Friday, July 29, 2011

Snack Crafts

You know that feeling at the beginning of the summer when you feel like you can have wonderful activities and enriching plans for your kids each and every day? I don't feel like our summer really started until after our trip to Hawaii and our Family Reunion. I had plans for themed weeks, starting with the first week, which was Organizing. We did a complete revamp on the toys and created the Dildine Toy Library. Lydia and Ryan may check out one toy box each, but may not check out another toy box until the first box is cleaned up and checked back into the library. The library is in a secluded room off of our master bedroom and is under lock and key. So far the system has really worked. No more endless days of picking up toys, upon toys.

The second themed week was: Cooking and Food. I made the boys do the grocery lists and shopping. They cooked our meals and every day we did a Snack Craft. Unfortunately, our themed weeks stopped after that. Maybe next summer, when I don't have eight weeks until baby number 5 arrives, we will accomplish more than just two themed weeks. Nonetheless, here are some of our creations (tons of ideas online, by the way):

A telephone. Ring! Ring!
Ingredients: Half an apple, sliced banana, mini marshmallows, black icing and red Pull n' Peel licorice.

Hard at work.

One of the great things about doing snack crafts is that you get to snitch ingredients while creating the final project.

Peanut Butter Application on the marshmallow.

Just after Peanut Butter Application on the tongue!

This was another of our favorites: Little Strawberry Elves
Cute Right?
Ingredients: Strawberries, whipped cream, mini chocolate chips

I think this snack craft was the biggest hit: An Angry Bird
Ingredients: watermelon slice, cucumbers, olives and mango

I love how each Angry Bird seems to have it's own personality. This is a picture we texted to Mike at work, with the caption: "Angry Birds"

And this is the picture that he texted back to the kids, with the caption: "Angry Dads"
The kids thought it was hysterical!!! I have to admit I had a good laugh, too. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The River

One of the nights in July we headed to the river that is just up the street from our house. In the Spring the water from this river is close to overflowing and in years past, actually has done so. But once the summer hits, the water recedes and slows down. The water leaves behind a rock pile for throwing and skipping, a perfect sandy beach and perfect shallow water to beat the summer heat.

The youngest clinging to dad.

Though chilly to dip into at first, the water is quite refreshing when the temperatures are in the 90's.

Ryan loves throwing rocks into the water.

Lydia serious.

Sister with Big Brother.

Handsome fella.
Afterwards we headed to the other side of the bridge for a Coldstone Ice Cream Treat.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sometimes, at 31 Weeks Pregnant, you can't help but have certain cravings. Such was the case one afternoon, right about lunch time. I was in desperate need of some frozen yogurt from a new place in town called U-Swirl. We skipped lunch, well, not really...we just had U-Swirl FOR lunch.
And the pics aren't great...they were taken on my iPhone.

How bad could it be? Look at all of that yummy fresh fruit and nuts.

Both of the older boys followed suit, with a healthy lunch selection, despite it being on frozen yogurt.

By the time we got through the toppings line with Lydia and Ryan, I was second guessing my decision to have Frozen Yogurt be our lunch. The little ones piled on junk! M&M's, Skittles, Gummy Bears, Frosted Animal Crackers, Gummy Worms, Oreos and the like...not a lick of fruit. I guess there are worse things, right? I suppose it was kind of fun to veer from our typical afternoon PB and J, or PB and H (honey), carrots and pretzels.

When is the last time you had dessert for lunch? I highly recommend it! It might really hit the spot!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Danny's B-Day

This year was low-key for Danny's birthday. It was a year for him to have a family party. He requested homemade pizza for dinner, but being pregnant, I was not up for the task. So he was delighted when we took him to Primos for unlimited regular and dessert pizza.

Danny's birthday this year ended up having a very specific theme. Most of his gifts had to do with Harry Potter. He is a little late being a fan, but has been reading the books and watching the movies incessantly. He wanted to be prepared when the last movie in the series came out...Which he did go get to see with his cousin Paige, about a week later.

I'm not entirely sure what Danny's wish was, but if I had to make a guess I'm pretty sure it had to do with Hermione, ya know, Emma Watson.

Danny's had a crush on her for awhile and we have caught him sleeping with her picture under his pillow. One time at dinner he even confessed to having kissed her picture. Don't tell anyone!!!!! I would be in big trouble. ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American Idol

One of the things that we really enjoyed this Spring was watching American Idol as a family. When I got online to look at the tour dates I realized that we would be in Utah for the reunion. We took the older boys to the concert and Angie and Eliot came along. A big shout-out to my other sister Natalie and her husband Brian, for watching the other youngsters at home.

Getting ready for the show.

The stage is ready.

Here is Lauren...

and Scotty.

By the end of the concert I was beat. We had the toughest time getting out of the parking lot. It seemed to be moving soooo slow. Once we came around this little bend in the back of the stadium we realized why. The masked scary guy in this picture came right up to our van and gave Eliot a high five. I was a little freaked out until I realized that it was James Durbin. He then headed over to sign some autographs for his adoring fans.

The other man in the mask? Stephano Langone. He was one of my favorites, as he is a Seattle Native. We all had a great time dancing and laughing and singing with our favorite performers from Season 10.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We had so much fun hanging out with our immediate cousins. Every night we got to come back to Angie's and hang out together. I snapped this picture of Lydia with her new cousin Lanie. The pajamas Lanie is wearing are ones that Lydia used to wear when she was small. It is crazy how time just keeps on ticking and these little ones just keep growing.

Monday, July 4, 2011


We all headed to a nearby church to set off fireworks that we got at the store.

Lydia and Sydney were less than thrilled with the loud noises and commotion. Grandma Swensen kept them safe and they all watched the show from the comfort of the car.

Ryan looks a bit intimidated here, but was actually quite excited about all of the fireworks. He and Mitchell and Wesley made up a song about "Fireworks being so cool." The trio sung it at the top of their lungs.

Mike was close by, along with others of my uncles to make sure the younger generation could handle their role as "Firework Lighters."

It is definitely a right of passage to move from Firework Watcher, to Firework Lighter. I love how Nathan is giving a salute in this picture.

All of the firework lighters running with their sparklers.

Thanks for a great show Nathan and Danny!
Happy Fourth of July!

Fourth Festivities

The morning of the Fourth all of the cousins had some downtime watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It was really fun that we all got to stay together at Aunt Angie's House. Baby Lanie and Madison are the two cousins missing in this picture.

We continued the celebrations at my Aunt Julie's, who like I had mentioned before, did a wonderful job planning the Reunion. Here Sydney and Lydia are enjoying one of the fabulous meals.

The Bounce House was a big part of the day. It had a water slide and entertained the kids for hours. I kept telling myself I would get out and take pictures, but only felt the urgency once the company came to take it down. :)

Lydia decided to take a break from the heat and enjoy a movie. Julie had prepared endless treats and snacks for the family. Goldfish...always a favorite!

After dinner, all of the kids all got a chance to take a swing at the Piñata. They are all sitting on the trampoline together, waiting with their plastic bags, ready for the piñata to burst open.



The hitting order was youngest to oldest. Even with the hard hitting older cousins, we were able to go through the order twice. I think it was my Aunt Pam that finally broke the piñata open. Danny was actually off golfing with my uncle and cousins, but we remembered to grab him some of the spoils.

It is so fun to be together as family.