Monday, April 27, 2009

Matthew is 2 months old

Our little Matthew has grown so much. We took him to the doctor for his 2 month checkup and shots this last week. He didn't like that one bit and was fussy for the rest of the day. Poor guy! I love how the doctors make the poor nurse do all the shots so they aren't the bad guys! Matthew is now 12 lbs and 24.5" long, a very nice size baby! He is growing like a weed and going strong. He is now spending a little time on his belly everyday but doesn't really appreciate it.

On Sundays, I like to take the kids over to visit family. Daddy isn't usually home until a couple hours after church so going over to be spoiled by grandparents is a great way to spend Sunday evenings. It works out well for all of us. Last weekend I took them over to my grandparents home, "Gampa & Gamma" Belt's. My grandparents loved playing with Matthew especially when he smiled and cooed plus he loves all the attention! Joshua fell asleep on the way over but as soon as he woke up and realized were he was, he wanted a cookie from "Gampa" Belt. It is fun to see my kids enjoy my grandparents so much. They are all very dear to me.

The kids finished off their soccer season with their final games and received their trophies. They had a great season. Taylor even scored the final point for his team! Yeah for Taylor! He was very proud of his accomplishment! It was lots of fun to see both of them really get into the sport. I would say we had a rather successful season since they enjoyed themselves so much! I recommend trying lots of different activities until your child finds their niche. It really makes them feel good to have fun and play! With summer only a month away, I hope they enjoy swimming as much as soccer. We are going to be taking advantage of my parents pool all summer long!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Activity Days: Mother's Day Cards

This idea came from myself.

In the Faith in God book one suggested activity for Serving Others is to write a letter to a teacher, your parents, or your grandparents telling them what you appreciate and respect about them. I decided to have the girls make Mother's Day cards for their moms including what they respect and appreciate about them. They absolutely love to get all the craft things out and make projects so this was a hit! We used glitter glue sticks, colored paper, jeweled brads, stickers, ribbon and their creativity to come up with some very darling little cards. Once they dried they wrote what they appreciated about their moms and will present them to their moms on Mother's Day or anyday for that matter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Congrats Tim & Steph!

Well since Stephanie has made the announcement already I guess I can blog about it. My baby sister is officially a mommy! She is a real trooper surviving 34 hours of labor including 2 hours and 45 minutes of pushing. Yikes! We are very excited for both Tim & Steph! We cannot wait to see the little guy!

Visual of a year's supply of Food Storage

I received this email from my cousin Kathryn and thought I'd share it!

Exactly What Does a Basic 1 Year Food Storage for 1 Person Look Like?These are the MINIMUM Basic Amounts of Food Needed for Survival for ONE PERSON for ONE YEAR:

BARE-MINIMUM LDS Church Food storage requirements for 1 adult male for 1 year Appx. 2,300 calories per day. (only 695lbs total)

Some people try to rationalize that we "really" don't need to store everything that we have been asked to store. The regular excuses of no money, no room, no time, don't know how to use wheat, or don't eat wheat, etc. Some have heard "that is so much to store", that "our family would never use 400 pounds of grains per person in an entire year". Also, "we don't use that much salt or oil", therefore they don't feel they need to store it."

As what felt like my last feeble attempt to try to help, the thought came to actually create a display to show 1) what does that one year basic survival food for one person look like (the amounts the First Presidency has recommended), and 2) how much does that really work out to be per day? This display has been amazingly successful.

When I measured out the amounts to show what you would get per day, per person it was impressive. We took all those ingredients and by adding yeast (which we know is not on the basic list – but hopefully we have stored), we were able to make one loaf of bread and 1/3 cup of beans. That would be your food for the entire day. Don't FORGET water!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Katelyn's 8th Birthday

What a crazy birthday for Katelyn!

We started the day out with two soccer games over at the Bluff Street park. The kids had a blast and have really enjoyed learning the sport! Their season ends this week. Next swimming lessons!

We decided to make Katelyn's 8th birthday very special for her. We threw a small friend birthday party with her best girlfriends. The girls arrived at our house where we played games, opened presents and ate homemade pizza for lunch. We then headed over to the Paul Mitchell hair school for some pampering for the girls. They had their nails painted and hair styled in an up do. They had an absolute blast! We finished off with some cake and ice cream.

I made Katelyn a Hannah Montana guitar cake.
It was fun to make and Katelyn really liked how it turned out.

Later the same day we had family come over to help us celebrate more and eat cake! Hailey and Braxton were able to join in the festivities, their parents were in Florida for a couple days. Katelyn got more gifts and played in the back with all the kids. She was very spoiled with gifts and entertainment this year. A perfect day for a terrific girl! Look at that loot!

