Wednesday, December 19, 2012

As Promised

Jake and Steph, here is the promised photo. It was taken in 1981 in Huntington, West Virginia.  Travis was on his mission.  Travis heard he was coming to town to certify kids at a karate studio.  Travis gave him a Book of Mormon.  Chuck was nice enough to pose for a picture.  He did not defeat anyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Katie's Wedding

It is far past time for me to write about Katie's wedding!!  It was a great day and I'm SO glad that Travis and I were able to be in Utah for the festivities.  Rozzie will remind everyone that she didn't get to go.  I wish things were different, but she is right.  Maddie and Rozzie stayed behind.  

Katie and Christian were married on a sunny Tuesday morning.  Morgan and cousins hung out outside the temple and found things to interest them.  Morgan was in charge of my camera.  She took many pictures.  This is one of them:
It was really fun to spend time with Morgan!
Sara continually tried to steal the spotlight!!

Morgan and Hayley entertained themselves.

Finally, the happy couple emerged from the temple, not only married to each other, but sealed for eternity!  (That is why we try to choose well!!)  They both were just giddy with happiness and were so pleased to be married.  Katie looked absolutely beautiful.  The temple grounds were planted with pansies everywhere which matched the wedding colors.  It couldn't have been planned any better.  Throughout the day, we noticed that they were covering the flowerbeds for the winter, so Katie got married just in time!!

In addition to the wedding, there were other highlights.  Seeing some of our Pelton cousins was definitely a close second.  I have seen Marilyn and Amy a few times here and there, but have not seen Devon since...before I was married?  Maybe?  It brought tears to my eyes.  Sara, Bryan, Devon, and I spent our summers together in California during our growing up years and we were the best of friends.  This was a very special time and I just LOVED sitting and talking with Devon.  Amy and Marilyn are as beautiful as ever.  This is a very special picture to me (I'm sure it is for Sara, too).
Jenni, Devon, Marilyn, Amy, & Sara
It was also a treat to see Aunt Marylee there, too.  (I know I always say this, but I have such wonderful memories of my summers in California.  My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins made that a treasured experience.)
Morgan, Jenni, Marylee, Dad, Devon, Amy, Sara, Marilyn
Luckily, Mike allowed Jenny to come out and party is up with us.  It was lots of fun to have her there.  I loved her dress with the yellow accents!
Other highlights of the night were seeing Katie dance with her dad to a Beatles song - how appropriate.  It made me cry.  Katie is the first grandchild on my family's side.  Sara, Jim, and Katie lived with us in our downtown Denver apartment for about a month.  She would get so excited when I came home from work and school.  She would meet me out in the hallway.  She would bring me my shoes.  Often. I cried when they moved out.  I have a video of her when she was about 7 and we were roasting hot dogs on the 4th of July.  Someone called them "hot dogs" and Katie corrected them, "They WIENERS!"  We always laugh at that.  I love you, Katie and wish you the best in your new role as a wife.  And we all think you have the cutest name!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Homecoming and a Little Birthday Action

I am taking things a little out of order here.  We just returned from Katie's wedding in Salt Lake City which was very nice, and all.  I keep waiting for Sara to post about it, but like me, I assume she is still digging out from the trip itself and trying to find solid ground underneath her feet.  My post about the wedding could be long and emotional, so I decided to do the easy post first. 

Upon returning to "the 904", I was slung into the Three-Day Homecoming Triathlon.  My first day home was the parade.  How blessed I am to have great cheer parents, cheer coaches, and dance parents that will help me out.  The homecoming theme this year was "Around the World".  The JV Cheerleaders chose "Where in the World is Waldo?" as their float theme.  The looked SO CUTE!!
Look at the shiny blue pants they found!!
The Varsity Cheerleaders chose "It's A Small Eagle World After All"  and dressed up representing different parts of the world.  My assistant, Cortnee LOVES crafts and she headed this up and was so helpful to me.  I loved the two French costumes and also the Russian!!
We played the song the whole way and we found that many of the football players were singing along.

