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.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trekkin' for the Twins

For those who don't already know it...I have a FANTASTIC sister. Ok,'s true, we fought like cats and dogs growing up. We are only 15 months apart and we have always been complete opposites in both looks and personality and we both drove each other bonkers....for reals- to the point of hair pulling, hitting, yelling and all other good girl/sister means of fighting. She even claims that I stole boyfriends...but I DIDN'T. Besides...he was my age, not hers. :)

Anyway- My fantastic sister is one of the most patient people that I have come to know and we are just now in the last few years becoming really good friends. It's just not a normal morning without her morning wake up call and chat. Let me tell you a little about my sis...she has 5 BEAUTIFUL children...2 that are biologically hers and 3 that are step sons that she loves and cares for as her own since they have full and sole custody.
Two of these cute boys of hers are twins. Isaac and Jackson are 7 years old and both have a few other "things" that I'll let you read about here. These two boys are the cutest and funniest kiddos. And no, I still can't tell them apart unless I ask them to smile (one can't/won't smile..he frowns), but I have still grown to love them. Because of this growing friendship with my sis. and her awesome kids I would like to support the Autism Awareness campaign. April is Autism awareness month so you will be seeing lots of autism posts and information about Autism and what each person can do to spread the word about Autism. I looked up a ton of sights to share a bit of info. with you and found SO MUCH information! So here is just one of the many of sights to read up on if you are curious to learn more about Autism. Chances are good that you know somebody that is either Autistic themselves or has a child or sibling that is autistic. So read up on it...become AWARE and learn what you can do to help.
Part of what I'm doing to help my little sis is i'm walking on her team for the annual "Walk Now for Autism" walk on May 2, 2009. PLEASE check out this site and donate what you can. The more funding we can raise the more research can be done to find out causes and cures for Autism, as well as important rescources for family and children affected by Autism. Seriously...families dealing with Autism need major resources for help and education and additional help resources for themselves and children so please help if you can! And if anybody wants to walk (children welcome) please let me know...we would love to have you join us on our team!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fairy Tea Party

The annual Provo Library Fairy Tea party happens every year right around Kira's birthday. Nana (my mom) takes all the grand daughters that are old enough (have to be 3) along with their moms. Now...this isn't any easy feat. Tickets go on sale a couple of Saturdays before the tea party and you have to actually stand in line EARLY...I'm not talking just a little early but REALLY early. This year my mom and I got there right at 7 am and we still didn't get the best seats. The library has 3 seperate teas and they all sale out within the first hour of tickets being on sale. It's a pretty big deal and a lot of fun. All of the girls dress up (and many of the mothers) in either their best dress or fairy clothing. The tea party starts out with the Fairy King and his court being introduced and seated, there are ballerinas that come and do some short dances (always the highlight for Kira) and then of course, the tea party. They give a little speal about fairy manners and tonight at dinner we all got lectured on not using good fairy manners...NO elbows on the table! EVER!
Kira adores spending this short bit of time with her cousins and she really considers the whole thing to be some big birthday celebration for her. Lots of fun...but I think next year Shannon and Megan get to stand in line for stinking's COLD in February, outside at 6:30am!

Kira's 6th Bday FRIEND party

Kira was able to have her very first FRIEND party this year. She had so much fun! She invited all of the little girls from her Kindergarten class, plus two neighbor friends...making a total of 14 girls! A little crazy but the party actually ended up being the easiest party I've ever done...due to the fact that Kira wanted a hot tub party. They played in the hot tub for about an hour and then we had hotdogs and chips and opened presents and finished up with cake and ice cream. After all of that was over the girls went downstairs to watch a new movie that Kira got for her B-day while waiting for parents to arrive. A VERY easy and fun party!

