Saturday, July 21, 2018

Daisy's 10 Year Gallery

It hasn't even been a week since Cakes birthday and here I am with birthday pictures. I'm feeling very proud of myself. She chose a location we had been before, but she liked it there so she requested the same area. She was seven then. Now she is ten!

Three years later, not too much has changed. She has more fire to her personality, but I think that is from dealing with her sisters. She still likes Mint ice cream at Culver's as you'll see at the bottom. She has managed to grow in some bigger teeth, although that took a while.

I would say that Daisy is growing in the right direction...only up. She is a fun kid to hang out with. She is still super curious about almost anything. She still has to open and touch and explore, but she doesn't destroy too often. She loves reading and playing the piano and she is getting quite good. I' m so happy to be her mom and watch her become a young lady. Enjoy these photos.

Daisy likes to make very silly faces. It is amazing I got any normal ones today. But her funny faces make me laugh.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Get With the Program

December and May are probably the most popular months for school programs. It is helpful if one enjoys Christmas music since many programs in December use that genre. I happen to love Christmas music so that works well for me. Today we are going back to last December and taking a peek at all the lovely programs the kids were in.

I believe that June and Ivory had a concert on the same night. I went to one and Tyler went to the other. Here is June's group. Can you see her on the left with the Santa hat?

Here is Ivory before they got playing.

It hasn't been that long but already I'm trying to remember what happened last December. It looks like Pearl's grade did a Christmas program. She sure looks cute.

I do remember that the entire school did a program with each grade singing different songs. As each of the grades went up, I got a picture of my girls walking by.

Band is always a great concert. They played Nightmare Before Christmas. That is some of my favorite music. You can barely see Robyn in the back there.

Here is Percussion playing a medley.

And don't forget Jazz Band. Robyn jumps around. See if you can find her in the video where they are playing Santa Baby.

I took Robyn and Radi out for treats after the performance. Sometimes you just need a little ice cream.

June was just getting into ballroom. They had a mini performance and June was in a swing number. They were all dressed in pajamas and were asleep when the dance started.

And finally, Daisy and Ivory had a small ballroom performance at school. They had just finished up their first big competition, so I think it was very fun for them to let loose and do something fun. In the video, in first group, Daisy is one in from the right and in the second group, Ivory is far left.

That pretty much sums up the programs in December. It is fun to watch the kids growing all their talents.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Camping Queens

I work with the best ladies. And the best young women as well. Camp was amazing, but it was so much sweeter because of the people I work with on a regular basis. I adored the SYCLs (stake youth camp leader) last year, but I was so new I was still trying to figure out where I fit in. This year I was feeling more comfortable, so I was able to focus more on the girls. And they were an amazing group. I got some selfies on the first night. Sadly, I missed Danja and Heather because they were out visiting people.

They got camp started on the right foot. Their skit (written by Danja) was super cute. Each of these girls has a generous heart and is beautiful inside and out.

They all brought unique talents to camp. Aydelyn does cheer and she thought to bring glitter. Everyone used it. She used chapstick to put it on our cheeks. Genius.

Thursday at camp was game day. We started out early with the tug-o-war because the volleyball courts were reserved later in the day. In fact, because of our limited time, we almost didn't get to do Stake leaders vs. SYCLs. Everything was a bit abbreviated. Last year we had a loser's bracket and teams could fight back to win it, but this year it was single elimination. But they also did the year battles where they divided up the girls in each year and let them tug against each other. All my girls won their side. The fourth year side that June was on almost lost, but fought back to win their battle. It was awesome.

Everyone was so positive and supportive. They cheered for everyone and surrounded people pulling and encouraged them to give it their all. It was actually a very inspiring morning. The championship came down to 2nd ward vs. 6th ward and 6th ward took the title for this year.

These two are sillies. They had some game going with their noses. It only proves that some girls never grow up and that is just fine.

The brethren got to pull as well, but I have no idea who won.

Our final pull was SYCLs vs. leaders. We had to give them a leader since we weren't even in numbers. We drew randomly and Stephanie joined the girls. Which is too bad for her, because we leaders won this year. It was still a tough pull. The girls don't give an inch easily.

The rest of the morning, we did Star Wards. Stephanie had all the games organized with Star Wars names. I was in charge of Kubb, but it was named 'The Battle of Endor'. It was super fun to play with all the wards as they came through. Some of the girls really loved Kubb. Zoe and Sister Bockholt each knocked down two blocks with one throw. (You don't see that often.) Second ward liked it so much that they borrowed a set for their free time later in the day. I'm only sad that I didn't get to see the other games in action. Many of them were games I organized last year that didn't happen because of rain. It was nice to know that it would have gone well. Here is a group doing the water relay.

