January 2015 in Nexus Pictures

Thursday, February 5, 2015 6:47
Posted in category Uncategorized
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Nothing earth shattering to report, but mainly a smattering of my cell phone pictures from this last month to appease out of state family. You know who you are ;) Most is everyday life, with a bit of academic randomness thrown in. I apologize in advance for the excessive use of exclamation points in this post. Enjoy my peeps!












Best Husband Ever!


Drivers Ed!


Fatherless FHE!




Bananas = Gel!

6 Second Staring Contest (Video)


Exclamation Points!


J-Zee Memorized the National Anthem!


Ela Made This Pillow!


Puddle Jumpers!


Sunbeam Puppet!




Fighting Stance!


Towel Time!




Wonderful Weaving Work!


…and Zu drew me!

Zu’s Helmet

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 21:39
Posted in category General Life
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These are pictures from 2012, but I didn’t want to lose them!  Zu had some serious diagonal asymmetry going on, due to what was most likely a muscle imbalance in his neck.  We tried therapy for several months to avoid a helmet (we probably waited too long, in fact), but in the end we spent another long string of months in a clear, infant plagiocephaly helmet.

image: Day 1 Back of Head

This is Day 1 of helmet wearing.  When seen from above, his head looked like a trapezoid.  I couldn’t get him to sit still to get a good picture of it, but in the above picture you can see one point of the trapezoid (the back point).

image: 2 Months in Frontal Asymmetry

and here you can see the frontal assymetry by his eyes and ears (this is still there to a lesser degree, several years post helmet).

image: Helmet Party

Helmet Party!!!

image: BYU Helmet

We changed out the stickers and decals on his helmet every few weeks to keep the helmet fun and fresh. Here are some of the ideas we came up with, if you are looking to spice up a helmet of your own :)

image: BYU Flames

BYU Helmet

image: Little Trooper

Star Wars Helmet

image: Super Zucchini

Super Zucchini!

image: Brasil Helmet

Brasil Helmet!

image: Pac Man Right

Pac Man Helmet!

image: Pac Man Left

Videos of Ketchup

Sunday, November 3, 2013 17:05
Comments Off on Videos of Ketchup

Caution! Video dump ahead!





Random Cool Person at the Utah Olympic Park:


50 Bottles of Ketchup

Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:52
Posted in category General Life, Travel
Comments Off on 50 Bottles of Ketchup

So it’s been nearly 18 months. I can’t say that I’ve missed blogging, but I do miss having a record of what we’ve been up to, what we’ve learned, and how we’ve grown. So here I go again. A beautiful dump of 50 random cell phone pictures in chronological order. Our “good” camera kicked the bucket awhile back, so I apologize for the lower quality phone pics. Hopefully a new camera will fit into the budget soon! :) This is in no way an accurate representation of what we have done, but just what I have on my phone. Enjoy!


Dirt + Rain = Tears


The Man of the House and I were able to get away to Paris last summer. I realized upon arriving that I *thought* I knew French, but must have been the butt of a 3.5 year joke by the public school system. {grins}


We were also able to snowboard the Matterhorn Glacier in Switzerland while we were away. We didn’t take pics with our phones up top, but this was a funny ad in the funky little town at the base camp.


Mom and Dad are home. Let’s go to Disneyland!


Story of my life: Zu makes a ridiculous amount of messes.


J-Zee is often the smallest in his Jiu Jitsu class (sometimes by a lot)!


Grandma surprised the kids with this huge train made entirely out of skinny balloons :)


J-Zee’s multi-week morning soccer camp.


Bananas! On heads!


Zu was enthralled with the construction going on right next door. It was like a field trip every day, without leaving home!


Future World Class Rock Climber


Helicopter Chasing!


Book Work.


Snap Circuits!


We even lit flying lanterns just like in Tangled (Ela’s favorite)! I just loved this pic with the lanterns silhouetting some of our friends pre-launch. Thanks to my BFF for the invite!




