Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Reasoning of a Child...

I'm sorry, I hope no one is offended, but I just couldn't resist. If you have a son you will understand. Little boys (many big boys too) have a bit on an obsession with their wienies. Okay, a little background...Andrew is potty trained but he still wears a diaper to bed. When he gets up in the morning I remind him to go take his diaper off and get his unders on. He usually takes the easy way out and just takes the diaper off and skips the unders part. Today was no different. Well, after my umpteenth request for him to do it himself I finally took him upstairs to get him dressed. I took his pants off and this is how the conversation went...Andrew, "Ahhh my wienie! Why do I have a wienie?" "That's how Heavenly Father made you." "Why don't girls have wienies?" "Because that's how Heavenly Father made them." "Heavenly Father ran out?" "What?" "It's okay girls don't have wienies 'cuz Heavenly Father ran out."

I did my best not to laugh out loud. I love the simple reasoning of children. I love how their little minds work and how you can almost see the wheels turning. I love Andrew and the fun and laughter he brings to our home.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

This year for our ward party they wanted to get back to basics. I think it was just right. They planned a visit from Santa, ham and potatoes dinner, music by the high school choral group, and the nativity. The kids started by sitting on the stage and singing "Here Comes Santa Clause" and "You Better Watch Out". Santa came and everyone got a chance to sit on his lap, make their request and get a goodie bag. Then dinner was served. The gym was cram-packed. There were as many tables as possible lined wall-to-wall. I wish I could say the food was great but I had a migraine so I spent the dinner time in the mothers lounge trying to get some Tylenol to kick in. Luckily it started to wain by the time dinner was over. Lucky for that because I was in charge of the nativity the there was only about 15 minutes to get all the kids dressed and pulled together. The Nativity was great. It lasted about 15 minutes total. The young women sang the songs like a "Choir of Angels" throughout the program. We had a couple narrators and the kids that participated were so reverent. It began with Samuel (Gary) and his prophesy of Christ's birth. Gary was such a good sport. I had arranged for another man to portray Samuel but he called and cancelled the night before. Gary was reluctantly willing to fill-in. He did a great job and really set the tone and spirit for the entire thing. Next came Mary (Hallie S.) and Joseph (Spencer). Spencer did not want her to hold onto his arm as they entered but he eventually conformed and even offered her to sit before him. The angels were some of the 8-9 year old girls in their pretty white baptism dresses. (Rylie W., McKayla W., Chelsea D., Mariah F., Madison D.) Then came the shepherds, Benjamin, Trevor S., and Gavin S. Finally the angel (Alison W.) leading the wise men (Peter S., Joel H., and Ryan B.) concluded the production.I had the narrators contrast what was going on in both hemispheres and then talk a little about how it effects us now. The night concluded with some words for Bishop Bently and the entire room singing "Silent Night". It was perfect. I have really started feeling a part of our ward. I enjoy the opportunities I get to serve and just socialize with the other members. Benjamin waiting for Santa

