Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Summer Bucket List

So, a while ago I saw a summer fun list idea (probably on Pinterest).  We decided to compile one.  We spent a couple weeks adding things to our list and last night we each chose two that we really want to do and put these on our official Family Bucket List.  The rest we might get to do as well, but these we will make a special effort to accomplish.

And below is the list we originally compiled (although we are constantly adding more).  The ones that made it to the official list are in red text.  We actually had two last night that were not on our original list:  Make rock candy, and summer Thankful Wall.

Get a wading pool and sit in it

Have a water balloon fight

Make a surprise for someone

Blow bubbles

Paint a painting together. 

Come up with a family catch phrase

Pull someone else's weeds

Six flags

Rangers game

Cats game

Invite a family we don't know to play games

Make a movie together

Make a family newsletter 

Create a silly holiday: donuts?

Dance in the rain

Make mirror faces

Code names for a day

Watch the sunset while drinking root beer floats

Family flag

Family song with music video

Spend an hour playing with jazz

Flashlight tag

Fly a kite and sing the song

Chapter book together

Sit on the book chair and take pictures

Make a photo booth and take silly pictures 

Secret family member

Climb a tree

Become ninja masters

Do one of the library days

Have lunch at the airport

Have a girls night and a boys night. 

Write letters to service men

Progressive dinner 

Improv night

Make a music CD

Individual stepping stones
Drive-In Theater
We are so loving having A here.  She completes our family perfectly.  I haven't yet taken many pictures, but here she is with V.  I tried to get them both doing push-ups at the same time, but I just couldn't quite capture it.  :)

 I love how they love each other.  Good thing: They share a room!  They are both light sleepers and I think sharing means they both wake up a little earlier, but 2/2 nights they have both slept all through the night!  :)  We are so blessed.

Speaking of being blessed and speaking of Memorial Day, I am so grateful for all that have given their lives for me and my family and the freedoms that we enjoy.  I am also grateful for all the families that are currently separated as one of them is currently defending our liberties and freedom.  How blessed we are indeed.  I am grateful.  I am grateful that I don't even know what it is like to not have these freedoms.  I am grateful.  So grateful to our veterans of all wars.  We are blessed.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

K's 8th grade Awards - I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!!!

Thursday night was K's 8th grade awards.  Here is V waiting for the ceremony to begin.
 It was like a mini-graduation also.  They had many students speak of the places they have been and the places they will go.  One speech that particularly touched me talked about the stories that have been written over the last three years.  They each first came through those doors to the school as one person and will leave as different people.  They all have different stories to tell.  Stories of sports, friends, hardships.  Stories of classes, funny times, and challenges.  At the end, the speaker challenged them to pick up the pen as they begin this new chapter of high school and write a story worth reading.  Well said.  Well said.
 Here is K entering to sit down with her class, again in alphabetical order.
 Here is K as her name is being read for all her awards!!!  This school really has a lot to say about my kiddos.  So proud.
 My camera for some reason decided to delay the picture and I missed the handshake, but it at least took it of K up there with her principal.
 I was sitting on the aisle where they walked down to return to their seats.  I got to capture this one as she walked back.  So proud of her!
 These are K's best friends, J and C.  They are great girls and I am so pleased that she has chosen her friends well.
 My girl!
 I took one of K with her dad.  I think it is so important to have him on here as much as possible, too, as this is our family history through blogging and when he is part of it, I want it captured.
 Another of K's best friends, G.
 Since I had V and all of our things at the ceremony, K and I took a picture together after we got home.  Kind of cheesy, but it is us! for the list of K's awards:
  • A/B Honor Roll (All A's and B's all year long)
  • UIL  1st place Dictionary Skills
  • Coyote Circle:  Lone Star Reading Recognition (Reading outside of class 14 books and passing tests on district sponsors this)
  • Coyote Circle:  Pre-AP Science (Coyote Circle:  Student is selected by each individual's teacher's criteria for academic recognition)
  • Coyote Circle:  Speech
  • Coyote Service Award (Based on written recommendations from 8th grade teachers; students are honored for outstanding school commitment, pride, and service to the school.)
  • Top Coyote: Young Author / English (One boy and one girl are selected as Top Coyotes for each core subject:  English, Science, Social Studies, Math)

 SOOOOOOOOOOOO cool!  Way to go, K!!!
 K is beautiful and smart!  I am so proud of her!  Look at all these awards!  So cool.  Poor J has to follow in both hers and C's footsteps.  I hope all my kids know that I am so proud to be their Mama, awards or not.  Trying your best is what I expect.  No more.  No less.  I am so proud of their accomplishments, but that is because I know how hard they have worked.  If they had worked so hard and no one knew it, I would be equally (maybe even more) proud.

