Monday, March 30, 2009

Nanas Visit

Nana came to visit us March 26-29. We were so happy that she came down south to see us.

On Friday she watched the girls while I went to the YMCA. I know the girls loved having special time alone with Nana. That afternoon, after Brett got home from work, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. It was delicious as always. I got the Burrito Grande and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves giant cheesy, loaded burritos filled with peppers, chicken, onions and so many other delicious flavors. But I digress. . .(why is it I always lose focus when it comes to delicious food. . ) After the restaurant, Nana, Em and Mabel all had a movie party while Brett and I went out on a date. We had a fun time going to a movie.

On Saturday Nana spoiled us rotten. She got both Brett and me our birthday presents early. A new dress for me and several new shirts and pants for Brett. She also bought the girls some beautiful spring dresses. We finished off our shopping trip with hotdogs at Costco. But the best part of the day was yet to come. After we finished eating we went to the park. Brett and I hid easter eggs while the girls played on the playground with Nana. Then the girls got to hunt those eggs down. They loved it so much they had us hide the eggs at least 3 more times. It was a great day for an Easter egg hunt. There was no one else at the park so we had it all to ourselves. We finished off the day by eating as much as we could of the 7 lb All American Chocolate cake that we got from Costco. mmmmmmmm.

We are so glad that Nana would take the time to come out here and visit us. We had a great time!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cookie Naturals

For FHE we decorated cookies. The girls LOVED it. Emmeline loved squeezing the frosting out of the bag and I think Mabel just loved the frosting!! I cant say I blame either one.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Book of Mormon--Time Machine Primary Activity

On February 28 we had our first primary quarterly activity of the year. We had a time machine that took the kids back to Book of Mormon times. I thought that the activity was a lot of fun and very memorable for the kids. I'll admit that it was a lot of work, but seeing the response of the kids, it was totally worth the effort.

Once the kids arrived at the church they got to make headbands and decorate "treasure bags" (brown paper bags). Then they were put into 6 different groups according to their ages. Then we all headed into the time machine. The time machine was on the stage. It was decorated with colored flashing lights, a strobe light and disco ball, and a fun sound effect. We had a "START" button which one child got to push and we all counted down together. Each group was taken to a different point in time. After each rotation the kids came back to the time machine where we "started" it again. We got to do this 7 times. It was really cool. The first time the sound was to soft and didn't make a big impression so I cranked up the volume. The second time it was so loud all of the kids were scared. oops. I turned the volume down. By the third time in the machine, I thought I had a pretty good balance of sound. . .even though the youngest kids (my three year old daughter included) continued to cover their ears each time in the machine. :)

The 7 rotations were:

-Nephite Market. This was our "atmosphere" or theme room. We completely decorated the primary room as if it were an ancient Nephite market. We lashed together several bamboo pieces to create market stalls. We brought in colorful woven blankets and pottery. We put up a "mayan temple" on the wall, covered the floor with straw and placed greenery all around. I thought it looked pretty awesome. We gave the children several gold (senine) and silver (onti) pieces which they could spend at the market. At one stall there were tortillas, rice and beans. At another stall there were fried scones and honey. And at the last stall there were beads to make bracelets and feathers. It was a fun rotation where the kids could wonder around the room on there own and do what they wanted and feel like children in an ancient market.

-Tree of Life. In this rotation the children got to go outside and experience walking along an iron rod to get to the tree of life and the most precious fruit. Along the way there were the young women trying to tempt the kids to let go. Out of all the 50+ children we had at the activity, only 4 let go. A funny story. . .one of those kids was my own sweet Emmeline. One of the young women held out a princess crown. Apparently (and I wasnt there to see this. . .but several people told me about it) Emmeline didnt even hesitate but ran straight for the princess crown. lol. I can see I'm going to have to talk to my girls about worldly treasures vs. eternal treasures.

-Ammon Theater Room. In this rotation the kids got to see the story of Ammon acted out. I'm pretty sure that it was an interactive kind of show. Brett was asked to be Ammon at the last minute. We had to ask a parent to go around with his class. . .but I think he enjoyed being part of one of the rotations. The kids got to see Ammon fighting to save the kings sheep and they also witnessed King Lamoni and the Queen being so overcome by the spirit that they fell as if they were dead.

-Samuel the Lamenite. For this rotation the children got to pretend that they were wicked Nephites and throw rocks (crushed paper) at Samuel who was on the wall after they listened to him testify of the Christ and tell them to repent. The kids really enjoyed this (as you can imagine).

