Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Night at the Range

The recipe for a successful family night: special guests;

a lesson;

a goal;

temptation successfully overcome;

everyone getting a turn;

practical application of the lesson;

daddy's input;

a variety of


happy guests;

and last, but certainly not least, treats!

Adults Only

I suppose when a couple has eight children they quickly learn the importance of adult time, otherwise known as fun without kids. Not necessarily romantic time, although that is nice too, but it is fun to just be around other adults, eat adult food (steak instead of hot dogs), and enjoy adult conversation.
Now that their eight kids are grown up, my in-laws get to enjoy their adult time with their kids and their kids' spouses. We have so much fun!!

We entertain each other with stories from the past,

we eat fantastic food hot off the grill,

and we play many rounds of hearts (all without kids)!

Have you ever played hearts with two decks of cards? It is pretty fun!

When you have a bad hand, it gets pretty bad quickly...

but somehow it doesn't even matter! We all have a gut-busting laugh and deal the cards yet again.

Fish Can Swim

Our little trouts had lots of fun this summer at swim lessons. They each passed their level and got signed off to move onto the next level next summer. The last day of their lessons ended with a day of adventure on the water slide and the diving board.

Our youngest was eager to try the diving board...until he got out on the edge and looked down.

He stood on it for three minutes and no amount of encouragement, prodding, or cheering could get him to jump.

He was a little sad, but was consoled by his big sister.

I didn't think he would go down the slide, but his teacher told him he would go down with him and then he felt okay about it...but look at his face, I don't know if he really enjoyed it until he reached the bottom.

I was grateful he had such a kind, gentle teacher.

This is our daughter's last year of swim lessons. Next year she will do swim team with the older boys. She celebrated with a fancy jump off the diving board.

Our Star Wars fan just loves the water. He has no fear and can swim pretty well for a little guy. He really enjoyed the two weeks of swim lessons and wished it wasn't over so quickly!

A Real Pain in the Behind

You remember this fun summer destination? Yep, the reservoir. We have spent many fun afternoons here this summer. The week after the boys returned from scout camp we headed to the reservoir to go fishing.

Our second oldest had to catch one more fish to complete his fishing merit badge. Besides catching, cleaning, cooking, and eating one fish, he also had to catch and release a fish.

Somehow I erased all the pictures I took while fishing. We had a fantastic time! The one necessary fish was caught and released...and several more were caught and eaten for dinner that evening. We had a lot of much fun that we went again the next day.

Now, if you look carefully at the pictures of the reservoir you will see that it is surrounded by a concrete dike that slopes down toward the water. It is a hazard! Here's why: if one should happen to put one's foot slightly in the water, one will slip on the very, very slick slime and fall on one's butt and slide right down into the reservoir...and not just a little slide, you won't stop sliding until you are neck deep. Each of the kids fell in (some may have been on purpose, but that's not my point) ... we watched no less than five other people fall in that day. I should have taken notice!

After baiting a worm on one of the fishing lines, I walked down to the water to rinse off my fingers. Unknowingly, I put a toe into the water, slipped and fell down hard on my behind...and started the inevitable slide. Our oldest was right next to me and I started yelling for him to grab me, which he did...all I could think of was my cell phone in my pocket that was going to get all wet. It didn't, but the damage was already done. After he pulled me up out of the water I realized right away that something was bad because I couldn't move...not good! The prognosis: I have a broken behind. My tailbone is fine, but I have broken my has been four weeks now and it still hurts. I took 2 and 1/2 weeks off marathon training which has been a real bummer, but mostly it is a real pain to have a painful behind! If you happen to go up to the reservoir, beware!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Visit from My Parents

Prior to and during our week of Summer Games my parents came down from Oregon to visit.

They had several reasons for coming: to meet with and discuss wedding plans with my sister's future in-laws, visit with their siblings and mothers, to attend the ordination, to help my sister get her wisdom teeth pulled, and to attend a family reunion....and of course to see us too!

It was pretty neat that they were able to get so much done in one trip!

My poor sister had to have three wisdom teeth pulled. It went fairly well. Other than struggling with nausea for a couple of days, she really healed quickly and only looked like a chipmunk for a day or two.

My kids love to visit with my parents. Grandma is a fantastic listener and makes each of her grand kids feel important, special, and capable.

They brought with them my sister's wedding dress and we all oohed and aahed as she modeled it for us. The meeting with the future in-laws was productive as well.

The kids loved helping Grandma and Grandpa set up their beds!

Our youngest thinks all of Grandpa's gadgets and tools are the coolest things ever! Poor Grandpa was a real sport and was pestered, followed around, and mimicked all week.

It was really special for me to go to my Dad's side of the family, family reunion. I really come from amazing ancestors. It was neat to hear him read the testimony of his Grandma Christensen.

Grandma helped the kids plant a winter squash seed on the deck. It is huge now!! They faithfully water it every day!

Grandma is the funnest game-player ever and she endured dozens of games of hearts, spoons, speed, and old-maid. We loved having them visit and can't wait to see them again next month for my sister's wedding.

Scout Camp

The day after the ordination (Yes, somehow most of our summer's activities got squished into two weeks), our two oldest boys left for their week long campout with the scouts.

They headed back down to the same area we had just left while at the Summer Games. The boys joked that if they didn't need to be home for the ordination that they would have just stayed in Cedar city.

The boys have some very awesome scout leaders. This year's camp was pretty special with hikes and adventures, but also lots of spiritual learning and growth.

Their hikes took them through some scenic areas.

In some places it is a dry, harsh desert,

yet just around the bend is a beautiful waterfall!

Do you know any boy who can resist a cool swim to escape the dust and heat??

Or, more accurately, a chance to show off in front of his friends!?

The boys especially had fun earning their fishing merit badge.

Our second oldest felt a lot of satisfaction catching a fish on his new rod.

Part of the merit badge was catching, cleaning, cooking, and eating their own fish. It was a group project and the scouts caught a lot of fish.

They also earned their canoeing merit badge. I don't have any pictures of that, but the boys have stories to tell! It was a cold lake with a strong cross wind and they really had to work hard and work together to earn this merit badge.

They had a really fun week with the leaders and the scouts in our ward! We were glad they had so much fun, but I was happy when they returned home!

Even if they spent a couple days on the couch...

recovering from all the fun.