Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fun With Grandma

When the girls found out that Grandma Bird was going to come while Peter and I were at camp, they were so excited! 
The girls had swimming lessons while Grandma was in charge and they did great! 

 We had fun doing several things with Grandma: Friday night after shopping most of the day we had delicious Pei Wei, Saturday night we went to a pool party, Sunday we had the Elders for dinner, Monday we wen to the zoo, out to eat and then we went to see Cars 3. 

 As you can see we had a great time feeding the birds at the zoo. 
 Grandma joined the girls in a little silly couch time! 
I told my mom that we needed to get a few pictures of us together and yet this is the only one we took! Isn't it a beauty! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Father's Day

Oh this amazing, wonderful man! 
This picture captures how he is always up for fun with his kids and doing things to make me laugh and love him even more. This was taken at breakfast on Father's Day but I wish I could remember why he was doing this- I need to catch up with my life. 
Peter the greatest man! 


We were lucky enough that Jon and Joseph were both able to go to scout camp this year. Jon does not turn 12 until December but Peter volunteered to go as a leader for half of the week (the assistant scout master could not stay the whole week) and the other leaders were willing to take Jon along. 
 They both had a great time! This was Joseph's third year at camp and so he was able to do some really fun merit badges including the climbing one. 
 It was really challenging for him - he does not love heights but he was brave and did great! 
 This picture makes me happy! 
 Good looking scouts! 
 The camp is called Slippery Falls and these are the falls! They are huge smooth rocks with water flowing over them and as you can see the boys loved it! Jon and Joseph both managed to tear their swimming suits riding the falls- this seems to be the favorite story from camp. 
 I was lucky enough to be asked to be a lifeguard at Girls' Camp. 
It was so much fun, while it lasted! 
 The lip sync night was so much fun! 
Later that night we were helping the stake leaders with a few things when they informed us that their was a situation that needed some attention. A few girls had been found to have head lice. They had treated 2 girls. One particular ward had 2 really bad cases. As we were checking all 36 girls, I was asked to treat one of those really bad cases. By the time I got back the total was 11 cases. It was late when I went to bed and the leaders from that ward were at their wits end and the stake leaders were trying to decide what the best course of action would be. It had been a long day and I was on my way to change into my pajamas when I was walking past the building between my cabin and the bathrooms, it was as if time slowed down. (that was a run on sentence so I will start a new one) As I walked past the window, I saw one of those ward leaders getting a blessing from 2 of the priesthood brethren that were up there.  I can not adequately put into words the calm and peace that I felt and could see in her face.  I wanted to run to all of the girls in the camp and bring them over so that they could see and feel what I was. This was what the gospel was all about- the power of the priesthood and the calm and peace that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. I was so very touched but kept walking and in the next room, which is an open air room, I saw and heard the stake leaders with heads bowed and the high councilman over the young women praying out loud for guidance to know what to do.  These women had put countless hours into this event and some of the best was yet to come- most of the really good spiritual activities.  But again, I was carried along on a spirit of peace and calm. 
The next morning the rest of the leaders were told and at least 5 mores cases of lice were found between 2 other wards (some wards did not even check) and it was decided to head home by that night. We spent the day doing a few activities and packing. It was a sad end to a wonderful camp! 

But the other most powerful part of this story is my own personal experience with prayer and priesthood that next morning. Peter called me early Thursday morning (6:30) from his camp and was not in good shape. He had made it to camp the night before and had a great night and a good run that morning. As he was showering, he had a sudden and horrible pain in his flank down to his groin. He has had this pain one other time 3 years ago when he passed his first kidney stone. I could not believe it- he was suffering and I was far away and did not have a car to even go to him if I wanted to. As soon as he told me, I said immediately to find Kelly (our ward's scoutmaster) and get a blessing and keep me posted. I explained to him the situation at Girls' Camp quickly and told him I would call in about 30 minutes.  I went to relay a message to some other ward leaders from the stake and as I did so I said a heartfelt sincere prayer- I plead with Heavenly Father. We were serving and trying to help out so that there would be 2 leaders at scout camp and I had certified as a lifeguard and had my mother come for a week so that I could go to girls camp; Peter was suffering and I was far away and we really needed a blessing. I got a text saying that Peter was heading to the ER with a leader from another ward. I called Peter shortly thereafter and he sounded like an entirely different man.  I asked what medications they had given him and he said none. I was so confused.  He told me that he received a blessing, wen to the mess hall and started throwing up, the decision was made to head to the ER and as he climbed into the car the pain vanished.  Not just a lull in between waves of pain but gone. My eyes filled with tears- I knew that this was our miracle.  Miracles still happen and our faith in the priesthood and prayer can lead to many miracles. 
This was long but I never want to forget this and when I then prayed to Heavenly Father in sincere gratitude I promised I would share these experiences with anyone who would listen and testify always of His goodness and power. 
 So you might wonder what these 2 pictures have in common? 
The above is from camp- all of the girls were given black trash bags to put their stuff in. SO MANY black trash bags!! 
But those bags lead to these other bags. I was able to come home early which meant extra time with my mom! We went shopping of course- just the girls! So much FUN! Then my mom helped me clean out all of this from my closet! Oh it felt so good! 
Since my lifeguard certification is good for 2 years, I will get to go to camp again next year and hopefully it will not be shortened by a pest like lice! And Jon will get to go to camp and love it again and Joseph will get to go to high adventure! Time flies and I love all of these great experiences we are having! 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dance Recital 2017

Arabella has become a beautiful dancer and I love watching her perform and have so much fun with her dancing friends. 

 Her dance was "Greensleeves" and they all performed so gracefully! 

 The proud parents! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

End of School Activities

Joseph won an award in his English class! 

 So many kids earned awards! 
 Lily had the BEST year at CCDC in her PreK 5 class. 
We are so thankful for Mrs. Petershiem and Mrs. Horvath. 
 Arabella had a great end of the year with Ms. Sam who took over for Ms. Baumgardner after she retired mid-year. 
 He has grown so much! 5 ft. 9 in. and did really well in 7th grade! Look out 8th grade here comes Joseph! 
 Jon had a great graduation from 5th grade. (We had a complete one of these cakes left over afterwards. Next time we will order less cake.)
 Look at that handsome boy!

 Jon and Mrs. Costen. She was Joseph's teacher too and I hope that I have a few more kids who are lucky enough to get her. She does such an amazing job with 5th graders! 
Jon and Emmerson! 
 Jon and his mom in a bit of an awkward pose but we are smiling and love each other! 
 Arabella says farewell to 2nd grade, which she rocked in style! Lookout 3rd grade she is coming! 
 Jon learned alot this year both academically, socially, and spiritually. I am proud of him and the choices he made this year especially the hard ones. He did amazingly well on his state testing too. He only missed 4 questions between all 3 tests! 
We really did not know what to do to celebrate the end of the school year and in the end we settled on: a nacho bar, finishing the last Fablehaven book, and ice cream sundaes! 2016-17 school year we loved you and all that you taught us! 2017-18 we expect big things from you!