Thursday, June 26, 2008

Girls Camp!

Okay. Now that I've finally recuperated from Girls Camp, I can finally blog about it. Of coarse, I brought a camera to camp that didn't have a battery working. Thanks to my friend Nicole (the blond - aka reeses pieces) I have some pictures from camp. Thanks Nicole! This year I must admit, camp almost killed me. It ended up being a lot more work than I had ever anticipated. This year we lost two of our most loved Stake Staffers (Alayna Weiss & Mary Berry) but gained two other wonderful women- Lori Anderson & Vickie Mecham. We had a lot of hurdles this year that were very unexpected. BUT, thanks to the wonderful women I have the privilege to work with, and the help of my dearest friend Heather Biggs who gave me lots of great ideas from her many years of experience, it all worked out extremely well. I loved having fun with my friend Tiffany Sandridge who did a lot of work with me in getting the YCLs to lead the activities. They all did a great job! I was so proud of them. I loved staying up late talking to my dear friend Kriss Norris, our stake camp director, who I just love more and more with each day that I get to spend with her. I could feel Heavenly Father's presence with me in every activity I was in charge of every step of the way. It was AMAZING!!! Every night we had a good fun activity followed by a spiritual one, which was wonderful. We had a great service project making lots of kits that were needed at the Target House that houses families with children getting care at St. Jude's hospital. I was very grateful to have Alayna there encouraging & helping me along since I did her job that she had last year. Then, when my wonderful friend Mary Berry got there, it just made my week. Mary has the amazing capability of being a wonderful helper and is funny as heck. She just keeps us rolling with laughter, which is just what we need when dealing with camp! Thanks to Sis. Cerveny and the kitchen staff, we were all spoiled with wonderful food. She even slipped me extra brownies! Our priesthood leaders, Pres. Goodale & Bro. Cerveny were fun and patient as always. When one of our tiki torches caught fire late at night and we thought the tree was on fire too, they stayed calm and collected. They are the best! The picture above is Pres. Goodale, Nicole Rees & me while listening to Mary Berry's wonderful mini class. The one with the teal poster board is some of us stake staffers doing our very famous synchronize swimming skit! It was a HUGE success! The man in the pink shirt is our faithful Bro. Cerveny. Doesn't he keep his eyes on us well? The other with the girls in yellow is a picture of me after leading the five mile hike with my friends Nicole & Sheryl Varnadoe. I love my friendship with them! One of the best nights at camp was the night of our silent hike. We had a bunch of questions stapled to different wooden stakes posted along a trail that made a big circle around the camp. Each question asked the girls different things about the progress they're making in life as well as their relationships with family members, friends, and their Heavenly Father. If the girls answered, yes, they were doing a good job in that particular area, there was a bag full of popcorn kernels that they could get to fill their lanterns they had with them that they had made during craft time. It was to symbolize filling their lanterns with oil like the ten virgins. It was completely silent,personal, very sacred and a special night for the girls. I think it was a wonderful way for all of us to see if we were doing our part to prepare for the Bridegroom. They ended the hike with each lantern lit with a little candle inside as we sang hymns and had a short devotional. The spirit was amazingly strong. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for friends who help me along my path in life, for His help in all I do, and for the blessing of being a part of girls camp. It was a wonderful experience that blessed my life! Maybe I can do it all again next year!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Updating at last!

