Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Discovery Place

We had a fun fieldtrip with the Vlazny's and Storms. I'm so grateful for such amazing friends for me and my made it so much more fun to have everyone there together. We stood in a tornado, played in the water, touched sea creatures, walked the tightrope, jumped with bungee cords, saw dinosaurs move, watched helium balloons pop and hydrogen balloons explode, played blocks, saw some rats play basketball, and we were learning the whole time:) It was awesome!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A gentleman...

Rog and I have been working with Caleb a lot to teach him how to be a little less focused on his own needs. The most effective way we have found so far is showing him how to be a "gentleman." The word has been intriguing to him, and he has been trying everything in his power to become one of those:) For example, I'll hand out sandwiches for lunch, and if I hand him one first he'll pass it to Courtney and say, "Ladies first, because I'm a gentleman." He has been holding doors open for all of us girls, setting the dinner table for us at night, and letting Courtney use the toilet first when they both have to go. It's been really cute to watch, and of course he has a really good example of how to be a gentleman in his daddy.

Last night we were sitting down for dinner, and talking about our new family resolution of going without junk food for 10 days. Courtney was telling us how she had gotten really sick one time from eating too much junk food. (Really she had a horrible flu...about a year ago) We were trying to remember who had gotten sick first because it had been passed around the whole family; it was the whole throwing up every 15 minutes until you are so dehydrated that you start dry heaving because there's nothing left to come up kind of sick. I mentioned that I thought Caleb was the one who had gotten sick first. Rog reminded me that Courtney actually had it first to which Courtney replied, "Yes, because Caleb's a gentleman."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Quill Pen

After the whole cow experience we learned how the colonists might have made ink in order to write letters. We crushed strawberries and mixed them with salt and vinegar to make red berry ink. Then we cut the tips of their feathers so they could dip them in the ink and start writing! They all drew pictures for their Dads. They commented on how hard it was to have to keep dipping the feather in the ink in order to continue drawing...and we decided that it is so much more convenient to just have a marker or crayons:)

Colonial Days

Jannah and I get our kids together twice a week for a little fun, educational playgroup. Today we went back to Colonial America. My kids had so much fun helping me set up. Everything we used was found around the house. We cut pillowcases to make dresses for Courtney and Becca. We made our rocking horse into a cow using a sheet, black cut-outs made especially by Caleb (taped on by all three of them), and a latex glove:) When Callie and Mariah got to our house we introduced ourselves as the Mayhew family. Caleb was Josiah, Courtney was Samantha, and Becca was Rebecca (so as not to confuse things:). We started them out in our "barn" where we milked the cow. Then we brought the pan of milk in to "scrape the cream from the top." Each child got some cream poured into their jar, to which they added a couple of "pebbles" from the brook. Then we shook the jars for a couple of minutes. We were intending to make butter, but I used refrigerated cream...instead of room temperature, and we ended up with whipped cream! My kids and I had made butter this way a couple weeks ago, and it was sooo fun that we wanted to reproduce the experience with Callie and Mariah. (We'll definitely be trying it again, hopefully with the desired results:)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Coats of Many Colors

For FHE Monday night I taught a lesson on Forgiveness...and what better example than Joseph in Egypt. We made our own special coats for the activity. It was so simple but so much fun!

It actually happened!!!

Not as much as we were hoping for...but it snowed! We couldn't contain ourselves and our yearning for a good ol' fashioned winter. These pictures were taken at 7:30 in the morning:) The second most thing we miss about Utah is the it reminded us of being back "home." Sometimes it feels as if we are only on an extended vacation, like acting in a play on a stage somewhere; as if sooner or later it won't be reality anymore.

