This is the bunk quilt I made for camp. I have made other tied quilts but this is my first quilt using my mom's long arm. So fun! I wish I had taken the above picture with the quilt right side up. I guess I was in a hurry, I didn't even notice:) But I won't be around snow like that for years!! So pretty in the snow.
My theme was books. Harry Potter, The Saggy, Baggy Elepahnt and Mr Bump are represented.
Darren finally proposed. They have been dating since September and talking marriage since December. We really like Darren. He is fun and silly. He brings out the happy in Amber. Darren will be taking his medical boards in June and then leaving for five weeks for a rotation in San Diego. So it looks like we will have a wedding in August. Ugh. At least that is what Amber is saying. I hope they will have mercy on me and opt for September or October. This is the link to the video Darrn and his friend filmed while proposing to Amber. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nK9e75PArs
It was dark and rainy today. A rare welcomed event. As a result track practice for Michael and Tennis practice for Tyler were canceled. Darren was still at work so that meant Amber was still home. All six kids home at the same time between 6:30 am and 10 pm. WOW! The clouds parted and I knew this was my chance. I herded them all in the car. As we drove up I was disappointed to see that the gates were already up and grating had begun. But with some encouragement from the more daring we squeezed in between some fencing marked No Trespassing (yikes). Yeah, I am wicked. One of the kids said "I feel so ALIVE!" It felt like going TPing. A bit naughty but harmless. It was muddy and covered with thorns. We frantically went on a rock hunt. Ron had warned me when I told him my idea a few weeks ago "if everyone did that there would be a big hole." I thought that was and even better idea. Think of all the money the church would save if the members dug out the foundation. So today I am off to find a good rock tumbler. They aren't pretty rocks but I think with some polishing they could make a nice tie tack, necklace or something that will help my kids look forward to attending our future temple someday.
Besides marveling at the clothing at the Renaissance fair we drooled a bit at the braiding they do. One year before Amber cut her hair the braider offered to do her hair for half price just because they wanted to play with her rear length locks. This morning went very smooth so I was able to braid a couple of heads. I think it is more Dr Seuss than King Arthur but the girls were pleased. I thought for sure Aubrey would get teased. In my jr high experience braids=nerd, weird braid = super geek. But times have changed I guess she was pleased to report that everyone liked it and thought it looked like Katniss Evergreen's hair from the Hunger Games book.
In spite of all of our preparations I forgot about the most important tradition handed down from my parents. Cupid comes first thing in the morning and leaves boxes of chocolates for the kids on the doorstep. So I waited up until 12:00am to run to Walgreen's. No kidding I ran into a friend from church.
Heather designed her own hair clip this year. It turned out soo cute.
She also came up with the minky mailbox for her valentine cards at school. I did the measuring and pinning she created and did all of the sewing.
Aubrey was a bit envious that JR high kids don't get valentine boxes anymore so she made a purse for that function. We got inspiration for the valentines at Made but changed the message for our much more mature tweeny friends.
We ended the eventing with a nice meal on the good and only china. I realized after dinner that I don't have that much china.?? When I asked he admitted that he had bought it for our anniversary last October. What a sweet surprise.
I am not a huge fan of fundraisers. If given a choice I would much rather just right a check. But, the waffle fundraiser was super fun and the girls made some serious money towards camp. We have a super talented group of girls. I picked up the cutest beaded bracelet. Scrabble tile jewelry, a collage that was promptly stolen by my girls and a super darling leopard print apron. Among other things, Aubrey (ok I helped because I LOVE hand embriodery!) made the cute hair clips. The CTR one is my fav. Aubrey earned $90 of the $100 she needs for girls camp. Pretty cool.
December is a blur. I am sure everyone feels that way. The first two weeks were completely consumed by this dress. I first started it and wrote about it here The best part about sewing this dress is that it is now finished! Wedding dresses are a little to stressful for me. People always want something custom and that just adds to the pressure. Plus I am a huge procrastinator. Not about little stuff. It is always the big stuff. It is like I have to have a pressing deadline to have the courage and confidence to jump in. No not confidence because I never have that. More like I have to be able to get to the point where I don't care that I am going to fail because horrible or not it has to get done. But in spite or all my short comings, I am so glad Caroline loved it. That was the most worrisome part. She was beautiful and so was the venue, Sassi in Scottsdale. Now I understand why she changed the date three times to make sure it all worked out. A truly sweet couple throwing a beautiful celebration. I wish them all of the happiness!
