Thursday, July 12, 2018

Second Quarter Reading

This quarter was a dismal quarter of reading for me personally (at least by the numbers). I spent at least half of the quarter reading Still Me and Surprise Me. Both are new and pretty popular right now, so I could only check them out for 2 weeks at a time and I couldn't renew them. So I made slow, choppy progress through them. I just finished Still Me, so that will go toward my third quarter reading total. 


1. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. My book club decided to pick a book we could read and then watch the movie and this was the book. I had read it before (back in 2014), but I hadn't seen the movie. Such a sad, beautiful book. (The movie was good too, but not as good as the book.)


2. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. 15 years ago, two sisters lost their only brother in a tragic car accident. Now they both find themselves at a crossroads and must finally confront that loss and the painful secrets surrounding it. I randomly picked up this book on CD when I was needing a book to listen to while I quilted. I had never read a book by Emily Giffin before, but had heard of her and figured I'd finally give her a chance. I enjoyed it so much I immediately started listening to another of her books, Where We Belong, (and I should finish it any day now).


3. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman. Mrs. Pollifax is sent on her second mission for the CIA halfway across the world to aid a defecting agent. I started listening to this one soon after finishing The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, but kept getting distracted by other books I was reading/listening to and finally finished listening to it this quarter when I had to drive to North Portland to get my bottom, permanent retainer replaced one afternoon. 

Books We Listened to in the Car

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Claudia and Jamie Kincaid run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is one of my favorite books ever and it was so fun to listen to it with the kids!

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden. Chester Cricket unexpectedly finds himself in the Times Square subway station and makes 3 new friends. This was a fun one to listen to. There are 7 books in the series, but unfortunately the first book is the only one available to listen to.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry. The story of how Peter became Peter Pan. Corbyn loved this one, but Peyton did not. I missed some parts of it along the way (because Corbyn was always so eager to listen to it even when I was not in the car) and I always struggle to continue to listen when that happens. 

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Harriet is a spy who writes down everything about everyone in her notebooks. One day one of her notebooks falls into the wrong hands and causes major trouble for Harriet. This one is a classic for good reason. I remember reading it as a child and loved rediscovering it with the kids.

Corbyn's Picks

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin go on an adventure through space and time to search for Meg's father who disappeared while working on the tesseract problem. I remember loving this as a child, but found it a little too weird for my liking as an adult. Corbyn and I saw the movie together and I enjoyed the movie more than the book (a rare occurrence for sure) while Corbyn enjoyed the book more than the movie.

Toy Academy by Brian Lynch. Grumbolt is a misfit toy who goes to the Toy Academy to figure out who he is and where he belongs. Corbyn's friend, Emery, loves this book and lent it to us to read. It was a little too dumb for me, but the kids liked it.

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt. Nanny Piggins is a fabulously sassy and impeccably dressed pig who is also a nanny. She is as untraditional a nanny as can be and with her around, there is never a dull moment for the Green children. There are 8 books in this series and I am sure the kids will insist I read all 8 to them. I don't mind too much.

Peyton's Picks

Changes for Kirsten
Meet Josefina
Josefina Learns a Lesson
Josefina's Surprise
Happy Birthday Josefina

We finished the last of Kirsten's books and then moved on to Josefina's books. Josefina Montoya is an American girl growing up on a rancho near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1824.

Friday, July 6, 2018


Instead of cookies, we leave out a slice of Christ's birthday cake for Santa.

We decided we would spend Christmas morning at our house, so we didn't have to worry about taking all the presents to Colorado this year. It was our first year doing Christmas morning in Oregon.

All of our kids got the same "want" and "need" presents this year. For their "want" they each got a Kindle Fire (our iPad died this year and we found a killer deal on them) and for their "need" they each got a case for their Kindle Fires. And in their stockings they all got slingshots with felt balls. I almost bought one for Corbyn in Greece, but didn't and he was disappointed, so when I saw a deal for them on Black Friday, I decided to buy one for all of them.

Logan's big Santa gift was a basketball hoop. Santa also brought him a couple Water Wow books and a puzzle and then in his stocking, Mickey and the Roadster Racers cars and mini Toy Story figures. He got a pirate hat, eyepatch, and pirate cape for his "wear" and an interactive Peter Pan book and a couple mini Look and Find books for his "read." From Grandma Lori and Papa George he got a Mickey car track and Pop the Pig (a game).

Grandma Dixie and Grandpa Mike got him a Buzz gun and the big talking Buzz. Both have been a big hit!

Peyton decided at the last minute she really wanted a Hatchimal from Santa. We lucked out finding one at Walmart otherwise she wouldn't have gotten one. That was her big Santa gift. 

