Monday, September 19, 2016

Aug- Week 3- McK Haircut, First Day of School, 7 Canyon Splash Pad, Bad Health Week for Websters

Monday we had a rental van since ours was in the shop after finally getting fixed from our parking lot hit and run.  We babysat the Stewart kids in the morning, then took McKenna for a back-to-school haircut.  They cut off almost 8 inches!  
And of course, it took her some getting used to, so she didn't want to smile for the "after" picture.  
We attended the Nelson Family BD party in the evening.  

Tuesday, after McKenna's piano, we went to the Liberty Park splash pad with cousins!  We got lucky!  We had no idea every Tuesday it is closed until 2pm for routine maintenance and we were there at 12.  We ate a packed lunch then heard the crew finish up and kids start to play.  Thank goodness too.  My kids have been waiting ALL Summer for this outing!  
Anna decided to pose like a teenager. 
After the splash pad, my good friend and past roommate Brittany Erickson, came by for a visit with her 4 kids.  They were in town (Park City) for a work conference for her husband.  I got to meet her precious new baby, who was an angel!  She was here for two hours but it never seems long enough! 
That evening we had our back-to-school dinner.  The kids love when we cover the table in paper and they can color on it!  I made one of their favorites, Swedish meatballs.  
We had to rush off to Ben's soccer game right after dinner, but after we got home, Dan gave each of the older three their back-to-school father's Priesthood blessings.  I love how seriously the kids take this and they are especially reverent and in tune, but also extremely smiley and happy.  

Wednesday was McKenna's first day of 2nd grade!  Ben started three days later due to kindergarten only doing testing for the first three days.  McKenna's teacher this year is Mrs. Sonntag, one of the founding members of the school.  Dan got to walk her in and snap a quick picture.  Her first three days were half days.  She then had piano lessons and a play date in the afternoon.  

I also went with Ben to his first day of Let's Play Music, year 2.  That night I got a new calling to be the assistant ward camp director.  I'm so thrilled to be working with Erica Day and the new YW's Presidency.  

Thursday I went visiting teaching then took Ben for his Kindergarten testing.  He did so awesome!  He's already reading so well! I made dinner that night for another sister in the ward who had recently given birth.  
Bethany figured out how to climb on the hearth, but didn't really know how to get down, hence the sad face.  :)
Friday I vacuumed and Bethany followed me around not the least bit scared of the loud machine.  In fact, she was in my way most of the time.  Dan went rafting with our youth in the afternoon. In the evening, I took the kids to the Novak's to swim for Brindi Walker's BD party.  
Saturday we had our first garage sale!  We didn't do as well as we hoped, but we made some money off of stuff we were just going to DI.  We made a total of $55.  Dan took the middle two to 7/11 for "Bring your own container" day for slurpees! 
That evening we had our adult session of stake conference with the visiting general authority being Dan's Aunt and Uncle, Elder Mike and Rosalie Ringwood!  They gave wonderful talks about being filled with goodness and that help will come if we remain faithful and keep our covenants.  
We enjoyed some treats at Dan's parents house right after.  

Sunday I sang in the stake choir for stake conference.  Some of Dan's Canadian friends, the Packs, came over in the afternoon.  We took a nice walk around the neighborhood in the evening.  

This week was an interesting and sad week for the Webster family's health.  Clara had a scheduled procedure to remove her birthmark.  Dan's dad had a bike wreck which left him with some broken ribs, a separated shoulder, and some wicked road rash.  And poor Amelia had a seizure.  
Clara's birthmark turned out to be benign, Dan's dad has healed pretty alright as well and Amelia may need to see a specialist.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Aug- Week 2- Swim Day, Soccer Starts, Beehive House, Lagoon Bounce Back

Monday the kids had Taggart and Phebe over to play.  After dinner we went to the Roths for cookies and milk.  
Tuesday, Bethany's morning breakfast hair, styled with banana.  
We had another swim day at Mantua with friends.  Kylee, Molly, Melissa, Leslie, Sarah, and Laura L. came.  Again, the kids had a blast and I loved being able to hang out with my friends too. :)  We left by 4:45pm and headed to Wendy's for dinner then went straight to Ben's first soccer game of the season.  Dan is his coach this time!  What a guy!  He makes sure all the kids are having FUN!
Wednesday we did some things around the house, the kids played at the Alexander's, I took dinner to my friend Melissa Smith who just had a baby, and I went to a meeting for Ben's music class.  

