Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conference Favorites

As if General Conference weekend isn't cool enough - a weekend twice a year (for our church)when you get to stay home and watch uplifting and faith promoting messages from the prophet, apostles and church leaders, from your couch, in your very own family room, on cable television, with your family. A Sunday without meetings, no rushing out the door so you won't be late, no high-heels that hurt your feet all day. I LOVE IT! But I love it even more because we have some family traditions that make the day even more special. Not only do I love these traditions, but my kids look forward to them for the 6 months inbetween and expect now every General Conference Saturday and Sunday. This year, I even added a new one! My sister sent me this idea from "Brown Paper Packages" website and I thought it was awesome. *Buckets with gospel words on them and filled with your kids favorite treats - as they listen to conference and hear the words on the buckets, they get to come up and take a goody* So I mostly copied, with changing a few things. I wanted to be able to change the words on the treat buckets. So instead of having gospel words written or stuck directly on the buckets, I painted some wooden rectangles with chalkboard paint and attached them to the front of each bucket. Then I just wrote the words with chalk - and now I can change them as often as I want! Also, as you can see, my buckets were green (I also have some smaller white ones, I liked them both) not because I painted them, only because that is what the $1 section of Target had (probably left over from St. Patrick's Day). But I thought they were more fun anyways! I left off the ribbons the the handles because...well, I have boys, and I didn't want the ribbon to obstruct the view of the TV.

The kids LOVED it. It really did work - for the bigs and littles! This one is a hit for all the ages. They listened and heard words even at times when I didn't!

They like to keep busy with work sheets too. Busy AND quiet are good. So I always print out Conference packets - you can find them on the internet. had some great ones this Spring for all ages.

And of course - our traditional breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls. I only make them twice a year -April and October (General Conference time!)
I love General Conference weekend. And I love having these simple family traditions to go along with it. I see that it fills my kids with feelings of love and excitement for these weekends and I hope that they will associate that love and excitement always with listening and following the Prophet.

A Bracket for Brothers

March Madness wasn't the only intense tournament going on in the month of March. The bracket sketched out neatly on the chalkboard at the front of the gym last Wed night had every cubscout (and their dad) nervously sweating as they waited their turn for a chance to make it into the Pinewood Derby Final four. Bart couldn't even get blamed for doing the cars for the boys this year. Since he has been traveling so much, it was up the our 2 cubscouts and good 'ol mom to put together some winning vehicles. Uncle Bill and his power tools helped with the cutting - but the sanding, painting, and and wheels were all them! (and yours truly) So, on March 30th, it was off to the races with the BYU Jimmer-mobile and the TrailBlazer car (would you expect anything different from my two boys?) Their motto: "We don't want them fancy...just fast." After the grueling round robin tournament where everyone's car raced each others, it was on to the bracket. Tyler was number 1 seed and Caden number 2! As the tournament played out and the bracket shrinked - soon it was only 2 remaining! Yep -the Dickson brothers!

Here they are at the end of the track, waiting for the final race - and their final fate-1st or 2nd place...(notice their positions - do they look like brothers of what?) And the TrailBlazer wins!!! Tyler took 1st, and big brother Cade lost only to his little bro. And he was an amazing sport about it too. I was really happy for them and proud of them both - and myself in fact!
The winners pose with papa.
The boys show off their prizes, Red Vines and DumDum pops - oh boy! What a fun night. Now I just have to figure out what we did, so we can do it again next year...and the next, and the next...only 11 more times!

Spring Break 2011

Our Spring Break wasn't warm or tropical or very "springy" but it was a getaway to our favorite place with some of our favorite people. We went to grammy and papa's house at Black Butte in Central, OR with our friends who have 3 boys of their own. What could be more fun than 8 little boys and a week with no real plans? (Just go with it, *wink *wink) The kids and I spent 10 days. Bart came and went for work throughout the week but that didn't keep us from all our playing, relaxing and enjoying the snow. We woke up to beautiful snow at the ranch most mornings, swam at the indoor pool, played a TON of board games (rummikub and banagrams were worn out by the end of the week), ate yummy food, hot tubbed, read, relaxed and of course watched a lot of March Madness basketball.

We even headed up to Hoodoo for an afternoon with our oldest 3 for skiing. I was amazed at how fast the kids picked it up. It was our 5 yr old's first time and he was hopping on the chair lift and whizzing down the bunny hill by the end of the afternoon. My sister, who now lives in Central OR was a doll and watched our littles for the day so both the hubby and I could be in on the fun!

The parents were tuckered out from a day on the slopes, but leave it to little boys to have boundless energy and enough grit to decide to climb the huge snow bank out at the parking lot.

This one must have climbed and slipped a dozen times before he made it to the top! But he kept smiling and trying. It proved to me how much growing-up he has been doing...he's now one of the big boys!
The all finally made it!

Crazy group up top.

Daddy got pulled into hottubbing with this motley crew...lucky for him since he had some sore skiing muscles that needed attention.

Another highlight of the week was taking the sleds to the snowpark. It was fast and furious down the hill ones the pathways were blazed. Only minor casualties were had. I still think there were more smiles than tears. It was so fun that it deserved a return trip before the week's end.

By our second trip up, the snow was REALLY deep! Here's our oldest waist deep taking a break to eat some snow.

Me with my neice (just in case you wondered how a girl got in our family photos - my sister and her kids joined us the last part of the week. Fun, fun and more fun!)

Bart and I made a pact that we would do no more boring, wet, spring breaks at home. For me, it means a week to spend with the kids and to just get away somewhere. This beautiful place ALWAYS does the trick. Thanks Black Butte for the break!