"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Golf Lessons

I let the kids each choose one sport to try this summer. Mason chose "golf".

When he was just tiny, his Uncle Shane bought him a really nice golf set. It was way too big for him then, but it's perfect now.

I found a community golf workshop for kids at a local golf course. It was only three days long, so it was more like golf camp.

I need to see if I can find another one, because Mason loved it!

They learned how to swing and stand the first day, worked on full swings the second day, and putting and chipping the third day.

He was a little bit disappointed that he didn't get to use his driver.

The teachers were great, and the class size was nice and small. About 4-5 kids per teacher.

Mason listened very carefully to the instructions and tried really hard to do exactly what they asked.

He keeps reminding me that it's free to go practice putting at the golf course. And I keep reminding him that we have an acre of grass in the backyard.

It's not the same thing, I realize. Maybe we'll have to go to the mini golf place this week.


We had lots of family visiting this week. Brandon's Mom and sisters and their kids came to stay and play. We had tons of fun and commotion. The kids have been in 7th heaven playing with cousins day and night. (Boy, are they in for a rude awakening Monday morning when the rules, chores, and bedtimes return.)

Brandon's Mom and his sister, Kendra came from Washington. Sharee and Case came all the way from Colorado to stay. We don't get to see them very often, so it was a real treat. The girls made soap, and the kids played and played and played. We got to know Case a little better. He was still a baby the last time we saw him.

Brandon tried his best to earn the title "Favorite Uncle". Case was extremely cautious at first, but warmed up to him by the end of the week. Bribery works wonders.

We went to the "jumping place" with all the kids. Always a favorite.

Grandma Allen and Cousin Morgan

Melissa and kids came one day to hang out. Everyone played Bacce Ball in the yard, ran through the sprinklers, rode bikes, and played with Rocket. We're so glad to finally have some nice weather.

Morgan sitting upon Averie's trike.
Rylan sporting Averie's new sunglasses. Too cute.


Jenna stayed an extra few days. I think we might keep her.

It was a fun-filled week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grass Heads

Mason made these fun little guys at cub scouts den meeting a while ago. It's sort of like a "Chia Pet", but more disposable. They were simple to make and have lasted for over a month now. I thought it was a great idea and so we made them for one of the crafts at the family reunion this past weekend.

It's really a very simple and fun craft. The best part is cutting the hair.

If you want to make some of your own, here is what you will need:

a 8 to 10 inch piece of a nylon stocking. Neutral color and thin works best.
a cup or two of fine sawdust
two (or more for aliens) google eyes
a tablespoon or so of grass seed or chia seed
foam shapes for decorating
a glue gun and glue sticks
a plastic bowl for him to "live in"

First tie a knot in the end and turn it inside out. (So the knot is inside.)

Spoon in the grass seed and a bit of the sawdust and spread it around a little with the spoon. Stuff in the rest of the sawdust until you like the size. If you want a mustache or beard you can add them carefully with a spoon at this point by sprinkling a little more grass seed in the desired locations.

Tie a knot in the bottom of the nylon. It's okay to leave a little tail as it helps to soak up the water.

Now decorate it with the shapes and eyes using the glue gun to attach all the pieces.

And that's it!

Now keep the head in a bowl filled with a bit of water and keep it in a sunny location. In a few days the grass will start to sprout out the top.

And then they will just keep growing until there is a healthy mop of hair....

And finally it will be time for a little trim...

The kids get a kick out of watching them grow and cutting the hair every few days. I think ours are in need of a little fertilizer soon, but they have really lasted a long time. The kids at the reunion were very creative in decorating theirs. All kinds of aliens and creatures took shape. We used chia seed there instead of grass seed. I would love to see how they turned out if any of you readers have kids that made one...

Happy crafting!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clegg Family Reunion

This weekend we went to the annual Clegg family reunion. It was such a fun-packed few days. I took nearly 200 pictures. Yikes! Guess I had plenty to choose from.
(Buckle in, because this is gonna be a long post.)

