Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Ideas

Kiddie Crafts
Santa Belt Napkin Ring
Cardboard tube
1 sheet each of red, white, and black felt
Gold chenille stem
White craft glue

                                  Paper Bag Reindeer
Brown paper lunch bag
Medium black pom-pom
Construction paper:
4 jungle bells
Red plastic milk jug lid, Glue stick, Gold paint pen

Photo Wreath
Using wood glue, affix miniature wooden clothespins to a large (about 14”diameter) embroidery hoop. Alternate clothespins to point outward and inward, spaced 1.5 inches apart. Suspend from a ribbon, and clip your cards in place as you receive them. 


Gilded Magazine Trees
Watch the video tutorial. It’s very simple but time consuming. But worth it as the end result is modern and lovely.


Homemade Gifts
Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Basically, melt chocolate, dip spoons, decorate, and let cool on wax paper. Package in cellophane and attach to a festive mug with your favorite instant cocoa mix for a fun gift.


Hot Chocolate on a Stick
This is a much richer, fancier version of the dipped spoon and does not require anything other than a cup of hot milk. There are detailed instructions and several variations. 

Decorative Decal Pillar Candles

There are 10 free printables for the decals with matching clip art designs for the matchbox covers. Directions are fairly simple and the results are gorgeous. What a fun gift idea.


Paper Dreidel Game

 Print the template on cardstock. Cut and glue it to form a box. Use a pencil or wooden dowel for the spinner. Follow the game instructions and have fun with the kids.

Hanukkah Activity Book

Simply print out the pages and let your kids enjoy learning more about Hanukkah while having fun. Includes connect the dots, maze, coloring, matching.

Hanukkah Wreath

Wire coat hanger
14 to 16 tp rolls
Winter color paint white paper (or craft foam, gift wrap or tinfoil)
Tape, glue, scissors


Hanukkah Window Stars

 Vellum, in gold or blue,
Micro-hole punch (for small star)
Needle and thread 
Screw punch (for large star)

Candlelit Branch and Ribbon Star of David

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with this manzanita-branch menorah, sprayed shimmering silver and trimmed with candles. Ribbon Star of David

Star-Punched Paper Hurricanes

Decorative paper
Hurricane vase
Large sponge
Awl, T pin, or thumbtack
Japanese hole punch
Double-sided tape 


Gumdrop Pops
Wrap the candy pops in cellophane bags, and then attach them to gifts or slip them into stockings. Or create a holiday display: Partially fill a large glass jar with sanding sugar, and stand the figurines on flower frogs in the sparkling "snow." 

Candy Trees
Use chocolate candy for the base. Wrap green chenille around a pencil or your finger. Attach to the base. Make a paper star for the top. Cute place setting decorations.


Easy Holiday Treats from Oriental
Trading Co.
Check out these adorable treats your kids will love to make and eat.

Healthier Holiday Treats

Elf or Reindeer Sanwiches, Apple Ornament Snacks, and more fun, easy-to-make food for your little ones.           

Kiwi Christmas tree with tomato star and skewer trunk.

Snap pea Christmas tree with cheese star and pretzel trunk.

Edible Menorah

Paper Plate
Plastic Knife
Foods from your Refrigerator
Candles Sticks: Pretzels, Marshmallows stacked, carrots, cold cuts rolled, noodles, pickle slices
Flames: Raisins, Orange Pieces, Sprinkles, Strawberries, Licorice, Grapes, Pepperoni
Menorah: Bananas but in half length wise, Bread, Matza, Pizza Crust,
Edible Glue: Peanut Butter, Cream Cheese Ketchup, Mustard, Icing, Honey, Yogurt

Chocolate Marshmallow Dreidel
12 chocolate kisses
8 oz.  melted semisweet chocolate
12 marshmallows
12 thin pretzel sticks
2 oz.  melted white chocolate
Dip bottom of kiss in melted semisweet chocolate. Press onto marshmallow; transfer to a  Refrigerate for 10 minutes on parchment-lined baking sheet. Insert 1 thin pretzel stick. Dip dreidels in chocolate,. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Fill a resealable plastic bag with melted white chocolate; snip  corner, and pipe Hebrew letters onto 3 sides of each dreidel. Refrigerate at least 5 minutes or up to 8 hours before serving.