Thursday we toured the Beehive house with Brynn and kids, Grandma, and Whitney.  Before we went, I briefly explained why they call it the Beehive house.  I said something like, "bees have to work very hard to make honey, just like the pioneers were such hard workers." 
During the tour, the sister missionaries asked if anyone knew why it was called the Beehive House.  Ben raised his hand and gave an awesome answer. I remember him saying..."It takes bees a long time to make honey and they have to work really hard just like the pioneers had to work hard and it took them a long time to cross the plains."  The missionaries said he explained it better than they could have. So cute.
After the quick tour, Grandma was nice enough to take us out to lunch at the Lion House!  
We also had a fun little photo shoot.  
Such fun and cute cousins.  
That evening I took McKenna and Ben to their back to school night and gave Dan a haircut.  

Friday Dan went boating with a Sunday School class from church to help be a chaperone.  Mickelle came to babysit in the evening and we bounced back to Lagoon with the older two!  LOTS of fun with them and an ice cream cone on the way home! 
Saturday I went running, Dan did some service with the stake youth.  After lunch we went to Leatherby's for a delicious treat with the Trevor and Kristin Salter and kids.  Dan and Trevor were mission companions!  Such a great couple!  Wish we could have spent more time with them, but we're thankful for anytime we get when people come to visit Utah.  

My sister came to babysit while Dan and I got to go to the temple.  I ran into two friends from my teaching days at Woods Cross Elementary.  After we did initiatories, Dan and I had a nice walk and talk around the temple discussing our future and goals and such. 

Sunday I spoke in church about my experience at stake girls camp being over the service project.  
Anna put her own earrings on. ;) 
In the evening I had stake choir and we watched Olympics.  

Aug- Week 1- Tony Grove Camping, Lagoon, Katie's Baptism

Monday Dan got ready for the day and Ubered a little in the morning.  I worked on laundry and getting caught up on some things on the computer.  McKenna had piano lessons.  We went to lunch at Adelaide and the three older kids played at the Alexander's house in the afternoon.  I worked on my UEN class while Dan went grocery shopping.  We had BLTs for dinner then had an FHE about trials and serving others.  

Tuesday I went running, then we packed up for our first, just us, family camping trip.  We had lunch at Chick Fil A and got to Tony Grove, north of Logan, around 3pm.  We were lucky to get one of the last few campsites available.  It was nice and cool up there, only in the high 70s. Dan set up the tent trailer (So cool!) while we looked for fire wood.  There were TONS of flies buzzing around and Anna tripped and fell a lot.  But we, and she, stayed mostly happy...just really really dirty.  ;)
One of the best parts of the camping trip was that the pack 'n play fit in the back of the van when we folded the seats down.  That way Bethany could sleep by herself and not wake up in the middle of the night wanting to stay up and party.  
After setting up, we went on a little hike around the nearby lake.  
Gorgeous scenery and cliffs surrounding the lake.  

We cooked hot dogs and rolls on a stick over the camp fire, and had grapes and sauteed zucchini. The kids had a cute talk around the campfire about how thankful they were we could be camping and be together.   
Later, we also had s'mores and the kids were asking to go to bed around 8pm.  However, we didn't really get to bed until about 10.  There was a little rain in the middle of the night.  

Wednesday the kids were cute and energetic when they woke up.  We had muffins, gogurt, and bananas for breakfast then packed up.  We left camp by 8:40am so we could get to Mantua by 10.
Before we decided to go camping as a family, I had previously setup a swim day at Mantua with my friends.  Before the friends came we did a little cleaning and weeding.  Kasha, Kylee, Molly, Amanda and Holley all came.  The kids had a blast especially on the big island floatie.  We got home at 7:30 that night in time for showers and bed time!

Thursday was Dan's Dad's work Lagoon day!  We're so so grateful for this once a year opportunity to go to Lagoon!
I was pretty nervous about how Anna would do on the rides.  She's always had dislike for motion.  Even as a tiny baby she hated when I would walk down the stairs with her and she is just now barely liking swings at parks.  We first tried Bulgy the Whale.  She was all smiles before it started, then... poor thing.  :(
However, she did love the boats!! Definitely more her speed (SLOW).  
The carousel was even too fast for her.  
Lots of fun rides throughout the day! 
By dinner time, Anna was struggling!  I had her lay down on my lap so she could take a quick nap.  It didn't take her long to fall asleep.  

Ben called this ride Rattle Snake "Rabbits"
Dan couldn't join us until after dinner so I got to ride Cannibal with Dan later.  Holy smokes! That was scary!  But such a fun day and we were home and asleep by 11:30.  
On our way home we saw these three bucks in our neighbor's yard.  