J-Zee randomly wearing Grandma’s glasses.


Backyard love.


I can’t even remember what this was, lol!




Our first ever city-wide Easter Egg Hunt (madness I tell you!)




We turned our enclosed trampoline into a balloon ball pit to celebrate Zu turning 2.


Oh yes, and we had a baby!!! Meet LittleMiss!


While my in-laws were in town, we spent a day at the olympic Training Center in Park City. It was summertime, so they were practicing their ski jumping off the ramps into the swimming pool. Super cool to watch!


Getting excited for the World Cup! USA v Cuba at Rio Tinto. We won!


We changed warehouses for one of our businesses and made tons of trips like this to UPS trying to get everything where it needed to go. Thank goodness for patient children!


Swimming at Grandmas’s house




Love the loose curls!




Random us.


Pioneer Day Sparklers


Sibling Love


Big Man, Little Goal, Soccer Practice


Weaving Treasure Baskets


Ela & Zu at the Playground


Ela with her teammates


J-Zee loves soccer and is best at defense.


Power Towers


Lego Robotics Class


First Swing




General Conference Fort


Cutest Bear Ever!


Spider Web Craft


Ela the Worm


Still learning Portuguese


and MORE Lego Robots!


Mischief Managed.

Family Friendly Vegas

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:21
Posted in category Field Trips, Reviews, Travel

Remember when I posted this back in March, promising to follow up on the other cool things that we did while in Las Vegas (namely a certain chocolate factory, yum!).  Well I am finally delivering.

(And in the interest of full disclosure, we did not choose to take our kids to Las Vegas just for the fun of kids experiencing Vegas.  We were in the city on business, and tried to find things that would help us avoid the filth and focus on the fun.  This is not a place we take the family to without a really good reason.)  So without further ado, here are a few things that we did in Vegas with our kids!

image: Paris

Our business necessitated us to be on the strip.  And while there are a ton of pretty ridiculous things about the strip (crazy traffic, inappropriate ads, more traffic, more inappropriate ads, etc), there are also some really cool things to distract wandering eyes as well.  I snapped the above picture out the Jeep window as we sat in some (you guessed it) traffic, but there are some other great architecture and themed resorts as well that the kids were fascinated with (like the MGM Lion, roller coasters right above the sidewalk, the Statue of Liberty replica, etc).  The Bellagio Dancing Fountains were on our to-see list (they play every 30 minutes from 3PM – 7PM, and every 15 minutes from 7PM – midnight) as well as the Mirage Volcano (which plays on the hour from 6-11 PM).

image: Circus Circus Room

We ended up staying at the Circus Circus, which is on the “non-cool” side of the strip, but that was JUST FINE with us.  We decided on this hotel because it was well reviewed, it had kid friendly entertainment, and because the price was one of the lowest we could find (because we’re cheap like that, lol).  The price was ridiculously good (just $24 a night! yes!) but be warned that there is a small resort fee when you check in.  If I remember correctly it was $7 or so a day.  I think that this is pretty common among hotels in the area, though.

As you can see above, our room was clean and well updated.  The walls are well decorated (loved the art!) but are super thin (you get to know your neighbors by name since you can hear them so well, lol… or not so lol as the case may be…).  The housekeeping was great and while the carpet was slightly worn in high traffic areas (such as near the doorways), it was well maintained and much cleaner than I expected.  I let Zu roam the floors without much worry at all.  The room floor was one of my high priority items when choosing a hotel, because we had a crawler.  :)

And speaking of Zu, the poor kid got sick on the drive to Vegas.  He was a trooper though!  We spent most of the first day in the hotel room, and we had to find ways to occupy ourselves.  Since he was slowly getting better, I finally let him indulge in a lollipop.  He loved it and got it all over his face.  As I first took it away to get him cleaned up, I got this sad puppy dog face.

image: Sad Zu 1

Which was soon followed by an all out wail.  Stupid me, taking candy from a baby.