Friday, August 31, 2012

More Quotes

I've been really bad about updating the blog but I simply must preserve these gems.

We drove up to Midway, UT recently to visit with Tammy and the beautiful countryside inspired a few nuggets from Jarom. As we got closer and everything became green fields with horses and sheep and cows, Jarom excitedly exclaimed, "This looks like the WILD, mommy! Aunty Tammy lives in the WILD!" So, apparently, Midway, UT is wildlands as far as my Vegas boy is concerned. Then, later on while we were in her house but with the back sliding door open, Jarom took a few deep breaths and asked, "Mommy, what's that smell?" "What do you mean, Jarom? I don't smell anything." "Hmmmm, I guess that's what the country smells like." He does have a sensitive nose. He can smell if cookies have been baked in a house within the last 12 hrs. and he can tell if I've used alcohol to clean the floors four hours earlier.

Another Jaromism. We went to Park City to watch a skateboarding competition and afterwards got ice cream on Main Street with all these cute little shops. On our way to the competition we saw one of those YOUR SPEED signs with the digital read out of your speed. Jarom asked about it and I explained what it was. Then as we were leaving to go get ice cream, he turned right at an intersection after we'd told him we were going left. He sped away down the sidewalk as I called out to him that he was going the wrong way. He yelled back as he raced along with pumping arms, "I'm trying to see what MY speed is!" Only then did I notice he was running toward the speed sign. Sadly, it did not clock his speed.

Last night we read about the 2,000 stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. They're sometimes called the sons of Helaman.  Somehow that sparked a most unlikely conversation.....except in our family.
Jarom:  What if you really had 2,000 sons!
Keahi:  What if they were all twins!
Jarom: Yeah, it would be like blop-blop-blop-blop! (with accompanying shooing hand gestures) Your vagina might explode!
Yup. No storks in this family.

Then this morning when I went into the boys' room to get them going for their first day of school, Keahi told me they'd been talking about how babies are formed. I casually asked what he meant. He said that the baby gets bigger and bigger in a uterus and then gets squeezed out a tube. Ummmmm, yeah that about sums it up. And then they started laughing about if Mie still had her umbilical cord they could feed her through it. Like a bird. They could throw up into the tube and feed her. Wow, it's amazing how the boys can make everything gross. Granted, though, the whole nurishing a baby in utero is kinda gross seeming.

For the last several months Keahi's new line has been "I'm a dinosaur!" I forget the first time he did it but I remember that we all laughed and so he continued to throw it out occasionally. But then it seemed to become almost a compulsion or at least something he unthinkingly did. I'd ask him a question and he'd calmly reply, "I'm a dinosaur!" Or he'd be reading a book by himself and quietly mutter, "I'm a dinosaur." During dinner, in the middle of FHE, or at bathtime. "I'm a dinosaur." Then, it started to morph again. Now it only reappears when he's uncomfortable--particularly about boy-girl things. When Harry Potter and Ginny Weasly kissed, he blurted out, "I'm a dinosaur." Like a lifeline out of the confusion of preteen feelings back to the solidity of I. Am. A. Dinosaur. I must say I feel like I need a lifeline myself when I think about all the changes I'm about face with my growing boy. Please, stay a dinosaur a bit longer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Things I Forgot I Missed About Babies

It's been five years since I had a newborn in the house. I'm not the kind of woman that coos over everyone's babies or asks to hold them. I'm not much of a baby person...except when it comes to my own sweet bundles. But I have to say that having Mie in the house is even better than I remembered. There's so many things I forgot that I loved about babies.

-Baby yawns. Eyes all squished tight with that perfect oval mouth.

-Baby stretches. She twists her body, arches her back, and thrusts her fists into the air in what the boys call her Victory Pose.

-Sleep expressions. I swear it's the best show in town when she twitches her eyebrows, grimaces, pouts, giggles, and grunts athletically all while fast asleep.

-That indescribable baby smell. I love it. I don't even mind the nastier smells.

-Baby shoes. I never really had shoes for the boys so I just couldn't imagine how adorable my baby girl in pink converse would be.

-Hair accessories. Same deal. Girls are way, way more fun to dress up. Yes, Tammy, it is like having a live doll. I admit you were right.

-Baby stares. When Mie looks at me she is completely focused on me. Her brows tighten up and it's like she's memorizing my face. And I know I'm the center of her universe.

-Baby smiles. They're still really rare right now (well, now it's a month later and she smiles like a champ), but they just melt my heart. I can't wait till she starts to laugh while awake. (Well, now it's two months later and she has the most awesome laugh.)

-Baby's big brothers. It wasn't exactly the same when Jarom was a baby because Keahi is far more self absorbed than Jarom. Plus Jarom is older as well as being a younger brother so he was so excited at the prospect of becoming the big brother. He hovers around her and can't seem to stop chanting her name. He calls her his baby.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting What You Need, Not What You Want

Today's Relief Society lesson was about prayer. Remembering that it's important to ask, to have purpose, to listen for the answer. I bore my testimony about how God often answers our prayers with what we need, not what we want.

Last year Iz and I discussed and came up with our top 3 choices for vacation times that would coincide with the boys' school breaks. He also chose which electives he wanted for which months. Later we discovered that we didn't get any of our choices. We were upset at first because that meant no going to Hawaii or anywhere else. But in retrospect I'm so grateful that we weren't given what we wanted.

If we had gotten the vacation schedule we'd wanted Iz wouldn't have had a week off in January to be there for Mie's birth. If he'd gotten the elective he'd wanted for January he would have had Dr Nakamura for an attending who allowed him to miss an extra week to be with his family. He was so accommodating after Iz's paternity leave had been denied through official channels.Because of him I got to have Iz with me for two weeks.

Then when Iz's moped broke down again and we learned that his motor was on backorder, Iz's schedule allowed us to survive two months with one car. His Community Medicine rotation in March worked perfectly for mom and Tam to visit us and for Keahi's bday and baptism. And then his Night Float rotation in April let me have the car during the day. And now that his motor finally arrived on Friday afternoon, Iz has his vacation week starting Monday and will be able to fix it so that next week I won't have to figure out how to take him to work and take care of the kids' schedules at the same time.

A friend at church is leaving this week because her husband starts his dental residency in Connecticut and she was worried about how hard it will be to basically be a single mom of two. But I can honestly say that it hasn't been nearly as hard as I'd imagined it'd be. And mostly because I'm not in it alone. I've got Iz as often as possible and Heavenly Father always.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Man of Science; Man of God

Wow. Found this draft from last June and figured it was time to finish it.

 People tell me everyday that my boys look so much alike. Some even ask if they're twins. I smile and say, no, they're 2 1/2 years apart, and silently add also they're about 1 1/2 feet apart as well so unless you're thinking of an Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny Devito scenario you need to have your eyes checked. But they do definitely look like brothers. And act like it, too.

But the differences are also pretty stark. Keahi, from a young age, always asked questions. About the planets. About rocks. About the world around him. He always wanted to know things. He's always known he was going to be a scientist when he grew up and I believe him. Jarom also asks a lot of questions. And says he wants to be a scientist when he grows up. But, from the questions he asks, I'm thinking he'll go into theology rather than the sciences.

"Mommy, how do we defeat Satan?"
"Mommy, I think bad guys started out as good guys but chose to be bad."