While we were shopping at Target earlier today, Caleb said that we were going to fly on an airplane to get home. I said, "Oh! The airplane is going to pick us up here and take us right down the street to our house? How fun!" To which he responded, "No, we're in North Carolina, and the airplane is going to take us home to Utah." I guess you can never quite uproot your roots.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Unfortunately...these are the only pictures we have of our Christmas. We were just so wrapped up in the whole wonderful experience of it that we couldn't think of much else. It was a great holiday for our family. The gifts we got from our friends and family were so amazing. Lani...thank you for everything you sent! You went so above and beyond and we absolutely LOVE it all. The picture of the Savior is amazing...really thank you so much. The gifts from Grandma, Mamalaw, Romero's, and JaNae, we love you all and are so grateful for family! What would Christmas have been without you? Just a dog, basically:)

Here he is! Our little ball of chocolate! After the kids named him I found out that Bosco is a brand of chocolate syrup or something! Pretty ironic...but fitting! He's adorable. He's been relatively easy to housetrain, loves to chew on any item left on the floor, and he loves to go on walks with us every morning even though he gets worn out quickly. After we got back from a longer than normal morning walk, Bosco fell asleep in his kennel for about 5 hours! It was so cute. It was such a wonderful Christmas gift for the kids. They were so excited and have LOVED having this new member of our family around:)

Happy Birthday Becca! (Pretend that I'm actually posting this when I should have on Dec. 12)

Caleb and Courtney giving Becca their homemade birthday card handcrafted by Daddy:

We had a homemade pizza party that evening, and Jannah made Becca's incredible Frosty cake!! Can you believe it...seriously! Becca's favorite thing in all the world right now is Frosty the Snowman, in fact, if you ask her who she's going to marry when she grows up that's the answer you'll get...only it will sound more like, "Rosty."

Becca has always wanted me to push her around on Courtney's bike outside, but she didn't even come close to reaching the pedals. I thought it would be nice for her to have her own little one. She loves it, but is still trying to figure out how to make it go:)

The Big Rain

We had a torrential downpouring for a couple of days (this is North Carolina's idea of "snow") and the creek in our backyard filled to the max. You couldn't imagine happier children!

It's all in the experience...

We felt so privileged to joined our best friends, the Storms, on their third annual Christmas tree cut-down extravaganza in the mountains:) In all truthfulness...we would be pretty dull without their influence in our lives! Most of the exciting and creative things we've done in the last couple of months have either been with them or because of them! There could not be a more amazing family. Justin and Jannah are not in these pictures, but you see two of their girls, Mariah and Callie, in the cheetos picture (the healthy variety:). We had so much fun! The kids rode horses, watched a Frosty video on haystacks, rode with Santa on the wagon ( of the more annoying "Santa's" I've ever talked to. Caleb told me later that he thought that particular Santa was just pretending, and not the real one!), and we closed the day by eating Jannah's incredible homemade wheat cinnamon rolls, and cheetos (once again, the health'ier' kind).

One of those moments...

Realizing that the older two put their own dishes in the sink after finishing their cereal; Becca ventured. I feel bad that I made her wait for a couple minutes like this while I was searching for my camera!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Of Mice and Children

We launched a stake-out recently because we suspected a mouse was potentially living in our kitchen. The evidence was mounting and we knew we had to do something. Our privacy had been invaded! Before we invested in a trap...we decided to confirm our fears by placing strong smelling aged swiss in the area under surveillance. Caleb, Courtney, and Becca stood guard determined to see this culprit.

The first two pictures show the original placement of the cheese, and lo and behold we woke in the morning to (third picture) the undeniable awareness that we were in fact infested with a mouse (if not...mice!) The cheese had been dragged to the point of entrance in the wall where it there stayed because it was apparently too big to pull through. Over the course of the next few days the morsel diminished until it was gone completely. We needed no more proof, and what was worse than knowing that we indeed had a mouse...the realization that we were nourishing it!!!

I initially wanted to be humane about this whole I set up a "safe" trap intended to catch and release. After a couple days with no success we realized that we were dealing with a potentially intelligent creature. We decided to buy one of those standard traps that are designed to kill instantly. The one I bought advertised no need for bait, but that didn't work either. Then we tried adding bait, but all I had in the fridge was feta. That didn't seem to be working either, and by this time we were wondering if the mouse hadn't expired already in some other fashion. Almost immediately after we thought that...we looked and saw that the feta was gone with no sign of the mouse!! We were seriously astonished and turned to our last ditch effort to rid ourselves of this thing. Rog took some swiss cheese (which we knew he obviously liked) and smashed it down into the trap hoping to make it much harder to retrieve. The next day we had our mouse. It was sad but really uneventful...and went out with the morning trash.