general conference april 2013

Every year I try to come up with a new idea of how to distract my kids while we watch 8 hours over 2 days of conference. This year I got inspired the day before. My little sister, Christina, told me about this girl who made an entire “conference center” on a tri-fold poster and I said, “That’s so stupid. I can’t believe she put all that energy into that. And how old are her kids? How many does she have? Just ridiculous” … and then I saw it online and read her blog post about why she made it here.

She wanted to find something that would actually involve her children in conference instead of merely distracting them and I latched onto that thought and then ran with it … until 1:30 am on Friday night. Admittedly, this was a major undertaking, but hopefully I will use it over and over again. Along with the conference center board, I made treat buckets. There were a lot of ideas online to do this, so I don’t know who to credit the idea to, but it’s great. My boys are old enough to know how to listen for words and take treats. I would not recommend this for children 3 and under. They’d just steal the treats or be really mad that they couldn’t just eat buckets of treats for a few hours. I tried to pick a few healthier treats than just jellybeans and M&M’s. I picked: fishies, popcorn, chocolate covered raisins, all natural fruit snacks, some mini cookies (I caved here) and animal crackers.

Here’s the best part – it worked. Like a charm. seriously. My Noah was especially interested in the conference board, even moving the clock hands every 10 minutes to mimic the actual clock in our front room. He kept up with putting topics in our speech bubble and changed every speaker at the podium. He and Liam also LOVED the snacks. Liam mostly just watched when Noah would hear a word and grab a treat from the bucket then follow suit, but hey, it worked. They were quiet, interested and good! And after the Saturday sessions, Noah said, “I wish we had more conference”. I told him we had another whole day and he did a little fist pump in the air and said, “yes!” How cool is it that my boys like conference??!!!

Anyway, it’s almost time for the last session to start, so I’m going to post the pictures and eat something.

The board in action …. funny that Ray is the only one cheesing for the camera.

Ray really loved the board and thought it was pretty tasty too!

This makes it look like Daniel slept through conference … he did not. He got up early this morning and took care of the boys while I slept in ’til 9:45 am. I just had to get a shot of his beautiful and serene face. He looks so handsome when he sleeps.

I made some snacky type foods for in between sessions and the boys loved that. They loaded up their own plates with whatever they wanted! I had put out the food on platters because we were having friends over for the second session and Noah kept saying, “Mommy, this looks sooooo nice! You put everything in lines and it looks so pretty!” …. ahhh, kid after my own OCD heart :)

Concentrating on peeling an orange. I love my boys. All so gorgeous. Happy conference weekend!

Easter 2013

This year for the boys’ Easter outfits I just got a few things and kept the khaki pants and same hats from last year. I got the vests, shirts and ties at RUUM, a kids’ clothing store that used to be 77kids, a break off from American Eagle. It’s a fun store, cool style and not bad prices when they’re having sales, which they were. I’ll just show our pictures, but give details of the Easter hunt and dinner at our friends’ house later.

Look at my handsome men. Big and small. They are perfect, aren’t they?

 It’s sad to say, but all I can see when I see this picture is how much weight I still need to lose since I had Ray. sigh.

And even though Ray has his own post below, I had to throw in this last one. I love his little chin and relaxed mouth … makes him look almost squishy right? He’s so “kinny kinny” as my dad would say. Happy Easter!

Easter 2013, just Ray

Seriously, the camera loves this happy kid. Ray was asleep during our family photo shoot for Easter, so Ray got a separate shoot. It only took about 3 minutes, because he just sat there on the settee just smiling at me like this, for every picture. It was amazing. Best kid to photograph. ever.

Now, lemme explain his outfit: I wanted to do a cardigan onesie and after practicing on one a few weeks ago, I felt pretty confident. I finally found the grey and white striped long sleeve onesie I was looking for at the consignment store and made my onesie cardigan. Then I needed a yellow bowtie. I couldn’t find the right yellow fabric in my store of fabric and so I asked Daniel if he had any ties he wanted to get rid of and he did! The only problem was that the tie I wanted to use was yellow and blue. I didn’t want the blue … soooooo, I just folded and sewed the blue parts together so that the tie looked all yellow, then I made it into the bowtie you see above. I attached the bowtie to a white short sleeved onesie underneath the long sleeved onesie cardigan and there you have it – Happy Easter little Ray!

I had a little fun editing the first and last picture of Ray. Just for fun.


Easter 2013 outtakes

Easter pictures always make every family look so perfect, right? Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, here’s the story behind the fantastic pictures …. the outtakes:

You’d think this was the picture we took after a million others, right? They look so exhausted. Well, this was the first picture. We had to threaten jolly Noah into taking pictures.

I call this next one the “awkward prom pose” because Liam has his hand on Noah’s waist for some reason.

No explanation needed for the next one.


I don’t know if anyone else is a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan like Daniel and I are (Daniel reads it to me every night …. 10 years running now), but to quote the great Bill Watterson, “These pictures will remind us of more than we want to remember”.

Ah, yes. This last little beauty is a great example of Daniel’s weak eyes. He was squinting through the majority of the pictures I took of him and the boys. Daniel did this at our wedding too and every picture in between. You’d think it was sunny outside or something, but it wasn’t. This is Daniel saying, “I can’t handle any more of this! It’s too shiny!” ….. and it was overcast.