Friday, June 28, 2013

An Interview with Austin at TEN

Age: 10

What's your favorite color: blue

What is your favorite thing to do with mom? get milkshakes

What do you want to be when your grow up? scientist 

What is your favorite book? Percy Jackson series

What is your favorite thing to eat? pizza

If you could plan the perfect day what would you do? buy an iPhone

What are you good at? origami and math

Who are your best friends? Daniel and Kessen

My after school activities: Cub Scouts, Gymnastics and Piano {soccer in the spring}

What is your favorite thing to do outside? ride my scooter

What is your favorite movie? Monsters University

What do you like about Primary? class because I get to learn new things

What is your favorite thing to do with dad? work

What is your favorite song? I know when I am baptized

What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time? read a book

What is something you love to do? play with Lucy

What do you like about fourth grade? the teachers

What is something your mom always tells you to do? do your chores

What is your least favorite chore? all of them

How do you know you are loved? Because everybody gives me hugs and loves me.

I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that we can live with Heavenly Father again. I know that if we study the scriptures we will have better faith. I know the church is true.


Monday, June 24, 2013

w25: Daddy Dearest

June 16-22, 2013

Our Summer of Service Day 21 {06.16}
Father's Day! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful dad! We love to celebrate him. Emma was sweet enough to bring him breakfast in bed. Her mom was not kind enough to get up and help {I was still sleeping and oblivious to her efforts.} So she brought him lemonade and cereal which she manage to spill on him in the presentation process.

Following last year's tradition the kids had prepared "Daddy Dearest Cafe" {bucket list #47 and also our service for the day.} I had to go to Owyhee ward so everyone got home from church before I did. But when I did get there Kurt was making his own dinner! Apparently the kids had helped with their part before I had gotten home {Ruth had grand plans for a fruit salad for days.} Plus they were already prepared with the menu, sign, table decor and entertainment.

                                                 Ruth told a few jokes to get things started.

                                                 Followed by some original humor by Austin
                                                             Spencer did a magic show
{I don't know about you but I think the boys were anxious to use eye liner from our make overs!;}

                                      We sure are blessed with the BEST dad ever! Love you!!

The rest of the day was devoted to Lucy and her second birthday. Although her birthday was actually on Monday Emma Lynn and I were going to be gone at Girl Scout camp. Kurt was gracious enough to share his day with her {like last year when it actually was on father's day.}

The traditional birthday morning wake-up!
                             She was so cute and kept saying, "Happy Birthday to ME! I'm TWO!"
                                                     helping to make her cupcakes after church.

Lucy is kinda obsessed with hair so we went with the Rapunzel theme. Here is the cupcake tower "Cake" I threw together. She LOVED it! We invited Bill and Cindy to come over for presents and cake.
Ever since Sam's surprise birthday she has been singing the Happy Birthday song. We had her sing to herself first just because it is so stinkin' cute. {Don't worry we all sang to her after that.}

                                  This girl is so goofy. Love her to pieces. Can't believe she is TWO!

Our Summer of Service Day 22 {06.17}
Emma and I left that morning {after talking to grandma and grandpa in Madagascar for Lucy's birthday!} for Girl Scout Camp. We had to stop in Ontario first for all the fresh fruit and veggies, plus a few last minute things.Emma was a super great helper. I had to feed everyone lunch at noon {leaders and daughter helping to set up.} So I just grabbed some pizzas to make it easy. We finally got to Parma around noon.

I was the camp cook again and this was my service to cook for 45 people for two days. I also encourage Emma to look for opportunities to serve {and Kurt and the other kids at home too.} They all went on a service call together to fix a pivot for a friend and didn't charge him a service fee. :)

After pizza all the leader's kids got to go swimming as a reward for all their help setting up camp. Gotta have some perks for being the leader's kid!

