Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WFMW - Easter Treasure Hunt

Works for Me Wednesday
A fun Easter activity Here's an activity we did several years in a row when the kids were younger. One advantage to making things a little sturdier the first time around is that you only have to do the chore once. But doing a one-time-use set of cards would work too. And I was nice and typed everything up, so all you have to do is go here to print them out if you want. (Sorry, but you'll have to do your own cutting and coloring.)
Indoor Easter Treasure Hunt

Directions: Print out pages. Cut out six egg shapes and six cards. Use cardstock and laminate first, if desired. Tape egg over clue on each corresponding card. Keep card #1 accessible, then hide the rest:

#2 at the washing machine
#3 by a window
#4 under Mom’s pillow
#5 under a couch
#6 by a Bible

Put a small treasure/treat in the egg bin in the refrigerator.

When ready to play, hand your children clue #1. After they unscramble the words, they lift up the egg to see where to go next. Continue until you reach the treasure.
And here's a new recipe we tried just this year that might make a fun treat. Steven called them Playdough Cookies, but they're really called "Springtime Slice-and-Bake Confetti Cookies."Remember to check out We are THAT Family whenever you're stumped for fun ideas, and you'll find plenty to keep you busy! This week she has a wonderful tip for using a whisk for dying eggs. We just may try that this year.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Eat Pete

Memorable Monday Moments
"Don't Eat Pete"

Jeff asked for fun game ideas to share with the younger kids in their missionary lessons and "Don't Eat Pete" was the first one that came to mind. Our home teacher introduced it to us, and no matter how often we used it, the kids were enthralled. The directions are really quite simple.
1) Draw a few stick-figure faces on a piece of paper.
2) Send someone out of the room and pick one of the pictures to be Pete.
3) Place a small candy or pretzel on each picture.
4) The person returns and starts eating the treats one-by-one. If he picks up the treat on "Pete" everyone else yells "Don't eat Pete" and his turn is over.
5) The object is to pick Pete last so you can eat all the candy.

I googled and found several sites with variations. Have fun deciding which one you like best!
This is really just meant to be a fun game to foster family togetherness. However, if you wanted to search for a "lesson" to teach how about "be quick to observe" or "show kindness to others" or "seek for guidance"? What else would you suggest?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friday Flashback
National Park Series #18 We really did enjoy the Florida national parks, but it was wonderful to go to the mountains in the summer once again. Even if it rained every day! (Something that doesn't happen in the west.)
There was plenty of time for hiking and climbing (our favorite hike was to the top of Chimney Tops where we were above the clouds) and watching cascading waterfalls and cooking delicious dinners on the campfire.And so although we missed the two oldest boys, we thoroughly enjoyed our national park vacation in 2004.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Brad!

Friday Flashback
an addendum to the National Park Series

As you'll recall, our family tradition is to spend a week camping and hiking at a different national park each year. But Wayne also has the goal to hike every trail in every park. Sometimes that can't be accomplished in one week, so when we have the opportunity to go back at another time, we do - even if it means someone spends their 17th birthday out in the wild. At least we learned how to bake a cake in the Dutch oven, so he got to blow out candles! He doesn't look too thrilled, but at least the next day he was smiling. And here are some pictures of the alligators and anhingas that didn't show up in the pictures I took on our original visit to Everglades National Park.

So, Happy Birthday Brad! We hope you have a fun one this year :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Results

I know you're all just dying to know how Michelle's game went. So, here you go --Here she is (#2) at the start of the game.
Then it was time to go in and stand in the huddle.
She's a wide receiver (and of course was always on the far side of the field). There she is crouched and ready for her first play.
A couple of plays later her team scored, and she got to come back to the sidelines while the defense took over.
During half-time it was time to get instructions from the coach.
I probably should have added some arrows to the pictures, but trust me that she's in this one running her route.
The game's over and they won!
Final score: 27-6 (I don't want to leave my observant readers confused. The clock doesn't say 00:00 because the clock keepers were not observant and didn't start the fourth quarter clock properly. The referees' watches trumped the "official" clock.)
Our happy princess/athlete.
I had her move so the lights weren't in the background, but I think I like the first picture better because it sparkles. What do you think?

