Friday, June 29, 2012

Is it summer yet???

Our first couple weeks of summer break haven't felt much like summer. 

They were filled with doctor's appointments, orthodontist appointments, (Jacob now has braces again), more doctor's appointments, sick kids (Ashley for at least a week), pink eye, another trip to the doctors, me getting pink eye and visiting 3 different people in the hospital. Sad for all of our hospital family and friends though because their summer is much less fun than ours. 

One bright spot was a trip to the water park. It's still cool in Riverside but the Palm Springs waterpark is always nice and hot. Instead of buying passes we were only doing one trip this year but we went with friends and it was a great day. 

This is the only picture I got that day :(  

If you're wondering why most of my pictures just feature Ashley, it's because she is usually next to me and she doesn't fight me taking pictures of her :)

The end of the first week of summer I spent the day with my sister Angela at the hospital while her husband went into surgery. Her husband Robert had been having headaches and after doctors not being able to help him they finally did an MRI and found a brain tumor. 

This was shocking news. They have a one year old and just bought a home and moved in the weekend before. The up side was Angela's job was done for the summer 2 days before they found the tumor and she was able to be available during the beginning of the process of tests and hospital stays. 

The doctors are still trying to determine the type of tumor it is exactly and the best course of treatment. There are still more questions than answers it seems and more surgery is required. 

What amazes me is Robert and Angela have been calm, dignified and strong through this whole process. They are receiving lots of help, prayers and well wishes. 

Any extra prayers for Robert and his family would be much appreciated. 

The day after Robert's surgery Joel and Virginia decided to drive down from Utah for a visit so they could see Robert and hang out with him at the hospital. 

An unexpected visit from cousins is always fun!

Jacob and Scott are going to be roommates at EFY this year so they got to spend some pre-bonding time playing Monopoly on the I-pad (much less messy that way)

Ashley and Dean had fun together. 

Virginia says that Dean talks about Ashley a lot and every time he sees a blue Honda he calls it "Ashley's car". I guess every time Dean got impatient on his drive down Virginia was just have to remind Dean that they were going to be at Ashley's house soon. 

The next day was Sunday and Father's Day and the Oleson's were able to come to church with us to see Jeff be called into the bishopric! He was called to be the first counselor in our ward!

This will mean more opportunities to serve but he will still be able to work with the scouts and he will still get to work with Jacob's group. 

Part way through church Joel and family went on to the hospital to see Robert and after church we had everyone come back to the house for some food. 

Jenae holding Violet. 

Since Jeff had stuff to do at the church so the rest of the family was nice enough to step up and help finish getting dinner ready. These girls are heating up tortilla's right on the flames...I learned something new. 

Nice to have Josh and Ian back. 

JJ just found out the night before that he is going on his mission to Orlando Florida!

It's always fun to have Ryan and Cheri and their girls. 

Reuben was given some father's day love. 

With everything going on Jeff had to wait for the next day to get his. Sorry honey ;)

Trying to get a picture of all the grand kids...I think we were just missing Gage and Chase. 

Silly kids. 

My Monday was filled with girls camp meetings but Tuesday we drove out to Los Angeles to see Robert in the hospital and see Joel and Virginia again. Robert was very alert and patient with his hospital family reunion. It was nice to visit with him. We are looking forward to more visits with him along with other family that will be coming out their way.

Ian (Robert and Angela's baby) is happy and fun. Jeff likes to spoil him. 

After our visit we hit a restaurant for dinner. The boys playing more monopoly. 

The next morning it was time to say goodbye to Dean and his family. 

We'll see them in a couple of weeks when we head up their way. 

The next few days were filled a hair appointment for me, and the next day more hair appointments for the boys, a temple trip for Jeff and the boys, a late training night for Jeff and a Relief Society craft night. They did a great 4th of July themed event.

Sharla and her kids were down visiting from Oregon. Since I was going to be gone at girls camp most of the time she was going to be in Riverside we squeezed a visit in. 

Since it happened to be Everett's 15th birthday we decided to bring him to Hangar 18 where Taylor loves to rock climb.

Since I have to drive Taylor down there anyway I took a class to belay him. It's been fun to watch him climb and to be his rope to let him down when he falls. 


Everett likes the free climbing walls the best. 

The other day I brought Jacob and Taylor to the climbing gym and Jacob thought he wanted to try it. One look and he decided not to. I guess it was a little more intimidating than he thought :)

After feeding the kids lunch I met Sharla and her family at Orange Terrace park and the younger ones ran through the water feature. It was fun to catch up with Sharla even though it was brief. 

