Friday, August 28, 2009

Girls Camp!

I was called to be an Assistant Girls Camp Director in early June. Girls camp was scheduled for the last week of July. The other Assistant Girls Camp Director was pregnant, so she wasn't allowed to go to camp (insurance reasons…it's kinda far from any hospitals, and such). And the best part, we didn't have a Girls Camp Director yet. The Director was called 3 weeks before camp. Luckily the Stake took care of almost everything and the only thing we had to plan was meals, and crafts, and some certifications, and a skit. Luckily we had lots of help and were able to pull everything off. If you want, here's the link to Jennie's (the Girls Camp Director) blog post about Girls Camp.

Here's a picture of us at the Singing around the Lake activity (below), where they floated a fire (above) around on a raft (pulled by a canoe).

What's that you say!? Yes, it is a small world. Sean and Jennie Petersen are in our ward. It was a lot of fun getting to know Jennie at camp. Poor Jennie just got married in May and hadn't been away from Sean that long in…well…ever. But she made it through.

On Tuesday we arrived, brought all our stuff from the cabins, and did our Skits. We planned out our skits the Saturday before camp after we did some food prep. The Camp Theme was "Heavenly Heroes" so we decided to be the "Value Ninjas!"

Yes, those bad values better watch out, we're pretty scary value ninjas…ahem…I believe this is the end of a "Hi-YA!" Pretty fierce!

Rashelle was the "Dancing Ninja". I was definitely dancing too close to my drawing-boy.

Keri was the "Language Ninja". Jennie and I were using some pretty *#@&$ bad words, and &#%^ really bad words.

Then we went shopping for prom and got some pretty immodest cut out dresses to try on. Good thing Keri saved us again as the "Modesty Ninja".

Yolanda as the "Media Ninja" saved me from watching a really bad show full of bloody violence.

As you have probably noticed, our ward had a whopping 3 girls (out of the 4 total) at camp this year.

This is Yolanda, who tried to pretend she wasn't really sweet, but don't be fooled. She just likes to "roll with the flow".

This is Rashelle who got a little homesick sometimes, but we enjoyed having her there. She moved about a week after camp, and we're all sad.

This is Keri who cracked us up almost as often as we cracked her up.

We had fun trying to learn how to cook on a fire every day. Boy am I glad for modern technology (microwaves, stoves, dishwashers, showers, etc.)! Luckily I already know how to make a mean fire, without cheating, so we didn't have to struggle that way too. Only one of our meals flopped! (The mountain man casserole wasn't done in time, and then we cooked it too long, and it got burned to a brick.)

On Wednesday we slept while the girls did certification and stuff. I slept about 1 hour on Tuesday night because I was freezing and had to pee all night. I think we did some crafts as well on Wednesday but I don't remember it all. I think Sing around the lake was on Wednesday night.

On Thursday we went on hikes. Yolanda and Keri were second years, so Jennie went on their super long hike with them. I went with Rashelle on her 3rd year hike which was only very long. We did a service project at the end of the hike. We "grubbed" a trail (basically you weed it and stomp the dirt down).

We hiked through this amazing meadow, and took pictures. (see other meadow pictures above. We were at about 11,000 feet or something. Surprisingly I didn't die from not having exercised in…well, a long time.

On Friday we had a fun afternoon of games and canoeing.

We did a few things in the confidence course. With this one we had to put the "logs" across "stumps" to get across the "acid river" without anyone falling off. It reminded me of when I used to play "hot lava" with Alex using all the couch pillows, only the ground seems a lot farther away these days.

Then we got to go paddle around in the canoes a bit. Jennie and I got out in time for the big water fight to start, and we watched everyone try to capsize the stake presidency from the shore.

That night the stake presidency had a surprise demonstration. They had asked all of us to write our heroes on a small slip of paper, which they then taped to...

a mega huge rocket. They had to clear the launch with FAA because it would go so high, and it DID! And FAST! ZOOM! It was gone! Best model rocket I've ever seen (and yes, I was in rocket club in elementary school).

By the end we were just about camped out. I know I was ready to go home and take a shower. It was a very fun experience. It was very different than the YW camp I went to growing up. I'd change some things, if I were in charge, but I wasn't, and it was still a great week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tahoe: July 4th Weekend

Every year we go to Lake Tahoe to visit my grandparents at their Tahoe house. It's almost like a family reunion, only not. Basically we just go and have fun on the beach and the boat. They have a great 4th of July weekend, so it's fun to go then. The only downside is that the 4th of July is usually a very crowded weekend at Tahoe, so sometimes we go in August. This year was a rather short trip because I only get so much vacation per year, and I had to save most of it for girls' camp this year. I hope I have enough for Christmas! Here are some pictures from this year.

Dave got up on the wake board this year, and even carved a little bit! I didn't try this year because I pulled both extensors trying to get up on one ski. I almost got up though! It was the closest I've ever come to getting up on one! Then I did two skis for the rest of the time (arms screaming at me and all).

Of course Daniel-Bo-Daniel got up on the wakeboard and even braved the wake a few times. This year only Daniel and Mommy were able to come the same weekend we did. Chelsea was 9 months pregnant, and Erik decided to go in August. (I think they're there right now…)

Mommy and I went tubing together on the new tube. Of course Mommy only liked going slow and in a straight line (for which Daniel and Dave teased her relentlessly), and I enjoyed the leisurely ride as well. I don't like tubing too much because for some reason whenever I go, the tube ends up under the water, and I have to jump off or go with it. I drove while Dave and Daniel were on the tube, and that was fun.

As you can see, Dave got a little bit sunburned. His poor feed turned bright pink for days.

Independence day celebrations

This year the barge of fireworks was set up, because there wasn't a high fire risk, and not too much wind! I don't think I've ever been there before that the fireworks actually got to go.