Just as a reminder Girl Scout Camp last year was a complete and utter DISTASTER!! And I will admit that my attitude about attending this year 36 weeks prego cooking for everyone was not super great. But I am SO so so happy to report that it was a million and one times better than last year. Even in my extra large conditions. I've analyzed it and decided the following factors made it better:

* It was our second year so we were a little bit more prepared with realistic expectations.
* We used the kitchen in Chelle's house for ALL cooking. Last year we were trying extra hard to make it a "real" camping experience and didn't use her house at all. By using modern conveniences it saved me a lot of time and I was able to actually spend time with Emma {and my Junior troop} this year. Very grateful for that.
* We {as leaders} are a better team as we continue to work together for a longer period of time.

There were only 6 brownies that came to camp. One wasn't in the troop this year but her family is moving so they invited her to come as last hurrah before she leaves. The others paired off leaving Emma alone most of the time. It really made me sad to watch. But when we spent time together she was always happy and enjoying herself so I told myself not to worry or make a big deal about it. They were given a journal at registration which she wrote in diligently and she loved all the crafts stations that we set out during free time. I think she was one of the only GS to do them all. :) She is a sweet girl. I love that she read her scriptures before bed, had good manners and a happy attitude.

Our Summer of Service Day 23 {06.18}
Today Emma Lynn painted my toe nails a happy blue color. Such a great service to a mama who is finding it harder and harder to bend over these days. Back at home Austin went to work with Kurt. An employee needed a small body to help him replace an engine monitor. Austin was just the right size and with guidance he was able to replace the part. He was beaming with this accomplishment and opportunity.

One of Emma's act of service
Juniors at flag ceremony
                                    Emma and the Brownies making a kite {out of a garbage bag.}
                                                 Swim time for the Daisys and Brownies!

It was a great day. Towards early evening most of the husbands were calling/texting that a storm was coming and coming fast. {For those that don't remember the details of last year a storm destroyed all our tents last year and terrified our girls.} At 6 pm sharp as we were serving dinner it arrived. All the girls had their food so we took them to the porch to eat and leaders ran to tent alley {where tents were already flying and bending and breaking} and the rest of us gathered all the lose items around camp.

The storm wasn't as bad as last year and the girls were calm. BUT tents were ruined and the rain was coming next. As leaders we spent the next hour trying to decide what to do. My opinion voiced was lets end on a good note {camp had been a huge success up to this point} before things get crazy. And eventually that was the consensus and parents were called while we rounded up items and packed up camp in extreme wind. Emma and I got home around 10:30 pm. {Thank you Kurt and Kea and Grandma Cindy for holding down the fort while we were gone! Much appreciated.}

Our Summer of Service Day 24 {06.19}
When we were brainstorming ideas for our Summer of Service I found this NGO online called "Color a Smile." You can print off their coloring pages and then mail them in and they deliver them to hospitals, nursing homes, meals on wheels programs, etc...

It was the perfect service because camp about killed me. It takes a lot for me to admit that. ;) I spent most of the day in bed feeling like a semi had run me over, plus the cramps and contractions that I've endured with diarrhea the entire month of June.

Our Summer of Service Day 25 {06.20}
That evening we visited with a family in our ward who is less active. Their YW is trying to be active and prepare for her patrichrical blessing. So Kurt and I taught her about the importance and what to do to prepare. She is a sweet lady striving to make some good choices without parental guidance. That always amazes me.
The view from her house - quiet and peaceful just as the peace the gospel brings.

We also we able to meet up with our favorite Sister Christensen and her family because she has finished her mission!! Its crazy to think that she is done but it was wonderful to meet her family and catch up with her.

I also had a Doctor's appointment that day. Dialated to a 1 and 75% enfaced and instructions NOT to go to Girls Camp next week. In the back of my head I already knew but still sad. Its just too far from a hospital.

Our Summer of Service Day 26 {06.21}
The day was spent on more of mom's nesting list.  :) 
Luckily no one has thrown anything sharp or pitched a terrible fit yet. Grateful.
The kids picked a toy, a book and a stuffed animal to donate to a local charity.

