Today we took the kids over to the park to take a couple of pictures. Naturally, before we even took the first shot, Sarah pushed Becca off the wall, Ellie got mud all over her knees and Rachel had a "poop-plosion" up her back. But, at least we now have a couple of pictures with all four girls :)
I just stepped back in time about twenty years when I discovered a cheap and easy way to make Shrinky Dinks. I haven't had so much fun reminiscing in who knows how long. I remember my very first package of the blessed plastic imprinted with pictures of none other than Rainbow Brite. Wow, were they ever cool! Well, I have since learned the secret to those amazing little things and have been making them like crazy with my girls. They look just how I remembered them and they are really easy to make. Here are the instructions for anyone wanting to have a little retro-fun! 1. Gather some #6 plastic (the clear plastic used on most salad bar containers) 2. Lightly sand the plastic to make the colored pencils/crayons stick. 3. Outline any coloring book characters or draw fun pictures with a sharpie. 4. Color & cut out pictures. (make sure to leave room for a hole punch if you want to string it from a necklace) 5.Bake at 350 for about 2-3 minutes on an aluminum foil "tray". The plastic will start to curl and shrink after about 30-45 seconds, then it will straighten back out. 6. Let it cool and enjoy!
I just realized that although my little blurb mentions that I am an avid reader, I don't know that I have ever mentioned what I am reading on this blog. So, for anyone interested in my latest reads: I just finished Dracula and really liked it. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. Right before reading Dracula (which makes several references to rats) I read Book of A Thousand Days (which also talks about rats) and yesterday when I was in my bedroom I heard a clawing, scratching noise in my bathroom. Of course, I thought it was a rat and very cautiously tip-toed to the door. Happily, there wasn't anything inside, but a woodpecker was clawing its way up and down the window screen and pecking the heck out of the mortar in search of some lunch. And if you are wondering, I read Dracula because I have to wait a full year before Stephenie Meyer comes out with her next novel. I feel like I can claim some relation to her, even though I really can't, because our friends the Hansens and the Gees are related to her, so I read Twilight before it became the huge best seller it is now. I also have been reading and rereading all of Shannon Hale's books. I think she is an amazing author. For anyone who doesn't know Shannon's books, she wrote Princess Academy, Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, Book of A Thousand Days, and Austenland (those are the books I have read anyway), and I will admit, I am planning on going to her book signing when she comes to Bountiful next month. I have also started reading Stardust and here and there I will throw in a chapter of a Pat McMannus book when I need a good laugh.
So, if anyone has a great book, I am always interested! Just let me know!!
Sunday we returned from our four day visit to Jackson Hole where we enjoyed hiking, fishing, watching for wildlife, playing with wildlife (also known as the family) and most importantly, relaxing. The kids were troopers through the trip, especially Rachel, who typically can't go more than forty minutes in the car without a meltdown. I have to give a special thanks to our neighbors who let us borrow their car DVD player, too. THANK YOU!! It made a world of difference. As much fun as it is, I'm sure, to hear about the fun parts of the trip, I am well aware that it is the bear attacks etc. that provide the most entertainment, so for those of you who are waiting for the juicy details here they are. First, though not as interesting as a bear attack, we did get to see a huge herd of elk cross the road right in front of us. It was quite impressive. Second, the guys once again were unbelievably successful fishing in Jackson Lake. They caught trout after trout, all of which were huge. It was only as they were leaving, however, that they realized perhaps their success was due in part to the fact that the lake was closed to fishing during the month of October. OOPS! And last, but not least, the most exciting part of the trip happened on the way home. We tried to get out the door early Sunday morning because our Ward was practicing for the Primary Program. Sadly, we didn't quite make it to church, however thanks to not one, but two of our children tossing their cookies on the way home. We had just left Jackson and were winding our way up the canyon when Sarah started whimpering. Being a veteran mother, I recognized the sound and told Greg