Wednesday, September 23, 2015

random stuff ~ july/aug

phone dump time...
Some photos from the summer.

Carson and Carlie spent three days at BSU.
They stayed in the dorms and attended Boise Youth Spectacular.
They really loved their experience there.
I just have (mostly goofy) selfies they texted...

Carson and his roommate, Noah.

Carlie and her roommate, Kayla.

And the even goofier selfie Austin and I (and Zoey) sent back to them to tell them we were missing them!...

Carlie did another triathlon.
It was super last minute. I think she signed up the night before.
But it was great weather and she enjoyed it.

Austin was there to cheer her on and he jumped in to run the final stretch to the finish line with her...

We all had water type shoes, but I wanted to make sure our feet were used to hiking in them before our Costa Rica vacation.
So I convinced the family to take some long walks around the neighborhood with me in their shoes.
This was from one random Sunday walk...

I think I may have been the only lame-o who ended up with blisters in Costa Rica, P.S.
(And no stores sell bandaids. It gave me a good excuse to venture into a farmacia, however.)

We were determined to fit driver's ed into our summer, but it was impossible to find a block of time to take the classes.
Luckily, you can take ANYTHING online nowadays!
Including drivers ed.
Don't mind the disastrously messy desk...
This is how our kids managed to get their driver's ed done this summer...a few spare minutes or hours here or there in July.
And then when they finished up their online stuff, their awesome instructor (who is now their Honors History teacher) managed to fit their driving time into his lunch breaks over the last few days before we left for Costa Rica.

And now they drive every time we go anywhere.
They are getting pretty good and I'm slowly getting used to it.
They have their permits for 6 months and then watch out.

A few pictures from a trip to the lake with our seriously awesome friends.
I was working, but I heard everyone had a great time trying to wakeboard!

I'm still working with the cub scouts.
Austin has moved on up, but not me.
We took a fun trip to the Idaho State police...

Not the greatest pictures. 
But it's all I have from the three days C and C spent at Youth Conference in July.
This was early the first morning as they gathered to leave. They would spend the first day doing service and whitewater rafting. Super cool!


They had some really great experiences. Man, we are blessed by all the people who put in SO MUCH effort to put these kinds of things together for the growth of my children. I can't say enough.
So many people doing so much.

You can't tell, but this place is really decorated to kick off their scripture theme for the conference.
That's why Chris and I were dressed like this early on a summer morning.
Then Chris headed up with the kids to help guide the dozens of rafts down the river.
They had a great time.

Summer is a lot more active for this little thing...

Chris got his luggage out to begin packing for vacation.
I walked into the room and was startled when it moved...

I talked about how the kids had saved up for their plane tickets for our family vacation.
(not just tickets, but they paid for some of their own things they really wanted to do)
These envelopes I pulled out and started the day they decided to begin were what they kept the whole way thru...
I guess I just wanted to record that.
I should have taken a picture of the back of the envelopes instead! That's where the tally was kept and it showed the additions -and some subtractions, when something really important came up ;) .
Carson just did his own thang.

The night before we left for Costa Rica, we had a trek fireside. 
Some people shared some thoughts and they showed the video that they put together from our trek.
I am including it here, just so I have the link to it.

Before the fireside, we invited our trek family (the kids that could make it) over for a barbecue. It was so good to see them all.
They stayed until it was time to go to the fireside and pulled out some board games. Bubble talk! It's a favorite around here.

Then, the day after we came back from our vacation, was my grandma's birthday party.
Austin was having basketball tryouts, so the boys stayed in town. But Carlie agreed to a road trip with me and we went to the quick birthday party 4 hours away at chuck-a-rama.
We stopped and met up with my parents and got to travel part way with them and that was a treat (for us, anyway, since we made them listen to every single detail about our trip we had just returned from).
Grandma was doing amazingly well.
She had been put on hospice. But was taken off before her birthday.
So she was ready to party it up with all the desserts she could eat. 
(okay that was the rest of everyone else).
Grandma with her boys...

Our cute little 93 year old birthday girl...

Carlie invited her bestie to join us for our day at the mission...

We tried to get lots of chores and errands done, while still enjoying the last few days of summer as much as possible.
The kids had lots of fun with friends.
And we tried to find some indoor activities since it was so smokey outside from all the wildfires...

We love driving by our new temple and seeing it's progress.
We love that place so much already...

Enjoying some family time during the last few days of summer break...

The kids were all pretty grumpy any time the end of summer was mentioned.
It is sure hard to see it go.
But today is the first day of fall.
And that's kinda fun and even a little exciting in it's own way.
(That's easy to say since the temperature was almost 90 yesterday!)

Happy Fall!!

Friday, September 4, 2015


A picture Carlie took on a trip to Council this summer...

