Tuesday, July 31, 2012

School Shopping

A week or two before school started, the girls and I decided to go shopping at Opry Mills Mall in Nashville with their friends Divya and Pramika and their mom. I was a little worried about venturing too far from home because of my morning sickness, but I decided to just take a leap of faith and go.  I packed my purse full of snacks that I could tolerate, and took advantage of a few benches when I started feeling dizzy, but for the most part it went well.

We had a lot of fun together and I was so glad that I went! Jesikah found lots of clothes that she liked. Jesikah's new favorite store is Forever 21, and she found a lot of pretty tops there and elsewhere that didn't cost that much. Tessa is at that age where she doesn't fit in women's clothes yet, but girls clothes are starting to be too "little girly" for her now that she is starting middle school. We struggled more finding cute things that would work for her.

This is Tessa, Jesikah, and Pramika in the candy store.  They found these sunglasses with mustaches.  They were really quite hilarious!  We all got a good laugh.
We stopped at the Vera Bradley store.  They were having a buy one get one free sale, and that place was a MAD house. But, sweet Priya waited in line and together we were able to take advantage of the deal!  Tessa and Divya got mini hipsters, so now they can all fit in in middle school!
While we were waiting on a bench, Jesikah told me that I should go look outside the store at all the men waiting. I thought it was so funny, so I told Jesikah she should go get a picture on my phone, and she did! It wasn't until then that I realized there wasn't a man in the store. I texted Eric the picture and told him, "This could be you". I know he was grateful it wasn't, at least not this time! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jarems Creations

Jarem likes to build or make things and then have me take a picture. This summer, he had a lot of free time, so he was always making something.

He was so excited about this one.  It's a waterfall!  He's always asking if we can get a fountain for our yard whenever he sees one while we are shopping.  It makes sense.  When he was a baby he would always calm down to the sound of water.  Anyway, he made this for me, and it took him quite a while.  He even added some rocks from the yard to make it authentic!
The only problem was, when he first made it, the water was flowing all over my counter top, but we got it angled into the sink.
A Lego house that he built

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Grimes Canoe Trip

The week of July 16-20, Alex went to Grimes Canoe Base Scout Camp. With access to over 110 miles of water, Grimes Canoe Base allows Scouts over the age of eight to canoe and camp along the Buffalo River. 

Grimes Canoe Base is located on Highway 13 in Perry County near the town of Flatwoods. The campsites had two-person tents including cots. Alex will get the 50 mile canoeing merit badge to go along with his 50 mile hiking one he got a couple of years ago. Their week included canoeing everyday along with nightly devotionals and opportunities to fish. On Wednesday night they got a steak dinner and Thursday night a fish fry.

He had a good time, but he said everyone got annoying by the end of the week.  That usually happens when you camp for a week with people, especially teenage boys.  I think he felt like he got the bad end of the deal because they paired the younger weaker boys with the older boys in canoes together.  Since he is one of the older ones, he always ended up doing most of the work in the canoe, but the bright side was he built upper body strength in  his arms and shoulders which is something he wants!  Regardless though, he did enjoy the canoeing.  He has always loved that.  And I had to remind him that he was once one of those little annoying 12 or 13 year old boys.

He always seems to be coming up with new smiles for pictures to cover his braces.  I wish he just wouldn't worry about it!  He has a lot of interesting smiles in the next few pictures.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Alex Passes his Board of Review

Yes, it has been nearly a year since this boy finished his Eagle project, but I am still incredibly proud of him for finally completing and passing his board of review. He was very nervous, but I knew he had nothing to worry about. He was well-prepared.
I took this picture outside the church just after he passed his Board of Review

Alex played kind of a mean trick on Eric.  Eric was anxiously waiting to get word on whether Alex passed or not.  When Eric called on the way home, Alex sounded all down-hearted and told him he didn't pass.  Eric felt so bad for him.  Then when Alex got home, he told him the truth and Eric wasn't even mad about the trick, he was so happy he passed. 
Picture Eric took of him after he got home from his Board of Review

Friday, July 6, 2012

High Points Trip

Eric got a nice little 4th of July present. Because his new job didn't have the paperwork ready, he got another week off of work. His brother had invited us to come along on a hiking trip he had planned where he and his wife and their little boy were going to hike to the high points of 4 or 5 different states.

