Friday, October 28, 2016

Last Days of the Summer Season

Even though summer vacation ended, in my book summer isn't over till it's over!  The first week of school was pretty nice considering that the kids didn't have much school work and I did whatever it is I do at home.

But strain of a new school year does set in.  One afternoon Elden refused to do his homework. He lay down on his backpack and eventually fell asleep.
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I think a nap is what he needed.  Nice way to represent the "Y" right? 
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About the middle of September we enjoyed the tri-unit camp out.  Honestly, Lee and I did not want to go.  We had been so busy and hadn't enjoyed a weekend home in a long time.  But we decided to go anyway and like always it was a great time.  We loved being out in nature with friends, enjoying our "foil" dinners.  Such a fun evening visiting!  The kids had fun running around too.
Sept 9 2016

It was really cute that Haley brought her and Shanna's tent and slept in it too!   She set it up by herself and also did the take down.
Sept 10 2016

After a yummy breakfast we headed over to a different camp site to take down tent platforms for our ward day of service--a good coordination of events by our ward leaders!  We camped at the local boy scout camp for this activity.   And we were able to stay at Camp Shenandoah for free since some of us put in volunteer time at a funnel cake booth at the county fair (including me!). 
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We need to do more projects like this as a family.  My kids helped but need to work on being harder workers....
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That afternoon Lee used his bike pass to ride in the new bike park at Massanutten.  Clark tagged along.  They had to rent a bike since Clark's bike doesn't have front fork suspension.  Did I get that right, Lee?
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Something sweet about the bike park is that you ride the ski lift up and bike down.  Can't get much better!
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Elden gave a talk in primary one Sunday......
Sept 11 2016

So I ordered alarm clocks for the kids and when I was expecting a green alarm clock for Elden this is what I got.  Ummm....not even close.  Too funny!
Sept 13 2016 (2)

Lee has been doing a lot more bike rides lately, which has been great.  He bascially hasn't ridden his bike since we've been married.  I mean, sure, he rode it all the time to school and work, but not long rides for pleasure or exercise.  Especially not mountain bike riding except for our yearly trip to Nevada.  One afternoon he parked his van (isn't is awesome that he has a van and now I don't, ha ha, that just struck me as funny) at the gate entrance to Shenandoah National Park and rode his bike all the way up to the picnic area at Big Meadows.  Nice work Lee! We met up for lunch. He had fun riding down too.  And I had fun driving back in a vehicle!
Sept 13 2016

I am the cubmaster so I don't do anything with den meetings but I will help out to be an extra leader at den meetings.  Sometimes Elden hangs out with me.  One night the den leader did cooking.  Elden quite enjoyed it.
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I picked up two of my nieces to come stay with us for a few days while their parents moved from one town to another.  We had fun having Lisa and Jessica with us! One night we went to Martin's, a local grocery store.  Their bulk candy isle is awesome.  I told the kids they could spend $0.25.  Lisa won with spending only $0.08 total--it was definitely under $0.10!  So fun!
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Jessica wasn't too far behind.  Her's was under $0.15 if I recall.
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Once a week I make copies at the school, as many of you know.  Lisa and Jessica came with me and brought their homework.  After working on their work for a little while, a couple trips to the library, Lee showed them the scrap paper and they started using the die cuts.  They loved it! 
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Sept 15 2016

I walked around the school with them to look at posters for kids running for the Student Council Association. I liked these.
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And Shanna's!  Jessica helped Shanna and I with the posters.
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We saw Shanna too.  So cozy! Not so sure about pillows at school....moving on...
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Lee came to the school during lunch--hence him giving the die cut idea to the girls.  Lee took them to the cafeteria and the girls ate lunch with Shanna and Haley.
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One the way home!  This is the church where the kids take piano lessons.
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That same night Shanna, Haley and Elden went to soccer.  Elden and Haley went the first night and Shanna decided she wanted to join too.  It was great because soccer for all of them was the same night, same time.

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And little 'ol me who doesn't do sports accidentally bought them baseball/softball cleats instead of soccer cleats.  Doh.
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I bought new scriptures a couple of years ago. Sadly the binding became unglued.  I finally did something about it and looked around for a book repair.  I found one in Broadway, but that is about a 40 minute drive.  I thought about BYU and how some of my former missionary companions worked in the book repair division at the library, so I contacted the JMU library.  A lady there offered to repair my book, and for free!!! It was so sweet of her.  She let the kids in on the process too.  Very simple also.

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Sept 16 2016

The girl's liked seeing this bug with eyelashes.  Oh how I'm going to miss wearing shorts and t-shirts once the cold weather finally settles in....
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Clark had fun at a youth sports activity one Saturday.
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Lee enjoyed another bike ride!
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The bonus of warm weather...getting wet on the trampoline!
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Lee and I went to a local play and dinner done by the middle school teachers and staff, and some people in the community.  It was really fun and we want to take all the kids next year.  This was our big 1-4 anniversary date! Next year we plan on doing something bigger the celebrate our 15 year mark.
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Fun bottle with drippy candle.
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One of Lee's tires on his van periodically went flat.  He would just fill it up with our air compressor and be on his merry way.  This happened at least, what, 10-15 times?  Finally he decided (this is over the course of at LEAST a whole year) to take it in and get it patched.  Guess what the tire guys saw?  Soo thankful this didn't blow up!  But after taking the tire in for what we thought was a $15 repair, he came home with two new tires for a whole lot more than $15. Nice knowing though that his tires are fine now!
Sept 17 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend we headed out to Indiana.  My sister Stephanie's baby James was being blessed and the long weekend made it a perfect time to travel. 

The cops were pull-over happy that weekend, especially in Ohio. They were practically everywhere! I did not notice the speed limit change at all and the cop did not give me any grace. Blah......there went some hard earned money...over $150.
Sept 3 2016 (4)

We met up with our family at a park for dinner that evening.  It's sooo fun seeing the cousins play together!
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Sept 3 2016

That evening the sisters and sister-in-laws went out to the Quirky Feather, a fun cafe/bakery place outside of Indianapolis.  I am "old-fashioned" and do not agree with mixed gender bathrooms that have stalls in them.  The bathroom at this place was just a single toilet room. By all means, anyone who wants to use it, great! Lee only has one bathroom at his office.  Like I said, when there are stalls I like it when only one gender uses that bathroom. Anyway... Probably weird, but I did think the sign was kind of funny.
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We attended church on Sunday (of  course!).  Andy gave a sweet blessing. There were three baby blessings that Sunday!  Something their ward does that is so cool is after the baby blessing the mother is invited up to share her testimony.  I thought that was so neat and appropriate especially since she birthed the baby and helped give the child life.

I attended Stephanie's church 3 times this summer.  The second time Steph's bishop asked Andy if I served in Los Angeles.  Turns out, he was an Elder in my mission!  After finding out his name I totally remembered him.  I thought he looked slightly familiar but didn't think much of it.  We were never in the same district, but saw each other a few times and of course knew the same missionaries.  He's been a bishop for about 3 years and he's 35, quite young.  And yes, he was a happy, smiling missionary too.  That is something I remember about him!  Something fun is that the very first Sunday after Stephanie moved in, it was Easter Sunday.  His wife invited Steph, Andy and Maggie over for Easter dinner.  I love when people are kind and thoughtful and reach out to my siblings.  I think it's cool that a missionary from my mission was able to bless my sister and her family by the kindness of having them over to share a meal.   
Sept 4 2016 (4)

After the baby blessing.  Seven of us siblings (out of ten) were able to be together that weekend.  It was awesome! 43 of us were together that weekend!  And that doesn't even include my parents and three other siblings and their families. 
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Love these people!
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Kirsten and Shanna have the same glasses.  The perks of your dad and uncle being an eye doctor.
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Seven of the 10!  The 3rd, 7th and 10th siblings weren't able to come. And my parents are serving an awesome mission on Temple Square in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' church history library.
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Aunt Ruth and baby James.  He is such a cutie.  Love baby yawns.
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After family photos in Steph's backyard we headed to a near by park....minus the park.  It was perfect for Sunday. There were walking trails and two pavilions.  And the best part, it was just us. Only 43 of us...
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Not sure how this happened, but we ran out of water.  We brought our drink cooler full of water and some people even had water bottles.  It was pretty warm out though.  Lee went back to Stephanie's to fill up on water, and Jon our nephew drove on the way back.  Lee was nice and brave to do that.  I am sure he is the favorite Uncle right now.  Jon didn't say why he wanted to go back with Lee to the house, but that was he could drive the Chevy back.  Too funny!  It worked!  When they arrived back there was a line of kids waiting for the water.  After filling up on water and a short walk, we headed back to Steph's for Lois' birthday party. 
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It was so fun that we could celebrate her birthday on her birthday! 
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My phone does not do well in dark lighting, but Lois looks great anyway!
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Love the friendships these cousins are building!
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I brought a few party hats...I should have brought more!
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Present time!
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The next morning we met up at a fun splash pad for a little while.  Some of the pictures in this blog post are Mike's.  Thanks Mike for sharing your talent with all of us!
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Some cool playground equipment here!

Lee showed me this awesome photo of Elden.  It's like he's doing a muscle pose or something.  And he looks like a buff kid. 


I love it when kids light up with wonder about nature.


I think Cal is trying to be the baby here?


We had a fun afternoon with homemade pizza for lunch, a little bit of cleaning, and visiting.  We headed for home around 2pm.  Thanks for the terrific weekend Steph!  Love being with family!