There is this something that is so finicky about how we see the world around us.
I think it's called perspective.
It is always shifting around.
It can grow, broaden, and mature.
It can change in an instant or slowly over a lifetime.
It takes shape from our experiences and sometimes comes from painful places and other times from ones filled with softness and warmth.
It can bring on so many emotions. Sometimes it is spot on and sometimes you think it is, only to realize you were so wrong.
It governs much of our responses and interactions.
Through it's lens, we make a million choices.

This has been on my mind a lot recently.
For many reasons.

Thoughts on my mind from a recent church meeting about how I view the time I give others...a burden or a blessing?
Watching the world's perspective on compassion.
Trying to teach compassion in my own home.
Body image.
Politics and social media bullying.
And my cousin, Jennifer.
She was the oldest of five children (one died as a baby, one committed suicide as a teen, and one died in a car accident as a young adult).
And she took her own life a few weeks ago.
She died on a mountain and no one found her body for a week.
She left behind a boy the same age as Austin.
Who needs a mom.
It is heart-wrenching.

I know Jennifer battled things I have never had to battle.
I can only begin to touch the hopelessness she must have experienced.
What I wouldn't give for the truths she had buried in her heart to shift into focus.
Our hearts are like a camera lens.
When my lens in focused far away on the ocean, I get a clear shot of the ocean.
But when the lens if focused on the branch right in front of my face, that is what is in view and the ocean is just a blur.
When our hearts are full of pain or resentment or bitterness or loneliness or hurt, that is all we can feel.
But if we can shift our perspective, we can open our heart to focus on something that lifts us. Something to be thankful for. Anything of goodness.
I think we can feel either bitterness or love, but we can't really feel both at the same time.

Perspective. Making me bitter or better?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

You know you're a soccer player when:

you have to layout in the sun to get rid of the leg stripes.
thighs = white.
knees = nice tan.
shins = super white.

Since soccer season has already descended upon us, I decided it's as good a time as any to post a few pictures from spring soccer.
Because I can, that's why.

Carlie had played with the high school team in the fall, but she and one of her teammates were excited to join Carson's (and other of their friend's) coed team in the spring.
They had a huge team and lots of coaches. Including Chris. It was really fun watching them play together.
In the past, they have convinced (tricked) Austin into (half) believing that they can communicate kind of telepathically through a special twin bond.
He told them before their first game that if their special communication was real, he would be able to tell because they would be able to make some killer passes and plays.
I thought that was a pretty good idea and told them I would be watching for it.
They had a great season and Carlie loved playing with this group. 
It is a very fun atmosphere. Enjoyable and yet still plenty of competition.

By the way, Carlie just informed me that the the soccer player humor about the tan lines refers to everyone except her because she doesn't tan, period.
What to say?
Embrace the pasty, my lovely!

I don't have very good pictures. I brought my camera a few times, but it's just too hard to get action pictures on such a big field.

I did want to include a few of them on the field together, just because it was pretty cute having them play on the same team.
They didn't even do that when they were just starting out in soccer.

Don't worry. I'm not going to go dig up soccer pictures from one of their first soccer seasons.

Yep. Actually yes I am.

It's a sickness.
I just can't help myself.

Almost a decade ago on the same soccer fields...


Oh just stop the cuteness.
And look at the hilarious down feathers on this sideline cheerleader / bored distracter.

Now they are bigger. And sweatier. And smellier. And even funnier. And have a lot more to say about the games, and refs, and opponents, and everything else.
And I love them so.

I have a few fun pictures of things like high fives and head bumps.

And so many funny facial expressions.
It's so funny what you catch with your lens.
But I don't like to see this kind of foul play.

I told Carson he was going to have to become her personal bodyguard.

Milkshakes after a hard fought tournament game...

He didn't play in that game, but he's pretty happy about a stop for milkshakes.

Can we just pretend this isn't blurry? I just kind of love it anyway.
After we got home from that rough game where these two played really hard without letting up, I guess they were still in the mood for more soccer because I saw them in the backyard still playing.

And I love their little goalie, too.

More tournament pictures...

Austin had a good soccer season, also.
He really enjoyed the friends he made on his team.
He thought his coach yelled at him too much and that bothered him. He was just that type of a coach but it was hard for Austin. But because he is a pleaser, he did work really hard this season. And he was a top scorer and did great wherever he played.
We loved watching him! 
But a few of his games were interesting. I think sports parents are getting more out of control. It's time to take a step back and chill out. After one of Austin's games I had the craziest experience ever. I (no kidding!) almost got attacked by parents from the other (losing) team. Their boys were great sports, but the parents were so upset at the refs, our coach, everyone I guess. And I just happened to be the only person still there. It got ugly. And I still can't believe it.
My poor son just said "Hurry mom, let's walk away!" He was seriously scared.

His team lost some games during the season, but by the tournament at the end of the season, they were doing really well. They were able to win all their games and come in first place.
They were pretty excited.

Whether you win or lose a game,
you are a winner already no matter what with a cheering section as amazing as this one in your corner!