Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yikes! Time goes by too fast!

Why does life always move by too fast? Things here at the Nielsens have remained crazy. I just can't seem to get ORGANIZED with my business! Dave is home a lot because his work still doesn't have a lot of hours to offer, but things are still crazy even when he's home. So...a quick update.

This summer we came back from vacation in Montana to find out that Dave's work is out of money and put him on a furlough...which we thought was better then a complete layoff, but now that it's still on going I'm not too sure. I think we are about at the point of trying to find a new job, but you all know how that goes. So with all the time he had off we did lots of fun stuff! Of course, that is a lot of free fun stuff. School rolled around all too fast and this year I have 3 out of the 4 going...well, Nick is half day kindergarten and that stinks, but i'm getting there! Two more years and they will all be in school! Work has continued to be really busy and I finally was able to purchase a new second machine, which has been SUPER nice in getting orders done. I'm glad we have my work to fall back on a bit while Dave's work is crazy...although my work is still really just trying to get off the ground. Well...I've got to go get kids up for school so I'll leave you with some pictures from the past few months.

Ella is into EVERYTHING! Especially moms makeup.

Kids first day of school- actually I think this was Nicks first day and the kids 2nd week. Nick was SO excited and poor Ella had no idea when this picture was taken that she would soon be left home alone...which she isn't thrilled about.
And yes, we now have a driver. Austin got his learners permit and is constantly asking to be taken driving. He thinks life is pretty cool. He did just turn 16 this last week but he can't get the license until February because of the new driving laws of needing his permit first for 6 months, etc.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We have....EGGS!

As I've said before, we are officially Chicken farmers. Well...we weren't expecting any eggs until August, so when we got back from our Montana vacation we were surprised to find that they had started laying! The kids that had taken care of the chickens for us had found 2 eggs, but when we started looking further we found 10! Too bad we had to throw them all away because we didn't know how long they had been sitting. We still haven't made their nesting box and we need to soon because they are all 5 laying now and sometimes we find them in the yard along our fence. The kids adore looking for eggs and Nick thinks he needs to at least 3 or 4 times a day. Because they lay at different times Nick is lucky enough to find some almost every time he looks. It's like an easter egg hunt around here every day!
People had always told us that if you tasted farm fresh eggs you would LOVE them and never go back..unfortunately Dave and I must not have much of a discrimanatory taste because we don't see a big difference, but if anybody wants to give them a try just let us know...we have 5 every day and that is more then we can keep up with.

Ella is 3!!!

On July 10th Ella finally turned 3! I say finally because she has been "working up to" her birthday for MONTHS! If you ask her when her birthday is she can tell you the date...only problem is she has no relation to time so she thought that July 10th was forever "tomorrow". While we were up in Montana the big day finally arrived and it was great! The night before we went birthday shopping and she picked out a fun pink dress and some GREAT sparkly pink shoes that she adores...with the exception that they hurt her feet.She has been wanting a Hello Kitty cake ever since I made the dreaded mistake of making those darn Puppy cake pops for Nicks birthday. So since we were out of town I escaped the 6 hour task of creating Hello Kitty cake pops and we were able to just order a Hello Kitty cake. It turned out super cute and she loved it. She was then spoiled by all 6 of her siblings, her parents and cousins with lots of fun gifts. She was one lucky little girl to have such a fun birthday.
I just can't believe that she is already 3! Unfortunately I still think of her very much as my baby...I guess with all of the other 3 I had already had another baby by this age so I never thought of the others as babys at this age. I'm afraid poor Ella will remain my baby that a lucky thing for her or unfortunate?Ella's Quirks and Favorites
  • She LOVES animals but is scared to death of them, including our Chickens.
  • She loves all things pink and girly, especially lipstick/gloss and shoes.
  • She insists on Mom doing her hair each and every day, including bows...good thing we have lots of options.
  • She loves to sing and she sings loud and often.
  • She loves to play pretend.
  • She has to sleep cuddled RIGHT next to someone. Good thing she normally shares a room with Kira.
  • She is VERY sure of herself....which unfortunately means that she is VERY bossy.
  • Ella loves to be silly...we LOVE this girl!

Montana take 2

Big Fork Montana
Yes, I still have more to say about Montana. We spent a total of 3 1/2 days traveling too and from Montana but it was COMPLETELY worth it...although my kids did come to the conclusion that camping in a Walmart parking lot was not nearly as cool as they thought it would be.

