Saturday, April 21, 2012

Finally a Reality!

I spent the previous two school years serving as the PTO treasurer for the elementary school. As part of this, I managed to become the "frugal one" who always opposed things I considered as frivolous spending in favor of saving our money for our 2 year goal of a track! Well, today, the track finally became a reality!

It was an exciting day as the track had its "grand opening" celebration and officially became part of Rossview. I felt proud that our labors and fundraising had final come to fruition. The track will be a great addition to the school.

They opened it with an official ceremony and ribbon-cutting, followed by a Walk-a-Thon. It is a 1/8 mile track. Jarem was so excited that he ran/walked 15 laps. Even the briskness of the air didn't slow him down. It was certainly a very cold morning, but the chilly air didn't deflate my spirits either. It was a proud day for the Rossview community.
(most of these photos were taken by Paula Peek)

The opening ceremony (left to right): Mrs Camp (vice principal), Mrs. Ford (principal), Kim McMillan (mayor City of Clarksville), Carolyn Bowers (County Mayor of Montgomery County),  Dr B.J. Worthington (recently appointed CMCSS Director of School), and Gateway representative Melissa Fleming (Gateway hospital donated water bottles for all students).

Mayors McMillan and Bowers came to share in the excitement

Mrs. Ford cutting the ribbon

Jarem and I watching the ceremony.  Next to me is the previous PTO president, Deon Lucke, and her family along with other students and families.

The principals, mayors, etc leading the first walk around the track.

The man in the red shirt and shorts is one of their PE teachers, Mr. McNiel and the man in the black shirt near the front is another PE teacher, Mr. Batson.

Jarem walking and talking with his friend Scotty

Past and present PTO members

Arch of balloons to celebrate

Jarem and I together just before we left.  Eric had taken Tessa to her soccer game so she didn't get to participate in the festivities.

Most of the kids bought these t-shirts for the walk-a-thon and field day.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jarem's Birthday Party!

Jarem finally got his first friend birthday party! Our others kids all had their first friend birthday party at age 4, and Jarem was turning 7 so we figured it was time.  Being the youngest, he sometimes misses out on friend activities because we are always so busy with the older ones activities, but don't worry, he gets an excess of attention to make up for it! :)

Anyway, he only invited 6 boys from school because we wanted to keep it small, and only 4 could make it.  It was pretty last minute notice because he kept forgetting to give the invitations out at school, so I was glad that he had 4.  Don't feel bad for him though, 4 was PLENTY!  I forgot how rambunctious boys that age can be when they get together. :)
They started by playing pin the light saber on Yoda.  Jesikah drew Yoda and he was pretty amazing!

 Then we had a treasure hunt.  I put Alex and Eric in charge of the treasure hunt and they did a great job!! They decided to do a voice treasure hunt, so Eric recorded the clues in a Yoda voice on Alex's phone and then they hooked it into our home stereo system and projected them outside to the speakers outside on the deck.  The boys LOVED it!

This was definitely their favorite game of the party, especially because once they found their treasure (which were light-up mini-light sabers), Darth Vader showed up!!  It was awesome, (if I say so myself) Eric turned on the Darth Vader music...da da da dum de dum dum de get the idea.  And the boys started looking around everywhere for Darth Vader. 

Then Darth Vader comes out the patio door (Alex in all black and a Darth Vader mask).  The boys were SO excited! Alex didn't have a red light saber, but I told him to just use a different color.  I guess he decided on this big red inflatable bat instead, which I thought was a bit odd, but he said he didn't want to hurt the boys. 

Anyway, it didn't matter to the kids, they immediately started attacking him with their light sabers and he went down without much of a fight.  In fact, after he went down, they kept trying to get him and take off his mask til I finally rescued him.  Alex was definitely the hero for the rest of the day.  They kept trying to search him out. Even Alex said he wished we would have thrown him a party like this when he was that age. 

Then the boys had to find a dark place to enjoy their glowing light sabers.  The stairs going to the basement was the place they found.

Next up was Star Wars Bingo:

Then on to Yoda sodas (green sherbet in Sprite), and cake and presents! They loved the Yoda sodas, but there was tons of cake leftover.  In fact, no one at the party including our kids would eat the chocolate cupcakes(and half were chocolate), so Eric ended up taking them to work on Monday and that worked out.

 Jarem opening presents:
He loved this card from Braden Hunter with the pop-out dog.

His friends know him well.  He also loved this double-sided Nerf sword which can also be 2 swords

Yes, that boy put up his arm and blocked Jarem, but you can still see the red light-up light saber that Alex could have used for Darth Vader.

 Batman Legos

And Star Wars Legos from Braden Ecklund

I don't think there has ever been a party I have planned that we have had EXTRA time.  Usually we always run out of time, so I planned it for 2 hours and planned 4 main activities.  Well, we had almost 45 minutes to spare and I was going to put on a Star Wars Clone Wars episode, but they wanted to have free play time, so I went downstairs with them to play.  And what was worse, one of the parents came back to hang out for the second half of the party (not good timing). Let's just say, I should have put on the movie because they were so wild and crazy wanting to jump off the furniture and wrestle and destroy the room.  I even tried to get them involved in a few games like duck, duck, goose, and the animal game, but they only lasted a few minutes and then it was back to the craziness! Needless to say, I couldn't have been more happy when 3:00 came and the parents showed up.   Whew! I was worn out.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Tessa had a soccer game at the same time as the church Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning so Jarem was the only one from our family that went. Tessa felt bad, but I promised to make it up to her by hiding eggs at home later.

