Thursday, December 14, 2017

Joseph turns 14 - September 2017

This amazing boy turned 14 just like that. He was happy to do it too! 
Dad made him 14 famous pancakes, which he made quick work of. He was given a kindle so that he can read to his heart's content. 
 He chose to have a pizza and movie party. He invited a few friends and they watched Dr. Strange, ate pizza and a lot of candy followed by cake and ice cream. Joseph ate so much he woke up with a stomach ache in the middle of the night. But despite that he had a really fun birthday! 

These pictures of a much smaller and adorable younger Joseph make me so very happy! I am so proud of the man this little boy is growing into. I look forward to seeing where his future takes him. 

Helping Hands and Hurricane Harvey - September 2017

Our Stake was assigned to send at least 200 people for two weekends to help with clean up in small towns east of Houston after Hurricane Harvey and all of the flooding it caused. 
We left really early Saturday morning and went to work as soon as we got there. 
We spent that night in a local high school gymnasium. I thought I would have people in this world that snore so loudly that it can actually reverberate off of walls. 
 This is what our truck looked like all loaded up with the gear for 5 people and the tools needed for our team. Peter served as our team leader and did a great job of it. 
 We cleaned up two houses across the street from each other. The first house had a lot of furniture to work around and we only had to cut off 2 feet of sheetrock. At first I thought this did not seem too bad, but the next house we removed all of the furniture and 4 feet of sheetrock- which was easier. 
 Lunch break on the first day. 
 We were able to start on the second house towards the end of our first day. It still had carpet in there so it was so moldy and musty. The furniture was moldy and the clothes hanging in the closets were moldy. It was so sad! And it was really gross- including the largest spider I have ever seen -not in a zoo- as pictured above. 
 My hardworking family. 

 Sunday morning we held a sacrament meeting in the high school auditorium. Joseph was able to help pass the sacrament. It was a lot of people and we were all in grubby clothes and yet there was a great spirit there. We had all packed up before the meeting so as soon as it was over we headed back to the house. 

 It took hours to take all of this apart. We removed 2 bathrooms, what felt like literally tons of sheetrock and so many nails. It was a really warm day but everyone kept at it and was so encouraging to each other and cheering each other on.  
I am so thankful for this opportunity we had to serve these people. I pray they are finding their way back to peace and normal life. 

New Boots and Wasp Stings - September 2017

Sometimes you find the most amazing shoes at the children's consignment store and your parents buy them for you. 
 The next day you wear your amazing new boots and mom takes you to the park to play for just a bit. 
 Then you start pounding on the plastic drums at the playground and are attacked by a swarm of wasps. Mom tries to whisk you away but alas, you end up with 4 stings. The fourth a particularly mean wasp that flew into your dress and hides there until just before you get in the car and gets you one more time. 
Mom buys you pizza at Sam's club to make you feel better.  

Half Marathon and Ward Triathlon - September 2017

I had heard that the Tour de Fleur is a great race! 
So, I signed up to run the half marathon with the thought I wanted to push myself and train hard and do what I have done before.  
I signed up, I tried to train hard but it was a hard race. 

 It was really hot and humid that day and I struggled. 
 My time was not what I had hoped for but I do not feel ashamed by it. 
 Later that day our ward held a triathlon for the senior primary kids and youth. 
It was so much fun! 
They swam in a ward member's pool, then quickly transitioned to their bikes and biked to a nearby park. Then, at the park they ran a lap around and finished at the pavillion where there was a barbecue. The kids loved it and the adults enjoyed cheering them on. 

 This girl toughed it out despite her bike chain falling off twice. Gratefully, dad was there the second time and was able to adjust her wheel so the chain would stay on. 
And nice Brother Smithers made these cool medallions for each participant. 

Daddy Comes Home- September 2017

We took a few pictures here and there to send to Dad while he was away. 
 Sunday cuties and handsome guys! 
 Labor Day swimming fun with the Ostermiller's. 
 Samantha begins "homework" time with mom. 
 She started asking me to take pictures to send to daddy! 
 I bought a case of peaches and decided to make a pie following the recipe that my paternal grandmother used. She was an expert pie maker. It was delicious! 
And finally this guy came home on the same day I made the pie. Maybe, I should have made the pie earlier and it would have enticed him home earlier. Just kidding! 
He is sporting nearly 2 weeks of facial hair. 

Lily's Birthday Party - September 2017

Summertime birthdays are rough; you are not in school and unless you plan really far in advance you may not be able to invite the previous classmates.
So, we convinced Lily to wait until school started and then invite her new classmates. Then, at the school this year they did what they called a kindergarten round-up where the kids rotated amongst the 4 teachers for the first 2 weeks and so she did not have a set group of classmates. 
We ended up inviting a few of the kids from school she did know, a few from her previous class that we had contact with and her friends from church. 
She chose a mermaid themed party and since Peter was still in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey, cake decorating fell to me.  Arabella reminded me of these cute turtle cupcakes in a cookbook we have and I came up with the octopuses and crabs. We had a few other snacks and raspberry sherbet floats. There is a great new splash pad not far from our house and it was the perfect watery fun for this mermaid adventure on a hot day! 

I did not do a great job at taking pictures but we did have a really fun day! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

First Day of School - August 2017

 I love theses kids! 
 Lily- Kindergarten Ms. Taylor
Arabella 3rd Grade Ms. Carnes
 Jon 6th Grade 
 Joseph 8th Grade
 Lily had practiced so much to ride her bike to school. We had not thought to have her practice with her backpack on. She did fantastic though! 

My boys are getting way too big. I sort of wish they were just making mud pies and digging big holes in the sand box again.  (Every once in a while they will still do that as they play with their sisters.)