Deals to Meals

Ok...I spend way too much time online! Most of it is for work, but often times I get side tracked and spend time I don't have looking through COOL this new website! I was actually online this morning looking up some ideas on food storage and ran across the website Deals to Meals They offer a service of planning week menus...because this saves money to actually plan out your meals, and then they also give you a grocery list with where to buy everything cheapest. PLUS they have a page of really great deals that you can take with you to Walmart to price match everything. I have NEVER been into doing coupons or price matching but I am really excited to try this out and see if I can save some money. Right now we spend around $400-$500 a month on groceries for our family of sometimes 6 and sometimes 8. And this is with having a deep freeze that is fairly well stocked with meat and a storage room that is already fairly stocked with I just KNOW that I can cut more off of my budget! The site does charge something like $4/month, but I think it's going to be SO worth it! If you know me very well at all you know that I do NOT enjoy cooking. Dave does, I do NOT. So having ready prepped meal ideas, menus, shopping list for me is a great deal for me. I'll keep you updated on if this website saves me money and if I like their recipes. You just really don't understand how much I have fallen in love with this site just today! Check it out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kira is 6!

I can't believe that my little girl is 6 years old! I keep teasing her that she just turned 4 instead of 6 but she won't go for that. She is proud of every single one of those years. And she should be! Kira is such a sweet little girl. She has completely earned the nickname "Crazy Girl" from her siblings as she is always doing something a bit wacky, but she is also a little princess...all girl. Kira, Mommy and Daddy love you so much! Thanks for being such a sweetheart that is always giving hugs and kisses (and slaps on the behind). We are so proud of you and what a big girl you are becoming!

Kiras Favorites-

Favorite Color-Pink

Favorite Toy- Littlest Petshop (which mom won't buy much of because they are too darn expensive...but notice the dress...I do give concessions.)

Favorite Game- ?? Jumping on the tramp

Favorite thing to do with family- camp and sit in the hot tub

Best Friend- ANYBODY that will play with her. She LOVES playing with her friends and has many of them, but not one in particular.

Favorite Food- Whatever daddy makes.

Kira helped me "design" her very own birthday outfit this year and she is just so proud to be wearing it today. She was SO excited to go to Kindergarten and have her birthday celebrated. She is also having her first birthday party today...a Hot Tub party of course. We'll see how that goes with 16 little 5-6 year old girls!...not sure what I was thinking. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Family Home Evening- The Nielsen Way

I just had to share what we did for FHE last night. We had song, scripture, prayer, the lesson and everything right there in the hot tub with the snow falling...lots of fun! Of course my kiddos always have to get out and run around in the snow and for some silly reason I let them talk me into it this time. I just have to say that snow angels are REALLY cold without proper clothing. :)

If anybody ever wants to come join us for a hot tub (or hot pot as Ella calls it) night please just let us know. We are just so sad that we have offered this multiple times and only ONE couple has taken us up on the wasn't so bad was it Tish and Paul?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best 8 year old EVER

Ok...Just have to brag for a minute. Our family stayed home from church today because 3 out of 4 kids are sick as well as my dear husband. (Not what I'm braging about. :)) SO...just after lunch Hayden pipes up with can he still go to church? OF COURSE! So he showers and gets himself all dressed and asks me to tell him when it's time to go (just for primary). When I tell him it's time to go he gets his coat on, grabs his scripture tote, gives me a hug and is on his way. OH how I wish I had my camera on hand when he walked away from the house! He looked like this little man, carrying his briefcase and wearing his work clothes. Too sweet. I can't believe what a sweet kid I have and what a GOOD kid he is! For many 8 year olds do you know that will volunteer to walk themselves to church and even go by themself!?? He has always been my sweatheart- always the one to save a last piece of candy for a sibling and always making sure his sisters and brother are being taken care of and thought of. Hayden...I couldn't ask for more in a son!

The Giveaway

Wow! I just happened upon a GREAT and fun site...but WARNING!!! You will spend too much time on this site!

This site has the funnest contests, giveaways and resources for all types of giveaways, samples and more! I'm doing a bit of this on my blog and this has definately inspired me. Check it out!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ok...Trying AGAIN

Ok...I've been meaning to get my family blog going for awhile now and FOR reals, I'm really going to do it this time! It just seems like there is always so much more going on that this isn't made a priority...but my kids are getting bigger and they are always doing such fun things...and I have thoughts that I want to document so I'm going to make this more of a priority.

Oh...if anybody out there reads this...I need an exercise buddy- any takers?