I am forbidden to post any pictures of the dance team from the parade, lest their trade secrets get out to the enemy.

Friday night brought the big homecoming football game that we won easily.  It was chilly.  You'd have thought my cheerleaders were having their finger nails ripped from their fingers.  But they survived.  It was over 50 degrees.  I remember chillier nights at Minnetonka in my skirt and socks!!  It was a fun game, though.  It was also senior night.  It is hard to believe that 2 years ago was Morgan's senior night and that in one short year, it will be Rozzie's.  Here are a couple pictures of the shenanigans that go on on the sidelines.  Rozzie and some dancers are entertaining each other.  There was singing and dancing; not all of it was good.  
 Maddie and Maddie were found to be enjoying themselves, too.
For the past three years, the (now) former administration refused to have a semi-formal homecoming dance.  They planned the dance to be right after the football game.  So, for the past three years, the dance has been cancelled.  We have a new administrator in town and he is so wonderful!!  Time to bring homecoming back to Fleming Island High School!!  The girls had fun picking out dresses and getting prettied up.  Rozzie met up with friends Kaity, Nora, and Dani.  Kaity's parents made dinner and the girls reported having a fun time at the dance.
Sparkles are very popular right now!!
Maddie decided that since it was her birthday, a dance was called for.  She chose a lace-topped dress - also very popular right now.  She reported having a really good time, too.  She and her friend Kelley didn't go out to dinner or eat in.  But, I think they hit Chick-fil-A after the dance. 
Sunday morning brought the annual Young Women's Sacrament Meeting Program.  A number of years ago, we started this tradition in our ward and it is fun to find a theme for their dress.  This year the girls all wore white, yellow, or orange.  These colors represented three of the YW values that were discussed in the program.  And can you believe that Cammie - who I used to babysit - turned 12 four days before the program and was able to participate!! 
And finally we celebrated Maddie's 15th birthday.  She had some friends over for a taco dinner.  When we were in Utah, Holly was reorganizing her recipes and she had one I spied for "Just Like Cafe Rio Chicken".  She gave me a copy and so I tried it out.  DELICIOUS CHICKEN TACOS!!  So, here is Maddie with her 1D cake.  She wanted one that looked like her shoes that her friend painted.  hahahaha.  Best I could do.  She was happy.  And now she will take her permit test tomorrow.  This summer she commented to me, "Driving seems to be a very big responsibility."  I think she'll be just fine!
I have ESPN and so I knew everyone would want the recipe for the Just Like Cafe Rio Chicken.  So here it is:

5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 small bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
1T chili powder
1T cumin
3 cloves garlic - minced

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 6-7 hours.  Remove chicken and shred with a fork.  Put chicken back in crock pot juices so it will be juicy and yummy!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What a Cool School!

It has been a few weeks since I posted.  There was cheering, dancing, school work, and football.  Rozzie had birthday parties to attend.  Her good friend Kaity turned 16 and had a "cocktail" party.  They did a photo booth set up and got some of the cutest pictures ever!  Rozzie borrowed a lace dress from a friend and had a great time.  I thought the photo booth was a really cute idea.  
Rozzie and Kaity hamming it up.
 This was a busy week as I was called to the Principal's office where he told me that our school was to be featured on FOX 30 as the "Cool School" of the week on Friday morning and I needed all the cheerleaders to the school by 6:30 am and be prepared to go on air at 7:00, 7:15, 7:45, and 8:15.  We were already preparing for a pep rally that day and a special dance with the dance team Friday night.  So, we got there on Friday morning and the air conditioning had been out all night.  It was stifling in that gym.  I had both the varsity and JV cheer teams because the JV coach works at an elementary school.  They warmed up and the news lady told me that she liked their routine so much she wanted to show it all on the news!!  The dance team also had a good spot on the news.  Here they are dancing and you can see Shawn filming them in the red shirt.  You can also see Maddie's face in the back row.
Dancing on FOX 30 news!!
 The pep rally began at about 8:00 and for the last filming, the lady asked everyone to be quiet so she could hear the news feed.  Surprise, surprise - everyone shut up!!  It was a lot of fun.  She told me during the whole process that she had never been to a school that was so cooperative and easy to work with.  It really was a fun morning, but after sitting in the heat in the gym for 3 hours and having to go in the sound room with the buzzing of the lighting system for 20 minutes, I had a bad headache.  (The air came on around 7:15 which was a great blessing!!)

