4.26.2012

Behind the scenes...:)

Sometimes someone will say to me..."I was looking at your blog...how do you do it all?!

I always laugh and say loudly and quickly, "I DON'T!!"

I think blogs tend to be our own personal highlight reels...all the great things we are doing in our lives.  And you know what...I think thats great!  We focus too much on what we aren't good at...I think its wonderful to have a place we can share some things that brought us or our families some joy.

With that said though, do you ever have some grand plans and they just go horribly wrong?!  We tried 2 different flower activities last week and they did not work AT ALL.  So today...I am giving you a look Behind the Scenes of our highlight reel :)

First up, I wanted to make some Handprint Tulips with the kids.  Since it would be WAY too easy to use store bought finger paint, I decided to make my own.  Well...I attempted to make my own ;)




Yep...I'd say that looks a little thick for finger paint, wouldn't you?!





I could not stop laughing...my kids were trying to finger paint with homemade GOO!  Poor kids :)  I still have no idea what went wrong, so I will be attempting this homemade finger paint again! :)

One of our favorite science projects to do is to buy white flowers and put them in colored water.  It helps the kids understand how plants "drink" the water as you see the flowers change color to match the water.




 Look how cute and excited they are!

Every morning they would run out to check the flowers.

Unfortunately...this is the best we got.




See that teensy bit of pink?  That's it.  They were more than a little disapointed :)
I used Kool-Aid instead of food coloring...maybe that was the problem.  Either way...totally didn't work!

So there you have just a glimpse of the way things usually go at our house :)  Thanks for stopping by Blue Skies Ahead, I am hoping to get to some fun new projects in the next few days and I can't wait to share them!!







4.25.2012

Flower Week continues...the Tulip Festival!

Hey everyone!  Long time no blog! :)

Maybe that half-marathon took more out of me than I expected :)   

This week we are continuing learning ALL about flowers and there is NO better place to do that than at a local Tulip Festival!  It has become one of our families favorite traditions...and this year was no dissapointment.  The flowers were all in full bloom and we had a wonderful evening together.  Here are some of the highlights...

First things first...the kids HAVE to roll down the big hill, of course! :)




Then mom has to attempt a good shot with tulips in the background...when will I learn?!  My babies DON'T do grass!




These were my favorite flowers of the night.  I wish I was a better photographer to do them justice, but you still get the idea :)



It really was one of those rare, perfect family nights.  The kids had a blast, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed our Heavenly Father's beautiful creations. 

Come back tomorrow if you want to see some projects we attempted last week that didn't QUITE turn out as we had planned (surely I am not the only one this happens to...right?!)




4.22.2012

Smiling this Sunday!

Even though we had a really great week, and there are a LOT of things I am smiling about today, one thing makes me smile the most...

Yesterday I finished the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon!  Oh man...it was SO hard!  I thought I had trained well enough, but I definitely could have done a lot more.  I was a little dissapointed that I had to stop and walk a few times, but still proud that I finished that crazy thing!!
 

This is my favorite picture.  I felt SO sick and was about to throw up when I saw my family at the finish line :)  Best feeling ever!

My sister-in-law Jen ran it with me.  She is a rockstar.  Without any training she was pulling my butt the whole way!  I am so glad she was with me to keep me going!


My other sister-in-law Camille (another amazing runner in my family) was at the finish line with homemade signs...I really have the best family ever!  And I don't know HOW I didn't get a picture of you Camille!



Paul was amazing.  He woke up super early, got all 4 kids ready and drove them all almost an hour to sit in the sun and wait for me reach the finish line.  Meant the world to me that he would support me so much.



My dear friend Hollie also brought her whole family to cheer me on.  Plus she took all these fantastic pictures...I am a lucky girl indeed.

What an experience!  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I reached my goal and finished under 2 1/2 hours (not by much...but still!)  If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have said I will never do that again...but today I am already thinking I might HAVE to do it again to try and finish one a little bit stronger :)

Today I am smiling because I did something I never thought I could do...and most importantly TOLD myself I could never do.  Thanks to all my wonderful friends and family that could "BEE" with me every step of the way ;)

Have a great Sunday everyone!!


4.18.2012

Fruit Flower Cups Treat

Just wanted to pop in and post a really fun, quick treat I threw together yesterday for the kids. we read a few books about flowers and plants and I thought this would make a fun after-reading snack :)
All you need for this yummy treat are pineapple, grapes, pudding cups and crushed up Oreos.

To get started I cut slices of pineapple and then used a flower-shaped cookie cutter to get our flower. Using a toothpick I stuck half of a grape in the center and then pushed a skewer up through the bottom of the pineapple flower.

Then I just topped the chocolate pudding cups with a crushed Oreo and stuck in our fruit flower.

Easy, tasty, and fit in with our weekly theme perfectly!

Thanks again for stopping by today! We are going to try out a really fun craft today so hopefully it works and I can post it tomorrow ;) Have a wonderful day everyone!!

I've been busy this week

Busy guest-posting on some amazing blogs, that is! :)

If you are interested, head on over to The Grant Life today. Kelley is doing a fantastic series called Labor of Love and today I am sharing my experiences with the birth of my first daughter, Skylar. It's a pretty good story if I do say so myself...even has a helicoptor ride! ;)
Thanks for the opportunity to write about my experience Kelley, and check back later for a yummy flower treat your kids will love (mine sure did!!)

4.17.2012

Head on over...

to THIS fantastic blog where I am guest posting today!

Every Tuesday they highlight ways to spend quality time with your children...a blog after my own heart! :)



Thanks Dee Dee for having me...I adore your blog and I know everyone else will too! :)

4.16.2012

Faith is like a seed Family Home Evening

We had a really wonderful family home evening tonight that was simple and really kept the kids attention. As you can tell, tonight we learned all about Faith, and likened it unto a seed. The printable I made above includes some of the words to my favorite primary song, Faith. I can't hear it without tearing up. I love having printables like this for one reason. I always print them off and display them for our lesson, but then we hang them on a magnet board right by our kitchen table for the whole week. It is a great reminder of what we learned and what we are focusing on that week.

After we sang our opening song, Faith, we discussed with the kids what faith was. We read in Alma 32 and the kids told us some of the things they had faith in. Things like Jesus, the Holy Ghost, church and the temple :) Then we talked about how we can compare faith to a seed, and just like a seed, our faith needs certain things to help it grow to become big and strong.

First we talked about how it can be hard to start planting seeds, so you can use different gardening tools to make it easier. It can also be hard to begin growing your faith, that is why we have parents and primary teachers that will share their faith and testimonies with us. (This is when my favorite quote of the night came...Skylar says, "I don't know Mom...my faith is pretty ginormous already." :)

Then we talked about how seeds need water to help them grow. Our faith too needs nourishment...the kind that comes from reading our scriptures and praying to Heavenly Father.

Finally we discussed how seeds MUST have sunshine. Just as the seeds need the sun, our faith also needs the light...the light of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

After our lesson I got out these super cute pots and chalkboard planter signs I got in the Dollar Spot at Target. I wrote "faith" on each of the signs and we were ready to plant us some seeds :)

First we needed to get our soil...



Then we pushed our seeds down into the middle...

Finally we watered them all and brought them back inside!

Now they are sitting happily on our window sill, just waiting to grow! I told the kids every time we water our "faith" seeds it will remind us to nourish the faith we have in our heart.

Then we ate our yummy Jelly Bean Flower Cupcakes and called it a night! :)

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out our family home evening ideas. I was struck in conference once again about the sacred responsibility we have as parents to teach and guide our children. It feels SO overwhelming to me practically all the time...but I also have FAITH that as we do the small and simple things in our homes, Heavenly Father will bless us and our families.

Jelly Bean Flower Cupcakes

Happy Monday everyone! :)

I wanted to pop in real quick and share a fun dessert I threw together for our family home evening tonight. This week is all about flowers and tonight we are learning about planting the seeds of faith. I thought a simple flower dessert would be perfect!


This is my simple take on a Jelly Bean Flower Cupcake


These are as simple as they get! A boxed cake mix, some store-bought frosting, and some 50% off Easter Jelly Beans :)


I just did one layer of jelly beans on the outside and then another layer on the inside. Stuck some yellow beans in the middle and we were all set!

Then I placed them on a white plate and used green frosting to draw the stems and leaves...just to make it look cute :)
There you have it...a super simple and yummy dessert to go along perfectly with our Flower Week!
Thanks for stopping by, come back for a new FHE, lots of flower fun, and so much more!! :)


Linking up to THESE fun parties!

4.15.2012

Smiling this Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone!!!

I haven't done a Smiling this Sunday post forever, so I thought it was time to recap a few things that made me smile this last week :)


Since it was MOSTLY beautiful weather all last week, we spent a few days and evenings at the park. Luckily for us...they built this amazing monstrosity just a few minutes away from our house!

It is pretty much the coolest park ever. There are a million different things for the kids to do, I don't think they would ever get bored here. I loved seeing my kids play with their cousins, each other, and new friends for hours on end!

This one REALLY makes me smile :)



Doesn't this totally remind you of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer has the Japanese business men sleeping in his drawers?! Totally cracks me up! He really was trying to convince me to let him take his nap in there...


Finally....my little bug. She is pulling herself up on everything now, and when I am working on my computer this is what I am constantly seeing :) She is such a joy to me.



So I'd love to know...what made you smile this week?! I am striving SO hard to focus on all the GOOD in my life...and there truly is so much, when I'm willing to look for it :)

Have a wonderful Sunday and stop back soon for some really fun flower activities and a new Family Home Evening!