Monday, August 25, 2014

Swimming Lessons

 One of the things that has become a tradition during summer break, is taking swimming lessons at Ms. Lorie's house.  This summer, Kate & Hannah did 2 sessions of lessons and Jack did 1.    Jack and Kate are great swimmers and worked on getting better on their strokes.  Hannah went from not swimming at all to being able to swim across the pool.  She's not quite able to get all the way AND take a breath, but she definitely made a lot of improvements.

Ms. Lorie is so great with the kids - especially Hannah.   She is patient and understanding, but she also doesn't take any crap.  If she asks the kids to do something, she expects them to do it.


 Ms. Lorie explaining (for the 100th time at least) to take a breath
 Jack became a much better diver over the course of his session.

 Hannah again

 Flipping to her back

 Kate also became a much better diver

 Hannah diving from the side of the pool
 Hailey was an angel at these lessons. She'd have a snack and do activities.  She was also in the middle of potty-training (which went great and fast!)!
 Jumping off the diving board is not Hannah's favorite thing to do, but she still did it :)
 Of course, it's more of a launch then a jump, but still so cute!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hannah's Birthday

On July 28th, Hannah turned 6!  The night before, we had a birthday dinner for her. She chose grilled chicken and noodles with alfredo sauce.  She was kind enough to let me just buy cookies for her dessert.  (I had hosted the 24th of July on Thursday, held our annual Buckeye BBQ on Saturday and then done her birthday dinner on Sunday).

On her actual birthday, she woke up during the night and had thrown up.  Poor girl!  She slept fine the rest of the night, but we had to cancel playdate plans with her best friend Heidi that morning just to be sure.   (Emily & Lindsey left for Girl's Camp this same morning).    But, she seemed to feel fine, so we still went to swimming lessons and she played with Kate & Hailey during the day.   Then, on Wednesday, we had Heidi for most of the day and had a birthday celebration at McDonald's for lunch.

Hannah was so excited to get the "Rebecca" American Girl doll from my mom.   My mom actually ordered the doll a couple of years ago and it's been high in my closet.   Hannah's middle name is Rebecca, so it fits perfectly.    Hannah absolutely loves her.  (Thankfully the night of the throw up, the Rebecca doll was on the opposite side of the throw up).

 Kate made the little blanket for her.

She waited patiently until Jon got home in the evening to open her big present from us.  She was so excited to also get the Lego Cinderella Castle.  This family of ours loves Legos!   She puts them together all by herself.


We sure love this Hannah of ours!  She is a big first grader now and still cracks us up daily.   She loves building Legos, doing melty beads, playing with Heidi, teasing Hailey, dancing and watching movies.     She is in the 30th percentile for her weight and height - but has to be in the 120% for cuteness!

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Esco's visit!

During the middle of July, my cousin Ashlie and 3 out of her 4 kids were able to fly into SLC and spend a week with us!  They came all the way from Boston and we just absolutely love when we get to see them!

They came in on Thursday night.  On Friday night, we decided to go to a Bee's baseball game.  It was a great night - the ballpark wasn't super crowded and we sat in the shade.  My mom (and later Mike & Mandy) also came!
Hailey loves the Bee and gets excited every time she sees it.

 Max (almost 15), Emily (14), Hailey (3), Hannah (almost 6), the Bee (age unknown), Kate (8), Abby (13), & Tom (10).  (Lindsey was at a birthday party and Jack was there at the game too but had gone with a friend.  Jon was at work).

 It filled in a little more than this - but it was wonderful!

 These two were angels - they were happy to just play with this My Little Pony book and then eat treats.

 Kate knows how to relax at a game :)

 My mom was so sweet and bought all the kids a treat.  Hannah wanted an icecream cone and came back with this!

We loved spending the days with Ashlie & the kids.  On Monday morning, she drove Max, Abby, Emily & Lindsey down to BYU so they could attend sports camps.  (Max did baseball, Abby did volleyball & my girls did soccer).  

While they were gone, we went to a movie, we went to the float preview to see the 24th of July floats, we spent an evening at the zoo with Meg, and Tom & Jack just played and played.

The girls got home on Thursday (July 24th) just in time for a big family BBQ - which included a taffy pull.  I wish I had gotten more pictures!