Friday was our pinkout game, so after the rally, all the cheerleaders and dancers put on their tie-dyed t-shirts that I helped them with.  They were so cute!! I made t-shirts for our two female administrators and they were thrilled with them - so much so that they hugged me.
Rozzie and Maddie's think pink shirts
 The big game was close all the way to the end, but this time, we lost.  It was so disappointing.  Plus, it rained for the first half and that was unpleasant but it never got to the "horrible" point.  However, it had been a big day and we can't forget the good stuff.  Plus, there was this huge yellow moth at the game flying around all over the field and in the stands startling everyone.  You could hear it flying around with its huge wings.  It landed on my friend's back.  Travis wanted to kill it.  I HATE BUGS, but this was different from a "bug" - it was so pretty!!  It was still flapping around at the end of the game.
I love how they look with their cute pink bows, socks, and pom poms!
Rozzie and Maddie had dance choreography all day Saturday.  It was also Rozzie's friend Nora's birthday.  Nora LOVES sharks.  She has been a fixture at our house for three years now, so I made her something special:
Shark attack!
 We took the shark cupcakes to the dancers at the end of practice.  She was so excited and the girls thought they were great.
Nora with her shark cupcakes and the rest of the dance team
With the change in missionary age for outgoing missionaries, Morgan is thrilled to be planning on a mission next summer rather than in 2 years.  She has been trying to decide on a major and has been stumbling along with that.  She was hoping to study abroad next summer, but the Frankfurt/Vienna program won't be offered next summer.  It seems that everything is set now for her to go!!  We are excited at the prospect of being parents of a missionary.  With three girls, we didn't know if we'd ever have that opportunity.

Now we are home and watching Conference.  We were all able to sleep in yesterday.  Maddie is not feeling well and has been throwing up.  It is always something...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More of the Same, but good!!

 A couple weeks ago, we were thrilled to play host to Kori!!  Kori was out east for Claire's graduation from Army boot camp in South Carolina.  After those festivities, she came down to Jacksonville for a few days with us!  She had never been to our little neck of the woods, so this was a real treat for us.  She came to a football game with us:
Maddie, Aunt Kori, Rozzie - Maddie towers over everyone now.
 She even met the mascots, Swoop and Swoopette!!  I think she had a good time and so did we.  As I said, we don't see each other often, but we've known each other long enough to have a great relationship and it picks up right where it was left off last time!!
The only thing we do anymore is go to football games.  

This past week's game was against Bolles.  Bolles is a private school that has won more state championships than anyone else.  It was a close game right down to the last second.  They said it couldn't be done, but we beat them!  The last 5 minutes of the game, Bolles had the ball and threatened to score.  The cheerleaders quit their organized cheering and commenced their emotional cheering.  They have never cared so much for the outcome of a game! As you can see in the background, none of the fans left early.
Go Eagles!

After the game all the cheerleaders, dancers, and football players gather by the band for the Alma Mater.  After this game, much of the students section joined them on the track.  It was a really fun evening.  
I wish I had more to report.  I made a fantastic salad tonight.  Mikkyn made it many years ago at a family reunion and I copied the recipe and it has just been sitting here.  I finally  told myself to do and and now Travis and I keep going back to the fridge to steal extra bites!!

