When we found there was FREE admission to the Science Center on Monday, boy were we excited!  But that meant we would have to opt out on our monthly History Party co-op.  And we were pretty excited about that too!   

You see, we are studing about Ancient China
we had planned on teaching our friends how to use chopsticks.

Some of the things that we found most interesting in our studies of Ancient China were:
The Binding of Feet
The Food
How Silk is Made & Was Discovered
No Forests so No Fuel
(which meant they had to chop up their food very small to cook it since they had only small fires)
Their Clothing
Where and How Rice Grows & is Harvested
The Different Dynasties

So you can see our delimma. 
We have been leading-up to this History Party All Month and then WHAMMO we are struck with a FREE deal that comes by only...well we're not sure really how often but, we know a great deal when we see one.

So...we put it to a vote.

The deal is if they choose the Science Center then they are to get their morning routines done, leave the house clean & pack for the day.
(lunch & diaper bag)

Well, here it is after 11:00am and still their morning routines are not done.
Looks like we will be staying home kids and working on some
well needed housework & packing before our weekend get-away to Temecula, California for Aunt Christine's wedding.
The Primary put on a wonderful program this past Sunday.   Everyone was a bit concerned whether or not it would be pulled off well since the recent changes our Stake underwent with going from 9 Wards to 5.  Part of the reason why we didn't send out invitations to family/friends this year...just unprepared & without enough time.

We ended up having 3 of our 6 children in the Primary Program this year.  Dyson is in Sunbeams (his last year), Dagyn is in CTR 5-6 (her last year), & Devyn is in Valiant 9-10 (his last year).  All three of them did such a wonderful job.  Dyson had a bit of stage fright when it came to saying his lines but he did an excellent job at his favorite song..."I am a builder, working at home to build my family.  And I will do the best that I can to serve my family!"  I'm holding them all to that!

Throughout the program, Dyxon kept wanting to go up to sit with Dyson.  I'm thinking to help him out & to show him it's not so bad/scary!

On a side note:  The Primary had their Activity Day the day prior which included a practice for the program, treats & a game.  The kids had a ton of fun!  They played this fun balloon game where you tie a small balloon to your shoe/ankle and run around trying to pop someone else's balloon by stepping on it.  Our kids just decided it was just as much fun to run around twirling theirs in their hands.
Next year we will have 4 in Primary (Dyxon will be joining them in Sunbeams next year).  We cannot wait for next year's Primary Program!  Hope to see you all there next year!...granted we don't undergo any more changes. ;)
When looking for a cute, creative & interactive way for our family to do a "thankful" craft for the month of November, I came across this...Thankful Tree over at Roots and Wings Co.

For more information on "how-to" make this fun craft, pop on over to see just how Katrina puts this together.

I am a little late in getting this posted but better late than never, right?

I know I'm a little biased in the matter... But isn't he the cutest & happiest baby ever?!
Just shy of 5mos
We are so blessed to have this little doodle bug in our lives.  He is such the farmer boy around here.  Grandma Carol often says he looks and acts like his great-grandpa Billy, a farm boy too.  His appetite is NeVeR satisfied and he is always up to mischief.  Yep.  And you could say he holds his own around here despite the fact that he is the youngest of four brothers.

He is very protective and always looks out for his baby sister (as well as his big sister, who he adores) and can often be found holding Denym's hand guiding her back to his Daddy and me.  He is such the gentleman.

He is ever-loving and has a heart of gold.  One could not deny that he loves his Heavenly Father, Jesus and family.  He often volunteers for the family prayer around here.  In fact, even when it isn't his turn you will often hear his faint echo of those who are giving the prayer.

He is a great climber too and enjoys spending time with his Daddy.  Daddy is very proud!  Since he has a love for food, he also enjoys being in the kitchen, just like his Daddy.  I believe when his siblings are all grown & gone, he'll be the one staying home to help out around here.  His Daddy & I would love that.