For example, K has worked her tail off in Algebra.  She has worked and worked and worked.  Not much has been said about this, but I am so proud of her.  She began the year trying to float by as she always has in math.  When she started getting B's, she took it upon HERSELF to work and study and she does.  She has had great success and much improvement in Algebra and I am so proud of her.  So proud of her and there is no award that could demonstrate that pride.  She didn't get an award for math, but I think that is where I am most proud!!!

On another note, these pictures were taken after the awards on Thursday, so I am including them in this post:
 Here is V.  Cheesy.  Cheesy.  Cheesy!!!!!  This is not the most flattering look for her, but it is how she smiles at us lately and it just cracks us up.  She squints her little face and smiles.  It is funny to watch.
 I love how she enjoys her daddy.  They are both so happy!
Another cheesy smile, but at least I can see her eyes.  :)  Love her!

Don't I have a great life?  I love my kids.  I love them all.  I am so blessed.  At this very minute, A and CK are driving home from the airport!  I get to have all 5 kids together for two weeks.  Can you say E.X.C.I.T.E.D?!?!?!?  We have had a countdown on our wall all month.  J, in particular, has been counting down the days for A to get here!  So cool!  So blessed.  Happy Life!

K's Choir Concert and Awards

 Also on Tuesday, K had her choir concert / choir awards.  Tuesdays, as you know, are already crazy...but this one didn't turn out too bad.  C's baseball practice was canceled due to the severe storms earlier in the day.  J is done with football, so no practice for him.  K had her concert, so obviously could not go to YW.  It ended up being just scouts and choir concert.  Not too bad, although they were at the same time.  Thank goodness for two drivers.

K, J, and I headed to the choir concert since K had to be there early.  CK took V with him to drop off C at the church.  CK and V got there just after it started.  After the first song, however, there was a technical difficulty with the music CD and that lasted about 15 minutes.  CK and I started to worry that he would not get to see K sing at all.  He did.  He had to leave before the awards to pick up C, though.  This time he took J and I kept V.  It worked well.

So, here is K before leaving for the concert.  Isn't she sooooooooooooo gorgeous?  Look at those perfect features!  Look at her beautiful hair, eyes, cheeks, lips!  She is so pretty!

 Since their concert was 50's and 60's, they were supposed to wear something from the era.  I made her this poodle skirt.  It was cute.  After getting there, I think I left it a little long.  -sigh-  Oh well!

 Singing away!  They sounded great!
 K got three different awards.  First, she got citizenship for her great citizenship both in choir and in all her classes.  Then, she got 3-year choir award.  This was special since she really has worked so hard the last three years at choir.  It was kind of cool because Mr. Q was her 6th grade teacher at her first middle school.  He now also works at her current school so he was helping hand out awards.  She got to have both her 6th grade, as well as her 1/2 7th and all of 8th grade choir teachers there.  Cool.

Finally, she was also nominated for outstanding 8th grader...voice, citizenship, leadership, and attitude.  Her teacher nominated a few from each grade and then the students chose the winner.  She actually had seen the list of winners earlier so she wasn't shocked that the award went to another girl.  It was just such an honor to be nominated!!!  She even got a certificate for that.  :)

She did so well.  I am so proud of her. Her voice has gone from being mediocre in 5th grade to AMAZING in 8th grade.  I love to hear her sing.  It is beautiful.  I am so glad that she is my daughter.  I am so humbled  by her talents and all that she teaches me.  I am blessed.  So very blessed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

C is amazing!!!

C is one amazing kid.  He has always been one of those kids that did well at almost everything he tried.  He tries art.  Nails it.  He plays sports.  He is pretty good.  He plays the trumpet.  Does great.  He tried theater and was named Best Actor in the district.  He has straight A's.  He works hard and is very organized and the fruit of his labors is amazing grades.

Tuesday, he had his awards ceremony.  I love the way this middle school does awards.  All the students that are receiving awards are seated in alphabetical order, then each student's name is called and all the awards they receive are given at once.  It is much more efficient than having each set of awards called and people come up out of their seats, once, twice, three times, etc...  I really love it.

So, when I got there, I looked at the program.  HOLY COW!!!!  He got a million awards.  Wow!  I was such a proud Mama.

