Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Girl's Camp!

Oh. My. Gosh. This was the best time ever. After all the preparation, the time, the planning, the packing, the PERMISSION SLIPS...off we went! This was my 2nd year as ward camp director and man was I looking forward to it. New YW presidency at the last minute so it was kind of crazy, but it all worked out perfectly. We lucked out and got assigned the Priesthood cabin. (We missed you McKenzie!) It was big enough for all of us AND had it's own bathrooms! I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it...Anywho, you would not believe what goes on up there! I'm not a very good picture taker, so you get what you get. I just don't ever want to STOP and get out the camera. I'm having too much fun :)

Skit night was the first night up there. After all the hard work putting it together, I almost cried when they pulled it off without a hitch. What talented, funny girls we have! Hooray for Andrea Allen who pretty much put it all together. She took a not-very-fun song (heigh ho) and made a very-fun skit. When Andrea came out after putting on all of their mustaches, she was laughing..."they look like a bunch of chester-moleters, you are going to die it is so funny!"

EVERY time we gather, we sing. There is plenty of singing going on...

And craft making (bracelets), and posing!

There is very little "hang out" time. But the girls love it. Hanging out in the cabin and eating snacks. Speaking of snacks, the food that the Stake provides is dang good! Really. The problem is, they just don't give our girls enough. Most of the time, the girls want seconds, and since they have to wait for everyone to eat first, they NEVER stick around to get them. So, they're hungry all the time. We ate a TON of PB&J sandwiches and sadly...cookies. Andi just happens to have an apple in her hand! Way to go Andi.

Here we are on Spiritual night. We made these lanterns and everyone wore their pj's and tie-dyes. It was a great night.

Here is Kylee and her BFF Camila. Good times!

When the Bishopric comes, things get crazy.

There's a huge water fight,

The leaders (in disguise) may take it a little too seriously!

You can tell Kylee and Kinsey take it VERY seriously!

So does Andi. Posing here with Kinsey.

I love this girl! Shelly executes a perfect photo-bomb!

And then it's off to war. Trying to break each other's crackers with styrofome wands. That is one tiring game. We needed some serious recovery time!

I am a lame picture taker but at least I got a few to document the good times! Thanks girls, I had a blast. Especially thank you to Kylee and Kinsey for so kindly putting up with their mother for ONE MORE YEAR!

Someone had a birthday...

While we were on vacation at Newport beach with the Garn family, ADDIE had a very important birthday.

Adalyn Rebecca Garn
It's hard to make it a big deal when you are already on vacation, but we did the best we could.

(don't ask me about that red lipstick)

Addie is trying to figure out the English language. Right now she's struggling with past tense. She may let you "keep" one of her toys, but then she'll get mad at you because you "kape" it. She'll read you a book, but if she already "rade" it then you have to find another one. Don't bother telling her you "read" it already, because that's a color. (leave = lave, need = nade, she makes them up at will)

Last night she got angry because I took a dollar off of her allowance chart (I take them away if she throws a fit or is mean to anyone) and she took the sharpee and was all over her chart. I figured she was trying to put the dollar back on and told her that no one was allowed to write on her chart but me, it was against the rules. She gave me a guilty look and I asked Saydie what she was writing. Saydie said "hearts and flowers decorating the edges" so I started laughing. Addie started crying and saying not to laugh at her. Don't laugh at her.

Addie is horribly independent and stubborn and, you can imagine, that being the youngest child she is also very spoiled. She is also very affectionate and funny. She loves "snuggle buggies" and no one can leave the house without "huggie kissie, huggie kissie." She is a whiz at puzzles, loves littlest petshops, and anything miniature that she can pretend with. In the morning when I do her hair, she lines up all the hair clips and pretends they are people and animals and puts them through elaborate play scenes. She also likes to build things, and COLOR. She is quite an artist.

One reason I get a kick out of her is because she is my 4th girl - and the only one that has ever imitated me. She gets my voice, my mannerisms, the hand on the hip, eye roll, whatever. When she talks to the other kids, sometimes she sounds just like me and while it is not funny for everyone else, it's kind of endearing to me. ("Dax, really, does she have to ask you 3 times?" "Saydie, she said to do all of those dishes") Since she's attached to my hip at all times, she feels the need to reinforce my parenting.

