On Monday after memorial day I went to the cemetery and helped pick up the flags off the graves. There were a lot of people there and then they had bus loads of kids coming to help pick them up as a field trip! I got some evil eyes and a comment that I was being rude by a bandanna wearing veteran when I was talking on the phone while I was picking up flags...so I had to get off the phone, otherwise it all went good.
At the beginning of the month Ashley wanted to go to the beach. It's June so why not.
Except that it was cold and cloudy that day at the beach while it was super hot in Riverside. We ended up staying only for a little while and then coming back home to BBQ and swim in our pool.
The Friday before the kids got out of school I got to go to Legoland with my family. Jared still works there and got us all in for free. Janell and her family are down and Angela and Robert were down. Since everyone else had school and work I just went down to meet them on my own.
We started out at the Aquarium which was nice because everyone could walk through together.
The boys got hats for getting all the stamps on their map in the aquarium.
The big boys
We ate lunch and I got to ride the new (to me) Ninjago ride which was super cute. I have to say for an amusement park it had good food.
I got to play fun aunt and give the boys candy and take Ian on rides when Angela had to feed Paisley. I was in line for a roller coaster with Ian and right in the middle of the line he insisted he needed to go to the bathroom right then, it couldn't wait. So we had to duck out of the line and I took him and then try and duck back into line to get back to the group, ha ha. It all worked out good.
I loved how they had places to play or legos to build things with as you waited in line for the rides. If some kids didn't want to go on the rides there was always an option to do something else while they waited. This would be a good idea for banks, grocery stores, car repair shops... and the list goes on. :)
There favorite ride was the one where they could drive the cars themselves.
Cute smiley Paisley
It was fun to be able to hang out with them. It's been a long time since I've been at Legoland and it reminded me of when I went with the kids when they were younger.
A couple of days later we got to go to Dean's baptism. His grandparents drove out from Utah and his grandpa gave him a hand made, hand decorated box that had his name on it. It was so nice and very thoughtful.
Jared was the one that got to baptize Dean and it was a special experience for both of them.
It was fun to see my sisters. 4 out of 5 of us were together which doesn't happen very often...of course it did last year too at Jacob's graduation.
It was nice to have Janell's family there. Cody graduates next year and Benny is starting to get pretty tall. They are all growing up!
We are having fun with Paisley (Ashley is holding her at the baptism) and she is super smiley when she's in a good mood and makes everyone around her coo at her. Cody and Levi loved her the most they were so cute with her.
So on our fridge we have graduation announcements for Natalie Allen, Joseph Hovey (he got called on a mission to San Antonio Texas), Liz (dad's secretary) daughter, Ethan Pendelton, Ethan Thompson, Dallin Banagas, Brooke (cousin Brooke), Joseph Hovey, Rachel Kilstrom,Sarah Hales (we'll be sad Ashley won't have rides any more) and Jolene.
I have some of Jolene's senior pictures because she came over and I got to help her plan out her announcements.
She is in love with Dairy Queen and had to include a picture on the announcement and has a picture of her in Dairy Queen.
We all went to Jolene's graduation. We've been to all 6 of Steve and Tahna's kid's graduations over the years and this was the last one for them!! (Ashley gets to go to Josh's college graduation because she is going with Jolene on their vacation to see his graduation in Idaho). Jolene is planning to go to RCC next year and study sign language like her brother.
The graduating class...
The pizza after party
Wednesday was Ashley's last day of finals and the last day of school. She ended up getting a 3.5. Not bad for her freshmen year, being a procrastinator and all. That night we drove up to Brooke's graduations. After homeschooling for most of her education she went to a local high school senior year and she graduated with honors. She got to wear a special robe and everything. She's only 16 because she skipped a grade and she's starting college classes next week. I guess she's a pretty smart cookie!
Brooke's after party!!
