Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sand Art

Last Saturday Jake was wondering around the house bored, looking for something to do. I played a game of cards with him and then I hauled out a sand art craft kit we've had for a couple of years. Jake wasn't wildly enthusiastic, but he was willing to give it a try. He picked out a bottle (second to the left in the photo) and started filling it with sand. Sand dust particles clung to the sides of the bottle which was very annoying, so Jake poured the sand out and I washed the bottle. It didn't help at all; the dust still clung to the sides of the bottle, but now in addition there were fine water droplets. !!! This was not a high end sand art kit. 

Jake continued to work on the project, but with waning interest. Viva came over and (of course) was very interested, so Jake took a break and Viva filled two bottles (the two on the right). She would have filled the last one, too, but I said she had to give Bentley a chance. He said he wanted to try it and he filled the final bottle in the kit. Jake finished filling his bottle and we got to throw the kit box away. We have a little more space on that craft shelf now. YES! And the children were happy with their final products. That was good, too!

I showed the kids some online photos of sand art. There are some amazing bottled sand artists! 

I cannot comprehend how they make the intricate designs they do. Crazy!

Lincoln and Evan have their own sand to play with. It's called kinetic sand: 98% sand and 2% polymer. The ads claim it sticks to itself and not to you, but after the kids have played with it we find bits of it all over the table, chair, and floor, so it's not mess free by any means. They can mold it and it holds its shape which is nice. I think it's kind of freaky because instead of flowing like normal sand, it oozes in a most unnatural manner. Lincoln and Evan like playing with it.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Karate Practice

Bentley and Jake are preparing for a karate tournament in Las Vegas in early April. They have taken a few private lesson from the sensei. They have mixed feelings about private lessons because the sensei works them hard--they have to hold their kata stances for as long as possible which causes their muscles to burn which they don't like. Kara talked to some of the other parents and got the same story: karate class = fun and karate lesson = too much work.

During one private lesson Kara took two old yoga mats and marked on them with duct tape where the correct foot positions are for different stances so that the boys could better practice at home. It has been quite amusing watching the younger two boys attempt the stances!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jake & Daddy's Vacation: Hawaii!

Jake is off on an adventure with Daddy to Hawaii.  They are spending some time in Kona and Kauai.  Jake has been sick but (thankfully) was on the road to recovery, albeit not quite there, when they hopped on the plane Sunday night!

I hope Jake enjoyed his red eye... because they hit the ground running.
I quizzed him on the phone this morning, and this is what he told me. 
I've gone to the temple, and Daddy got a pretty nice picture of that.

Let me think.... I've gone to Volocanoes National Park.  I liked it.  There is a picture of me standing in front of the big volcano hole where lava comes out. 

Today we are eating fruit salad.  It has bananas, pineapple, and canteloup and honey dew in it.  It's good. We saw turtles on the beach.  (Turtle blobs on the right behind Jake!)

 Today we are going to the ukulele shop and the beach!

And, of course, they have been walking all over.  :)

Whew!  And they're only on day three!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lego Lincoln

Lincoln continues to be fascinated with Legos. He builds some of his own creations, but he also really likes building with his father, his brothers, or his opa. He still has a hard time putting the smaller pieces together and/or pressing the bricks tightly enough together so when he has a kit with smaller parts that he wants to build he recruits help. He is working on multiple sets. He has a monkey set he's doing with his father, there is another set he's building with his opa, and recently he had Jake build his dump truck for him. Jake isn't always patient enough to build with Lincoln. He usually ends up just building the set himself while Lincoln sits next to him.

Lincoln has been spending a lot of time playing with my minifigures. He particularly likes my set of 25 Star Wars figures that came with the Death Star. On Monday when he was playing with them I took the Death Star down from a high closet shelf and put it where he could play with it. He spent hours in the bathroom playing with the minifigures on the Death Star. He invited Bentley to come and play.

The following day he decided to put the Star Wars figures away and give Batman and Superman a chance to explore the Death Star. He even had Harry Potter check it out. (How do you think Harry's wand would fare against a lightsaber?)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Report

Last week I asked the children what they were currently reading and enjoying or what they had recently finished reading.

Viva told me that she recently finished "the best book she's ever read." It was Mission Unstoppable in The Genius Files series by Dan Gutman. The series is about twelve year old twins Coke (boy) and Pepsi (girl) McDonald who uncover a secret government plot to use Young American Geniuses (YAG) to solve the complex problems of the nation. They are on the YAG list!

Bentley said he had recently read all 6 books out so far in the Wings of Fires series by Tui T. Sutherland. He's waiting for the 7th to be released in June. The series is about dragons. He was currently reading The Menagerie #2: Dragon on Trail by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland. (It seems that Tui Sutherland really likes dragons!)

Jake has been reading The Bible starting with the Old Testament. He set a goal to finish reading it by his birthday. I asked if he was reading any kid books and he said his current read was a Magic Tree House series book titled Danger in the Darkest Hour. Jake could not only give me the title, but the author: Mary Pope Osborne.

Lincoln said his favorite books are about the Berenstain Bears. I did not ask Evan, but my guess would be any alphabet book. He loves pointing out the letters.

I took the photos after the interview and by then Bentley and Viva had moved on to new book series!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Round Table Puzzle

Kara purchased a Round Table Puzzle for the children to piece. It is a circular puzzle. The puzzle company claims that everyone has the best view of the puzzle. It is true that no one has a better view than anyone else, so I guess you could call it the best view. For me it's a little disorienting to look at. I am not sure I like it.

Bentley, Jake, and Viva (and Kara?) started on the puzzle together. They sorted the pieces and pieced the border working on the schoolroom table. Then over the next few days they finished the puzzle by doing a little at a time. It was a 500 piece puzzle and they pieced it faster than I expected. I helped out some. I think Bentley did the most work, but the twins did some piecing. Kara also worked on it a little.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Flu Report

Our household has been plagued the past few weeks with a seasonal flu. It started with Bentley just before and on his birthday. Evan and Lincoln had runny noses for a while. I remember that, but I also remember that Lincoln at some point in the past few weeks went to the doctor because of croup and he got a prescription to help him. It did the job. 

Jake was sick, too. He got to sleep in his mom's bed two nights in a row (Matt was gone on a business trip) and that made Bentley mad (Bentley's turn was co-opted by Jake), so I let Bentley (and Viva) slumber party in our room.

Two weeks ago Evan was running a fever on and off for days. He was super ornery (more on that in another post). Kara took him to the doctor after a week, but they said he didn't have anything they could treat him for: Being super ornery is just how some two years are.

Jake started getting sick (again!?) this past week. He broke down at karate. Kara didn't realize he was sick yet or she wouldn't have taken him. Yesterday Kara refused to let him go to karate and to spend the afternoon at Grandma Karen's. He was running a fever and he gets on a plane tonight to go to Hawaii with his dad. He needs to get better quickly

Kara had the flu (chills, fever, headache) for a few days. Mark and I had mild cases compared to the rest of the household. I think Matt missed out, maybe because he has been on five (six?) business trips since the start of the year and was thus able to avoid the germs in our home. Great-grandma seldom gets sick. I am not sure what her secret is. (If you move only a little do you breathe in less infected air?!)

Kara is paranoid that Viva is getting sick. Viva has a gymnastics meet this coming weekend. Kara is also watching Bentley closely, but isn't he the one who started this latest round of the flu? Do we have enough people in our household to morph the flu into another strain of it?

I feel like someone in the house has been sick all winter, but when I look back at past blog posts I see that it was early November that we last struggled with a household flu epidemic. We had a couple of good months before we again succumbed!