Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fouth of July

A few days before the 4th we had Anthon and Rachel here for a few days while their parents were at girls' camp with their older daughters.  One day we went to Chick-fil-A to use their free kids' meals coupons from the summer reading program.
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Lee made scones for dinner one night.
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Summertime with friends!
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Haley looks pretty good with my sunglasses on!
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Rachel and Shanna enjoying dress up.
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The girls posing with Ila...Ila made their cute hats for their birthday.
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Also before we left for Utah Shanna, Haley and Elden were sick.  Shanna and Haley each had a random fever.  Elden did too, but he has spots on a lot of his body.  In Missouri our Bishop there (like a pastor) gave a powerful talk one Sunday about the priesthood power (God's power here on earth) and healing the sick by using that power.  Of course we are blessed with wonderful doctors and immunizations and medicine that are so helpful, and we should use what the Lord has blessed us with in these amazing times.  But more powerful than doctors and medicine is of course the power of God, and His priesthood.

Our friend who is a doctor looked at Elden and wasn't sure what rash type thing he had on his body.  Elden seemed fine other than that random fever so I didn't want to take him in.  Even when we had "free" healthcare with the Army I still didn't like going in! Anyway, Lee gave Elden and Shanna a blessing using the priesthood and in that they were promised that their bodies would start healing and they would get better.  Then next day you could tell that Elden's sores/rash was getting better!  I felt so thankful.  I am very grateful for good health. I was grateful too that they were better for our big trip to Utah!
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I haven't thrown in a picture of a great Sharp Shopper deal for a little while.  I should have bought more!  They were delicious!
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Fun at the park.  I am not sure if Anthon and Rachel were with us at this particular time, but we did take them to this park.
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We had a great 4th of July.  It was the first leg of our trip out west.  We left Thursday evening, on the 3rd, and drove all night to Iowa.  I wanted to leave at 6pm sharp, but we didn't get off till about 7pm or so.  Oh well.  Usually I'll get all worked up if we don't leave within 5 minutes of our departure time.  Thankfully I didn't do that this time.  The drive was good and we caravaned with Daniel and Amy here and there.  One stop we made was horrible.  Well, not really, actually.  We took an exit to get gas and take a bathroom break.  The gas station was by the interstate but we had to drive a little ways to access the gas station.  When we got there the gas station was closed.  Unknowingly we stopped at the exact same exit on the way home!  Argh.... Daniel and I called each other through the night to see where we were at which was fun.

While Clark was waiting for us to pull away he had some fun with the gummy bears.
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We were packed!  Seven people, seven bikes, seven sleeping bags, three suitcases, three coolers, lots of snacks and food, plus other random stuff.
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I spy with my little eye.....the St. Louis Arch!
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Lee wore these clothes all night driving.
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About 9am we met up with Lena and her family that were traveling from Mississippi.  I loved that we did not plan this but were able to meet up at a welcome center!
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We spent the day at my brother Sam's house. We pulled in at about 10am.  Five of us siblings were there.  The kids watched a couple of movies.  I went on a run, which was really nice.  As a part of my run I ran to a grocery store and bought a few things that I forgot to bring.  We also got to meet Sam and Shawna's new baby, Emma! 
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Later we went to a nearby park and spent a couple of hours there.  It was SO nice outside!  Perfect in the shade and hardly any bugs.  The cousins had a lot of fun. And so did I for that matter, talking with family!
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Appropriate play equipment for the 4th!
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Myself with two of my awesome sisters!  Missed you Lois and Steph! There are five girls and five boys in my family, if you were curious...
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Lillie is so cute!
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The kids also enjoyed the dirt/sand pile behind them.
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A family photo on the 4th.
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Much better.
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At Sam's.  He has a great deck out back! They did a yummy bbq dinner with hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and watermelon.  Sam also had a couple of coolers full of pop/soda that people could have throughout the day.  We don't drink a lot of pop, but we really like it.  The kids LOVED having free access to pop!
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Haley and some of the other kids enjoyed playing with this neighbor dog for a little while.
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Dessert time and almost fireworks time.
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Shanna LOVES babies and Shanna LOVES carrying babies.
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Love seeing cousins chat and hang out.  We don't see each other enough.
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Elden, you are so funny. 
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A little while after the fireworks we pulled out and headed towards Utah. Before we left, Shanna said she saw a cell phone on the ground.  It was dark out and I couldn't see a thing.  I told her to go out and get it.  Sure enough she picked up a cell phone.  Thankfully she saw it.  It was my sister's who was headed to Utah that night too!