This last Sunday was Jeff's first Sunday on the stand. We moved to sit on the other side of the chapel so we could see him. I thought it would be easy sitting with the kids on my own since I didn't have young kids that I needed to take out. Hmmmm,  I had to referee, separate kids, referee more, confiscate a phone and one child's actions had to be corrected by looks from Jeff from the stand. 

On the up side I think Jeff will be suited to a lot of what will be asked from him. He is great with people, and counsels and supports them every day with his job, he isn't shy in front of a crowd and likes to be a part of making things happen. Along with the new things he will learn in his calling I am looking forward to this being a positive, growing experience for him and our family. 

The Relief Society president in our ward, Donna Culbertson was nice enough to plan a potluck to thank the old bishopric counselors and welcome the new ones. So she had tons of people at her house and lots of food. 

It was great to hang out with lots of church members and let the kids visit. 

Then it was home to pack for girls camp in the morning!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last week of school

Ok so the last week of school was like almost 3 weeks ago but you can tell how busy summer is because I haven't had time to even post about the last week of school...

On Monday I had a great family home evening object lesson idea...that didn't go so quite as well as I had hoped....which sometimes happens. I had a piece of glass and I had the kids cut out things from advertisements and tape them all over the glass. 

Ashley diligently picked out things she liked...the boys were trying to be silly and tried to look for bikini girls, (you can see Ashley's gum covering one girls stomach). 

My plan was to show how hard it was to read the scriptures while all the things on the glass were in the way. I was trying to show how it's hard to be spiritual when all the the things in life get in the way.

Didn't work. 

Jacob found the littlest peep hole and read the scriptures just fine. :(
Then Taylor did the same.

Defeated my whole point and when I tried to teach what I had in mind they were just silly....trying to teach the gospel to teens keeps me on my toes for sure. 

On Tuesday night Ashley and I were at mutual and she got to learn to decorate cakes. Even though she is 2 years too young for mutual since our family is all at the building she gets to come with me and participate in the big girl's stuff. 

I knew she was growing up way too fast ;0)  The girls are always nice to her though which I appreciate. 

I subbed the last week of school for a couple of classes. 
Wow I'll have to do a whole post on subbing. There's a lot to say about it...another time.

Anyways on Thursday I got to help the fourth graders with their water day and root beer float party. 

They stood in lines and had relays, water balloon fights and then had root beer floats. It's funny Ashley's friend Kyra from Mexico DID NOT like the root beer. I guess it's an American thing. She thought it tasted very weird and just wanted ice-cream. 

There was a lot of left over ice cream so I brought it home because I was getting ready for our end of school ice-cream party that Summer and I were planning. I made LOTS of waffle cones to share....lots of time but I thought it would be fun to have something good to put the ice-cream in.

Friday morning dawned...last day of school and Jacob's 8th grade promotion!

We were so proud of Jacob. 

He got straight A's again this trimester. He had a lanyard to wear but...he didn't want to wear it. 

They had us parents on the field. They had set up a lot of chairs but they were still about 500 to 600 short so I sat on the grass as close as we could get (in a skirt). We were happy to be able to get pictures of Jacob during the ceremony. 

Congratulations Jacob!

Proud parents.

One of Jacob's friend gave him a candy lei. 

Emily Rioux from the ward.  Jacob wanted to leave the promotion pretty quickly and we were surprised that he didn't want to stay a bit and say goodbye to his friends. 

Later on he confided that he didn't want to stay because he was getting emotional and he didn't want to cry in front of them. 

Since Jacob wanted to leave so quick he was home from school at 9:15...I think that's the shortest school day ever!

I picked up Ashley at 11:45 and at 12:30 we went over to the park to have a big last day of school ice-cream party. It was great and lots of people ended up coming. Our first spot that we set up under the one covered picnic table didn't work so well, I guess we were in the middle of day-time watering cycle at the park and we all ended up getting soaked when the sprinklers turned on and we had to try and rescue all the food. 

Our next spot was in the sun so all the chocolate chips and chocolate toppings ended up being goo.

The sprinklers turned out being good for the kids though. More than one child ran through them fully clothed (including Ashley). Ashley's friend Soli then came over to go on the slip and slide. Fun last day of school.  I'm sure we'll do the ice-cream party again next year. 

Of course when I got home after over two hours of serving everyone ice-cream I found out that none of my kids had any of it. I was asked by one of them to make an ice-cream shake. Nope, they should've ate it while I was serving it. 

It's like those times we go to a church dinner and then they ask in the car on the way home "so whats for dinner" Hmmmm.

Saturday was the kid's piano recital. 

This time it was at the main library in downtown Riverside. 

All the kids got through it (I was a little worried with their lack of practicing at times) 

They did great. 