-Moroni: Title of Liberty. For this rotation, Captain Moroni talked to the kids about his Title of Liberty and the things that were worthy to fight for--"In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." Then the children each got to make their own title of liberty on cloth shaped like a shirt. They tied their flags to some bamboo sticks for all to see.

-Moroni: Wondering alone in the Wilderness. Here the children got to be with a different prophet named Moroni. This was at the end of the Book of Mormon when Moroni is wondering around alone. We had a tent set up in this room and the children all hid together with Moroni in the tent. They each got some "plates" (foil covered 5'7 index cards) on which they got to "engrave" their testimonies of the Savior. (or draw pictures of their testimonies.)

-Testimony of the Savior coming to America. After each group had gone to each of the first 6 rotations, we brought them all together for the last one. Here we talked about the great storms and darkness which covered the land when the Savior was killed in Jerusalem. We flicked the lights (lightning) and used a severe thunderstorm background. I had covered all the windows with paper so that when we turned off the lights it was dark. Not pitch black and scary, but dark enough to give the children an idea of what I was talking about. Then we talked about when the Savior came to America and blessed the people and blessed the children. I made a slideshow including pictures of the Savior throughout his life to help the kids visualize who the Savior is and what He did for us. (I'll post this slideshow through youtube, just below this post.)

All in all, I would say that this has been one of my favorite primary activities yet (and I've been doing primary for almost 3 and a half years now). I think the children had fun learning about different times from the Book of Mormon and I hope that they felt the spirit as we talked about the Savior. I know that for me, this activity strengthened my own testimony of Jesus Christ. I was blessed to be in charge of the final rotation and put together the slideshow. As I listened to beautiful music and looked at beautiful representations of the Savior in art, I was filled with the peaceful spirit which accompanies thought of our Savior. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. I know that He lived a perfect life and that He atoned for the sins of the world and died on a cross because He loves us. I know that He lives and that He will come to the earth again. I know that He loves me. I know that He loves all of His children (even those of us who are not so small.) I am so thankful for the joy that His gospel brings into my life. And I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to share this testimony to the wonderful children in my ward each Sunday.

This is the Christ

This is the first part of the slideshow that I made for the Book of Mormon Time Machine activity. This shows pictures of Jesus throughout His life. It is set to the song "This is the Christ" sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (

I Know That My Savior Loves Me

This is the second part of the slide show I made for the Book of Mormon Time Machine activity. This has pictures of the primary children in my ward juxtaposed to pictures of the Savior with children to the song "I Know That My Savior Loves Me" which was in an old edition of the Friend Magazine.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rolling a Snowman

This is the first snowman that Emmeline and Mabel have ever made here at our home in Birmingham Alabama. They were soooo excited!! It was awesome that it was Sunday so Daddy could be home to help the girls make an awesome snowman!!

Snow Day

It doesnt happen often, but we did have a snow day this year in Birmingham Alabama. (March 1, 2009). It snowed so much that church was cancelled. The girls loved going outside to see and play in the snow.

Coming Down

Mabel loves slides. Big slides. Little slides. All slides. Here she is going down the small slide at the McWane Center (Emmeline was playing in the water area). If you listen carefully, you can hear her sweet little giggle at the end of the clip.

Book of Mormon Stories--song

Emmeline and Mabel singing Book of Mormon Stories. We love to sing all sorts of songs together. Anything with hand actions is fine by Mabel.

Playing in the Water

In this video the girls and I are at the McWane Science Center. The girls love to play in the water. Emmeline especially could play in the water for hours without getting bored or distracted. We love the McWane Center!! (Feb. 2009)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Swimming Lessons

Here is a video of Emmeline during her third swimming lesson. She started swimming lessons at the beginning of February and has really been enjoying them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland 2009

It doesn't happen vary often, but it snowed here in Birmingham Alabama on Sunday March 1. It was so fun. It had been snowing through the night so when we all woke up there was quite a layer on the grass. Emmeline looked out the window and excitedly exclaimed, "Winter finally came!!" I thought it was so cute. I didnt counter that spring was supposed to be starting.

Because no one here is prepared to drive anywhere in the snow, church was cancelled. (Growing up in Utah-where they were hesitant to cancel school unless people were literally blocked in their homes by the snow-I wasnt sure you could cancel church. lol) We enjoyed the morning playing in the snow and Emmeline got to make her first snowman. I was so glad that it snowed on a weekend day so that Brett could be home to play with the girls in the snow. After playing we went inside and enjoyed hot apple cider and scones.mmmmmm. What a fun day!!

The very next day all of the snow was melted. Except for our little snowman who held on for another couple of days before completely disappearing.