It used to catch me off guard; Keahi's focus of science certainly hadn't prepared me for it. It's not that we don't talk about the gospel in our home, but from all of Jarom's gymnastic endevours during said FHE lessons, you'd never know that he was actually listening, let alone thinking about what was said. But somehow he really does think about it.

If I was busy with something downstairs while they were going to read scriptures, Jarom would yell down for me and insist that I not let go of the iron rod. When Keahi was sent to timeout for hitting him, Jarom wanted to show him mercy because, "that's what God does. He shows mercy and then helps people to become righteous." When my sister came to visit with her kids, it was Jarom who tried to get his cousin to come to church or pray with us at night. "If you say the prayer you get to pick to bedtime song." "Don't you want to come to church with us? It's fun and we get lots of treats, too!" I swear I didn't prompt him or encourage him.

Another aspect of Jarom's religious ponderings is that he doesn't just say he wants to be a missionary like his brother does automatically. When Iz asked the boys about it, Keahi immediately says of course he's going to serve a mission. And that's great, don't get me wrong. But Jarom pauses and answers that he thinks it must be really hard to be a missionary and sometimes he's really shy but he's still thinking about it. Pretty mature for a five year old.

I love seeing the differences in my boys. I love thinking about how they came from me and are literally a part of me, but they are still separate and whole and wholly Other. They surprise me, amaze me, frustrate me, delight me. I'm so glad I get to be their mom. And now Mie's, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Well no wonder Keahi has a big ego

I'm always amazed at all the kids I see waving furiously at Keahi and shouting out to him from far away. Now that he's in third grade GATE and fourth grade math this year, the number of kids who know him has exploded. He's generally pretty aloof with them so I don't know quite what makes them all like him so much. But here's an example of this strange phenomenon.

I was walking behind Keahi as he rode his bike from school to the park beside it when two boys came up beside me and yelled out bye to him. They asked if I was his mom and then we chatted a bit about him. One was in his 2nd grade class and the other was in his 4th grade math class. The older boy said they were all amazed when they found out how young he was and how he always knows the answers and that he probably knew even more than their teacher. Then when we were at the park that boy asked Keahi to ride his bike for a bit. Afterwards, I overheard those same two boys talking about Keahi some more while Keahi was off riding his bike.
"How do you know Keahi? He's in MY class."
"But he comes to MY math class."
"I know him better than you do."
"No, you don't!"
"Do you know when his birthday is?"
"No. But he was born in 2004."
"Well, I know his birthday and I'm going to his party."

Wow. They were seriously arguing about who knew my kid better. Glad he didn't hear it.

Then a couple weeks later I had a chat with Keahi's primary teacher. We were all sick so had stayed home from church but I went for a bit to do my Sister Friendly calling in primary. She told me she was sad that Keahi had missed church because she had made a big deal about all the kids that had been baptized the day before. And then she let drop the bomb that I can't believe any teacher--or parent for that matter--would say. During her testimony she apparently asked the congregation who they thought was the smartest kid here and then informed them that it was Keahi Temple. I don't know what else she said after she told me that because I was just stunned and again grateful that Keahi missed that one. And hoping none of the kids there were listening to her or wouldn't hold it against Keahi. Really, I don't know what she was thinking saying that.

But that just hammered home just why Keahi thinks so well of himself. He missed both of these conversations but how many others has he heard. Yikes. The new word of the day around here is HUMILITY.

Conversations and quotes to remember

I haven't felt like dealing with the error in the quote of the day formatting so it's been lacking for a while but I need to remember some of these gems.

Jarom recently took home four guppies from his class and has just named them: dinosaur, shark, barracuda, and little croc-ee. He said it was because he wanted them to feel good about themselves. And ferocious, too.