This was most likely Taylor's last recital. 

Sad but I have to respect that he's ready to move on. 

(Though he assures me he is not going to stop playing the piano)

This all feels like it happened two months ago! We are all ready for summer. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Memorial weekend and Ashley's school play

Memorial weekend started out with a teen scary movie night. 

One of Taylor's friends from seminary started talking about scary movies...then Taylor said "you haven't seen scary until you've seen Woman in Black" and then the movie night was on. We saw the movie as a family and it was suspenseful but not too bad...perfect to make friends jump in the night without grossing anyone out so we knew it would be a good one for them. 

Taylor texted a couple of people and told them to spread the word and we ended up with a crew of teens to eat snacks and snuggle up watching the movie. I was in the back in the other room watching it and the most entertaining part to me was the screams and jumps from the kids. We had the back window open so it was cold too. The TV messed up at this part so while Jeff is fixing it everyone crammed together to watch the end of the movie and of course I had to sneak a picture in.

Monday was a fun family day with extended family visiting Yucaipa Regional Park. I told Ashley that she could invite her friend Jenna and lucky for both of them she was available to come with us. Both girls were so happy. (It's helpful to borrow a sister for Ashley sometimes since we don't have one for her)

Sure the chair is big enough for two. Caden was fun to play ball with and hang out with the girls. 

We hung out at the swimming area that day. The air was warm but the water was COLD so not a whole lot of swimming. Just a dip here and there and playing in the sand. 

There are two water-slides there and the kids insisted that they would really go on them enough to justify wristbands. So Jeff bought wristbands...they would have to go on them 5 times to make it pay for itself...I think the record was 3 times. I think the water was too cold for them. But it didn't matter we had a great day otherwise. 

We spread out our EZ-ups and hung out and ate our lunches and snacks. 

A little later in the afternoon we went over to the other side of the lake and rented paddleboats. (you can see Caden is ready to go too)

We had to wait in a line for people to come back with the paddleboats...since there was a lot of us we kind of had to wait a long time. We asked the worker girl how many boats there were so we could get a better idea of how long the wait was "Ooohhh I don't know"  I thought it was weird that she didn't know. 

Things were moving so slow Jeff jumped in and started helping her. He was loading people on and off the boats, getting the line moving. It was hilarious. Finally boats came in and we started loading up. 

Jeff didn't go on a boat but ended up helping the worker girls the whole time!

I found out quickly how hard it is to paddle these by yourself. Jenna tried to help but her feet kept slipping off the pedals and when they were on I think she was just letting them go around with the pedal and not really pushing. I could tell because I couple of times we had to escape splashing from Taylor's boat and then I could feel her really pedaling and it was a big difference. 

When we were done my legs were burning. I asked Jenna if her legs hurt at all "No they're fine" Hmmmmm.

We ended up using all the boats the place had. You couldn't tell until we got out onto the lake how many boats there ware. There were 4 boats....I'm not sure why the worker girl didn't know that there were 4, it's not like there were 34.

Even Caden got to go. I wondered if he would be excited to go on the boat...he was pretty chill the whole time. 

Dad splurging for icees....nice hot day for them. 

Cheri and Ryan got there a little later in the day. We were happy to have them and see baby Violet again. What a cute family. 

And this cute family finally got their baby to sleep. He was needing a nap almost from the time they got there, but too much going on so he wasn't able to get to sleep...until after the boat ride. ;)

All in all it was a very fun day with family. Thanks Steve again for planning a fun family day. 

The next day it was hard for the kids to want to go to school. They said with the hot weather and swimming the day before it felt like summer...and they were ready for it to be summer. They still have 2 weeks left though after Memorial Day. 

Jacob's backpack is even done. He came home telling me it's broken...well the whole front pocket won't zip up. I tried to see what I could do and I noticed he tried to tape it and staple it. Didn't work...ha ha. 

Friday Ashley had her school play. It was a 4th grade production on the westward expansion. 

I love these school plays that teach the students the curriculum while they are singing fun, silly songs and acting out life cycles or history making it real for them. 

So Ashley's part is the "delivery girl" and she keeps coming to seddlers, Indians and sod busters and such trying to deliver packages without success. 

She had a lot of lines and did great with her part!

Here she's sitting on a bowling ball that nobody wanted to take from her. 

I have a package here!!! (Her mail bag as almost as big as her!)

Her last package was supposed to be the golden spike to join the transcontinental railroads together in Promontory point, Utah. 

For this last one she needed the script...lots of big transcontinental and Promontory...instead of a golden spike she opens her box and it's a golden bowling ball. So she decides to head out west...quick. 

Great job Ashley!!!

One more week of school left. We all can't wait!