Thursday, September 23, 2010

utah state fair

I adore the fair.

I know it is dirty and full of crazies but I look forward to going every year.

I especially love going on the first Monday of the fair because it is all you can eat ice cream day. It truly is heaven for me and this year I think I even heard a choir of angels sing while I was partaking of the strawberry cheesecake ice cream from USU. Divine I tell you.

I took the younger 3 since Justin needed to take Nick to football practice. We arrived a bit earlier than we had in the past so we were able to look at some exhibits and take advantage of the array of the frequently reconstituted rides they have there. I think it is amazing that more people don't die on those things.

The first thing we saw was this adorable calf that was born earlier that day.

Then off to see more livestock.

I think that this looks so very uncomfortable. I am sure glad for this poor animal that she was next in line for the milking machine. All I could wonder as I stared at her udder is if it was as uncomfortable as being engorged.

Before we even got into the car to go to the fair I discussed with the boys that they could choose 2 rides to go on and we could go on the ferris wheel as a family and we were NOT going to play any games or buy any toys. The boys agreed with the plan and I was so pleased with myself for averting in advance any issues while we were there. I should have known that a huge wrench in the shape of a certain 8 year old boy would foil the plan.

Liam really wanted to go on this octopus ride with my dad. I went on it with Andrew and although it was fun, it was very spinny and twirly and I hate that I am getting too old to go on these type of rides. My dad was a good sport and even though you can't see Liam's face in this picture, I was able to catch multiple glimpses of him smiling from ear to ear.

We walked around to find a ride that Luke wanted to ride. After about 10 minutes of perusing the rides and on the verge of a meltdown, we finally hit the jackpot. It was a tidal wave like ride that had a mummy face on the boat and apparently this was a ride that Luke had wanted to ride last year but because of sketchy weather I wouldn't let the boys get on any rides. It was worth the wait.


While Luke was trying to decide on his second ride we all headed over the ferris wheel and that sent Luke into a tizzy. He did NOT want to waste his last ride by riding the ferris wheel. He seemed to have forgotten that we discussed that the ferris wheel was a "free" ride but he is so darn bull headed that it took a while to remind him of that fact. Finally everything worked out and while we were in line, Luke decided that he wanted to ride this for his second ride.

And he wanted my dad to ride it with him. Watching my dad's face as the Starship 4000 spun around and around was priceless. He hesitantly said yes but luckily for him, we were split up and went in different shifts for the ferris wheel and Luke talked my brother Matt into going instead.

We went to find the quilt that my mom entered. She made this quilt for my brother and his cute wife Kate. Isn't it cute?

I also found my friend's FIRST PLACE award winning toffee. I didn't even think to snap a picture but I was drooling as I stared at it.

Then finally it was off to eat ice cream. Yum.

It was pretty late when we were finished gorging ourselves and on the way out Luke had yet another meltdown because I wouldn't buy him a toy. Apparently it doesn't matter that we already went over the fact that we are NOT buying toys at the fair multiple times and having a tantrum in the middle of the fairgrounds still doesn't convince me that you need one. Dejected and pouting, he stomped off to the car and fell asleep about 0.2 seconds after we were on the road.

I am already dreaming of next year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I am in love with this food blog. Not only does it provide delicious recipes that bring my family joy and more importantly, praise for me, it also helps keep very active, little 5 year old people busy. Three of them. At the same time.

Our Best Bites recently did a kid week and posted some fun craft ideas and I saw one that I thought I would try while Liam had some friends over last Tuesday. It was super easy and the kids loved it. Heck, I even loved it. I was thinking the whole time we were making it that I want to talk one of the boys in to having a science themed birthday party and make gobs of the stuff. I think it would be a hit.

We made goop. Slime, if you will. I was worried that Liam would hate it because he is weird about textures and touching certain things but he had all sorts of body parts engulfed in the stuff.

The inspiration

The results:

I loved it because it wasn't as messy as I thought it would be--it came off body parts really easily and if some dropped on the floor or table or other surface it easily came up if you cleaned it up quickly. Liam played with his goop later in the day and I wasn't watching him too closely and there is a little blue spot that dried before I could get to it.