Mikkyn's Avocado Salad:
1 avocado - diced
2 cans of canned corn
1 can of black beans (rinsed)
1/2 chopped red onion
1 "thing" of cherry tomatoes - I cut them in half
I forgot the cilantro
douse it all with a vinaigrette dressing (I used an olive oil vinaigrette because I don't like Balsamic)
Salt & pepper to taste (and you'll keep tasting!!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Performances Galore

 I am ready for this three-day weekend!  Those five-day weeks are killer.  As I always say, I love my job.  I love the people I work with.  I love the kids.  My days go by very fast.  HOWEVER...I just was not made to work full-time.  Poor me.  Things are finally starting to stabilize at school and I found myself going home only 1/2 hour after quitting time on Monday.  I felt like I was surely missing something very important at school.  I even made dinner a few times this week!!

Last weekend I had noticed that our pineapple had turned bright yellow and knew that it was time to harvest the sucker.  Travis went out and cut it off the stalk.  It smelled divine!  On Wednesday morning I got brave enough to cut it up and it was so juicy and sweet.  As you can see, it was very little.  Travis and I split the spoils and we each got about 10 pieces of pineapple.  I talked about it all day to my students and they were adequately impressed.  We are going to get another planter and more dirt to plant the crown from this one and start a new one.  Not bad for 4 years work!!  haha  I don't think we'll be living off our crop any time soon.
Travis with our bounteous harvest!
 Friday brought the first pep rally of the year.  I woke up thinking that it had already happened, but then realized that I still had that to get through, in addition to a football game.  It was great to be there are they announced the captains of the dance team and I got to hear them say "Rozzie ____".  She is dancing much more confidently this year and smiling like she knows she belongs out there.

 And then there was Maddie!!  This was her first pep rally and she was nervous.  She did just fine and she had a great time, too.
Our new principal is a really great man!!  
The football game was against our cross-county rivals, Clay High School.  There is plenty of hatred to go around!!  Actually most of the kids have friends at the other schools and so the rivalry is friendly, as long as we win!!  Due to the large crowds expected (over 5,000), we needed to get to the school early so my girls would have parking and we'd be on time.  The cheer parents organized a tail-gate party with food and music.  A lot of students were already there having fun.  The kids played Twister and other games.  Then our new principal drove up on the golf cart.  All the kids think he is the greatest because he knows them.  He talks to them.  He knows their names.  He wants them to have fun and be proud of their school and he does it in a way that they buy into it and believe it and BEHAVE!!  So he was out there making sure that there weren't any shenanigans going on in the parking lot.  The kids all thought he was out there to hang out with them!!  So my cheerleaders talked him into a stunt!!  Who would have ever thought??

Then next thing I knew, they were grabbing me and I was saying that I had the wrong shoes, too fat, too old and then I was up.  At least I have coached long enough to know to lock my legs, tighten all my muscles, and look up!!
Scaring the daylights out of the coach!

It was finally game time, so we headed to the field.  Travis has always wanted to coach our kids' teams.  Then we never had any boys.  Then the girls danced and banded.  There was no one to coach.  I have never dreamed of coaching a team and yet, I am the one coaching.  To make it even, I have named Travis as my "Assistant to the Coach".  He is so helpful.  He leads the dads who lay out the cheer mats on the track.  This week, the parents who were supposed to bring drinks for the team didn't do it.  Travis ran back to my classroom where I had a spare 24 pack of water and brought it out for them.  It was incredibly hot and they needed it!!  This picture is also doubling as our 23-year anniversary picture as it was taken the day before and isn't that bad!!

Then the dance team went out and did their thing.  Maddie is in the row that is standing and has the big hair (2nd from the right).  Rozzie is standing on her face (on the right end).  Notice the moon!!  
 Here is another, closer shot of the team where you can see Rozzie near the front, and Maddie on the end.  They are a talented team this year.  Maddie was a little wishy-washy at first, but she has really enjoyed performing these past two weeks.
They are thrilled to have black pants this year!!
 At the end of a game, win or lose, the team, cheerleaders, and dance team all gather in front of the band and the band plays the alma mater.  The kids sway and sing.  This is probably my favorite part of the game!!

