Tuesday, August 31, 2010

July 2010

OK, out of order post. Everything that happened in TX is at the bottom, but actually happened first. The rest is hopefully close to in order concerning the Great Road Trip of 2010.The first day we drove 18.5 hours straight. The boys were troopers. We made it all the way to Grand Junction, where the boys started the day swimming with Michael and Greta, Mom's Gebhard cousins. Dad, of course, had to try out the slide!
That afternoon half of us made it to the "Y" on the mountain, #2 being the only one to go all the way to the top. It was crazy hot, and we didn't prepare with water like we should, so #s 3 & 5 & mom made it to the 3rd turn and retreated to the cool of the car.The next 2 nights we stayed in Bountiful with Mom's dear, dear friend Sandra.Sandra is quite the hostess--setting up shooting and a trip to the Bountiful Temple for Dad and #1, grocery runs for the kids' favorites, a beany baby give away, a family gathering, time to see Dad's high school friend Lance and his family, and lots of Phineas & Ferb. Next we headed to Nana and Papa's house. While we were there, we had our 13th anniversary. Here's the card Dad sent Mom ahead of time. I want to go on this trip someday--only I'll be doing the driving. :)
Uncle Earl engineered this awesome slip-n-slide...then injured himself trying to out-do the kids on it!We spent a couple of afternoons at the rivers close by. The kids would have spent the entire week there. They loved the sand, the shells, playing keep away, the parks, everything.We had to get a little creative with sleeping arrangements with 6 adults and 9 grandkids gathered. Here #4 is all settled in for the night in the very favorite sleeping spot.We absolutely loved the opportunity to help out a little on the new house that Papa is building. We got to pick up rocks and do some weeding--Mom even got to learn a little about wiring electrical outlets! Here the boys think they're digging an important trench; this activity quickly became filling the trenches with water and then mud play--which was just as Pops intended it to be.On the way to the Gram Fam Reunion 2010, we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. #2 never lacks imagination--he's not just posing for a picture; he's EXPLORING.Gram Fam Reunion was a blast--every single member of Grandma Clark's family was able to make it. We weren't able to get a pic of the entire group, but here's the LeBaron contingent.They planned it so well--with activities for the kids, lots of outside time, a humanitarian project, terrific meals, games galore, family history stories, Sherry's stories, you name it. #2 even made a pen pal out of cousin Elizabeth.
The adults played touch football at the park. Of course, when #3 joined in, it accidentally became tackle football.
It was really fun to see the cousins (#5 and Lydia here) hit it off and seriously enjoy themselves!No end to the entertainment with aunts like this around!Then Mom drove the boys to Gram and Pops (12 hours) because Dad had to stay in Portland and work. We spent tons, and I mean TONS, of time swimming (or imitating caterpillars like #1).
When Dad joined us, he became the favorite object of attack!Many, many diving contests. #4 has officially become fearless in the water.
We always go to the San Fracisco Zoo.I tried to convert this gorgeous girl to Texas-ism.
And I got major bonus points for accompanying Gram and the hoards into the petting zoo. I really, really hate petting zoos. :) I think I may finally be growing up and getting over my germ fixations a little bit. Let's all cheer!
We went to Emily's new house. Emily is always, constantly, helping everyone around her. I was thrilled to be able to help her paint the finishing touches in a couple of rooms. We even got to be there on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Em!
Majel got baptized, and we had a precious cousin choir.
They made such good friends with their cousins that Porter wore #1's hat with his own for days afterward because he missed these boys.
More swimming and splash parks and fun! This is #5 mid-jump.
We had lots of rain--love our alleyway / canal just for this purpose! Next time if we can just talk Dad into joining us for part of the action...Here's one of 2 flag ceremonies we did with 1, 2, 3, and Dad. The peanut gallery is off to the side learning how to salute.

The Fourth of July is an important day at our house. Here's #3 in uniform at the Patriotic Pops Symphony.

