Monday, September 25, 2017

First Half of August, tender mercies

Charles scout leaders put together a 3 day scout camp for them since they didn't have anything planned for this year. The boys had a day of cooking, sports and building a tower. This tower was pretty impressive. We're so grateful for all the good scout leaders Charles has had over the years. 
 Annabelle has been taking a sewing class from a sweet lady in our ward/neighborhood who is amazing with the kids and with sewing! She has a couple of rooms in her house dedicated to sewing with 5 sewing machines for the girls to use, and lots and lots of different material and patterns and ribbons adn buttons etc. Each week she allows the girls to go through a notebook with all sorts of fun sewing projects and choose what they would like to make that day, then they get to go through all her materials and pick which material to use and they make it! Annabelle has LOVED this, it's probably been one of her favorite extracurricular activities so far...she also enjoys dance. Here are a couple of the things she's made: purse and an owl night cap (which she uses almost daily as she shares a room with her older sister Elisabeth who likes to stay up a bit later than Annie and read.)
And here is Annabelle at the class with our cute friend Elizabeth Geilman. She also took the class with Annika Ludwig so they were bound to have a good time. 

I took this screen shot shortly after I started increasing my distance, hoping to one day do a marathon. Here I ran 17 miles with a friend who I recently met who lives about 3/4 of a mile away. And that is an interesting story of divine guidance which allowed me to feel again, the love and tender mercy of the Lord for me. I had been trying to find someone to run with for awhile but with no luck as there are not many crazies out there like me who want to train to run 26.2 miles for a marathon. I had gotten up to 17 miles and running that long, alone, was hard (I don't mind running alone for shorter runs as having an hour to myself to work things out in my head about the upcoming day/week is actually quite nice). On Wednesday, I set out for my 4 mile walk(this is a rest day in my training) and I have a particular route where I always go, but that morning I decided to turn a different way and stay in the neighborhood. After about a half mile of walking, these two women passed by running and wearing water backpacks. I had several quick thoughts as they passed: 1) I wonder how they like their water packs, as I need something that holds more water for my long runs 2) they must've just run a lot of miles since they're carrying water 3)I wonder if they live close so I could run with them and 4)I should go talk to them. But I didn't and they passed me by and I could no longer see them. But I wished I would've talked to them and I started mentally scolding myself for not taking advantage of that opportunity that was given to me. Then, a couple of minutes passed and I spotted them again, stopped in front of a house in the neighborhood, stretching! I quickly walked over to them and asked how they liked their water packs. We talked about water, then distance runs (they had just run 12 miles adn both had done marathons). When they said they lived nearby, I asked for their names, Staci and Kim. Then I was on my way again. As I walked, their names kept running through my mind; I wanted to remember them. Later that day, I thought I should have gotten their numbers, then I thought maybe their LDS and I can find them in the directory. And I did! I messaged them that day about the possibility of running together for long runs and both gave a positive response in the affiritive. The following week Kim and I ran 18 miles together and we've done several long runs since. It has been so nice to have someone running with me who can not only run the long miles, but who has trained for and done mulitiple marathons prior to this time. She knows the good, quiet roads, she has mapped out lots of different long runs before, she knows how I'm feeling after a long run, knows how important it is to properly fuel and hydrate and it's just been such a blessing. As always in my life, I'm reminded of gospel parellels. How grateful I am for our Savior Jesus Christ who has gone before us, who knows the way back home, who has felt what we have felt and knows what we're going through and knows how to help us and has even provided scriptures and prophets for us today so that we can have His word with us to guide us. I am so grateful to the Lord for his love and watchful care over the one.
Before school began I took the kids bowling along with Maren and Amanda and their kiddos.
We always have a nice time together.
Our dryer stopped drying! We rarely buy the warranties, actually, pretty much never, so I almost didn't call Home Depot to check in on it (it was only 2 years old), and then when I had to wait on hold for awhile to talk to someone in the extended warranty business I wondered if I was wasting my time. But I felt like I should. So I waited. And waited, and I am so glad I did because we found out our dryer is covered until 2020! Wahoo! We were able to get it fixed up within a couple of days, free of charge! Another tender mercy.

