Sunday, June 30, 2013

4/5 Camp

Instead of a laid back week of popsicles and the pool, somehow we ended up spending our first full week of summer vacation with four of our five kids attending camps this past week.  I wish I could say that that fact meant that it was a relaxing and quiet week for me with the kids out of the house, but in reality all the driving around to the camps meant that it ended up being about as chaotic and exhausting as any normal school week.  

Adam spent the week at Cub Scout day camp, which essentially was eight hours a day times five days  filled with friends, archery, hiking, passing off requirements, bugs, nature, and swimming.  It was right up Adam's alley and he thoroughly enjoyed his week.

 I chaperoned on Wednesday and gained a great appreciation for how amazingly organized and patient our scout leaders are.  Boy, can 10-year-old boys be squirrelly!

Ellie had never been to a camp before, so when her friend invited her to join her for a sports camp the same week as Adam's day camp, I decided to let her give it a try.    She was torn between doing lacrosse (to follow in her older siblings' footsteps) or doing cheerleading with her friends.  In the end though,  her friends won out and she had a fun week of jumping around and learning cheers....something that was not a stretch at all for  Ellie's bubbly and happy personality!

This video of their performance made me smile.  


And finally Spence and Cami spent the weekend at Youth Conference!   It was Cami's third year of attending and Spence's fifth and final year!   Glen was in charge of the transportation and logistics for the conference, which meant that it was a lot of stress leading up to the actual conference.

It all came together beautifully in the end and both Spence and Cam had a wonderful time performing service, doing temple work, and building friendships!

One of their favorite parts of YC was their tubing trip at Harper's Ferry.

They couldn't stop raving about how breathtakingly beautiful it was there and I now want to take our family back there for a tubing trip of our own!


And what about this pretty girl?
Her excitement for the week was supposed to be getting braces, but a little insurance glitch discovered mere minutes before getting them on made it necessary for us to wait a few more months.   She was a little bummed for the last minute shift in plans, but I, for one, am glad that the glitch was discovered before the ortho started working instead of after


Thursday, June 27, 2013

"I think I broke my big toe..."

said two of my kids within 24 hours of each other.

Spence injured his right big toe playing soccer barefoot on the beach.   His entire toe was black and blue and swollen.  Meanwhile, in another state, Cami injured her left big toe playing lacrosse barefoot in the side yard.  The area right above her big toe got very swollen and had some mild bruising.  Both of them were in quite a bit of pain.
I know that breaking your toe isn't normally that big of a deal, but since Cami is heading to lacrosse camp next week and our doc said that big toes are the one exception to the "no big deal" rule since they're weight bearing toes, we figured we'd better get them checked out.

Both Spencer and Cami found it wildly funny when I took them both to the doctor at the same time and everyone (including the nurse, the doctor, and the xray tech) were all amused and somewhat confused by the duplicity of their injuries.

Turns out Spence has a relatively minor fracture in the first joint of his big toe and Cami's was just a bad sprain.  No casts needed and Cam is cleared for lacrosse camp.  Both were relieved not to spend their summer hobbling around any more than they already are!

Meanwhile this week also finds us swamped with a swim meet, 2 camps, a day of chaperoning, Glen's birthday, lots of carpool driving, an almost new set of braces, and loads and loads of Youth Conference stress!  Hopefully I'll have time to blog more about it soon....


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Then and Now

 Although I spent the last few weeks of school longing for the more laid back schedule of summer, I find myself now struggling  to adjust to the non-routineness of summer life.  I forgot  how late the kids stay up each night without early morning seminary to wake up for and my body doesn't know what to do with the varying dinner times that range from anywhere between 5-8pm each night.

I keep thinking of  a long list of exciting things to blog about (exciting being a relative term), but until I regain my mostly functioning brain again and figure out what day of the week it is, this then-and-now picture of Spencer will have to do.

I will give a special prize to the first person who correctly determines the location where these pictures were taken nearly sixteen years apart.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Sweetest Father's Day Tradition

We have a long-standing Father's Day tradition in our family that is sweet as can be....
 literally and figuratively...

Every year I take the kids to the store let the kids pick out as much candy as they want, so they can create the silliest note ever!    
Much to the happiness of the kids, as long as no one touches his Butterfingers, Daddy doesn't mind sharing.  


Here is the translation of this year's note (this year they threw in a couple of other random items that I bought at Target--hence the cucumber seeds and Les Mis CD):

Dear POPtarts,
HELLO I JUST WANNA SAY THANK YOU for not being a CUCUMBER SEED.  We're glad you found mommy.  She thinks you're a HOT TAMALE and you guys make a great DUO.  We know you can't eat SWEDISH FISH (or any other kind of fish), so we siced you with an extra PAYDAY instead.  With your new found riches we suggest you TAKE 5 ANGRY BIRDS and make them SNICKERs.  No dad in the world brings more almond JOY to LES MISERABLES (cd) than you and anyone would be PLEASED TO MEET YOU.  In short, we love you even though you're a BUTTERFINGER and we'll always be your PEEPS.
Your 5 GOOBERS and mom


Past notes:
2009 (plus the healthy version)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another Graduate

Although not quite as momentous as graduating from high school, last week we hit another happy family milestone as Emma  graduated from elementary school!  She's been at this school since kindergarten and it was a special experience for her (and for us) to see her graduate.    It's been fun seeing how excited she is to take the next step in her life as she goes off to middle school this fall.