I'm working on convincing the Esco's to just move to Utah and be our next door neighbors!  They are so, so wonderful!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Patriot Camp

During the middle of July, the girls got to participate in Patriot Camp!  This is the most amazing camp and I am so grateful for all the hundreds of volunteer hours that went into providing this.

Emily & Lindsey were able to be volunteers at it (which also can be counted as a Young Women's value experience).   They were each assigned an age group to help take to each station every day.  Kate & Hannah were able to be "campers" and attend.  (I originally signed Jack up as well, but then realized I had already signed him up for the annual Johnsen & Johnsen basketball camp that he loves to go to).

The kids go each day for an entire week from 9 a.m. to noon.   They learn about our founding fathers and the principles & values that our founding fathers built our nation on.  They learned about historical events, historical figures, they learned great songs and made great new friends.  They got the cutest shirts and every day came home with fun reminders about what they talked about that day.   All for $30.   Can you believe it?  Amazing!

I love Patriot Camp!  I love that they can learn about our amazing country!   On the last day, the parents can come and watch them perform their songs.

 Kate's the blond on the right (looking at the camera)
On that last day too, they had visits from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and a Revolutionary War soldier!

 This is the group - the kids in the blue shirts are the "campers."  The kids in the tan shirts are the youth volunteers (Lindsey wasn't here this day - she was playing in a soccer tournament).
 Can you spot Hannah?  She's on the 2nd row - 1st "camper" on the left.  I love that they smile when they see me with the camera.
 This is Emily's group - she's on the back row - 2nd one in.
 Emily's best friend, Kate, also volunteered.  She was over Hannah's group.  This was also the group that Lindsey helped with.  Hannah's on the front row, far left.
Kate made this cute friend, Grace

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Whole Lot of Work for a Bad Night's Sleep - aka Camping

I am a self-proclaimed "indoor" girl.    I know - who admits that?   Well, I do!   I go for a walk every morning and I do love being outside with family, etc., but I love sleeping in my bed, putting clean kids to bed in clean beds, etc.   So, not surprisingly, I don't do much camping.

But!  This summer, my brother Rich found a reservation available at Heber Valley Girl's Camp in Heber, Utah for one night, so we decided to go!   It was really, really fun - but oh my, so much work!  The Church owns and runs the camp, so it is very clean and well kept.   There were great cabins to sleep in, a pavilion with tables, refrigerators, electricity, etc.  So, not roughing it, but about my style of camping.   Our problem is though that because we had to bring sleeping pads/gear for 8 people - we were absolutely packed in the Suburban.  It was more full then it was a month previous when we drove to CA for a week!

But - it was really great!   We got there about 2:00 and had reservations on the lake first.  We had some rain storms hit on and off that afternoon, but it really helped keep the temperature cool and the bugs away.  Here are the awesome canoers!

 (for the record...I really do think Jack will hate all the faces that he makes in every picture - maybe not soon, but some day).
 Here's Jon trying to get us kicked off the lake...


After being in the canoe's, we had reservation for a "challenge course."  We put on all the gear/helmets/etc. and each took a turn.  Hailey & Sophia were too little to climb, but they still let them be strapped on and do some swinging.

 Sophia absolutely loved it!

Once we got back to camp, my parents had arrived.  We played games and visited.  Jon and I were in charge of dinner, so we had brought up a roast to cook in the crockpot for French dip sandwiches, fruit, chips and green beans.     The kids had fun watching for squirrels.  Hailey & Sophia found their own fun with plastic cups and tissues.  Becky Cowden & Richard Olsen got there around dinner time and it was so fun to have them there too!


 Trying to start a fire with wet firewood proved to be tricky - but they did it. 
 This lady thought she needed a coat  & hat!

 I love this picture - Kate, Sophia, Becky & Hannah
The kids all slept amazing!  The cabin even got a little hot - we should have opened windows before going to bed.  But, we all slept until 8. 

Sophia had some impressive bed-head.

Misty & Rich made us a delicious breakfast - bacons, eggs, pancakes, juice & milk.  Yum!

After breakfast, we spent awhile getting the campsite cleaned.  The couples there describe Heber Valley as a "self-cleaning camp."   Which basically meant - deep spring cleaning after only a one night stay. 

It was a wonderful time and great memories!  Thank you to Misty & Rich for planning and organizing it!