Monday, June 27, 2011

Girls Camp!

What an amazing week! We went to girls camp at Heber Valley Camp and had an amazing, fun, testimony building time. We did so many things and I have so many girls (44) it's hard to fit it all in one post of a blog- so I just included a few highlights.
They have so much to do at camp: hikes, canoeing, challenge course, and more hikes.
We took the girls on a "Virtue Hike" where they learned what virtue is, how it relates to the Temple and the Savior, and we had them make a commitment to live virtuous lives
We all got a sweatshirt, water bottle, and a bag with the theme for camp "Lengthen Your Stride"
Our ward decided to be treasure seekers who live by the water (they wouldn't let us be Pirates), we had some amazing decorations and props to make it feel authentic.
I felt so lucky to be able to spend 5 whole days with these amazing girls and leaders, I learned so much about myself and being a leader to this huge group. I loved watching the girls learn and grow and have their testimonies strengthened. We were blessed with beautiful weather, lots of wildlife (including a bear), and an amazing time.

Fire Station Tour

We went on an amazing tour with the Unified Fire Dept. They picked us up, drove us to three stations around the valley, and showed us a great time.
The kids got to push all sorts of buttons and make all sorts of noise.

We even had our own Nanny/tour guide for the duration.

It was so fun to see the kids excited about the tour and they even learned a thing or two in the process.

Liberty Girls Retreat

We attended the Liberty Girls Retreat this year. It was so much fun! Since Jayda is 6 now, she got to participate with Olivia and the other girls from her Liberty Girls group. The theme was based on the books about Josefina, from old New Mexico. The girls learned lots of fun skills and crafts. They made cute hair flowers out of coffee filters and markers, they learned how to spin on a hand spinner, they learned how to grind corn and make tortillas, played games, learned how to weave, and learned the Mexican Hat Dance.

This woman was so fun, she smiled the whole time, which made the kids all smile, and she was an excellent teacher. She even brought brightly colored skirts for every girl to wear while they danced. My girls said that was their favorite part of the whole day.

They got to bring home so many fun things, they learned a lot and had a great time! Can't wait for next year!

Friend time is over...

The other night after dinner, I told that kids that friend time is over and to go hang out together for awhile in the back yard until it was time to leave. I love what they ended up doing in their time together: spontaneous sprinkler party! I walked by the window and saw them all fully dressed playing in the sprinklers.

Obviously, they had a great time. :)

Fathers Day

We had a great Father's day last Sunday. We gave our favorite dad a hammock to relax in his favorite place (the front porch). After that, it was all things manly: mountain man hash for breakfast, and grilling salmon with Jack Daniels wood chips for dinner.

Petter loves to grill, so we allowed him to do that by himself.

I'm such a lucky girl to have married such an amazing man. He is the best daddy I have ever seen- spends quality time with each of his kids and teases and snuggles them all equally. I'm grateful for him in my life! Hope he had a great day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Homeschool Graduation

I'm going to take a minute to brag about my hubby. He is the new president of UHEA which is the Utah Homeschool Education Association. He volunteers his time and effort on behalf of homeschoolers in Utah, working on improving resources, legislation, networking and public relations. He was kind of thrown into the position and is doing very well at it. Every year, UHEA hosts a homeschool graduation, prom, and a convention with a curriculum fair. Last night was the graduation. Petter had to sign the certificates, give a speech, serve dessert, and chat with people.

His speech was inspiring and fresh. The entire program was really great, it was the best graduation I've ever been to. One of the speakers was a graduate, who talked about why they made it to where they are: it's because of their mothers. Mothers who took the time and painful effort to teach the children on a daily basis, without pay or compensation. It made me feel like all I do will be worth it and it was really sweet to see the kids and their parents reach such a landmark. This Saturday is the big convention: I'm sure it will be inspiring as well.

Lake Powell

So after my fun weekend in St. George, I had my friend drop me off at my cousin (and BFF) Crystal's house and we drove straight to Lake Powell to meet up with my parents and kids. We have the best set-up: we have kids about the same age who love each other and think of each other as cousins. It was so perfect because they entertain each other, making my job much easier.
The weather was kind of sporadic with bits of sunshine and then bits of wind.
We spent plenty of time looking at the giant fish at the marina.

We had to kill some time while my dad got some work done so we went on a walk and let the kids splash in the freezing water. Later we had the best day ever!!! We went to a beach that had kind of a sand bar so it was really shallow about 100 yards out into the water. The kids made sand castles, swam, walked as far out into the water as they could, dug holes, and played for hours. In the meantime, Crystal and I soaked up the sun, read a little, talked, and relaxed while my parents lounged in the boat. It was perfect.

We had our usual talent show

And had a few laughs.
We put the car on the ferry to shorten the drive back home.
It was a great trip, my kids cried when it was time to leave. I can't wait for next time when the weather will hopefully be nicer, and the water warmer.

Girls Weekend

I had a great, much needed weekend. My wonderful friend, Dianna, who is a single mom raising 4 amazing kids, and I decided to get away from those wonderful kids and my husband and spend some time doing nothing.
In all the nothing we did, we actually did do some things. We went to St. George, where the weather was a bit warmer, we drove the back way around Utah Lake and enjoyed some beautiful scenery. We discovered Geo Caching- which I totally got into- she didn't feel as passionately as I did about it but we still did it and found a few hidden in strange places. We went on a hike in beautiful Snow Canyon where some of the trails were closed so that turtles could procreate (who knew?). We lounged at the pool for a few hours on the one day that was sunny reading books and magazines. We went and got pedicures, went to dinner, napped, layed around, watched movies, ate some more.

On the chilliest day of our little trip, we went to two movies in the theater (I've never done that before), and did a bit more geo-caching, shopping, and eating. It was so lovely and fun to spend time with my great friend, I felt like I could go back to my family with new energy and motivation. I highly recommend taking a break from the norm and going on a little outing with a good friend, you'll be glad you did.