Saturday, November 18, 2017

July 2017 - Week 2

July 10 - 16

On Monday morning, Josh left with the twins to go to our ward's scout camp at Treasure Mountain (near Island Park). Josh drove our suburban with most of the boys in it, and another leader drove a truck with the equipment trailer. Kanyon began swimming lessons that morning at the pool in Salmon. Surprisingly, we discovered that his friend Aiden was in the same class as him! That was a fun treat! I was glad I was watching him that day, because his teacher let them out 15 minutes early, and none of the other parents were there, so I totally called her out on it, and she realized her mistake and promised to make up that time in a future lesson. Since Aiden's sisters had later swimming lessons, he would just be waiting at the park for them, so we took Aiden home with us afterwards for some play time for a few hours (his older brother had gone also gone camping with the scouts). Later that afternoon, I went out to my car (which is usually parked in the carport, but I'd parked it in the garage that day since Ammon's car was gone for the day at an out-of-town golf tournament), and noticed a whole bunch of black stuff on the ground. I thought it was weird, but didn't look at it closely. I got in the car, and when I turned my head to back up, I realized the back passenger window was all shattered. I had heard a noise about an hour earlier, and thought it was a bird hitting the garage, or a tool falling over--it had just sounded like a loud popping or clunking noise, but I didn't investigate it at the time. When I saw the broken window, I immediately panicked--I didn't know if my car had been broken into, if an animal had done it, or what would've caused it. I hate dealing with car problems--it is definitely my weakness/nemesis. Josh was out of town, and in area with no cell service, and Ammon was gone for the day as well, so I was completely on my own. I looked for a rock or any evidence of what caused it, but there was none. I didn't know what to do--so I took both boys into town in the Jeep, and went straight to the auto glass store. The owner thought it was probably a weak spot in the window, and the pressure on a hot day suddenly made it burst. He ordered me a new window, but I felt so vunerable and was on the verge of an anxiety meltdown. I dropped off Aiden and went straight to Darcy's house, and she helped me through it until I was able to talk without crying anymore. I am so grateful for her!!! Josh was able to get texting service, but not call reception, and that night he texted me a beautiful picture of the Tetons, and I sent him some pictures of what had happened to my poor car!!

Josh and the boys from our troop had a great time at scout camp on Tuesday evening. They went on a long hike together, and found a beautiful waterfall, and a creek in a cave with natural springs. I tutored Daniel with some math that evening at Darcy's house, and then she and I went to water aerobics at the pool. I really like water aerobics, and this was the first time I'd gone this summer. It was a different instructor, and the class didn't feel the same as usual, but I was glad for the opportunity to go with my friend!

The wind turned, and the boys got soaked!
I love this photo! It was a fun memory that they all laughed about later!

The cave with the natural springs with the "coldest, best-tasting water ever!"

After Kanyon's swimming lessons on Wednesday, we took the car in to get the window replaced. We stopped by the car wash place and vacuumed out all the glass first, though. We walked to the library for kids free lunch and the reading summer program. They were building birdhouses from kits that day. Kanyon wasn't really interested in going to the program, but I made him. I was the guest reader, and read about different homes that animal build. Then the children all got to build birdhouses from kits. Kanyon obligingly built the birdhouse, then went back into the library to play on the computer. Aiden painted Kanyon's birdhouse, since his sister painted the birdhouse he constructed, so I told him he got to keep the one Kanyon built since he worked on it for so long after Kanyon left! (I think this was definitely Kanyon's last summer doing the Library Summer Reading Program!) After the program ended, we walked back to get my car. It was just like new! Josh came back home to Salmon that night--he and the leader who drove up with him were only able to go up for 3 days, and 2 other leaders went up for the last 3 days. On Wednesday night, I went over to Amy Beyeler's house and she helped me decorate my cap for my upcoming graduation. I'd thought and thought for months about what I wanted it to say and look like, and I finally decided on the phrase "This moment was 20 years in the making", since my college journey began almost exactly 20 years ago!! I got gold letters on my navy blue cap, because that's the other color of WGU, and we decided on the fonts together. I appreciated her help so much! I told her that was the best gift she could've given me for my graduation (she's my visiting teacher)!

On Thursday I cleaned all day preparing for hosting Bunco that night. It was the second time I'd hosted it this year, but this time I planned it outside on the deck. The party also became a baby shower for two of the Bunco players, so after we played 2 rounds of Bunco, the ladies came inside, and two of the pregnant women got to open gifts from the others. It was fun, but the evening turned out a little different than I had originally planned. It never really felt clear as to who was in charge--it should've been me because I was hosting the event, but the two ladies who were throwing the baby shower seemed to be in charge, which was off putting for me. Also, my friend Amy had just had surgery, so she was unable to come and it felt different without her! Ammon and Josh went golfing for the evening so that they wouldn't be around all the female hormones, and there were some definite moments where the hormones were ruling what people were saying and doing!
Look what Josh found lounging at the golf course!
We had great attendance! We sent a photo message to Amy who couldn't come...

