Friday, January 15, 2016

July 2015 Review

Oh July, how much I love you! I love the sun, the trees, and the magic of being outside to enjoy the fresh air. We have such beautiful property surrounding our home, that I continually feel joy and pleasure looking out my window and being outside. One of my favorite things is how we finally utilized our deck adequately. We have a nice shade with a good table underneath. We ate outside often for lunch and dinner--despite complaints from the peanut gallery.

Scout Camp

Brent,Walter, Trent,  and Josef attended camp in western New York the first week of July. I won't write much about it because they were all rather reticent about their experience other than enthusiastic comments about having fun. Walter was the Senior Patrol leader and kept extremely busy keeping the boys in the troop on track and on schedule. He acted like a true leader and I was proud of him.

Walter Gets a Job

Walter's hard work and diligence garnered recognition at the scout camp. He was approached by the staff and offered a position as a Counselor-in-training at the camp. Because he was underage (not quite 16), he worked on a stipend-which was extremely small. The experience was beneficial. Brent and I both agreed that it was a good opportunity for him. The week after scout camp, he worked hard at home to read 10 academic articles and reported on them in preparation for his Science Research class. Then we packed him up and he went off to camp. He worked most of the summer, working from Sunday evening to Saturday morning. We'd pick him up on Saturday morning and bring him home. After church on Sunday, he would return to the camp. In preparation for the experience, he got his first smartphone so he could contact us in an emergency. He did well at his job, working hard and diligently. They offered him a counselor position next summer. I don't think he'll take it because he has other obligations this summer.

Mama and Batch #2 Home Alone

The three younger children and I stayed home. I tried to make our time as engaging and fun as possible. We went to the beach, played outside, watched Inside Out at the Hyde Park Drive-in.

Independence Day

The boys returned home from camp on July 4th. They were quite exhausted. Both Walter and Trent collapsed on the couches and slept. I was anxious to do something fun that evening and convinced the rest of the family to go to the West Point 4th of July Celebration. The event was really fun with great music, the MoTab choir, and incredible fireworks.

Swimming Lessons

Brooke and Jonathan took swimming lessons this year. Brooke put her whole heart and soul into her lessons and really progressed. She has gone from a fearful, agitated swimmer, to a confident fish. Jonathan advanced a level, but spent half of the class fearful and cold. Finally the instructors coaxed him to really try. When he stopped worrying about being cold, he did really great.

Trent Turns 14

Trent had his birthday at the beginning of the month. He's a funny, quirky kid with a definite sense of what he wants. Sometimes he drives me crazy, but I am also extremely proud of him.

Driving to Wyoming

We had planned to go to Wyoming over the summer but had a tough time pinning down an exact date. Then Brent got really, really ridiculously sick. He got into a patch of poison ivy and had a horrific allergic reaction to it. His entire body was covered with a terrible rash that totally wore him out. Then he got hand, foot, and mouth disease. It was awful. We debated forever on whether or not we should go. We finally decided to go because the University of Wyoming asked him to present some work to them.

Driving across the country is a tough endeavor. We try to do it as fast as possible to maximize time with our family. The kids are good travelers, understanding that complaining is unproductive and unhelpful. 

University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming

I went to UW once when I was in Junior High. This was my first time on the campus, which didn't exactly impress me. While Brent presented some work he has done for a group of professors in the Science Department, I took the kids around the campus.

They have a small dinosaur museum that interested us. When my boys were little and we lived in Sweden, they had a movie called The Story of Big Al, about an almost intact allosaurus skeleton that was found in Wyoming. Using the findings of the paleontologists who studied the skeleton, they reconstructed Big Al's life. A replica of the skeleton is on the display at this tiny dinosaur museum on campus.

Baby Jack

My sister gave birth to our her fourth baby, a boy, the day we drove to Wyoming. Because Brent had been so sick, I ran to the hospital to see her. Otherwise the rest of us were going to stay out of the way so as not to get the kids or baby sick.

I was so happy to see my sister, but she had a really rough delivery. I also got to see my Mom and Dad. I can't even say how much I miss them on a daily basis. Getting to hug them and talk to them in person filled me with so much joy.

A Week With the Wacasers

Spending time with Brent's parents was a big treat. They are wonderful people who happen to have the most amazing son in the world. We enjoyed spending time around our hometown. The kids have favorite places to visit and it is important that we hit them all!

Josef's Birthday

Josef turned 12 at the end of the month. We had a wonderful celebrating his special day. We had a birthday party at the Wacaser's house. My parents came too because Trent and Josef were both going to be ordained to different offices of the priesthood.

My dad ordained Josef to be a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. Brent ordained Trent to the office of Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. Kent talked briefly about how the Priesthood is an important vehicle to offer service. It was a really special experience.


No comments: