Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Utah part 1

After 16 hours in the car the first day and 8 hours the second day, we made it to Utah and it was so good to finally be there! Kansas has a TON of corn!!! The kids did really well.
 Friday night after arriving I went to see my niece Calee perform in a concert. She had an amazing voice. 
Saturday morning I ran the last 3 miles of a half marathon.  At the end they had activities for kids including face painting (for free) and Arabella looked beautiful the rest of the day! My brother and his family were assigned to clean the church and when Joey found out he really wanted to go and help.  So, we helped clean the church. I ran some errands and we just simply enjoyed the day.
 Sunday night some of the cousins slept over. Monday my car window fell down into the door. My brother Derick (with some help from Tyler my brother in law and a youtube video) they had the door pulled apart and the next morning ordered the part and had it put back in before Monday night. 
It was wonderful to play in Grandma's backyard.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pre Utah Trip

Before we left for Utah, my mom and sister, Malisa, came down on Tuesday.
The kids, my mom and I left for Utah via car on Thursday morning and my sister flew home that morning. 
We LOVED having them visit and made sure we had most of our packing done so we could do some playing while they were here.
We took them to the Dallas Zoo.
The monorail was closed by the time we got there due to the heat but we were still able to see alot of animals and ride the carousel. 
 There is a newer program/exhibit at the zoo where they bring out different animals and teach about them and even let you touch them.  This has been a hit with my kids. We also had to show off the Okapi-middle picture above. It is the only relative to the giraffe-longer neck and prehensile tongue. But it has zebra stripes. 
We also played in the water and climbed in the play tunnels in the naked mole rat exhibit.
We finished our visit with a spin on the carousel. I loved watching my mom ride the ostrich.  It was really funny and made me think of "The Swiss Family Robinson" ostrich riding moments.
We then met Peter at BJ's Brewery for a yummy dinner!
Wednesday we spent the morning at the Arboretum. It was so beautiful!
There were little houses made out of flowers that looked like houses from Alice in Wonderland. We also had a picnic and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
In the afternoon, we did some shopping at the outlets.  For dinner we had yummy ribs. The rest of the night was spent packing and loading up the car for an early morning departure. 
It was a great 2 days and I am so thankful I had the chance to spend time with my mom and Malisa.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Utah Bound

These Pictures have nothing to do with the title but this was taken by Joey just before church on Sunday. I should have tried for a family shot- we were all looking sharp!
We are leaving Thursday - tomorrow - for Utah! Yippee! The kids are so excited. The drive will be long but the memories and fun will more than make up for that!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fourth of July 2013

We started our Independence Day off with a ward pancake breakfast and then a bike parade. 
The kids did a great job getting their bikes decorated. 

 My two lovely girls. 
Lily prefers to ride this bike though she can not quite reach to pedal. I believe it is because it looks like the big kids bikes. 

Then our friends the Ostermiller's let us use their pool even though they were out of town. We were joined by the Stoddard's. Peter last minute brought our bouncy balls that you sit on and we had a new game.
It is PBR- pool ball riding. It was so funny to watch and really hard to do. 
Joey finally made it all the way across the pool while laying on it. Peter and Patrick (Stoddard) both "rode" the ball for 8 seconds (or more but that is the magic number in bull riding).
We had a low key evening with hamburgers for dinner. 
So thankful for this amazing country and the many freedoms we have.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Babysitting Baby Jane

We were lucky enough to watch our friends the Ostermiller's baby - Jane- the other day. 
 I asked Joey to hold her while I cleaned her bottle and he got her to sleep. Joey, the baby whisperer. 
 Lily was super helpful. She brought me diapers, wipes, and clothes about every 15 minutes even though Jane did not need to be changed. She loved playing with her. 
Arabella was helpful too but had been diagnosed with bilateral ear infections that morning so she finally laid on the couch and took a nap. She had not felt well since Sunday (this was Tuesday) and it was sad.
Jon spent most of his time playing games on the computer and I believe he enjoyed the fact that the other kids were distracted by something else which meant more computer time for him. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Final Track Meet 2013

Last Saturday was Jon's final track meet; we will be in Utah for the Regional meet. 
 He ran fast in the 100- that is him in the lane next to the grass.
 It is quite possible though that he ran faster chasing grasshoppers with some other boys his age. 
 This is the High School stadium the track meet was at- the visitor side bleachers are as big but they don't have the big announcers box part. 
 This little guy running was too cute not to snap a picture of. 

Jon- you ran fast but I really think that someday you will be a distance runner, you just don't know it yet. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lily and the Chocolate Ice Cream

During Cub Camp week, Peter would pick up Lily and either take Jon to track or just hang out at home. 
 She is Peter's little shadow so I don't think she minded the one on one time at all. 
 It is also safe to say she thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate ice cream Daddy gave her.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cub Camp 2013

Last week, we had Cub Scout Camp. 
I volunteered as the health officer and one day they found someone else to cover so that I could spend half of the day as a parent chaparone with Joey. 
 This year it was Tuesday through Friday from 3-8 pm.
It ended up being the hottest week we have had this summer. 
 There is a children's class for the potty trained children of those parents walking with cub scouts and other leaders volunteering. Arabella went everyday to the class, Jon went on Wednesday and Friday- the other days he went to a friend's so he could attend track practice, and Lily was babysat by one of our ward den leaders who could not attend due to health issues. 
 Joey had a really good time. He was able to make some fun things like a bird feeder and a bracelet and a small (film canister) first aid kit.
Arabella played in water, made crafts, watched a movie, colored and met new friends.
Jon had a good time too the days he was there. 
I really enjoyed myself too. It was good to put my education to use in a different way. 
I also learned a few things. A non-LDS group of people were in charge of the camp this year, which is different than the last 3 (or more) years. I did not attend any of the early meetings but I heard that there was some issues but did not know the whole story. Well, it became clear early in the week that some of the LDS leaders had given the director and others a hard time and the director had a hard time getting LDS volunteers. Her daughters were the ones that ran the children's class and one of them had been told they were dressed inappropriately by a LDS leader- she was wearing soccer shorts and had her sleeves on her t-shirt tucked up like a tank top.  She was really upset. There were a few other things I witnessed and heard that in the end made it clear that this group of leaders (mostly women) did not have a good feeling towards the LDS church.
They did not know I was LDS but by the end of the week I knew I needed to say something. I was not angry I believe the best way to describe my emotions would be embarrassed-not for being LDS but for the way some people I knew had portrayed the church. 
On the final day, as I was signing out with the director, I told her that I felt I needed to apologize for the way she had been treated. I told her I was LDS and that I thought she had done a really good job with the camp. I told her that I had not had any problem with the way her girls had dressed or acted. I told her I was really sorry if she had not felt support from the LDS packs especially since we made up at least 2/3 of the boys there. I tried to explain to her that our doctrine teaches us to serve, to be kind, to try and follow the example of our Savior.
She was really kind. She asked a few questions about our different programs. She explained what had happened from her point of view and why she felt things had happened the way they did. 
All in all, I am really glad I went in with an open mind and acknowledged the efforts they were making. Most importantly, I am glad I took the chance to defend the church or at least to stop this group from having a negative opinion about the church. 
I realized that scouting is an open door for missionary opportunities but only if the interactions between LDS and non-LDS are good ones. I accept that they may not always be that way but I do hope that the LDS troops, packs, crews, or leaders will always be the ones to take the high road and emulate our Savior and his teachings in all that they do and say.