to pull over. Had there not been a five-point-harness to compete with, I might have had a fighting chance of getting her out of the car before the explosion occurred, but instead I had to use about a thousand cleaning wipes (Thank you Lorna for letting us take the rest of them with us!) all over the straps, and buckles before I could even get her out of the car. Thirty minutes later, Sarah was dressed in Becca's shirt and a fleece blanket, and her car seat, the back of my chair and the car door were all wiped down. We continued merrily on our way for another hour or so, when, upon entering the next canyon Ellie informed us that her tummy hurt. I told her that if it got bad to tell us, and after another five or ten minutes she said, "I think I'm going to throw up!" Greg once again pulled over and I ran around to let Ellie out. I got her unbuckled, and was just picking her up when she let loose. After another thirty minute break, I managed to contain the dirty car-seat covers, blankets, and clothes that had been soiled, reloaded the car to put the offensive smelling objects far away from us, wipe down the rest of the area and head off. When we got home, I immediately threw the dirty items in the wash before unloading the rest of the car. By the time the rest of the car was unloaded, I could tell that I had obviously missed a few important points in my cleaning, and backed the car out of the garage, rolled down the windows and started detailing the car. I love living next door to the church, but it just happened that while I was attacking the car with a spray bottle and wipes, our ward was just leaving church. Fortunately, my neighbors are pretty confident that we haven't gone inactive, and as one neighbor passed he asked "Let me guess, is the ox in the mire?" I briefly explained the situation, and he replied, "Yep that's one big ox."
I just visited a friend's blog and discovered that her sunbeam stopped the primary program practice when they thought her red-painted toes were bleeding. Reading it reminded me of our own toenail tales. A few days ago, my aunt Kathy stopped by to see if she could spend the afternoon with Sarah. Among their adventures, Kathy painted Sarah's toenails. Now, whenever Sarah sees her toes, she happily reminds us of the fact that "Kaffy painted my toenails!" This morning, however, she noticed that the paint had started to chip a little bit, so, she insisted that we "fix" it. Ellie assured me that she could do the best job of it, and proceeded to paint Sarah's and her own toes. The result was something similar to the bloody toes mentioned in Katie's blog, so I thought I thought it would be wise to show Ellie's painting prowess. (and since our Primary Practice is not for a couple of weeks, I will be sure to either make sure they are wearing tights or remove the paint before then) When Katie mentioned her concern that the fingernail polish might have been spilled elsewhere, I was reminded of another incident involving Ellie's antics. Shortly after Sarah was born, a neighbor offered to take Ellie for a couple of hours. I told her that Ellie was a bit of a handful, but she insisted that it would be fine. When I went to pick her up, she apologized to me because Ellie's shoes were covered with fingernail polish, and she was at the time in the bathroom trying to clean up a tube of toothpaste that had been artfully displayed on the mirror. She said that everything had been fine until she got a phone call, and in the two minutes she was away, Ellie had reigned in terror. Fortunately, the fingernail polish didn't get anywhere other than Ellie's clothes/shoes, and the toothpaste wasn't too difficult to remove, but I felt bad. I was glad that I had at least forewarned her, but I suppose that even if you warn someone a tornado is coming, it doesn't mean there won't be damage!
Choo Choo the Big Train is coming down the track! One of Greg's co-workers, Bill, volunteers his weekends at the Heber Valley Railroad, so he offered to get us some discount tickets. So...this Saturday we took the kids up to take a ride on the train. Bill was the conductor and gave us all the good intel on where to sit and let us watch as he uncoupled the engine from the train and then rode it back Polar Express style. The weather was quite chilly, so we ordered hot chocolate, and on the way home we hit a blizzard. Yes, a full on snow storm in September. I will admit I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect, but the girls thought that we must have been on the actual Polar Express, knew we were now at the North Pole, and kept a close watch for Santa (sadly we never found him). The next day Sarah asked if we could go back to the train after church, so I think that we can consider the outing a success.