Monday, April 29, 2013

FHE

Topic: 2nd article of Faith
Song: Opened with 1st article of faith/learned 2nd article of faith during lesson
Lesson: Adam and Eve, tempted by Satan, free agency.... discuss how Satan wants us to make bad choices and Heavenly Father wants us to make good choices. Free to choose. Happiness or Misery.
Activity: Matching pictures to actions (she LOVED doing this and we matched them 3-4 times after too). Eve: partaking first the fruit
Adam: 1st man
Heavenly Father: make good choices, don't eat the special fruit (we use words like special to make it easy for her)
Satan: Tempts us to make bad choices and be sad.
And learning 2nd article of Faith. (we will keep learning this all week, song of the week which means we sing before bed and nap and throughout the day).
Treat: Peyton's choice, ice-cream and berries... original eh?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Equivalent of a Toy Poodle

Are you ready to let the hilarity ensue? A few weeks ago my dad presented Jovie (IE: Wes and I) with a darling little stripped shirt. It was really quite dainty and sweet. As I looked at it, I began to worry it was a little small. So, like any good mother I checked the tags... I mean we could return it for a bigger size if needed, right?! Wrong! As I looked at the tag I noticed something was not quite right. It said small, breed size and then gave measurements and examples. See for yourself.
Yes folks, this was the tag. And, check out the front. After endlessly teasing my dad on my part and lots and lots of laughter from my mom and Wes, I decided to keep the shirt. I mean, one never knows when a dog shirt might come in handy.

This week the weather has been Summer warm. And that shirt has just been hanging in the girls closet screaming "try me, try me!" So, I did. The plan was simply to put Jovie in it (if her tail would fit) and take a photo to send in mockery to my dad. But, lo and behold, the shirt was actually really really cute. I didn't know how to feel about this. The part that comes up in the front for the dog (to take a whizz) is on the back if a baby wears it and looks simply stylish. I'm sure the designer planned to have it cross worn by both dog and master. So, the joke is really on me, who actually took my baby out in public wearing a Pekingese's shirt.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Me Girls

Peyton 2 years 8 months
 Jovie 3 months

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And.... the Quest Continues; Part 8

Challenger: Slaters 50/50
Reigning Champ: Umami/ In N Out/ There are just too many good places anymore

I deemed it necessary to create yet another new category in the best Burger quest after visiting Slater's 50/50 Burger. Wow! This place is amazing and has now been deemed best NOVELTY burger. What makes this place so great and novel you may be asking yourself? Well my friends, Slaters is known for their famous burger patty made of 50% ground beef (top quality at that) and 50% ground up bacon combined to make a 100% de-lish burger. Yes, I said it, ground up bacon in a burger. I know, right?! Only a crazy person doesn't think this sounds da' bomb!

I was introduced to this place by some of the most fabulous women I have ever known... you may have heard of them, they are widely known as "The Knechts". We try to meet up as sisters (Todds & Knechts) every few months, though sometimes sadly the time in between is longer than we all hope for. And during these times of great conversation, which leaves me belly laughing and longing to be one of the Knechts, we also indulge in good food. Too bad Heidi couldn't make it due to her trillionth sickness this year, and Rachel endured what could only have been the world's longest dental examination. But, Camille, Katie, Hayley, myself and little Jovie went and had a grand ole' time none the less. And when Camille mentioned this burger delicatessen the last time we met I knew we had to jump on the opportunity, only realizing after we ordered that Camille doesn't eat meat.... doh!

But, lemme tell you, even she got to enjoy because their appetizers alone were worth the trip. Fried pickles (which I think may have been my fav), sweet potato fries dipped in an amazing pumpkin sauce (wow!) and to die for onion rings. My goodness, who wants to go this very minute? I'll meet you there!

Then came the burger selection. I'm not going to lie, some of their "signature burgers" sounded sketchy to me. But, with a few recommendations we went for the Peanut Butter and jelly burger, the Slater's Signature 50/50, and we built our own burger donned, "The Knodd".... put two and two together on that one, you'll get it. Hint: Todd and Knecht girls.

I would say the surprisingly best burger was the peanut butter and jelly burger. I know I was as surprised as you are. But the overall consensus at the table said that was the best. I for one LOVED our Knodd, pretzel-bacon bun and all. And though I left a good 5 pounds of grease fatter than I came, I would do it all over again. The food was great and the company spectacular. Please Knecht girls, let's never go that long without dining ever again!

Consensus: Go!!!! You won't be sorry you did. This is the #1 novelty burger by all means.