I can't wait to get busy trying the other fun ideas and playing with the kids!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

circle of life

Last spring I found out that Lion King tickets were going on sale and I bought some for my in-laws for their birthdays. Realizing that I wanted to go as well and money was a bit tight I told my dad that these tickets would be an awesome birthday present for me. He is a bit of a sucker for Broadway plays and not only did he get me and Justin tickets but he made sure my family got the opportunity to go as well.

Friday was the big day. We also found out that my dad had an extra ticket due to my grandmother being in Michigan so we invited Andrew to come with us. He was a little unsure about going just because we had our favorite babysitter coming to watch the other boys but we promised him it would be worth it.

Before the show we went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. It is medieval themed and on the way there, Justin told him that if he did anything wrong they would lock him in a cage. The truth finally came out that there would be no cage entrapment and Drew was relieved. While we were eating though, he spilled a bit of his water and jokingly said (in a cute English accent): "Off to the cage!" We thought it was pretty funny. He kept saying over and over: "Everything here is so good!"

The production was amazing! I have heard so much about it and I am happy that I finally was able to experience it for myself. The only regret I have is that I didn't get pictures of everyone who came!

Monday, September 20, 2010

adventure is out there

We have had a super fun and exciting so much to blog about so I thought I would start with the most recent and move on backwards.

Saturday was the day of the party that Liam had been waiting on for quite some time. I like to start planning parties a couple months in advance to get the ideas rolling and when I asked him what kind of party he wanted he told me "an UP one."

I started looking around and there are NO premade decorations, favors, or treats that are UP related. There are tons of Toy Story and Cars and other child related flicks and I kept trying to sway him to choose another theme to make it easy but he was dead set on UP. It is his very favorite movie and he can quote much of it verbatim and he hums the theme song at least once a day.

So after a bit of brainstorming and searching of the Internet I actually had a ton of fun planning this little party.

First item was the invitations.

I designed one that had the Wilderness Explorer badge at the top and looked like it had been typed with a typewriter--kindof like the end credits of the movie. Then we attached them to a balloon and delivered them to his friends.

Here he is in the store parking lot with his balloons. He was so excited to be holding these balloons that he was skipping toward the car and it was just too happy a moment not to take a picture.

The day of the party arrived and only two of his little buddies could make it but I don't think he minded a bit. I also only had enough planned for Liam's friends he invited so the smaller numbers it made it so his brothers could participate a bit more.

We kicked off the festivites with games. We had three different ones.

The first one the kids popped balloons filled with candy anyway they could. They were stomping on them, popping them with their hands, laying on them, sitting on them. Justin and I tied 150 balloons for this party and my fingers are still so sore but hearing Liam giggle the entire time made it all worth it.

*I am moving around a lot so I hope you don't get sick*

Then we had the kids put on one of Justin's t shirts and see how many balloons they could stuff up inside. This also brought a ton of laughs and the boys loved that they looked like football players and had big muscles.

Then we had the kids blow up a balloon, stand in a line, and let it go to see who's went the farthest. We did this about 5 or 6 times.

Then came lunch. We had campout food--hot dogs in a blanket, carrots and celery with ranch, and 7-UP (get it?). I had stuff for s'mores too but I think I forgot that we were going to have cake and ice cream so I will enjoy the s'mores later.

After presents was the cake.

The favors were super fun to do too...

I made each of them an adventure book. Justin found a picture of Paradise Falls on the internet (the one that was "ripped right out of a library book") and printed it off so I put that inside the book too.

These hats were too cute to pass up and they were only $5. I still can't get over it.

My mom made each of the kids a little Boy Scout sash and I made them Ellie badges out of a grape soda bottle cap and a safety pin. They also received a compass and a little telescope.

I attempted to make Kevin. All that matters is that Liam knew who it was and he thought they were "awesome".

Now Liam wants to be Mr. Fredrickson for Halloween and Luke is thinking about being Russell. I think I am prepared to take on the challenge.