Thursday, June 18, 2015


The first month of summer break was taken up with camps.  The girls went to Vocal Motion camp and had a great time.  They have been singing and dancing ever since.

The next week Amber went to 5th grade camp at Big Springs and Christian went to his first scout camp.  Amber has been waiting to go to Big Springs for 5 years, ever since Alyssa went.  She threw a big fit saying she wanted to go camping and why did Alyssa always get to do everything, etc.  It was even worse when Christian went.  So I was really glad when her turn came.  I was the first one at her school to register for it because I did not want to miss the deadline.  Anyway, she had a blast and has been telling us about all the plants in Utah and singing camp songs since she got home.  

Christian went to golf camp at the beginning of June.  He really didn't want to because none of his friends were going.  But in the end he had a good time and I think it was good for him.  Then he had scout camp and was gone for 6 days and came home with 11 merit badges.  He worked really hard and had a lot of fun.  He kept going on about the food they had.  

Alyssa did summer ballroom camp and was up pretty early every morning for that or the baby-sitting job she got.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I was just reading about Halloween and how Scott could barely stand on his own.  I wanted to update.  He is doing so much better!  He made it off the pain meds again in the beginning part of the year.  He was working out a lot and it helped.  He is much more stable, able to bend his legs and has a lot more stamina.  He made the goal in February to make it to the Y on the mountain over Memorial day weekend, and we did it!  We even made it to the top of the Y, which we've never done.  We usually barely make it to the bottom.  He can golf 18 holes and may be a little sore the next day, but it doesn't wipe him out like it used to.  We went to the doctor a couple weeks ago and the bone still hasn't grown back and there may still be another surgery in the future, but there was some bone growth and that was exciting.  We are going to wait and see what happens.  I am going to make him do a lot more this summer now.  We even got family pictures--painful for everyone, but we did it.

Alivia's 8!

Alivia turned 8 this year and we had a big birthday for her.  She wanted to go to Hang Time so we took 7 of her friends there after a pizza party and cake.  They had a great time.

We also took her to get her ears pierced.  She looks so grown up!

Next was her baptism.  It was a crazy morning getting ready and Daddy cleaning the church, but my heart was overflowing with emotion as I watched him baptize her.  We had so much family and friend support.  We are very blessed.

End of school

We made it through!  It was a really tough year.  I loved working as a special ed teacher assistant but between that and running the kids around and keeping up with the house and everything, it was exhausting!  I learned so much and feel like I am actually closer to my kids because I see what they are doing in school and can help a little more with it.  I grew to love the kids I worked with and learned a lot about teaching and math.  
The kids did great in school.  Alyssa loved the ballroom team, had piano lessons for the year and was the secretary in her Mia Maid class.  She also tutored after school at Timpanogas and took her first AP class (Human Geography).  Christian played soccer with Utah FC which was very time-consuming and kept him (and me) busy.  He was chair cello this year and completed his tenderfoot and second class scout ranks.  
Amber did dance in the fall and she and Soran were in a play in the spring.  She had a lot of fun doing it.  She was also in 4-H after school.  Alivia took capoeira in the fall but didn't really enjoy it.  So in the spring she did ASL and really took to it.  She has taught the alphabet to Amber and they are constantly signing to each other.  Soran was in full day kindergarten at the school I worked at and it was so fun to see her every once in awhile.  She was in the play and did soccer this spring.  That girl is pretty athletic. 

 Kindergarten graduation with Aiden

End of school dance festival

Summer activities planned--Alyssa got a baby-sitting job on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, has dance on Tuesday and Thursday, youth conference mini-MTC, girls camp, California with the O'Connors and sleeping in.  Christian has scout camp, golf camp, California.  Amber has Vocal Motion camp and 5th grade camp.  Alivia and Soran are in Vocal Motion camp and get to hang out with Mom!  We have the Reece reunion at Lagoon and the Thompson one in St. George.  Should be a full summer!


A woman in our ward is on the board of directors at an orphanage in Haiti.  Alyssa had the privilege of going down with her on a humanitarian trip in April of this year.  It was an eye-opening experience for all of us.  I was surprised at how poor so much of our world still is.  There are 140 kids in the orphanage, with 5 nannies who take care of all of them.  They didn't have washing machines until this last trip they took money down and bought them.  I can't even imagine doing laundry for that many people by hand.  They only feed the kids once a day.  That has been such a disturbing thought for me.  How can there be children who are hungry all the time when we have so much?  A lot of them don't have shoes.  But they are happy.  Alyssa said they share everything and take care of each other.  I hope all my children, and myself, can have this experience and be able to help them.  I told her she better take a lot of pictures, and she did.  Here are just a few of my favorites.  There aren't a lot of the kids because of security issues.