Today while I was nursing upstairs, Jarom suddenly started to cry. I found out that Keahi had elbowed him in the face after Keahi had told him repeatedly to be quiet during the show. Guess talking in a movie would be a bad move if you're with Keahi. I sent him to his room and comforted Jarom. While we were chatting, Keahi called out asking if he could come out yet. I said NO. But then Jarom said, "I wish Keahi could come out now." When I asked him why he said "That's what God does. He shows mercy to people and helps them to be righteous." Wow. Jarom is awesome. I used to say before Jarom was born that I would trade some of Keahi's smarts for some obedience from him instead. Jarom's not exactly the most obedient, but he is compassionate and I'll take that.

Jarom wrote a silly sentence at school. "My alligator turned into a magnatar." I asked him about it and he told me about how a star can turn into a magnetar and have big gamma ray burst. He said he learned about it from the Universe show. I guess his teacher didn't know what it was either because she incorrectly spelled it for him. I'm sure she thought he was making up a funny word. I think it's pretty cool that he knows about magnetars.

Jarom: Keahi you are the most awesome person in the family.
Keahi: No, Jarom. We're the same awesome.

The first couple of times Jarom had breakfast at school I sat with him to help him get used to it. Here's a conversation we overheard between a 1st grade boy (YB)and what looked like a couple of 4th or 5th graders (OB1 and OB2).

OB1 "Hey, are you doing your homework now? It's due today."
YB "I knoooow. But I was busy this week. And it's really easy."
OB2 "I know what you were doing. Sitting on the couch playing video games all week. Right?"
YB "No. I had a lot of parties to go to, okay."
OB1 "How many?"
YB "Like ten." (Wow. Quite the socialite for a six year old.)
OB1 "Well, you shouldn't play a lot of video games cause it makes you stupid."
YB "Yeah, I know that."
OB2 "Yeah. Video games make you dumb."
OB1 "Well, do you know what 50 times 50 is?"
YB "No. I'm only in the first grade."
OB1 "I think we were learning that in the first grade."
OB2 "No. I think we were in the second grade." (Wow. They're both wrong. How quickly their timelines gets messed up.)
OB1 "Hey, do you know what 50 times 50 is?"
OB2 "Ummmmm.....1500.
girl "No. It's 2500."
OB2 "Yeah. That's what I meant."
OB1 "Anyway, our teacher let us do advanced stuff. And she let us do extra work, too."
YB "Well, MY teacher lets us do extra work sometimes, too."

I love that these kids spontaneously ask each other math questions at the breakfast tables. And that they all knowingly nod their head to each other about the brain-sucking power of video games. Who are these kids? No wonder Keahi has found his own science geek circle of friends here.

And that reminds me of another overheard conversation at Keahi's old Las Vegas school. It wasn't as good as this one but I like the language standards. Keahi had to use the bathroom at his school before we could leave to go home so I was waiting outside for him with Jarom. Then, a group of older boys went inside and I immediately heard them complaining about the smell. Their disgusted words and noises quickly embarrassed Keahi who yelled at them to stop it and then yelled SHUT UP!! A shocked boy left the bathroom to tell me, "Your son just said the S-word." At first I was confused because Keahi doesn't even know the S_ _ _ word and I certainly hadn't heard it. Then the boy clarified, "He told us to S up!" Ohhhhh. Thinking back to the last time I visited Kahuku elementary as an adult and had a little six year old boy flip me off for no reason and tell me to F*%! off, I was pleasantly surprised by the cleaner language standards of this neighborhood. Of course, Keahi knows he's not supposed to say Shut up and I reminded him about it but inside I was kinda smiling.

Keahi was hovering over Mie trying to get her to smile and then he said, "Mie is the cutest baby in the world to me. And to our family. But to another family their baby is the cutest in the world. It's like stars. The closer they are the brighter they seem. The closer you are to a baby the cuter it seems.
It's not exactly a quote or conversation but I want to remember how the boys like to bow down in worship of Mie like they're ewoks and Mie is C3PO in Return of the Jedi. I think she'll get a kick out of it if they keep doing it when she's older.