Saturday, August 15, 2015

August Fun!

August has come and gone, but here are a few everyday summer activities....

Lots of swimming.  It's fun taking pictures of kids doing flips!
Aug 3 2015 (2)

One night we played a Fancy Nancy game.  One child was not happy--we weren't properly following her unusual rules.
Aug 3 2015 (4)

A few years ago my friend told me that when her boys turned 12 they started doing their own laundry and she loved it.  Ever since then I've planned on having Clark do his own laundry starting at age 12 too.  It's going pretty well!  The other day he started it all on his own, without any questions!  Not that I mind the questions, but it was neat he felt sure enough himself to go ahead and do his laundry. 
Aug 4 2015 (2)

We also did bike rides. 
Aug 4 2015 (3)

And that same night stopped for ice cream cones and a look-see at the little river in town.
Aug 4 2015 (5)

More flips!
Aug 5 2015 (2)

Aug 5 2015 (3)

Killing time at the park.
Aug 5 2015 (4)

Clark participated in his first young men/young women's activity at the bowling alley.  He seemed to enjoy it!
Aug 5 2015 (5)

Aug 5 2015 (7)

Cal made a little guy out of Starbursts.
Aug 5 2015 (6)

My brother Sheldon went to Korea for a few weeks this summer with the military.
Aug 6 2015

The first weekend in August was tax-free weekend, so we did a lot of school shopping.  School didn't start for a few more weeks, but it was nice to save a little money. 
Aug 7 2015 (2)

Good thing I have these cute pictures to look back on because after the first store I was done shopping with all of them.  Did that stop me?  No.  (Though it should have!) And we went to several more stores that day.  This was one of our last stores.
Aug 7 2015 (3)

My sister has a matching handbag that goes with this cute little clutch?  Not sure what to call it.  It would be so fun if her daughter had it...but she is a toddler and this little Michael Kors cost $50.
Aug 7 2015 (4)

My kids did swimming lessons this year.  Elden really progressed this year, and what do you know-he can swim now!  He and Shanna were the only ones that passed their levels.  I couldn't get Cal into swimming lessons.  I kept asking and asking, but no spots opened up. 
Aug 7 2015

The youth had a temple trip one day before Clark was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  Since he missed that trip, Lee took him the next weekend.  I asked Clark how it was being in the temple, and doing baptisms for people who have already died (standing in as a proxy).  He responded: "Spiritual?"
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (2)

The kids and I hung out at the temple grounds and visitors' center, then I went in.  There is a cool tree, bush thing by the visitors' center.
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (4)

There was a fun opening inside that my kids enjoyed.
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (3)

Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (5)

We're proud of you Clark!
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (11)

I'm hoping that my girls will be married in the Washington, D.C. temple (my boys too!).  Any temple will be fantastic for my kids but it would be fun to have some of them married in this particular one!
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (12)

We arrived home late that night.  When we got home we found Shanna in a weird sleeping position!
Aug 8 2015 Clark 1st time at Temple (13)

We enjoyed one harvest of green beans from our garden!
Aug 9 2015 (2)

Aug 9 2015 (3)

Aug 9 2015 (4)

One Sunday Lee made some amazing pineapple sorbet!
Aug 9 2015 (5)

Our transmission on our minivan has been acting up for over a year.  It's been working fine up until recently.  When we took Clark to the temple, we had a horrible time with it.  As in it wouldn't go over about 50 mph unless the rpms were about 6000 or so.  It was crazy!  We seriously contemplated purchasing a different vehicle.  Not these cars, but they were fun to look at for a moment.
Aug 10 2015 (2)

Years ago, when we bought our Honda, we test drove a suburban and liked it.  We decided a minivan would be more practical, and less inexpensive to maintain so we settled on that. Lee and I took all of the kids and test drove a suburban with them.  That thing is huge, and has comparable inside space as a mini-van, but we really liked it. Plus it can haul more weight, like bikes and such when we go on trips.
Aug 10 2015 (3)

This particular one was pretty sweet, and too expensive.
Aug 10 2015 (4)

Ultimately we decided to fix our transmission.  It ended up costing about $3500.  We didn't want to fork over that money, especially since our minivan is now worth only about $3500!  But we figured it would be cheaper to pay $3500 to keep our van running for another couple of years, than to scrounge up several more thousands of dollars for a suburban.  And we would be spending money we didn't necessarily want to use our emergency fund.  Thanks to the start that Lee's grandpa gave us, we've never had a car payment.  Don't get too jealous though. Our first car was what Lee acquired after his mission (if I remember right his grandpa helped pay for it...). A black, 1991 2-door Plymouth Sundance.  Here is a picture of one that I found.  This white one is a couple years older, but our black one looked worse than this and had rust on it.  (As far as I remember.)