 Isn't she cute?

 Alyssa and her bestie, I can't remember her name.  But each of the youth had a kid that would find them every day and cling to them.

 Just to show the scope of how many children they are.  They are handing out treats. 

 The orphanage

Riding in the vans.

 Alyssa sucking on sugar cane.

 Church in Haiti.

The guest house they all stayed in.  There were 5 guards and a couple people who cooked and cleaned for them.  I was glad they were safe and taken care of, but at the same time know how different their life is from everyone else there.


Easter is getting to be my most favorite holiday.  I love the spring, the activities and remembering the Savior and what He did for us.  This year Easter was over Conference weekend.  On Saturday we went up to the cabin and watched conference and then had an Easter egg hunt.  Cami had even made a treasure hunt for the older kids.  It was tough!  It took Amber over an hour to find all hers.  Sunday we went to the Pagnanis and had another hunt and just sat in the yard soaking up the sun.  It was beautiful.  Every year we study the last week of Christ's life and then have our Easter devotional.  We invited some friends over and had it in the backyard.  We bring poems, songs or other things that remind us of Easter and share them.

January-February and some of March

Most of the time I just try and survive through the early months of the year.  It's cold, gray and nothing to look forward to.   This year in January we took a trip to St. George for Christian's soccer.  It was a nice break and we got to see some blue sky.

 In the canyon between St. George and Mesquite.  Alyssa and I were saying how much Arizona still feels like home, even after all our years in Utah.  I miss the desert mountains.

 One of the few pics we got of Christian's soccer year.  He really enjoys playing with Utah FC.
 The girls ran around the school and played during the game.

  We met Nicole and her kids in St. George and went hiking at a park.  It was really cool and you could see the whole valley.  That evening we met up with Scott's parents and Kelly and had dinner at a yummy Mexican restaurant.

Watching the game.  It was cooler than we thought it would be, but not bad for January.

 When it is Scott's night for Family Home Evening he does interviews while we write in our journals. While the kids were sitting there I realized that these years of having all my children gathered around my table are numbered.  So I took a picture to remember.  

 Alyssa got her braces off.  She is so grown up and becoming a lovely young lady.  You can really tell from this great picture.

 For Scott's birthday this year I let all the kids tell one thing they knew their Daddy liked and then we went and did that.  One of the kids picked Mexican food so we went and had that for lunch.  They also said golf, ping pong, playing video games, and spending time with his kids.  Awww.   Christian was on a campout at Goblin Valley.

 We can't forget in January was Alyssa's ballroom competition at Provo High.  It was a 2-day event which all the parents get to help run and is exhausting.  She gets done at 1 a.m. and is back at 8 a.m.  But she loves dancing and has loved being on the JV team.

In February we got to go to the Family History symposium with the Henlines.  It was a great learning experience and I really felt the spirit.  Scott has really caught the family history bug.  Studio C and David Archuleta were the featured guests.  That was what the kids came for.  Then we went and got pizza limon with the Hemlines and Monteses.  Christian was at another campout.

 I am done doing birthday parties every year for my kids for several reasons, but for Amber I caved and let her do it.  She planned the menu and games pretty much by herself, made the decorations and ran the party on her own.  It was kind of awesome.  I didn't have to do much at all.  She had a tea party with chocolate for dipping fruit.

 Every year our stake has a family dance night.  It is so fun, but not very well attended.  We enjoy it enough for everyone!  Scott and I had just gotten back from seeing Les Mis at the Hale Center theater and going out for pho.  

Christmas 2014

 At the cabin singing Christmas songs

Hmm, what does Scott want from Santa?

Christmas this year was low-key.  Between getting back from vacation and trying to get through work, we barely made it through some of our traditions.  We did decorate the gingerbread village, went and sang at a nursing home (the same one Scott was in rehab), had our family Christmas program where the kids perform on an instrument or sing, opened crackers on Christmas Eve and even got a tree.  Just because Alivia asked and I felt guilty for not having one.  But not a real one.  It was our first year with a fake tree.  
But most of all we felt very blessed.  I am so grateful we are all together as a family and have such a rich life. We are happy, healthy, have a nice home and have a knowledge of our Savior.  Merry Christmas!

Girls dance recital

 The day after we got back from Anguilla was Amber and Soran's dance recital.  They did great.  Amber is quite a ballerina with her long, graceful arms.  Soran did an Olaf number and was super cute.  Love our girls!