Then, as I am sitting there, waiting for the ceremony to begin, I glance at the front of the program.  Guess who is giving the welcome?  Yep, C!  Wow! he is welcoming everyone:

 All the students sit on one side and wait for their names to be called.  Once their awards are received, they sit on the other side of the gym until the event is over.  So smooth.

Here he is waiting.
 And, finally, his turn.  I have another funny picture of both he and the principal waiting as they read all of the awards that he received.  This one is better, though.

This is what they read for him:
  • A Honor roll (all A's all year)
  • Outstanding Ensemble Performance (Band)
  • 2nd Place One Act Play 
  • Best Actor One Act Play
  • Coyote Circle: Literature (Coyote Circle:  Student is selected by each individual's teacher's criteria for academic recognition)
  • Coyote Circle:  Lone Star Reading (Reading outside of class 14 books and passing tests on district sponsors this)
  • Coyote Circle:  Math
  • Coyote Circle:  Social Studies
  • Top Coyote:  Mad Scientist/Science (One boy and one girl are selected as Top Coyotes for each core subject:  English, Science, Social Studies, Math)
  • Top Coyote:  Young Author/English  (YEP!  ANOTHER Top Coyote!)

 No wonder they were waiting a while!
 I know C was a little embarrassed, but I am so proud of him.  He is pleased with himself, too.  I really felt as I sat there that a lot of his success comes from his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 This is one of C's best friends, M.  He is a good kid.  I am so glad that C chose well for his friends!

 And, here are all those awards!  I covered up his name, but I think that the titles of most of the awards is visible.
Great job, C!  I love you! I am glad you are my son. You do great work and I am proud of you.  Keep it up!

P.S.  Grandparents:  I grabbed an extra copy of the program to send to you.  :)  Unfortunately, they didn't have any extra of K's ceremony, so I might have to copy that one to send. 

16 Years Ago

So...I have at least three posts that I WILL write...awards, choir, and more awards.  Such a fun time of year!  Not only have I been busy with the school stuff, but also with organizing Cub Scout Twilight Camp for 24 boys (turns out only 19 will actually be attending).  Organizing - as in collecting all the paperwork for each boy and chaperone and planning chaperone days, etc.. I am not planning the camp.  -Phew-  Still, it is a hefty amount of work and has been for the last six weeks.  Between the Council requiring more things and changing their mind on things and some of the parents not getting me the stuff I have requested, it is literally a nightmare.  Oh, and I am teaching Relief Society this week, so I am preparing my lesson as well.

Since it is Friday List-less Day, I have also been touching up the paint around our home.  I hate it when it gets dirty and we still have builder's flat paint in most of our home.  I love the cleanness of freshly re-painted walls!

But, all that said, I am taking a break to post about something near and dear to my heart.

16 years ago today, I married XDH in the Mount Timpanogos Temple.  It was then that I changed my name and joined a wonderful family.  I had no idea the heartaches that would lie ahead and it is better that way.  I married a good man.  He is still a good man.  We have three great kids together.  He is a great dad.  I am so grateful that he takes care of our children so well. 

I think, looking back, I would not change a thing.  Even though my heart ended up broken, I came to know my Savior in a way I never could have without it.  Even though we ended up divorced, I have in-laws that will forever be mine and I cherish them.  Even though divorce stinks for kids and it isn't easy to go back and forth, my kids now have three parents that love them and CK and XDH bring different strengths to their lives and I am grateful for both dads. 

And, while the heartache has been brutal, look at where I ended up!  I am so happy!  I have CK and V, both of whom I would not have without the divorce.  I have a life that is better than I ever could have imagined.  My blessings far, far, far outweigh the heartaches.  My tears of sorrow have truly been replaced a thousand-fold with tears of joy.  Heavenly Father keeps His promises and He does not leave you alone.  His timing is hard to wait for, but so worth it.  He knows what He is doing and I am truly in awe of how blessed I am.

I will always remember this day with a little sorrow, for I did not have a clue that 12 1/2 years down the road, we would be divorced and life would be very different than the way I planned.  Yet, I am grateful for XDH and the years of joy we had together.  He is a hard-worker, dedicated, and compassionate.  He is smart, funny, and a great chiropractor.  He is a good man.  I continue to be grateful for the way he takes care of our kids and for the way we have such an amiable divorce.  I am so blessed.  So very blessed.  Life is good.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Praying for Peace for others and Safety for us.

My heart is broken over the tragic tornado activity yesterday in Oklahoma. It is still broken over the other tragedies that have happened around the country and the world in recent months.