The baby shower portion after the Bunco games had ended. 

Kerry did my hair on Friday, and then Josh and I headed for Utah for my college graduation! Originally, I was hoping that all my boys, husband, and parents could come to it. But--the twins were still gone to the distant scout camp, my dad was in Virginia for a scouting event, and Ammon had to work at the golf course for Josh, so we just let Kanyon stay home since he'd be the only boy. We'd invited my friends to join us, but Amy was still recovering from surgery, and Darcy needed to drive her mother-in-law back to Tennessee, so she couldn't come either. We invited Josh's mom to join us, and my mom, and we met up at the Prairie Schooner in Ogden that evening. Neither of our moms had been there before, and it had been over 15 years since we'd eaten there, too. Inside the restaurant, the table booths are all constructed inside replicas of covered wagons. It's a uniquely decorated place to eat! The food was pretty good (not as good as we remember it being, but not bad). Also, my sister Tabbi showed up and surprised us (my mom had told her about it), and she ate with us, too. Josh and I spent the night at my mom's house in Tremonton and Kathy stayed at a hotel and said she'd meet us at the graduation the next morning in SLC.

Their bread pudding was huge!!

Saturday was my long-awaited, big day!! We drove down to the convention center in SLC that morning. I signed in, got assigned a number, which told me which line of graduates to stand in and where to place myself in that line. We were all congregating in a huge empty room before proceeding into the commencement room, but there was still plenty of time, so I went into the other room and found where Josh and my mom were sitting so I'd know where to find them afterwards. I gave Josh some tips on how to take photos with my new camera, and then I saw his mom and showed her where to sit. I went back into the empty, line-up room and by then, most of the graduates were in lines and I found where I needed to be. Tabbi came in and gave me some graduation necklaces, which I TOTALLY loved! Most of the people had purchased graduation beads or leis to wear around their necks, but they were all over $40 on sale on site. I loved the unique touch of my candy necklaces, and I was so grateful to her for thinking of me and having them made!! So thoughtful! The procession began and we walked into one room for the commencement. The President Emeritus (which had just changed this year) spoke first. Dr. Robert Mendenhall had been president of WGU since its inception, and it was very moving to see what has transpired under his direction at the school and how much it has grown and advanced since 1997. The next speaker was Clayton Christensen, a business professor at Harvard. His speech was very direct and inspirational: about thinking small and growing big, citing several examples to back up his theory. I loved it. There were two recent graduates who also spoke, and both were personal examples of perseverance amidst hardship. Following the commencement service, the Bachelor's degrees were awarded in yet another room, while the Master's degrees were awarded in that room, so I was part of the processional that moved again. It all happened so fast, and felt like a whirlwind, and pretty soon, I was up on the stage receiving my "diploma" (even though I'd already gotten it in the mail), and the ceremony was over! I finally met my first FRIEND through college--the lady I'd been assigned to stand in line next to and sit by was from Richfield Utah, and was going into Elementary Ed like me, and it was fun to talk with her and meet someone personally--going to school online didn't provide a lot of time for just meeting and greeting people!! After the ceremony was over, and processional led to the great hall, we took some photos, then walked across the street to the Olive Garden for lunch. I felt so loved, and was so grateful that my mom, Josh's mom, and Tabbi could come support me! Lunch was delightful, and then we split up and went our separate ways. We dropped mom off in Tremonton; she gave me some flowers on our arrival! And then Josh and I drove home to Salmon. Fun tidbit of info: the message I'd chosen to put on my mortar was the same theme that WGU chose for their ceremony! Not until we showed up to the graduation did I ever see that logo with the 20 year design on it!!! I had no idea that WGU began the same yeaer that I'd graduated from high school and started attending college at SUU! I felt like it was totally personalized for me, and that I'd graduated at just the right moment in time!

The mascot for WGU is an owl because of all the "night
owl" students who do their work primarily at night. 

The commencement 

My new friend Melissa

My mortar message totally coincided with WGU's theme!

I bought some new lilies for my main pots in front of the house, and for about a two week span, the lilies in one pot bloomed in rotation (the other pot never had any flowers). They were beautiful! I just happened to capture one in bloom during this particular week. Flowers are totally evidence of God's Love, wouldn't you agree?!

Monday, October 9, 2017

July 2017 - Week 1

July 3 - 9

Monday was the 3rd, and all of Josh's siblings were in town for the upcoming holiday July 4th. We basically celebrated the 4th together on Monday, since on Tuesday (the 4th) the whole day was spent floating the river. We celebrated Teddy's 2nd birthday--he opened gifts and we we ate cake. We also played games, ate meals outside, and relaxed and talked with one another. Josh and I made homemade ice cream later that afternoon, and Eve came up from Rexburg to spend the night so she could be with friends for the holiday, too. We lit up fireworks in Edward and Kathy's yard after it got dark. It was such an enjoyable day!
Kathy ordered a cake for Teddy with a Teddy Bear on it. 

