Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Final Chapter of Cub Scouts

Jack has now reached the last level as a Cub Scout (Webelos II) and will prepare to enter Boy Scouts. At their year-end campfire ceremony, Jack was awarded a coin that will help remind him of the qualities of a Scout. A Scout is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I can't think of any better ideals to teach a young man, and I'm proud to say that Jack's character consists of much of these qualities already. Great job on another year of hard work, Jack!
Another recent activity that gave us a glimpse of our next level of Scouting adventures was the Denver Area Council Scout Show. It's an expo center filled with Scout-manned booths that feature activities for kids, all centered around a common theme. You probably recall Jack's building for their pack's booth: Heroes on the Hudson. We saw many awesome Scout creations--contraptions that were built outside, many using logs. The Boy Scouts that demonstrated these machines (things like catapults and can-crushers and obstacle course walls) were courteous and outgoing. We all enjoyed meeting them and having fun, but I think Jack was the most excited, knowing that big kid activities and outdoor adventures are just around the bend for him. See a video of our Scout Show Fun Here.

By the way, Jack is using email these days. You can reach him at

Friday, May 1, 2009

Colorado History Field Trip

To reinforce the history they have been learning, I accompanied the 4th graders on their field trip to the Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings and the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. They got to see first hand how the Anasasi Indians ground corn and lived in tiny spaces. We also learned where the term "grease monkey" came about, panned for gold and saw a model of what is at work under ground at a gold mine. It was great to get a hands-on look at what life was like for some past Coloradans. Even better, for me, was opening up the brown bag lunch my son had packed for me and seeing a note that read, "I love you, Mom."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Celebrating Eachother's Victories

As school winds down, there's a little less homework for my 4th grader and 2nd grader. There are a few tests. Jack came home with an A+ on a science test and we celebrated with ice cream! I think Kate and Lily were truly happy for him, but it's great when you get to share in the congratulatory prize.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Projects

Jack and Kate both had craft projects to make using recyclables, so we had fun getting out the craft stuff and creating! Here's an interview with Kate about her project:

Jack's creation will be a part of his Cub Scout Pack's booth at the Scout Show this weekend, entitled "Heroes on the Hudson". Kids that visit the booth will be able to make an airplane and fly it through the booth, with the goal being to land it on the "river". Cereal box buildings and skyscrapers will line the riverbank. (We watched this video to better understand what a feat the real-life landing was!) Since Jack has been known to sit with John and watch CNBC, the first NY building he could think of was the New York Stock Exchange. What a happy accident . . . .Mom just so happens to have a bunch of toilet paper rolls to use for the columns!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

I fed my kids Kool-Aid and Cupcakes for dinner. APRIL FOOL!

Actually our dinner contained ground beef . . . .

and mashed potatoes . . .

the food colored pretzel salt only looks like sprinkles . . .

(and we had corn, but I didn't put it on the plates until after the reveal.) There actually really was Kool-Aid, but not in these cups . . .

It actually was a very yummy dinner, and TOO MUCH FUN!

Spring in Colorado

Spring has come to Colorado, which means some lingering snow storms. It also means we are busy preparing for the neighborhood egg hunt!

The bins have begun to collect in the garage and the kids are helping out by testing the bunny hop sacks. Luckily, they passed quality control.

We've also been getting a little crafty. We made little chickie egg holders and Julie made a Bunny Shop sign (for the egg hunt) out of a vinyl table cloth and some permanent markers.

With plastic eggs everywhere, it was fun to find this cute craft on the internet for making decorative speckled eggs with spray paint and an old toothbrush. We now have speckled eggs nestled in the wreath on our front door and decorating the small pine tree that sits on our front porch through the chilly months.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break in San Diego

We've been having a great time exploring San Diego. Our hotel is in Carlsbad, which is close to Legoland, La Jolla (great beaches), and the SD Wild Animal Park. We're just up the coast from the Zoo, Sea World and the amazing San Diego Bay. We're off to the pool on our last day, but I just wanted to give you some peeks at the fun we've been having. Wish you were here!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Whole Lotta Scouting Goin' On

Our weekends (and weekdays for that matter) have been so busy. I'm just catching up on posting the fun stuff that's been going on around here. Here are some recent Scout pics:

The Blue & Gold ceremony includes a family dinner, skits performed by the boys, a table decorating contest and recent awards for the Scouts by the Cubmaster. It's fun to see the show and cheer for the boys. They are learning great skills.

We ended the last week of cookie sales with a booth at one of our local grocery stores. When the girls got antsy (we were there for three hours) we played Chinese jump rope to get the wiggles out. I think our customers actually enjoyed seeing that just as much as our (almost) polished sales pitch. Much of Girl Scouting is learning to have fun, after all.

A Shower for Danni

Our friends and neighbors, the Johnsens, are expecting a baby soon and we all got together to throw Danni a shower. Of course, I had to make one of my diaper cakes. I think this was my biggest one yet.
We also played games and mingled with new neighbors. What a great excuse for a party!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Love Notes

Valentine's Day was a lot of fun this year. I always love the goodies and crafts associated with the holiday. The Valentine boxes were especially fun this year. (Read more about them on my papercrafting blog.) The chocolate and the flowers were wonderful as well, but my favorite thing this year were the LOVE NOTES!

Throughout the day we wrote on little slips of paper: "I love Jack because . . . " and each made one for every family member. We didn't sign them and we collected them in a big jar. (Lily also helped me sort out just the red ones from my big collection of class beads to make the jar more festive--she is such a good helper!)

After dinner we took turns reading a slip from the jar. What a treat it was--and entertaining too-- to hear the nice things that my family loves and appreciates about each other. Here are a few favorites:

"I love Katelyn because she is creative and funny."
"I love Daddy because he loves me in his heart."
"I love Pie because it's good!"
"I love Jack because he's fun to play with."
"I love Julie because she makes all of our holidays so special and is such a great mother & wife."
It was fun to run across a funny one as we took turns reading and really, as a mom, does it get any better than to hear a love note like the last one? It sure made my day. We ended the evening with a 1999 Paul Hobbs Merlot and white chocolate macadamia lollipop cookies. Yum! See more of our loving holiday weekend here . . .

Double Digits

We celebrated Jack's Big One Oh with (of course) breakfast in bed, featuring chocolate chip pancakes and hot cocoa. There were also a few balloons scattered around on his floor and his bed. He had a funny story to tell us about those balloons in the morning. He said that the balloons were VERY attracted to the new fleece blanket he was using and he woke during the night to find balloons attacking him.

We opened presents before John headed for the airport to visit Busha, who is recovering from a stroke. She will celebrate her 91st birthday next month!

That evening three friends joined us for a rockin' birthday sleepover. We made Family Fun's Lava Lamps (recipe here) which contain oil and colored water and do a cool science effect when you sprinkle salt on top. We had a Boston Creme Cake, similar to the favorite donuts Poppy brings us when we are in NY and had pizza. No sleepover would be complete until you've stayed up very late. In fact, I think around here, we are changing the name to playover or some other name that does not contain the word sleep. Anyway, it was a ton of fun to celebrate Jack coming into double digits. He's such a big kid and a great kid too.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Ordinary Morning

Yesterday was a great morning. A day filled with promise. It was sure to be filled with blessings, just like every day. On this morning, I was struck to just pick up my camera and capture a moment in the blur of a life with kiddos that are growing up so quick.

Jack had gotten up early to finish a writing assignment. Getting the ideas onto paper is not easy for him, but it's so fun to read his thoughts! He was not happy that I had laid out a button up shirt for him to wear (but doesn't he look SO handsome!) PS- the writing piece is called "How to Annoy Your Sister in Five Easy Steps."

Katelyn loves to break up the monotony of bought lunches and make her own sometimes. She decided to ask Jack if he wanted her to make him one too. He agreed, and offered to make their breakfast waffles. (Moments later the love fest was interrupted by a squabble. Sibling harmony is expected, but sibling rivalry is understood.)

Here's our cute girl in a funny hat. You never know what she will appear wearing (although some of the time it's nothing.) Every morning, Lily asks, "Mom, do I have school today?" On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the answer is, "Yes!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome to the Griffith Spa

Guests of Katelyn's first sleepover were treated to three of Kate's favorite "spa" treatments: a mud mask facial, foot soak and toe and finger nail polish. They also dined at our Spa Cafe, had a huge pillow fight, ice cream cake, made paper fashion outfits and wrote in their own personalized "All About Me" journal books. Kate and I hand made these spiral bound books with some of Katelyn's favorite personality quizzes and silly fill-in stories.

In the morning we had a big blueberry pancake breakfast (another Kate fave) and even fit in another mud mask. It was fun to celebrate with an event that was all about Kate and things she loves. To see more birthday pics, visit our online photo gallery!