We attended a family fitness event and had a great time. Could someone please mass market this for me? Kids in a giant hamster ball. Awesome! The next Saturday we rounded up some friends and cousins and went to the Tangled party. Super fun and we scored tickets to the premier in 3-D! Later that night...for Amber's birthday party we piled a bunch of friends in the car and went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter. She has great friends. And with the exception of the huge fit Aubrey threw because she wasn't allowed to come, we had a blast. Ashley is speedy fast. She qualified for the Division 1 cross country meet and did a great job.
Can you believe she is nineteen! It was a total food birthday. We started the day with biscuits and gravy. She got the makings and equipment for creme brulee. Including a pretty cool torch. Her "cake" is made completely of ice cream. Reese's cups on top and creme de pirouline chocolate hazelnut wafers around the sides. Two of her favorites.
Proud birthday girl can still blow-out allll of the candles.
Dinner at our all time favorite restraunt The Wild Thaiger owned by our dear friends Olashawn and Dave Weaver.
I set a goal early this summer that every morning I was in Prescott I would hike to the top of Spruce Mountain. I was able to hike it over 15 times. I had deer jump across my path. Encountered wild turkey and other creatures. On one of my last hikes I watched the fog roll in and wash over me, maybe it is a cloud when you are that high. Either way it was super cool.
Our area experienced a wild and costly hail storm. I just had to include the picture of Amber who ran out in her face mask with the other kids to play in the hail. Reminds me of Edvard Munch's Scream
October is especially busy time for us. Marching band season is at it's peak. Ron helps drive the equipment. High school swim is also reaching a fevered pitch. Michael swam this year and Tyler competed in four events at regionals and the state swim meet. The shop is insane! We are so busy but at least now we have it down enough we get to sleep at night. Feeling a little overwhelmed and with my hip on the mend after a month of gimpiness I told the kids I couldn't sew costumes this year. I was impressed with the creations they came up with, creating new ones for every party they attended. I think my favorite was the one Michael wore to the stake Halloween party. He took the pants and top from the Anakin costume I had sewn for Tyler many harvest moons ago and created a Sasquatch.
Tyler was nominated/crowned as the Junior class royalty at homecoming. He carried his trombone through the entire ceremony and ran across the field when it was over to play with the band. It was him just being his happy/goofy self and we all had a good laugh. Less than a month after I was called as the ward YW president Ron was called as the Bishop of our ward. We over lapped for a few weeks while he prayed about who should replace me. I tried to do some fun things with the girls during the shortest calling I have ever had. On the day he was called after all our company had gone home the kids sat around the table and made up this little rhythm. " Ten, ten, ten, we'll never see out dad again!" It was cute and luckily not true. Ron has made a real effort to come home early from work and spend time with the kids before he goes to his meetings in the evening.
It goes so fast. Tyler traded up his pinewood derby for a real set of wheels. Sigh. His Eagle Court of Honor was so much fun. We had a lot of friends and family come out to show support and love. Current members as well as a few former members of Greenway High School's vocal ensemble started the evening with the Star Spangled Banner. It brought the house down. I got goosebumps and choked up all at the same time. Above right Johnson side scouts.
Grandpa Mel pinning on Tyler's eagle award. Ron leading the Eagle Charge. Tyler awarding Sister Pomeroy with the mentor pin.
Another high point in September is the princess ball. The little girls always look forward to this evening. Aubrey was sad she was too old to go this year. And although Ron really hates dancing the event has really grown on him.
First day of school pictures are always a little frantic around here. We struggle with punctuality in general and have a hard time switching from swim mode to clothing and remembering how to do our hair. I had to beg Tyler to slow down so I could get him. Amber started at GCC a week after the kids.
This is my 5 year old neighbor Jonathan and his first day swimming, really swimming. I love teaching kids to swim. It is like taking their first steps. They gain huge amounts of confidence and freedom. It opens a new world of fun and adventure. I have always thought I could teach anyone to swim until I went head to head with Jonathan. He spent the summer stubborn and scared. I thought we might have to start all over next summer. Finally the last few weeks of swim weather I pulled out my big guns and he found the courage and motivation. Hooray!