Jarem had fun but couldn't seem to find a lot of eggs. Luckily, since it was a church function, people made sure all the kids got equal amounts of eggs. It was a beautiful morning to hunt eggs and I thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the sun.

The next morning, our kids got to hunt down something like 100 eggs in the house that Eric and I hid the night before. In their easter baskets, they all got a new soccer ball and socks except Jesikah who got a curling wand and of course they all got candy.

As is now tradition, the girls and I went Easter dress shopping on Friday night. We also got Jarem a little suit and Alex a new tie. Unfortunately, I think I forgot to get pictures of their outfits. :(

It was nice that we had church in the afternoon because we were able to watch some video clips on about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. They were a good thing to get us thinking about Easter before going to church. We had a great sacrament meeting. I accompanied for a musical number which turned out really nice with violin and a voice solo. Music always adds so much to a meeting for me.

Easter Morning

Easter morning each of our kids found a new soccer ball in their Easter basket except Jesikah who got the curling wand she has been dying for!  They were all very happy since they are all mid-soccer season except Jesikah.

Alex and Eric also got a pair of flip flops

Jesikah and her curling wand and new socks!

Jarem happy about his ball!

Eric and I had hidden 100 eggs all over the house filled with candy

As soon as Alex found out they were filled with candy, he joined in! Some were only high enough for him.

We kept finding eggs for a few weeks afterward.
We enjoyed a nice Easter together.  We watched several Mormon messages that morning before church showing Christ and his death and resurrection.  It definitely helped me to get into the Spirit of the meeting.  I played the piano for a musical number at church with voice and violin.  He turned out really nice! Music always adds so much to the meetings for me.  We also had two wonderful talks by the Webbers, and a nice dinner.  It was a great day!

Temple Square

Monday we spent the whole day at Temple Square with my parents and my brother James and his wife RaTray.  We went through the North and South Visitor's centers and the Joseph Smith Building.  We ate lunch at the Garden Restaurant on the top level of the Joseph Smith Building.  It is an amazing view of the temple from there.  These pictures are not in order because they came from my phone blogger and it posts them in random order.  Go figure.

All of us in front of the temple

Holding hands above the window symbolizes unity

Temple square is known for their beautiful gardens all times of the year.  The grass was green inside temple square and yellow outside. :)

The side of the Joseph Smith Building
Behind the tree is the Beehive house which was Brigham Young's home.  If you can see through the tree on the top there is a beehive.  The beehive symbolizes being industrious and working hard together.(something like that)

Inside the Joseph Smith building there is this metal sculpture of Joseph reading in James.  There are the actual words in the Bible where he read, "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God."

Water fall in front of the Church Office Building

Eric and I in the exact same place we got a picture the day before our wedding.  The wind was whipping my hair around like crazy.

Outside the Beehive House there were flower pots representing each of the Young Women values with flowers of that color

Pictures from the Garden Restaurant of the temple!

Jarem looking out the window at the temple

Back of the Beehive House

Lots of pretty water features around temple square

Another picture of the kids by the sculpture

Waiting to be called to eat

I particularly love these daffodils.  They looks so happy.

Some of us including my parents and James and RaTray.  It was a bit chilly and windy that morning.

Jesikah looking at the temple

Another value pot

Alex inside the Joseph Smith Building

Another pictures of all of us

Jarem with the temple behind.  It seemed that either the face or the temple was overexposed because of the bright light outside.

Everytime we passed a water feature on temple square, Jarem said that was where he wanted to be baptized. :)

Chandeliers inside the Joseph Smith Building

I especially loved the South Visitor's Center where they have a to scale model of the Salt Lake Temple with cut-outs showing the inside rooms of the temple.  There is also a computerized kiosk where you can select a room and it describes it and gives you a panoramic video of the actual room.  While I have been inside the temple before, this was really amazing since there are many rooms in the temple that are only open to general authorities.  I would recommend this to everyone!  It also had lots of displays on how the temple was built.  I am always amazed that it took 40 years!  It is such a beautiful building!!!

Temple spires

Eric while waiting for our table

Christus statue inside the North Visitor's Center

More beautiful gardens

Jarem and Tessa by the statue of Christ

More of my favorite daffodils

The kids by one of many sculptures
Pretty pansies

That evening, we had dinner with some of our very good friends whom we haven't seen in probably 5-6 years!  Eric served his mission with Jon Hay and they were mission companions and built a close friendship.  Then, we went to BYU after we were married and Jon and his wife did also.  We spent nearly every weekend with them.  We were pregnant with our first babies at the same time, both boys.  We were very close.  His first wife passed away just a few months after we moved to Missouri several years ago.  It was a very hard transition for him with two little boys, but he has been remarried for several years now and they had two more girls together.  They have a really nice family, and we really enjoyed getting reacquainted and being in their home.  They are really great people!  Below are a couple of pictures of Eric and Jon.  

I thought it was really interesting to see the kids interact.  I think Alex had a good time with their son that is his age, but he was maybe a little jealous of him.  He felt that Thad was buff, athletic, all the girls liked him, good socially, gets straight A's, and is strong spiritually too.  I told Alex that he shouldn't be jealous because he has all of those same traits except maybe the buff. :)  Alex is a little less mature probably, but Thad is 3 months older which makes him a junior instead of a sophomore, so Alex still has time.  They have a girl Tessa's age who Tessa really got along well with.