Kurt also left that afternoon for an overnight fishing trip in Hells Canyon. A company they do a lot of business with gave them this trip as a Thank You. I really encouraged him to go {how often does Kurt do something just for HIM??? Never.}

That night my Nyssa photographer friends came to take some pics of the girls. I've wanted to hang some pictures of them and their interests in their bedroom. They still have to be edited but I love the raw images already! Here's a little sneak peak of a few:

Our Summer of Service Day 27 {06.22}
After spending most of the morning cleaning and during chores we rewarded ourselves by watching "Monsters University" which just came out the day before. It was super cute and everyone agreed better than the first. ;)

Afterwards we went shopping for Girls Camp food {just for our family. Kurt is one of the priesthood up there and the oldest 4 are still going with.} For our service they returned ALL the shopping carts in the parking lot to the store {they don't have a cage for them in the parking lot.}

Kurt also returned home from his fishing trip. He had a good time {until he got food poisoning on the way home.} Check out this super impressive sturgeon they caught! Glad he could get away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Romans Reflections~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* "Little Rascals" has become the #1 quoted movie by all our kids of all time.
* Austin went with me to my Dr appointment on Thursday. Usually he spends most of the time with his nose in a book so I don't even get to talk to him that much. But he did come up for air long enough to say, "If I were President I would make it a law that everyone would have to be modest."
* Lucy tooted and said to me, "Mom I pooped." "Lucy, it was just gas." "Mom, I pooped gas." The kids are still quoting this days later. Love them some potty humor.
* Spencer continues to hang on everything that will hold his weight, followed by a cartwheel or hand stand. I heard him say to himself, "Drop and give me ten." He proceeded to do ten push ups in quite good form.
* After a big storm in May the door to the chicken coop was ripped off. So since then the chickens have been free range on our property. With all 33 acres they spend most of the time at my front door. Every morning pecking away. Most anoying. But worse than that is the poop all over my new sidewalk. There are VERY FEW things that look nice outside and it has really been bugging me. I asked for Kurt's assistance in fixing the problem {yes this was also on the nesting list.} Thursday morning I was in the shower when the pecking at the front door suddenly stopped and then there was a sound of feet running and into the bedroom runs a chicken. Kurt started yelling and running around trying to get the thing back outside. Needless to say the chicken coop was fixed that night. We are down to two.
* I love Ruth at this age right now. {Obviously I always love her regardless} But she is so super helpful, anxious to serve, a good friend and kind. Can you see why my heart strings are tugging to send her to kinder?

Monday, June 17, 2013

w24: a more regular week of summer

June 9-15, 2013

Our Summer of Service Day 14 {06.09}
We sang "Have I Done Any Good" in sacrament meeting. How fitting. Following the lines of the song our service was "to cheer up the sad and make someone feel glad." The kids did this by each creating and designing an original puppet show {including backdrops and scene changes.}

Lucy sang us a stirring version of her favorite, "I Am a Child of God" to finish the night. It definitely cheers up the soul.

Our Summer of Service Day 15 {06.10}
Austin chose to complete #70 on the bucket list, bowling. We also used this as our service. After we paid for our bowling we also paid for the family behind us. A free summer activity is always fun.

That evening Spencer and Ruth had their first tball and baseball games of the season. Technically we missed last week when we were in Logan. They did well and even enjoyed it!

Our Summer of Service Day 16 {06.11}
Emma chose to make and deliver a summer fun kit {this is one of the ideas we had come up with during Richards' Retreat.} She choose who to give the bucket to {Nick and Jack DeVos} and had picked out all the items to go inside: silly string, jump rope, glow sticks, pinwheels and bubble wands.

Although we were unable to deliver it secretly we were able to visit long enough to watch them enjoy the items {especially the silly string} that she had picked out. That was more fun than being secretive.

Our Summer of Service Day 17 {06.12}
It was Grandma Romans' birthday so we delivered cards and flowers to wish her a happy birthday!