Scott has been making this fabulous Challah bread on Fast Sundays, which we've been turning into French Toast. It is SO yummy! After week one, we decided to double the batch because one loaf was definitely not enough! And look how pretty he braided it!? A man of many talents!
I had to snap this picture when Nora came in with a t-shirt, exercise capri's, a baseball hat, pink lipstick and high heels! I never wear high heels, so I'm not sure where they get their fashion sense.
Charles has not been a big fan of reading. The only thing I feel like I could get him to read without any encouragement was Calvin and Hobbes or other comic books. So when we stayed with the Garnica's (my brother's house) and I read Shaun's poster (he's Charles cousin and they are one month apart and good friends) about how he loved the Michael Vey book, Prisoner of Cell 25, I came home from that trip and put it on hold at the library. It arrived the following week, one week before school started and I told Charles about it and asked him to read it. He looked at it, I could tell he was registering how thick it looked and then said, "Do I have to?" "Yes, yes you do." "You're going to make me?" "Yep! At least the first 50 pages. After that, if you decide to move onto another book then that's fine."  Well, he got started on it that day and within minutes he was captured! He could not put the thing down. Over the next couple of days we had to ask him to come to the dinner table, without his book! And we had to make him put it down at night as we were getting ready to turn in ourselves. He finished it quickly and then moved onto the next book in the series, and the next and now he's almost done with book number 4. Thank you Richard Paul Evans for writing the Michael Vey series! You have helped my 11 year old son to see that reading can be a joy and that he can read big books and have fun doing it!
Geilmans came over for an afternoon before school began and we swam and played at home. The boys did some Wii games including the dance Wii. Love it!
In May this year, we allowed Charles to give up the piano and start a new instrument. We decided to give the guitar a try because 1) we have a guitar and 2) a guy on our street teaches guitar which would be so convenient for me who is constantly chauffering kids around everywhere! It has been great! He likes having something that's his own and he's already learned to play enough cords that he can play several songs in our church primary song book (and sometimes he'll sing while he'll play!). And the picture just below this is when he went to Boondocks with his friend Michael.
On that same day, Jane treated the girls to the Despicable Me 3 movie as she won a drawing at the library and got a Megaplex gift card. Thanks Jane! (It was a $15 card and so we went on $5 Tuesday). I didn't love the movie and so was glad I didn't pay for everyone...I wouldn't have anyway. We're not big movie watchers and definitely not theater goers. I'd much rather pay $1-$5 and have the whole family watch it in the comfort of our own home, with my jammies on, and my blanket and with a remote in my hand so I can fast foward anything that's not up to my standards of clean. But it was a fun adventure and we were excited that both Jane and Annbelle won a prize from the summer reading program! (annabelle won a $15 itunes gift card which she has used to rent a couple of movies). 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Washington Part 2: Michael and Heather's, Ferry, Hike, Goodbye's

We gathered with all the family one day at my brother Michael's house. 

 We ate.
 The kids swam and played.
 We had a little ping pong competition.

 We visited.
 And the kids watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in their cool theater room. Mike even supplied all the kids with candy bars and popcorn which they loved.
 We don't have Ferry's in Utah so we wanted to make sure to take a ferry to an island one day.

 Mom and daughters.

 Angelo, Cora, Charles and Shaun.
 Shaun, Ellen and Robin.

 Cora and Nora were on the search for cool sea shells and dead baby crabs. They found a ton!
 The older kids mostly collected sand dollars.
 On the top of the ferry, we had a fun time at certain spots on the boat, with the extreme winds.

 Scott and I went jogging together a couple of times and one day we jogged a trail and then also did all the exercises they had throughout the trail.
 We love this hike at St Edwards Park. It's gorgeous, all shady in a very wooded area, and then you finish out at the water.

