Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dal hung up some old records in his room and said, "I'll have the biggest record collection in town!"  He's so funny.  Out of the kids his age, he definitely will have the biggest record collection.

Dallas about this picture: "Pulchritudinous".  I realized I never blogged it.
He tied with his friend for the 8th grade character award! (These are the winners from 7-12th grades). He says I don't have to lecture him every morning about being kind to others anymore. "If you do, I'll just whip out my award", he says. This kid cracks me up. I'm so pleased with him.

Modesty means...

This was a lesson in primary today taught by Sister S.  She did such a wonderful job; always does.  It won't seem so great to you, because you had to be there.  Some kids might go home telling their parents they should not go to the store naked.   She's funny like that...
but the message she gave was spot on, the kids were mesmerized, and the spirit was there. are not your own...

Modesty in how we speak.................. Kind words, Not bragging, Not rude

Modesty in how we act.......................Fits the time and place, Not showing off

Modesty in how we treat others..........Look for best in others- don't judge, Treat others with respect, kindness

Modesty in how we treat ourselves.....With reverence and respect, Don't call ourselves ugly, stupid, fat, whatever...  it hurts your spirit inside

Modesty in how we dress....................Clean and neat, Clothes that cover my body properly and are appropriate for the activity

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Evan's Eleven!

Immediately when we got home from trek we made Evan's birthday dinner and celebrated!  We had to do it before Dallas collapsed in bed.  Pat is always gone all Sunday, and four of us had to teach lessons on Sunday and prepare for that.  No rest for the weary!  So we had a quick party for our dearest Evan.
We're kind of counting our trip to Disneyland for Evan's birthday.  His parents only got him a book.  His brothers got him the neatest, most thoughtful gifts.  Sam got a couple of lego things he knew Evan love, and Dallas got him a tool box filled with tools since he knows Evan loves to build!  Leia made him a nice card telling him how much she loved him and "appreciated his creativity".  That girl and her big words!  She cracks me up.  She also got up early on his birthday and decorated by taping the streamers down on the table as you see below.  So sweet!  Evan made a laptop out of cardboard that was really cool with a mouse and everything.  Then somehow Charles ended up giving it to Evan as his present.  Ha ha.

I think Evan is super wonderful!  He's dreamy-handsome which I know doesn't mean much coming from his own mother ;)  He did super well in school and with his music this last year and is a good friend to everyone in the family.  (He's also great at doing dishes!)  He's glad he has more friends at swim/water polo this summer.
We are always so busy in June and Evan's birthday is hard to do and he was feeling sad since there were no cards in the mail and since we couldn't do anything for his birthday until the family was home from trek and together again.  But we got pizza one night, and made his favorite rice and gravy another night.  He only wanted mint chip ice-cream and whip cream for his dessert.  I told him his Grandma Stanger, Aunt Steph, and Uncle Jeremy would approve! 

Trek 2017

This is a happy Leia and Charles who got to go to the trek site near Cuba New Mexico and play in the river.  Pat and I were both up at trek for a day or two this week.  I sure love the adults who give so much of their time, for free, to help the youth have a good experience.  It is usually a hard, dirty, and uncomfortable experience, but they learn that they can do hard things and it makes an impact that we hope will help in their futures.  We none of us would be in the church or have the restored gospel if not for the pioneers sacrifice and we are grateful to them.  Here's a few pictures:

We love our son and are so glad he went and had a great time.  It wasn't easy.  Big hills up the sides of mountains, "mobs" that came and drove them out of their beds at 4am, river crossings, late meals, cow poop, and porta-potties...  and then wonderful rememberences of the pioneers, talks, activities like hatchet throwing, stool making, black powder, bow and arrow, shooting, pony express, women's pull, firesides and song!  An experience to remember!  The next time trek rolls around, Dallas will be too old, and Sam and Evan will be of age to go.  I can't believe it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

And they're off! Trek 2017!

We got the pioneers all registered, had the opening ceremonies, and they left on their ship for America where they will journey with the saints to Zion!  We wish them well!!! (120 youth/70 adults)

Iron Chef Cub Scouts

Here's what we were doing last week.  Evan got to go to cub scout camp and I said I would teach at cub scout camp- the Iron Chef requirement for Webelos.  Evan got to build forts, shoot BB guns and arrows, and learn about a lot of merit badges or whatever they're called.  He loved camp!  I wish I had gotten pictures of him and the scouts at camp.  So sad.

Dallas was at his camp (NYLT staff- which he loved) and he's usually a great helper to me, but since he was gone I was so pleased at how much Sam and Evan stepped up.  Evan did about 70% of the home preparation and Sam about 30%, but then Sam was my assistant all week!  

