August 25, 2010

First Day of School!

Well, it's finally here! The first day of school and summer is officially over! I feel like I can now get back into somewhat of a routine!
This year, Ian started 2nd Grade! He is so tall now, and has changed so much over the past year! He had lost a lot of teeth, so his smile is now at the beginning stages of his 'grown up' mouth! haha! (in other words... he's gonna need braces) haha! Ian was very anxious to go back to school, as he has told me repeatedly that our house is boring. I agree with him! haha! But he likes to have his schedule, so I'm glad that he's gonna get back into it now. He was pleased that a lot of the kids from his 1st grade class are again in his class this year, although, some of the same trouble makers are back too, so we'll see how that goes!Luke started Kindergarten this year and has been anxiously awaiting today all summer! Even though his preschool teacher said back in February that he wouldn't be ready for kindergarten this year, I went with my gut and threw him in all day. I think he will benefit a LOT from a schedule as well, even though one of the first questions out of his mouth this morning was, 'mom, are we gonna get to play in kindergarten?' I assured him that, yes, kindergartener's get to play a lot during school, but they also have to listen to their teacher when it's work time! He was good with that!
When we dropped them off this morning at the school, I hugged and kissed them both, and they took off into the school... neither one of them looked back and waved, but I'm ok with that. They are great kids and I'm glad that they are independent and ready for this year!Mason, on the other hand, was VERY sad that his brothers didn't take him with them! But he got over it.Mom and Dad.... we were VERY excited to see them walking into that school with confidence and smiles on their faces! (oh, yes, and FREEDOM!!!) We love our boys and are proud of who they are becoming!

August 23, 2010

Laundry Buddy

Nature Museum and Lincoln Park Zoo

Last Monday, the boys and I got to go up to Chicago with my friend Judi, to the Nature Museum and Lincoln Park Zoo for the day! It was beautiful and warm, and we had a great time! The boys really liked the hands on fun at the Museum, and their favorite part was the butterfly room. There were hundreds of butterflies and moths in this sunroom and it was very neat. there was a fun play room and they boys really had a good time. We even got to see a different kind of bird watching the fish on the shore of the pond, waiting to 'catch' the right one for his lunch. We didn't get to see him get his lunch, but he was being pretty stealthy!
After the Museum, we went over to the Lincoln Park Zoo, that was across the street, and walked around there for a while. We got to see the Gorillas, the lions, tigers and cheetah, and the reptile house, and some larger animals too. It was warm out, so we treated the kids to snow cones! They really liked those a lot! We had a fun time with our friends and are grateful that they wanted us to go with them!

August 20, 2010

Segway Tour in Chicago!!!

Last Friday, our friends, Michelle and Bill, took us up to Chicago to go on a Segway Tour! It was 3 hours of TOTAL fun, and I am so glad we got the opportunity to go! We also got to spend the day with our friends, kid-free! That was a bonus! We started our tour in Millennium Park and went as far down the lake shore as the old Meigs Field! We went to Buckingham Fountain, Celebration Gardens, the Museum Campus, the beach, Soldier Field, the old Meigs Field, and we even got to watch as the Blue Angels did some practice runs for the air and water show that took place the following day! It was so amazing! The weather was GREAT! I don't think there wasn't a time I was not smiling on that thing! Dave and I would try to race each other - they go up to 13 miles per hour! It was just SO much fun and I definately want to do it again!
Watch Video clip of me just learning how HERE!

After the Segway Tour, we went to Millennium Park again and visited The Bean! Dave has never been there before, and I have never taken pictures of me by it! It was very cool.

After The Bean, we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and stuffed ourselves silly! I ate SO much food! It was so good! After Hard Rock, we walked down to Navy Pier to catch a Ferris wheel ride! Dave hadn't ever been on the Ferris wheel either, so it was fun. We made it on as one of the last ones to go before they closed... it was good timing too, because a thunderstorm was rolling in and we had to book it to catch our train! We made it and it was a fun filled day!

Finish the night off with a kiss on the Ferris wheel!

