Friday, July 25, 2014

Pioneer Day 2014

Thursday was Pioneer Day here in the great state of Utah.  We invited our friends the Schramms over for dinner and fireworks.  The kids are all throwing poppers. 
Elinor was the pyromaniac this year-- couldn't get enough of the open flame.
That's a picture of summer.
Not everyone appreciates the Piccolo Pete screamers.
Arranged marriage?-- yes, please!  Where can I sign the papers?
Corrine and Bethany are good friends.
Here is a picture of Faith giving her daddy love and support.  You see, Abe is so good as to plan our fireworks show each year, but this year he was upstaged a bit.  While we were watching our grand finale fireworks, like this one...
 ... others in the neighborhood were setting off huge aerial ones.  So the really big cheers were more for the neighbor's fireworks, than for ours. 
Fortunately, Abe's wounded ego recovered, and we all got a good laugh out of it.  We'll just have to remember to be about a half hour earlier with our show next year.

A Delayed Celebration

Tuesday night we finally finished Clark's 15th birthday celebration.   Because Clark's birthday is so close to the 4th of July we always seem to have difficulty scheduling his celebrations.  I think he's had pretty good birthdays over the years, and he would mostly agree--except for his 12th birthday when he insists that all he got was a new suit.  I'm sure there was some other festivity or gift, but he feels quite strongly that it was a complete fail of a birthday celebration. 
Ungrateful?  Perhaps, but since I had a Christmas wherein I was gravely disappointment with a pink bathrobe and forever referred to it as "The Crap Christmas", I can't judge too harshly.  Anyway, because of the 12th birthday fiasco, I have some residual mom guilt.
Lucky for him, it means he gets really great birthday activities for the rest of his teenage years in an attempt to make amends.  He wanted a to invite a lot of friends over to our local park for dinner and night games.

Lots of friends-- check.  He invited friends from the ward, the neighborhood, speech and debate class, Shakespeare class, and his robotics team.
An initial singing of "Happy Birthday".  A much worse rendition was to come at the end of the evening when everyone was loosened up.
 Abe was on the grill to feed the masses.
A simple, fun game called squirt.  Good to let the food settle.
A game called gator-ball.  
Otterpop break.  Thirty five people went through about 350 Otterpops.
Some sort of timing-singing game.  
Here was the final "Happy Birthday" singing.  It was really, really bad.  Clark made a funny little speech at the end that somehow seemed quite appropriate to the geeky crowd gathered. 
It was a great night and I think I am free to forever put away any guilt about that 12th birthday.    Clark, you'd better not bring it up next year!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Primary Pioneer Parade 2014

This evening was our Primary Pioneer Parade.  They started at the Primary President's house and made their way to our neighborhood park.  This sign was not made by one of my children, but I loved it anyway.
Here is our wonderful Primary President leading the parade-- having to run to keep ahead of the speeding bikers!
At the starting line.  Bethany is not in Primary, but she was George's escort.
George loved being in the parade.
And I LOVED seeing my Georgie ride by. 
There is Cannon in navy blue on his scooter.
The carnage of bikes, scooters, trikes, and strollers.  There was a great turn out and we had a great time visiting with treats at the park afterwards.
I quite adore this little group of neighborhood boys--Lincoln, George, Joey, Cannon, Jake, and Ryder.
The little ladies-- plus Joey on the right:)  Lucky, lucky kids to have such good friends living so close.
Hill rolling-- one of the truest joys of childhood.  What a fun evening with family and friends.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Baby Sprinkle

Some of my dear ward girlfriends wanted to do something to help me celebrate the arrival of this little baby boy.  I suggested we have a girls' night-- but NO GIFTS!  I have a lot of baby supplies already and since this is very possibly my last baby, I'd much rather make do with what we have than invest a lot in new clothing or equipment.  Besides, who needs a shower for baby number 8?
So my sweet friends threw me a "Baby Sprinkle" rather than a baby shower, which was a girls' night and ladies brought just a little something to put in a basket for me.  I felt very loved and it did make the upcoming event feel a little more real.
Don't get me wrong-- I feel really, very pregnant-- and huge and uncomfortable-- but it's hard to believe that it's going to translate to a new little person very soon.
The "P" in the cupcake is the initial of this little person.  I don't believe I've revealed the name on the blog yet.  Here goes:  It's "P" for Peter.  This is my dad's name and my youngest brother's name.  The full name will be Peter Jesse Fox.  Jesse is after Abe's brother just younger than him.
Here is my little basket of goodies.  It was chock full of chocolate to help me get to the end of the pregnancy!  There were a few little onsies and outfits which will be nice, but you know this baby will have more than his share of hand-me-downs from three older brothers.
I'm not sure why I look so frightened of every piece of baby clothing I touched.  Well, okay, I sort of know why I look frightened.  Believe it or not, I am quite nervous about having another baby.  It's partly the actual process of getting the baby here, but it's also that it's been a while since I've cared for a newborn.  Life is busy and there is a lot going on at our house and I know how I like to care for infants and I'm not sure how those things are all going to fit together.  It will be an adjustment.  Clark is 15.  George is just about to turn 4 and there are a lot of children and activities in between.  I know I have a lot of helpers who are super anxious to "mother" a little baby.  But this is the largest gap between children and I feel very out of practice.  Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike.  Hopefully.  If not, there may be some tearful blog posts.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy belly pictures with super cute, skinny, pregnant people.  Good thing Annie Chase is so nice!
At the end of the evening we posed for a picture.  Several of these gals are my neighborhood book club friends as well.  I love my ward/neighborhood friends!  Thank you, Shelley, Sarah, and Liesel for a fun night and helping me get ready for Peter's arrival.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago Abe and I and our three small children showed up to the home of perfect strangers who had sent out an invite to a yahoo homeschool group.   This family was looking for other local families interested in forming a group to read and discuss books and form a community of like-minded home schoolers.
Ten years later the members of this group are our dearest friends.  We've traveled together, our children have grown up together, we've helped each other through the very happiest of family events, and the very saddest.  The Flynns, Clarks, Youngs, and Thygersons are a blessing to the Fox family.  
The last few days we've enjoyed one another's company for our annual book club retreat.  We all converged upon the Flynn's home and hospitality for a few days of talking, swimming, playing games and eating.
The little ladies were baking up a storm in the kitchen. 
They required a quick trip to the store for supplies.
The younger crowd was the Lego club.
The little kids were so excited to do the pinata on the final night and Cannon was beyond thrilled to behead the donkey.
London (left) was in a car accident a week or so ago and broke his collar bone.  Then sadly, Alan (right) had an unexpected injury to his bicep muscle while swimming yesterday.  They are here from San Diego and he'll have to have surgery when he gets home.  Here is a picture of the Sling Brothers.
Oh, but the swimming was heavenly!  Cannon was living it up with the ladies.
The triple jump off the diving board.  You must believe that although this picture would suggest otherwise, we do feed Cannon regular, healthy meals.
And the award for Dad of the Year goes to Abe for his endless patience in the pool with his three youngest children.  Faith and Cannon were already independent swimmers, so he just played A LOT with them.  In three days George made huge progress in learning to swim.
He could cover great distances all by himself-- face in the water, feet and legs kicking, arms paddling--- there was just one problem:  He wouldn't come up for air.  No matter the distance, he would do it without breathing.  Talk about lung capacity!  But I don't think that qualifies as fully swimming if you don't breathe.
I cannot even begin to express how amazingly good it felt to float my massive pregnant self around the pool for several hours.  Curse you gravity!  I haven't felt that good in months!  It was actually worth the trauma of getting into a swimsuit for. 
Elinor and McKinley had a grand time together.  
They found another cool spot to chill out.
The gang of young people gathering to organize themselves into a game they were all playing-- Witness Protection Program-- it was kind of Mafia meets Hide-and-Seek.  It was very enjoyable to see so many different ages working together.  That's my favorite thing.
In the talent show, Christine, our personal professional yoga teacher, led us in a few stretches and breathing exercises.  Once again, I love how the teenage boys down to little Georgie (in blue at the right) are participating.
Andrea and Christine-- aren't they beautiful?
The boys did a little too much of this, but Clark did come out for regular swims and socializing.  And if he didn't come out often enough, I was so good as to remind him.  He loves me.
I figured since he was leaving to scout camp the day after the book club retreat, screen time would even itself out for the week.
Last year the boys worked out this little diddy and we got the reprisal at the talent show this year.

And not to be outdone, the ladies reprised a number that the Fox family performed last year.

Cannon and Anders have thought it over and agree that the retreat was a success.  Happy ten-year anniversary!--- even if these two weren't even born yet when we got started!