Thanks Sam and Shawna for the awesome 4th.  It was great being with family!  I'm so grateful for this great country.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

June Wrap-Up

This summer has been a busy, fun one!  Here is a catch-up of our happenings the end of June.  Almost each Friday during the summer there are "free Friday" activities associated with the summer reading program.  One Friday we took the kids mini-golfing, for free of course!
June 20 2014 Minigolf

Lee really enjoys golfing.  He'll have to do it sometime this summer!
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Then it started raining.
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It was pouring and we went inside to get away from the rain.  Our friends, the Doller's, happened to be golfing that same night too!  The people at the mini-golf place were great and told us we could come back any time so the kids could do their free golf game.  Nice!
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The next day we went to the DC Temple for a ward Primary activity.  I did initiatories that morning and then went with the kids to the activity.  Lee helped the youth perform proxy baptisms for people who have died. First off we did a little tour by the temple and learned some fun facts. I think one of them was that Washington, DC temple property is the biggest property of any temple.  It's not the biggest temple, but it has the most land surrounding it.
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Each child touched the temple wall.
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Haley said she one of her favorite parts of the activity was touching the temple, and that she felt the spirit when she did.
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I can't wait to be in the temple with all of these great kids someday!  I love the temple so much.
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After going around the grounds a bit, having a tour at the visitor center and exploring a little, they sung in front of the Christus statue.
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We love the temple! We are grateful for the knowledge that because of Christ we can be an eternal family.
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For a while now the kids have been doing jobs at home to earn money. Each Saturday they get a job list.  There are four lists and they rotate through them (Elden has separate jobs for the time being).  When their jobs are done they get paid.  They also do jobs throughout the week because they are a member of the family and need to help out--for these they don't get paid.  The kids enjoy having some spending money and Cal bought a torch.  Too funny.
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My friend Angie recently had her first baby, a baby girl.  I got to see her baby the other day for the first time and she is so cute and little!  I did a little baby shower for her.  This baby sure is loved!  I think this was their third baby shower for this baby
June 24 2014 Angie Harris Baby Shower  Gerrol, Angie Kathy Walker, Ruth

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(Like my "bookshelf" in the background?  Someday I'll get around to changing it!)
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Shanna and Haley had a lot of fun handing the presents to Angie.  It was really cute.
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I did do a little decorating. 
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Towards the end of June Clark and Cal went to cub scout camp.  They really enjoyed the many activities, but in general weren't fond of how some of the other boys were acting.  They did have friends there so that was nice.  Though Cal does not want to go back next year.  One afternoon after scout camp I noticed Cal and Haley chatting away on the back porch.  I snuck in a couple of shots. I love this!
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And yet another project to do soon.....painting the table and chairs.  I should have done it awhile ago and I know it won't be expensive, but just haven't done it.
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The last day of camp they had an awards ceremony and some presentations. 
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Clark received first place on the archery shooting.
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And Cal received 2nd place for his group!
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Clark doing his skit.
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Cal in his skit.
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A couple days later, Saturday night, my brother Daniel and sister-in-law Amy came by.  They dropped their two younger kids off as they went to girls camp with their two oldest daughters.  We managed to squeeze in some family time before they took off at about 2am Monday morning to head to camp.
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We played Shark Bite.  I guess this isn't a very Sunday-ish game huh!
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Ila played something with the younger kids.
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June 29 2014  Ila Shanna Haley

We love getting together with their family. Amy and I always have a great time.  It's funny because when I call their house and Daniel answers, I say, "Hi Daniel, is Amy there?"  Amy and I stayed up till 2am talking--right till the time it was for them to leave.  I don't think I took many, if any pictures while their younger kids were here.  It was fun having them here though!
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When Daniel and Amy arrived back from girls' camp, both of us families were busy re-packing and packing to head out to Utah.  Watch soon for a couple of reunion posts!