Another great thing my kiddos were able to try for the first time was water skiing and tubing. They loved it! We all had so much fun and the lake and river were just gorgeous. One of the evenings that we were out on the water and it started raining and we were privileged enough to see a double rainbow. I just thought it was amazing that we were out playing on the water at 9pm and it wasn't even close to dark yet! Ya got to love those late Montana nights where it doesn't get dark until 10:30pm.
Austin, Aisha and Ella on the water tube
Austin doing GREAT on the was SUPER cold this day!
See...look at his purple cheeks!
Kira on her first try waterskiing. I need to get the rest of my pictures of the other kids waterskiing from Bridget.

I REALLY wish I could figure out how to download my video here of my kids water skiing, wake boarding and tubing, but I can't make it if anybody wants to see it just come over and I'm sure my kids will entertain you with our video we made. I'll make do with's just a few. Like I said...Montana was FANTASTIC!

Dad and Nick by an overturned tree's roots at Glacier Park

Austin and Ella at Glacier National Forest (or park?)...absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Dave and his BIG catch.
Ella taking a hike the easy way.

Montana 4th of July Parade

Another FAVORITE thing we did while in Montana was participate in the Big Fork, Montana parade. Henry Wilkes (our host) provided the float, tons of helium balloons that we blew up and lots of candy to throw out. My kids haven't had that much fun in a LONG time. Kind of funny how much the big kids said they DIDN'T want to do the parade and how much fun they ended up having. All of the kids, both big and small adored throwing out candy to all these kids yelling for them. The balloons were a hit, even if they took FOREVER to blow up and were handed out in mere minutes. After all the candy and balloons were handed out my kiddos had a ball just waving and pretending like they were something "official" in the parade, rather then just a family float. Yeah for the Wilkes...their family float won 2nd place in the family division and 1st in the patriotic division!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Here is sit in Montana updating my blog. It's not that I'm bored here...just that it is 10pm and STILL not dark outside! It really doesn't get dark here until 10:30pm at night! Let me tell's totally throwing off our sleep schedules. We are having a ball. We are staying in a town called Big Fork and it is a little lake community right on the lake of Flat Head. Tons of pine trees and beautiful homes. We are staying with Dave's brothers in laws...while spending time with Daves brother and his family. They have a little river/canal that runs right to the back of the house and goes out to the lake. We have really taken advantage of what Montana has to offer so far!

July 4th my kiddos got to be IN the parade- not just watch it but really be in it. Our float ended up getting first place for the family float. VERY fun. We blew up hundreds of helium balloons and the big kids passed them out as the little kids threw out candy. That night we watched lots of up the mess the next day wasn't nearly as fun as watching them but the kids loved them. Even Kira who watched them from the front seat of the truck as she hates the noise...even with ear plugs in.

The highlight so far has to be watching my little kids water ski...yes, they water skiied! Like I said, we are taking advantage of all that there is to offer here in Montana. We went out on James boat (daves brother) and I thought that my kiddos wouldn't really try it. The lake is really cold and my kids have never even WATCHED water skiing before. So Bridget (my sis in law) explained to the kids what to do. One other little girl that is here with us tried it out and got up but crashed pretty quickly. Then it was Kira's turn. She ended up getting up the first time and she NEVER crashed! She did SO good! Hayden was next and he got right up as well. I was shocked! He crashed after a little bit, but I was still really surprised. THEN Nick wanted to try..which was a real shocker to me...but he even got right up! Again, he didn't do as well as Kira but he did great! Got right up and went a bit before crashing. I have video but i've now spent two hours trying to upload it with no luck. So if anybody has any solutions to getting these videos online that would be great as I'm one proud mama that would love to share!

Girls Camp 2009

Wow...this June has been absolutely busy, busy, busy! I'm hoping that July will slow down a bit!

I spent the week of June 22-26th at Heber Valley Girls camp with the Spanish Fork Stake. I'm the Cambridge ward Camp director and I LOVE and adore the calling! It is so much fun working with the Young Women...minus the every wednesday night activity. Heber Valley girls camp is an amazing place and we had some fantastic speakers. If you ever get a chance to listen to in person, or on CD check out Diane Hoelscher. She has several of her talks on cd and she is an absolutely amazing and inspiring speaker. She talked to the girls about member missionary work. And besides being an inspirational speaker she is super funny and entertaining. pictures YET but girls camp was definately a hit this year!