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Experience

Memorable Monday Moments
Flag Football It's been over two years since we've paid attention to the high school sports calendar, but this year Michelle decided it had been long enough and so she tried out for the flag football team. She made the JV squad and tonight's their first game. Guess what our family night activity is? Go Bulls!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dry Tortugas National Park

Friday Flashback

The next year - 2003 - we ALL made it to the "southernmost point" in Key West. Dry Tortugas is an interesting national park. It's quite tiny and is only accessible by boat. It's basically an old fort on an island 70 miles west of Key West. There is a small campground on the island, but the year we went it was closed because of hurricane damage. So, we found a private (super tiny!) campground in town and just spent one day in the park. The other days we toured Key West and the beaches of the Florida Keys. Paradise is a wonderful place!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WFMW - Blog Backgrounds

Works for Me Wednesday
Blog Backgrounds, and more

A couple of years ago I was able to meet an amazing person. And even though it was only a single day, and we never even really talked, she's made an impact on my life. Cristi was the photographer at our son's wedding. She and Jessi (her picture-taking partner) were wonderful, enthusiastic, and caring, and helped make our special day marvelous.

However, afterwards I learned she had a couple of blogs, and it was while reading them that I realized what a truly special person she is. Her personal blog is private but here's the blog connected to her photography business (I could look at her pictures all day!), and here's her other creative blog, which was the motivation for this post. She puts together blog backgrounds to share with others. Occasionally changing my blog background, particularly to help celebrate a holiday, is what works for me.

Cristi makes it easy and simple! Be sure and check it out yourself!
And while you're at it, you can get a lot of other ideas to make your life easier over at Rocks in My Dryer where we're celebrating "Works for Me Wednesday."

Oh, and the "and more" is a reminder that I really enjoy experimenting with making photo collages using the Picasa program, which you can download here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"I Will Always Obey"

Memorable Monday Moments
Learning a New Song

This week I was reminded of a song from The Friend we learned years ago for family night. (It also was the perfect song to use in an inservice lesson on "how to teach a song" because it has a catchy tune and is repetitive.) I don't know if the boys will remember it, but I do, and I still love it. Even without singing it, going over the words and reviewing the stories and principles would make a great family home evening lesson.

However, if you have a piano handy and read music, you can go here and click on the picture to can get the sheet music yourself. You could also go here (and scroll down a bit until you see the title) and click to hear the first couple of phrases of the song. And you could even go here to purchase the mp3 file. Aren't I just being so helpful!!

Here are the words to "I Will Always Obey":

Jesus obeyed His Father,
Kept His commandments perfectly.
Even when He had to suffer and die,
He did not murmur or question why.
He knew the plan, and He followed in faith.
Jesus always obeyed.
Joseph obeyed the Father,
Followed directions faithfully.
Seeing a vision he could not deny,
He did not murmur or question why.
He only listened and followed in faith.
Joseph always obeyed.
Nephi obeyed his father,
Followed instructions carefully.
Always so ready and willing to try,
He did not murmur or question why.
He only listened and followed in faith.
Nephi always obeyed.
When Heavenly Father speaks to me,
Through parents or prophets, or in quiet ways,
I want to listen and follow in faith,
I will always obey.

Copyright © 1996 by Janice Kapp Perry. All rights reserved. This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use. This notice must be included on each copy made.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Everglades National Park

Friday Flashback
National Park Series #16 2002 - Spring Break - Everglades National Park (notice the screen tent!)
This park has a LOT of trails, and we weren't able to complete them all that first week. However, we were able to go back a few times to finish the trails on land.But there are also a lot of canoe trails! I don't know if we'll ever be able to cross all of those off the list, but we did have some interesting experiences going on a few.The view of Bear Lake - a welcome site after canoeing across a windy Coot Bay - but that just meant we had to go back!This is the week Wayne and the older boys made it to the southern-most tip of the continental United States - East Cape. Each national park is so unique, and it's been a real treat to be able to experience so many of them.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WFMW - Lunch Time Again!

Works for Me Wednesday
More school lunch ideas

As I was trying to figure out what to share, I realized that I was putting together school/work lunches, and that it was automatic. Maybe some of what I do to make it make the process less painful can help someone else! Here's what's in the lunches today:

Tuna/Egg Sandwiches - Not too long ago I discovered these wonderful bread "rounds" that are only 100 calories each. Someone's counting calories, yet felt gypped when he only got half a sandwich! Now he can have a whole sandwich and still make his calorie goal.
Grapes - purchased yesterday, so this morning I rinsed all of them and cut the big bunch into single-serving pieces, which means tomorrow it won't take long at all to add them to the sacks
Apple Quarters - sprinkled with lemon juice so they won't turn ugly
Pringles - sorry, have to have something from the factory

Gingerbread Men Cookies - taken straight out of the freezer where they were already individually bagged
When the school year started, I shared some more ideas here, and even the year before too. At one point we calculated I'd make 12,000 school lunches before everyone graduated from high school. It's amazing that there are less than 1,000 to go!
I'm linking up at Works for Me Wednesday, which this week is being hosted at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm looking forward to gathering lots of ideas from others over there.