Building "The Knodd" (zoom in and read all the options.... bacon anyone?)
 Katie and Camille
 My sista' enjoying
 Hayley was probably busting out some ridiculous joke here too
 photo bomb... how come I never look cute in selfies?
 Our burgers... we ordered 3 to get a try of them all
 about to try the peanut butter and jelly... not overly excited, but then was pleasantly surprised
 burger baby
 Jovie enjoyed the day too


Monday, April 22, 2013

Family Home Evening (with a toddler)

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the "Mormons". Our beliefs focus A LOT on family and the importance of them here on this Earth and in this life. We are advised to hold what is called "family home evening" (FHE) once a week (usually Mondays) to focus on teaching our children and family about the gospel, but also to simply have fun as a family and set time apart to do so. Family Home Evenings usually include a song, prayer, lesson, activity and sometimes a treat. I remember going to the movies a lot as a family growing up, not really a lot of learning going on, but we never complained, in fact probably complained more when we were forced to learn. :)

The hubby and I try to be diligent about holding FHE with our little family now, but boy is it hard with a 2 year old with a very short attention span. In the beginning we would usually just do one page from her ABC gospel book (which I will have to post more on later). However, as she has gotten older we are having more fun, and she is learning a lot and actually retaining info. Booyah!

So, I thought I would dedicate Mondays to sharing what we did, because I have the hardest time coming up with good activities, as I know many of my friends do, and hope this might help others plan a FHE with small children.

Last Monday
Topic: The Spirit of God/Holy Ghost
Song: The Spirit of God
Lesson: Discuss what the Spirit of God/Holy Ghost is and how we can recognize it as a nice warm feeling. Talk about things we can do to feel the spirit and share any experiences we may have had.
Treat: Roast marshmallows over the fire in our fireplace and made s'mores... warm marshmallows, warm feeling..... get it?

Tonight:
Topic: Earth Day!
Song: My Heavenly Father Loves Me (Whenever I feel the rain on my face...)
Lesson: Discuss the creation of the Earth, animals, trees, light/darkness, etc...
Activity: Watched a short 2 min video on the creation, made bird feeders out of an old toilet paper roll, peanut butter and bird seed. Went out hung that up on a tree and hugged it. ;) Yup, we looked like a bunch of hippies, and I didn't even care yo!
Treat: Ice cream and frozen berries (tried to tie the berries into bushes and things that were created)

So, tune in each Monday for new ideas and please PLEASE feel free to email me your ideas (they are VERY welcomed) at: apriljaleman@gmail.com or leave a comment here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

For Every Season

In church today we briefly discussed how busy little children can make our lives and how hard it is to concentrate with them around. I got to thinking about how little I am able to do for my self, but also how much I LOVE this stage of my kid's lives and what this time means to me. It pains me to see my children grow so rapidly before my eyes. I will truly miss having an infant and a 2 year old. I look forward to what the future will bring but am truly grateful I get to be home and see my babies change and grow and love them everyday.

Yes, I miss staying up late and sleeping (uninterrupted) in really late.
I miss watching my TV shows during the days and blaring my music in the car.
I miss eating a meal without negotiating and force feeding a toddler.
I miss reading on the couch and going to the bathroom alone.
I miss lounging on the couch.
I miss jumping in the car and doing spur of the moment activities.

However, with all of those things I can't do, I get to...
Enjoy holidays all over again.
Laugh at silly things a toddler says.
Get to enjoy looking my babies in the eye and getting huge gummy grins.
Hold chubby baby hands.
Go to story time and playgroup (I love those things honestly).
Teach a willing mind and watch them learn and grow right before my eyes.
Get to know love like I've never known before.
Have my life forever changed in the best of ways.

I'm in a great season and I hope I am enjoying it as much as I should. Sure there are days when I am not as patient as I should be, and I rush bath time or only ready 1 story. Shoot sometimes I don't even read the words but rush through making up a quick story that goes along with the pictures. But, most days I try to remember how sweet my children are and how dear they are to me. I try to tell myself to be a willing participant in their lives. I remind myself to stay calm and not yell (I don't usually but I do get impatient at times). I hug them all the time, I kiss them all the time, and I hope I tell them enough how much I love them! This season will pass and I will miss all the hard times and I will miss these sweet innocent children.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Annnnnd.... My Birthday

Welp, it's official I am 28 and my hubby is 30! Wow! Where has the time gone? I still feel 18, yet this year is my 10 year high school reunion, I've been married for 7 years, and I somehow have 2 little girls of my own. Ca-razy! Since I threw my hubby a birthday party we went smaller for my birthday, which was just fine by me. Why is it that 28 seems so much older than 27? The jump from 26-27 was minor, yet I somehow feel 10 years older this year just because I say 28. Now, don't get me wrong I don't mind aging, yet I hate how my metabolism has slowed, I hate the responsibility that comes along with age, and I hate that I am "ma'am-ed" when I go out now. I am not a ma'am, I am definitely a miss. //sigh//

Back to happier thoughts. A while back my friend Michelle and I were talking about bowling together for FHE one night. She called a week or 2 before my b-day and threw out the date April 8th, I initially declined because it was my b-day, yet the more I thought about it the more I realized how fun that would be to do, so I called her back and said we were in. Just another example of my fickle nature. So, in the morning/afternoon of my b-day, my sweet sister in law Sarah took me out to lunch and shopping where she bought me some good Panera Bread and a cute new skirt and sunglasses. I was and am thrilled with those things, plus I always enjoy time with Sarah, she is a wonderfully fun person to be with. Then after a stupendous nap Wes, Peyton, Jovie and I went and met up with the Savaus for bowling and cake. So, it was truly a great day spent with great people.

Since then we have also gone to multiple restaurants for our free meals, including Red Robin with my parents. And plan to do just a bit more celebrating in the upcoming weeks.

April sure is a fun, fat-filled month.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

30 for 30

For the past few  months I have been racking my brain about what to do for Wes' 30th birthday. I searched for ideas and finally came up with a few things I wanted to do.  In the end I decided to throw Wes a big birthday party. He is a big sports fan and loves the documentary series "30 for 30" all about different major sporting events and people, so I threw him a "30 for 30" birthday bash for his 30th bday.

How it went down:

Decorations
 My personal favorite was this 3-0 made of pictures of the birthday boy throughout the years. I plan on putting all these photos in an album now that the party is over. I just taped all the photos together upside down first and then taped it all up.
"30 Sucks" suckers (stuck into foam)
and "30 Rocks" with pop rocks, taped to bbq skewers and stuck into foam.

Food
We had sandwiches (with all the makings from Costco. They sell the big meat and cheese platters, and I also got their pretzel rolls, which were da' bomb!), chocolate covered pretzels, fruit salad, salad, pasta salad, frog's eye salad :), vegetables, donuts, cookies, and candy. It was all really good and easy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Activities
I rented a big sumo pad and suits for the main entertainment. It took some coaxing to get people going, but once they were in it was impossible not to enjoy, for those wrestling and watching. I have wanted to do this since High School when I was too embarrassed to do it there, and have regretted it ever since. Wes loved it too, which is what I was hoping for. Also, we had the party strategically at my in-laws house since they have a fantastic back yard perfect for entertaining and playing. The kids were all in hog heaven, which made it easy for parents to sit back and enjoy themselves as well. The only bummer is that it got chilly as the night wore on, but what can you do 'bout that, right?
photo booth and props




I have to throw in here that Wes totally let me take him down... I really didn't stand a chance.
Once it got dark we set up a big spotlight so the party could continue on as well.
The kids loved the props from the photo booth and played dress up all night long.

  Gifts
I asked everyone to bring 30 anythings for Wes. I didn't want people to feel obligated to get real or expensive gifts, but it is fun to open things. So everyone got clever and brought 30 items to the party, and it ended up so fun and hilarious. In fact there seemed to be a few themes that emerged (golf, food, and bathroom items)... if you know Wes you know those things to ring true too.

30 golf balls
30 more golf balls
 golf tees
 wait for it.... 30 MORE golf balls. Let me throw this out... Wes LOVES this gift so it was awesome for him and he is still genuinely exited about it.
 6 $5 gift cards to In-N-Out which equals $30 (kinda a gift for me too, so thank you)
 30 chocolate puddings, again thanks. :)
 30 tortillas and a bag of cheese from the Bladhs who laugh about Wes coming over every day after high school to make quesadillas with Caleb.
 Landon and Chelsea's 4 hour wrap job... literally. And, I swear, it almost took that long to unwrap too. ;) Cellophane and lots of duck tape on every package.
 All to get 30 $1 gift cards to Old Navy... comedy.
 Watching Wes unwrap each part of this gift and then pull out each individually wrapped gift card was hilarious!!!!
 The Moore's made Wes an emergency car kit... with a toilet, toilet paper, Kleenex, extra underwear, etc... funny if you know Wes' stories too. 
 Josh and Erika's gift was so cute and thoughtful. There were 30 separate items Wes pulled out and each had a story associated with those 2 boys. It was fun to hear them reminisce.
 I made Wes a "30th survival kit".... with a poem about getting old, a bald man's comb (all the middle teeth cut off), arthritis rub, knee brace, "oil of old age" lotion, hair thickening shampoo, men's enhancement pills, glasses, and more old people things... and then real gifts like a Del Taco gift card, and a few nice shirts.
He also got that cute necklace he is wearing with 30 candy bars on it. 30 goldfish which I CAN'T BELIEVE I didn't take a photo of because it was so funny. 30 dollars, 30 quarters, 30 pieces of candy. It was such a fun way to do gifts for a 30th b-day.

Cake and Ice-Cream
I was going to do a big fancy cake but Wes requested his mom's banana cake and chocolate Texas sheet cake. So I called and asked her if she would make those. She did and I think it was a big hit with the whole party. I put sparkler candles on them since no where I found sold real sparklers right now.... bummer!

Friends
And what party would be complete without family and great friends?! We love all our friends and family and feel blessed to have such great, kind, and supportive people in our life. 

Both of our WONDERFUL mothers. Aren't they so darn cute?!
Here is Michelle and Lorenzo, she helped me sooooo much getting ready for this party. Love her!
 The McCooks and Alemans... meant to be BFF apparently. 

Overall I thought the party was a blast. It turned out great and most importantly Wes said it was exactly what he wanted for his 30th b-day. I LOVE my husband and LOVE celebrating his life. I am grateful he was born 30 years ago and couldn't imagine my life without this stud muffin!