Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How long does it take to bloom?

Bloom Where You Are Planted...it has been my motto since we decided to move away from our home where we had lived for 17 years as a family.  I had prayed and known that we were to move away.  I was excited for our family.  We prayerfully searched for our new home and felt confirmation by the spirit that we were "planting in the right soil."  I immediately started to "set down roots."  I was determined to thrive in our new area. I had play dates set up before we even unpacked the first box.  I threw myself whole heartedly into my new church calling with the Cubs.  Everyone in our new ward has been so kind and friendly.  I volunteered to be the room mom in two classrooms and volunteer as a reading group teacher in the third classroom. We joined sports teams and a dance class. We found an amazing piano teacher.  I created a neighborhood book club and joined one in our ward.  I joined the neighborhood social committee. We have babysitters we adore.  I have made very wonderful friends in our neighborhood.  I seriously could not ask to live in a more ideal neighborhood.   It feels like something out of a classic tv show or movie sometimes. Chad LOVES his new job! And I love having a happy hubby.  I am sharing all of this to say that I feel like I have been feeding and watering my little garden.  I am being proactive, but,alas, I am not blooming yet.  Everyone here has been fabulous.  It is me, not them.   It has been 9 months since we moved away, yet I still don't feel like Indian Land is home.  Is that okay to say out loud?

I shared all of this with Chad yesterday.  While we were chatting,  I realized that I had forgotten one very important thing about gardens and planting and blooming.  It takes time.  Time to get roots deep enough to bloom.  You can't rush it.  Patience with God's timing is not something I have ever been very good at, so this is another opportunity for me to practice it.  I know we are where we are supposed to be.  I know that the Lord has a plan for our family.  I know that I will look back 9 months from now and laugh at my impatience and it will feel like we have been planted here forever..at least I hope so.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Science Fair 2015

Andrew entered his school science fair this year. He won for his class and then his grade level. He received a ribbon for winning his class and a trophy for winning the school. From there, the school sent his project to the county science fair, where Andrew won first place for all 4th graders in the county, which was the highest prize he could earn. He earned a medal and $50.

Here is the intro he wrote to his project.

"One day my dad found a flat ping pong ball and by just trying to fix it he gave me the idea that started this.  He said that you could use boiling water to make the ping pong ball re-inflate.  He was right.  It did work and I wanted to investigate further and learn why the hot water made the ping pong ball round.  With my parents’ help, I researched and found out about the Montgolfiers’ technique.  By making air inside of an object hot, the air expands and the object will expand.  I wondered which kind of heat would work the best to re-inflate a ping pong ball.  I decided to test two different types of heating methods, 5 times each.  I used boiling water as the first heat source and a hair dryer for the second heat source."

Here are the county winners for each grade level.  I thought it interesting that all the elementary winners were male and the upper grade winners were female.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentines' Day Weekend

We had a busy and fun weekend! We love Valentines' Day way too much to confine its festivities to one day.

 Molly made this cute mailbox for her Valentines at school.

The boys both gave chips to their classmates with this cute printable attached. 

Molly gave these cute cards for her friends with slap bracelets.

I started out the weekend by throwing Molly's class party on Friday.  Ryan was still home sick and Andrew's teacher didn't want volunteers this time and just asked me to bring cupcakes and juice, so I was able to be in Molly's class the whole time.  I missed being with the boys, but did enjoy staying in for the entire party.

We did 5 center rotations.  We ate cupcakes, colored a fuzzy valentine poster, played with strawberry play dough and heart cookie cutters, played musical hearts, and had fun doing math activities with conversation hearts.

That night, we watched a sappy movie, Savannah Smiles, all snuggled up together.  It is a favorite of mine from childhood.  We usually do a dance party, but with Daddy's broken leg, this was more our speed this year.  

The next morning we woke up to our traditional heart waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.  We gave the children presents for Valentines' Day.  And believe it or not, I forgot to take pictures. Molly received the Ever After High Cupid doll and the boys received Lego books. Then Andrew went on a hike with Scouts.  When he returned, Mommy and Daddy left for our big celebration....we went to see Wicked in Greenville while the kids stayed with a sitter and enjoyed their favorite food, chicken pot pie, for dinner and cupcakes for dessert that the babysitter made for them. 

The play was amazing, and Chad was a great sport hobbling up all those stairs to the balcony on his crutches.  Our fellow audience members were great, too.  They cheered and clapped for Chad as he passed by!

On Sunday, we finished up the rest of our family traditions after church. 

 We had our annual heart stacking contest...to see who could make a tower with the most hearts....like this.