Springville Art City Days Craft Fair

In my attempt to catch up on my blog and be a bit more consistent I thought I would document just how big a disaster the Springville Art City days craft fair was this year...maybe if I document it I will remember not to do anymore outside shows. I don't have any it's all in the words-which I'm sure just won't paint the same picture as what is in my head.

We set up on Wednesday night and it was dollar days that night. So the goal was to be set up by 5pm so that we could take advantage of a busy night at the park...yeah- how about set up at 9pm and closing at no sales this day. The next day it rained most of the day so nobody was really out and about, pretty much another loss. Friday rolls around and it looks to be a really nice day. It hits about 3pm and we finally made our booth fee...yeah! Now we had the rest of the day and all day Saturday to make a profit.

Then we saw the dark clouds moving in. The temperature started to drop really quickly so we pulled our tables in so that they were all the way under the easy up tent that we use for ourdoor fairs. We had two sides up all the time and started putting up the two other sides in preperation for the rain we thought we would be getting. All of a sudden a BIG ol' clap of thunder and lightening happend and at the same time the wind gushed in. It was blowing so hard that it was pushing over our tent since it was staked too securely to blow it away. All of a sudden our roof was tore off by the wind and we got DRENCHED in the pooring rain. My mom threw a tarp over the machine and we put the laptop under a table and we just had to continue to hold on to the tent so it didn't get bent by being blown over. It was raining really hard and just kept on blowing. We had fathers day hats blowing all over the park and ALL of our merchandise was wet at this point. It only lasted about 15 minutes but it was a complete loss. We called my dad and brother and they came to help us pack up and go home to dry out. People kept coming by and asking why we were closing down early...uh...I don't know...could be because everything we own, including ourselves are dripping wet! It took the rest of the evening to lay everything out to dry and then the entire next day cleaning up the mess, but atleast we only lost paperwork and business cards. All of our merchandise dried out great and our machine wasn't hurt. And yes, that will be the last of the outdoor fairs for me and Stitcheroos. Oh...I do have to say that other crafters were AWESOME. During the rain several of them came out in the rain to try and help us hold down our tent, meaning that they got drenched too...thank you all you nice people out there!

Moab Girls Trip

June 5-7th was our first ever, and now annual, girls trip. We had SO much fun. I really haven't laughed that hard in a really, really long time. When I first got the notice about this trip I really thought I was going to have to do it by myself. My mom is not a big fan of water and this would be a full day of white water rafting in moab. And both my sister Megan and my Sis in law Shannon had nursing babies. I asked if anybody would be able to come and to my surprise all 3 were able to make it...minus babies or any other attachments!
We started the trip right by stopping by a nail salon on our way out of town to get glitter toes. A very fun indulgence and a great START to a fun weekend.
We had a fun time setting up the tent and spending a bit of time shopping around town. Saturday was spent white water rafting and it was a ball! A little chilly and not a TON of white waters but still great. I need to get my water camera pictures developed...I have a GREAT picture (I hope) of Shannon getting slammed over by a wave right as she was trying to pretend like she was oh so scared of the white water...too funny.
Later Saturday night my Dad made the mistake of telling my Mom to make sure she got some good pictures around the campsite...needless to say we laughed our behinds off for the next 2 or 3 hours while having fun taking some real quality pictures...lets just say a full moon came up over the trees and we just had to take advantage of it. :) Below is one of our nicer pictures...bottom to top is Megan, Mom, Shannon and me.

We also got in just a bit of bike riding. This picture actually has the FUNNIEST story behind it. My Dad sent along the helmet and gloves and was kind of bugging my mom to use them even though she told him repeatedly that she wouldn't. So we took another quality picture of her decked out in them just to please my papa. The funny part came about because if you look closely the handle bars are BACKWARDS. She took the helmet off and tried to ride out of camp and quickly biffed it. She got back up and rode it a ways more and couldn't figure out why the stupid bike would have such dumb brakes placed in such a wierd place...turns out the brakes aren't in a bad place when the handlebars are being used in the forward position.
On the way home we took time to stop and take more quality pictures. Yeah..ok...we didn't really get in any REAL mountain bike riding...but we took some great pictures to make it look like we did.
Here is my final picture from the trip...this was taken right before our head on collision with this semi truck. Ok...not really. But it was kind of spooky to be driving along at 80 mph and look up to see a semi facing you. It was being towed by another semi...but still a little spooky.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stitcheroos-Contest and Feature!