August 12, 2010

Rock Painting 101

A few days ago, the boys were over at their Great Grandma Beeler's house, and they were playing in the yard. Well, as it goes with Grandma's, the water was turned on, holes were being dug in the dirt, and low and behold, the boys unearthed this HUGE rock! They actually dug it out themselves and pulled it out of the ground! They were SO incredibly proud of themselves, and I could tell, even underneath the dirty smiles and clothes - lets just say the pre-spot treatment went to good use on those clothes!
They were so proud and wanted to bring this rock home to put somewhere. Ian pulled it in the wheelbarrow from Great Grandma's house, and even washed it off with water before he brought it home too. Ian and I decided that we would put it out in the flower bed right by the driveway, and that when it was all dried off, I'd let the boys paint something on it! So today was the painting!
Getting Started...
Luke has a very 'hap-hazzard' way of painting... goes with his personality I guess!

Ian on the other hand was very neat and orderly, and composed his masterpiece with pride.

In the end, we all are represented here on this rock. Even notice the paint splatters on the table where Luke was, then see where Ian was... hilarious. So true to who they are! Now that it's done, I will seal it so it won't wash off in the rain, and set it back outside for all to see! Great job boys!

August 3, 2010

My Biggest Achievement - Stake YW Camp!

Last week, I was able to finally go to stake young women's camp! I have put in 11 long months of planning and preparing for this one week this year! I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for pulling it off (although, I wouldn't have even come close without the help of all my wonderful stake leaders and assistant!!!) It's amazing how much I have learned about myself and others in the 5 days I was there. I realized that I cry way too much... that I am strong, just not in the ways I thought... that I have little self-confidence (although I knew that already)... and that I can do anything with the help of wonderful leaders and most importantly, the Lord.

This adventure was a huge undertaking, and I commend ANYONE who has walked in my shoes in years past! This is a stress-filled calling and assignment, but I am finding the joy in serving the Lord in this capacity. I came into this thinking, 'I've got this all under control'... boy was I wrong! Lot's of mental notes were taken, realizations were realized, and disappointments were seen. Overall, though, it was a great time. I really feel the Young Women had a good time - at least I hope they did - and our last day with Testimony meeting came wonderful testimonies born.

I am very tired. I am very done with camp for a little bit, but I'll be back... unless they release me, I'll be back :)

Our camp Banner that a couple of the YW painted! What a great job they did!

"Tribal Counsel" with all the Ward Flags.

This awesome guy was our 'Unity Challenge' prize! Each day the girls got to compete to have him in their campsites!

The WALL!!!

A huge part of our girls camp was the climbing wall! I was really excited I got the opportunity to go on it. It is a 36 foot wall, and a 500 foot zip cord from the top going into the woods. After watching all the 'IN SHAPE' women go up and some struggle, I was really nervous. But with everything that had happened at camp up to that point, I was bound and determined to get to the top! Plus, I really wanted to fly down that zip cord! I am proud to say that I struggled a bit 3/4 of the way up, and they did hoist me up a bit, but I did it! And I made it in less than 10 minutes! I didn't want to give up! I felt I was in control of this outcome, and with not feeling in control of other things during camp, I really wanted to get this! I was SO proud when I reached the top and got to ring that bell!

Getting Started. (this isn't too bad...)

Here is where everyone seemed to get stuck. I think I managed ok...

This part, OH MAN! This was the HARDEST part! My legs didn't want to come up until my arms went up, but they had to! I did it though! Look at that spiderwoman! (but please don't look at her rump!) ;)

One of the proudest moments of my life! Now I can check that off my list of 'Things to Do Before I'm Fifty!" BOY, do my arms hurt though!!!


Well, here I am at the top of the wall. I really wasn't afraid of heights at this point, I was just glad I made it to the top! I was really excited to go down the zip line! I had seen everyone else scootch off the ledge on their butt, and only one girl from her feet. I was looking at this challenge as sort of a rollercoaster! I LOVE rollercosters, so I wasn't afraid at all! I took a deep breath, asked if the zip line was ready, and squated and went for it! It felt SOOOO invigorating!!! It was really hot too, so the breeze was great!

At the top getting ready to go.

Cow-a-bung-ga!!!! WAAAHHHOOOOO!!!! What a rush!

When you got to the end, the zip line brought you back a ways, so I got to lean back and see my mom as she took this picture! The lady before me totally let go and was hanging upside down! It was awesome, so I thought I'd try to do that too, but my arm didn't come all the way off... oh well! It was fun anyway!

So there you go.... Another accomplishment! (pay no attention to the lard-butt hanging out of the harness! hahahaha!) I was so proud of myself! I only wish my kids and Dave were there to see me do that! I think the Young Women had a good time on the wall and zip as well. It was well worth the money we spent on it! So much confidence was gained not only by me and the leaders, but by so many Young Women as well! Mission accomplished! :)