbed a bunch and planted them. Of course, I didn't know what they would look like, but I think they look really nice in my yard. Also, they all don't bloom at the same time, so I had red and yellow ones in bloom earlier, now there are a bunch of pink, darker pink, orange, white, and yellow ones in bloom now.
my newly painted door
more tulips

The fifth graders from all around Utah County and even some from SLC, all participated in a program called Hope of America last week. They split it into 2 days this year because there were 8000 kids participating. There were dances, videos, the chorus of 5th graders, and a pre-show to entertain us. It was really big and we had fun. Valerie was wearing yellow, and was in the first row above the blue row of kids. We found where she was sitting because she had her sunglasses tucked in the collar of her shirt and I could see them from where we were sitting.
Hope of America 2009 day 2

For the last month, Valerie and Scarlett were taking a pottery class where they were able to learn wheel turned pottery and other skills. They made a bunch of pieces and I'm supposed to pick them up tomorrow if I remember. Maybe I will post a picture of all their work when I get them. The class was put on by the Scera Arts Council and there was an Art show of all the kids taking drawing, painting and pottery. It was fun to go and see what other kids did as well as see our own artists.
Pottery class
pottery class

The girls also had some art at a school art show last week as well. Valerie and Ella brought some pottery pieces they made at different classes and Scarlett had a painting she did at school exhibited there. There were different craft projects for the kids to do also, and the kids had fun doing the crafts.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Scarlett's Birthday

Scarlett had a fun birthday this weekend. I made omlettes for the kids in the morning, Scarlett opened some presents from family in the late morning, and then we had a friend party at Jump On It in the afternoon. The kids had so much fun. One of Scarlett's friends wasn't able to come, so I used her pass to go jump with the kids. I guess I'm too old to jump on trampolines for an hour and a half, because my lower back and feet have been in pain ever since.


Jump On It
make a wish
Eating cake and ice cream

At the birthday party
jumping at Jump on It

Pinewood Derby

Cars all ready
Originally uploaded by mrklaw
The cub scouts in our ward did a pinewood derby this last week. Since Becky is over Cub Scouts in Primary, we tagged along and Valerie raced a car from last year during the open races at the end.

Getting ready for the Pinewood Derby

Cars all ready

cars on the track

Putting a car on the track

Here they come

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter eggs

Easter eggs
Originally uploaded by goldbug121
We spent one night dying eggs with the kids. They had fun of course.

5th grade wax museum

5th grade wax museum
Originally uploaded by goldbug121
The 5th grade does a wax museum every year, where the kids pick a historical figure and do a report about them. Then on one night, all the kids dress up like their person and pretend to be them. The parents walked around and pushed a "button" and the kids would tell about their person. Valerie was Marie Curie. It was fun to learn about her. Valerie did a good job with her report and memorizing facts about her.

girls in Easter dresses

girls in Easter dresses
Originally uploaded by goldbug121
This year I thought I would make dresses for the girls. Here they are wearing them. We had stake conference on Easter this year like last year.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New blog and new this week

I just created a new blog to write about my quilting/sewing projects. You can find it here

We had a pretty busy week where the kids had a dance festival. It was very fun to watch and sometime John will post videos of it somewhere. I am trying to upload pics, but blogger seems to be really slow at that the last few days. Yea! I finally got them to upload.

Today after church we went to Mike and Megan's house for dinner. We had some really nice weather (61 degrees) and a fun time together (other than when Scarlett accidently hit Max in the face with the swing, I think he walked behind her or something) and got a bloody nose). That was the only trauma and it was fun to get together.

When my Mom and Dad were here last for MacKenzie's baptism, they gave us each an amaryllis bulb. Mine put up two flower stalks and has 5 flowers on it now. Very pretty. Oddly enough, Megan's didn't put up any stalks at all, and just produced leaves. I wonder what Liz's did...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mormon Temples Video

I'll try to post some more family pictures soon, but in the meantime check out this new video about LDS (Mormon) temples on YouTube. It was produced by the Church to help explain the importance of the temple to Mormons. There is a show on HBO called "Big Love" which spreads a lot of innacurate information about the Mormons and it has an upcoming episode that they say will include portions of the temple ceremonies. There is going to be lots of extra media attention to the temples in the next few months, and we should take every chance we get to dispel any innacuracies in the information that is being dispersed. Share this video on your blogs or on Facebook to help get the word out!

Our family got to go to the open house of the new Draper Temple here in Draper, Utah a few weekends ago. The kids loved it! This was their first time in a temple, and they had a lot of questions. Ella was especially excited to see the room that "is just like Heaven". Valerie is looking forward to being old enough to go do baptisms soon.

I'm thankful to live in an area that has so many temples so close to our home. It's so convenient. We take it for granted so often. I have a lot of respect for people that live far away from a temple but still manage to take the time to attend regularly.

Wow, this was a wordy blog post (for me at least). Back to family pictures and craft/vacation updates!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Val's big day

This year was not a friend party year for Valerie, so we celebrated family style. First, we had present opening and cake at lunch time before we spent the rest of the day away from home. The kids were suspicious of the cake and thought it might be red/green inside. I would suggest frosting it with darker frosting if you make it. They were really excited with rainbow though and it was all fun. Valerie also loved all her presents and said she had the best day ever.

We went swimming at the indoor pool in Lehi in the afternoon which was a blast. This pool had a baby area with little slides, a medium sized kid play structure with a slide and other water splashing items, as well as a regular sized water slide (the slide went on the outside of the building, but started and ended on the inside). There was a lazy river and bubble couch as well. The kids did not want to leave ever. But we were there way past dinner time, so we had to go. After, we went to an Indian restaurant called India Palace in Provo. It was fantastic as usual.

Now, here is how I made the cake. I saw the instructions on a blog posted here: http://omnomicon.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-make-rainbow-cake.html
I'm not thrilled with the writing on this site, but they explain how they made the cake with pictures as well.

I of course did not make the cake that way, I just used a sour cream white cake recipe I have, then divided it into 6 bowls. I used gel food coloring I have to make the 6 colors and mixed it in the bowls. Then you prepare your pans. I learned a trick to make the bottom of the cake come out well and you use a plain paper napkin cut to fit the bottom of your pan. First you grease the pan, then put the napkin down, then grease again. When the cake is finished, you just pull the napkin off the bottom of the cake and it is perfect, your cake doesn't stick to the bottom at all. After you prepare the pan, start adding the batter into the pans. I did one pan red to purple, and the other purple to red. Add most of the red to the bottom of one pan, most of the purple to the bottom of the next pan. Then a little less orange on top of the red, little less blue on top of the purple, about half of the yellow on top of the orange, and half the green on top of the blue etc,,, until you end up with the last of the purple on top of the blue, and the last of the red on top of the orange. I kind of gently shook the pans so the batter would fill out the pan a little better (it is rather thick batter). Bake, then cool for a few minutes. I usually pull the cake out of the pan and cool on a wire rack. (pull the napkin off as soon as you can, sometimes it comes off in pieces, but get it all off). I evened out the tops with a long serrated knife so my cakes would stack better. Then I used the buttercream frosting recipe from previous post about cake making, and frosted the top of the first layer, then stacked the second layer so the bottom was on the top (do this so it isn't as crumbly). Now crumb coat, then frost like you want.

It was fun to make, though I don't think I will make it all the time. Of course, I will never have the element of surprise again, but you could if you make it! Have fun.

note about this picture: since I used the glass cake stand, I didn't want the kids to see the bottom, so I frosted the bottom of the cake before I put it on the stand. ( I assembled and frosted the rest of it on the cake stand)