Monday, June 19, 2017

Monkey Highlights Three may have noticed the lack of posts this week. Please forgive me. This was changing rooms week...the official longest, hardest, most exhausting week of summer. So there was no spare time for blogging for me.

However, despite the crazy moving, we did manage to play quite a bit. Let's start with all the playing.

Sunday had Radi over getting his scout shirt in order. All the boys were headed to Timberline. This meant Tyler was off the hook for attending since no leaders are invited, but he still did plenty of behind the scenes work. And his wife helps when a sewing machine is required.

Tyler was up early on Monday getting kids off to camp. My early morning was the next day. I went hiking with the young women. It was a total blast. The weather was quite drippy. We skipped the summit hike we had planned because of possible snow and instead went up Rock Canyon. It rained all morning, but not in an uncomfortable way. More like a mist that slowly soaked you to the bone. (Okay, that sounds a little uncomfortable. It just took a while to really get soggy.) The scenery was lovely and I met some new girls and got to talk to everyone. Great morning.

The pile of rocks reminded Maycee of Moana. She took a small rock and put it on top and said, "Now, I am chief." On the way down, I told Emma this story and she quickly found a small rock to put on top. Who wants to be chief anyway? Not me.

I was not aware of how stiff and cold I was becoming on the hike. By the time we were halfway back (from a 6.5 mile hike round trip) my fingers were swollen and I couldn't grab my pinky with my thumb to hold three fingers in the air. I know this sounds silly, but when I tried to hold up three fingers, I couldn't do it. (I know you are trying it at home.) I massaged my hands on the rest of the trip and limbered up all frozen digits. But you better believe I took a long hot bath when I got home.

Robyn's swim meet was moved to Wed because of that yucky Tuesday weather. That meant I could come and cheer. I think Robyn is enjoying her swim experience so far. Eva is there during meets. (They practice at different times.)

Robyn did freestyle and backstroke. Because she is older, she has to do 100 meters, instead of 50 like everyone else. (That is down and back twice.) I was tired just watching. But she did a great job. She came in 3rd in freestyle and second in backstroke. (I'm not supposed to mention there were only 2 people swimming in backstroke.) But in swimming, I always encourage her to race herself. We'll see if she beats her times next meet.

Thursday was the DHI summer party. Last year the older girls missed it since they were at Girls Camp. This year, Ivory wanted to run again since she got money last time. June naturally wanted to run and Tyler and I opted to try it out as well. (Tyler, because physical therapist said it would be good for his ankle and me, because chiropractor said I need to exercise more since the hike almost killed me. Sorry I haven't blogged about Tyler's ankle. I promise to get to it next week.)

We did pretty well. Ivory took off like a shot, but she was a year older pushing her into an age bracket with more competition. Last year she won easily...this year she got third place. June stayed ahead of me, but was in the same age category as Ivory and didn't place. In this race, it isn't so much how fast you are, but how many people of the same age are competing. For instance, I got first in my age bracket, although when I came to the finish line, the 45 and up places were already filled. Tyler, who walked half of it, came in second in his age group. So all together, we got a first, second, and third. I gave June some of my prize money. After all, she crossed the finish line before me.

I was fairly exhausted by the time I took the kids to piano. Robyn took advantage of a sleeping mom to take some pictures. Stinker...but they are funny.

We were supposed to go swimming, but we were so busy, it just didn't happen. It is really too bad, but sometimes, you can't do it all. But we didn't miss the BBQ.

No marshmallows this year. Life savers instead. It was funny to watch the guys try to catch them. The second time they played, they allowed some younger contestants. Robyn and June were up there like a shot. Fun stuff.

Still not enough fun for one week. Granny V came down on Friday. We got her a ticket to Paint Nite for Christmas, but we have been a little slow in planning it. But all the ducks got in a row and we made it over there. It was a very fun evening. Check it out.

I think our owls in lemon trees turned out very well.

Don't forget that all week we were changing rooms. It is always harder when someone decides to paint. (Thanks June.) Tyler was so much help. He took a half day and helped the kids which was great because I was AWOL trying to make treats and attending a young women get together. (Not the hike, but a mini SYCL retreat.) Look at this wall for the last time. It is about to change.

And boy did it ever. It went from pink with little flowers, to green, green, green.

Let's see how these rooms changed. First up... what will now be called the 'green room,' I'm sure. Before and after.

Totally different feel, right? June worked really hard. She hasn't gotten everything on her walls yet, but her closet is super organized.

Next, Ivory left the secret closet room and vacated for Pearl.

The hot air balloon room is still a great room. Robyn left and Ivory came in. But since Ivory is a hoarder, it took forever to get all her stuff in order. Her room wasn't finished until today, so I woke her up to get a picture before blogging. (Sorry Ives. Your mom is strange, to be sure.)

*Ivory is not fond of the word hoarder, especially since I used it dozens of times, but if the shoe can keep it. Other than that, get rid of the sucker.

Atlantis had quite the makeover as Robyn moved back down there. She is the only one to have been in the basement twice. Of course, she gets the big room this time.