image: Sad Zu 2

He soon forgave me though.  Thank goodness! ;)  But back to the hotel…

image: Circus Acts

I’m really glad we chose to stay at Circus, Circus since we ended up spending so much time there.  The kids loved the circus acts on the main level (you do have to walk through”green areas” of the casino to access this level, just as a heads up if that bothers you) and seeing the other exhibits like the Chuck Jones Experience (we didn’t pay to get in, we just did the free stuff outside) and meandering through the Adventuredome, which is the hotel’s indoor theme park, complete with rides and midway games.

image: Giant Tops

After spending WAY too much time on hotel property, we were finally well enough to venture out.  We checked out the Cactus Gardens, which I talked about earlier, and the adjacent CHOCOLATE FACTORY (!!!!) by Ethel M Chocolates.  I’ll be honest, I was expecting a bit more of an “experience” (like the Jelly Belly factory in California- I totally recommend that tour!) and less of a “viewing hallway,” but it was still interesting nonetheless.  They had some super good info on the walls and the staff was extra friendly and nice.  And you can’t complain about free chocolate, right?!?

image: From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate

I was excited to see this information on the first wall of the “tour.”  It fit along perfectly with the Magic School Bus episode we watched in preparation for our excursion, “The Magic School Bus in the Rain Forest,” which helped us learn about chocolate in the real “making of” sense- straight from a rain forest bean.  They also had maps of where each type of chocolate bar is made (3 Musketeers v. M&Ms, etc) and other interesting trivia along the way.  Two educational thumbs up from this happy mama.

image: Chocolate Factory

And to keep with our chocolate theme (and to search out the ever elusive “M&M Lightsaber” for J-Zee, which they did stock, thank goodness!) we headed back closer to our hotel and toured the impressive M&M’s World back on Las Vegas Boulevard.

image: M&M Wall

We had missed the free 3D movie, but did get to see the wicked awesome Wall-o-M&Ms, the personalized M&M printing machine, and the M&M Nascar Car they had on the top floor.  Not too shabby for a gift shop, lol.  :)

image: Race Car

Overall, a pretty awesome field trip!  Check out Life’s Adventures for other ideas from around the globe!  And be sure to leave other ideas of things for us to do in Las Vegas with little kids, as it seems like we might just be making it a habit of going there.  Yay?

Our Life in 20 Cell Phone Snapshots

Sunday, April 29, 2012 15:44
Posted in category General Life
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So I finally got around to getting the pictures off of my phone.  It’s only been about 8 months, but I did it!  When looking through all the goodness that I had saved on that smart little thing, I realized that we really do have a random, RANDOM life.  So here’s to that random life of ours- “Mundo Classroom Life in 20 Cell Phone Snapshots.”  It is random, but it is oh so good!

image: First Pic

Mini Us


image: Ahh!  Baby!

Creepy Baby In The Pantry


image: Basketball

Family Basketball Jam


image: Stuck in a Basket

Zu in a Basket


image: SF Traffic

San Francisco Story: Traffic


image: Huge Spider

Can You Spot the Spider?


image: Zu Man

My Zu


image: Rocket Computer

Rocket Computer!


image: General Conference Tent

General Conference in a Tent


image: First Timer

First Timer!


image: Reading Maps

Map Skills


image: Shopping Cart Art

Shopping Cart Art


image: Inspecting Pumpkins

Inspecting Pumpkins


image: Playing Piano

Playing Piano


image: Mechanical Bull

Do-It-Yourself Mechanical Bull


image: Ela Eating

Simply Ice Cream


image: Snowboarding

I Love Utah!


image: Husband

Marriage Material


image: Name that Plant

Plant Identification


image: Ela Art

Ela’s Artwork


Unschooling is Fun!


