Saturday, September 20, 2014

And then she got baptized

Lydia looked forward to this day as much as her actual birthday. On September 14 Scott baptized Lydia in the company of a large group of our friends and family members. We are endlessly thankful for their support, and especially grateful for Lydia's decision to follow her Savior and enter the waters of baptism. Her report afterward was feeling cold outside (wet hair) but warm inside.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents. We all love Lydia.
And Afton is feeling fabulous.

Emma instagrammed this one.

Lydia invited some of her teachers and friends and the best bus driver ever (pictured).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lydia's getting baptized on Sunday

So come on a see her if you're in the area. To mark the event I took her out in a pretty white dress and snapped up some photos of my pretty girl.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer 2014 Highlight Film

Sometimes the best way to remember all of the fun stuff we did is to make a movie about it.

First Day of School 2014

Boo. Another awesome summer came to an end, and our hearts still ache a little when we think about it too much. All five of these incredible kids are in school this year. Emma's a freshman in high school, Ben's in 7th, Josh 5th, Lydia 3rd, and Afton started kindergarten. TOO OLD. Knock it off already guys.

Emma admits that high school is pretty cool, and she likes her classes and her friends, but she hates her homework. Fair enough.

Ben is back in the middle school groove, all of his classes are packed with friends, and he's deciding right now whether or not to try to test into taking algebra this year.

Josh loves being a safety patrol this year, a position of authority suits him well, and so far I don't think he's abusing his power.

Lydia continues to scatter sunshine everywhere she goes. She does a great job of looking out for Afton first thing in the morning and in the afternoon getting on the bus.

Afton is thriving in kindergarten as we knew she would. One day she was a little under the weather, kind of borderline sick so I kept her home and she cried because she couldn't go to school.

Here's what they looked like on the first day...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer Catchall

School's been in session for three weeks now. We miss the summer. Here are some of the things we did that never got blogged about. (Next post: first day of school pics.)

On Memorial Day Josh's cub scout pack helped to put flags by all of the graves in the veteran cemetery.

Lydia really took an interest in baking and cooking. She started asking to make dinner regularly, and here she is making snickerdoodles. She made them about 90% all by herself. I just softened the butter for her and reminded her to read the directions a little more carefully a few times.

Ben was tasked with changing out the running boards on the Jeep. He did a great job of completing the work that was out of his normal comfort zone.

We went to Jumpjam a lot of times.

Someone left a mysterious message in the butter.

Trey got home from his two year mission to Australia. We were all pretty excited.

We instituted the reaping. Whenever you leave your mess out somewhere your name goes in a jar. At the end of the week two names are drawn, and those two have to clean the bathrooms (the most-hated chore). It quickly became clear who had the biggest problem cleaning up after themselves.

Emma and I went to Girls Camp and it was awesome. As usual. I was one of the leaders over the 4th years and I was skeert of rappelling.

One magical Sunday Dani and Jake brought their instruments over and the four oldest cousins jammed together.

Ben showed an interest in making dinner as well. Here he is making risotto.

Emma went to freshman orientation on the last day of summer. She was lucky enough to get in a sweet class full of boys. She's also lucky enough to have a hashtagging mom.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Speaking of athletic endeavors...the kids did a triathlon

Well, they planned to do a triathlon. A rainy morning nixed the biking portion, so they ended up with a duathlon. They were bummed about that, but it was good enough. Still pretty cool. They all loved it and felt proud of the accomplishment, they started talking right away of doing more of them. We're going to need a bike rack.

Remember how Lydi wrote "Lydia's on swim team!" on her arm?
I love that she also wrote "triathlon" on the tag of the t-shirt she got.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Swim team follow up

This was a great year for swim team. Maybe the best one yet. It was a good thing for each kid individually for different reasons. The benefits for Lydia I've already mentioned, but I'll come back to her in a minute. I don't want to overlook how awesome the boys are too!

For all of the kids, I've loved it when they join the swim team because it takes them from an adequate swimmer to a strong, confident swimmer. Once they've got the basics down, swim lessons can't even compare to the benefits of spending an hour every single day in the water for two months. Receiving instruction, being motivated to try their best, bonding with their teammates...go swim team!

Ben (and Emma, who wasn't actually on swim team, but came to practice most mornings to run) I think were most benefitted from the social aspect. Ben's already a great swimmer, and he did take his lethal breaststroke to the next level this year, but I was most grateful for the vehicle that swim team was to help him and Emma develop some great, positive friendships with some really good kids. I couldn't stop smiling when I'd watch them play cards, play younglife, or just hang out while the younger kids swam.

Josh needs motivation. He is one who tends to coast along whenever possible, he doesn't really like to do hard things. Swim team gets him up and moving and working and following through and exerting, and for those reasons it is a great asset for him. He also has a lot of fun and continues to improve, he destroyed his old personal bests in every stroke this summer. He also took on the IM for the first time. The IM! And he killed it.

And Lydia, oh Lydia. I still get teary when I think of how far she's come. Her fear is 100% eradicated, she's like a little fish now. She finished off the season consistently coming in first in the first heat of backstroke, and usually second place in the first heat of free. At the end of year party she got the Most Improved award. Of course she did. Love her.

Did I mention the coaches? Special shout-out to coach Rachel, who held Lydia's hand and led her right along that journey of improvement, and coach Drew, who was a great teacher and at every meet gave the kids specific feedback and really helped refine their strokes.

All of those reasons and more are what made it worth it. It's a lot of money, it's a LOT of time, it's getting up at 7am most of the summer (and you know the special relationship I have with sleeping in), it's a 15 minute drive away, but it is worth it. Every penny, every minute, every missed z, every mile on the odometer. Well spent.

[some of the parents took photos for the entire meets and put them on our website. it was nice to have a couple of people doing that. these are mostly their shots, I only brought my big camera to one meet]