Santa also brought her some play makeup and a few Magic Velvet books and in her stocking, a unicorn tape dispenser, nail polish, and an Ariel Lip Smacker

She got a fairy dress for her and Samantha as well as a fairy wand and crown for her "wear." For her "read" she got the Elephant and Piggie activity book and The Cookie Fiasco. From Grandma Dixie and Grandpa Mike she got a Trolls boom box and a princess art set. Grandma Lori and Papa George got her Just Dance (a Nintendo Switch game), the Enchanted Forest (a board game), and an Etch a Sketch Freestyle

Corbyn's big Santa gift was the Nintendo Switch. It was originally going to be a family gift from Santa, but then gifts got shifted around when Peyton wanted a Hatchimal at the last minute. The other two didn't realize it was a lot more expensive than their Santa gifts, so it worked out fine. He couldn't have been more excited about it!

Santa also brought him Mario Odessey (to play on the Nintendo Switch) and in his stocking, a Stikbot Gorilla and Pokemon cards. For his "wear" he got punching gloves and for his "read" he got the illustrated Harry Potter 3 and a Star Wars Look and Find book. From Grandma Dixie and Grandpa Mike he got a big Nerf gun and a Voltron figure.

From Grandma Lori and Papa George he got Sleeping Queens (a game), a Plants vs. Zombies set, and a couple Star Wars Lego sets (that he started building right away).

Santa brought me a new vacuum, a new Cupco cup, and the Disney Short Films Collection and in my stocking, a bread razor, a Wendy's Frosty key tag, and Princess and the Frog Tsum Tsums. I got a Belgium waffle maker for my "want," a Thomas Kinkade Disney calendar for my "need," a whole bunch of Stately Type shirts (purchased at 40% off on Black Friday) for my "wear," and Secrets of Disneyland for my "read." From my parents I got a new wireless printer (old one wouldn't print wirelessly anymore) plus some money and from Mike and Dixie I got an Amazon gift card.

Santa brought Rog new sheets for our bed and a new pillow and in his stocking, razor refills, fun work socks, and a Wendy's Frosty key tag. He got a SNES for his "want," white dress shirts for his "need," Stately Type shirts for his "wear," and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for his "read." 

From my parents he got a griddle, Rummikub, and some money and from his parents he got a beautiful Phillips Family Tree.

After presents we had breakfast - Cream Cheese Lemon French Toast with StrawberriesHoliday Fruit Soup, and hot chocolate or wassail to drink. Corbyn's Stikbot Gorilla got posed on one of our mugs.

And by then, Peyton's Hatchimal had hatched.

Then it was hurry, hurry, hurry to get ready, finish packing, and get to the airport. Parking at the airport was full, so we had to take MAX to the airport.

With the snow we got on Christmas Eve, we were a little nervous our flight would be cancelled, but we didn't have any problems. After all our rushing, we had time to spare and ended up killing time waiting.

We made it to Colorado in time to eat a late dinner and have a quick Ugly Sweater Party with the whole Ririe family.

Flying on Christmas saved us some money and it wasn't terrible, but I don't think we'll do it again in the future. It just didn't feel like Christmas at the airport. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Rest of December 2017 (Before Christmas)

I covered most of our December in my advent post, but here are a few other random things I wanted to include.

I had volunteered/been assigned to set up a picture area for Santa at our ward Christmas party. It was supposed to be an easy job. I borrowed an artificial tree and planned to go Friday morning with a few ladies in the ward. The night before/morning of they all bailed on me, so Rog agreed to go with me and work from the stake center while I set up because he didn't want me to be there alone with just Logan. 

When we got there it immediately became clear this wasn't going to be an easy job. The stage was full of random stuff from all throughout the building. The curtains were in terrible condition and barely covered the back of the stage. Then when I got the tree out of its box, it looked terrible and smelled even worse. The lights didn't work and it had decorations on it that clashed with everything I had planned to use.

Rog came to the rescue and helped me clear off the stage. It was clear that we couldn't use the tree I'd borrowed, so we took a break for the afternoon to brainstorm a solution. Ultimately we decided to buy our real tree that night, decorate it at the church, and then take it home to decorate it there after the party. We went back to the church that night and I decorated the stage while Rog helped the young men and young women decorate the rest of the gym. 

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out (especially considering how bad it was to start).

And then the guy taking the pictures totally zoomed in and you couldn't see anything I had set up anyway. Our picture belongs in one of those awkward family pictures calendars. 😂 This is why we had to visit Santa as one of our advent activities.

I didn't take many pictures during the party, but I happened to peek over at the boys during the closing prayer and had to capture this sweet moment. (Yes, I recognize their eyes should be closed.)

