Sunday, April 27, 2008

When do you have "the talk" with your kids?

I have been attending the Marriage and Family Sunday School Class during the 2nd hour of church. I have really enjoyed listening in on the lessons and the ideas of other parents. Today we talked about: "Discussing Sexuality with Your Children." It was a very interesting topic...and it has provoked a lot of thoughts...
  1. I want to be the one to teach my children about sex and intimacy.
  2. I don't want to make them believe that sex is bad; instead that it is special and important.
  3. I want to teach them while they are young...but are they ever too young?
  4. I want to warn them about dangers in the outside, abuse, etc.
  5. I don't want them to ever feel uncomfortable talking about it with myself or Nick.

Does anyone have suggestions about when to start talking to them about this? Are there any good books out there? Any advice?

As I was googling the topic just now...I came across "A Parent's Guide" (put out by the church). Although it was published in still seems somewhat prevelent today. There are a lot more issues facing out families now, but at least it touches on the basics.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Best Story Ever Written

I just finished reading "Darcy's Story" by Janet Aylmer. This book is "Pride and Prejudice" from Darcy's perspective. It was fun to read about what Darcy was thinking and doing during his absent moments. I really enjoyed his character development from selfish and prideful to humble and made the story come full circle for me. In my opinion, Jane Austen's "Pride and Predjudice" is the greatest romance ever written. Okay, that's book report is done!

PS...I love the A&E film the best!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We Celebrated Kaden's Birthday!

We had 2 different celebrations for Kaden...
On Friday, we went to Hickory Park for dinner!

Stephanie and Chip joined us!
The waitresses all sang to him...he patiently waited for them to sing and then he blew out the candle like a pro...cute kid!

On Saturday, we had some friends over and had a Birthday BBQ at our house. Sadly, it was overcast and chilly...but I guess April in Iowa is unpredictable!

Chip and Ella got artsy for us!

The group in the backyard...waiting for the food to cook.

HAppy Boy!

See the excitement and anticipation to blow those candles out!

He starts to blow...and he was successful! Yay Kaden!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Sun

The sun is glorious!!! I didn't realize before on how much my mood is affected by weather. And let me tell you...I am happy today. For the first time this is in the high 60s. Yeah for warm weather. The kids get to play outside for hours and get their crazies out.
(Speaking of crazy...this is Allison...basking in the sun!)

So while the kids are out, I have been gathering things for a yard sale. I have a ton of kid stuff that we want to sell. I just am wondering if i am getting in over my head! Just the pricing is a bit of a any advice?! Any tips on how to have a successful yard sale?! HELP!

Okay, that's all!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike!

Mike will never see this...but maybe Brittany can show him.
Happy Birthday Mike!

I have known Mikey since I was 6 1/2 years old. We were mere church classmates, and eventually great friends. Happy Bday Mike! I can't beleive that you are almost, that's OLD!


We woke up to this... are killing me. When will the winter end?!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Snow in April

Is it even right!? I mean, is April and it is supposed to snow throughout the day tomorrow. ISU is having a Veisha Festival/Parade...but I doubt we will go if it is that cold. When will spring come?!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Lindsay!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Lindsay,
Happy Birthday to you!

I have known Lindsay for forever...let's just say, it's been over 20 years!
And my family, myself included, loves Lindsay!
Well, really, who doesn't?!


So it is official...I am totally obsessed with the Twilight series! What is it about this book that is so great? Honestly, they are so that what makes them so brilliant? I mean really, when I tell people about the books, I feel foolish: "uhhh, it is a vampire romance." I agree, it sounds ridiculous.

Well, I have read all 3 books and am anxiously awaiting the 4th and last installment (which comes out August 2nd). And I must admit, I have mixed emotions about the movie. I love the 1st book so much, I worry that they will destroy the story on the screen. But of course I'll see it anyway, just because. That comes out mid-december.

For those of you who love the series as much as I do, you might be interested in this new book chapter. Stephenie Meyer wants to write from Edward's perspective. She wrote the first chapter...about when Edward first encounters Bella. It was a fun read.

Ok, so I am crazy obsessed. I'll admit it willingly. i have just decided to embrace the crazy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Austin Mastered the Bike!

Well, I mentioned to Nick today that we need to take Aut's training wheels off. He said, sure we'll do that tomorrow. Since Austin heard me mention this to Nick...he badgered him to take them off. Well, it took Austin about 5 minutes to ride steadily by himself. He is so PROUD.

He has a bit of trouble mounting and taking off on his own...we are still working on that. But he did it. He called Grandpa Mike once he got inside. Yeah Austin!

Sydney was jealous. So she cried and cried until she got a turn. Let's just say... she likes her training wheel just fine now. She said that we can try again when she is 4. Great Plan Sydney! (wink.wink.)

Decent Weather!!

It is about is April after all. Can you believe it...I think that it was in the 50s today. My kids had to rip off their coats, because they we sooooo HOT. (Blatant eye roll inserted here). I know, scorchin', right?! Regardless, it is better than snow. Oh wait, they are saying we might get some of that too tomorrow. Arghhhh....when will it ever end? Enough RANTING!

Anyway, we played outside today. I sat and did sidewalk art wtih Kaden. And I have to show off my lovely artwork. I must say, I am quite proud of my copy-work. At least it isn't bad for a novice. Well, just nod...and say: "yes erika, that's fabulous!" Thanks.

After the Layland/Abbotts went home...

It was a very painful airport experience, but the family was able to get home safely. Just before they left, my sister, Deanna and her daughters, Allison and Zoey stopped by for easter weekend. We were able to have a small egg hunt in the basement (since it was freezing and raining/snowing out). The kids seemed to really enjoy that. It was funny to watch Kaden--he was so focused on eating ALL of his candy. The Easter Bunny came and left paints and stamps for the kids, so we had fun playing with all of that.

So after my family left, Jenn (our friend/neighbor) from Maryland came to visit for the week. It was great to have Jenn around. I was nasty sick and so tired...and she was willing to play with the kids outside, play endless games of Monopoly Jr with Sydney, and read stories to all of them. While she was here, the weather gods graced us with snow, rain, and sun. We were so lucky that it stopped snowing once or twice, so the kids could go out to play. Sad that I am still talking about that this time of year. (when will it ever end?)

Now that everyone is gone...our kids keep asking about when our next visitor is coming. Funny.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

So, Hotel Layland is officially out of business!

After about 2 weeks straight of family and friends...we are alone. It is actually kind of weird that no one is sleeping downstairs.

So our first guests were:

Mike (Nick's Dad), Ellie (Nick's Sister), Nate (Ellie's hubb-o), and Simon (Ellie and Nate's kidd-o). Sadly, I don't have many pictures of them...because I am not usually so great when it comes to "capturing the moment." We loved having them stay!! They are all so fun, easy-going, and game-lovers! Yeah!

Here is Simon running away from me...I think that by the time they left, Simon liked us a little bit. Well, not really!

While the family was here, we took advantage and went to the temple. We drove to the Nauvoo Temple. It was beautiful. Nauvoo is in the middle of nowhere Illinois. I was surprised at how small it is...but it is the city of the temple. Quite beautiful!! We were so spoiled in DC, with the temple being 5 minutes it was great to get away to the temple!

I need to get to doing the Mom-thing...So I'll post more later!