Hey family and friends! Just a little shout out for my company STITCHEROOS. I'm being featured on the blog "Giveaway Today" today through Monday. In conjunction with that there is a $30 gift certificate up for grabs! Spread the word! I would love to break a record for the number of entries in one of "Giveaways" contests! I know it's Memorial Day Weekend, meaning many of you are probably out of town, but try to help me out before you leave! I'm on my way out myself...not sure where too yet, but SOMEWHERE! Have a great weekend everybody!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Fun!!!

Summer Photography Graphics

Alright me out! I have set as one of my BIG goals for the summer to spend some major time actually playing with my kids. With school, the embroidery business, babysitting other kids and life in general my kids get put on the back burner WAY too much.

This will be the FIRST summer where we don't have to plan activities around naps! Yeah! We also have NO extra babysat kids this year and I've finally got my work on a schedule to where I'm making my kids priority number 1. With all of that being said I need help finding things to do! I've been researching it all out and I've got a pretty good starting list but I figured lots of you Mommy's probably have places that I haven't thought about. My kiddos love parks, but get bored of the same I'm on a hunt for new and exciting summer adventures!
So here is my list...please help me add to it! Maybe we can plan some dates this summer to get groups together and do some of these fun things.

My only rule is it has to be FREE or really cheap and I would prefer that it is in Utah county although I'm sure we can manage the occasional road trip.

  • Springville Pool has family night every Monday from 6-9pm for $10/family (2 adults, 5 children)...this will save my family LOTS of money! Although we did get 7 peaks passes for Christmas so it might not be used much til after summer.
  • Bean Museum at BYU is always FREE!
  • Discovery Park in Pleasant Grove/Cedar Hills is FREE...huge and fun!
  • Benjamin Farms in Payson Utah offers FREE tours by appointment. They have a working bee farm and lots of animals. This might be a fun one to do as a group! Let me know if you are interested.
  • Wheeler Farm in SLC is FREE...if you want to tour the farmhouse or go for a wagon ride there is a charge.
  • Kennecot Utah Copper Mine is $5/car and is open 8am-8pm...could make for a fun road trip and picnic.
That is all that I have so far and I KNOW that there are lots of other fun things to do out help me out! I'm SOOOOO tired of seeing really fun activities on the news at night AFTER it's already over.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Organ and Tissue story

I recently read a blog post from an old High School friend about how Organ donation has touched her life- her young son has recently had a Kidney transplant that has saved his life. I thought maybe it was time that I shared my story about organ and tissue donation. Especially since April was Organ/Tissue donation month but I didn't do anything with it because I was busy supporting Autism Awareness. But Organ/Tissue donation is SO important that I can't just let it go by without sharing my story.

As many of you know I was married once before to a fabulous man named David Rolfe. We had a beautiful baby boy together. This last April would have been our 10 year wedding anniversary but we only made it 2 1/2 years before David passed away. He passed away from an accidental prescription drug overdose, which in itself is a whole other story and cause that I struggle with. Initially I was in total and absolute shock. I didn't see his death coming-although in hind sight I had completely been prepared for it.

I remember laying on my mom and dads bed later on the same day of his death and just trying to sleep...trying to avoid the pain as much as possible. My Dad came in and said that I had a phone call and that it was an important one that I needed to take. He tried to prepare me for the phone call, but it turns out he didn't need to. The phone call was from Intermountain Donor Services of Utah. They were calling to ask me if I would be willing to sign consent for tissue donation from David's body. It might sound totally "not right", but I was actually happy to hear from them. I had just assumed that because David died unattended (not hooked up to life support) that he wouldn't be able to be an organ/tissue donor, but I was wrong! The Donor Services of Utah were calling because he WAS still eligible to donate tissues and bone. As I said Dad expected this call to be a call that I wasn't ready to handle- but he was wrong...I was VERY ready to handle it and it actually brought me a great amount of peace to know that Davids death wasn't completely pointless...his death was going to give others opportunities that were at that point out of their reach.

David was able to help people see again with the donation of his corneas.
David was able to help people who had been horribly broken heal again with new bones.
David was able to help people with massive burns get new skin and a chance to heal properly with that skin.
David was able to help numerous people with skin, corneas, bones, large veins and various other tissues.
And yes, we did still have an open casket viewing. He looked NO different then if he hadn't been a donor, but I KNEW what gifts he had given to others.

You might be thinking that I had been a heartless wife and that I wasn't in my right mind at the time of his death. I know I had people close to me that really struggled with this decision of mine. But let me explain why the decision was so easy to me and why it brought me such peace in this time of heartache.