You may have seen in older posts, but our trampoline net failed.  Lee took the time and found a new net and put the trampoline all back together!  The kids were pretty excited.
Aug 11 2015 (2)

Clark spent some of his work money to make a "flame thrower". I guess more like a "flame blower".
Aug 11 2015 (3)

Aug 11 2015 (4)

Each summer we head to Riven Rock park at least once, it seems.  It's always a fun afternoon.
Aug 11 2015 Riven Rock (2)

Aug 11 2015 Riven Rock (5)

Aug 11 2015 Riven Rock (4)

Aug 11 2015 Riven Rock (3)

Aug 11 2015 Riven Rock (6)

For the record, I can still do flips....but not land on my feet.  I need to practice!
Aug 12 2015 (3)

Can you spot the little sign?  A Hobby Lobby is coming to town!!!  Now we just need an Aldi, Home Goods, and a Trader Joe's, and I'd be set!
Aug 12 2015 (5)

Cal has been making some cute, creative Lego creations lately.  This one is his minecraft guy at a slurpee machine. Cherry and raspberry drinks available!
Aug 12 2015

A few years back my sister Deborah made these great hard cover recipe books with our grandmother's recipes in them.  Haley flipped though it one day and took a picture of this.  I need to bake this sometime with her.  Looks delicious!
Aug 13 2015

All through swimming lessons, school shopping and car hunting, we were working, working, working on our bathroom.  (Post coming soon!)  We decided one night to see a meteor shower in Shenandoah National Park.  It was 2:55am when we left...I hadn't gone to bed yet. 
Aug 14 2015 (2)

We drug all the kids out of their beds, and boy were they not happy! Lee and I saw several shooting stars, which was cool.  #happysummermemoryfail
Aug 14 2015

Cal received an AT-AT for Christmas.  One day he had it covered with Lego mini-figures.  Quite the attack!
Aug 14 2015 (3)

Aug 14 2015 (4)

Lastly we spent another pretty evening in Shenandoah National Park with our friends.  We enjoyed visiting and eating dinner.  I think this is the only picture I took that night!  My friend Brittany let Shanna hold her cute baby boy. Shanna is quite the motherly type!
Aug 15 2015 Shanna and Henry Weiler

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Clark turns 12!

Looking back over the summer, it's been very busy and fun.  Soon after our family reunions and trips, we attended a Boy Scout court of honor where Clark received his Tenderfoot award.  He is done with 2nd Class and has just TWO requirements left for 1st Class.  Here's to getting them done soon....
July 19 2015 (2)

Cal and Elden at said court of honor.
July 19 2015

A couple of times each year, or at least once, it seems there is a cooler, rainy day with not many people at the pool.  It's kind of fun being practically the only people there!
July 21 2015 (3)

During shopping one time at Target Shanna found this Coke bottle with her name on it, surprisingly! We aren't Coke drinkers, but it's fun to see her name with the correct spelling!
July 21 2015 (4)

My Aunt Susan, and three of my cousins stopped briefly for a visit!  It was so great to see them.  My cousin Sara in the picture recently became engaged when this photo was taken and is now married!  So exciting! My other cousin, Steven, is standing behind me.  Sara and Steven are Aunt Susan's kids (her two youngest) and the cute guy on the right, Spencer, is my first cousin once removed.  Aunt Susan's oldest boy Jonathen, is Spencer's dad.  I was really impressed with these young men.  I don't see Steven and Spencer very much at all, and Spencer I know even less.  But when they came in our house for a brief visit they talked and visited.  I noticed that they both had cell phones (Clark was interested in them) but they basically left them alone while they were inside with family.  I could just see a teenager in a slightly awkward situation (being with people you don't really know) and whipping out their phone to stay entertained.  These guys didn't do that, and I just thought it was so neat.  And isn't it sad I thought that was so neat?! 
July 21 2015 (6)

Towards the end of July Shanna and Haley started an Activity Days camp with the girls from the two wards here. The camp had a pioneer theme.  The girls did all sorts of things from carving, to handwashing clothes, baking bread, creating toy wagons, learning square dancing, making soup and candle holders...etc!  They LOVED it!  
July 21 2015 (7)

