Friday, June 27, 2014

Father’s Day

Several months ago, I came up with a book idea that I wanted to do for Father’s Day.  The concept was that some children find out about a “Father of the Year” contest so they each vote for their dad explaining why they think he should win.  In the end, they all have the same dad.  The kids helped by posing for pictures and it all came together really well.



RJ wanted delux cinnamon rolls for breakfast and he actually got them all put together the night before.  He also invited the missionaries over for dinner and offered to make a crock pot dish.  I am afraid we were the ones who were spoiled!


He seemed to really enjoy the book.  Here are the lyrics:

“Father of the Year”

Father's Day was close now

The contest drawing near.

To vote which child's dad

Should win "Father of the Year."

Hunter grabbed a paper

and started right away

"Because he plays catch with me

and games I like to play."

McKenna also thought

Her dad should be the winner

He lets her eat dessert

before she eats her dinner!

Reagan boasted too

"My dad should surely win this.

He tells me that I'm beautiful

And seals it with a kiss."

He lets me cook beside him

And share food off his plate

He lets me have the biggest piece

And sometimes stay up late.

He watches princess movies

And makes me feel like one.

He paints my toes and fingers

With rainbow colors- so fun!

He tells me I bring joy

That he has never known.

He gives me polka dot dresses

That he himself has sewn.

He teaches me to build

And be safe with his tools

He trusts me to experiment

by following the rules.

He helps me practice piano

and teaches me to plant.

He pushes me to grow

And never says I can't.

He fixes up my bike

and teaches me to ride.

He sits out in the grass

so I can play outside.

He helps me to do puzzles

I put in the last piece

He makes me new pajamas-

and lets me pick the fleece.

He teaches me what's right

And forgives me all my wrongs

He rereads favorite stories

and makes up silly songs.

He listens to my day

until I'm out of stuff

He always tucks me in

And tells me I'm enough.

He brings my crafts to life

Indulging my ideas

even if it's messy

or interferes with his.

He plans our vacations

and makes us matching shirts,

He carries me when tired

and my feet begin to hurt.

He takes me camping with him

and builds a gorgeous fire

We roast the perfect mallows

and play night games ‘til we tire.

He shows me how to mend things

and make possessions last

He teaches me to save

and not spend money fast.

He takes me to the park

and lets me swing all day

My daddy is so patient

in each and every way

He comes to all my games

and cheers for me with pride

he tells me I don't have to win

as long as I have tried.

He makes my favorite popcorn

and helps me with bake sales

he lets me try again

when my business venture fails.

He makes me special movies

of when I was so small

to pictures and to music

I watch myself grow tall.

He shows me how to work

and teaches me to serve.

He’s good at all he does.

He’s more than I deserve.

He laughs at all my jokes

and is hardly ever mad.

That is why I vote

for my one and only dad.

He signs me up for dance.

He lets me lick the spoon.

There is not a better dad

from here until the moon!

The children all reached home

their hearts about to burst,

they fought about which one of them

would get to hug him first.

We voted for you dad

they gleefully conceded

No kids exist more loved than us

our wants are all exceeded.

Their daddy smiled down

"If it weren't for you, I fear

I could never be considered

for father of the year."

International Wolf Center

The last time we were in Ely, RJ saw this place called the “International Wolf Center.”  McKenna has had a fascination with wolves for some time so RJ booked a cabin in Babbitt at the beginning of the year.  We had a great time!  We had hotdogs and roasted marshmallows to make smores the first night.  On Friday, the only nice day of the three, we headed up to Ely to the wolf center.  We sat in on some informational presentations on wolves.  The kids got to play in an interactive kids center and make actual size paw prints with plaster.  We grabbed some lunch and drove to a park to play and eat.  When we got back, the kids and RJ braved the cold lake and water trampoline.  Then we went on a family canoe ride.  RJ made yummy dutch oven cowboy stew and peach cobbler.  I made some homemade ice cream.



They had 4 wolves in a fenced in 1.25 acre area.  They also had two wolves in retirement (10 and 14 years old).  We learned that there are only two species of wolves but 5 sub-species of the gray wolf.  They only live 3-5 years in the wild.  Something that makes them unique from coyotes is that they prey on animals up to 10 times their size.  They can run up to 35 mph.  They usually only eat once a week a meal that is 1/5 their body weight (McKenna would eat a 13 lb. meal in one sitting).




I felt bad for being the party pooper but when the wind blew, I was cold just sitting there.  The lakes haven’t had adequate time to warm up yet.  RJ was a trooper.


Poor Reagan had problems sitting in the camping chairs.  She fell backwards and bonked her head.  Later, when we finished cooking the stew, she fell forward, into the fire pit giving us a BIG scare.


We played several rounds of “Blink” a card game of speed, color, number and shape recognition.


We got a road marker to put up near our cabin that we got to decorate.  RJ drew these wolves and recorded the distance we had traveled with our families name on it.  Good memories!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Return of Mommy School

After looking through old blurb books, Hunter asked me if I would do mommy school again this summer.  I had given up because it was so much work to have them complain the whole time. 

The kids are always looking for ways to make money so I thought that we should kick off mommy school with our own little money making craft sale.  I found 3 ideas on line.  The kids and I went shopping to price out the items needed.  We found the best deals we could and improvised others.  When we finished, we talked about pricing and how they would have to pay me back for start up costs.  The rest would be their profit which they would have to split (Hunter and McKenna).  They did all the work and I am so proud of the outcome.  They put many hours into this project.







Utensil Holders



We also made patriotic rice crispy treats (red, white and blue layered). I posted their work on facebook and they sat at front in the neighborhood. They made $11 the first day.  After we get back from the Reeve Family Reunion, we will try to sell the rest.  Hopefully we don’t end up with excess inventory.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Zumba Instruction

My friend asked me to teach the young women zumba for their mutual activity.  I took two sessions of zumba through the park and recreation program so I told her I had done it but not taught it.  I told her that if she was in a bind, I would put something together.  She said she was in a bind.  I had so much fun picking my songs and choreographing the dances.  The girls were so enthusiastic and positive that it got me thinking “I can be creative, exercise, have fun, and make a little money on the side if I get licensed and do this for real.”  Here is a picture of the group I got to get licensed with.  The instructor was Kelly Bullard (front row, curly blonde hair).  She was very inspiring.  She had so much energy and it made me wonder if I really could do this.

I put together a 3 week mini class with the help of Cindy Clark who let us use her indoor basketball court to hold class twice a week.  It was a LOT of work but so much fun!

Bear Badge


Hunter worked really hard (with RJ’s consistent reminding and guiding) to receive his bear badge in just 6 months.  We hope he will set some of his own goals and self motivate over the next 6 months as he earns arrow points.



Hunter wanted to play baseball again this year.  In July they will begin using machine pitch.  He does a great job always hustling and trying his best.  Unfortunately his coach has decided to hold practices on Sundays.  We let them know our stance on Sunday practices but they said they have to please the majority.  Too bad.  At least Hunter is learning that sometimes being a disciple of Christ requires sacrifices.

Sunday Morning


I have been working on a Father’s Day project and took this cute picture of RJ and the kids.  I love it!

Father/Son Triathlon


RJ enlisted Hunter in his own triathlon.  They trained together for several weeks. During one of their runs, Hunter started getting side cramps.  RJ held his hand and pushed him to finish.  On the day of the race, they swam 30 minutes, bikes about 6 miles and ran almost 3. (Side note*  RJ had to awkwardly confront a lifeguard with a hole in the rear of her swimming suit!).  During their run, RJ’s legs were out of juice.  He started walking and told Hunter to go ahead.  Hunter grabbed his hand and said “We are doing this together” and they ran home holding hands.



Super job guys!  I’m so proud of you both.



RJ put a new tube and tire on McKenna’s old Strawberry Shortcake bike.  Reagan LOVES it!




RJ and Hunter made this birdhouse together as a requirement for cub scouts.  They have since seen a bird inside!