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

On the 9th we had a Christmas party with our homeschool group. It was titled "Winterland of Gingerbread." Each of the families brought a house or houses to make a little village. I figued each of the kids would want their own so I made a double batch of gingerbread but it only made enough for 1 house. I didn't want Desirae and Andrew to feel left out either so off to the store I went. For only $7.00, candy and frosting included, why not save the fight. Benjamin chose the homemade elf house, Spencer chose a pre-made one and the younger two kids shared one. Desi and Andrew were just interested in eating so it worked out just fine. We all had a great time making them. Benjamin and Spencer did most of the work themselves. I just manned the frosting bag. They told me where to put it and I just followed their requests. Gary has a great job with a very flixible schedule (it helps to be the boss) and he was able to come home for a long lunch to watch Desi and Andrew while I took Spencer and Benjamin to the party. They were so excited to go. They played bingo, made cards for soldiers, made up skits to Christmas songs, read a couple gingerbread stories and each of the kids got to tell about their house and what they liked best about making it. We had a great time and it was nice to get out with just the two older kids and let them do something that focused on them. It also forced me to make gingerbread houses. I'm not sure I would have gotten around to it otherwise. All in all a great success.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Many of you know that we started homeschooling the first of December. Gary and I had such a hard time coming to this decision. I have felt like doing it for years but never really made it a serious consideration, until now. First of all, our new house is in a different school's boundaries than the one we went to last year. However, the new school is twice as far from our house as the old one. Huh??? We seriously considered having the boys go to the old school but they really wanted to ride the bus to school. I have always been an anti-busite. I didn't like riding the bus when I was in school. There is the whole "cool kids" thing and the language, and especially the fact that they are on the bus for 45 minutes each way. That's an hour and a half bus trip for what takes me 20 minutes to drive. Well, we finally caved and let them take the bus. That only lasted a month before Spencer came home with some foul rhymes. So Gary started driving them to school every morning and I picked them up. It only took a few days for the boys to realize this was a much better arrangement. They could relax more in the morning and they got home a good 30 minutes before their friends. They could get their chores or other stuff done before anyone else got home. It was definitely an inconvenience but it was best for our kids.
Okay, so your thinking, "That is not a reason for home school." Here is the rest of our reasoning...Spencer would come home from school so grumpy. He was tired and he would complain that he was bored and not learning anything. But then, the bells really went off when I was talking to Benji's teacher. I would go and help her every Wednesday morning. The kids would go to computers or dance while I was there and we would talk a bit. She said that Benjamin and a few others in the class were ready to read but she couldn't go there yet because the rest of the class wasn't ready. I guess that's what did it for me. I'm not saying my kids are geniuses or anything but I think they should be challenged and given the opportunity to learn something new each day. So Gary and I listed the pros and cons and started investigating different programs. We talked to a number of families that home school and got their input. We asked their kids about what they do and don't like about being homeschooled and asked the Mom's about what was good and bad about it. We finally came to the decision to use the K12 program. It is a public school you teach at home. All of the curriculum is provided to you, along with any incidentals that are required for the course. We are assigned a teacher that helps answer any questions and keep us on schedule. Both boys were really excited when we presented the idea to them. They were so anxious to start and they loved the idea of being done with school by 2:00 everyday. So far, a month into it we are still working out the kinks. We have good and bad days. There has definitely been an adjustment and all of us are still learning how to work with each other. Right now it takes up all of my time. It is getting better. We are slowly figuring out the courses and how to best complete them. The boys still like it, Benjamin more than Spencer. We will finish out the year and then give each of them the choice next year. I think Benjamin will stick with it, but I think Spencer will want more social interaction. It is quite an adventure right now. One that is terribly inconvenient, but worth it in the long run. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Spencer loves basketball. I think it is just in his blood. Gary loves it too, and it is easy to say that Spencer has just been brain washed by his Father's love of the game, but that's not it. Spencer has an innate understanding and an inner drive for it. If you ask him what he is going to be when he grows up he'll tell you he will play for the NBA and then be an astronaut. (in that order) He often asks in casual conversation, "What team do you think will draft me?" We always reply, "The one with the first pick that year." Spencer has a small but strong and solid build. That can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. He is able to dribble really well because he is closer to the ground. He is super quick and being shorter than the others he was able to get at least 6 steals a game this season. He is a great shooter too but has to work really hard to get the ball over all the longer arms. He loved playing basketball. He especially liked meeting and befriending the kids on his team. He is a great team player. He was the first one there to help them up any time someone fell. He gave five every time a shot was made. He would always want to take the ball down the court and he seemed a little lost when he didn't. He likes to be in control and he was always yelling orders and reminding this teammates where they should be and what they should be doing. He also liked having Principal Leyba be his coach. Now that the season is over and there is snow on the ground he isn't practicing as much but his love is still there. Just like his Dad, Spencer gets all worked up over every Jazz game. He has even discovered that you can see the current time and scores on line. He'll just sit and watch the score boards for league and keep us all updated on who's winning who. We love his spirit and love of all things sports. He is so competitive and that can make me a little crazy at times but it is a great attribute to have as you get older. Hopefully we will be able to help him make it a useful skill. Anyway, basketball is a great sport that we all enjoy watching ans playing so bring it on... Spencer is the shortest kid on his team but it doesn't slow him down at all.Not a great picture but I love Spencer's "form" as he dribbles around the other player.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bolton Family Christmas Party

I am so far behind...This party was the 6th of this month. Our annual Bolton Family party was a huge success. There were many people that put in alot of time and energy to make it fun for everyone. Mom and dad arranged the whole thing. They made the food assignments and delegated all of the activities. I took care of the crafts to keep the kids occupied. They made jingle bell bracelets, candycanes, and a number of other creative things from the pipe cleaners, bells, and beads. They also wrote Santa letters. It was great to give the kids something to do besides run around and get into trouble. We then ate a delicious traditional dinner of Ham with all the trimmings. We followed that with the Nativity. All the kids got to participate. They always love this. The little ones are a bit clueless but I guess that just makes it a little more memorable. We followed that with a talent show. Karen did a great job producing it. Our family is maybe a little too willing to share our talents. Spencer played a solo "Up on the Housetops" on his guitar, and demonstrated dribbling moves with jared. He also sang "I am a Child of God" in portuguese with Gary & Benjamin. Gary did the Happiest Christmas Tree with Dave. That was a surprise to me. It was really funny to see both of their harry bellies singing and dancing. I danced. I guess I kind of enjoy the shock effect of it. I always like to hear the comments and surprise from people when they hear that I bellydance. After I finished Desi and Talya both wanted the "shakers" so they did a little dance too. They were so cute. There were a number of great talents and everyone really enjoyed seeing them performed. We then had family pictures taken and finished the night with a white elephant gift exchange. It was a great succes and a ton of fun. I love seeing family that we don't see very often and catching up with them. Thank you to each of you for being sucha great and supportive family. We really love you all and we cherish all the time we get to spend with you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Decorating for Christmas