I collected store adds and spent a night cutting out food pictures and then thanks to Jenae who lent me laminating sheets- got them all laminated and cut out.  Evan and Sam did a lot of this.  Then thanks to Glenn's suggestion, we put velcro dots (bought at Walmart) on the backs of them, and they stuck perfectly to my large flannel board!  
Day 1: The boys had to learn about nutrition and budgeting, and then with a budget of $2.00 per person in their family they had to plan a meal that was well-balanced and affordable.  Then they went "shopping" on my flannel board to find the ingredients.  I loved hearing comments like, "Ahh! I can't afford steak!", and, "I'm already over-budget!"  I told them now you know what it's like for your parents :)


Once they had a stack of flannel board items they took them to Sam who had an old accounting machine to ring them up.  Then they brought the receipt back to me and I verified that they had a balanced meal and stayed in budget.  Some had to go back to the board and replace the steak for a cheaper protein like beans. Some went back again and again because they had so much fun making meals and then checking how they did on the budget!  Success!  Oh, and I started off the lesson giving them all a taste of jicama covered in lime juice.  Explaining what it was, where it came from, how it looked, etc. ... encouraging them to be brave and try it.

My chair in the woods.
 Day 2: This day was a killer.  For weeks I had to collect tuna cans and big #10 cans; thirty-four each.  Then Evan cut me a ton of cardboard strips that got curled up in the tuna cans (thanks to Sister Ellibee for the cutter).  Then we bought 10lbs of wax, melted it in a double boiler, and poured it into the tuna cans with cardboard.  This makes a burner.  We bought lots of matches for them to light them.

Then we had to cut 34 of these big #10 cans like so to place over the tuna can burners.  Our hands were so sore from cutting metal!  Without the boys and Pat I never would have finished this.

I bought lots of cheap small wooden spoons and oil spray like Pam, and once they got a good fire lit, they each got to cook and egg on their burners!  The one thing we didn't anticipate was that the eggs would take off if the can wasn't perfectly level.  (Thanks to Sister Zipperian for running home to bring me more eggs!)  I had brought a lot of pavers from home (square concrete stepping stones) for them to do it on, but we were on a hill so by the end of the day the hill was covered with eggs.  But eventually, using rocks and sticks, we got everything level and most boys cooked an egg successfully.  I had miniature (street taco) tortillas and salsa for them to eat it on and they loved it.  They were so proud of themselves- learning how to use matches and not get burned- and thought it was so delicious.  Then I taught them to put out the fires.  One boy even went home and made his own stove and burner and cooked his family bacon and eggs that night (I found out later).  If nothing else, I think the boys will be more eager to cook.  Some had never been allowed to use matches, never cracked and egg or scrambled it, and some had never had an egg in a tortilla!  (Someone needs to tell their parents they live in New Mexico!)  Anyway, this day was a lot of hard work hauling lots of stuff up on the hill where I teach like buckets of water for emergencies etc.  When the day was over, I had all those cans to take home! We had to take them to the transfer station and pay $5 to recycle.

Day 3: I had the boys taste a cucumber slice from a salad that I had on ice.  I talked about how they make pickles out of cucumbers and how they can help at home by making a salad out of cucumbers!  The cucumber salad they tasted was dressed with vinegar, salt, sugar, and dill (kind of Asian).  They loved it!  I know that the more senses you engage when you teach, the more interesting it is to people, so even though this wasn't part of the lesson that day, I wanted them to experience another food tasting.

Then they made teepee fires and log cabin fires (ways of arranging sticks).  I taught them how to do both kind, and had them practice, and then gave them matches and let them go.  They searched the forest for the sticks and kindling and I had them use very small sticks like pencil-thickness.  They did great.  But man did I feel terrified.  Some of the classes had 8-9 kids and they didn't let me spread them out, they all had to be around the fire-pit so some kids almost got burned just because of being so close!  It was scary and I inhaled way too much smoke teaching all day.  It went great, and no one got burned and I taught them to safely put out their fires.  They, of course, loved it.  I was glad no mothers had to punch my lights out.  I was just teaching the lessons I was given!  This is what scouts is!

That night I got an awful sore throat, which I later learned was strep, but I wonder if it had to do with talking all day (at a much louder volume than normal), or if it had to do with the smoke inhalation, or if a kid just gave me strep.  Who knows?  Can you get strep from just stress?

Day 4: The day I realize day-camp is at least one day too long.  I'm exhausted and my throat is killing me, but I have to finish.  At least there's no fires today!  They need a bigger pavilion or more covered areas! Anyway, last day, all we had to do was make arm-pit fudge and walking tacos.  So I bought and prepared the ingredients and they made them.  These are easy and yummy camp recipes that you can look up online.  For the tacos you just crush the chips up a bit in their bag and then add the other taco ingredients to the bag and give them a plastic spoon to eat it with.  No dishes!  I used homemade beans and no cheese to try and stay in my budget better and for safety (food poisoning with meat sitting out all day- I make my beans vegan).  So we just added beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream in a squeeze bottle to the chips.  The boys thought it was great!  A few just wanted to each the chips though.  I encouraged as much as I could for them to be adventurous and try something new, and they mostly did.  Sam had to do a lot of the teaching that last day because I was trying not to talk. 