 Thursday night was exciting for Morgan as it was the home/season opener for BYU.  Since we live 2254 miles from the school, we can't go to her games.  We watched it on ESPN, though.  We are usually in bed by 9:30, but we stayed up to see if they would show the band and they did!!  Travis stayed up and watched the 1st half.  I went to bed; I'd seen what Morgan was doing and was satisfied.  Today I was looking at pictures from the game and found this!!  She is down there making that "Y" thing on the field!!  I think she is on the far side of the "Y" in the upper arm.

And there you have it.  That is what we did this week.  I just want to say how much I enjoy reading all of your blog posts, too.  It doesn't seem to matter how many pictures of the same stuff you post, or if the week was just the usual stuff, I really like to read about it and see any pictures you post.  I REALLY like reading Sara's blog she keeps for EJ in TJ.  Thanks for reading, commenting, and keeping your own blogs!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Anti-Spirit Day

Morgan has been out at BYU band camp this past week.  She really likes her sousaphone section this year.  We haven't heard much from her.  I know they work hard and work all day and that she falls asleep as soon as possible.  The other day was "spirit day" and everyone was supposed to wear school colors.  Apparently the sousaphones are "anti-spirit" so they wore red.  Morgan said it is the first and last time they will wear red.  Notice some of the shirts - like (gasp) Utah an Ohio.  Morgan found her shirt at Deseret Industries (the church's equivalent of Salvation Army).  What is more "anti-spirit" than Communist Russia?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pre-Friday Night Lights

We are setting nicely into our school routine.  I'm still running ragged, trying to play catch-up everyday.  I teach many different classes and it just takes a lot of preparation.  I get new students everyday and so there are changes to be made to grade books and seating charts.  The girls are powering through - lots of homework, Seminary, dance, etc.  So we had our first football game on Thursday night.  It was a preseason game - not only does the football team need a practice game, but the cheerleaders, dance team, and band all appreciated the practice, too.  (Apparently there are 65 freshmen in the band this year!!  HALF THE BAND!!)  Maddie was pretty nervous for the game and extremely excited.  

The big concern was the weather.  It has not just rained for 40 days and 40 nights, but stormed and poured and deluged.  No one has been able to practice outside.  Everyday right as school ends, the heavens open up and the amount of water makes it seem like it isn't really raining, it is just all water in the air.  I know that most of you are suffering in horrible drought conditions, but we just can't imagine that.  Yesterday as I left school and it was blue sky, it seemed strange and unfamiliar.  Anyway, we were very worried about the weather for the game.  The skies were gray, but the rain stayed away and it wasn't even horribly hot.  At one point, a big gust of wind came through and then it got comfortable!! 

Travis has taken on the roll of "Mat Dad Chairman".  The cheerleaders need mats on the track (we don't have a rubber track) to do their stunting.  I have three mats and so I need 3 dads/game to roll the mats out there.  Travis enjoys getting them all ready and he knows the drill.  We have to let the band march by before the mats go out.  Mike and Linda are great helpers and developing into great friends.
 Even though I'm busy with the cheerleaders, I get a chance to watch my own kids dance.  Rozzie and her bestie Nora are starting their 3rd year together on the team.
 It is very exciting to see them all out there.  Our last principal made the dance team get green pants two years ago as our colors are green and gold.  The girls hated the pants, thinking they looked like asparagus or green beans.  With the new principal in place, the coach ordered black pants and no one thought twice about it!!  It is exciting to have Rozzie up on the front line as one of the officers for the team.  Maddie is on the back line with the freshmen, but lots of fun to have her out there.  Here is a picture showing their awesome skill of levitation:
 This is my coaching staff:  Janae (JV coach), Cortnee (Choreography), and me!!  Janae was part of Fleming Island's first graduating class and is now a 3rd grade teacher in the county.  Cortnee is hired out by the team.
 And here are the Maddie's - both freshmen.  Maddie really likes high school and says that it is way different than junior high - in a great way.  Her schedule is pretty sweet, too.  She has science, English, and math for her first 3 classes, then she goes to band, yearbook, and PE.  It was nice of me to get her PE last so her hair stays nice all day!!
Next week is big with a pep rally and a big county rival for the football game.  Stay tuned and I just might post more dance pictures.  (Oh...great...more of the same...)  Thanks for humoring me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time to Fly the Coop