Kanyon gifted Teddy the Thomas Train book and Monster Truck tractor

Josh dishing out our homemade ice cream.
We made vanilla and attempted chocolate for the first time, too.

The boys playing our newly purchased Bocce ball. 

One of the games we played was Telestrations. Josh's extended family is
my favorites to play this game with!

This picture cracked me up! I can't even remember now how we got to this point...

I love Ammon's totally coordinated outfit that he went golfing in that afternoon.

Hannah taught me how to use long exposure on my camera!
Ammon was a great model!

I wish I'd known how to do this years ago!!
Hannah making the infinity sign...

I think Hannah made a heart for Ammon...

Eve encircled about with light!

Kanyon playing with sparklers

We had just a few fireworks, but they were beautiful!

On Tuesday morning, we got ready and drove into town early to meet the Rawhide Outfitters at a hotel parking lot, so they could pick us up in their bus to drive us down river to float. There was a miscommunication again with the company, so we only had about 16 reserved spots rather than 20, so Ammon and I ended up not floating with the family. He worked, went golfing, and hung out with his friends instead, and I drove down river taking photos of the group as they floated (with my brand new camera that I got myself as a graduation gift with the money from my parents). Because the water levels were so high this year, our group got to put in at Corn Creek, rather than Pine Creek, which was nice. We had a large group overall--there were 5 Rawhide boats floating that day, and 2 were filled with just our family! The river was truly amazing, so fast and fun, and everyone had a great time! When we stopped for lunch at Panther Creek, Gideon took my car back to Salmon and he drove home to Boise that evening with his family. I got to take his spot and get in the boat in the river the last 20 minutes of the float trip. And per tradition, I jumped in and swam the last bit right before we got out, and I rode back with them on the bus. I couldn't believe how fast the river still was! After we got back to Salmon that evening, Josh and I took the boys over to the Jackson's house for their personal firework show, including a few homemade fireworks, which was exciting! It was a fun ending to the fabulous day on the river!
Coral, Joel, Jess, Isaac, Aysha, Micah, Josh, Eve, Jonah, Gideon, Tiffany,
Emmy, Kathy, Edward, Kanyon, Molly, and Malachi

The remnants of the partial house that floated away, and the owner's truck, too.

The red boat, guided by Clint Anders, had Kathy, Gideon, Molly, Josh, Eve,
Kanyon, Edward, and Malachi in it. 

The gray boat, guided by Johnny Cranney, had Tiffany, Coral, Emmy, Joel,
Jonah, Jess, Joel, Aysha, and Micah in it. 

Pine Creek rapids

Pine Creek rapids

Josh's stance reminds me of a Viking!

Edward getting soaked!

Pine Creek rapids

Pine Creek rapids

Jonah was brave for "riding the bull" through this section of the river!

Wednesday was the Library's first Summer Reading Program activity. I didn't have to help at all of them this summer like I have the last few years, but I went in to take Kanyon to it (even though he wasn't totally convinced about going to it). We took his friend Aiden, too. After the Kids Free lunch, I helped walk the youth across the street for the activity at the outdoor Cavaness Park where the kids built structures out of cardboard boxes. I stayed at the library for a while after dropping them off safely, uploading photos and working on my laptop, before leaving to do some errands until it was time to pick up Kanyon and Aiden. Apparently, Kanyon opted to not build anything since they had such a huge turnout of kids and not enough boxes, so he just sat in the shade and watched everyone else work until I came back to get him!

On Thursday evening, I went to work with Josh and drove around the course with him as he was fertilizing greens. There was the most glorious sunset following a quick thunderstorm that had just rolled through! I couldn't get enough of the skies!

Josh and I drove the motorbike to Gibbonsville for the Ramey's Hootenanny and Hot Rod show on Saturday around lunch time. The Jackson's were there, too, so for a few hours we ate, talked, walked around with them, and relaxed together sitting at a table talking (it was a really hot day, so the shade was very inviting). It was so nice--Josh and I hadn't gone to the event for years, and we loved being there with the Jackson's too! And any excuse for a short trip on the motorbike with Josh is my idea of a fun time! On the drive back to Salmon, we stopped at the Big Flat and walked around the Judy's new homesite--they were just beginning the framing on it. We will miss having them in our ward, but are so excited for them as they are building their home! That night, Josh, the twins, and I did the Moonlight Run 5K at the Salmon City Park/Golf Course (Ammon was gone to a basketball tournament out of town and Kanyon didn't want to do it). The twins ran it with their friends, Josh jogged it with Daniel, and Darcy and I walked it together with her mother-in-law. Good times all around!

Not to be confused with the Mach 2--an electric razor!!

Crossing the finish line!