Tuesday, August 15, 2017

And Blake is 12!!

Blake had a great birthday.  He had a few days of celebrating.  Natalie and I headed back down to Idaho to get Leah and Emily from EFY on Friday.  I was a little nervous about Blake being alone so long as Cora and Dave had to work.  So I ended up taking him to Toone's house where he hung out most of the day.  Blake and Avery took down a shed and watched a movie, they had a great time together.  Dave picked him up in the later afternoon.  Dave then took Cora and Blake out on the boat. They were out for a few hours.  When it was time to come in they had to run up to gas up the boat and got a treat.  Saturday, his birthday, Dave had a work party at the corn maze.  Blake and Dave did some work in the morning, then off to the maze.  I guess they got lots of good food there and after went swimming with lots of water slides.  Cora was with friends and didn't go with them.  The boys got back only a few minutes before Leah and I got home.  Sunday morning he opened his presents.  Dave got him the knife he wanted, even tho it makes me nervous and he got tickets to see Imagine Dragons.

In our church, when a young man turns 12, if he is worthy, he is ordained to the priesthood.  This is a very special time for him.  Most of our family was able to come.  Dave gave him a very nice blessing.


After church everyone was invited to our house for dinner.  Toone's were not able to make it to church because of other responsibilities, but came right after.  I had tried to think of something quick and easy since I was coming in late the night before.  We kept it simple. Levi artistically arranged our vegetables for us. :)

People stayed and talked for a while.  After we did a quick clean up.  Nicole, Dad and Mom had done most of it before they left.  It was a wonderful day.  I am very thankful to all that brought stuff and helped me get it on.  It was a really nice day.

Monday Blake had his birthday party.  I had found a great escape package online.  Set up like you would a murder mystery party.  All that he invited were able to come.


I think they had fun doing the escape.  Leah helped me set it up in three rooms.  They were given 45 mins to do it.  It took them about and hour and 15.


After we served banana splits and then they played a few more fun games.


We really stretched his birthday out.  It was all really fun.  Blake can be a little pill to his sister, but I always get many compliments from other parents.  It gives me hope.  Really he is a good kid.  He loves working with his dad and loves to drive the tractor.  Sometimes it is hard to get him going, but once he is working, he works hard and long hours.  He is kind and generous and we love having him in our family.  I love the young man he is turning into and can't wait to see what else he accomplishes in his life.  Happy Birthday Blake!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trek