June 2010

June was a super busy month for us!We went twice to Fire Safety Town to learn about emergencies (weather and basic first aid) and to play.
Happy Father's Day! Surprise! Brian helped me get a couch stuck in the stairway! OK, the surprise was actually supposed to be a redone front room...
#3 (standing up) had twilight camp. They were SOOOO sad when 2 of the 5 days were cancelled due to weather!
Father & Son's campout (actually from May) was a hit. I wonder if this was a common sight?
#3's class met for a farewell party outside of school hours. #3's teacher this year was quite literally a miracle for him, so it didn't surprise us that in 3 of these quadrants he painted reminders of her.
#3 turned 8 and was baptized. This is the cake he designed to decorate with mom.
The big day was actually postponed a day because Gram and Aunt Em brought with the the worst flu bug in recent LeBaron history. :) Know the song "Life is a Battlefield"? It applied.
Basketball! Lots of it!
#1 went to scout camp for the first time. Dad got to go for 3 days, too. He absolutely loved it and really made some progress. He's very close to becoming a Star Scout. He didn't mind the treats Dad surprised him with, either.
No big fish stories possible with cameras. :) And no glasses because he dropped them in the lake...
The whole group...
BOOK CLUB! We absolutely love to read. When we read "How to Train Your Dragon," we tried out some "how to" recipes for play dough, decided which was best, and talked about why.
I absolutely love this pic of #4 at a splash park with some friends!
We went and earned the bowling belt loop for scouts.
#2 also had Twilight Camp. As a Webelos scout, he also got to camp out with his Dad. This boy loved every minute, even in the humid and blistering heat!
We took lots of swim lessons. This year mom is finally confident taking the whole crew swimming since 1 through 4 are independent swimmers just working on their strokes.
We, of course, started the summer with our "big rocks" and "small rocks" discussion, which really sets the tone and helps us focus first on goals and then on squeezing in every last bit of fun we can manage!
We went to several movies, always with at least one friend, even if it meant mom or Aunt Allie sitting in the trunk of the van.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

May 2010

Mike turned 35!! We are officially middle-agers. He had a dutch oven birthday. Gotta say I love the peach cobbler!
As part of the birthday celebration, each boy wore a tie with a funny pic of Dad and a saying teasing about his age.
We had lots of soccer games, with #s 2, 3, and 4 all playing on teams coached by dad. Here #3, who mostly loves to play goalie, goes on defense.
#5 hosted his first every birthday party. We're celebrating his half years since his birthday is so near Christmas, so this is 3 1/2! Camden, Johnny, Jake, and Frankie were so fun to have!
#3 created this thank you card for his teacher that he absolutely adored. It was fun because he wrote it all himself.
#1 and his Dad created stocks, a medieval torture device, for his GT class.
Check out #3's moves!
#3 celebrated his birthday early with a trip to the aquarium, which means the whole family benefits from a year pass--Yeah!
We do our best to corrupt the neighbors by inviting their children on our skip days. Each boy who has the grades and the behavior for the year skips one day to spend with me exploring some fun activity (don't believe Noah--it really WAS fun (; ).
Ooh, the corruption...
I got the very best Mother's Day present ever...awesome because it's hilarious and because Mike remembered an off-hand comment I made at the TX Roadhouse at some point and went in search of the perfect gift.
#1 and 2 got to participate in a Primary choir and really deepened their testimonies of the Savior (#1 is far left; #2 is right behind the single boy in the 2nd row).
Always more trips to the zoo with Cam and Lee!
#1 officially turns 12. We are ridiculously proud of this responsible, caring, GOOD kid--even if he got his mom's goober-ness. :) Cheesecake is his very favorite, so Dad takes Mom and him to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.
More play dates, crafts, etc. for #5 and his friends.
#1 gets an airsoft pellet gun for his birthday, throws a "war" for his birthday, and comes home with real wounds. Good thing chicks dig scars!! #2 gets the exact same wound months later at his first "war".
#1 is super excited to go to the temple for the first time, so Mom takes the 6 (with Lee, of course) boys down to walk around and talk a little more about it. Grandpa sends some family names, so dad gets to take him for his first time shortly after his birthday.
#4 has his kindergarten Mother's Day party.