Morgan headed back to Provo on Friday.  She got up at 3:30am to catch a 7am flight.  She was thrilled with the fact that she didn't leave Jacksonville until 4:00pm.  She could have slept in a bit.  She got everything figured out and switched her shuttle reservation.  She arrived in Salt Lake City at about 9:30 and took the shuttle to Provo.  She couldn't get into her apartment at 11 at night, so she was able to procure a safe place to stay with someone she knows from Jacksonville, although this friend wasn't actually at the apartment at the time.  Funny thing is that we know so many people in Utah now, but things just didn't match up and she had to figure a few things out on her own.  She was homeless and foodless for a day, but she used her time wisely and went to the bookstore to get her books before the crowds arrived.  Travis put in a call to his cousin Daniel who lives in Provo, and Morgan made it over to her apartment after all.  She called and got all her boxes delivered from storage.  This is where it is nice to have a male cousin living in the same apartment complex - Paul came over and helped her move boxen.  Then, after wedding dress shopping, Katie came by and took Morgan (and Paul) grocery shopping.  Morgan called me from the store and by all accounts, they were having too much fun grocery shopping.  I can guarantee that I don't have that much fun at the grocery store.  She is now home with food.  I can rest well.

Thanks to all of you who helped her out.  Holly, it was so nice of you to continually check on her throughout the week and help find a place for Morgan to stay Friday night.  Now comes band camp on Monday!!

The remaining children are doing well and survived week one without any mishaps.  Maddie is adjusting to Seminary life very well.  Travis and I are glad to have graduated from driving to and from Seminary!!  I was grateful for my first weekend.  I did a little work at home so I am slowly digging out from the "start of school" madness.  It looks like it will be a great year for all of us!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Day 2012-2013

Today was the first day of school!!  I started my 5th year of teaching.  Everything went very well.  I feel that I know what I am doing in my English classes, but my Design class stressed me out.  I didn't teach level one last year so this is all new and I don't like new things.  All went well, but I'm tired.  I am not used to talking so much and so loud for so long.  One poor little girl, a freshman in my 5th per Design class, came in during 4th period, so I sent her to her English class.  Her English class went to lunch and so she came to 5th period late and then we had lunch and she was so confused.  She was near tears.  I sent her off to Guidance to get it straightened out.  She'll be fine, but for the moment, it was just too much.  It was a lot for me, too and now I'm ready to go to bed.  

Anyway, this morning was pretty exciting.  First off, Patrick caught a cicada and I couldn't figure out what the loud buzzing sound was outside.  He looked at me through the window and I noticed he had something in his mouth.  He spit it out and there it was all buzzing and flitting around.  They playing went on for a few minutes.  Then the buzzing stopped.  Patrick lost interest after it stopped buzzing and flitting...It is still on the back porch.

The girls were up early making themselves beautiful for the first day.  Maddie is a freshman now.  She looked adorable in her lavender polka-dot skinny jeans.  After school she came to my room and I asked how her day was.  She gave me a quick but earnest hug.  My asst. coach, Cortnee, looked at me and just laughed.  The hug sad so much:  I liked it; it was great; it was tiring; there was so much; I'm so glad to see you; I'm so glad it's over.  
 Rozzie was part of the junior pack that got t-shirts together.  This has become a school tradition for the juniors and seniors to wear class shirts on the first day.  The seniors also make and hang banners in the courtyard.  So Rozzie blinged out her shirt with her friends and they all dressed to match.  Everyone wore headbands they decorated with puffy paint and jewels.  They put their nicknames and class (2014) on it.  We have always teased Rozzie that her hip-hop name would be Raw-Z, which is pronounced "Rozzie".  She was pretty happy driving off to Seminary today and ready to park in the junior lot.
 Here is Maddie prodding Rozzie with a banana.
 They even have a class together this year - yearbook!  Plus, they'll be in dance together.  So now all our kids are high school and older.  We all survived and had pretty good days.