Anyway, we all were going to go, but then Tessa and Jarem were already signed up for a gymnastic camp for that week, and Jesikah had committed to babysit. So, I told Eric to just take Alex and go and I would stay home with the others. Since I am writing this later, I can tell you that this was one of my first weeks of morning sickness, and I was very grateful that I stayed home. I was miserably sick all week and ever since.  But, I was really glad they went and had a good time.

Georgia High Point

On their way up Mount Rodgers in Virginia.  This was part of the Appalachian Trail that Eric and Alex hiked two years ago, so it was kind of nostalgic for them.  Eric says that Alex isn't THAT much taller than him.  He said Alex was standing on a rock which is probably true.  Alex just laughed.  Alex is over 6 feet now.  Eric is happy for Alex that he got the height Eric always wished he had.
Mount Sassafras, SC
The whole group
I believe this one was also Virginia
Taegan wearing Eric's hat.  Taegan loves Eric!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

Going to a 4th of July party! I found this cool strawberry idea on Pinterest! I love how they turned out!
The party was put on by a family from church's parents who throw a big party every year.  We have never been, but I was grateful to have somewhere to go where there was food and entertainment for the kids and not too crowded.  They provided pulled pork (which was delicious) and everyone brought sides.  The kids were got to swim and play, and then when it got dark they handed out glow bracelets and necklaces and had fireworks.  They also gave all the kids snowcones.  It was an awesome party!

The fireworks were my favorite!  I believe they were better than the city fireworks.  It was probably a full 30 minutes of continuous and multiple fireworks at a time!  It was such a blessing that we had a hard rain earlier in the afternoon.  Otherwise, because of the heat and lack of rain, fireworks would have been banned.  Here is a small sampling:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trek 2012

Alex had the opportunity to take part in a pioneer trek for youth conference this past week.  Below is an article found in our local newspaper that gives more details:
Alex is near the front in the red shirt, light pants, and straw hat

Quoted from the article in the Leaf Chronicle:
"In February of 1846, a group lead by Brigham Young left Illinois on a journey that would eventually take 18 months to complete. In an effort to escape religious persecution, the Mormons relocated to Utah. Eventually, 70,000 people took the journey to Salt Lake, and today the religion flourishes there, with millions of members.
This week, members of the local “stake” (an administrative unit composed of multiple congregations) held a re-enactment to commemorate the historic event that was so pivotal in the history of their church. Seventy local church members between the ages of 14 and 18 set out Wednesday on a 20-mile trek on the trails of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Almost all aspects of twenty-first century living are left behind in an effort to more accurately portray life as it was in 1846. Each “family” is given a handcart resembling a small covered wagon, which they must assemble. This will be their transportation for the next three days. They must walk the trails and, as a team, pull the cart which contains all their supplies.
“It’s a chance to hang out with friends and take a nice walk,” trek veteran Monica Flake said. “You learn what the pioneers went through, and it makes you appreciate it more. They tell a lot of stories, and you get to learn a lot. The hand carts make traveling a little faster.”
Alex with friends: Jared, Derek, and Matt before heading out on the Trek

Girls from our ward that went

They were assigned to family groups: Brother Collis was Alex's "pa"

Sister Grant was Alex's "ma"

Josh and Matt in the yoke

Assembling their handcarts

There was a time when the girls had to pull the carts when the men went off to "Mormon Battalion"

The orange family

Everyone got a survival guide

What they carried in their handcarts

Alex's friend, Derek

Swimming on the last day