And now....the threats are close to home today. I know the forecasters are being extra vigilant due to yesterday's disasters, but the threat is here and real nonetheless.

We have a busy afternoon and evening and if the school events go on, I will go too.

If there is still a 6th grade award ceremony, I will go at 2:50.

If there is still an end of year choir concert, I will go at 6:30.

I will always support my kids UNLESS the Spirit directs differently...and we WILL stay home, grade or no grade. He always knows what he is talking about. It is nice to have him on my side.

I just know that "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.". I want my family near me just in case, but otherwise I am calm. So blessed. So blessed indeed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow??

 I went out and was working in our garden this morning.  It has been about two months since we planted and things are sure growing.  :)

 We love tomatoes and these two plants are sure growing...into trees it seems like.  The one on the right died completely in a freeze.  It just shriveled up and died.  I thought for sure I was going to have to buy a new plant, but all-of-a-sudden, there were green shoots coming up from the roots around the dead plant.  I trimmed off the dead and waited to see what happened.  Isn't nature miraculous?
 Our corn is very funny.  It is tall on one end and then gets progressively smaller.  It is like stadium seating.  We cannot figure out exactly why it is like this....especially since it is the tall corn that has lost a lot of soil (the garden boxes are on a slope).
 Yellow Squash
 Tomato (We have eaten some cherry tomatoes from the other plant, but the bigger tomatoes are not ripe yet).
 Something (someone) else is growing!  She loves to sit out on the patio while I work on the garden.

 And look at that green grass!  It is beautiful.  I love it so much.  Thanks, CK, for making our home so beautiful.  C also mows frequently, so thanks, C, too!

I almost forgot our baby blackberry bush.  I thought we wouldn't get berries this year, but....nature surprised me again!  We won't have many, but we will have a few!

We are blessed that we have a garden.  We are trying to be obedient and plant one, take care of it, and reap the harvest.  So many lessons to teach our kiddos and ourselves.  (And it tastes great, too!)

8 Months Old and yet another Sports Saturday

V turned 8 months yesterday!  So hard to believe that she is already 8 months old!  She is such a big girl.  I love her so much and I love being her mama.
 Being an 8-month-old means you want to grab everything.  Above is my first attempt to distract her and take her picture with her number.  Yep.  That worked well (sarcasm, of course!).
 She then rolled over and I tried to prop the picture next to her.  There is a series of funny pictures.  This one is the best.  No smile (she was concentrating so hard on how to get the paper!).
Finally, I had to include her push ups while looking at the paper.  It is a little difficult to see because she is wearing a dress, but look at the angle of those legs!!!

Her mobility is just so fun to watch.  I have never had a roller, but she still just rolls everywhere.  She also continues the push-up thing, although now she has figured out she has to get on her knees to move, so she will do a push up, fall to her knees and then be stuck, so she just flops to her belly and rolls.

A comes in 5 days.  I think it would be fun if she got to witness V beginning to actually crawl.  I'd love it if she could see the rolling and the push-ups too.

Oh my!  I am so blessed.  Life is good.  I get the yuckies occasionally and I am just grumpy / slightly depressed for no reason...I have an amazing life and I really cannot complain about anything, so I am just working through those yuckies.  :)  I am truly blessed!

I almost forgot to include a few pictures from the weekend:
It was J's last football game, so we took the coaches a little treat.  I am so grateful for these men that are so dedicated, that obviously love Christ and love these boys.  We have never used Upward before, but I loved this year.  I am so grateful for the extra boost of spirituality that it gives J.  We are not the same religion, but we share so much truth. I am grateful.

Here he is running with the ball.  After quite a few touchdowns and great defense throughout the year, he has struggled his last two games.  Maybe he is just ready to be done.
Going after the boy with the ball.
And, here is C, playing baseball later in the day.  Both teams struggled with pitching.  I think this is the first age-group with player pitch and it is difficult.  This swing ended up being a foul ball, tipped behind him, but I loved this picture anyway.  It was a hot one, as evidenced by my red arms and pink face.  I got sunscreen on the kiddos, but I was in the shade (or so I thought)....oops.

It was such a busy sports Saturday with J's game at 10:30, C's pictures at 1:15 (30 minutes away) and then his game at 2:00.  I am impressed with their dad and his taking them without complaint.  I know from experience that this was a lot for him, as well as K who didn't play in any of the sports.  Their dad is really a great dad and I am so grateful.  He has improved by leaps and bounds and I know that this enhances my kids' lives.  They are so blessed to have three parents that love them (maybe four someday).