We had the opportunity to go on trek this last week.  Dave and I went as Ma and Pa and we were lucky that all of our kids were able to go.  Since Dave and I were going to be there and Blake's birthday is so close they let him go as well.  I took one picture and accidentally deleted it.  So that's cool.  In the months leading up to trek, I was very nervous about the heat.  Heat does not like me.  I was worried about getting heat stroke and being useless to my family.  Which is exactly what happened.  Everyday about 1:30 I would start to feel the headache come, followed by the vision blurs and nausea.  When we finally got to camp I would lay down and let everyone take care of things until about 8 when I felt I could move without throwing up.  I was disappointed in myself. I had some fun games and some chats planned for my trek family.  But I had wonderful Aunts and Grandparents and Dave that took over and helped.  And lots of other great Ma's in my company that helped with food prep.  Because of the heat, I don't think I would do it again.  No point when I can't do much.  But is was neat to experience.  This was my first ever and it was fun to have my whole family there.
We arrived Tuesday night and found out who our families would be.  All of my kids were so excited about the families they were put into.  After each claimed to have the best family.  Cora got to go with Maycie and Leah was with Emily.  Blake got a wonderful group that he really loved.  I instantly bonded with our Aunts.  We decided they were my sisters, not Dave's :)  They will definitely be life long friends. We set up our camps, had a fireside and went to bed.
Wednesday we ate and packed up then started on our way.  Our first hill was a massive one.  It was so neat to see some of my trek sons and my own son, running up and down that huge mountainous, rocky hill to help others with their carts. It was a long, hot day.  By the time we reached camp I was ready to go home.  I really did not know how I was going to keep going, feeling the way I did.  The boys got us set up, my Aunts and Grandma made dinner.  My 'kids' mingled with some other groups and then we had another fireside.  We slept out under the stars.  It was really beautiful.
 After a good sleep, the next morning I was ready to go again.  A little stiff, but had renewed determination.  Those pioneers really went through a lot.  Our first thing of the day was the reenactment of the river crossing at Sweet Water.  This was by far my favorite one.  It is so dry that it was actually just a little creek that we went through, but since we were actively participating it seemed more real.  Those young boys were amazing. It was a bit easier of a day to start out with.  We did not go as far and had a slower pace, until the women's pull.  That was SO hard, but it was really neat to see all the sisters come together and support each other, over and over with each cart. We really can do hard things. Shortly after the pull we reached camp.  Almost no shade this spot and it was hard to keep the nausea under control.  There were many sick this time.  One man in my company was a Dr, and he was gone most of the afternoon attending to different people.  Again a good dinner and fireside.  Cora, Maycie, Leah, and Emily sang at this one.  They did a great job and Cora and Maycie were even asked to sing for their company later.
Friday it was time to come back down.  We had climbed so far up the mountain.  It was more of a criss cross path, so not to bad going down.  We wandered through beautiful pastures and gorgeous trees.  I tried to rest in the shade every chance I got.  At our lunch break Thursday we got a group together to play poisonous stump.  A game Steve and Kita taught us after their trek.  It was a huge hit and we had lot of kids come join us.  (See I could have been a good Ma when I didn't feel like dying) Friday we had a big group that came to find us to play again.  It was cool.  I could hear my girl's singing very loud with their companies.  We reached camp finally. This night dinner was catered.  Also some lovely company set up a hair washing station.  That cold water did wonders for me.  I recovered faster than any other day.  Friday I was able to spend time with my trek family, really get to know others in my company, and do some fun things.  There was another fireside by our regional seventy and his wife.  They are amazing.  Followed by a dance, and homemade donuts.  After we stayed up playing games until about 1.  It was so fun.
 Saturday we ate, got packed up and had a testimony meeting.  After that is was only about a 1/2 hour walk to the top of the hill for us to reach 'Zion'.  Many people had come to watch their kids come in.  It was so neat to come over that ridge.  Then we all pulled down and around in a circle.
The people that put this on are amazing.  It truly was such a wonderful experience.  All my kids said they would turn around and do it again the next day.  Even Dave said he would do it again.  If it was only about 19 degrees, I would as well.  I have definitely learned to appreciate more what my ancestors had to go through.  Cora said she also gained an appreciation....for pants! :) They were exceptional people. I am very thankful for the opportunity that we had to do this.  It was such a joy to listen to our kids talk the whole 3 1/2 hours home about their awesome families and what they did and experienced.  Two more things.
Right before the women's pull, Natalie found me to tell me that Leah had been hurt.  She was walking through the field and suddenly got blurry vision, headache, and almost blacked out.  They stopped her on the trail and gave her a blessing.  Leah said at first she wanted Dave to give it to her, but then realized that her trek Pa was taking care of her and he needed to do it.  Right there on the side as the other carts were going by.  She said that was a really cool experience for her.  That is just what the pioneers had to do.
Dave and I got called down to Blake's family Friday morning.  He had been playing ninja warrior the night before and gotten stabbed with a stick.  It was the tiniest prick ever.  But apparently it was just in the perfect spot.  His Pa was also a Dr.  Thankfully.  He said it had bleed inside all night and had completely stiffened up.  Blake couldn't move it at all.  We stayed with him for about a half hour, trying to stretch it and loosen things up.  He had some Advil, but it was just not going to be walked on.  They said he would need to get a ride for the day.  Blake was so disappointing.  He wanted to walk. There were many people sick and injured and they still had to go on.  So for him to get a ride it was pretty bad.  He practiced stretching it all day, Dave gave him a blessing, and by the dance he was able to walk a little.  Saturday he limped out of camp, so happy to be back. He is still limping and it's tender, but he is recovering.