One evening during the week of Activity Day camp we went on a bike ride.  I love seeing all of us out on the road. We were playing a game that night while riding bikes, that the kids had made up...Mario Cart.
July 21 2015 (8)

July 21 2015 (9)

July 21 2015 (10)

Lee ordered bags for his office!  We got the idea from his brother Kent...Thanks for the idea!
July 21 2015

During this time we also started renovating our bathroom.  Someday soon I'll do a big 'ol post on that from start to finish! 
July 22 2015 (2)

The girls practicing square/line dancing.
July 22 2015 (3)

Summertime wonders...
July 22 2015

July 23 2015 (3)

I read this book.  Loved it.  It caused me to really think about my life, attitude and gratefulness.
July 23 2015 (4)

The girls also learned some stiching and were able to stitch their name on aprons that their awesome leader Rachel made for them.
July 23 2015 (5)

Brother bonding at the pool...
July 23 2015

Feeding ducks while girls were busy with pioneer activities.
July 24 2015 (2)

July 24 2015

The last day of their camp was at my friend's house.  Jenny invited all of us to come for a potluck lunch, and swim.  They had moved in about a week earlier!  It was so fun to see their place, swim and hangout.  The girls performed for us.
July 24 2015 (3)

Seeing the front of their aprons, and subsequently seeing their backsides when they turned around, made me think of the Parent Trap.  Remember the part when the girl cuts the other girl's skirt back off? Too funy.
July 24 2015 (5)

Okay, now on to the reason of the post.  Clark's birthday!!!  Clark's birthday was in the midst of our bathroom renovation, but we still did some fun things for him.  Hopefully he enjoyed his day! This may jump around a little, but he requested scones for dinner.
July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (2)

I made him some mint brownies and gave him the option to decorate them himself, which he agreed to.  I bought some vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party favors at a local party store a couple years ago.  I had the intent of selling them for a high price on eBay, but never did.  The kids somehow found some of the items on Clark's birthday and he decorated his brownies with some of the a Shredder candle.
July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (3)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (5)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (6)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (7)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (9)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (5)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (6)

July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (9)

One of his birthday presents was for him and some friends to go paintballing.  They have done so, and loved it!
July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (13)

Clark seemed to really enjoy the day. The kids started swimming lessons that same day, but Clark didn't go, pointing out that it was his birthday. 
July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday (17)

For the birthday breakfast we had bacon...and something else....?
July 27 2015 Clark 12th birthday

Some more random photos....Cal on a date with Lee.
July 28 2015 (2)

July 28 2015 (3)

About a week after Clark's birthday some of my siblings came to town, along with my parents, to be here for his ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood.  When male members of the church turn 12 (or if they join the church after age 12), and are found worthy, they receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  It's the same priesthood that Aaron, Moses' brother, was ordained to in the Old Testament.  Hence the name, Aaronic Priesthood.

Lois and Jeff moved that weekend, so my parents brought down their kids to hang out with us while we awaited everyone else's arrival!

Can you tell my girls like to dote on Rhett?
Aug 1 2015 (2)

Aug 1 2015 (5)

On our way to church that day....
Aug 2 2015

We are so proud of you Clark!  You have exciting things ahead as you carry out your Priesthood duties, like serving a mission! Pretty good family photo!!! My brother Sheldon and his wife, Ciera, sent Clark his awesome tie.  See picture below.  He really likes it!
Aug 2 2015 (2)

I love that Clark is taller than me!  He is now a proud suit owner!  Now Lee needs to get another one...
Aug 2 2015 (7)

Darrell, Daniel, Lois, and their families were able to be here that Saturday night/Sunday.  We love having family here!  So do all the kids!
Aug 2 2015 (8)

Aug 2 2015 (9)

Clark getting a selfie with his new CTR ring (stands for Choose the Right), while sporting a Hello Kitty headband, ha ha.
Aug 2 2015 (10)

Sunday afternoon walk with the family!
Aug 2 2015 (12)

My parents are starting to search out a place to buy after their mission.  Yes, they are going on another mission!  They will be serving at the family history mission at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT.  We are so excited for them! We stopped at a house near ours that is for sale.  Though I am not sure if it's for sale anymore.  At the time of the pictures, it was unoccupied, so we headed there on our walk.

Aug 2 2015 (13)

Nice big crew!
Aug 2 2015 (14)

Aug 2 2015 (17)

Happy birthday Clark!!!  What a great milestone birthday.  Keep up the great work!