Sunday, September 10, 2017

Paddle boarding for date night

Neil and I try and do a date night each week.  On Friday Neil checked out some paddle boards from the college.  We took them to Deaver Reservoir to give paddle boarding a try.  They were inflatable so it was easy to transport them.  We had a nice air pump from the college that filled them part way. We had to do a little work to finish filling them with a hand pump.

Paddle boards are kind of like thick surf boards.  You can stand or kneel on it and paddle around.  Neil was able to stand up without any problem.  He was being a gentleman and helping steady my board so I could stand up.  I was kind of nervous getting on and my feet keep getting stuck in the mud.  I finally got on the board, but in the process of trying to stand I tipped my board over.  Somehow, my falling also caused Neil to lose his balance and go in right behind me.  We only fell in that one time.  After that we were able to get back on and paddle around without falling.  We were both able to stand on the boards.  We were told that sometimes people ride these boards down the river.  I know I wouldn't be able to keep my balance going down a river.  It was hard enough just on the peaceful lake. I enjoyed paddle boarding together.  It was a fun activity.

Here are a few pictures:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy Birthday, Neil

Today is Neil's birthday. I won't give away his age, but he is happy to be a perfect square this year.  He doesn't ask for much.  He wanted roast, potatoes and gravy for dinner. I made him a chocolate coconut cake.  I think it turned out yummy.  In honor of the number of years Neil has been on the earth I'll share 49 things I love about him. I love you, Neil. Hope you have a happy birthday! Love, Sarah

1. You are a good example of forgiveness.
2. You  help our children with their math and science homework.
3. You live what you teach.
4. You are a good example of studying the scriptures.
5. You love to go to the temple.
6. You take your responsibilities seriously.
7. You play  with the kids.
8. You make date night a priority.
9. You help people out, even when you have other plans and they ask at the last minute.
10. You take the kids out to do service.
11. You are willing to help me when I ask.
12. You do almost all the driving on our trips.
13. You don't complain about what I make for dinner.
14. You work hard to keep our yard looking nice.
15. You are always willing to try again.
16. You lead our family in prayer and scriptures.
17. You write to our children each week.
18. You have  a great smile.
19. You are  patient with me when I am less than good.
20. You make the effort to make memories.
21. You read to our family.
22. You are generous to others.
23. You eat ice cream on date night with me.
24. You cheer for the Cougars with me.
25. You try hard to follow the spirit.
26. You are  a good teacher.
27. You support my crazy ideas (like going to Virginia for a year)
28. You are grateful for what I do.
29. You work hard at communicating with me, even when I frustrate you.
30. You go for walks with me.
31. You play the piano beautifully and encourage our children to also.
32. You gas up the car so I don't have to think about it.
33. You help make the bed in the morning to make sure it gets done.
34. You give compliments to others.
35. You have  a kind heart.
36. You have  a strong testimony of the Savior.
37. You use the priesthood to bless our family.
38. You are grateful for dinner each night.
39. You take the time to take the kids on activities.  
40.You are a hard worker.
41. You are willing to try and sell our house because you know it is what I want.
42. You share your candy bars with me.
43. You take me out to dinner just because I like to sometimes.
44. You are willing to drive in to school so MaryAnne doesn't have to ride the bus.
45. You really try to understand.
46. You don't mind if there is cereal for dinner occasionally. 
47. You support our children.
48. You try to live the gospel and teach by example.
49. You love me  always, even when I don't really deserve it.

And one more to grow on... 50- You try to have peace in our home.

I love you! and I am grateful you love me.  I hope you have a great year! Let's make it the best one yet.  Life isn't about counting down the years, it's about making the years count.  Love, Sarah

Sunday, August 27, 2017

First day of school 2017

Well it happened, school started again.  This year we are an odd family.  We have kids in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades.  It is Lydia's first year going to school.  She seems excited about going. It is also David's first year of seminary.  I think all the kids are excited for the school year.  I am trying taking the kids to school in the morning instead of having them ride the bus.  They are riding the bus home in the afternoon.

Neil is starting his 42nd grade (24th year at NWC) so he is the only even year.  Bethany is going to NWC.  I didn't get a picture of Bethany or Neil on the first day.  Bethany didn't want me to make her late for her first class.