Only 3 or 4 years earlier then Davids death my Uncle Steve died while waiting for a Kidney transplant. Now, Steve was a lucky man because he had some serious health problems throughout his life and yet had many miracles. Some years before Steves death he was actually a recipient of a donor liver. This allowed him to become healthy again and to go on and have 2 more BEAUTIFUL girls. This liver allowed him to continue on being the father of his other 3 them precious time to get to know him and learn from him. When he died while waiting for the Kidney transplant it was a sad time for our family because we know he could have had many more great years had he only had a Kidney donor in time. Somebody's greatest heartache, the loss of a loved one, is the time of great joy and hope for a recipient family.

When Steve died I had been dating David. I was attending college and gave speeches two different times about the importance of being a Organ/Tissue donor. David and I had in depth discussions about the importance of being a donor and we both clearly knew each others wishes. We were young. We didn't have any reason to think that either of us would die early, but we discussed it anyway...and look at the peace it brought me when he did die young, unexpectedly. Our discussions gave me the uttermost peace, knowing that David would approve of my decision to have him be a donor.

Times have changed a little bit in the last 8 years. Laws have changed where YOU get to make the decision to be a donor, where when David died it really came down to your families consent. Even if you wanted to be a donor, your family had to give the ok after your death. Now YOU get to decide. You can put yourself on a registry and if anything were to happen YOU would know that you were able to help others in being a donor. But it's also SO important to still talk with your families. Make them aware of your desires and decisions so that if something were to happen to you it wouldn't be a surprise to them when the Donor Teams come knocking, wanting what you have given them permission to have. I know it might sound callous, but come on...once you are gone you no longer need your organs and tissues. But there is somebody out there that desperately needs them! It often times means life or death to the recipients.

Here is just a bit of information from the website "Donate Life".

"There are now more than 100,000 people in the United States waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. A million more suffer from blindness, medical conditions or devastating injuries that can be successfully treated with donated corneas or tissue. Everyone is likely to have a neighbor, a friend or even a family member who has been or will be affected by organ or tissue donation. Last year, more than 28,000 lives were saved through organ transplants. These
were necessary because no other medical treatment offered the possibility of recovery from organ failure. Similarly, tissue transplants are often a necessary part of medical treatment for a multitude of diseases and injuries, including bone fracture, ligament repair and heart surgery. More than one million life-enhancing tissue transplants are performed each year, offering patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives."

Please talk with your loved ones TODAY about what would happen if you were to unexpectedly die. I know nobody thinks it will happen to them, but statistics say that it WILL happen to some of us. I was only 25 years old and a widow! Nobody thinks that is going to happen to them. Talk with your loved ones and decide TODAY if you are going to be a donor. Make sure your loved ones know your wishes and desires. And then go to "YES UTAH" and sign up to be a donor. There are literally thousands of people anxiously waiting for donors to save and improve their own loved ones lives. And not nearly enough donors to fill the need. And don't let your own health limitations deter you! Many people can still be donors that would have originally thought they could't because of disease, sickness and such. Check in to it and find out what you can might be surprised to find out how much you would be able to help somebody if you were to die unexpectedly. We all obviously want to keep our family close and nobody wants a death in their family, but if it were to happen today would you be ready to make a donor decision? I am.

Nicks 5!!!

Wow! Isn't it amazing how fast time flies. Ok..the time that you are actually PREGNANT is the longest 9 months ever...but the first 5 years of a kids life? It's gone before you know it! Nick turned 5 this past Monday and I just can't believe it! We had a special birthday dinner of eggs and sausage (Nicks request) on Sunday with McKae and Austin and let him open his presents then. I made these cake pops that took FOREVER to make on Saturday, but Nick adored the only problem is Ella wants Hello Kitty ones for her Birthday this summer. You can see all the cake pops at the amazing Bakerella.
Here we are...making the cake pops. Kira is mixing the frosting with the crumbled up cake.And here are all of my HELPERS...maybe this is why it took so long?
Didn't they turn out GREAT?...yeah right. These are Bakerellas.
And these are mine. :) Much harder and more time consuming then I thought they would be!These are what I have to look forward to with Ella.And here is Nick Nack Paddy Wack opening his special birthday cereal and enjoying his birthday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Break- Sand Hollow Reservoir

Our Spring Break was FABULOUS! We took the kiddos down to Hurricane (right by St. George, Utah) to Sand Hollow Reservoir. It's this great reservoir that hooks right up to Sand Hollow, which is a big ol' mountain made out of red sand.
It was pretty crazy waking up to snow on Thursday morning and by that afternoon being in such nice weather. It was still pretty chilly, but lots better then snow! We did lots of hiking around on the rocks when we got there...I just LOVE to hear my kids say "This is the best camping trip ever!"...they say that a lot but it means a lot to me because it shows me that they are really enjoying themselves.