This one is my favorite though:

(Averie and Papa) We don't get smiles like that on camera too often from Averie darling.

We went to mom's house for a couple days before the big event. I think it's my kids favorite place on earth. We walk in the door and they disappear. Like, for hours.

We went to a fun little arts festival, had a picnic in the park, jumped on the trampoline, practiced our face painting, and admired the beautiful flower gardens. And relaxed a bit too. We always have a super time at Grandma Gina's.

And just check out her gorgeous flowers. GORGEOUS, I tell you. I don't grow flowers. Except for tulips, but they don't count because they take zero work/skill. Flowers are an adventure for people without four children and a 40 by 60 foot vegetable garden. But someday, when I do grow flowers, I hope they are as lovely as these:

Saturday morning we awoke bright and early to drive to the much anticipated reunion site. The Clegg Family Reunion is NOT one of those boring, dreaded reunions where a bunch of old people you don't know sit in a circle and talk about people you've never heard of while eating pot luck mystery food. I've been to a few of those too. And those are fine and dandy, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that type of reunion, BUT ...

this particular reunion is in a class of its own.

It's like a super reunion or something.

Catered gourmet food, magic shows, train rides, face painting, crafts, games, tons and tons of kids and fun people to chat with. I mean where else can you dress as a deceased relative and march to accordion music while singing boistrously, "The More We Get Together The Happier We'll Be..." at the top of your lungs?

I'm not joking. Really!

I thought this behavior was perfectly normal until I was married and observed the reaction of Mr. Allen. I mean, doesn't every happy family do this kind of stuff?

Apparently not. But they should. It's some serious fun.

These are my awesome grandparents that hosted this year:

Here are some pictures of everyone getting all ready for the parade:

And some photographic evidence that they really DO dress up as deceased relatives. People never believe me. Let me introduce you to Great-Grandpa Joy and Great-Grandma Oriel. I never met them, but they had to be pretty amazing people to have this kind of following.

This is my awesome great-aunt Jean (a.k.a. Miss Piggy) that plays the accordion and leads the chorus for the parade. She is amazingly spunky. And an angel. She sends birthday cards to EVERYONE she knows on their birthdays. Everyone. I forget my own birthday some years.

Another one of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

A few of my favorite men on the planet: Papa Ken, My handsome (and single..) brother Caden, and of course Brandon and baby Rylan. I just love the smiles all around in this picture.

And this is what they are laughing at:

My cousin's little boy dressed as a dinosaur in the parade and roared ferociously at the top of his lungs for a solid twelve minutes after the parade was over. It was truly an impressive and deafening roar. The whole group was in stitches. He's darling.

Here is my awesome, totally and amazingly talented brother Shane who catered and cooked three huge meals for all in attendance that would put most fine restaurants to shame. The food was phenomenal.
And here is is gorgeous wife/assistant that kept stealing my baby. Love you Carlee!

And here is the candy cannon:

No one was mortally wounded. Don't worry

And the "train" fashioned out of 50 gallon buckets: (Extremely fun and BuMpY!)

Ellorie informed me that she rode the train every time it went around the park, except for twice. Once when a little boy spilled a soda all over her, and once when she missed the train because of spilling something else. She was very sticky by the end of the day. I'm sure she wasn't alone though.

We had plenty of fun games, conversations, laughs, and smiles:

My mom and I did face painting for FOUR HOURS. Here are some of the "masterpieces". It was really fun, but remind me to never go into the face painting business.

And then for the grand finale, Uncle Gert put on his famous magic show. The same one he performed when I was about Ellorie's age. It's still just as magical. He used to dress up in all the gear and my brother Shane and I would tell all of our friend's that he was a "REAL" magician. His tricks are pretty sweet...

The kids were totally captivated

Mason was totally confused and wracking his brain trying to figure out how he could have possible done some of those tricks.

And then he threw up.
He ate WAY too much sugar + not enough water + too much sun = sick.
It was totally worth it though...

We had an absolute blast!