Friday, January 27, 2012

FHE Packets

So I joined this Family Home Evening packet group last fall.  It's the type of deal where everyone takes turns making a lesson and they make a lesson for everyone in the group.  So if there's 15 people in the group, you make 15 copies of your lesson and get a copy of everyone else's lesson.  Yeah, kind of intense, but it's a good idea.  Much more organized than I usually am, but I thought I'd give it a go.

Anyway, it was my turn to hand out my lesson this month.  It's a lesson called "Whatsoever you sow, that shall ye also reap" and is adapted from a lesson that my mom used at home evening a few Christmases ago.  So most of the text is hers, but I put them on matching cards instead of on poster board.  This seemed easier to mass produce, and could be adapted several different ways.

So, I decided that I'd put up a link to the file in case anyone wanted it (pdfOpen Office).  Mostly the lesson deals with agency and the "you get what you give" principle.  You match the seed or choice, with the flower or consequence.  Trust me, it's nothing special, but you can edit the text to fit your family.  The situations are kind of general.  And you'll have to either edit it or make three copies of the game because of the way I set it up...  If you care, you'll see what I mean.

Anyway.  I'm just happy to say mission accomplished!  Project done!  And we're taking a break from it now.  Maybe when the kids are older...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alan's sticker chart

So, Alan has sort of a Pinky and the Brain problem.  Well, more Brain than Pinky.  He is very very smart and he thinks he can take over the world, or tries to every day.  He can still be very good, but definitely has his moments.  Recently he has taken every method we've used to discipline him, and turned around and word for word tries to use it on us.  It is actually quite funny when you're not in the middle of the power struggle. :)

Anyway, this was all leading to quite a bit of negativity, so we decided to use some positive reinforcement. It has worked well in reducing the power struggles, and at times with the behavior.  Actually, I'm not quite sure the difference between positive reinforcement and bribing.  I think we're doing both, except I've heard bribing is "bad" and positive reinforcement is "good," so we're calling it that.

Anyway, here is Alan's sticker chart.  He got a sticker when he made a "good choice" and lost one when he made a "bad choice."  He was actually pretty good and pretty cute about the whole thing.

He was very excited when he got all the way to the end

And he got an ice cream cone at "Old McDonald's" as he calls it. :) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Humble Bumble

Well, James is no longer a humble bumble but is now a tooth-ful little boy.  (We've been on a Christmas Classics kick lately)  This afternoon after a significant period of screaming, we noticed the sharp little thing protruding from his lower gum. Congrats Jamesy on entering the world of chewing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Oregonian Christmastime

We have to be very specific around here.  I was asked every day, multiple times a day, since Thanksgiving, if it was "Christmas" or ... "Christmastime".  Kind of a hard concept, I guess, despite advent calendars and the continual watching of "A Very Monkey Christmas" which knowingly addresses the same issue.

Anyway, we spent Christmastime and Christmas in Oregon, and it was so much fun!

Here's our little Santa... chubby, plump, a right jolly little elf!

Making cookies with Grandma

Let's just say ninja turtles weren't only cool in the 80's.  Alan and Grandpa had a blast with these heroes in a half shell.
And then Alan even got to decorate the cookies!  Very daring considering we were giving them away.  I don't usually have so much hope in his abilities, but he did a great job.

Alan wanted to hold James.  Grandpa was singing "Jingle Bells" to him, which is now Alan's favorite song.  He will sing it to himself all day long... and the chorus never ends...

And here's George the Wiener Dog (not to be confused with George the monkey) sporting his fancy sweater.  He is getting kind of old and has to drag his back legs some of the time.  So sad!  But he is a good little doggie and we all loved playing with him.

Airplane rides!

We did a little nativity Christmas Eve.  Alan was a shepherd, though he wouldn't wear a costume.

Mary and her babe, swaddling and all.

Alan had a wonderful Christmas morning and was very very excited.

Yup, Santa brought diapers!!!

Jolly little elf...take 2!

We went to church and then started on round 2 of presents.

Alan wrapped up this present for George.  Then unwrapped it and gave him a treat.

We had our own little visit to the "North Pole"

I couldn't capture it all in a picture, but it was a pretty cool place.

And Alan loved the holiday friends.

And here's one more shot of the smiley guy.
We had so many fun memories this Christmas break.  In addition to the things documented above we got to catch up with some old friends (and meet a wife and baby), see a great BYU bowl victory (thanks to Riley's fake spike touchdown pass on the last play), and celebrate our 4th anniversary by doing family sealings in the Portland temple.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Robertson for taking such good care of us and putting up with our craziness!  We love you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Trees

We had kind of a crazy Christmas season this year!  3 different Christmas trees in 3 different states. Here is some sort of documentation of our experiences. :)

Some were small, fake, and kind of pathetic with lights only working on the bottom part of the tree and with no decorations, but worked well for the 1 day we were together in Boston from Dec 4th- Jan 4th.

Some came pre-cut

And others we cut down ourselves

Some were very very small

And some were very very tall

Sometimes we were awake

And sometimes we were asleep

(but daddy always carried us, either way.)

Some stayed standing up

And some fell down several times, and eventually just leaned against the wall

But all of them were a lot of fun to get, set up, and decorate, and had way too many presents underneath.  And a little boy here doesn't think Christmas is over, and isn't sure why we have to take our pathetic one down today.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Big Boy Bed

So....we are a little late with everything around here.  Until last month, Alan had still been sleeping in the crib.  I wasn't in any rush to have him mobile during naps/nighttime, and he didn't seem to mind.  But since Jamesy is getting bigger every second (literally), we decided it was about time to make the switch.

I went down to visit my family in NJ for a week while Scott was away on business, and it seemed like a good time to make the transition, as Alan wouldn't be giving up sleeping in "his" crib.  I was also quite fearful of him falling off the bed as we hear him rolling around and sometimes crashing into the crib walls during the night.  So we blew up an air mattress and let him sleep on the floor, thinking this would minimize the falling.  I went in a couple of hours later to find him like this:

I put him back on the air mattress several times that night, and every night, though he eventually got better at staying on the mattress.  Luckily he is sleeping on a queen bed (that we have been using for a guest bed) at home so he has a little more rolling room.  :) And thankfully Grandma Robertson was able to borrow a guard rail and he loved sleeping in the twin bed in Oregon.  Overall, the transition has gone very smoothly.