The next milestone is on Friday when Morgan leaves for Utah and her 2nd year of college!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Post-Summer Blues

I haven't posted in a long time.  Not because I don't want to, but nothing noteworthy has happened!  After arriving home from Girl's Camp, I put the house back in order and started working on little piddly projects.  It was great!  I finished a pillow that I had started a few years back.  I caught up on Maddie's scrapbook.  I made dinners.  I just got stuff done.

We also watched the Olympics.  Here is a case of Nature vs. Nurture.  I remember as a child, watching some Olympic coverage and hearing about amazing athletes.  I dreamed of a world where these athletes had never heard of each other and never left their countries.  The Russians trained in Russian villages with Russian coaches and came to the Olympics every four years - their only connection with the outside world.  They all loved each other and cheered for each other.  I don't know what I was watching, but that was my understanding.  So I was wrong.  But through it all, I developed a love for the Olympic games that has never diminished.  This love has only increased as the years have passed.  Even when I know the outcome, I will sit and watch it all until midnight.  The curious element is the passion that my children have developed for the Games.  WOW!! From the Opening Ceremonies to the very end tonight, they have been glued.  Rozzie mopes around the house, frustrated that we didn't get her into a sport in which she could have become an Olympic athlete.  She forgets that she was on the swim team.  She has a trampoline in the back yard that she could practice on.  She can join track.  Her dreams of glory are fading as she quickly ages.  So, the question remains:  Was it Nature or Nurture that instilled in my children a love for the Olympics?

Surprisingly, Travis isn't that interested.  He finds some of it interesting and will join us in watching some of the Games, but mostly, the sports fan of the family shows relative disinterest.

Maddie and Morgan played their violins in church today.  They played "How Great Thou Art".  I posted the rehearsal on facebook; it isn't great, but you get the idea.  They did a wonderful job.  Maddie had a mental block on a section that repeated last week that reduced her to tears, but she worked through it and did well today.

I started back to school last week.  I had many 13-14 hour days.  I still have a little more to do tomorrow, but I'll be all ready for students on Tuesday.  I like my schedule:

1st Per:  English III
2nd Per:  English III
3rd Per:  English IV
4th Per:  Planning
5th Per:  Fashion/Design
6th Per:  Fashion/Design

I have a feeling that my days will fly by!!  Maddie starts high school on Tuesday; Rozzie starts her junior year.  Seminary starts on Tuesday, also, with Br. Collard as the teacher.  Morgan heads out to BYU for band camp on Friday.  We have loved having her here for a few weeks and we will miss her a lot.  She has been a busy knitter, knitting hot pads and dish cloths for her and me!!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Girl's Camp 2012 - Tom the Toad's Revenge