On Friday we drove over to St. George and went to Snow Canyon, another state park where there are lots of hiking trails through petrified sand dunes and red rocks. Again...lots of fun but then the wind picked up and we were forced inside...which turned out great because by then we were exhausted!

Saturday we took a long drive trying to find a way to get to the sand dunes by truck, rather then 4 luck, which was a bummer as the kids had brought along sleds that they wanted to try using on the sand dunes. We eventually ended up at this gorgeous beach (at Sand Hollow) that is made up entirely of soft red sand. It was still pretty chilly but the kiddos had a BALL playing in the sand, burying each other and playing in the water. I can't believe how much fun we had that afternoon and NO money was toys were whining, just harmonious siblings getting along having fun together. Ok..yeah, that only lasted until we hit the showers a few hours later, but it was FANTASTIC while it lasted! But darn it! I sat there and took video of some GREAT moments and wouldn't you know it...the brain here never pressed record. I sat there and took video on pause! AHH! And Kira had done the FUNNIEST dance around Austin while he was buried. Guess I'll have to scrapbook it. I also missed out on a great wrestling match between Dave and Austin in the sand, but ya can't catch it all or you miss out on stuff yourself. But I did capture the kids "swimming" in the sand. And yes, just in case you are wondering- pockets were full of sand and now my laundry room and dryer are full of red sand. I guess the sand in the pockets was helped along a little by good ol' Big brother Austin who thought it was great fun to put sand and worms down everybodys shirts, shorts and in Ella's pockets...but it was funny! Oh was well worth it! And just so you know...Austin didn't find the worms in the sand, they came from a left behind container of fishing worms. :)
We packed up and came home on Sunday and the kids begged and pleaded to stay longer. I'm pretty sure the consensus was that they would all live in our trailer pretty happily if they could. And you know what? Crazy as it seems Dave and I are actually considering it. Maybe living in a motorhome for a year and traveling the U.S with our kiddos while they are still kiddos isn't such a bad idea...something for us to think about.- yeah..a lot to think about!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Fun

Easter was fabulous this year! I didn't even mind the rain amazingly enough. We had lots of fun doing the normal easter egg hunts, dying eggs and going to my moms for an Easter party. Sunday was great just spending time together as a family, giving all the kids time to spend together. I LOVE my family! I was able to do some scrapbooking today since my back has been acting up...lucky me! MAYBE I will even get caught up someday....yeah right. :) Anyody want to exchange some spring digital layouts?

April Foolishness I'm late..what's new. Ok- here is a peek at our April Foolishness. We started the day with the preschoolers and lucky for us it was Wed., which means Kitchen time, yeah! We made Dirt Pie and the kids loved it! They scraped the oreos, crushed, mixed and created their flowers for their own little pots. They laughed and laughed the entire time about how they were going to fool their parents with pretending to eat dirt. You just have to love a preschoolers sense of humor. Sorry about not having photos of the rest of the kids at the other table! I've TRIED 10 times to download it and it just keeps downloading the text that I put on the picture, but leaving the picture part blank, so you will just have to believe me that they also loved it.

For dinner that night I created the Nielsens first ever April Fools dinner. My kids are crazy..they came upstairs and did NOT even comment on the fact that the table was upside down! no...they got all excited about the cake and "tiny burgers"...Nicks most recent obsession...but they were in for a surprise! At first I told them "April Fools" we get to eat cake first tonight! They cheered and were SO happy. Dave served up the first piece to Ella and then to Kira. The look on Kira's face was priceless. After poking at it for a minute she asked "Mom...why does my cake have meat in it?" It was only then that they realized that they were sitting on the ground, up to an upside down table and that this was ALL an april fools day dinner. At that point they knew the hamburgers weren't really burgers, but they still loved them. And so did I...aren't they too cute? Just vanilla wafers, peppermit patties and a little icing and coconut. What a fun dinner...I'm going to have to really come up with something to trick them with next year now that they know what to expect!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Silly Nick

Sunday morning Nick craweled into bed with me and the first thing that I heard him say was "Mommy, why do you love me? I just want to know..." Nick is such a sweet kid. He is SO not a hugger/cuddler/lover, but sometimes he surprises me- and apparently I need to do a better job of reminding him of why I love him, although after some surface thoughts I'm at a loss. I just love him because he's MINE...what more can I say?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chickens in the Headlights

Ok...having the newly acquired chickens has gotten me thinking about my favorite book and I thought I would share it with you all.