 Charles and I found a tree to sit in and watch the water and the kids playing.

The day we left we made a stop at my dad's grave. We sure love and miss Grandpa. 

 We are sure grateful for Gran, we love her and always hate to say goodbye, so...until next time.

 On the way home we went another route so that we could stop by Fred and Robin's place in Eastern Washington in a little wheat farming town called Colfax. They've been there over a year now as Fred started work at a hospital in the town. It was fun to see life in a small town and to get a little extra time with the Garnica's.

 On our way from Colfax to Idaho, we saw "Nora Street" and had to take a picture for our Nora.
On the way to and from UT to WA, as always, we stopped and stayed with Becca and Blake in Idaho, and we're always grateful to them for their kindness and hospitality. We sure love being with family.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Washington Part 1: Zoo and Baby Shower/Birthday Celebrations

Saturday July 29th we took off for Washington. We stayed the night with Becca and Blake on the way there to divide up the trip, which is always nice. They're so sweet (they often load the kids up with more snacks) and we always look forward to any stops and visits over at their place. 
Monday morning we met Fred and Robin and their kiddos at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Fred has a high school buddy that works there that was able to get most of us in for free which was nice.

We watched a bird show, and during part of it they would have this little pig come out and do a little comedic act. Her name was Annabelle, so we got a picture of our Annabelle with Annabelle the pig!
Elisabeth, Reese and Annabelle love to spend time together.

The girls loved this otter! It was crazy all over the place swimming all around, jumping in and out of the water. The girls tried to follow it but it was hard to keep up with.
We didn't go to the Seattle Center this year (it's always too crowded and crazy down town), but after the zoo you could see the Space Needle on the way home so we snapped a picture. 

My brother Luis, my 14 year old nephew Denali and I went for a run together one morning. We did 8 miles I think? We ran the first half all together and then Luis told us to go ahead for the second half (we did an out and back on a trail). We did around 8 to 8:30/min mile pace on the way back and it was easy peasy for Denali here, though that's hard for me so I was red faced and more breathless.
Mom rented out their clubhouse for a day so we had a family gathering for a baby shower for Lani and birthday celebrations for her new baby son, Luis and Andre, all of whom have July/August birthdays.
We were so excited that my nephew Andre was able to make it out from California where he's stationed for the Marines (he is a helicopter mechanic)! And his dad CJ was even able to make it out for the day which was wonderful (he lives in Tennessee or Georgia, and is a flight attendant so he can fly around pretty easily). I hadn't seen Andre since my dad died two years ago, and I hadn't seen CJ since Andre was probably 2 year old so it'd been awhile!
The cousins playing some pool: Shaun, Charles, Bella and Andre.
And of course, our traditional Roman candles for the birthday celebrations! I'm not sure how or when this started, but years ago, and I'm guessing my mom didn't have normal birthday candles for a birthday cake, so she pulled out her emergency Roman candles and it's stuck over the years.

My mom doesn't have a piano anymore since she downsized this past year, so when Elisabeth saw one in the clubhouse she went over and played Adele's Hello and the cousins joined round and sang! Love it!
My brother Fred playing pool with the littles.
Robin and Ellen playing.
Charles holding baby Spencer.
Andre and Jane getting ready to play one of the baby shower games. Jane and Nora loved being with Andre! If he was there, they were right there with him! Jane prays for Andre each night in her personal prayers, that he'll be safe in the Marines and she has for years.
CJ, Luis, Denali, Ann and Andre (and Annabelle in the front).
Mom here is explaining the rules to the 'guess what's in the poopy diaper' game. They are different types of candy bars. And I won the game, getting every single one correct, including the Kind and Lara Bars!!!
We got a kick out of the decor of the retirement center's clubhouse with it's antlers, deer heads, and old paintings and we loved the knitted section that was kept in glass with items that were for sale. So cute! I'm so happy my mom is here in this sweet community of people!