As you know, we went to Girl's Camp 2 weeks ago.  We go to a camp in Georgia that is about 1 1/2 hours away.  It is on an island in the salt marsh in the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area.  It is also in the same area as The Cloister where Travis and I get to go each January and enjoy a very luxurious 3 days.  Camp is the polar opposite of The Cloister in all but one area - the food.  I really dreaded camp this year.  I really wanted to be at home.  I have done nothing but go to camps and be with teenage girls.  The very thought of packing my bags once again was overwhelming.  But I had given my word and was bound.  We arrived at the camp and everything was nice.  As you can see from the pictures,  it is really pretty.  It was hot.  Very hot.  However, at about 3:30 each day, the sea breeze would start to blow and I knew I'd be ok.  I suffered swollen ankles; however, a swim in the pool was all it took to bring them  back down for a few hours.  I would shower in the mid-morning.  By around 2:30-3 I was ready to jump in the pool.  It felt so good.  The girls were scheduled for swimming each day and it was the right thing to do.  I really encouraged the girls to get it and cool down their bodies.  Thirty minutes was all I needed to get the swelling down and feel like I could go on.  By the end of the night, it was time to get back in the pool for about 45 minutes.  Then the swelling was down and I was all cooled off to go to sleep.  Luckily, the girls were all well behaved, the crafts were fun, and enjoyed getting to know the ladies in the stake.

Each year, I have tie-dyed t-shirts with the girls in the ward.  This year the Young Women's presidency thought they'd give me a break and do something different.  The girls just stared at them and said, "ok, but we tie-dye."  So we tie-dyed.  We did camo colors for the jungle theme of the camp.  On camo day, we all wore our shirts and took a ward picture.  We also did "sister" pictures:
Sisters picture in their tie-dye camo shirts
Rozzie was a YCL (youth camp leader) this year.  She initially didn't like it because there is a lot of responsibility involved.  It didn't take long for her to decide that YCLing is really fun. Maddie was a 3rd Level camper this year.  Next year she'll graduate!!

As I have said, the food is the best at camp.  We have ladies from the stake who come up and cook for us.  Travis spent the week in the kitchen helping him and he learned what hard work it is!!  It is constant work.  But look at these cupcakes!  There was lemon, banana pudding, chocolate strawberry, red velvet, oreo, and s'more to choose from.  The rule was "One Cupcake", so I obeyed - I chose lemon.
The hardest part at camp is deciding which cupcake to choose.
Maddie's zebra outfit.
Skit night is another favorite.  I am always so amazed at how clever the kids are.  The leaders are always so worried about skit ideas, but the kids just love it!!  Maddie's group did a "Madagascar" scene.  The YCLs always do a skit about the camp.  Rozzie was the camp director, Sister Lyle.  Now, each level at camp was assigned a different animal.  The leaders were the toucans.  One day at camp was "wear your animal" day.  All the other leaders found or made toucan shirts, but Sister Lyle couldn't fine one so she strung up two cans and pinned them to her shirt, thus her two-can shirt.  For the skit, Rozzie got hold of her visor and cans and did a GREAT impression of her.  Sister Lyle has a VERY strong southern accent and she talks very slowly.  We were all cracking up!!
"Ah think...ah'm gonna make...the last!"
The car accident.
Something new this year was the mock first aid drills.  All week the girls had learned some first aid things and now it was time to put it into practice!!  The YCLs had different scenes set up.  One girl was "drowning" in the pool.  Some girls were suffering heatstroke and frostbite.  Then there was the car accident.  The girls went all out on each of the scenes, but the car accident was definitely the bloodiest.  They had a white hefty bag blown up and taped to the steering wheel.  The girls even had a reason for the accident:

O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why did you hop
Out on the Road?
(repeat 1st stanza)

You used to be
A friend of mine.
But now you're just
A ball of slime.

O Tom the Toad.... (sung to O Tannenbaum)

While we were all camping, Morgan was home by herself being rather bored.  Our friend Linda took Morgan out for Yobe (Frozen Yogurt - totes the best hun cal fro yo) and they hatched a plan.  While we were posing for pictures as a family...
The Smiths at camp before we knew Morgan was coming.
Morgan and Linda were driving up to Camp Glynn.  Linda had to pick her kids up early, so Morgan came up for the evening and crashed camp.  She got a hero's welcome!  She was mobbed by bunches of girls.  It was fun to have her there for the last night/testimony meeting.  We are all home now.  The laundry is done.  The suitcases are put away.  The swelling has gone away.  We are clean.
Morgan's hero welcome!
Happy to have Morgan with us.