Saturday, May 31, 2014

School's Out!

Friday was our last official day of school-- yippee!  We woke up this morning to a Saturday with nothing on the schedule until the evening.  Clark was off on a camp out, Abe was working all day, and I didn't have enough energy to take everyone out to do anything.  So we cleaned up the house and I mustered enough energy for a trip to Target to buy our annual pool.  We hope it lasts the season-- we're sure it won't last for two seasons.
As you can see, we're big into safety-- Bethany and Elinor are the lifeguards.  Because as is printed all over the box and the pool, there is a serious risk of drowning and an adult should stay within arms reach at all times.
It's a full water park with a water slide and everything.  Sometimes they even jump off the perch where Bethany was sitting. You know, safety first.
The big fail of the day?  I forgot sunscreen.  Oops.  It's not too bad, but the three little ones do have pink shoulders this evening.
Last night the girls all tried to set up late nights with friends and no one was available.  So instead they had a sisters' party and watched a movie and slept down in the family room together.  I was happy with how it worked out:)
Bike riding is all the rage at our house right now.  Cannon is a full-fledged rider now, so he and Faith frequently ask to go on bike rides together.  We've had a hard time over the years keeping bicycle tires inflated.  I don't remember this being such a problem in my childhood growing up, but we constantly have flat tires.
This evening we went to an end-of-year Speech and Debate picnic in the park.  Elinor brought her new volleyball so she could get a little bit of practice before her summer volleyball season starts.  She's never actually played volleyball before, but has begged for many months to play.  So I signed her up for a 5 week grass volleyball season.
Faith, Cannon, and Anders.  I would guess that Faith and Anders were the brother and sister in this picture.  For the record, I know Cannon needs a haircut, but he is refusing.  "I like my curls!" he says.  So do I Cannon, so do I.
Clark found plenty of interest and willing participants for sword fighting.  Unfortunately it seems his legs were hit and he had to compete with no legs.  How unfortunate.

Did you notice the pictures were a little bit better on this post?  We purchased a camera to test out.  We may or may not keep it.  Truthfully, we hoped that by buying a new camera, it would force our old one to reappear.  That happens sometimes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

For He's a Jolley Good Fellow

Happy 6th birthday to our Cannon Jolley Fox!  I know I'm his mom, but even so, I don't hesitate to say he is quite possibly the most articulate, funny, pleasant, clever, kind-hearted, diplomatic, snuggly, delightful, polite six year-old little guy on the planet.
Cannon chose to spend the day at the new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.  We recently purchased a family membership to all of Thanksgiving point.  It is a little pricey, but for a family of 8, we figured we'd only have to go twice and it would pay for itself.
In this picture Clark built a birthday throne for Cannon.
Clark was so great in helping look after the little boys at the museum.  I woke up not feeling very well this morning and I don't think I could have handled things very well on my own.
The girls all decided to pay a bit of their own money to do the high ropes course.
This new museum is great fun and the kids give it two thumbs up.  It is very hands-on and playful.  Of course it's directed towards younger kids, but my bigger kids enjoyed it as well.
George has a hard time looking at the camera, but he was loving the Waterworks area.
Cannon was a worker bee and collected lots of these foam blocks to help some older boys build this structure.
At his birthday dinner this evening Cannon did a reading of his letter from Grandma and Grandpa Fox.
This is my favorite birthday picture.  If you're familiar with the new Lego movie, the "Believe" cat poster will make a little more sense.  If you're not familiar with it, my explanation still might not make much sense, but you'll have to trust me that it's funny and we all got a really good chuckle out of it.
Speaking of the Lego movie, we were late in coming to the party and we just saw it a couple of weeks ago, and but we are REALLY BIG fans.  I haven't enjoyed a movie that much in a long time.
Cannon is holding a stack of waffles-- his birthday dinner request.
Also of note, Cannon is wearing shorts, or as he would call them, short-pants.  He hates shorts and this is the first day of the warm weather season that I've convinced him to wear them.  I don't know why he doesn't like to wear shorts-- he says he feels uncomfortable showing so much of his legs.  Perhaps we've taken the "modesty thing" too far:)
We weren't terribly original in our gifts, but as you can see, the Lego movie Legos were well received.
And to be six years old and get Lego building time with your dad--- that's as good as it gets.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

We enjoyed a beautiful, traditional Memorial Day yesterday.  We've had some cold rainy days at the cemetery, but yesterday was gorgeous, if not a little too warm for my taste.
And, uh... I don't want to brag or anything... but our children happily and willingly go along with this tradition of early morning cemetery visits on Memorial Day.  Well, that is, they usually cooperate.  I don't know what they ate for breakfast, but our eldest and youngest were both kind of on one and they were less than pleasant for the first part of the day.  Things did improve as the day progressed and food was involved later.
Here we are with part of my Clark family at my Clark grandparents' graves.
We usually stand around (or sit around) and listen to Uncle Lane and my dad tell stories about Clark family ancestors.  This year's focus was on the Clark family (Ezra Thompson Clark, Amasa Lyman Clark) and the founding of the city of Farmington.
Our second stop is the Valley View Cemetery in West Valley City.  Here we have my Cannon grandparents, and Abe's Jolley great-grandparents.
We all look forward to our lunch out after the cemetery visits.  We chow down then the bigger kids enjoy listening to Grandpa and his political adventures.  He's currently heavily involved in the Davis County School Board primary elections right now.  They got to spend a morning with Grandpa a couple of weeks back delivering flyers to homes for his campaign.  They should have just volunteered, but grandpa paid them very well and even took them to lunch afterwards.
For the evening's activity we joined our friends, the Butterfields, for a cookout at a local park.  From the picture it looks like an ugly location.  Truth be told, it was ugly.   But we were desperately seeking the shade because our regular shady park is under construction.  The location was kind of ugly, but the evening was lovely-- the food was tasty, the kids ran around and played for hours on the city's last merry-go-round.  I don't know for sure that it's the city's last, but they don't put them in newer parks-- too dangerous.  It's too bad, because the kids love them!
By the time the evening was over I was beyond exhausted.  We hurried home to watch our summer guilty pleasure show, America Ninja Warrior.  I offer no explanation or excuses.

Excuses Are Like Armpits

We've been home from our trip one day short of a month.  And I have not blogged anything.  Nothing.  Sadness for me.  Do you want to hear my excuses?  Probably not, since as a band teacher once told me, "Excuses are like armpits, we all have them and they all stink."  But here they are anyway.

Betsy's excuses for not blogging:

1. Our camera is lost.  This camera is well over six years old and we love it.  Sometimes it takes really great pictures and sometimes they are blurry.  We're thorough photographers, but not great ones.  We've purchased other cameras, only to return them because we like our old one better.  And now this dear little point and shoot camera is gone. And without pictures to blog with, it hasn't seemed very appealing.  Although, note that there aren't very many pictures in this post.  I told you these were my excuses.

2.  Our main laptop computer I use for blogging has been infected with some horrible virus thingy-- this terminology alone ought to tell you I was going to be of no use fixing it-- that caused a constant barrage of pop-up ads and slowed the process to such a painful degree that it just wasn't worth the hassle.  Abe finally came to my rescue and spent some time this weekend curing the laptop.

3.  I am now about 28 weeks pregnant with this baby boy.  Most days I feel pretty okay.  Occasionally, I think I'm getting way too old for this. Occasionally, I feel like a young spring chicken.  Mostly I feel somewhere in between.  But by the end of the day, I am almost always exhausted and collapse into bed, not to be disturbed until the middle of the night for a potty break and snuggling with George who has made his way into our bed.  I haven't had a lot of energy for staying up to sit in my red chair and blog.

4.  OPERATION: FINISH THE SCHOOL YEAR.  This is our last official week of school and since we took a long break for our trip to St. Louis, we've been working very hard the last month to get all our coursework finished.  We've been mostly successful.  Clark will have a some Spanish, Ancient History, and grammar to finish up, but we've done it!  This has been a very good school year for us and I feel like we've found somethings that really work well for our family.  And it's a good thing, too.  I'll spend the first part of the summer getting everything planned and situated for next year so that when the baby is born (Aug. 18th due date) we can take a few weeks to settle in and then we'll be off and running.  But I don't anticipate I'll have much, if any, clear thinking to be working out a lot of kinks after the baby is born.

5.  Back in December I was called to be the Relief Society president in our ward.  I wrote about this before, but you can imagine my shock (horror) at receiving this calling only one week after learning I was expecting.  It was a rough few months as I was sick and adjusting to new responsibilities.  Six months in and I think it's going to be okay.  I have marvelous counselors and other sisters I work with.  It does take time, emotional and physical energy-- all of which I seem to run a little low on during pregnancy.

6.  My ceiling fell down.  When we returned from our trip we discovered we'd had a leaking toilet while we were gone and it brought the ceiling in our playroom down as it was saturated with water.  The disaster cleanup folks were timely about fixing things back up, and insurance was cooperative in taking care of it.  Sadly, however, I did not get new carpet out of it.  I can't really complain, other than it was irritating to me to have strange men coming in and out of my house for two weeks.  Oh, and at the same time we were having trouble with not only the one, but both of our toilets, so that was exciting, but not in a good way.  It was such a luxury when we finally had two working toilets in the house again.

Even though I think these are all fairly valid excuses, as far as excuses go, for not blogging, the fact is, there is a whole month of my family's life that I have no record of.  I will try to be better about posting more regularly-- mostly for my sake.  I enjoy writing it and I've missed it.