She goes off to all-day kindergarten this year and I can hardly stand it. It's going to feel like I've lost a piece of me! I love you Addie-girl.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

June 5th, 2011: Newport Beach

Greg's Parents decided to plan a family trip to Newport Beach this year. We have been looking forward to it for MONTHS. We didn't have to plan anything for this trip, we had a condo booked for us and fun activities every day. The only thing we had to do was plan for some beach games (Greg's assignment) and one girl's craft night (my assignment.) Easy peasy. For that, and one family dinner, we got a week long BEACH vacation with the GARN cousins! I could go into detail, but I won't. I'll just add some photos and tell you that we went to the beach every day, all day. My fave.

The first day was Sunday. Of course. The church was beautiful and the kids were totally willing to pose for pictures.

Saydie, Kinsey and I weren't there yet. We had to stay home for a dance competition but we caught up with everyone Sunday night.

Monday we headed to the beach in Newport.
Skimboarding was very popular with this group:

Here is Kinsey on her feet. Didn't last long!
I think this is Nate, getting launched. These kids jumped on that board over an over again...despite landing helter-skelter in only a foot of water!

Here's Josh taking a good fall.

Skimboards are also good for making a graveyard. It was so fun to play dead, that we could hardly get the kids to "smile" and play alive!
The cute teenagers. Kinsey, Amy, Josh and Kylee:

I don't know why the pictures are do dark, but I think it's because I didn't transfer them to photobucket before I downloaded them.

Saydie didn't want to be left out so she also worked on some sweet skimboarding moves...like posing with the new skimboard :)

Ashley and Addie.

What better thing to do on a windy day at the beach? Perfec time for a princess kite!

A daughter after my own heart. I could do this all day long...lay on the beach and read. It would be more relaxing if Kinsey wasn't pestering her the whole time to get up and play something...I've always suspected Kinsey may be ADHD. Or something.

My only boy child. Not the most daring in the world, but still willing to give skimboarding a chance.

"How many times do I have to do it, Dad?"

A little bribery and a new skimboard will go a long way!
Oh man, I love this kid.

Amy, Kylee, Erica, Kinsey

And back at the condo...

A little body graffitti to help pass the time. ADHD.

Amy, Kylee, and Erica. You can tell they were really concerned about the "keep off" sign at their feet.

Erica, Kylee, Amy, Josh, Nate, & Jack posing as the sun goes down. It's fun to have the kids get older!

Glow stick party with the lights on...Glow stick party with the lights off.

The perfect hosts of a perfect vacation! My in-laws, Daryl and Irene Garn.
Thank you for a GREAT vacation!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beach House 2011

Most of you know that for one month out of the year, we rent a beach house in Oceanside. We are on our 5th year doing this and I LOVE it. It's the next best thing to living in California permanently. The crazy thing is, I generally rent it for the month of May - when the kids are still in school. How do I do it? I take the elementary school age kids out. I generally don't think they miss much in the last month of school and if there is something important they need to go back for, I'll get them there. Their teachers are pretty understanding and I do homework with them in California. This year, I wasn't very happy with their school so I withdrew them and signed them up for homeschooling. I know...cheating. But it works. The older kids can't miss that much school so they just come on the weekends with Greg. They miss a Friday here or there and sometimes a Monday. Luckily they have good grades and it all works out. Here are a few pictures from the beach house. The weather was amazingly great, all except for a few days when Nicole came to visit. Sorry Nik.

This is my favorite view, as you drive down the street towards the beach house. This is on a pedestrian bridge over the street.
This is the view from the back balcony. Love it.

When we went for a Sunday walk, Addie ran almost the whole way. We ended up at the "river" between Oceanside and Carlsbad. It's about .75 miles from our house.

Sitting on the balcony. The whole fam. Saydie, Addie, Kinsey, Kylee, and Dax.

No matter what we're doing...Addie wants to watch the sun go down. It's so pretty.

Saydie and Addie are both little ocean fish. They will swim and play in the waves without caring if it tosses them around and almost drowns them - or if it's freezing cold.

How is this for a view. I wish I could take it home with me. Yes, I brought my computer...it's a month!

I usually bring a lot of projects to work on while I'm here. However, this year I had a bunch of visitors, and I also had a lot of work to do on my computer so there isn't much to show for my time - but there also isn't a huge mess on that table like there usually is! I FINALLY finished blogging about last years trip to Guatemala and while I did it, I realized that I really don't like blogging. In fact, I hate it. Maybe if I keep doing it, I'll learn to like it...