Friday, July 13, 2012

The 4th

Our ward had a big breakfast and flag raising ceremony with two other wards on the morning of the 4th.  I had forgotten that the kids were doing a bike parade until the night before.  I ran to the store and bought fun stuff to decorate.  RJ and I stayed up until 11 p.m. putting streamers, balloons, and colored plates on the kids' bikes.  We thought they would argue over whose balloon was more full.  It never crossed my mind that Hunter would be embarrassed of his bike.  I made him take this picture before we stripped his bike of all decorations (with the exception of the tires).
At the last minute, McKenna decided that she didn't want to ride her bike at all.  I decided that her bike was going be in that parade no matter what.  Thankfully I thought of Reagan before I hopped on it myself!

I was very touched as we sang the national anthem at the flag raising.  I am so happy to be an American. 

In the evening, we had a potluck BBQ with several friends.  RJ spent hours filling up 200 water balloons for the kids which were gone in less than 5 minutes.  At 8:30 p.m., RJ helped the kids set off some fireworks.  It was a great day.

My Viking Warriors

We learned about the Vikings in history and decided to make shields and swords.  RJ and I got these hats at our warrior race which completed the look perfectly.
McKenna put a dragon on her shield.  Hunter chose a pheonix and made some cool looking fire.

Warrior Run

The day we finished our triathlon last year we signed up for a warrior run in Hastings.
In exchange for some core strengthening training, Gabby Heroux watched our kids.  We had to take a shuttle to the race from an over priced parking lot ($20).  Our heat didn't start until 9:30 a.m. but we decided to join the 9 a.m. heat to try to beat the heat (at least a little).  The race was at a ski resort and I quickly realized that I wouldn't be running the whole thing like I anticipated.  We had to run up about 5 ski hills.  We ended up walking most of those and we weren't the only ones.  People were heaving at the top, one man was passed out and was surrounded by medical personnel, 3 people were on medical beds at the end of the race (one with a broken foot) and we saw two ambulances with lights on.  The obstacles weren't as hard as I thought they would be.  At one point we had to log roll down a huge hill under a cargo net and I tried spotting to not get too sick and dizzy.  The scariest obstacle for me was jumping over fire.  When it was all said and done, we pretty much felt like warriors.

The Solar System

We had a fun week putting together a solar system and taking a field trip to a planetarium.
We spray painted a diaper box black.

We divided up the planets and painted and glitter glued them.  The kids felt bad for pluto for getting kicked out as a planet in the solar system.  We learned that Pluto was named by an 11 year old girl who told her dad that they should name it after the God of the underworld. 

Hunter wrote a report and presented it to RJ after work at the end of the week. 

We went to the planetarium at the Bell Museum to visualize all that we had learned.  There was a really cool 3-D feel as we zoomed toward or away from earth.  Unfortunately, the student presenting the show was more interested in demonstrating his vast knowledge of other galaxies.  It was way over my head even.  Consequently, McKenna was bored to tears and boy did she let me know!  Our struggle left a bad taste in my mouth for what was supposed to be the culmination of a great week.

Freezer Jam

RJ found a place for U-Pick Strawberries out here but apparently they came early and we just made it to the farm on the last day of picking.  The strawberries were pretty small and took some searching.
RJ made freezer jam and was so happy with these containers that screw in the top or bottom.  Thanks for the yummy jam dear!

June Date at Minnehaha Falls

We took a picnic lunch to Minnehaha falls and had a great time in this beautiful park. 

A lot of things were going on in the park one of which was an exotic animal show.  Children and their parents were gathered around this woman with her various animals.  RJ and I were naturally drawn in.  When it was time to put her hedgehog away, she said "everyone say bye bye to Sammy" (or whatever his name was) and on cue, RJ and I both shouted "bye bye Sammy."  We chuckled as we realized that we had no children with us chanting along.

A desert fox

I had been craving these fruit pies for quite some time and figured that this picnic would be a good ocassion to finally break down and buy one.  Neither Target nor Walmart had any!  I lucked out and found some at a local grocery store but all they had was apple or cherry.  It was still yummy.  RJ took about 10 pictures of me enjoying my treat bite by bite.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mommy School Field Trip

Last summer, RJ and I bought these expensive books from a door to door salesperson with the intent of doing "mommy school" all summer.  I started strong but had a hard time wrangling the kids in from playing outside with their friends.  This year, I created a lesson plan utilizing these books along with "My First Encycopedia of History" book from Grandma and Grandpa Reeve.  We have 15 minutes of spanish, 15 minutes of history and 1 hour of science.  Our first field trip was to the flour mill in downtown Minneapolis.
We got to ride a freight elevator and learn about life in a factory.

This is the mighty Mississippi which use to power the mills.

The kids loved getting their hands in the water and manipulating the water flow to get the logs to the correct building.

Hunter built this arch and is pointing at the "keystone."  I told him that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.

On our way out, this girl stopped us to see if we wanted to learn how to make flour. We got to grind the wheat and sift it. In the end, there was about 1 teaspoon of white flour.

