Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Museum Day- October 2017

I made a good goal of trying to do a fun adventure or outing with Samantha each week this year while it is our last of just the 2 of us before she heads to school. 
Goals are good to have even if we do not always succeed at them. 
But, this week back in October, I succeeded and we had a really good time together at the Fort Worth Museum. 
 The Curious George exhibit was really cute and interesting. 
There was a display about the author and his wife. They were Jews in France during World War II and they made a daring escape which allowed them to save their lives and Curious George. They were both artists. I am grateful for brave and talented people who share their talents with the world. I am grateful for the risks they took to share those talents and make the world a better and happier place. 

I sure love this girl. She is getting so smart and is going to be so excited when it is her turn to go to school. She has even nearly mastered the letter S in her name- it is a rough one. I figure if she cane master the S the rest will be cake walk. 

Field Day - October 2017

I love that the elementary school has decided that the fall is a more comfortable time of year to hold field day. It was still plenty warm but much better than May or early June. 
 Samantha went for total style- sunglasses, a dress, and her sparkly cowgirl boots. 
 Both of my girls really know how to move on these bouncy balls. 
 Lily  has quite the competitive spirit. 
Lily's teacher took Samantha by the hand and helped her join in on the tug-of-war. I am so grateful for the great teachers and staff at our school.  They are always so kind and go above and beyond for my kids in the classroom and even cater to Samantha's wishes for stickers every time in the office. My kids all enjoy learning and I know that it is a direct effect of the great teachers they had in these early years of learning. 

Go Karts - October 2017

The kids had a long weekend in October and we needed to find a good way to spend one of the 2 days off of school. Lily had been asking over and over to play mini golf.  So I found a groupon at this activity place near our house. 3 hours of unlimited go-karts and mini golf.  We actually only played golf once but the kids went on the go-karts over and over. Samantha was even big enough to drive them- just barely. We all had a great time! I am so glad we took the time to have some fun and make some memories. 

We finished the hot day off with slurpees and ice cream from Sam's club.
I love these kids of mine! 

Joseph the Teacher - October 2017

We clean up nicely don't we! 

But the point of these pictures is that Joseph was ordained to the office of a teacher. It was a great day and Joseph has so fully embraced his new responsibilities. Our family has been going to choir the last few months and Joseph has taken that time before church to help prepare the sacrament and check the chapel. I love this boy and the enthusiasm he has for everything (well, maybe not always for chores). 

Tough Mudder - September 2017

Last year, I participated in a Tough Mudder race and LOVED it!
I convinced Peter to join me in the madness this year! 
Above is our pre race prettiness! 
 And here is our after picture! 
I need to download some of the pictures from the official photographer because there were some great shots. 

 Part of our group post race These are the Yost's. I have now run a few races with Stephanie and she is so inspirational!

 The whole group pre race- we are so clean and injury free! 
In the end, I made it all the way across the funky monkey bars challenge as well as the kong which is the last challenge. I almost lost my momentum but I was able to get just enough swing and hold on tight with my fingers and I swung all the way across on those rings. 
Peter did not get taken down by the electroshock therapy at the end but it was sure fun to watch him go carefully through the end after getting shocked a few times. He was amazing and a huge help to me when the challenge seemed too tough. He had some wicked bruises and sprained his ankle but..... he too had so much fun that we signed up for next year! 

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.