And finally Daisy. She got to move first in the week and was sequestered in her room days before everyone else. Lucky girl.

I can't tell you how happy I am to be done with room changing week. I still think it is one of the best ideas, but it is quite the process. It is all worth it though to watch June walk down the stairs and Robyn walk up, only to see them both stop halfway and turn around. It takes a little getting used to when your floor has changed.

Next week should be quieter. We'll see. Let's leave you with one more picture of those cute owls. I sure love Vicki's.

*June said she loved them because each owl looks like the person who painted it. I'm not sure that is a compliment or not? We named them Perky, Pepper, and Limone (pronounce Lee-moan.)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monkey Highlights Two

Second week of summer behind us. This summer has so much fun in it that I am already excited about my goal to not fall off the wagon. I'm going to keep up and I'll try to fit three other posts in between summer shenanigans. (Good luck Maleen.)

This post is special because it is a double whammy. Let's start with our cousin exchange program. If you are a follower, you may know our Kelly clan in CA. We love them. Search from Tim, Jeannie, Erin, or Ethan and you should find plenty to browse on here. We had such a good time visiting them last summer that we offered to take Ethan for a week this summer. In return, they said we should send June. We finally agreed on them taking 2 kids since we have more children to offer and it was settled that June and Ivory would go.

However, we couldn't find two consecutive weeks for the kids to visit, so we split the time. Our kids went this last week and Ethan will come visit in July. It works. So first thing Monday morning, we put two kids on a plane. I love that they allow parents to go to the gate with kids traveling alone.

I'm sure going to miss these two. Airport selfie.

Naturally our paths diverge here, so let's follow the CA crew. Jeannie and Erin were there to pick them up at the gate. I guess they stopped for some lunch first thing.

I am so grateful for the pictures they took. The kids looked like they had a fantastic week, including pottery painting, singing, mini golf, bumper boats, kayaking (not pictured), game playing, Nazcart racing, and hanging out with family. So much fun. Here's a peek.

The kids earned nicknames during their time there. Ivory was 'Five Chips' because she thought she had a chance with her 5 chips when June was crushing her in Fan Tan. June became 'Crash Test Dummy' after an unfortunate run-in with an attendant on the race course. (She ran off the course and hit the guy. Oops.) Tim was 'Gasser' a name left over on his Naz Cart card, although he claims he would never have chosen it. And Jeannie was 'The Sloth' because she plays cards so slowly.

They had such a great time. Suddenly, the weekend arrived and they were back in the airport ready to come home. One more treat though.

We were waiting on the other side. We sure missed these smiley faces.

Our week here in UT wasn't quite as exciting, but we still had fun. We hit the park with friends on Monday. (Pearl kills it on the Monkey bars. Putting her natural monkey skills to good use.)

Zuzu brought us a pie, probably for June, but since she wasn't around, we were forced to eat it. (Mango and pomegranate. It was amazing!!)

Always time for a little reading. Or a lot of reading. Take your pick.

Tyler was busy all week at Directions. But that means I got to see one of my favorite people. This is Virginia's last directions. But I'm not even sad, because we are going to go see her in Texas later this summer. (I'm sure I'll be sad next summer though.)

That same evening, I stopped in at Caitlynn and Kody's reception. Caitlynn is Tricia's sister. Tricia is like family to me, so I love all her lovely sisters. It was great to see them all. And we had to take some amazing pictures of the two of us.

Friday I took the leftover kids swimming since we weren't in CA. Curtis came along too.

We had a great time although Robyn and I both got a sunburn. Darn it. Sunscreen just doesn't cut it for me anymore. I lathered up like a pig wallowing in mud and still got a pink souvenir from the trip. and I need to be friends.

Saturday morning had an early temple trip for Robyn. I woke her up around five and saw her out the door, then back to bed for me. Not surprising that when I finally woke up again, I found her like this. (She was tuckered out once she got back. The dog sleeps near her for support.)

Then off to the airport to pick up those missing hoodlums. We were so excited to get them back!!

I had mostly ignored Summerfest this week because we were missing kids and I didn't want to spend money, but we celebrated the last day by going to a parking garage and watching the fireworks from up there. It was super fun. We brought scooters and everyone took a turn riding down the garage and then taking the elevator back up. 

We brought snacks and games. And some bottles to saber. I told Tyler to only purchase Martinelli's and now we know why. Watch Maycee try to work her way into a Welch's brand bottle and then Curtis try on a Martinelli's. (World of difference for these first time saberers.)

It was a great end to a great week. Life is good.

p.s. Worth mentioning is that a swarm of bees moved into our birdhouse in back. I noticed it one evening and couldn't believe how many bees were flying in and out. Luckily, they were honey bees and Tricia informed me that people will come get them for free. Well, we have a friend who has bees and he was more than happy to collect our birdhouse, extract the bees, and bring it back. It was super impressive. We filled two boxes of bees for him, almost a $200 value. I think it was a win for both of us.