I love Christmas, I really do. However, this year I had no desire to decorate at all. As you can see in some of the pictures we had spent the morning making snowflakes. I would have been fine with that for at least a week, maybe two. Thank goodness for Gary. The Sunday after Thanksgiving he was sick so he stayed home from church. When we got home he had brought all of the Christmas decorations in. Well I guess there was no putting it off after that. The only way to get the boxes out of the house and back into the garage was to go through them and get some of the junk out. The kids were so excited. They each have a bag with their own ornaments from previous years. They hung those first. Poor little Desi only had two and she got bored pretty quick. I bought a bunch of those shatter-proof ornaments after Christmas last year but they were still in the package. I couldn't find any extra hooks so we broke out the old standard balls.
One of my favorite things about Christmas is the excitement and innocence children have. We have spent a few Christmas' in the past in rentals while our stuff was in storage. While a bit annoying and frustrating to not have our "things" it was so fun to make due with what we had. We made ornaments from paper, fun foam, cinnamon sticks, oranges, apples, bells, popcorn, cranberries, ribbon, etc. We had a new craft almost every day just to decorate the tree. I loved the simplicity of it and the time we were able to share with each other.
I guess my point is that even though the tree has be decorated for two weeks, and I still haven't taken the time to hang any ornaments higher than the kids could reach, it doesn't matter. We all enjoyed the whole decorating thing. The kids loved decorating the tree and my favorite is to set up the nativities. Gary and I both loved watching the kids. That is what it's all about right? Providing fun and learning experiences for our kids and spending time together. Okay, enough of my babbling. Let the Christmas festivities begin.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Visiting Santa

This last weekend we went to Salt Lake for our family Christmas parties. (more on that later) Since this would be our last time in town until January we took the opportunity to visit with Santa. Ever since Spencer's first Christmas we have gone to the Provo Towne Center to talk with the "real" Santa. Everywhere else are just Santa's helpers. They will do if you're in a pinch, the info still gets to him, but if at all possible, we make this our Santa destination. This year was no disappointment. We were a little worried about Desirae freaking out. She is at that stranger-danger age. But to our delight she hopped right up on his lap and told the big guy she wanted a hoppy bunny. Andrew was next, requesting an Indiana Jones whip. Benjamin followed with a plea for a Darth Maul Lightsaber. Finally, Spencer (too big to sit) asked for an MP3 player. We concluded the visit with our typical rides one the quarter machines and then let the kids choose what ever they wanted for lunch at the food-court.
All this and we were still back to Gary's parents by noon. As we pulled up to their house we noticed that Gary's sister Karen was there visiting. As we walked in I heard her say something to the effect of, "Maybe that's why she hasn't updated her blog for so long." To which I replied, "Are you talking about me?" She hadn't heard us walk in and it kind of startled her and we laughed. She was right though, I hadn't updated for a couple weeks at least.(more on that to come later too) It was a great visit and a Super Santa Success. Now...where can I find a hoppy bunny?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Holly" Days

Vernal has a huge kick-off to the Christmas holiday. They have games, carnival rides, craft fairs, food, children's train, light parade, midway games, chestnut and marshmallow roasting, and the list goes on, ALL FOR FREE!!! We spent the Friday after Thanksgiving enjoying the ice cube hunt, riding pedal bikes, the train ride, ice sculpting, churros, cotton candy, popcorn, ferris wheel, spinning ride, and the parade. We didn't get to half of the stuff going on and we didn't want to hang out in the cold waiting for the fireworks. Maybe we'll get to do more next year. Everyone had a great time and I am excited for a new tradition to start the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year". It really did get me in the mood, Merry Christmas!!!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was great this year. I have loved reading Erin's http://5boys-eringobraugh.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-11-20T10%3A13%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=7 "Thankful Hearts" posts. I love how she is able to pick-out such ordinary things to be grateful for. I am so guilty of taking my fantastic life and all of my blessings for granted. I am greatly blessed with a husband that supports me and who would do anything for me, four of the most beautiful, healthy, happy, inspiring children I could ever dream of, a nice home to keep us all warm and comfortable, plenty, if not too much, to eat, the gospel to light our hearts and minds, and pretty much every creature comfort we could want. The list really could go on forever. It seems that the more you start to think of your blessings, the more you recognize. It really makes me realize how much our Father in Heaven loves us and gives to us so freely. We could never even come close to fully showing our gratitude and appreciation to Him.
I love this time of year. I love the weather, the smells, the sweaters, the food, and how life seems to slow down just a bit before the Christmas madness. This year we stayed home. It was a real treat. We were blessed to have Gary's parents come and visit for the weekend. They are so fun to be around. The kids absolutely love them and they are so kind and patient with them. We feasted on the typical fare and then burned off some of the extra calories with a game of Twister. That was Benjamin's great idea. It was really fun. That's another thing I am so grateful for, my kids forcing me to have fun. Even when I don't feel like it, I always enjoy it in the end. The final thing I want to mention is my gratitude for you. I am surrounded by a wonderful family and great friends. Thank you for being an integral part of my life.