The afternoon was ward time, so as a stake we had some free time. It ended up being one of the hardest, most satisfying experiences of my life. As a group of leaders, we got talking about the Spirit of Camp Award. No one could agree on what we should do. Some of the wards didn't really 'earn' it and we couldn't decide whether to give it to them anyway. Some people said no because they didn't earn it, but others said yes because you don't want people to feel like a loser at camp. But then they would learn nothing... It was an intense conversation that went around and around. I could see both sides. I feel like we used a council like I have never done before. Amazingly, we all came to a unanimous conclusion that we all felt good about. We realized the Spirit of Camp wasn't about the nit-picky things, but about the girls doing good and trying hard. So we wrote sentences about what we felt each ward did to embody the Spirit of Camp. We felt they all have earned it, but not in the original way. But working together was the most impressive part. Seriously, these ladies are amazing.

The Spirit of Camp award means a lot to many wards. Like my ward...three girls didn't certify, but June and Hannah helped them certify later and they even came up moments before the award just to tell us they had gotten everything check off. They didn't want to miss out on the Spirit of Camp. Some girls are very serious about it.

I enjoy that Amy has made us so many shirts. At any given time, you can find several of us wearing a shirt from last year.

Before flag we had dinner. President Wynn came and cooked for us and oh. my. goodness. what a feast. There were homemade breadsticks, salad, two types of pasta (Szechuan chicken and Spinach Shrimp) that were both amazing!! The whole dinner was delicious. I should have taken some pictures, but I just basked in the gloriousness of the experience. After dinner we had a meeting where everyone talked about their camp experience. I loved how united it felt this year. There was so much interaction between wards and girls working and playing together. It was beautiful.

It was our final flag in the evening. All the ward skits were fantastic during the week. Check out this picture from 6th ward. Their leaders were hiding in the fire pit. Awesome.

I should mention that all the devotionals were great this year. All the leaders did a good job and everything was so touching. We sang our final roll call, which I was very proud of: "The sun goes down, the stars come out, and all that counts, is here and now. My universe will never be the same. We're glad you came, we're glad you came." I think I even heard some aaahhhhs at the end.

But, let's go back for a minute to the evening before when we had our stake skit. Melinda always comes up with crazy ideas for us and this year was no different. Michelle sewed us costumes, Amy made us shirts, Melinda taught us groovy dance moves and this was the result.

I know right? Did you even recognize me in my awesome wig?? We had so much fun putting it together. I love me some dance moves, so it was really fun. 

Before we had even taken all the costumes off, the SYCLs were stealing them to use. It is kind of tradition for them to make fun of us. And they did such a cute job the next day. I was actually a little jealous. They looked better than we did, and they only practiced for a few minutes. Crazy girls.

This is my favorite picture from camp...hands down.

Some of the girls had names on them. Aydelyn was Michelle, because they both can do the splits!

Danja was me of course, with her crazy wig. She even wrapped herself in saran wrap. She is such a goose.

I can't say enough about all these amazing girls and women. I love them all so much.

Please notice who is photo bombing this picture.

President Murray and Brother Underwood are stellar. They come for the entire time at camp and work so hard. Michelle got this picture and I think it was a miracle she did because I never saw them relaxing.

Also a shout out to all the missionaries at Heber. They keep everything running smoothly and they run the challenge course. Without them, it would not be the same.

The best part is that no one takes herself/himself too seriously. We all have a wacky side and we let it shine at camp. That is super important. 

Friday morning, we cleaned like crazy so we could all get out as fast as possible. Danja said she found a black widow in Aspen's bunk. That is so creepy, but no one was hurt, so I'll just pretend that didn't happen. Here is Elayne setting out our last breakfast. She was so funny. We had too many extra yogurts. She was trying to entice the girls to take one, "If you take a yogurt, you get blessings. If you take get more blessings."

My girls were ready to go. They just had to stick around to clean the pavilion.

Here is cute 8th ward finishing breakfast. 

All these girls are stupendous! Being a stake camp director has been my favorite calling ever. The opportunity to get to know all these girls is the best thing in my life. They inspire me. They make me laugh. I enjoy watching them grow and learn. And I love being a part of it all. I can't wait until next year.