Wednesday, October 30, 2013

August Zoo Day

Adam has stopped being compliant when I'm trying to take fun pictures of the kids.

But hey, I got his back!


They have a new water area put in this summer, but since we don't like fighting the crowds during that busy season, we didn't have any idea.  The kids had a blast with the jumping water fountain.

Sam was the best at catching it right in the chest.

And the face.

The little girls spent most of their time on the slide and tip toeing through a little wading area.

And yay!  I was officially there!  :)

Dice, Biking, Walking, School, and such

I was chastised in a roundabout way the other day for not keeping this updated, so here's a few latest.

Rolling the Dice
You'd think with a 12 passenger van, 8 people could find seats they were happy with.  You'd think.  After a brief honeymoon of seat happiness, it got to the point that the coveted seat was the one right behind the front passenger (closest to the door for the kids in back to get out).  Since it was always the same one or two that ended up getting it and that always involved arguing, I declared that they would have to ask for special permission to sit there so others would get the chance.  Apparently this seat is so important, that after a much longer time of that working, I would have people (the same couple that were always fighting in the first place), racing each other to ask me, sometimes 20 minutes before the bus was even leaving.  I know I should be understanding, but is the place you occupy for 3 minutes to church so important that you have to think that far ahead to try to secure prime real estate?  They were (usually) fine when I told them it was someone else's turn, but in a moment of frustration (and cleverness), I changed methods.  I found a 12-sided dice in my dice stash, assigned a number to most seats (driver, front passenger, and Madeleine's car seat spot don't count), and they roll the dice and sit where it tells them.  And so far so good!  We'll see how long this one lasts.  It's been a couple months, and I really like it.  Funny, though.  The one who still stresses about it the most first thought it would be best to roll first, but now goes to the end of the line.  Again, probably my mistake, but I've been known to allow the last person to spread things out instead of having four people packed on the back seat when the other two benches are almost empty.  He picked up on it very quickly.

Madeleine and the Baby
A couple weeks ago Madeleine was sitting next to be when the baby really started moving, to the break dancing belly point.  I pointed and asked her if she could see the baby moving in my tummy.  She looked over and grinned.  She would hug and kiss my tummy before then, but now it's even more.  One day after she kissed it, she put her hand on the back of my head, told me to kiss the baby, and pushed.  I challenge you to kiss your tummy, even 7 1/2 months pregnant when it's closer than normal.

Adam is positively rocking his BYU-I concurrent enrollment classes.  He's gone from telling me two classes plus everything else he's doing is way too much, to really enjoying all that he's learning.  I encouraged him to go easy this first semester, so he's taking an English class and American Foundations.  He's gotten a lot of great feedback on his English assignments, and the A.F. class has been connecting well with things we're studying in our homeschool group.  It's been fun hearing what he's learning, and he's been a blessing to our class by sharing it.  I can definitely see the effects our homeschooling has had on him too.  It's not something he's doing just to get the grade and move on like I know I did, but really thinking through and internalizing the material.  While I've been working on this he's been watching a video for a class, and when I asked him about it, I got a whole lot of response, not just from the video, but his own thoughts too.  Love it.

50 Mile Bike Ride
Sammy did a 50 mile bike ride a couple weekends ago with some of the other scouts.  It took most of the day, and 10 miles away from the finish he got two flat tires, one that had been fixed over and over already, and had to pull out.  But he and Adam rode around the neighborhood later that evening to finish the last 10.  He was pretty beat, but he did it!

This picture was showing off his cool bike helmet hair.

We drove out to the ranch at Antelope Island to have lunch with Jamie who was driving as part of the support team, and when my parents heard we were headed out there, they called and asked if we had room for them.  The girls and I had fun with them out there, although we didn't really see Jamie much.  Support team was a busy job.

Walking and Walking
Jamie and I have both been walking a lot lately.  He got a free FitBit through work but wanted one with more features, so he bought himself a better one and gave me the free one.  It's pretty fun to track and compare your daily step count with friends, and is definitely a motivator to get out when you see someone is just a couple thousand steps away from you.  My time and preggo body don't get me out as much as Jamie, (he has goals he's working on to be in weekly contests through work), but my preggo body hasn't had some of the normal achiness that it has with other pregnancies.

On Fridays during choir Madeleine and I will walk to a nearby park so she can play there for a while.  When Erin and Carolyn are done and we're waiting for the big kids to finish, we'll walk back to the church and get them, and let them all play together while I walk around the outside of the playground.  There are some great climbing trees there too.

Melanie is loving young women's.  She has great leaders there and is working away at her personal progress.  She's also taken on some of our harder homeschool classes, including an art and lit class.  I wasn't sure if she would be ready for it, but she's been keeping up with the assignments really well.  Awesome to have my 12 year old reading things like Cyrano de Bergerac and Henry V.  Definitely a lot different than what I was reading in 7th grade.

Just Overheard Madeleine saying in that sing-song tattletale voice, "Adam just put me in the garbage."  Followed by lots of giggling from Sammy and Melanie.  Just after that he was putting her somewhere (apparently on a shelf in the closet) and I heard her say, "Adam, I'm going to fall all the way down."  After he got her down, she told him, "Adam, that wasn't a good idea."  Woe is me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Awesome Adventures

(Just found most of this in my drafts.  Oops! Finished it up to post.)

Adam had a great summer working at camp again and serving as an NYLT senior patrol leader for a week (I need to get on writing about those).

But since he's been home he's had some much more extreme adventures.  My brother and brother-in-law have been training to do the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim, and they invited Adam to join them in some prep hikes.

A few weeks ago they did 21.6 miles to Ben Lomond Peak in 7 1/2 hours.

On the way up they saw a herd of mountain goats (those little white things).

And here they are at the top!

Adam is a tough kid, so it was pretty telling to me when he walked in the door and flopped on the couch.

Over Labor Day weekend they took on King's Peak.  The plan was to leave at 3am, arrive at the area at 6am, and get on the trail.  They figured they would get home sometime between 9 and 10pm.  Jamie offered to drive them so the extreme hikers could get more rest and be safer, especially on their way home after they would be so completely worn out.

Here's a picture from along the way:

A view getting close to the top - about 1100 feet to go!

I couldn't find one from the top, but if I do, I'll get it added.

For a class Adam is taking he had to create a "This I Believe" statement and from that, create a video/slideshow.  Since it totally fits with this, here it is.