At first, we were all doing it this way.  Andrew had the record this year with 14.  Then Captain Literal decided that building the tower with the most candies was open to interpretation.

So everyone started rethinking their strategies, and the game really ended up in free expression with candy hearts.

Here's Chad's contribution to art.

We enjoyed our traditional fondue for dinner.

And it would not have been Valentines' without cutting out paper hearts and heart attacking the front door to our new home.  

We ended the night playing Monopoly, having family scripture study, and reading the entire Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentines together.  I love my family.  I love spending time together with them. 

Andrew's Blue and Gold Banquet Pack 406

I am the Cub Scout Committee Chair in our new ward.  Which is super fun since I have one son already in the program and one who will be in April.  We have great leaders and very supportive families.  This month was our annual Blue and Gold Banquet.  The theme was Knights of the Round Table.

The scouts made all of the decorations, including the backdrop, centerpieces, and family crests.

Andrew designed a family crest to represent our family.  It includes a book, because we love to read, a quill because a Scribner is a writer, and two dragons because they mean valiant.  The blue means truth, the red means warrior, and the orange means worthy ambition.

The Webelos painted the back drop.  Andrew is a Webelo now.

The Bears made these cool dragons for our centerpieces.

The boys and their families made marshmallow catapults for the gathering activity as they arrived.

We opened with a flag ceremony, which Andrew led.

For dinner we served ROUND pancakes, in honor of our knights of the ROUND table.  (I know, cheesy, but they sure were yummy)!

After dinner, the dens presented very "punny" knight themed skits for their families.  One of Andrew's den leaders actually wore chainmail he made himself!!! I told you we have fantastic leaders!

After skits, the boys received awards.  Our Cubmaster had contacted each of the boys' families to share an example of a time their son acted in a knight-like manner.  When he boy came forward, he read the letter to the audience and knighted each scout with swords he had made for them.

The boys loved the swords, but I loved hearing so many wonderful things about these young men.  It is sometimes hard to see the sweet and tender side of 8-10 year old boys when they are together in a large group on a Wednesday night.  However hearing how one defended his sister, another befriended the friendless at school, one was brave in the face of the unknown, and many other wonderful deeds accomplished by these boys, you are reminded that these are sons of our Heavenly Father, chosen to come to earth at this time.  They are among the noble and great ones.  It is humbling to have the privilege to know them.  And even more humbling to be the mother of three of these amazing little people.

We ended the evening with birthday cupcakes...and all the little siblings trying out the throne.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Great Wolf Lodge

My parents gave us a trip to Great Wolf Lodge for Christmas.  On Monday, we picked up the kids early from school and headed up to Concord.  It was our first time visiting, but we certainly hope it is not our last.  It was so much fun! Anyone who knows my kids, knows that they ADORE wolves.  Are obsessed with wolves.  So even if there was nothing else there but Wolf-themed decor, this would have been a dream vacation for them.  At check-in the friendly staff gave each of the kids wolf ears. 

Great Wolf Lodge allows you to use the water park before check-in, so headed down to the water park, changed out of school uniforms and played for the next several hours.  We don't have a lot of pics in the water park. We decided to be in the moment with the kids. We all rode every single water slide our that our height would allow.  Sometimes as a mom, my first instinct is to sit on the sidelines and watch my kids.  But the two days we were there, I rode all of the rides with the kids....but you will just have to take my word, because I won't be sharing any pics of myself in a bathing suit online.  :) 

After two days at Great Wolf Lodge, the kids had mastered the Lilly Pad Crossing and could get across without holding on to the ropes or falling.  All of them were great, but Ryan was especially super speedy. He just ran across them like it was no big deal.  Other kids were seriously studying his technique and parents were telling their children to watch Ryan do it so they could learn how to make it all the way across.   

When the water park was closed, we had a fun time playing Magiquest.  Our friends had given us a wand to borrow, and we all shared it and did the quests together.  Lots of guests were in costume while they played. The children wore their cloaks my friend Dodie made for them. We got lots of compliments on the robes.

The children were able to defeat the dragon before we left.

Even our room was fun.  We stayed in the Kid Cabin.  Each of the kids had their own bed, and the cabin had its on tv.  We had a mini fridge and microwave.  We brought in all of our own food for both days, and splurged for ice cream Monday night for our Family Home Evening Treat.  Nana and Papa had gotten all of us Wolf Pajamas for the occasion.  

It was a fantastic get away from the hustle and bustle of life for 24 hours.   Thank you so much, Nana and Papa!  Can't wait to go back with you.  Anyone else wanting to go, let us know, we would love to join you!  But maybe once Ryan grows one more inch, so he can do ALL of the rides without an adult.  :)