Family Pic 2015

Family Pic 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

First day of school, 2015

We got home late the night before from meeting Eli at the airport, and I TOTALLY blew it!  I failed to get pictures of all of my kids on the first day of school:(  Which, after thinking about it, this was the worst year for me to forget to do such an important thing!  This is the only year that I will have six of my kids going to school at the same time.  Kami is a Senior, and Caden will also be graduated before Pace goes to school.

However, Kami and Caden leave for school before 7:00, and Maddie doesn't have to leave until 8:10, so no one was ready at the same time.  I DID, however, catch my grade schoolers before they got on the bus:


Isabelle is heading to fifth grade at the middle school, Nolan is in third grade, and Abram is in Kindergarten!

This year there are three more kids getting on the bus at our house: Emerson and Camryn Oliphant and David Green (not pictured).


Anyway, Kami is a Senior, and put on an assembly, with the rest of the student council, for the first day of school.  Caden is a Junior and he and Kami are in the Bel Cantos choir together this year, so that is something for both of them to look forward to. Madeline is an eighth grader!  Everyone came home pretty excited about the prospects for their new year.

ELI IS HOME!!!!

The day before school started, we got up early and drove over to Boise to meet Eli at the airport when he flew in from his mission to Chile.

This is just PART of the group that was there to meet him when he came through the doors- there were many children further off to the right:


I figured it up and there were sixty of us there to greet him just as he came through the doors:


My mom said, "Isn't it amazing?  There were just the 11 of us when Nathan (my oldest brother) got home from his mission!"

Eli had A LOT of hugs to give out when he came through the doors.  My parents just stood back and watched until they finally got their turn - I know it seems like they ought to get first dibs:


It was so tender - there is just something about missionaries coming home.




Pace and Eli- Pace was born just before he left, and turned two just before he got home!


After all the hugging and greeting was accomplished, we took our party to a restaurant and continued it!:)

All the teenagers gathered around Eli:

Gracie, Maddie and Sadie, or "Mad, Sad, and Gray" as Maddie refers to them:


It is so great to have Eli home again!  And the best part is that he will be going to college here and so we will get to see him in two more weeks!

A few more summer things

1. This summer the three older kids worked at Shawn's shop.  Kami and Caden full time and Maddie quite often.  That left me at home with the four younger kids.  Besides doing a lot of fun activities, we also studied about the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers.  As part of this study we read, "My Brother Sam is Dead" and "Johnny Tremain".  We also memorized "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  This was no small undertaking!  It was a very long poem!!

Just as we finished memorizing it we had a ward campout.  The ward campout always has a program and I signed our family up to do something, not knowing what, but trying to be supportive.  Later, when I asked the family what we should do they all volunteered Nolan and Isabelle to quote the poem they had just learned. And -  by the way- Nolan, Isabelle and I were the only ones that memorized the full thing.  Abram did learn about four stanzas, though.

I don't know that it was a very exciting part of the program to other people, but I sure enjoyed it and was proud of them as they would take turns quoting stanzas and helping each other out here and there:


They never did have to look at their paper which I sent them up with just in case!


2. Our dishwasher was broken for about a month and a half this summer, and this was what caused us to begin the "dishwasher Olympics". I never would have thought that washing dishes could be so fun!  Being without a dishwasher in a family of this size is no small matter, and the kids weren't overly thrilled about helping.  One night the three older kids were at mutual, and Pace was fussy and wouldn't let me put him down, and that is when I came up with this fun competition.  I told the kids that we had been selected to represent America in the dishwashing Olympics.  We would be competing against Russia, and both teams had been assigned the exact same meal and had the exact amount of dishes to be washed!  They would be judged on speed AND cleanliness. I don't know when we have had so much fun.  I spied on the other team and kept the kids informed on how they were doing.  Commentators and reporters (me) were constantly reporting on both teams and their progress.  The boys, especially, LOVED it!  Nolan was the washer, Abe the rinser and Belle the dryer/put-away person.  They would all work together when the washing was done, and if you can believe it - in the end  - and just the evening before we got our new dishwasher - they ended up taking home the gold for America.  We had an awards ceremony where the kids got gold (chocolate) coins and stood on a podium while we sang the national anthem.

Nolan has been heard to say that he wishes that we were still doing the Olympics and didn't have a dishwasher. On the last night, though, Isabelle sighed and said, "Mom, do we HAVE to do dish washing Olympics?  I said, "well, it's either do dish washing Olympics or....do the dishes.  Which would you rather do?"  She chose the Olympics:)

3. Kami and I went to Education Week at BYU Provo!  I wanted to go to education week but the Gee family reunion took place during the one here, and Kami wanted to check out the BYU campus.  We stayed with Aunt Linda - because we love to see her and because she lives right close to campus.

At a play that we attended one evening:


Another evening we went and saw the new Provo temple that is under construction:


It is so beautiful and we loved the unique look that it has!



Then we drove by our apartment that we lived in while Shawn was in law school at BYU when Kami was just four and Caden two. We lived in that second door to the right:

It was fun to go back - it sure brought back a lot of memories about neighbors and my oldest kids when they were younger!

taking off

Isabelle got a new bike for her birthday, and a couple of days later I was outside weeding beside the road as she and Nolan rode their bikes back and forth.  Abe ran along as fast as he could, trying to keep up, and I heard him say, "Well, I don't love to run, but at least I am getting lots of exercise!!"  That's when I realized that it was high time he learned to ride a bike!  I texted Shawn and asked him to bring his bike down from the shop when he came home that night.  We had stored it there during the winter, and never remembered to bring it back to the house.

That night, Abram's awesome brother Caden taught him how to ride a bike.  Abe is so old that he took right off:

Shawn was gone visiting people, but everyone else was out there watching and encouraging and it was very exciting, let me tell you!  Abe has been riding his bike every spare minute ever since.



My baby girl turns 10

It's hard to believe that my little Isabelle is ten years old, and heading off to fifth grade at the middle school this year!  Belle's birthday fell on a Sunday, so we took her cake over to celebrate with grandparents and cousins.  


It turns out that her birthday is the same day as her Uncle Kory's, so he helped her blow out her candles:
We sure do enjoy this sweet, thoughtful, entertaining little girl!

That day this summer that we went to Yellowstone

We picked the perfect day for this excursion!  The day was cooler and overcast, and as a result, there were A LOT of animals out.  Besides the large herds of bison and elk, we saw a bear and coyote, and this amazing  rainbow!!:






These kids...

And Caden capturing the same picture of them in a different way:

With Pace on hand to help out:)
I really need to take a moment and snag some of Caden's pictures one of these days - they are so much better than the ones I have on my phone:)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Horseshoe lake

It's definitely time for me to put SOMETHING up about some of our summer's activities!  It's been a great summer.  This was one of our camping trips: