Sunday, June 25, 2017

Twenty Years of Wedded Bliss

Yesterday, June 24th, was Abe and mine's 20th wedding anniversary!  Say WHAT?
TWENTY YEARS!  That means I've been married longer than I was single.  Yes, it's true.  I was a teen bride... by two weeks anyway.
We went on my dream date for the evening-- the Utah Symphony playing the music of La La Land live while the movie played on a huge screen.  You must know I ADORE this movie and have decided I can't be friends with anyone who doesn't like it.
Kidding.  We can be friends... we just can't go see movies together.
It was an outdoor amphitheater and the weather couldn't have been lovelier.  My date couldn't have been handsomer or more enjoyable.
We dined like royalty at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, which had never been to before.  And we wouldn't have gone for such splendor, in spite of the special occasion, except that Abe got some gift cards from work shortly after Greta was born.  Back then I couldn't leave Greta for that long, so we just saved them for our anniversary.
We don't frequent fancy restaurants very often because, 1. We have 8 children to feed and clothe 2. We have pretty boring food tastes so fine dining is sometimes lost on us and 3. Our fancy restaurant manners leave something to be desired.
Nevertheless, the meal was perfection.  We ended up getting three desserts, which were our favorite parts.  While three desserts may sound extravagant, as you can see in the picture, fancy restaurants take portion control very seriously.
And as a side note, Abe ordered a side of steamed broccoli that, no joke, was the best broccoli I've ever eaten.  And for $9 it should have been the best broccoli in the world.  I mean, it wasn't better than the desserts, let's not tell fibs, but it was really good.
Was it a good omen that one of our seats was 24 on the 24th of June?
Yes, I think it was.
What can I say about Abe, about our marriage on this, our 20th anniversary?
I love him more than I did when we got married.  We were young and pretty clueless about a lot of things.  We've learned a lot and are still learning.  I am grateful for the life that we have built together. It took about 20 years of working together to get all of our children here.  It will now take about 20 years for them to all grow up and leave the nest.  I can't say I am very anxious for that to happen, but I am so grateful to have an eternal partner who shares the load, makes me smile everyday, and loves me just as I am.  He loves the Lord, he loves me and our children and he gives his all to bless our lives.  That is as good as it gets.  Thank you, Abraham.  I love you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bob Ross and the Foxes

I know it's just another variation of the same picture, but I can't help myself.  Greta literally clings to Clark when he is near.  She hugs him and snuggles her face into his shoulder.  She was sad when he had to leave for work this morning.
She so markedly prefers him to everyone else.  I mean, he's great... but why does she love him so?  He's not actually around that often.  They are so cute to watch together.
I took Peter and Greta down to Thanksgiving Point to pick Cannon up from Ballet. While we waited I took Peter for a pony ride. It was 100 degrees outside.   And today was the first day of potty training.  So, yeah... I'm as crazy as they come.
But look at his little face.  He was happy.  Not much I won't do to make Peter happy.
Then he observed ants in his underwear this evening.  Good times.
This is just as he found two dead little millipedes.  He said, "Dang it! Dead!"
A family popsicle party in the parents room while watching Bob Ross' Joy of Painting.  It's summer.  Some families like to camp.  Some families like to go boating.  We like to eat popsicles and watch Bob Ross.
Sadly, none of us paint.  At all.  But I think Abe harbors secret dreams.  I recently heard of someone hosting a Bob Ross painting party.  I may have to follow suit for Abe's next birthday.
We also do family gymnastics.  Abe fancies himself quite the acrobat and demonstrated one of his feats for Cannon.  Truthfully, for someone of his age and physical condition, he is remarkably flexible.
The view from the back.  I just begged him to please not injure himself.

This is shocking to me!  How can this be?  Elinor has now far surpassed me in height.  We figure she is now about 5'11".  I think it's so awesome I can hardly stand it!  She is still doing a local swim team, but next year she plans to swim with the high school swim team.  Gotta put all that height to good use!
What would you think if you came upon this scene on your kitchen table?
To me it just meant that George had been there.  Although, I do admit these creations stumped me.  What had he been trying to create?  The ones without the plastic sliverware resembled jet packs he'd made in the past.  But no, I was later informed they were all boats.
I must take a moment to celebrate that Faith is consistently landing her standing back tuck in her tumbling class!  She really has worked tirelessly to build up the strength to land this difficult trick.  She even landed it out in the backyard today to show her dad what she could do.

And while I'm gushing over my children... Bethany is a little workhorse this week.  She's not big into having her picture taken these days.
Here's one of her from Memorial Day.  Anyway, she is working super full-time at three different jobs this week.  She is teaching a couple of beginning violin students.  She is still at Papa Murphy's almost every afternoon/evening.  And she is taking a swim instructor course from 9-2 six days this week.  Eventually, she will quit Papa Murphy's and just teach violin and swim lessons.  I am so proud of her and yet I feel kind of sorry for her too.  She's already pretty exhausted.  There are lots of things I admire and appreciate about both Clark and Bethany, but one of them is they are hard workers and responsible.
And yet they know how to have fun as well.  Last week we hosted a "graduation" party for Clark.  He just wanted to have a bunch of friends over for games and karaoke.
Girl cousins singing a little Justin Beiber.
We borrowed my sister's karaoke machine and we learned that Foxes like microphones and exhibition.  Is anyone surprised?
...Set down the microphone and walk away...
I don't know that I relate particularly well with teenagers... I fear I'm rather an old fogey in a young(ish) body, but I sure do enjoy them and their energy and senses of humor.  I appreciate that the teenagers' friends are always good to have the younger kids hanging out and participating.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Keeps Us Hopping

Faith is doing a summer track and field program and here she is doing the long jump.  Awesome picture credit goes to Abe.  He always takes far better pictures than I take-- for which I am grateful.
Pretty good form!  Faith never seems to run out of energy.  If you zoom in on her you can see her fierce determination.  One of my favorite of Faith's characteristics.  She's a gem.
Faith scored a Slurpee twice this week.  Once with Abe after her track meet and once with me after she successfully landed her standing back tuck at gymnastics.
Faith with a neighborhood friend who is also running this summer.
FACT:  I am a worrywart and it makes me nervous to have the children sleeping outside on the trampoline without the protection of a room over their heads.  
FORTUNATE FACT:  Abe is more reasonable than me and he lets them despite my irrational worries.  He understands, better than I do, that children must have sleep outs during the summer.
Elinor and her friend Bekah are doing Mind Riot at the Leonardo over the next three days.  They hop on TRAX in the morning and spend the day learning and collaborating.  Today was the first day and they loved it.
Bekah came and hung out at our house into the evening while her family was at a track meet.  They were social entrepreneurs by day and master bakers by night.  They were making various cakes in mugs.  
Elinor was particularly pleased with their meringue.  
There has been a lot of driving around this week.  A LOT.  I forget how busy summer is with everyone's different schedules and activities.  All good things we really enjoy-- just very full.
Peter's not much for taking naps in his bed these days, so a peaceful nap in the car is a treasured thing.
These sleeping pictures were all taken at the same time.  George was with Abe and the littles were with me. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dangerous Levels of CUTENESS

Greta discovered the joy that is The OREO.
It blew her mind.
I know just how she feels.

As if that wasn't enough cuteness... our kitty is so cute.
Mikki is pretty popular.
Mikki can be a little fiesty.  I guess she'll fit right in at our house.
Peter has a lot of love to give the kitty.  The kitty was looking for an escape.
Favorite picture of the week.

Civil War Camp 2017

Cannon and Faith were so happy to be going for a second year so they were Corporals rather than lowly Privates.
Cannon and Anders breaking down their tent after the final battle.
The final battle was rather short this year and the North annihilated the South.
They were twinners on Sunday.  There aren't words enough for how much I love this picture.
Two little sleepy heads at church.
I love to watch how Abe looks at Greta while he holds her while she sleeps at church.  He has spent so many hours holding sleeping babies at church over the past 18 years.  It's like he's just trying to soak in the final Fox baby.
It shouldn't have been surprising that George salvaged Sacrament water cups for later use.
Clark is now employed at Subway.  He loves it.  He says the working conditions are markedly more humane than Papa Murphy's.  At least he gets a good lunch everyday.
Clark and Kara were the homeschool graduates of our neighborhood this year.  They will both be heading to UVU.  Our families gathered for a BBQ to celebrate!
Brothers against brothers.  Fox vs. Johansen.
This one went to the Johansens.
George is pretty excited to be taking soccer lessons from the best soccer player we know.  Anders, a great friend of our family, is 11 years old and a better player than anyone in our family can ever hope to be.  Best $5 an hour I'll ever spend!