Spencer also choose to complete item #18 off our bucket list: visit the Discovery Center in Boise. We love this hands on science museum. We invited Kea to join us and we had a great day together exploring and discovering.

It was a beautiful day {72 degrees} and we ate lunch at the park next door before going inside. They loved exploring the bridge and all the geese and ducks.

                                               Lucy loved laying on the bed of nails, crazy girl!

Our Summer of Service Day 18 {06.13}
I had a Dr appointment that morning. Jen watched the kids for me {a great act of service herself!} That evening we had an RPM Summer BBQ at the Vale Pool. The Forsbergs as part of their HR duties felt this was important and planned the event. I tried to help Brittany. The weather was CrAZy!!! But it held out and we didn't get drenched. It was fun to swim with the kids and good for the employees to mingle outside of work. Good times.

                             Before the BBQ and swimming the kids picked up trash in the park.

                                         Then we went to the pool and had fun and good food.

                                                     This girl is crazy in the water. No fear.

PS: Emma Lynn was at a Activity Day Camp Out. She was so SUPER excited about going and had a wonderful time with all her church friends. It seemed really big and grown up to me....

Our Summer of Service Day 19 {06.14}
Kea had the first missionary lesson at our house. That was the best act of service we could ever do! We have been doing Elder Ballard's 21 day missionary challenge {read scriptures and praying specifically for missionary experiences.} I love that during our process we were able to have this experience with Kea. The kids were able to sit in and help answer questions. Great experience.

Our Summer of Service Day 20 {06.15}
Austin and I spent the day together at Cub Scout Day Camp! I challenged Austin to "first observe then serve" at camp that day. As a leader I had many, many opportunities to serve ;)  Austin reported at the end of the day buying a candy for someone at the trading post. But I also saw him reaching out to another scout who was feeling sad.

I stayed with the Wolves and Bears of our troop and the Webelos had different activities than us. So that means that I didn't get to see Austin very much except for flag ceremonies and lunch time. He really enjoyed archery and bb gun shooting the most {like most of the boys.} At the wood working station the Webelos made a ping pong, rubber band gun that he has played with constantly since getting home. So I would definitely say that it was a hit.

Our troop did well for the most part and everyone returned home in one piece - success. I realized last night when I was tucking Spencer into bed that next year it will be Spencer and I going to Cub Scout Day Camp and Austin will be an 11 year old scout. Very surreal thoughts {although Spencer was ecstatic!}

                                       At lunch time {Austin is in the back left against the tree.}

                                                                    Closing ceremony

                                      Loot from the trading post and gun he made in wood working.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Romans Reflections~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ All bugs are spiders to Lucy.
~ Spencer was outside riding his scooter and singing, "You can solve all your problems with Walgreens."
Possible job as a new spokesman???
~ Lucy has a 4 song repertoire now: Popcorn, I am a Child of God, Temple {I love to see the Temple} and Lalala {When we're helping} She is anxious to learn new songs and loves to sings for herself and others. We have to sing all four at bedtime before she is satisfied. Also started learning the first non church song, "You are so beautiful to me." Except she says, "Are you so beautiful?" over and over and over.
~ Emma was having a melting moment and so her brothers started singing "We are all Enlisted."  although it didn't calm her down it sure was funny.
~ Ruth was eager to do art projects this week. Emma was happy to mentor her :)
~ Austin is still in origami obsession mode {is there a stronger word to describe this???} Mainly he has been working through the Star Wars origami book he got at the School's Out party. He is now a Jedi Master of Origami. But the part I like the best is that he has picked Spencer to be his Padawan and in true Jedi fashion training him in the ways of all things Star Wars origami.
~ Lucy was having trouble getting to sleep one night. Austin grabbed his blanket and pillow and went into her room to lay by her bed and help her fall asleep. It wasn't but a few minutes later and she was fast asleep.
What a great big brother. I love how sweet and gentle he is with her.
PS don't you just love Lucy's NEW quilt that arrived this week. Loving the pink and grey for her room and so happy with how it turned out.

The world is a stage

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