We tried to spend as much time with them over their last week here as possible. We spent the 3rd of July visiting a museum on University of Utah campus that I didn't know existed, but it's part of their Wonderlab pass and it was great to see something new.
|The kids waving to the fire truck during the 4th of July parade.|
Summer was busy from a Young Women's perspective. We wrapped up a Ward Youth Conference complete with tent camping and workshops, lots of card games and volleyball; as well as an overnight backpacking trip in late June to head into Girls Camp in July. We had a small group of 6 girls, but camp went really, really well. Our camp director had a son leave on his mission during the middle of camp and came after, so I prayed that we had everything we needed and hoped for the best having never been to this campsite and not knowing exactly what to expect. There were some girls I worried about because of snotty teenage girl attitudes, but everyone was so great! They jumped out of bed early in the morning to fix breakfast on the campfire and were all so inclusive and had great attitudes all week. More than anything, we needed some time together to get to know each other and feel more unified, and this did just that. It was an answer to my prayers and couldn't have gone any better.
Some highlights included a rope challenge course including trust falls and all that jazz; time on the lake in canoes and kayaks; Pioneer Olympics including potato sack and barrel races, stick pulls, etc.; singing around the lake at night with only our flashlights; and the two mice we found in our cabin. The mice were a great way to bring in some drama and tears from teenage girls!
While I was gone at Girls Camp, Kyle decided to demolish our kitchen. He surprised me by ripping out our laminate counters and pouring, sanding, and staining new ones out of concrete. It was a complete surprise and they look so good! I walked in the door as he was installing a new cast iron kitchen sink. He has great plans for new cabinets and a back splash, so I will post photos of the finished product once it's all done.
The week after Girls Camp I went straight into convention-mode for work. We have a big convention every year where consultants come from all over the US and Canada. My job this year was Show Flow Manager, meaning the behind-the-scenes coordinator for every general session and working with our A/V team to make sure every slide, microphone change, video, lighting change, camera angle, etc. is done at the right time and that everyone is going on and off the stage exactly when they're supposed to. It was busy and fun. The A/V company offered me a "second job on the weekend" 4 times, which I politely declined :).
I also got to help with the Convention service project, which is always a highlight. We partnered with Days for Girls to make hygiene kits. I got to meet Noelle Pikus-Pace and see her silver medal back stage. She was incredibly easy going and down to earth. She delivered twins in Costa Rica three weeks before our convention and flew the 10 hours from Costa Rica just to address our group and then fly home. Crazy woman.
Since I was out of town during Convention, Kyle hit the road and took the kids to California for his best friend's surprise 30th birthday party. The kids loved swimming every day in Marmie and Grandpa's pool and visiting the San Diego Zoo. They've both been taking swim lessons this summer and it was great to practice what they've learned. Alexa can now swim by herself although only very recently, and Tyler can be thrown into the pool and will flip himself to his back and swim to the edge and climb out.
Here's a video of Alexa the water bug:
To end, some cute stories from the kids:
|#1 Me: Alexa, why is your princess kitty on the floor?|
Alexa: Because my baby dinosaur was hungry and I have to take care of him!
#3 Tyler hits Kyle in the face with a pillow. And then immediately asks with concern, "Are you ok, Dad?" And proceeds to hit him about 7 more times and ask the same question after each blow.
#4 Alexa in the car this week, talking to herself. "I love jewelry. It makes me happy and it makes me laugh and smile." Proceeds to make up a song and sing it to her necklace that she's wearing. We have a teenager trapped in a 4-year old's body.
And lastly, I wish you all a good week and great month from our family as drawn below by Alexa. We're standing under a rainbow, so life must be pretty good.