Olivia (4th grade) has Mrs. Lui as her homeroom class, and Calvin (2nd grade) has Mrs. Hsaih. (Both, Chinese).
We have high hopes for a great school year!
As I prepared for our back-to-school dinner, the theme that came to me was “Joy in the Journey.” I think it was an EFY theme one year, but as I researched it, I didn’t find anything about EFY, but instead this talk. It was PERFECT, perfect for us. Most especially perfect for Wyatt and I who have been feeling a little thin on our capacities (can you say, overloaded?)
So I set about preparing for our dinner. I was going to make a design-y picture of our theme this year instead of a painting because my paintings are, let’s be honest, a little girly. And I’m raising one beautiful daughter, and four rough-and-tumble boys. I thought we could skew things a little boyish this year. But I couldn’t get a design that was really working for me. Then I took this cool picture of Everett on our hike to the lake, and wa-la, I knew it would be perfect for our theme and dinner. I made the crowns out of posterboard and wheat-grass that I cut from the canal behind my house and hot-glued on and then spray-painted and glued a gold ribbon around. Simple, easy. I kept dinner simple. Chicken, garden veggies, roasted potatoes, and lemonade. I made a bouquet with Cosmos from the garden. We had dinner, Dad and I talked about what it meant to have Joy in the Journey, and Wyatt gave the children very special father’s blessings for back to school.
It was a very nice evening!
We started Roo’s birthday at the cabin with presents and a big breakfast. For his birthday we got him a coon skin cap, a flash light, swedish fish (red fish, he calls them) and sugar babies (Everett bought him the sugar babies with his own money), and a Slip-n-slide. Later we came home and played and made a cake and spent the day relaxing. That evening the Engh kids came over and we had a movie on the trampoline with cake and ice cream. Such a fun day!
Happy birthday to my lovely, sweet, happy, energetic, determined, helpful, kind four-year-old boy.
I love you soooooooo much, it makes my heart turn to mush!
Fun things about Andrew this past year:
He learned how to use the potty all by himself. What a big boy!
He is kind.
He loves to sing (while I was taking all these pictures he was serenading me with “Jingle Bells”)
He is a very easy going, happy go lucky soul.
At the same time he has a sense of self determination that he does not like others to impose on.
He is my very happy boy!
After our crazy busy birthday/baptism/wedding/party/birthday week, we took a bit of a low key week – played with friends, went to the pool . . . actually, we went to Seven Peaks one day, which was very brave of me (five kids and one mamma at a swim park all day, ai ai ai!), did a few portrait sessions for various friends and neighbors, and just staying home. We just relaxed.
On Saturday we were at the cabin and went to visit our friends, the Andereggs, who were spending the entire week at their cabin just across the canyon. And it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I could do that too! So the following Monday I did a few necessary chores, and then we packed up and went to the cabin with plans to spend the week. It was sooooooo much fun! Wyatt had YW camp for our ward (priesthood leader/bishopric representative) so he didn’t make it up until Wednesday. But we had a great time
It was a great finale to our summer.
Hurray for Summer!
In celebration of Calvin and Nate’s birthday’s we decided to head downtown for some fun family activities.
First on our list was Hike Ensign Peak. It’s been on our Summer Activities list all summer, and we figured it would be an easy climb for our kids who are used to hiking.
But we also recognized that it was July 31st in Utah . . . um, HOT! So we figured we’d better be on the mountain by 10 am. When we got on the trail a little after noon . . . well, we were in for it.
For the most part, the kids did great; and we did make it to the top, telling Pioneer stories and church history all along the way. But we did have to stop every chance we could to sit in the shade. Even the kids were a little whiny (and they are less prone to whine than their parents (it’s true) in physically uncomfortable conditions).
But we made it to the top. Hoo-ray for us! We looked over the valley, talked about Brigham Young, tried to imagine what the saints went through in coming to the valley, and even sang “High On A Mountain Top.” After about four minutes, we high-tailed it back down the mountain to go find some air-conditioning!
Next stop, the Family Search Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Calvin has been touched by the spirit of Elijah, and is all sorts of into family history. He’s working on memorizing his entire lineage back to Adam. (Don’t believe me, just ask him, he’ll recite five or six generations for you, dates and all!) So we thought he would enjoy seeing the neat activities they had down there. Unfortunately we didn’t think to call ahead and make an appointment, and the place was swamped with Youth Groups, so we didn’t get to see or do the extra cool stuff. But still, a missionary sat down with Calvin and registered him for his very own Family Search account, which he was more than thrilled over. And we were able to play in some of the fun areas they have set up for kids.
It was a very fun Birthday Family Activity!
Nate celebrated his first birthday on the same day Calvin was baptized. After the baptism we came home and had a fun family party for him. I don’t think he understood quite what all the fuss was about, but he was happy to be the center of attention.
Some things about Nate at his first birthday:
He gives sweet open-mouthed kisses when ever he feels so inclined.
He yells at people. If he wants your attention, he doesn’t cry, he doesn’t fuss. He yells. Quite forcefully. We moved Nate into Everett’s bedroom at the beginning of the summer, and many a morning we have been awakened by Nate yelling at Everett to wake him up.
He is a super chill, smiley boy. Kellie has nick-named him “Smiley Shark” because all he ever does is smile. Even when he’s hungry, even when he’s tired, he doesn’t fuss too much. He just smiles on . . .
Some of his other nick names include: Nate the Great, Nate-o-potato, Shark-nato, Tor-nato, and Nate-o-tomato. He rarely goes by plain Nate, and even more rarely Nathaniel.
But I HATE it when people call him Nathan. Which they do . . . a lot. But to me it’s a completely different name. It’s like Carrie and Karen . . . yeah, they’re similar, but they’re different names. Grrrr.
On August 1st Calvin chose to be baptized and confirmed a member or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m so proud of this boy and the choices he makes each and every day. He is one who is so eager to know, experience and share the gospel.
He reads his scriptures regularly. He knows the Bible stories like no one I know . . . the other day he started telling me a story of the Bible and shared (I can’t even remember who now) was the first King of Israel, and then proceeded to tell me all about him and what he did. He is just as versed in the Book of Mormon and Church History stories.
He also has the spirit of Elijah. Did you know that Calvin has his own Family Search account? He has been working on his genealogy regularly for almost a year now. He knows the names and dates of his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, not to mention aunts, uncles and cousins! He also knows family history stories.
Congratulations Calvin on your baptism, I hope you will always draw close to the Savior in life. I love you!