I got our Christmas cards sent out.

I went on a field trip with Corbyn and got to watch him at recess before we left. He's always talking about this game he loves to play at recess - GaGa Ball.

We went to see Charlotte's Web put on by a local high school.

The Relief Society President put my Activities Coordinator in charge of the RS Christmas party (since I had done Super Saturday by myself and was gone the first half of November on my cruise), so I hardly had to do anything. I did make 60 ornaments to give out as their gift from the RS presidency.

Logan and I went to Deseret Book one day to pick out our Christmas book and nativity for the year. I ended up getting this mini-porcelain set.

Cheesecake Factory opened in our mall (10 minutes away), so we went on a date there on our turn for date night swap.

Someone did the 12 Days of Christmas for us. I was really hoping they would reveal who they were on the last gift, but they didn't. I don't know if they knew about our recent miscarriage, but it was so sweet and perfect timing (especially if they didn't know). We looked forward to it each night.

1st day - loaf of bread from Great Harvest
2nd day - 2 rolls of tape
3rd day - 3 packs of Jello
4th day - 4 rolls of toilet paper
5th day - 5 rice krispy treats
6th day - 6 cans of Sprite
7th day - 7 Blow Pops
8th day - 8 cookies
9th day - 9 packs of gum
10th day - 10 eggs
11th day - 11 bags of microwave popcorn
12th day - 12 fruits 

And then it was time for Christmas!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Advent December 2017

Our advent is one of my favorite December traditions. Most of the activities are easy and I love how it forces me to take a break from the hustle and bustle of December and spend some quality time with my family.

December 1st: Matching Christmas Pajamas.

December 2nd: Decorate our Tree. We had purchased a tree the day before and decorated it at the stake center for our ward Christmas party that morning. We brought it home and decorated it at our house that afternoon.

December 3rd: First Presidency Christmas Devotional with Cinnamon Bun Popcorn.

December 4th: Christmas Bingo.

December 5th: Christmas Spot-It. 

Time-lapse video here.

December 6th: Christmas Play-doh.

December 7th: Donuts at Joe's Donuts and Wippersnappers. Corbyn and Peyton had a day off of school, so we did a bigger activity. It was our first time trying Joe's Donuts and it was just as good as everyone had told us. Logan and I had been to Wippersnappers in November with our playgroup and we wanted to do it with Corbyn and Peyton. It was a fun day!

December 8th: Make Neighbor Gifts. I reused an idea that I did a few years ago in Utah. The kids helped a little, but it was easier when they didn't help. I had an assembly line going and cranked out 16 dozen muffins.

December 9th: Deliver Neighbor Gifts and Pick out Ornaments. Corbyn picked Yoshi, Peyton picked the Little Mermaid, and we decided to wait to get Logan's when they were half off after Christmas. We ended up getting him a fun Santa ice cream truck ornament that plays music. I got the 3 penguins for myself to represent my 3 kids.

December 10th: Nativity Sticker Activity Book. I found these at Walmart. They were fun and a good Sunday activity to do while Logan napped.

December 11th: Peyton's Dance Open House. 

December 12th: Christmas Perler Beads. Peyton made a wreath and Corbyn made an ornament.

December 13th: Don't Eat the Reindeer.

December 14th: Oregon Trail Elementary Nutcracker. Corbyn was a toy soldier. It was so fun to see him perform! Cutest video of him singing here.

 I had decorated the display case and earned us reserved seats up front.

December 15th: Roll a Snowman.

December 16th: Cookie Party. Always fun to continue this tradition from Rog's childhood with our friends.

December 17th: Open and Read a New Christmas Book. This year's book was Christmas Day in the Morning.

December 18th: Movie and Puzzle Night with Friends. The kids watched Elf while me and Erin worked on my Nativity puzzle.

December 19th: See Coco in the Theater. We all loved it and Logan was the cutest little big kid sitting in his own seat the whole time.

December 20th: Christmas Donuts at Krispy Kreme. 

December 21st: Visit Santa.

Bonus Activity: Decorate Graham Cracker Houses. This is an activity I could totally skip, but it's Corbyn's favorite, so every few years I give in and do it for him.

December 22nd: Winter Wonderland Lights.

December 23rd: Zoo Lights. It was freezing and so very crowded, but still fun.

December 24th: Christmas Eve. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas program at church...

A sprinkling of snow...

Our traditional egg rolls...

Reading the story of Christ's birth in Luke, Christ's birthday cake...

And a surprise visit from the caroling Cribbs family. (I stole this picture from a friend's Instagram, but I could have taken a similar picture when they visited us.)

It was a fun month of advent activities!