Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Little Musicians on the Piano

These two little buddies love to play the piano. I use "play" very loosely. Lets be honest...they are 'pounding' on the piano. But they are so darn cute. Whats a mother to do? Well, take pictures of course!
Not staged at all, this is totally them in real life.
A while after I got the camera out, they both wanted to 'pose' for the camera. (see the bottom 2 pictures) They both make sure cute 'camera faces'.
Love these two buggers more than anything!

Cars Party Preparations!

I'm getting ready for Owen's 4th birthday party. Wow...4 years old? Really? TIME FLIES when you're having fun! :-)
I live far away from my mom, who wants to be part of the festivities so badly! So here are a few pictures to help her feel included in my preparations.

I created the design in photoshop, and printed them on plain white paper sacks (purchased at walmart for less than 2 dollars for a huge pack!)
The paper sacks go right through the printer SO easily. What a cool idea! I'm sure I found it on pinterest years ago...and filed the idea in the back of my mind. I did this same thing for his 3rd party, with a different design of course.

Here ya go, Mom! Enjoy :-)


Monday, January 27, 2014

Kids Book of the Week: Robot Zot

Why I picked this book: I thought my son would enjoy a book about robots (oh, I know him so well! He loved it!), and because it was illustrated by the very talented David Shannon

My review
It's a clever book about a robot who plans to take over Earth. "Robot Zot never fall, Robot Zot conquer all!" is his mantra. I love his ambition. It has nice artwork, and a cute message about love. My son giggles every time we get to the page where Robot Zot blasts the TV into pieces. Yikes! "Dont try this at home"....comes to mind. haha! The illustrations and colors in the book were nicely done. Images were clear, yet detailed at the same time. So after reading it several times, we pointed out different things to eachother making it more interesting.

Owen's reaction: LOVED it. It really kept his attention, and now he is absolutely CRAZY for robots. He wanted to read it over, and over, and over again. I know children learn with repetition...but I'm ready to send this one back to the library after reading it every night for over a month.

Why do you like Robot Zot?
Owen: Because I like him so much

Owen's Age: 3 years, 11 months

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Primary Music: Snowman Bowling Activity

This week in Primary we went bowling!
Here is our little "Olaf", so lovingly named by our Junior Primary.

First, I taught them about dynamics, and when to sing loud/soft during our song. Then, we reviewed "He Sent His Son" using dynamics. They sang beautifully. So much, in fact, that they earned a game!

(I found this idea via our wonderful LDS Primary Chorister facebook group. Best community ever!)

1- Wrap 10 toilet paper rolls in plastic wrap using a little tape (so you can use the tp later. hehe)
2- Add buttons, face, hat, gloves. I used tape to secure the buttons.
3- As children are signing, stack the TP. The better they sing, the taller your snowman will be.
4- After each song, I asked a teacher to choose a very reverent child who was signing really well to come knock down the snowman with the ball.
5- Repeat each song!

WOW - This was a GREAT motivator. I had every child (senior primary) sitting up straight, with arms folded, singing LOUD. Everyone wanted a turn. I wish they all had a chance to do it....I think some of them felt bad they didn't get picked, especially when they were all working so hard to be good. It was a bitter sweet feeling for me, actually. 

**Use a big tote or bag to take to church. (I love my giant striped tote bag!)
**Have a teacher or member of the primary presidency do the "stacking" so you can still lead the music.
**I didn't use the gloves while playing the game...too difficult!
**Put 2-3 rolls as the base, otherwise it falls to quickly
** Use a ball that is heavy enough. I ended up needing a volleyball. The ball pictured was too lightweight to knock it down.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Beanies with Labels - Crocheted Christmas Gifts

This was one of my most exciting Christmas gifts to give. I crochet the beanies with very chunky yarn. Then, I added custom labels! Overall it was a very fun project, and I'm so excited to share it. (I had to wait until after Christmas...so as not to spoil the surprise!)

Link to label tutorial below.


I've been wanting to make labels for FOREVER! Finally a REALLY good reason to buy the materials and try it out. It took a LOT of practice/mess-ups/mistakes to get the labels to work just right. Often times the ink would smudge if I didn't remove the iron ever-so-carefully. Or if I tried peeling off the top side of the transfer paper before it was cooled, or after it had cooled too long. Needless to say...it took about 15 tries to get 5 labels that looked good enough to use.

How I attached the labels:
I cut the label down to size AFTER I did the iron-on.
Then, I used a lighter to singe/seal the edges of the twill tape so it wouldn't fray. And to give it a crisp edge.
Next, I placed the label where I thought looked best.
Lastly, I carefully sewed the label to the hat with the sewing machine. Since my twill tape was only 1/2 in wide, I just went forward for 1/2 in, and the back stitched 1/2 in. It was too short of space to do a back stitch at the beginning and at the end. So the whole 1/2 in was back stitched. Does that make sense? I used white thread, and almost no seam allowance. You can see from the pictures that its sewed really close to the edge.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Primary Music Leader: First Sunday!

My First Day in my new calling!! 
Today was my FIRST Sunday as Primary Music Leader! I walked in for Singing Time in full-out ski clothes and said how excited I was for "skiing time". The kids giggled when the primary president clarified that it was "singing time". I made a huge deal about how embarrassing it was that I made a mistake on my FIRST DAY!!!. And that I needed HELP going from their Skiing Teacher to their Singing Teacher. I told them since I was in my snow clothes, I wanted to sing some "snow-y" songs. Of course they picked Once There Was A Snowman. As they sang, I tried to get off all the snow clothes! I didn't quite make it (on purpose!) So we sang a 2nd song: Do as I'm Doing, and they preteneded to throw snowballs while I continued taking off the snow clothes/hat/boots. By the last note of the song, I had all my snow clothes and snow boots off and my sunday clothes were underneath. They were so happy that they helped me become the "Singing Teacher" . Junior primary, Senior primary, and even the teachers were grinning from ear to ear at the charade. I had them eating out of the palm of my hand!

We had plenty of time to sing/learn He Sent His Son. The junior primary learned the first 3 questions and answers with hand motions (Not fully ASL...we did actions and a few ASL signs). They were engaged the entire time. We didn't need to do any other wiggle songs. The Senior Primary was SO familiar with the song so I just taught them the motions. We got through the whole song in Senior primary. They loved the actions, and I had them help decide what hand motions to do on "faith, hope, live like his son".

Nursery singing time also went well. we sang ABC's with ASL, Sunbeam with jumping, Eeensy Weensy Spider with props, I am a Child of God with sticks for them to 'lead' the music with me, the Monkey/Alligator song, AND If You Chance To Meet a Frown. 

**special thanks to my Aunt Debbie for the idea of "skiing teacher". She did the same thing many years ago when it was her first day as the primary music leader. :-) 

*I also had on snow boots - cant see them in the pic :-)
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