Happy 8th Birthday baby girl!
Zack and I have loved learning and growing as parents. Katelyn and the boys teaches us new things everyday. Katelyn is a good student who loves learning. Her teachers talk about the wonderful example she is to those around her. Katelyn is very creative, enjoys artsy things and reading. She is a good girl! She is such a great helper and loves taking care of her little brothers. She has grown up so fast! Being 8 now, she is thrilled to be getting baptized in two weeks at the stake baptisms for April! This is quite the milestone for her, we are so grateful that she is in our lives and made such a good decision.

We all love you Katelyn!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

Our Easter weekend was jammed packed!!! To start things off on Saturday morning we all arrived at the Easter Egg Hunt in Washington city to meet up with Brian, Kelsey and Oakley. I completely forgot to bring anything for the kids to put their candy in so Zack had to run over to Walmart to get some plastic bags for them, besides that it was raining. It wasn't starting off very well.

Katelyn cried because she didn't like being separated by age groups, Taylor already had an Easter egg hunt at school and at the birthday party on Friday so he didn't want to do another, William was just tired, and Joshua was up for anything. If it wasn't for meeting up with Brian and Kelsey there, I would have just went home and drank hot chocolate personally.

Zack and I finished planting our garden which turned out rather nicely. We are a little late this year but were focusing on the grass before undertaking our garden. We use a method called Square Foot Gardening developed by Mel Bartholomew. It uses raised beds and a good soil mix. Plus he is big into conservation which I really like. I read his book several years ago and have really enjoyed this method.

Brandon called later in the evening and asked if we were up for a visit. They were in town and wanted to come on over, I told him we would rather meet up with them at my parents' home because Zack had just been spraying texture on our walls in the stairwell so our house stunk!!! Goldie is pregnant so I know the smell would have bothered her immensely. I brought all my goodies over to have a fun evening together. We colored/dyed Easter eggs, decorated sugar cookies (may I recommend adding flour to the pillsbury cookie dough, our cookies turned out very flat!) and we all played games. Even the little kids got into it.

Sunday morning we all woke up late after spending so much time playing the night before. I am sure glad the kids were so accommodating for me. They came up to find "baskets" left by the notorious Easter Bunny. They were all happy about their treats and presents. We then hid the hard boiled eggs that we colored the night before in the backyard and had the children look for them. They were in much better spirits than Saturday morning.

I took pictures of everyone in their Easter attire! I believe I have myself a rather cute crowd! We made sure to let them know the real reason for the Easter holiday and even William seemed to understand what being resurrected meant.

Right after church I headed over to my parents house to help my dad with making an Easter dinner for the family. Brandon and Goldie had to leave beforehand so they weren't able to join us but Grandpa Belt came over, so did Brian and Kelsey. My mom had left up to Salt Lake to be with Stephanie while she gives birth to her baby. Zack wasn't able to join us until after 6pm since he had some bishopric things to attend to. The dinner turned out well and everyone was very entertaining! We sure enjoy having family around and enjoying the blessings of the Savior. It was a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

This is an excellent video about the life and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Activity Days: Articles of Faith Easter Egg Hunt

This idea came from the Sugar Doodle website and was a major hit with the girls. Katelyn hid the eggs for me and was a little too good at it! I included all three different ways of doing this activity!

1. Divide everyone into two teams. Place all of the articles of faith on the same color paper. Choose a color for each team. Place the articles in the eggs with the candy. Tell everyone that they may only keep the color of their team. If they find another color have them replace it into the egg and move on. When the team has assembled all 13 pieces of paper have them place the articles in order. So by now you know that you do not place a number on the article. The team has to work together to order the articles. First team to have all the articles in order is the winner. (Kate)

2. What I did was print two copies of the Articles of Faith cards without the numbers and cut them out into individual articles. I had 42 old plastic eggs, which I could divide by "warm colors" and "cool colors" (pink, yellow, orange and green, blue, purple) into 2 teams. I put each Articles of Faith in an egg, along with some candy, for the other eggs, I just put candy (no chocolate, because we live in AZ). Then I hid the eggs in my backyard. Each team had to find only their color eggs, and then, when all were found, dump out each egg into a bowl, get the papers, and number the articles from one to thirteen. Then they split the candy evenly into Ziploc baggies. (Amanda Evans)

3. I did one the other day that turned out pretty well. I divided each Article of Faith up into seven pieces. Then I numbered the eggs. Each girl was assigned specific numbers to look for. For example, one had to look for eggs number 1, 2, and 3. It was a lot of fun because they tried to not let the other girls see where they were looking if the egg wasn't theirs. Anyway, after all the eggs were found then we went in and tried to put them into order. I of course helped, I had a couple of older girls who happened to be there and so they helped the younger ones. After they were done putting them into order we read them out loud to make sure we put them together right. The 13th egg I divided so each girl had to find only 2 pieces of it and then we put it in order together. It was a lot of fun! (Cathy Updike)

I baked sugar cookies for the girls to decorate but they had so much fun finding the eggs and seeing who could solve the scrambled Articles of Faith that we just ate them without decorating and enjoyed the good weather instead! This definitely keeps them occupied and having lots of fun together!

