Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sisters. . .

Today Lindsay and Alie went horseback riding together with Miss Clare. Lindsay was excited to share her "love" with her sister. They spent the day riding in the arena and on a trail, feeding the horses apples, grooming and cleaning, playing fetch with the dog, playing in the barn, getting dirty, "washing" in the pool, and being together. I took some pictures before I set them free into "the country". When I picked them up around 4:30, they asked if they could stay outside until dark. After dinner, they all went out and drew an elaborate solar system with chalk all over the street. When darkness came, their hands and clothes were dark with dirt, chalk, and asphalt. Ahhh, Summer nights.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Daddy . . .

Happy Father's Day Daddy!! We love you!! Here are a dozen reasons why (the kids came up with these) . . .
1. You are always happy in the morning.
2. You are a very fast runner!
3. You are an extraordinary story teller.
4. Jackie loves you the best because you are.
5. You are funnier than anyone else's dad.
6. You make up unique "stinky" word combinations.
7. You love us like no other person can.
8. You help us with things that are difficult.
9. You play games and sports with us.
10. Mosquitos do not bite us when you are around.
11. You teach us scripture stories and about God.
12. You never forget to put your dishes in the sink.

The kids love to tickle your feet, especially when you are sleeping,
(or pretending to sleep).

Justin steering the "ship" in a storm after a great story.
I think Lindsay said it best in her card, "You have been a fantastic daddy this year."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scout Hike. . .

The scouts hiked to Mt. San Jacinto on Friday. They hiked 8 miles from the cars to the summit. This took about 6 hours. The hike back down to the campsite was another 6 miles. They set up their tents and made dinner. When Alan went in the tent, Ry was asleep, with an untouched flour tortilla, still in his hand from dinner. This night was our 16th wedding anniversary. I am glad Alan was able to be there with Ryan. The altitude was pretty hard on most of the boys, many had stomach issues and headaches. It was a hard trail to tread, but worth it, so they say.
The elevation at the peak of Mt. San Jacinto is 10,834.

The Pack with their "packs".
My "Trooper"
The Scenery
The Trail
The Sleeping Quarters
The Peak
The "New Height"
The View from the Top

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Helping Hands . . .

I hesitated to publish this post because of the sensitivity of the subject. I usually would not record service performed, but this experience today was so wonderful for our family, and I wanted to be able to remember it. We were able to go down to the Bishop's Storehouse and help serve there. We were there from 9:30 - 3:30. The kids amazed us by loving the work, helping fill orders, and restocking shelves. I was not sure they would be able to last for the whole shift, but the feeling there was amazing . . . so much love. We met some very nice people and families, many with young children. I brought my camera along, put it in the pocket of my apron, and snapped a few shots when there weren't any patrons in the store. I tried to be as quick and discreet as possible, as not to offend anyone, hence some heads are cut off. The senior missionaries made us lunch for our afternoon break, and entertained us with their humor. We left there filling so much gratitude for being able to serve. I think that we got much more out of the experience than those whom we helped. Ryan worked so hard opening boxes with his box cutter ( he loved this ), restocking shelves, following the map around the storehouse, and filling out checklists. He was sad to have the shift end.
Lindsay and Alie were my lifesavers. As each new customer would come in and hand me their order, I would read the items, and they would retrieve them. If it was 4 cans of peaches, they would each get two, and the customer and I would load them in the boxes. We became an efficient team. They loved weighing the fruits and veggies. Every apple was inspected for bruising. Lindsay is going to make 12 horses very happy on Saturday with those "damaged" apples! ( 2 trash bags full ). The girls also helped with restocking and making sure that everything stayed organized, including all the labels facing in the right direction. (Alie particularly enjoyed this.) Alan had Justin, who was such a good little helper. No really. He truly stepped up to the plate. He followed directions, and helped measure the appropriate weight of fruit in each bag. ( 5 lbs.) He also helped restock the refrigerator and move all of the empty boxes with a little cart. The smaller pieces of boxes he carefully folded in half and disposed of. After we were done, we headed straight to 31 flavors for some ice cream. I couldn't help but feel a little guilty. The storehouse was wonderful, the produce was perfect, the shelves immaculate, but no ice cream, and as a patron pointed out, no bacon. What a great day for a large dose of a new perspective. . .

It's Official. . .

Last Thursday, the kids had their last day of school and we officially started our summer!!

Some summer data - The camera: put away. My house: well-lived in. The weather: June gloomy. Books: read with hot cocoa. Bike rides and walks: check. Computer games played: double check. Friends: gathered. Late nights: together. Swimming: daily exercise. New Movies: watched. Neck: stiff. "Our" time: lunch date and temple. Caitlyn camp: so fun.
No homework: a blessing. Our tummies: well- fed.

Three of Miss Lawson's Cheeky Boys on the last day of school: Carter with his spider, Justin and Quinn with their grasshoppers.(Justin's grasshopper lived for 4 days on his cheek. We had to carefully wash around it.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slippery When Wet . . .

Saturday. . . The 10K Mud Run at Camp Pendleton.  Team headband went patriotic this year in honor of the 65th anniversary of D-Day.  Each tank top had the name of one of the 5 beaches the allied troops stormed at Normandy.  The kids and I went to watch him this year.  They loved watching the team dive and belly flop into the mud pit.  It was great to be there to watch them finish.  The tanks, army men, and firehoses were added attractions.

Clean, ducted taped up, breath right strips in place, and ready to race.

Alan in launching position
His dive, displaying his red shorts in mid air.
Fun, (to watch).
Team headband all dirtied up.
 I think the poses get better every year.

The girls enjoyed shave ice, while the boys showered.

American Idol. . .

Friday morning, before school, Alie had her 1st grade Patriotic performance.  Even though it was early (7:45 am), the kids displayed enthusiasm through salutes, marching, and singing.  After singing six cute little numbers, they had breakfast with their individual classrooms.  Lucky for us that it was early because Alan was able to see her sing and have "Dad's and donuts" w/ Justin all in one morning.  ( Alie with Makaela.)

Here is a little clip of one of the songs . . . 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A few more things to add from this week. . . 
"Dad's and Donuts" at Justin's preschool.  Alan wore his Green Eggs and Ham shirt and Justin wore his "Max" shirt (Where the Wild Things Are), two of his favorite books, (Justin's too).  They had a fun morning, eating breakfast together, and then burning off the calories by running around the little track. . . 

Nana was here for a few days.  She found moments to "hang" out and play between school performances and events, feeding missionaries, helping me through teeth trauma, and working on miscellaneous homework and reports.

Alison's Rainforest Project. . . Thursday, she gave an oral presentation on the Blue Morpho Butterfly.  She wanted to wear her blue dress to match.  (The fashion statement helped with the delivery:)
Ryan had "6th grade Olympics" at the Middle School on Friday.  They had different events to compete in.  He did hurdles and high jump.  The kids call him "moonshoes".  It was a fun morning of grass stains and gatorade.   We checked him out a little early from school, and Alan took him golfing for nine holes.  They love to have this kind of time together, good bonding time, I guess.  The later afternoon was topped off by putting in some service hours towards his Star for scouts.  Just the two of them went to Sister Felkin's house to do some powerwashing on her house. . . fun stuff!  He received his First Class last week.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Goin' Buggy. . .

Monday night was the third grade "Goin' Buggy" performance.  Nana was there to watch with us.  The best part about being a ladybug besides getting to sing in the microphone, is getting to do it with a friend.  She and Minnie were so excited to do this together.  I can still remember them as babies with their full heads of crazy hair. . . they are pretty cute little "ladies".

Here is a clip from the play . . .