Just take a look at what we mean when we say he is "The Cutest lil' Doodle Bug!"
Filling his Daddy's Shoes
Filling his Daddy's [Hard] Hat.
He actually wanted to change his baby sister.
Did I mention he LoVeS to eat?
Big Helper
When Doodlebug was little he would allow us to put him down for naps or bedtime without any fuss as long as he had his 3 B's.
What are the 3 B's you ask? 
and Baba
Dyxie & his star blanky
An accomplishment Dyxon acheived prior to turning 3 was becoming potty-trained.
He then decided that he must help his little baby sister with her potty-training.  Here he is reading a story to his baby sister while she sits on the potty seat.  I had come into the room when he was helping her take off her diaper & announced he was helping Denym go potty.  Way to go BIG GUY!!!
A little 'birthday cake' conversation.
Me:  What kind of birthday cake do you want Dyxie?  Rainbow sprinkles..., Chocolate..., Vanilla...?

Dyxon:  Vanilla.

Me:  Do you want sprinkles on it?

Dyxon:  yes.

Me:  Do you know what vanilla is?

Dyxon:  no.

Me:  It's a white cake with white frosting (I am presuming here that he wants the vanilla frosting too)  Are you sure you want a vanilla cake?

Dyxon:  I want chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cake.

Me:  Ok?...Does that mean you want chocolate chip, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting?

Dyxon:  yes.

Me:  Do you still want sprinkles?

Dyxon:  yes.

Me:  Rainbow?

Dyxon:  yes, with cuppycakes.

Me (thinking):  phfew...glad that's over with...now on to the EASY part:  Baking.
Puttin' on the sprinkles while donning the birthday sombrero
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...
Happy 3rd Birthday BiG GuY!!!! 
Here's to another year of mushy kisses, mischief & messy faces!
I've included a little slide show of some of Dyxon's highlights over the past 3 years...Enjoy!

I came across this really cool , fun & free program to design my family's silouette (see below).  These can be custom designed for anyone's family. 

You want one...(I know you do) just click the link below the pic.

Chris & I (dead center) surrounded by our 1/2 dozen deputies.

And here's another...it really shakes too!  Give it a try...
This is a wonderful idea!  Thank you Donna!

I love it when I come across the solution to my problem and all I had to do was to move my fingers across a keyboard.  A few clicks & clacks of the keys and I came across this:  The Daily Dozen.
A baker's dozen (actually) on setting up structure to a homeschool day all while incorporating the same methods we have adopted & begun applying.

Drum role please....and here, ladies & gents, is the Daily Dozen:

Daily Dozen:
I. Anchoring – Devotions; scripture study, discussion, scriptural vocabulary building, hymn singing, scripture/quote memorization, scripture episodes, Jubilee devotionals, Sunday Gospel discussions, Church Meetings, Family Home
Evenings, and church activities.
II. Duty Calls – Citizenship and Patriotism; pledge, song, study of patriots, quotes, and documents.
III. Currents In Time – Current events- your children are part of history!
IV. It Came To Pass – History; biographies, history and Book of Centuries
V. Wisdom In Action – Hygiene, Fitness, Nutrition, and Healthy Lifestyles
VI. Publish It – Writing; calligraphy, copy work, correspondence, journals, family history research, personal histories, creative writing, commonplace books, writing books and articles, etc.
VII. Simply Science – Science; nature study, gardening, astronomy, nature walks, experiments, nature notebooks, science logs, weather stations, etc.
VIII. Math Matters – Math; history, manipulations, memory work, practice, life experience, and math narration (demonstrating and sharing the concepts that they have learned).
IX. Heart Sense – Cultural Refinement; music study, art study and lessons (apprenticing me in my studio), study other cultures (and their language),
refinement (or grace- etiquette and hospitality), practical arts (sewing, cooking, cleaning. etc.), poetry, literature, creative writing, drama, concerts, plays, etc.
X. Speaking Up – Speech; recitations and memory work, colloquia, narrations, presentations, talks, Stepping Into Character, etc.
XI. Margins – Time and Resource Management; keeping on top of their own commitments, planning, goal getting sessions, and tracking their own money.
XII. Family Work – Stewardships, Family Work, Family Service, Relationships,Family Council, Sunday recitals, Family game night, Family Activities.
XIII. Baker’s Dozen – Gospel Principles (on Sunday ); Core Knowledge (E.D. Hirsch), we just read it aloud to find things to spark imagination.
Milk does make StRonG BoNeS!!!

