Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alex's Community Food Drive

For Alex's Eagle Project, he planned and carried out a community food drive.  He wanted to donate to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank/Soup Kitchen here in Clarksville which provides meals for the homeless.  It was a lot of work for him.  He went around to local businesses to get donations of bags, copies, and food.  There were several stores who donated bags, and a local copy business (Copies in a Flash) that donated 500 copies.  He went to numerous stores for donations (and I didn't go with him, except to drive him there) and had to make many phone calls.  It was definitely out of his comfort zone at first.  But, by the end, he was confident and he did all the organizing nearly 100% by himself.  I was very proud of him.

 He did the project over two Saturdays (July 16th and 23rd).  The first Saturday, he organized teams to go out to twelve neighborhoods and knock on each door and leave bags with a note attached about the food drive.  It was pretty hot and humid, but less hot than it had been previous days.  The second Saturday, we collected food from those same neighborhoods.  It was an all-day event for our family both days.  Everyone helped including Jarem and Tessa.  It was refreshing in a way to be out as a family participating in a good cause.

It took Alex many hours to cut the slips of paper and staple them on each bag. 
We did help him some, but he did a lot of the work himself.  We have about 1500 total bags.

Here are the stacks of 100 bags each that covered our kitchen

This is an awful picture of me just out of the shower, counting out bags

Alex organizing the teams
As is life, things don't always go as planned.  Alex had all his teams organized in advance and everything in perfect order in advance.  However, when he got there, some people didn't show up, and there were other things that had to be accounted for (certain people couldn't do a lot of walking or wanted to be on a team together, etc).  Here he is struggling to rearrange teams to accomodate people available and everyone's needs.  This was a very good lesson for him on management and leadership.

The morning of the project, Alex had to go to soccer practice at 7:30-9am and his project started at ten.  A great friend from our ward called Eric and offered to take 225 bags for his neighborhood and do it on his own since he wouldn't be able to make it.  Of course, we wanted this, but it put us short bags for the project, so Eric called Kroger and scrambled to find more bags while Alex was at soccer.  He was able to round up some.  The above and below pictures are Eric and the missionaries stapling the slips of paper on the new bags that morning.

Some of the group that helped on the first day

Alex still contemplating how to rearrange teams

Part of our group: each group got a cooler full of water bottles (which was very helpful with the heat)

This is on the second day after the collection was done.  These are 2 of Alex's best friends (Derek and Jared)

Some of the proceeds


Close-up of the trailer

The second truck full

There was a lot of food collected even though it is hard to tell with the bags

Jesikah tallying the food

Tally sheets

Here are two of the administrators of the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank along with some of the food Alex collected
The lady on the left is the one that Alex worked with directly.  His donations overwhelmed the soup kitchen and after filling up their pantry, they had to take much of the food to their warehouse.  He collected about 3,000 food items which total worth was around $5000-$6000 worth of food collected.  He felt very good about all that he had accomplished and Eric and I were both very proud of how he stepped up and did it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Leaving Idaho

On July 6th, we were set to fly out of Boise around 4-5pm.  However, our flight to Denver was delayed several times and I think we finally left around 7-8pm.  Then our second flight was also delayed also by about two hours.  We were supposed to get to Nashville around 11pm, but ended up not getting there until almost 3am.  We finally arrived home around 4am.  Poor Eric who had to pick us up at that hour and still make it to work the next morning.  He was happy to see us though, regardless.  The next day, no one even woke up until lunchtime.
Tessa fell asleep while waiting in the airport

Jesikah took some clouds pictures on the first flight.  I just picked out a few of the many!

It was such a wonderful vacation, but we were also glad to be home!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Last Full Day in Idaho

My nephew, Eli, playing under the chair

My parents flood irrigate their lawn, so the kids and their cousins all got their swimsuits on to play in the water

Jarem showing me one of their "boats" (aka a leaf that floats)

Eli doing the knee bouncing again.  He can move pretty quick!

Since the last time I visited Idaho (which was about 2 years ago), they have built something like 30 windmills in Burley and even more in other parts of Southern Idaho.  I've always thought windmills would be profitable there because it is always SO windy.  I was excited to see that all that wind was being put to good use.  They looked so beautiful against the horizon and I wanted to get a closer look, so my dad offered to drive us up close and personal.  They are SO big!

See how small the car is next to them

Tessa looked like a little ant next to it

The above windmill was the first one built in Burley.  It was built by a man who wanted to make power for his own house and shop, so he built this windmill and it did provide enough power for his home and shop for many years.  He is the one who also got the others built.  My parents said some people had complained about the noise.  I think people will complain about anything!  To me, the noise was a soft whooshing sound kind of like the ocean.  I thought it was therapeutic! :)

Below, my mom let the kids help her make bread.  Jarem and Tessa were very excited to help.  I love it when they get the opportunity to do things like this with their grandma!

Jarem was so excited to eat the bread that he made, but finally agreed to share with his cousin, Austin.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Fun

We went to Harris Pond for the 4th of July with my parent's ward.  Their bishop owns Harris Pond.  They had a sunrise flag ceremony and breakfast in the morning, and then everyone came back in the afternoon for a potluck and swimming, canoeing, paddle boating, slip n' slide, zip lining, and etc. etc.   There was so much to do!  Jesikah and Hayley especially loved the zip line. (see below)

Jarem and Tessa enjoyed the slip n' slide the most (Tessa's in the purple swimsuit, Jarem has the hat)

Alex was bored and wanted to go home until some boys invited him to play Ultimate Frisby (Alex is top right)

These cool parachutes dropped out of rockets someone was launching

A couple of hours before it was over, Tessa cut a big gash in her toe and had to have medical care.  Fortunately a guy who used to work in the ER was able to patch her up with the Harris' amazing first aid kit.

My parents sitting in the shade

Hayley and Jarem riding the train

My nephew, Austin, on the train

This was a cool train pulled by a golf cart and made from big plastic drums

Since Tessa's toe injury was right in the crease between her big toe and the rest of her foot, someone let her borrow crutches so she wouldn't split it open again each time she took a step

This is my nephew, Eli.  He bounces on his knees just like a kangaroo when he wants to go short distances.  It cracked me up!

Tessa had to take it easy after the toe injury, so the hammock was a good place for her

This is my niece, Abby.  Isn't she beautiful?

Alex found more fun going out on the canoe with Mike and MJ and their kids

Then he decided to go with MJ on the paddle boat too. 

It was a very fun afternoon excepting the fact that Tessa got hurt, but she really was a good sport.  Alex even ended up having a good time by the end and he tried out the zip line too.  My parents got moved back into the ward where I grew up fairly recently, so it was fun to see that a lot of the same people are still there that I haven't seen in many years.  I enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances.