Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Club Retreat 2013

This post is going to look an awful lot like bragging.  Look at us!  Look what we got to do!  Look who we know!  We're so cool!
 I do apologize if it comes off that way and I'm not sure of how to get around that.  We just spent an extended weekend with our long-time homeschool book club friends and it was AWESOME!  But let me preface the post by sharing a conversation I had this weekend with a friend in our family book club we've been a part of for the last nine years.

Dave Y. says to me, "Betsy, we sure do enjoy you and Abe and your family."
     I replied, "Thank you.  We think you all are so spectacular that sometimes we're afraid we don't quite measure up.  Christine-- the fitness and fashion guru, Dave Y.-- the musical artistic genius, David F. the wildly successful CEO of a tech company, Andrea-- the self taught expert on everything and queen of organizing, Steve--the outdoorsy BYU professor, Adrianne-- the organizer of First Lego League in Utah, JL-- so focused and organized.  Wow!-- We enjoy all of your company so much but we don't have much to offer you.
     Dave says, "Well, it's kind of like this guy I knew in college.  He was a drummer in a band.  This band was never going to go anywhere and he wasn't a very good drummer.  In fact, he was pretty crummy, but he was a really great guy and they all liked him.  They enjoyed having him around so they didn't want to get rid of him."  

So I'm thinking, I guess in our book club we're the crummy drummer! We aren't terribly spectacular in any particular area except that they like us and enjoy our company and so they keep us around.....I'll take it! 

I tell this story, not in any way to place myself on the pity pot.  I was already aware that I'm more of a crummy-drummer-type so this wasn't offensive to me-- nor did Dave say it or mean it in any unkind way at all.  I've always been good at recognizing great qualities in other people that I want to emulate.  You don't have to be good at everything-- you just have to be friends with someone who is.  

But even more than that, I realized that Heavenly Father blesses us with not only what we can do ourselves, but he can provide opportunities for us to benefit from other peoples' talents and blessings as well.  So before I get really obnoxious with all these pictures and tales of the good times had, please know that I recognize these blessings of great friends and the good things that follow are one of God's greatest gifts to me. 

Furthermore, I am grateful for all of my children and I do not resent in anyway the time and energy and resources they take.  I know this is where God would have me put my time and I love it and I love them.  But I'm not blind.  I know that because I spend my life in raising so many little people, there are other areas that I do not excel.  I feel that one of the ways I am blessed is to have relationships with other people and families that do excel where I may not.  So even though I'm a likable crummy drummer-- my family can still be influenced by the fitness guru and the tech guy and the artistic genius. 

The short of it is that my friends are awesome and we're not worthy!  Now, onto the good times.
Our annual book club retreat is a highlight of our year every September.  In the past we've camped or rented a vacation home or condo.  This year the Flynn's graciously opened their home and newly completed pool for our recreational pleasure.  I declare this to be our best retreat yet!
The pool is a good place to begin.  Andrea led us ladies in Aqua Zumba.
 Hours and hours and hours were spent swimming in the nicest pool I've ever been in.  And the best of all was that on Thursday evening Faith and Cannon could not swim by themselves and by Saturday afternoon they were all over the place and jumping off the diving board alone.  According to Cannon, he is now a "self-swimmer".
In this picture they are all doing the "shark dance" as led by Abraham the Pied-Piper of children.
A few of my favorites-- Gracie being graceful.
Faith being brave.
Cannon throwing caution to the wind and attempting a front flip.
Bethany showing off!  Abe would give out scores for everyone's tricks.  The first score was a 7.5, but the scores inflated and ended up at 500,000.  He was so generous.
The girls of the crazy sock club just before our hike.
The gang up by the waterfall.
These girls have played together since they were 3 and 4 years old.
The guys had plenty of time for hanging out as well.  They spent all day Thursday at the Salt Lake Comic Con manning a booth showing off the FRC robot from last year.   They played a lot of D&D.
 They stayed up ALL night watching the three Lord of the Rings movies and this is how we found them Saturday morning with the movie still blaring. 
They played quite a bit of Minecraft as well.  Clark was seriously pooped by Saturday night.
We played more of our nerdy history timeline games.
Cannon and Bella enjoying the Legos we brought from home.  This is a crowd that appreciates Legos.
We enjoyed our first group talent show.
  Lots of music was shared.
Cub Scout quality skits.
A Shakespeare monologue.
The boys worked up a rather dramatic rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Elinor enjoyed Yoga with Christine and the ladies.
The adults went out to see Austenland (which I loved) and out to eat at Royal India.  It was my first time eating Indian food.  It was delish!
What better way to end than with a family dance of vintage dances.  So much fun with families dancing together.  Moms, dads, siblings, friends.  Just grab a partner and have fun.  It makes me so happy just to think about it. 
Shh, don't tell him, but I may be dancing with my future son-in-law in this picture.  Tee-hee-hee!
I suppose I'll begin and end with swimming.  George was great the whole weekend.  He loved the pool and fortunately he was not much of a daredevil.  
Cannon would shout out, "CANNON-BALL!" each time he flew off the diving board.
It was a good, good weekend.
And that is a nice, nice view.


Andrea said...

Betsy, you are not our crummy drummer! You and Abe are our amazing historians! You two are the best story tellers and re-tellers ever, and of course with all of your praise of us and Abe's generous point giving you both make us all feel so great we love to have you around! This was truly the best retreat ever and THE place to be in SLC this weekend! Thank you for recording this for us!

Abe Fox said...

Thank you Andrea and David for hosting so wonderfully this year's was the BEST yet......with many more to come!!!

Julia Fox said...
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Amy F. said...

Looks like a blast! I love the "Cannon Ball", what a brave boy to try flips!!