I hope they each have an amazing year.  It is kind of quiet around here during the day with only Aaron and I home.  I have been able to get him to take naps better when everyone is gone.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse August 2017

We enjoyed the eclipse on Monday.  We didn't get totality, but we did get 98% of the sun covered.  It was surprising how light it still was outside. It did get cooler outside.   Inside the house it was noticeably darker during the eclipse.  Neil had meetings for the beginning of the school year, but got out in time to come home and watch with us.  We enjoyed watching together.  David, Dallin and Neil enjoyed watching the longest.  We watched the start of the eclipse much more than the end.  It was a great family experience.  The shadows on the sidewalk were really neat to see. We also tried watching through a pinhole camera.  It worked, but wasn't as easy or as impressive as the eclipse glasses.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Baseball 2017

Last year Dallin didn't get to play baseball because we weren't back from Virginia. He missed it. This year he really wanted to play. He loves to play baseball with Adam Andreasen.  He was excited that he and Adam were on the same team.  They were on the Orioles team coached by Brother Andreasen.  They had a great time playing baseball.  Dallin really learned and grew a lot this year.  He was put in to pitch in a stressful end of the game situation in the tournament game.  It was a single elimination tournament.  They played  a really good game against Burlington/Otto.  It went into double overtime. We thought we were only playing an hour and a half like a normal game. At the end of an hour and a half we were ahead 9-8 and thought we had won.  But the game wasn't over.  At the end of an hour and 45 minutes it was tied up at 9. Then 10 all.  Dalllin was put in to pitch for the last batter before overtime. He struck out the last batter and we thought the game was over.  He got to keep pitching for all of the overtime.  Overtime was hard.  You started the inning with 2 outs and a runner on second base.  Dallin was pitching and did really well.   We lost 14-10, but Dallin did a good job. I was so nervous for him.

I think Dallin is our first child to really like playing baseball.  He has a good understanding of the game and loves to play.  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

She's home

Missionaries really do come home. In a way, it seemed like Bethany's mission flew by and in another way it seemed like she was gone for a very long time.  Bethany came home from serving in the Texas Houston South mission on June 6, 2017.  She did a great job serving the Lord and the people of Texas.  She really loved being a missionary in the Houston area.  We are so blessed to have her home. We decided we were happy/sad (sappy) for her coming home. We were happy to see her again and introduce her to Aaron.  We were sad that it was over. She got to attend the temple that morning before she left Houston about 2:00 in the afternoon. She flew to Minneapolis and then on to Salt Lake. From Salt Lake she flew to Cody arriving at about 11:00 that night. It was a late night, but so worth it.  I had a cute onesie made for Aaron that said I've waited my whole life to finally meet you.  He was tired and didn't want to go to her that night. I didn't get a picture of them together yet, but I will.  I think Bethany may have been the last person into the airport that night. I kept thinking that maybe she missed her flight in Salt Lake and then there she was.  It was wonderful to see her!

She spoke in church today and did an amazing job. I loved hearing about spiritual CPR. The three essential things to save you spiritually are Church, Prayer and Reading the scriptures.  She also taught us about faith, diligence and patience. Missionaries grow as much as the people they teach and serve.  She also taught us that the Lord like impossible odds. Think about David against Goliath, Ammon against the band of robbers, and many other examples in the scriptures. The Lord takes impossible odds and makes it possible.  She also taught us that things will work out the way Heavenly Father needs them to.   What a great testimony she came home with. I am so grateful for the opportunity Bethany had to serve a mission at this time in her life. I am grateful that she loved being a missionary. I am also grateful that missions end and missionaries come back home. What a blessing her mission has been and will continue to be in her life.  She was so blessed during her service and so were we as a family. I love having missionaries out and being a missionary mom.

Last week when we dropped Matthew off we saw a family flying to Orlando for vacation. The same family happened to be on Bethany's flight into Cody.  It was funny to me that our kids were on their flight both ways.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Matthew at the MTC

May 31st used to feel a long way off, but it arrived and we took Matthew to the airport early in the morning.  His flight for Salt Lake left at 6:30 so we had to leave our house early.  It is always an emotional time to send a child off on a mission. I am so happy they are ready, willing and worthy to serve the Lord on earth, but I am also sad at not seeing them for so long. I am grateful for email and that we can communicate each week while they are gone.  I might miss each of them a lot, but there truly is no where else I would rather have them be.

Having Matthew set apart the night before he left was a spiritual experience for me.  He was given a blessing that I knew was from the Lord just for him.  He was told that he could make friends that would last into the eternities. He isn't always comfortable with people he doesn't know so I know that is a promise and a challenge from Heavenly Father to him.  He was also promised that he would have the Holy Ghost with him to keep him safe and warn him of danger.  I trust that promise completely.

Matthew got to Salt Lake about 8:30 and Grandpa picked him up at the airport.  They took him to the MTC at 1:30 that afternoon.  I am sure he was nervous and unsure, but he went forth with a smile.  I am looking forward to the first real email from him this week.  I keep thinking of the words to the song In the Hollow of Thy Hand. I know the Lord is keeping my Matthew in the hollow of His hand as he grows from boy to man.