This is our new buddy...Mr. Buddy Bones.  He emerged from a few milk jugs this afternoon.
He has now made himself at home with the rest of the Halloween decor.
And what about the spiderwebs you may be asking yourself right now...well, here they are:
Not exactly what you were expecting?  Let's just say, I wasn't either.  

Oh what little webs we weave...
In this case one little angry boy with a little angry rock was weaving this one in my double-paned glass door the other night.  

Where is the little boy who wove this web? 
He is now fast asleep in his bed!
"Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha you gunna do?  Whatcha gunna do when they come for you?..."

You all know the song & if you now have that song stuck in your head...You can blame me for that.

Well, this past Wednesday we found out what happens to those who are not so nice...The Good Guys come for them...and this is their story...well atleast one of them...our Uncle Clyde.

Who is Uncle Clyde you maybe asking yourself?  Well, he is none other than the COOLEST Sergeant at the Apache Junction Police Department!
See...I told you!
And he likes us SOOOOOO much that he gave us a personalized tour.
Clyde is very impressed that Devyn aspires to become a police officer someday...and introducing him as such, Devyn was quickly given advice by a fellow officer to become a fireman...jokingly he said, "everybody loves firemen".   Call us biased, but we have a special love for the men in blue.  I mean, come on...besides the fact that they all love donuts...who wouldn't love those who serve & protect us!?! 
What's that?  No Donuts?!  Dyxon is going to be upset!
Because I LOOOOVE CSI...Forensics was my favorite part of the tour.  Here we met the resident Forensic Scientist and discussed the different jobs they perform plus we got to see a dismantled atm that was brought in for fingerprinting...pretty cool stuff.
Now you don't want to go venturing into this area w/o a key.  We found out that you get absolutely no privacy when stuck in a jail cell.  The toilet is in plain view of the 4 bunks that are stuffed within these small quarters....AND...to top it off... there is a camera watching your every move!
And if you are REALLY bad...you get strapped into this wheeled chair.  The hard part, we were told, is getting the "bad guys" into it!  They don't go quietly or without a fight!  But, once they are in there, they can easily be wheeled (transported) around to places like the court room.
The K9 Unit w/o the K9.  We found that the K9 was locked inside an office for safe keeping.  OUR Safe Keeping!
K9 Unit
and the K9...LOOSE in the office!!!
That's one door we won't be venturing through...
But, the door that leads to the yard was full of fun stuff!
you can't see them but the lights were flashing on the patrol car
And then...right up Devyn's alley.... (because they are just as [crazy] as he is) were the Special Weapons And Tactics (aka: SWAT) vehicles.
SWAT truck...Very cool!
Special Assignments Unit...Totally Awesome!
After viewing the motorcycles, Devyn decided he did not want to be a Motorcycle cop anymore based upon ALL of the buttons on it.  I think he was a bit overwhelmed.  And then to top it off, while I was busy trying to take pictures, Uncle Clyde turned on the siren...scared the tar out of me.  Yes, I screamed!  Hey, you would have too...it was LOUD!!!
Training (Left) & Official (Right) Police Motorcyles
Bike cage
And what tour of police vehicles would be complete without the "paddy wagon".  Denym climbed right up inside...silly girl.
For those of you that even think you could even steal the entry code to any secured area...think again!  Devyn tries to copy the code he witnessed being punched in...but to no avail.  The #s change every time it is used...HA!
What!?!  You were caught trying to break in to a secured area?  Great, now you must go through interogation. Busted, Devyn!  I told you to not go messin' around with that keypad.
Now Devyn, you must get your fingerprints done.  Hold still & relax your hand.  This is NOT going to look good on your record.  Unless of course this was intended all along to obtain your Cub Scout Bear Achievement Award for "Law Enforcement Is a Big Job"...which it was.  No worries Gma's & Gpa's.
I think Dyxon is STILL wondering where they keep the donuts...
And that concludes our tour of the Apache Junction Police Dept.