Monday, May 9, 2011

it happened like this...

Hope all you mommies and grandmommies out there had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Now for the benefit of our mommies and grandmommies, here's a little family update with some videos and photos for your viewing pleasure:

Derek:
1. Presented a poster at the Heart Rhythm Society conference in San Fransisco.  Got to meet his high school friend, Leif, for dinner while there.  Also enjoyed meeting with some of his former colleagues from Alabama.
2. Attended a scout camp out with the boys in Utah Valley.
3. Has been working many late nights doing MRI's and experiments at work.  Has also traveled up to USU in Logan a few times to collaborate with the team there on some experiments.
4. Spent several hours pruning fruit trees, weeding and helping me plant some ground cover and shrubs, tilling, and getting the veggie garden ready for planting.

Aly:
1. Found a screamin' deal in some local classified ads on a brand new sectional for our living room.  We moved the air hockey table out of the family room and downstairs to the TV room, and put our old living room sofa and love seat in the family room.  I've also finally hung a few more things up on the walls.  Little by little our house is feeling more lived in.
2. Did not get to renew her term with Jillibean Soup, but is VERY excited about a new scrapbooking opportunity that I will be announcing shortly!
3. Finished reading the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire), and is working on the third and final book, Mockingjay.  Must read.
4. Had a wonderful Mother's Day starting with breakfast in bed from my 13 year old son, James.  And what's even more special about breakfast in bed from him is that he still got up early to make it before 9 am church even though he had been up past midnight the night before making me an Oreo cheesecake, and working hard on his eagle scout project.  He could have chosen to sleep in.  Makes me feel like what I do each day as a mommy is making difference. =)

James:
1. Played in a special combined concert with the local high school band directed by a renowned musician and composer.  They got to play one of his original compositions and the concert was great.
2. Is working on his eagle scout project: collecting school and other supplies for the Pathway school for destitute children in India where Derek's parents served as humanitarian missionaries for 18 months.  The school's director and his wife are here for their son's wedding, so they will take back some supplies as will a volunteer who is going over to Pathway this summer.
3. Did tons of extra jobs around the house so he could earn enough money to buy a collectible storm trooper blaster gun thing.  It comes apart to form three or four smaller guns, and has some awesome sound effects.  He's in love, and I think he sleeps holding it.  He became obsessed with it when he played with his cousin's gun while we were staying with my brother and his family over spring break.  (Brett, tell Spencer thanks!)
4. Loved the presents the Easter bunny brought for him and Jeffrey--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 DVD, and a touch screen cell phone to share (free with pay-as-you-go card).  Now they're officially teenagers.

Jeffrey:
1. Just barely survived missionary week (as did James), an activity sponsored by our church's youth program to give youth a feel for what it's like to serve full time as a missionary as a young adult.  For three days they had to live "mission rules"--no TV or movies, no video games or other electronics (except the computer for homework), no dating, and they could only listen to uplifting gospel music.  They had firesides each evening and a morning devotional each day at 6 am.  The also got to eat dinner with a family from church one night and teach the family a gospel lesson.  Though they whined and complained through the whole thing, overall I think they had a good experience and learned some good things.
2. Finished his eagle scout project, which was to collect picture frames for a group of volunteers that travels to India each year to help in the leper colonies there.  One of the groups' projects this trip was to take pictures of the families of the leprosy victims and present it to them in a frame so they have a memento to remember their loved ones.  Our community was pretty generous and he exceeded his goal.
3. Played with the intermediate band in a music festival at a university about an hour away.  They did very well, and he enjoyed the field trip.

Ashley:
1. Sang several solo parts for the 5th grade choir performance and did a fabulous job!  The video below shows one of the parts she sang.  I may be biased since I'm her momma, but I was SO proud of her--she sang beautifully!  Scroll down and turn off my blog playlist before watching the video.  (By the way, that's Faith screaming in the background.  As soon as she saw Ashley up there she wanted her and totally flipped out.)


2. Saw the Phantom of the Opera, LOVED it, and now wants me to teach her some of the songs.
3. Is preparing for her ballet recital next month, and is really excited about her dance and costume.
4. Has been working really hard on a huge invention assignment and convention for school.
5. Enjoyed the presents she and Lexie got from the Easter bunny--new swimsuits and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader DVD.

Lexie:
1. Enjoys playing on her co-ed soccer team, the Ferrari's.  Her friend, Prestley, from school is on the team and Prestley's parents are the coaches.  Derek and I help out when we can, and it's been fun to see Lexie play for the first time.  (Sports are SO much cheaper here than in Alabama!)  They tied their last game, and Lexie played some rockin' defense blocking 3 goal attempts.  Go Lex!
2. Did a great job playing the white rabbit in the local production of Alice In Wonderland.  They did two shows in one day with just enough time in between for dinner.  That part was perfect for her--she was confident with all her choreography, said all her lines with spunk, and even held it together when someone skipped one of her lines.
3. Won first place in a poster contest at school.  Her grand prize was a razor scooter.  She was so excited!
4. Enjoyed an Easter egg hunt at the park down the street with Ashley and Faith.

Faith:
1. Wow.  Where do I start?  Oh, I know.  How about that time she decided to christen the brand new sectional we had just bought the day before with a diaper full of poop!!  Yeah.  That was fun.  Good thing it had been treated with Scotch Guard.
2. Learns new words almost daily, and can now ask for hep (help) if she needs it.  That single word makes both our lives so much easier!
3. Favorite things: Elmo and Sesame Street, playing with the Nemo bouncy ball she got for Easter, being old enough to go to the nursery at church (woo hoo!), animals and their sounds (she knows quite a few, but still calls horses, cows, goats, and anything similar a cow), and going for a bike ride in her trailer with Aly when the weather's nice.
4. Spent Mother's Day weekend very sick with a high fever and a mouth full of painful sores from a horrible virus.  Poor thing can hardly eat or drink anything and is in a lot of pain.  The sores should be gone in 4-5 days.  I hope we can keep her hydrated until then. =(

We are so heartbroken at the death and destruction from the tornadoes in the South.  The largest record-breaking one tore right through our former stake (geographic grouping of 8-10 LDS congregations.)  Thankfully everyone in the stake was okay, but 8-10 families lost their homes.  Our home is fine, but I think everyone's life there has been changed in one way or another forever.  Well, that's about it for now.  We're looking forward to some warm weather soon (hopefully), and some fun family reunions this summer.  One more month of school!



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