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!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Over The Rainbow

The kids were so excited about the rainbow we saw today. It's the first time in recent memory that we've seen the whole arc. Usually it fades out somewhere in the middle so we can only see one side or the other. It was so big that we couldn't scoot back far enough to get it all in the frame. The colors aren't nearly as vibrant in the photo as they were in real life, but maybe you can imagine just how stunning it really was. Awesome!

Monday, June 23, 2014

For the Last Time

Sterling's firefly friend

We're getting down to the end. We'll drop Sam off in just over three weeks at the Missionary Training Center. We leave next weekend for a two week vacation out west. Savannah leaves in the morning to get a headstart on that vacation. So our time all together as a family in our little corner of the world ends tonight. I start to cry if I think about it too much.

So, tonight for our weekly Family Home Evening, Sam taught us one of the lessons he will be teaching on his mission, we sang "One Day More" from Les Mis with everyone singing their part (Sadie and Soren are so cute as the Thenardiers), then we went outside to play freeze tag and catch fireflies. Before heading in for the night, we all worked together to relocate a huge and ridiculously heavy play structure from our yard to the neighbors yard and no one complained. It was a perfect night.

I'm going to miss this!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Youth Conference: Come Unto Christ

I need to sing out a big Happy Birthday to Jeff today. I'll have to sing really loud because he's 4 1/2 hours away in Nauvoo, Illinois. The youth in our stake are attending Youth Conference and Jeff went along as a chaperone. That was fine with me because three of my kids are there, but it doesn't feel very much like a birthday today. We didn't even have cake.

I love the Youth Conference logo. Isn't it cool?

Jeff sent a couple of photos from their arrival yesterday and the short handcart trek they did today.
Savannah on Day #1.

Day #2. Jeff's caption for this photo:
"The mile trek before the drenching rain with lightning and thunder. Really authentic."
Sounds like a good time to me! What's a youth outing without a heavy rain storm? :)

Sadie is really missing her daddy, but otherwise we're having fun and keeping busy at home. It's been a good week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Perfect Day

Friday afternoon was the first time that Jeff and I have taken our kids on a family temple trip to do baptisms for the dead. For those not familiar with this concept, you can read more about it here. In short, we believe that baptism is a necessary ordinance for salvation so we can stand as proxy for those who died without it. Then the deceased have the opportunity to choose whether or not not accept the ordinance that was performed on their behalf. 

To be in the temple with four of my kids was a sweet experience. The St. Louis temple was using emergency lights downstairs in the font area because they had a problem with their electrical panel and so there was no electricity to the basement floor. As a result, the heater wasn't working either so the water was a bit chilly. The kids were troopers and didn't complain a bit. I hope they felt warm from the beautiful spirit that was there. I know I did!

A view of the St. Louis arch from the van window on our way home.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Birthday Boy

I want to sing out a big Happy Birthday to my Soren today. Oh, how I love this boy who was born on Father's Day eleven years ago. Always carefree and happy, Soren is so pleasant to have around. He adores me and always wants me to tuck him in, scratch his back, sit by him, read to him, and snuggle. Soren has a sweet singing voice and is an awesome dancer. He's getting very good at the piano and is a talented artist. He is clever and funny and has the most contagious laugh. He is usually easy going, makes others feel comfortable, and he's a great friend and brother.

Happy Birthday, Soren! I sure love you and I hope eleven is your best year so far!

Soren's breakfast of choice: Buttermilk pancakes with buttermilk (caramel) syrup, fresh strawberries and whip cream. Yum!

{And a BIG Happy Father's Day to Jeff!! Love you. XO}

Catching Fireflies

I think I can safely say that my favorite bug of all time is the firefly. They started flashing their lights within the last couple of weeks and Soren and Sadie have enjoyed many evenings chasing them around our yard. For whatever reason, there are more fireflies than ever this year. 

Tonight I tried putting the camera on a slow shutter speed in hopes of showing the mini fireworks display the fireflies were putting on in our yard. It sort of worked, but doesn't really give anything close to an accurate picture of how many there were or why their little flashes of light always make me smile.

I think the white blur by the fence is a running Spencer. Soren is in the black shirt. And the fireflies are the yellowish streaks or dots of light. 

Fireflies are my happy bugs. :) 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sterling's Creation

Isn't this cool? Sterling made this in his art class at school. I've never seen anything quite like it so I wanted to share. Well done, Sterling!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Little Shaver

shaver  [shey-ver], noun, 1. a person or thing that shaves. 2. a small boy; youngster.

Sterling has been begging to shave for years. He's occasionally tried to make deals with us: "If I pull out my loose tooth, will you let me shave?" My answer has always been no. I mean, he's only twelve.

But, while my other boys had no need to shave at this age, Sterling really could get away with it. He's just always had more facial hair than the others. But still. He's twelve. I was holding out for another year or two.

Fortunately for Sterling, Jeff isn't so stubborn. On Monday, Sterling lathered up and Spencer donated a razor. Jeff coached Sterling through the process.

You've never seen a happier kid!

Sterling decided to mark the monumental day on the calendar to be remembered for all time all month: "Sterling Shaved!"

Sadie was unimpressed. Check out her addition below...

Sterling Shaved!  ...  No one cares - Sadie

Never a dull moment! :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

School Is Out

Friday was the last day of school and we couldn't be happier! After a crazy weekend including a graduation open house for Sam and Stake Conference (that alone makes for a crazy weekend when you're married to the Stake President!), we're breathing easier now that our calendar is clear. Don't get me wrong, we plan to cram as much fun into the next 10 weeks as we can and we'll enjoy these last few weeks with Sam before he enters the Missionary Training Center in July. We're just happy to be free of the homework, recitals, concerts, meetings, projects, clubs and rehearsals. This past school year was busy like no other. We'll still be busy, but on our terms. Yay!