Friday, April 20, 2012 11:26
Posted in category General Life, Reading

image: Sibling Love

One day I found these two next to the back door, with Zu excitedly jabbering about something and pointing out the window. Ela had her arm around him and was nodding and playing along, while pointing to the same things as a way to say, “Yep, Zu, that is pretty cool.”  Ela has taken on her role of big sister so well, and loves to interact with and teach Zu just about everything.

image: Brothers Reading Star Wars

And on another day, I glanced back at J-Zee, to find him reading one of his Star Wars books to Zu, while they were both wielding their lightsabers. And not only that, but he let Zu have the biggest one!  Brother bonding time. I love it!

image: J-Zee Reading

And even when they are playing independently, I love it when they just stop and get good and distracted by a great book in the middle of the chaos

image: Tunnel Reading

or when I find them cuddled up with a book in the strangest places.

These are definitely some Moments to Remember!

Church History Museum

Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:57
Posted in category Field Trips, Religion

We were able to go to the Church History Museum in downtown Salt Lake City last month for our group field trip. The exhibit that we attended was called “A Book of Mormon Fiesta: A Latin–American Celebration.” The kids had a lot of fun learning about various aspects of modern Latin American culture within the framework of the gospel and various scripture stories.

image: Writing

The Man of the House even got into some of the exhibits.  Here he is (above) copying ancient looking writing on a gel-type pad (it seemed like a thinner, more professional version of these).

image: Fishing

They were also able to fish from the side of Nephi’s boat (this was probably J-Zee’s favorite)

image: Huge Building Blocks

and build temples with larger than life building blocks.

image: Dolls

Ela really liked the wooden dolls with the velcro and felt clothing.  We might need to pick up a set of these for her.  She was in love!

image: Shape Garden

The overall group favorite was probably the food section of the exhibit.  They had a shape matching garden area where you could sort by shape, color, or food type.

image: Dining with the Missionaries

There was also a table where you could feed the missionaries

image: Chickens

and a chicken coop out back where you could gather fresh eggs.

image: Mixing Music

My personal favorite was the sound mixing station.  It had several Primary Songs to choose from that were being played with traditional Latin American instruments.  You could have the song play with just one of the instruments, or you could add in as many instruments as you wanted.  It was pretty fun, but a bit confusing for J-Zee.  Looks like we need to focus on music a bit more before we try something like this again.

image: Dance Lessons

Ela’s favorite part of the exhibit was getting to dress up and dance to the Latin music.  They had two big screens set up with simple dance instruction- one side for boys and the other side for girls.  She loved twirling in the large skirt (and having a flower headband to wear was just icing on the cake).

image: Yellow Dress

J-Zee didn’t really get into the dancing, but he loved driving the delivery truck with his trusted sidekick

image: Truck Drivers

and he really got into the tortilla toss.  He only hit the sister missionaries twice, lol.  They soon moved out of the tortilla flight path, though.  After that, he was much more successful.  :)

image: Tortilla Toss

And then we finished up the day by embossing special necklaces for everyone to take home.

imaeg: Embossing

It was a fun, wholesome adventure that was definitely worth the drive downtown.  If you are in the area, you should check it out!  This exhibit is open through the end of the year and it’s FREE!

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Cactus Garden Nature Study

Sunday, March 4, 2012 13:10
Posted in category Field Trips, Nature, Travel

While we were in Las Vegas, Nevada a few weeks ago, we were able to check out a Botanical Cactus Garden adjacent to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory (more on the chocolate factory later- it’s pretty cool place!)

The Cactus Garden was pretty awesome, and is actually one of the world’s largest of its kind. If you have an extra hour or two while in the area, I highly recommend stopping by! The groundskeepers do an awesome job, and the variety is amazing!

image: Rabbit

One of the workers went out of their way to show us this cute little bunny rabbit that was hanging out near the entrance of the garden.  The kids loved it!

image: Rabbit Ears Cactus

And how fitting that the rabbit was chilling right next to the “Rabbit Ears” cactus.  It must have known- what a smart rabbit!