Here's a glimpse at her day:

Emma woke up extra early on her graduation day so that Cami would have plenty of time to do her hair in a fancy "sock bun."

It turned out gorgeously and I laughed to find out that there really is an actual sock in her hair for this hairdo.

They had a 6th grade award ceremony beforehand where Emma received a certificate of commendation for her participation in the All-County Chorus Festival.

Then she received her "diploma".

The ceremony was followed by a fun slideshow where they showed everyone as a child and now. The teachers picked the captions.  

Here is Emma with her fabulous teacher, Miss P!  

Afterward her and her friends hung out for a bit and we took lots of pictures. 

 Her friend Tonya's baby brother was the star of the show and all the girls were vying for a chance to get close to him.
And with that happy occasion we will now officially have kids in four different schools again next year.  (Spence at JMU, Cami in HS, Emma in MS, and Adam & Ellie still at the elementary school!)  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Odd Twists

 Check out this article below,  paying special attention to the final paragraph.

It's a tad random, especially considering that it appeared in the Washington Post, but, hey, at least it added a little levity to my news reading of the day and ensured that I did not forget that article.  

So the very next day after that article had appeared I woke up tasked to make a flier soliciting more help for youth conference. I started off making an average run-of-the-mill flier, which was fine but rather boring.  I hadn't gotten too far in the process when suddenly the thought struck me, "Hey, if newspaper columnists can throw unexpected twists into their otherwise boring articles....why not me too?"    Thus the "odd twist" youth conference flier was born:

What can I say?

I thought it was hilarious when I made it, but when Spencer laid eyes on it (after it had been passed out to the entire congregation) he informed me that it was the "cheesiest flier" he'd ever seen in his entire life and that I should not be allowed to try to be funny ever again.     

Cheesy or not though, it got way more response than my emails asking for help ever did (and it was rather fun to create in the meantime).

And in an odd twist, the shoes I wore yesterday perfectly matched the ink on the flier.   It was uncanny.  


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Photographic Evidence that My Dad is Awesome

My dad came to town a couple of weeks ago to set my brother Pete apart as a high priest.  It was a super quick trip where we only got to spend a few hours with him, so we had to maximize our time together.  We got all of us DC area siblings together (Pete, Matt, AnnaLisa, and I) and went to my dad's favorite type of restaurant...a buffet!    The kids were fascinated with the all-you-can-eat concept and made sure to take advantage of the unlimited dessert supply.  Ellie didn't sit still much during our stay there, but when she did sit, she preferred it to be as close to grandpa as possible!

Afterward we headed to our house and made sure to take as many goofy pics as possible...

We kids like to tease my dad that he has equal parts blood and Mountain Dew running through his veins and although we don't drink much soda in our house sometimes I wonder if my dad had ever slipped some Code Red Mountain Dew into Spence's IV back in the day.

And maybe Ellie's too (even though she's never had an IV)...

Truly my dad is amazing and I am grateful for the way he raised us and the values he taught us.

We love you Dad/Grandpa!

Happy Father's Day!   
PS  Glen's dad is awesome too, but because he's a bit more camera and travel shy than my dad,  we don't have any recent pictures of him.

Never mind...Grandma Peggy just sent us one!  
Here is Glen's Dad.  We don't see him often, but love and miss him! 

Happy Father's Day!  

PS#2  Glen's Father's Day post will come another day

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spencer's Graduation Day!

If there is one thing I've learned about graduations over the last couple of weeks is that they're exhausting both physically and emotionally.  

And two in a row have just about done me in.  

I had grand intentions of writing a sappy and meaningful post about all the emotions we've gone through over the last few days, but alas that would have stretched me beyond my mental capacity right now, so tonight you just get the quick recap and pictures.  


Here's a look at Graduation #1...
Spencer's graduation from high school! 

Here he is getting his diploma...

As is 100% Spencer's style, he waited all of 13.6 seconds to make himself more comfortable after the ceremony was over. 

The tossing of the caps.   
I only saw one person get  pelted by a cap that came at her from behind.  
Luckily the caps aren't as hard or as sharp as they were back in the olden days when I wore one, so she survived. 

The program with Spencer's name along with the names of the 338 other graduates...

Cami was part of the entertainment crew....

Ellie couldn't resist getting a little something for the grad, although I daresay I think she was hoping that he might share with her....
We walked out of the arena to skies like this.   
Luckily we didn't realize there was a tornado warning in our area at the time or we probably would've freaked out a bit, but as it was it mostly missed us.

Happy kids in the car on the way home...
Afterward we went out for a celebratory dinner at Cheesecake Factory!  
(never mind my closed's a curse)

There we had a graduation toast with our water glasses...

and we ate cheesecake...of course! 

Stay tuned for a blogpost on graduation #2  coming soon!  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So proud...

Sleep is a precious commodity when you're a teenager, so you can imagine what a feat it is to wake up more than an hour earlier than most of your classmates to be at the church by 5:55am to study the scriptures!   This amazing group of teens has done just that each and every school day for FOUR WHOLE YEARS!

Other than the half-year he missed while he was in the hospital, Spence has rarely missed a day.  

He had to do a lot of make-up work to get credit for the days he missed while he was in the hospital, but I am proud to say that he did it!  He earned his  early morning seminary diploma!

Here he is with his fellow Vienna ward class of 2013 graduates!  (Brandon, Ryan, and Janessa)
We are so proud of Spence and the other seniors!  You guys are awesome!


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