Friday was definitely a recovery day.  We watched movies, did laundry, but also had friends over to play.  That night the Olympics started! Like many people, I love watching Olympics.  But seriously, I feel very unproductive during those two weeks.  

Saturday we attended Katurah Marie's baptism!  We love her and are so proud of her.  
We also attended our friend Trevin Hamblin's baptism.  I went back to school shopping with McKenna in the afternoon.  We watched the Olympics after the kids went to bed.  n

Sunday was my first time fasting since I stopped nursing.  I'm always nervous to do so, since I'm so out of practice.  However, I know the Lord blessed me to be strong and comfortable all day while I fasted and prayed with a purpose.  Our friends the Alexanders blessed their baby that day.  I helped substitute in Primary during the teacher council meeting.  I had stake choir practice in the afternoon.  We enjoyed an evening together playing games and watching Olympics.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

July- Week 4 (Part 2)- Stake YW girls camp!

Monday morning I woke up, showered, ate breakfast, finished packing for camp and felt really nauseous!  I was part nervous to leave my kids, but mostly nervous about my aspects of camp being ready enough.  Was I prepared enough physically and spiritually?  I legit felt like I was going to throw up!  I said many prayers that morning!  We dropped McKenna off at a friend's birthday party then Dan took me down to the church to load up and leave with the other stake leaders and YCLs.  I rode up with Melanie Mortensen, our stake camp director, and my 7th ward YCLs, Tayah Brown, Hailey Christiansen, Makayla Cardall, and Iris.  We taped up signs along the way to make sure everyone coming up on Tuesday could find their way.  

We arrived at Camp Piuta around 12:15 and ate our sack lunches, then we helped unload the food trailers.  The YCLs worked on hanging the "Innergram" pictures around the Lodge.  We learned about the crafts and copes course, then we had a delicious Hawaiian themed dinner and dessert.  Melanie Easton gave a great devotional to the YCLs about making the most out of the week by being positive, smiling, and serving.  We then painted nails, played with our walkie talkies and had a GIANT sleep over in the Lodge.  
Overall, my impression of the girls was they were helpful and kind.  Almost every prayer I heard the YW give mentioned helping everyone to feel loved and included.  So cool!

Tuesday morning we cleaned up the sleepover stuff in the lodge and set up the tables and swag for registration and check-in.  We had a pancake and sausage breakfast and the wards started to arrive around 10:30-11:30.  Everyone ate a sack lunch that day.  After lunch I worked on setting up my service project while everyone else was at the amphitheater for the welcome/rules/info ceremony.  

Pictures: giant iPhone with icons for each ward, registration set up, 
French theme night, and the zip line (on Friday)! 
 Brandi Wendle was a BIG help for me during the service project time.  The 1st year campers came to me first during rotation time, then 2nd years and so on.  For day 1, I showed them a video of potential Elders and Sisters from Zimbabwe singing "Called To Serve."  I introduced what our service project would be and gave them the background info.  Last, they began making sets of 7 outfits (all the same size) to put in the missionary suitcases. It was so fun to see their enthusiasm and it seemed like they felt like this job and project was worth while and important!  Because the 1st and 2nd years were so enthusiastic, I ran out of work (clothes) for the 3rd and 4th years to make outfits with.  Instead, they ended up sorting shoes.  After clean up, I got to make the leather bracelet craft for the day.  Then on to dinner!  

Pictures: girls making the outfits, statue from the hike (on Wednesday).
The cooks were incredible and had a different theme every day!  Tuesday was Italian: Spaghetti, salad, corn, and bread. After dinner, the YCLs were in charge of a game night then dance party!  I kind of felt like I spent more time with my 7th ward girls than their leaders did that night.  I found out a couple girls were already feeling homesick.  
That night before bed we had a nice pow-wow with the stake leaders to debrief for the day and talk about what went well and what needed improvement.  