I told the boys that when they get into boy scouts and go on campouts and their leaders ask them what they want to eat they will have some great ideas!  Iron Chef Completion! (well I think they have to keep a food journal for one week, but I can't do that for them).  At their next Pack Nights these boys will earn this achievement!

Leia and Charles were there each day in  kids camp- taught by Sister Bentley who is wonderful and it was all only about 20 yards away from me so I could see them and check on them- take them to the bathroom, make sure they were drinking water, etc.   Since Charles could see me, he left his kids camp often to come to me.  I would shoo him back as much as I could though because I couldn't watch him and the fire and stuff.  Leia loves all her camp teachers and couldn't get there fast enough.  They do neat projects, crafts, songs, games, and stories all day.  She tripped and fell down a lot though and was the most frequent visitor to the camp nurse.  Luckily nothing serious.  I loved when they would play roller coaster with the kids and the kids would scream on the imaginary downhill parts.  Or when it rained spiders (fake spiders) and the kids all screamed and had a great time acting scared.

As soon as my last class ended I hastily packed up, checked Leia and Charles out of kids camp with very little patience and left day camp missing all the skits and family luncheon because I was in so much throat pain.  I drove to Sonic and got a milkshake and it helped for about 15 minutes.  By the time I drove back to camp Sam and Evan were done and came out to the car and we went home as fast as we could.  You get so dehydrated at day camp and the bathrooms are far away- and my throat!  It's been a long weekend recovering, but I got antibiotics on Sunday and they finally kicked in on Monday, and I'm feelin' better!

Monday, June 12, 2017

College report

This is a couple months late but I cannot believe it!!!  I got straight A's this semester.  I usually try to get A's, but this was an unspeakably busy semester and I took not one, but three classes: Statistics, Biology, and Biology Lab (which should have been 3 credits- it was very hard).  All (ALL) the students complained that we got the hardest teacher compared to their peers and what the class should have been.  They hated her and said she thought she was at Harvard... I didn't know one way or another since it was my first lab class, but I did notice that her weekly quizzes were ten times harder than the mid-term and final which were written by other professors.  Ton's of dosage calculations, and scientific notation- changes between units.  I felt so sad for all who dropped out.

My final in Stats was thick- about 15 pages.  I got through only half and then got confused and couldn't do the last half.  I was hoping just for a C to pass the class, but my grade was high enough before, that by some miracle even though I didn't do great on the final, I still got an A in the class. What a relief!  Especially since after the test I told Pat where I got confused and he reminded me what part of my notes to follow and I was so upset because I knew it!!!   Thank heavens they let you take some notes in or I would have been toast.  But really with Stats it's a ton of formulas and methods so you HAVE to have notes.

Stats is sooo hard.  The best thing about finishing is that I am done with math forever!!! (Except what I get in Chemistry).
 My Biology notebook was more than an inch of pages jam-packed like these.  I've decided that Biology is just memorizing 20 new weird words a day like 'Golgi body' and what it means, so then when you have your final you have to have those hundreds of words with their definitions and meanings ready.

The remaining pictures are of my Bio Lab class.  It might seem weird to post this, but it is the place I don't lose things and I'll need this in the future.

 I only wish Pat could have gotten my tuition or credit for the classes too or both!  He taught me way more than the teachers ever did.  Especially the online classes.  Now I am on a break for an unknown amount of time.  I wanted to continue, at least one class at a time, but it really does require sooo much and I don't want to over book Pat with all he has to do as Bishop or myself with being a bishops wife and all I have this summer.  I know that this time is holy, and I want to be present, calm, and available to ward members and to my kids who already have way less of a dad now than before.  I don't want to have multiple focuses such that I can't do a good job at anything.  What to do...

I wish my brother Jeremy could come live in a pad next to our house with his girls and our kids could play all day and we could study together.  Pat was helping another sister in our ward and we spent several nights with the three of us at the table- him tutoring both of us.  He is the best.  I can throw out all my attitude about how ridiculous it all is and make jokes when I get really frustrated, and he is patient and helps me understand regardless.  He is amazing to me.  I just don't understand how his brain understands things so well!  He always tells me I'm really smart, but I just don't get things like he does.

As I was doing my last homework assignment, I was so upset and frustrated spending the whole day sitting there doing a stats assignment that would never end that at one point I got up to stretch and totally passed out!  He saw me fall, and I said, "I'm blacking out!", but he couldn't get to me in time.  When I woke up I was completely fine but cried a lot because it was so scary.  That's the first time I've ever passed out not from a miscarriage.  I guess I had been sitting too long and the blood pools in your legs and then I stretched too big. I hate how much being in school makes you sit on your butt.  Days later I had bruises all over my body and I was like, "Why didn't you tell me I hit the door and the bookshelf on the way down?"  Thankfully the Lord protected me from anything worse than bruises.  So crazy.