It was a long day for Ashley because then she went straight to Steve and Tahna's house to spend the night with Jolene to be there with her when she got her wisdom teeth out. She was glad to be there for Jolene but came home with a cold that ended just as it was time to go to girls camp.
The next after the graduation Jeff and I went to see Imagine Dragons!! I found the tickets and got Joel and Virginia to come with us too. We were worried about getting into LA with all the traffic and the theater didn't have seats so we had made arrangements to have a spot on the side on the padded bench which they had roped off for handicap seating. It all worked out good and we were right up front.
When we got there an hour early the line was already wrapped around the building but since we had the special seating we didn't have to wait in line.
Dark picture, we all made it after fighting traffic and finding parking.
They did a great job and sounded just as good in person as they do on the radio. Dad and Joel even enjoyed it much more than they thought they would and knew more songs that they thought they would.
I love it! They put on a great show!
So this week Ashley and I went up to girls camp. The first day her group of girls did their own activity which was a high ropes course at UCR. Ashley did it too!
The camp theme was Go the Distance and each cabin featured a woman who had made a difference in history.
I loved the theme and some of the speakers this week.
Our cabin was Coco Chanel
Here is our group of girls. Our cabin ID was a pearl bracelet with a Chanel logo on it.
Since Ashley was a Level 4 she got to help run some of the rotations and have tie-die shirts to distinguish them from the other campers.
Great job girls. Having fun.
There was one point where the girls had pillowcases that they carried with them and at each station they would hear a thought about not giving up, and doing hard things and then they would put either a rock or a piece of wood in their bag and they had to carry it on their journey without putting it down. As we went up the hill Portia (a girl in my cabin with cystic fibrosis) had a hard time breathing she sat down and said "I don't think I can make it" My heart went out to her and thought how many of us feel like that. But then she got up and made it to the top of the hill and then the rest was down hill and she was able to finish the activity. Watching that was one of my most powerful moments. At the end they met up with the stake presidency with their heavy bags and they asked them if they needed any help with their bags. If they said no and then they walked to Sister Rex who said "it's OK to ask for help with your burdens" and then they would walk back. Some of them finally got it to ask for help and then the men and us as leaders helped carry their load as they walked. We didn't take the bag from them we just carried the weight of it then they went into a cabin that had a picture of the savior and they were able to dump their burdens literally at the savior's feet. All the girls thought that was the most powerful activity.
The canoeing was probably the most fun activity for Ashley
She got to ride in style and not even paddle.
I wasn't going to canoe unless someone needed a partner and someone needed a partner. I had to take the last life jacket that had just been in the lake when the last group fell out of their canoe. It was covered in stuff, was wet and smelled like fish. Things we do to serve others ;)
Our camp service project was putting together kids and cutting and sewing things for the Days for Girls organization.
The girls were able to put together 123 kits and make a lot of components for other kits.
The next day while the girls were doing rotations I was able to help trace and cut more shields and then brought a bunch to the bowling alley for the other women to work on while we waited for the kids to bowl.
Bishop's night he took a picture with his drone.
We played Mafia for our game and the girls were ready to play it again after they realized how to do it.
Glad to be here with Ashley
Most of the things that I was worried the most about weren't a problem. In the end I only had one night of insomnia instead of multiple nights, there were blessings like electricity in our cabin and not getting bit by mosquitoes even though I lost count of how many I swatted off of me (I always get bit and plenty of other people did). In the end it was all good. Portia who had the health problems even was able to participate in everything and had a great time.
A few hours after I pulled in the driveway Ashley, Jeff and I went to Bettie and Steve's surprise 50th Anniversary party.
We got to see Trevor who just got back from his mission.
They had some great performers and awesome food.
Jeff and the guys trying to show their best haka face.
Ashley had 2 days to recover and then I dropped her off to be driven up to Santa Barbara for EFY this week. I don't have any pictures yet but she says she's having fun.
This is my favorite picture of Paisley so far. So cute!! She is all over Facebook. The rest of us in the family are stealing this picture!