The book is "Chicken in the Headlights" by Matt Buckley and it is hillarious! You really need to get it and read it yourself before reading it to your kids otherwise you'll struggle getting through it without the giggles.

I have found some reviews off of Amazon and I thought I would copy and paste them here showing you just how funny others thought it was...for reals...get this book and read it to your kiddos this summer!
"Okay, so maybe you love to read books but find your most recent selections a little dull. Read this book, and you will forever be warned against drinking warm milk, killing chickens and becoming a goatboy. Matthew Buckley and his six siblings have raised the childhood antics we all know and love to an unparalleled level. While his parents have somehow managed to stay sane amongst this chaos of brotherly love, the rest of us get to experience the insane laughter one only gets from sitting on the sidelines and not actually having to dodge an errant pillow, bits of jam, or chicken "gravy". Having written in his journal from a very young age, Buckley reaches back and picks out a summer where the "joy of the journey" encompasses a visit to Grandmas, several hilarious chicken roundups, and a time simply made better because it was shared with his brothers. "

"My sister and I both teach fourth grade, she in Nevada and I in Idaho. We tell each other about books our students have liked. She bought this book for me making me promise two things: I would read it myself before I read it to the kids so I would get over the giggles and be able to read it outloud . . . (sort of worked) and secondly, I *would* read it to my students. Now, I'm one of those old lady school teachers who has to connect every read aloud to the curriculum, but, hey, it was the last month of school and I was getting short on books to read, so I took her up on it. While reading this book to my class, my kids BEGGED me to "read more, read more." This wasn't the usual "Read more so we don't have to do Math right now." It was "Read more, please, please, please cuz we can't wait to hear the next crazy thing the Buckley boys do." Hey, even if you don't teach fourth grade, you'll love this book if you've ever had a sister, a brother, a grandma or (heaven forbid) raised chickens! "
Have fun with this book!!! Go GET IT!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Geometry for Preschoolers

Ok..I have a blog for my preschoolers, but I just CAN'T keep it up, so I'll post here occasionally for my parents...BESIDES, this is for my age kids too. :)
I LOVE teaching preschool but most days it is completely exhausting and many times I finish up a class wondering if the kids are actually learning what I teach and if they are "getting it". Today was one of those really "great" days and if you have ever taught you will know what I mean by that.
We are learning about the letter K for kites and today was Kitchen of the kiddo's favorite things. We were originally supposed to make kites out of crackers but silly Ms. Adrienne fed the crackers to her own kids last week and forgot to buy more. So with all of my quick thinking I decided that we would make cheesy kites. was "cheesy"...but it worked. The kids had to spread bread on the butter which really challenged their fine motor skills and problem solving skills- they had to figure out how to get that butter to stay on the butter knife and to the bread! I then had them cut the bread from corner to corner, which started the whole geometry discussion about shapes and corners. I then had each child manipulate their two pieces of bread until it "looked" like a kite...this is where it really got fun. Each of the kids kept trying to put the bread back together like a piece of bread. They really ended up having to think really hard to figure out how to move it into different positions.
This reminded me of using Tangrams...something that I think I'm going to break out for the kid today since yesterday was so successful. If you don't know what Tangrams are then google it and then use it with your kids, they are SO fun and such good skill builders. After they positioned their bread, and some did better making it look like a kite then others, I gave them cheese to put on the bread. We then toasted it and they got to eat their own creations. I really was amazed at how much of the geometry they picked up...and it wasn't even on the agenda today! We finished up the day playing with our Geo boards...another favorite of the class. After class I did a little research of my own with geometry and preschoolers. I KNOW that it is important for preschoolers, but I wanted to share with everybody, WHY it's here is a little bit of info. from Scholastics website.

"Young children "do" math spontaneously in their lives and in their play. We've all seen preschoolers exploring shapes and patterns, drawing and creating geometric designs, taking joy in recognizing and naming specific shapes they see. This is geometry — an area of mathematics that is one of the most natural and fun for young children.
Preschoolers' intuitive knowledge of geometry frequently exceeds their numerical skills. By building on strengths and interests that are already present, you can foster enthusiasm for math and provide a logical context to develop number ideas."

That is only a little part of the article so check it's pretty informative. Anyway...that was my really GREAT preschool class, which made me happy that I teach. I just love seeing the kiddos faces when things click and they "get it."...which happened with ALL of them yesterday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a..... Girl!...and another Girl...and another Girl...and another Girl...and one more GIRL!

The Nielsens are happy to announce some new additions to their family. We are now the proud parents of not 1, but 5 adorable little CHICKS. That's about as far as Adrienne will go with babies in the house. :)
Dave has decided that he wants to try his hand at raising chickens for here we go! Hopefully they won't be too loud for the neighbors or to smelly for me. The kids have all named them, although officially we are waiting until McKae comes this weekend to pick which one is which and come out with the final names...but so far here are the names...and yes, they picked the names out themselves. Haydens is: Chicken Nugget, Kiras is: Sparkle, Nicks is: Purple Turtle (come on...give the kid a break...we had dinner last night at the Purple Turtle after picking up the chicks in PG...he thought the resteraunt name was SUPER cool and that made the dinner SUPER that's what he choose for his chicks name...maybe it will just go by "Turtle".) And Ella's is: Strawberry Shortcake.

Now...if any of you are experiencing Chicken Envy then please feel free to come by, hold them and let them poop on you...the Chicken envy will pass quickly. And if any want fresh eggs we should have some in a few months...and possibly more then we will need. If you are wondering where Ella is, she was sound asleep on the way home and I just couldn't wake her up. But since she has woken up this morning she has not left the chicken box once...including to pee.

p.s. Dad...I drove by our old house last night, trying to show the kiddos the tire swing and besides not even being able to see the house I don't think they have a tire swing up...what are they thinking!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things I accomplished last week...

Ok. I have to say it...I'm pretty darn happy with myself. I always have a LONG to do list, and many times I don't get too far through it in the week...BUT this week I crossed off a MAJOR one for me! Yeah for me! I got our 72 hour kids filled and organized! Of course, after talking with my little sis. she added 4 or 5 more items that would be helpful to put in them so I have a bit of work to still do, but if there was an emergency today I would have them ready and useable. I've had the bags for about 2 years now, but I've got them filled now! YEAH! What a fun thing to cross off my list. If anybody is interested in the bags themselves (these are great bags with TONS of pockets) let me know...I can get them at cost without the embroidery and would add just a few $$ to add names and 72 hr. kit. I love that I put the 72 hour kit on ours because now my kids aren't tempted to use the bags for other things. Guess they can't now that they are filled!
Another YEAH for me is silly...but I cleaned my bathrooms yesterday AND mopped my floor. Wow...I feel like I've accomplished some BIG things and in truth they are just small. I try to clean each week and I do a good job on surface, but mopping hadn't happened for about a month and the toilets had missed the week before. You all know how it goes...time sneaks right past you!
And my last report for another big accomplishment for Adrienne Nielsen. I cooked dinner 6 nights last week! Now...many of you might think..duh, I do that every week. But here's the thing. My hubby is a FABULOUS cook and doesn't really mind cooking. When my friends and sis in law need cooking advice, they don't call they call to talk with Dave. His older kids even will call to ask him for his brocolli recipi! I didn't know there was a recipe for brocolli! However, even though he loves to cook I know it's not his favorite thing to do after coming home after a long day, so I've made a commitment to do better. And the Meals to Deals website has helped a ton! (I posted about it last week or so).

Oh! One more YEAH...just cause it makes me feel better about my crazy life... I am getting "there" with my food storage! I've been plugging away but now I'm making it a there ya go.
Things that I DIDN'T get done last week and want to get done this week. Maybe if I make my to do list public I'll get around to doing it!

-Make cookies with my kids and take them on a bike ride to a park for a cookie picnic.

-Work with Hayden on his Articles of Faith

-Clean out the kids clothes

-Clean out our camp trailer so it's ready for spring break

-REMEMBER to call Bobbe G. for piano lessons!!! And a piano tunner.

-Send in medical insurance papers for the kids...and fast!

-Finish up my business license paperwork..and fast!

-Pay off Dave's medical bills...what a pain in the tush!

-Exercise far I'm 0/2 this week.

-Find somebody to bike ride with...any takers?
-Get more items listed on Etsy...a never ending to do.

Ok...I have lots more to do, but these are the items that have been on my to do list for much too long and need to make it off this week.