image: Aloe Family Cactus

And while we were looking at this cool cactus (above) I thought out loud, that looks like an aloe vera plant. Turns out, it is in the aloe family! I was so very, very proud of myself. :)

image: Old Man of the Andes

There were tons of really interesting cactuses (did you know that cacti, cactuses, and cactus are all accepted plural forms of cactus?) This one looked like it had long gray hair hanging off of it, and was aptly named “Old Man of the Andes.”

image: Argentine Toothpick

And this one above is dedicated to my brother. The Argentine Toothpick!

image: Prickly Pear

The kids thought this one was “silly” because it looked like strawberries were growing all over it, but it is called a Prickly Pear. I wonder why?

image: Ethel M Chocolate Factory Botanical Cactus Garden

The gardens were beautiful,

image: Cactuses

but apparently a little scary too. J-Zee now claims he is afraid of cactuses. Silly boy.

image: Cacti

It was a great (and much needed) nature break after spending a couple days surrounded by the concrete and neon lights of Vegas.

You can see what other cool places people are field trippin’ at all over the world here.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:59
Posted in category Arts & Crafts, Book Club

January’s Book Club was based on the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle. I picked this book because of the repetition and fun illustrations.

We started off book club by rereading the book as a group and talking about our favorite parts. We talked a bit about the illustrations and then watched the end of this clip:

We skipped the first part of the video and started at 1:42, since we were most interested in how he creates his interesting illustrations.

image: video

Next up, we talked briefly about our 5 senses. We pointed out how Brown Bear, Brown Bear was about sight and then read another book in this “series” that was about another one of the senses- hearing!

I really liked reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? with the kids because they were making all the sound effects for us. I don’t know what braying like a zebra or flirting like a flamingo sounds like, but they sure do! It was a fun read aloud.

We spent the remainder of our book club time (and then some- this was a marathon of sorts, lol) doing some fun, messy art projects.  The goal was to collect a group of pages that each had a different texture and feel so that we would have our very own animal book focused on a different sense- touch!

image: Melting Crayons 1

The kids really liked each of these projects, but two of the favorite parts of the day were melting the crayons and using q-tips to spread glue (more on that later in the post). It’s the simple things in life sometimes, right? :)

image: Melting Crayons 2

We started by coloring a few pages as a group, and then I pulled them one at a time to create their bat page. I set up a candle warmer (I got the idea from this pin) and held the paper for them as they colored and watched the crayons melt onto their page, right before their eyes! This made for a fun waxy pool of color, that hardened within seconds to create an interesting bat-ish texture for their page. The candle warmer was just the right size (less hot pad to touch) and reached a warm enough temperature to melt the crayons without being too hot.

image: Glue!

Next up, the second novelty of the day- a community plate of glue.  Wow.  I had no idea this would be so very popular!  We first used the glue to attach our toothpicks to our porcupine.

image: Toothpick Porcupine

And then made a mess with it as we put short hair onto our bull.

image: Bull Hair

And when I say we made a mess, we definitely made a mess!

image: Messy Hair

Our other pages and projects for the day included gluing feathers on a duck

image: Duck Feathers

and ripping tin foil sheets into little pieces to make scales for our fish.

image: Shiny Fish

We also had to do a cotton ball sheep

image: Soft Sheep

and the messiest project of them all- glue and glitter on dragonflies!  Oh me, oh my… what an innocent thing- glitter.  I had no idea glitter was so evil!  That stuff might not come out again for awhile, lol.  I was cleaning that glitter out of our dining room area for weeks.  In fact, there might still be some there, hiding.  And mocking me and my naïveté.

image: Glitter Dragonfly

After we were all done, I tied all the pages together with some string (I had pre-punched the pages with a hole punch before we started) and, voila!  An instant, personalized, touch and feel animal book.  The plan had been to talk about adjectives and narrate the book to each other in true Brown Bear-esque style, but we were so very done at this point.  Instead, we finished up with an animal cracker and string cheese snack and called it a day.

You can check out our other Book Club books here or see what other book inspired art projects people have going on over at stART.

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