Okay, I know it's been forever since I've last blogged. SO, I've tried to catch up. Since it has been so long, I've had to work backwards in catching up. The next few blogs has everything you missed out on. Hopefully, I won't bore you all to death as I play catch up. Now that girls camp is over, I will do better. (I hope!) Anyway, here it goes for all who care. March was a great month. Brennan turned 12 on March 2nd and received the Aaronic priesthood. That didn't freak me out too much. What freaked me out is that he is now doing combined activities with girls at church. Weird! Brennan did a great job passing the sacrament for the first time. Many people came up and told me that he did a good job. When I said, "Yeah, he did, didn't he?" They all responded, "We weren't looking at him, we were looking at the big smile on his proud Mama's face!" We are proud of Brennan for being worthy of holding the priesthood and taking his responsibilities seriously. Brennan also had a sleep over with his friends for his birthday party. I have never smelled such stinkiness coming from my game room! Little boys make such great smells! They had a good time. I must say though, it took a while for that room to recover! Also in March, the kids had spring break. Jeff was working his crazy hours of 14 hour days 7 days a week for two months during that time. (Yes, it's hard work making your gas!) I wanted to go somewhere. SO, I packed up the kids and went to Nashville with them. We learned from our mistake last time with Laura to not get a two star hotel. We stayed in a nice safe one instead. We had a great time dinking around at the mall, seeing a movie, spending time at Opryland hotel and eating at Rainforest Cafe. It was nice to just get away and be with the kids. We also had a good Easter. Jeff was still working, which was a bummer. But, we had a nice visit with Holly and Ben (Jeff's sister & hubby) who visited from Dallas right before then. Also in March, we got snow! That was strange. We usually get snow once a year, but it's usually in January. We thought we were going to miss it this year. We got a nice surprise. We love snow once a year. The kids get out of school even though it's just a few inches at most, we get to play in it and not have the mess! It's great! The picture below is after the snow melted a bit, but you get the picture. Anyway, March was great! Continue reading below if you want the rest of the updates!

April 2008

April was gorgeous weather. We took many trips to the zoo with my friends Nicole, Tiffanie and sister in law Laurie. Of coarse, everyone else in Memphis had the same bright idea. It was too gorgeous to stay in side. I also had to include this cute picture of Regan's Playgroups friends. We had such fun switching off houses and letting the girls play together. Of coarse their favorite thing to do...dress up! The girls in order are: Alayna Sharp, Ryleigh Rees, Regan, Cara Rees, Samantha Jessop & Keira Peterson. The girls are good friends and played well. Of coarse, I did have one play date that was crazy in April. I happened to be taking care of my sister in law's 5 kids while she was at a single's conference in California. I was pretty impressed with myself taking care of 9 kids all together (hers and mine). We had a great weekend. Even made it to church early! AND THEN, Monday came. Same day that I had play group. Long story short.... I got locked out of my van TWICE. Once while trying to get the kids to school. I had fingers crushed in a chair, another chair break, naked boy on my new leather chair, finger nail polish on my couch, toothpaste smeared everywhere in the bathroom, and poop all over the bathroom floor and down my stairs! Yes, that all happened in one day! So much for being impressed with myself!

Monday, June 16, 2008

May 2008

May was incredibly busy. Isn't it for everyone? Not only was I swamped with getting ready for girls camp, but the month was filled with school events, room mom stuff, recitals, games, etc. Some of the highlights... Jadyn's 1st grade class did a Mother's Day program. It was the cutest thing ever. Makes every mom's heart just burst with pride! The picture with the two girls are Jadyn and her good friend Kendall. Aren't they cute? Also in May, Jadyn and Brooke had a piano recital. Both did a great job! We hope they continue on developing this talent. The kids also all had fun with their school field day. Of coarse here they call it May day. Same thing. The kids were so fun to watch running all around doing their relays. It's great being a Mom. But, the most exciting thing about May was that we surprised the kids with a trip to Disney World. (See slide show below) I've always wanted to surprise our kids with a trip like that. They have never been to any Disney park (ok, Bren had. But he was barely 2 and didn't remember) We found out that the kids' grades were turned in the Friday before they got out. So, we took them out a week early. I packed up all their stuff without them knowing. Jeff & I woke them up at 4:30 in the morning, gathered them in the same room and yelled to them that we were going to Disney World! It was awesome! They had no clue. It was a fabulous trip (minus the van breaking down) and one that we'll remember forever. What were their favorite things? Regan - It's a Small World, seeing the Princesses, and riding the carousel. Jadyn - going on the Journey into the future at Epcot (lame, but the kids loved it!) Brooke - Space Mountain. She rode it many, many times. Brennan - riding the monorail. Yes, that's right. Riding the monorail. Yeah. The tram that takes you to the parks. No, he's not much of a dare devil. Whatever floats your boat I say. He just rode that thing and kept singing the song from "Rent" when they were riding the subway. Kinda funny, huh? It was a magical vacation though. The kids were troopers, didn't argue, and didn't complain! Yea Disney!

Check out my Slide Show!