Friday, July 25, 2014

Bundling Up in July

We're having some pretty crazy weather. July in our little corner of the world is known for being hot and humid. It rarely rains so everyone's grass turns brown and we spend a lot of time indoors.

But not this year.

Tuesday at the Cardinals game we had typical Illinois July weather: low 90's that felt like 100º and plenty of humidity. By Thursday it was sunny and 75º. I kicked the kids out of the house and forced them to play outside. It's just not something they think of doing at the end of July. We even set up the tent last night and slept in the backyard. During the night, the temperature dropped down into the 50's and it felt so nice to snuggle down into our sleeping bags instead of laying on top of them just wishing for a breeze! Today was a little rainy, but beautiful this evening - again in the 70's. When I booted the kids out the door again after dinner, I laughed when Sadie came back in for a jacket because she was "freezing."

July 25th and all bundled up!

Apparently we're in for a stormy weekend, but by Monday we're back into the low 70's and it looks like it might just be a perfect week. Savannah will be at girls' camp and the rest of us may decide to go camping, too. I could get used to this!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mormon Night with the Cardinals

We drove straight through the night to arrive home on Monday and then turned around and drove to St. Louis on Tuesday for Mormon Night with the Cardinals. It was hot and steamy humid, but we all had fun cheering for our team. Before the game, Jeff was down on the field in front of home plate with the other Stake Presidents and the Mission President. One of the Stake Presidents threw an awesome first pitch!

There's Jeff, up on the Jumbotron!

The view from our seats and the visors they handed out to the Mormons. :)

Love this stadium with a view of the St. Louis Arch. After each homerun, fireworks go off right above the Jumbotron.

I felt bad for the poor vendor who was selling beer in the Mormon section. I think someone finally told him why no one was buying! Sadly, we lost the game 7-2. The fifth inning was long and brutal with five runs by the Tampa Bay Rays. But despite the score, we all had a great time and are looking forward to next year!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Music and the Spoken Word

I've mentioned before that I used to be an Usher at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. As a result, I've been to Music and the Spoken Word with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir dozens of times. However, no one in my family has ever been. We decided to take the kids on Sunday morning before attending church and beginning our drive home. This was my first time in the Conference Center (it wasn't built until after Jeff and I moved away). They hold Music and the Spoken Word in the Conference Center during the summer because of the large crowds. (They still perform in the Tabernacle during the winter months.) Some of the musical numbers as well as the spoken word were focused on the Pioneers because this week (July 24th) is Pioneer Day in Utah. It was an excellent program and they sang my all-time favorite arrangement of one of my favorite hymns, Redeemer of Israel for the closing number.

I'm so glad we went! It was awesome to hear the choir live and to share that experience with my family. We loved it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Missionary

Today we mustered up all of our courage and bravely dropped Sam off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. The four months since he received his mission call to serve in the Arizona Mesa Mission flew by and suddenly we find ourselves Samless. This is going to be an adjustment.

It helps to know that Sam is ready for this. He was all smiles as we arrived at the MTC. Knowing that there would be little, if any, time for goodbyes when we dropped him off, we all had our tear-filled hugs before leaving for Provo. Once we arrived, Sam jumped out of the van, grabbed his suitcases, and somehow was able to confidently walk away even though there were five faces looking out the back of the van with tears streaming down them. Talk about heart breaking! I can't even picture it in my mind without crying all over again.

I think today was harder than any of us anticipated. Ironically, this is what we've wanted for Sam ever since he was born and I am so happy that Sam chose to serve. He will be a great missionary, I am sure.

But right now, all we can think about is how much we miss him!

The view from my mirror as we approached the MTC. Such a handsome guy!

Saying goodbye. You can't tell in the picture, but Soren is in tears!
We love you, Sam! See you in two years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

St. Swithun's Day

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do! We are having a great time on our vacation and I'll update soon. I promise.

But do you know what day it is?

It's St. Swithun's Day! Ever heard of it?

A Rainy Day in Scotland  - Ron Colbroth Photography

When I was a missionary in Scotland, I moved to Aberdeen in July 1993. This was the first time I'd heard of St. Swithun's Day. Legend says that if it rains on St. Swithun's Day, it will rain for the next forty days. And do you know what? It's true! At least it was true the summer of 1993. It rained on St. Swithun's Day and then it rained some every day for the next 40 days. Maybe more. Aberdeen was definitely my wettest city.

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mare

{I've loved rain ever since!}

Friday, July 4, 2014

Falling in Love with Wyoming

Star Valley, Wyoming

The last part of Wyoming before we drop down into Idaho is so beautiful! I could live here. Well... I could live here in the summer. :)

Only In Wyoming

I'm surprised the door doesn't read "Cowgirls."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Training

This is what we'll be doing next week...

our t-shirt design

Yep. We're heading to Idaho for a family triathlon. Having mercy on those of us who are not exactly athletic, Jeff's brother worked up a few choices so each of us could compete at our individual comfort level. There's the adult distances and the child distances and everyone gets to pick and choose what events/distances they want to compete in.

The breakdown goes like this:
1.  Swim 1/3 mile
2.  Swim kid (short)
3.  Bike 12 miles
4.  Bike~ 4 miles
5.  Run 5K  (3 miles)
6.  Run 1.2 miles

My kids are brave and each of us is stretching ourselves past our usual comfort level. Many of us have been training to get ready and I, for one, can say I'm better off for having this goal to work toward. I've lost 5 pounds and my muffin top is shrinking. Yay!!

My first day in the pool, I swam a measly 200 yards before I needed oxygen. By the end of that week, I swam 700 yards. Granted, I looked a little tipsy as I got out of the pool and my energy was completely spent. I wondered how on earth I'd ever be able to go from the swim to a 12 mile bike ride to a run. I still wonder that some days, but I'm up for the challenge and we'll see how it all plays out next week. I'm trying to ignore the fact that Idaho is at a much higher elevation so I might be gasping for breath before the first event is through...  Ha ha!!

Anyway, it's good to have a goal. We're excited for our first triathlon!! :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Knee High by the Fourth of July

So much for corn that is "knee high by the fourth of July!" We are way ahead of the game out here in my little corner of the world. Sam stands 5'11" or so. That's some tall corn! Not bad for June 29. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Taking Over

Savannah has long dreamed of traveling alone to spend time out west with family. I did exactly the same thing when I was her age. The summer between my junior and senior years, I went to Arizona and spent time with my favorite aunt and uncle and cousins. It was the first of several trips over the next few years to spend time with them, even when they lived in Puerto Rico. Yeah, that was a pretty awesome trip!

Bright and early yesterday morning, Savannah boarded a plane and took off for Salt Lake City. By all accounts, she's having the time of her life. She'll have almost two weeks alone before we meet up with her in Idaho.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... :)

Sadie didn't waste any time with Savannah away. She looked at the state of their room (remember this?) and got to work. After we boxed up all the stuff Savannah left out, Sadie cleaned and straightened and made the space her own. She is so happy to have her own place, even if it's only for 2 weeks.

A view of the floor. Haven't seen that for a while! :)

Happy Camper. 

Sadie's Room. (Don't tell Savannah!)