We met up with RJ and a squirrel infested park and ate a picnic lunch.  It was lots of fun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Father's Day

RJ bought himself a digital video camera as an early Father's Day gift to help him with the children's videos.  McKenna helped me make a special breakfast and take it up to him.  I also got him some dress pants and a white shirt (boring I know).  Hunter made a cool plaque and card while he was still in school that we hid until the big day.
Berries, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, eggs and juice.

It is fun to celebrate our awesome dads.  They deserve it!  I'm so grateful for my own father and the father RJ is to our children.  They love him more than life itself.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Reeve Family Reunion

We were very excited about our trip to Utah for the Reeve family reunion.  We packed a small gift in each kids' carry on as well as some fun snacks.  We left Saturday afternoon and arrived 12 hours later.  RJ was super dad and took all the kids on the first flight which was the longest.  We flew into Las Vegas, got our rental car, ate dinner and headed to Hurricane.  We assumed that the children would all fall asleep from exhaustion but we were wrong!  We were stuck on "the strip" for about an hour and the kids (Hunter and McKenna) were fighting and whining every second of it.  RJ and I almost lost our minds.  I contemplated walking to Hurricane or stepping out in front of another car and saving myself the walk.  Finally, we decided to brake the law before we broke their necks and I switched places with Hunter, leaned the seat back and let McKenna ride without her booster so she could lean on me.  Miraculously, we arrived.

Sunday, we walked to one of the three (or was it four) churches in a one mile radius.  We (mostly me) spent a fun afternoon with the Newcomb family who came down for the weekend.  It is always so fun and comfortable to be with them.  I feel bad that I didn't take any pictures.  Reed wanted a picture with all of the grandkids before he went in for sugery on his nose (to remove some cancer) the next day.

Jack and Reagan munching on green apples
These pictures are out of order.  I have had major issues with this new set up.  On the last evening of the reunion, we went to a pool (Pam and Reed rented it just for our famiy).  We ate pizza and had a splashin' good time.  RJ has a fear of jumping from high places but he faced his fear and jumped off the high dive.

Each family prepared a puppet show.  We did a modified rendition of "Little Bunny Foo Foo."
Friday morning was picture day.  I was really looking forward to getting some great pics.  I stole Kathryn's color scheme and found some great duds at a second hand store called "Once Upon A Child."  Poor Reagan went to bed and woke up with a fever.  She was not at all in the mood to say "cheese"  but I was able to bribe her with this fruit snack.

This was our best family picture but we are all looking at the wrong camera.

Here are Pam and Reed with their biological children.  Robert is on a mission in Johanessburg South Africa and Peter is in the Army.

Here we all are!

The boys have been jealous of our "sister day" for a while.  Burt decided to take the reigns and head up a boys day.  He decided to include the younger boys and go fishing.  Unfortunately. Monday's work day mishap prevented him from going.  Steve and Shan were not able to come to the reunion at all and Kevin wasn't able to go.  RJ ended up taking the boys fishing and out to lunch.  They caught all kinds of tiny fish and were pleased as punch.  In fact, they wanted to go again and RJ abliged.  Hunter caught a 15 incher the second day.

Thomas, Colt, Hunter, Ruger

While the boys were out, we had a party of our own.  Kathryn made a water blob that the kids jumped and slid on.  She also hosted a tea party and had the girls make heart shaped cupcakes, paint their fingernails and dress up.  What a fun aunt!

Queen Kathryn making a toast.

Grandma set up a comfy story time.

Tuesday morning was our temple day.  We got up at 4:50 a.m. and attended the 6 a.m. session.  It was special to return to the temple that changed our lives.  I peeked in the sealing room and got a little emotional as I remembered that day.  It was neat to be there with so many members of the family.  It would not have been possible without Julia, Andria and Lydia.  They were amazingly helpful with all the kids all week.  Thanks girls!
Reagan liked sitting in this little excersaucer.  When she wanted to move, she just picked it up and started walking with it.

We had a weinie roast in the back yard.

We had a few seminars, a family home evening, and a tribute to our ancestors.  Amanda and DeAnna did a fabulous job creating videos, music and stories.  RJ did a seminar on loving our neighbor.  Grandma Poulson came down from Cedar City to hear him.  I'm so glad we got to see her.  Amanda and Pam did a Spark People seminar.  They have been extremely successful on this weightloss program and shared some great ideas and recipes.

While we did sister day, the men had the kids put together a perfomance.  I must say that Oktavia is an amazing little actress.

Lori was in charge of sister day.  She led us in a water aerobics class.  We tried to scan some pictures for a book for Pam but ran into technological difficulites.  Pam treated us to lunch at the Olive Garden and we had a great time.  (Pam, Me, Amanda, Lori, Kathryn)

(Shannon, Linda, Julia, DeAnna)

Work projects- create a path to the porch our of stone and build a covering for the hay.  The men worked on the covering and ended up cracking a water line which kept them busy the rest of the week.

We also made homemade sourkraut.  We put it in the basement and I forgot about it.  Whenever I went down there, it smelled like a dirty diaper and I kept looking around to see if I left one of Reagan's.  Eventually I found the true culprit- the sourkraut!
So much work went into planning the reunion and we had a wonderful time.  We can't wait 'til 2014!