Matthew is 6 weeks old!

Our little Matthew has reached the ripe old age of 6 weeks! He is growing like a weed and such an easy going little man. He loves to be around everyone else and seems to sleep better with noises. He smiles and coos at all of us which makes everyone happy! Matthew has many funny little expressions that he shares throughout the day.

The Alvey family has been fairly busy since Matthew arrived but more so lately! Soccer has been a blast and really got the kids out running and playing. We have attended 6 games just since last Friday! We planted 3 trees this last Saturday and plan on another before the end of the month. Katelyn will be getting baptized on the 2nd of May and we are expecting visitors for that so I am trying to get all the little things taken care of before their arrival.

Our garden is turning out nicely, the raised beds are all coming together. Now if I could keep William and Joshua out of them, we may have a successful year of harvest. Brandon and Goldie stayed in Saint George during Conference weekend which was nice. We all were uplifted and enjoyed spending time with family. We also enjoyed playing spin uno, it was very entertaining during the break. We sure liked having Zack around all weekend, no bishopric meetings. He did keep his headphones on during most of conference to keep himself from being distracted by the chatter and children. I don't think that is really fair as I am usually the one sitting with the kids anyway but at least one of us could tell you what the speakers all said. Like our bishop at the University of Utah said, "You need to have a strong testimony before you have children!"

We have been battling colds in our household this week. Even Matthew got a cold. Taylor has been the worst but he usually struggles with allergies at this time of year anyway. He was complaining about his ear hurting a couple days ago and so Zack took him into the doctors while I tended to the other children. The doctor discovered that Taylor has an ear infection in both ears besides a bad cold! He was keeping the fact that his ears were hurting from me because he didn't want to miss out on all the things going on around here. Yesterday he went on an Easter Egg hunt for his class and today his kindergarten class is going to Staheli farms. Then he is off to a birthday party for his friend in our ward this afternoon.

Katelyn performed in her school play yesterday as a flower and was very cute! She did a wonderful job and remembered her part without even so much as a pause! We are very proud. Zack went to her dress rehearsal and I went to the performance for the parents so we both had the pleasure of seeing her perform. I really enjoy being a mother and wife. There are so many blessing to it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our April Fool's Tradition

I am sure lots of people are into practical jokes for April Fools, I enjoy hearing all the gags especially the ones that Zack and his students pull on each other! Every year on April 1st, I make Fake Cake for my young family and every year they are surprised by it. William's response was wonderful this year! Once they all have it figured out I will probably continue it just because it is good and fun. I found the recipe several years ago in a magazine but I forgot which one so thank you to whomever created this great idea. Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try this out on their family (it doesn't have to be April Fools to be worth it!)

3/4 lbs ground sirloin
1 egg
1/3 cup season bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mashed potatoes
carrot minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 6 muffin tines with cupcake liners. In a bowl, mix together ground sirloin, egg, bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Divide into cupcake liners. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes while you make mashed potatoes. Place potatoes in a resealable plastic bag with a star tip, and pipe a swirl of potatoes on each "cupcake." Sprinkle with finely minced carrots. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Officially a Soccer Mom

Katelyn and Taylor are both playing soccer this Spring at the city recreation center.

They are having a blast! It started as a way for Zack to spend sometime with the kids while I was home with the baby but became more of my time with the kids as most practices and games are during the week when Zack is working. He still sneaks off to see a couple minutes of them playing when he can! Katelyn is in the 1st and 2nd grade group which focus on learning a few of the different positions. She really has gotten into the game rather than standing off back like she did with basketball. Which we are very excited about! Taylor is in the coed kindergarten group who basically run around and chase the ball. It is so fun to watch them all enjoying themselves. I am glad to be a "soccer mom" as long as my kids are having fun. Isn't that what sports are all about?

The kids are starting to relax a bit with all the changes going on. It is fun to see how much they love their new baby Matthew! He is such a wonderful addition to our family. He thoroughly enjoys their attention which can become quite a bit! William and Joshua are very protective of their baby. Of course they are okay with picking on him but if one of the others get a little too close...look out! Matthew is really starting to respond to each one of us and smiles when we talk to him. I included a picture of William and Joshua being silly. Just a little FYI: If you click on the collages they will get bigger.

I did a little "photo shoot" with Matthew on the couch after I fed him; he wasn't all that interested! If he is awake and I am around, he would much rather be eating! I am his "fridge." When we went up to Salt Lake I stopped over at the Quilted Bear with Stephanie and got this cute vinyl sign which is above my laundry closet.