Friday, September 13, 2013

First Day of School 2013

 While the kids were gone, I got a little surprise for each of the boys and the friends they were having over (my older two were already busy with extra-curricular activities...).
 Here are my elementary boys (and can you spot #3 photo bombing?).
 A first, a fourth, a sixth, an eighth, and a tenth grader ready to go
 Dad walked them to school, like always.  Mom gets a little apprehensive and emotional...  This year I made it a grand total of about 15 minutes before I called Allie to let her know I was coming to pick up Max cause I missed my boys.  We spent a large part of the day together, so I made it until those boys walked back through my door.
 The cutest thing happened.  We got the elementary kids out the door, and I went into my bedroom to do something.  When I came back out, #s 2 & 3 were sitting on the couch, waiting...for something.  I asked what was up, and they said they were just waiting for Dad to walk with them to school.  Mike walked up just then, and I told him they'd like him to walk with them and they suddenly got a little tentative,  "Well, yeah, I mean, if YOU want to..."  Dad happily walked them to junior high.  In fact, he walks with #3 most mornings and they have a couple of minutes to visit on their own (#2 does early morning football).
 After school, each boy brought a friend home to play.  #4 and his friend, Thomas, love the trampoline.  #5 and Cam, below, love crafts.
 Yes, I am THAT mom.  I sat on the front steps and watched for the junior high boys to walk home.  I did this even though other parents had parked in front of our house to wait for their children.  And even though there were crowds of kids passing by.  I simply couldn't help myself.
 So I got an early glimpse of #3 with his friend Ryan on their way home.  I LOVE when they get home.  Best part of my day.

Memorization Goal

When #3 finished memorizing the Proclamation on the Family, President Tolbert came to visit.  He gave #3 a special knife and took him for ice cream.  

We are Family!

I had to pull these from my phone.  This was an absolute highlight of our trip.  Love you, Sandra and the Moultrie clan!!

August 2013

 #5's birthday is December 30, so we have a half birthday in the summer.  Happy 6.5!

 Lots of cousin time

 #4 celebrated his birthday when we returned from pageant.  Happy 9th!
 #3 cracked me up playing Buddy the Elf in the mall
 We got a new cousin!!  Welcome to Emerson Pahl Stovall!!
 This is my darling niece Cienna.  We love sending quirky things back and forth in the mail.  Now we both have fun batman shirts...
 The Browns came to visit us before school started!  We enjoyed lots of time to visit, a play put on by the kids, some great food, and terrific company.  We enjoyed getting to keep the kids overnight, which is when Eve fell in love with "Leb."  She still asks her mom where he is and looks for him each day!

Cast Team Time and Other Pageant Activities

 #3 performed in the talent show while we visited with the Webbs to "Once There Was a Snowman."
 #5 fell in love with the work crew, boys 17 and older who came a week early and worked like crazy setting up the stage, doing special effects, all the background stuff that makes the pageant successful.  More impressive to me was how kind they were to my boys.  They even came to the top of the study shelter and serenaded #4 on his birthday!
 This is the stage--it's divided into 7 sections and is several stories high.
 This is part of our B2 cast team building tootsie roll towers.
 We got to visit the Sacred Grove, where Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in vision.
 I loved this plaque because of its quote and the faithfulness and optimism it showed.
 This is in front of the Smith family's home.
 This is in the upper bedroom where Moroni visited Joseph.
 The kids got to do crafts, family home evening packets, games, and much, much more in their cast teams.
 On our day off, we went to Grimes Glenn, a beautiful like hike through a large stream with 3 60 foot waterfalls you can climb and play in.
 #5 loved following his brothers in climbing and sliding.
 #3 posing in the waterfall.  After figuring out how little he was eating last year and watching as his growth pattern stopped, we are so excited that this past year he gained over 10 pounds!  And he grew 2.5 inches!!  Sooooo proud of him for taking this bull by the horns, counting calories and protein, and making a difference in his health!
 #5 forgot his water shoes, but wanted to play in the water, so we combined his shoe laces and Mom's flip flops, and he managed just fine.
 #1 on the bridge that begins the hike
 We were able to get together with the Webbs twice--once for pizza, ice cream, and cards and once for breakfast at Denny's.  It was so fun to see the kids enjoy each other as much as we enjoy Shahna and Aaron.  What a blessing.
 These two have been good friends since they were tiny.  Mike and #1 went to Reston when #1 was 8 and visited, and the dads and boys met up in SLC for general conference when #1 was 12.  They always pick up where they left off and just enjoy each other so much.
#5 happy, happy, happy.

The night before we left, #4 bawled for nearly 2 hours.  Just when he started to settle down, I heard someone softly crying outside the trailer.  These boys LOVED this experience, and it was sooooo worth Mom braving showering with 3 frogs, mosquitos, moths, and daddy long legs--all at once!--to share this with them.  We are truly grateful.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


 We had a wonderful time performing scripture stories from the Book of Mormon in the Hill Cumorah Pageant!!  The schedule was brutal, the camping was...challenging...for mom, it was social from morning till night, the weather was mostly a huge blessing (although sometimes blisteringly hot and others pretty wet), but our testimonies were strengthened and we made memories to last a lifetime.