Wednesday we had breakfast then got ready for the hike!  I walked beside Kelly Sansom most of the time and enjoyed some great conversations.  Half the hike was on a dirt rode, the other half was through bushes and up a pretty steep hillside.  Our destination was a beautiful open meadow with a randomly placed statue of the Hindu god Shiva.  No one knows how it got there or why it is there.  But it's super cool to see out in the middle of nowhere.  We had another sack lunch that day and I hiked back down with Kelly again, so we could both be back in time to set up our crafts and service project stuff.  This time I had the 4th years first.  They helped me unload all the sorted suitcases and put everything out in an assembly line fashion.  I had a little bit smaller turnout this day due to many girls being overtired from the hike and needing to rest.  In total, we ended up packing 14 suitcases!!  8 were 100% full!  6 were still needing 1-5 items.  I had a pretty monster head ache after that...maybe because of the lack of sleep and overall tiredness and stress.  Who knows?  Later, I went and hung out with my ward for a bit.  The dinner that night was American themed and we had hamburgers and hot dogs.  
That evening was a "choose your own adventure" activity.  The girls were given a question with two choices.  Most of the scenarios the girls were choosing between related to two good choices.  They were real life scenarios and really made the girls think between good, better, best options. 
Picture: all the leaders set up in the "web" with envelopes with the questions inside to give to the girls to read silently then choose their path to follow.  
Everyone ended up at the same place in the end where we had a guest speaker speak about having a "perfect brightness of hope."  We heard really good feedback from the girls about this activity and they liked how real life the questions and scenarios were.  That night I also got to talk to DAN in Elder and Sister Long's trailer!!  I also wanted to document a few tender mercies of the day.  Melanie Easton lost the diamond out of her wedding ring.  After many prayers she found it in her bag!  Sadie Gunnerson arrived at camp after being lost for 5 hours trying to find us!  Scary! 

Thursday was a break for the service project, but I was in charge of teaching a lesson about the importance of journaling.  I prepared a powerpoint about the health and spiritual benefits of keeping a journal.  I shared some personal journal entries and cried a lot, which I didn't expect to do.  I got a lot of compliments about my lesson afterwards. I even had a girl tell me her brother gave her a journal and she didn't know what to do with it, but now she did!  Success! :) 
After a Mexican themed lunch, we had the copes course!  These were really fun team building games created by the Wendles!  Unfortunately, my ward girls were not feeling well and they opted out of the games, which made me pretty frustrated.  In the end, I just had to let it go and realize it was their loss for not participating.  
Later that afternoon I headed into town (Kamas) so I could Facetime with Dan and the kids!  It was so good to see their cute faces!!  That night was the lip sync night!  All the wards did such a good job and had really fun performances!  Everyone loved our rap to "This Little Light of Mine."  
We were so hard core! 
I hung out with our ward for a bit that night and then they came up and visited the stake leaders all decked out in glow sticks to make themselves look like stick people.  
Gorgeous views from the week! 
Friday we had a French themed breakfast, then everyone had lots of free time so we could give everyone a turn on the zipline!  Our Bishop and Jake Brown came up to camp to help as well.  After lunch, everyone was super excited about the final craft of the week, the globes.  I didn't have too much service left for them to do, so they helped me load the suitcases in the trailer, they helped sort the Innergram pictures by ward, and they helped me clean some paint off the tent picnic tables.   That evening the bishoprics and stake presidency were invited for the final night of camp for dinner and testimony meetings so Dan and his parents came up to camp at about 5:20!! 
After dinner, everyone stood around the lodge, grouped in their ward, with a small hand held light source.  Dan's dad gave a message to the group first.  He had each of their wives tell about their first kiss and how they knew they were supposed to marry their husbands.  Then, each ward took a turn singing a spiritual song that had the word light, sun. shine, star,.. in it.  The stake leaders sang "Like the Stars."  Then everyone went to their own camp sites for their own testimony meetings.  It was a wonderful experience to hear our ward's girls share how close they had become during camp and how their testimonies had grown.  
We're very greatful to our friend Steffanie Holdstock for babysitting while both of us were gone.  
I went home with Dan that night and thoroughly enjoyed my own shower and bed!! 

While I was gone at camp, Ben lost is first tooth while eating a hot dog at Costco! (Editor's note: Daddy lunches for the win!!) Also pictured, a pretty sweet fort they built, and a nice hot walk around the neighborhood while McKenna was at Piano.  
McKenna also had a grandma sewing class while I was gone.  They made pencil bags and even had to sew a zipper!

Saturday we spent the morning enjoying being together as a family!
McKenna even let me practice braiding her hair.  I still need a lot of work!

 We headed up to Mantua that evening.  The kids swam, ate pizza, showered, then watched a movie.  

Sunday was baby Mila's baby blessing in Perry.  We had a nice brunch at Jake and Ailin's house after sacrament meeting.  Then we drove down to Bountiful for Reed's ordination!  Can't believe he's already 12!

We caught the last 2 hours of our own ward.  That afternoon we also stopped by the Dennis's home to welcome them home from their mission to Equador (their mission was hardest hit by the earthquake a few months prior).

Whew! A whirlwind week, for sure!