Every year they have a golf cart parade. Everyone in the community styles up the golf cart and drives it around in the parade. Uncle Bill usually decorates ours.

We all wanted to drive the cart, so we struck a compromise: I did the "gas", Dave did the brake, and Daniel steered from the back seat. It worked surprisingly well, unless I stopped paying attention and we slowed down.

The star of the 4th was Aunt Lynda, whose birthday is celebrated with fireworks and picnics every year for some reason. Every year we're there on her birthday, we also make her a red white and blue cake. Yum!

Speaking of red white and blue picnics: This year and last year they had Men Wielding Fire cater the big community picnic. Basically they make a lot of food and you eat until you're stuffed. Drinks abound as well. Luckily one must pay for more than one glass of wine, so not too many people got completely drunk. As for our family, we raided the soda coolers and drank to our hearts content…and then made a tower:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Showers!

I've hosted 2 baby showers, and flown to Vegas for another this summer (technically spring):

Danielle's Shower:

I got invited to my friend Danielle's baby shower in Las Vegas. At first I thought, "Bummer! Vegas! That's too far away." But then I looked up flights on Southwest, and thought "well, that's doable…" So I went! It was a lot of fun. Honestly, there's not a ton an 8 ½ month pregnant girl can do, so I helped her set up her nursery, wash new clothes, etc. Very relaxing. (I also got to go shopping at H&M, but that's another story, $300 later…)

Her 4 year old daughter and I discovered the balloon static trick and put all the balloons on the ceiling. I think at one point she had 5 stuck to herself. I'll post a video when I find it.

Here is Danielle with her cute prego belly loving everyone's presence and presents.

Chelsea's Shower:

(pictures and story to come here...they're at home, I think)

Brianne's Shower:

The second shower I hosted was my friend/neighbor/old roommate Brianne's shower. She was due mid July, and had a baby girl, Isabelle.

Here she is next to her friend Nicole.

We played the tummy string game, where each person would cut a piece of string guessing how big her tummy was, and whoever was closest got a prize. She was 40" small. As you can see from the background, a LOT of people showed up. We have a 3-seat and a 4-seat couch, 6 dining chairs, and 6 camping chairs out, and they were all full. Good thing we have a large living room!

Of course the main event: PRESENTS! She got a lot of great loot!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What a crazy neighborhood!

Maybe some of you remember the time the apartment complex across the street from us had a fire and the tenant died. Well, the whole complex got new windows, and two of the apartments were remodeled. Apparently crazy things like that are quite commonplace in our neighborhood. The paramedics have been to our street about 4 or 5 times this year! Once with the fire accompanied by several fire trucks and a few cops. Also there are some people in one of the houses that have some serious medical conditions of some kind so the paramedics have shown up 2 or 3 times for them.

Last night we had another "incident." Just as we had drifted off to sleep, Dave got up and went somewhere. When he came back he said, "Some lady just knocked on our door asking for someone named Meatball and she had an open knife!" I may have mentioned that Dave is prone to sleep-walking and –talking. So I was a little skeptical at first, but then I heard her outside our window slapping the brick wall of the basement apartment next door and yelling for Meatball. Dave had already called the cops, but he didn't know where she had gone, so he called them again and gave them our neighbors address. Soon there were 4 cops parked outside our house, and I went outside to point out where she was, then I went back inside. We watched through the blinds as the cops confronted her. They asked her to drop the knife several times, and then tazered her! She was very drunk so she had difficulty understanding what they wanted, but eventually they got the knife away from her. They cuffed her and put her in one of the cop cars and waited for the paramedics because she was bleeding. She could have cut herself or just fallen in her drunken state.

Understandably we had difficulty falling back asleep after all that midnight excitement!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cedar Point, OH

Dave earned a free trip to Cedar Point, OH through his work at Primerica. Of course we love free, especially free vacations! Cedar Point is a crazy awesome roller coaster park. They have something like 18 roller coasters, most of which have broken multiple world records the first week they were open (top speed, highest drop, biggest angle of drop, etc.).

We saw Famous Dave while we were there! There he is!

This is us after our first ride on Maverick, which ended up being my favorite in the whole park. Next time we go, I'm going on that one twice, at least. There were lots of twisty turnies, and it was really long!

Second we stood in line for Top Thrill Dragster. This ride goes 120 mph in 4 seconds and 420 ft in the air and twists going up and then down. The whole ride is over in 17 seconds. Unfortunately we didn't get to go on this one. We stood in line, and it broke down when we got to the front, so we went on others instead of waiting.

Another ride we went on was Mantis. I enjoyed it. It was one that you stood up the whole time. Unfortunately the "seats" aren't very comfortable for the male anatomy, especially if that male happens to be tall. Dave didn't enjoy it.

Another ride we went on was the Raptor. This was my second favorite in the park. I'll definitely go on it twice next time we go. It was the kind that your feet dangle free and there are lots of loops and twists. It reminded me of my very first roller coaster in Denver 6 Flags, Mind Eraser or something. Above is an aerial view and a shot I took when we were waiting in line.

This is another ride we went on. I can't remember the name, but there are seats all around the bottom of the pendulum. The seats spin around as the pendulum swings. The pendulum swings so that you're almost upside down and you're going 70 mph. I'm sure glad neither of us get motion sick.

This is the line we waited in for about 2.5 hours for Millennium Force. This was Dave's favorite ride. I didn't like it too much. I don't like the falling feeling and this was mostly just big drops. The first drop is 310 feet. We waited in this line for about an hour and a half, and when we got to the front of the line (literally), the ride broke so we had to wait for another hour while they fixed it. It was the last ride of the day, so we figured either we'd wait to go on this one, or go home. I think it was worth the wait, Dave DEFINITELY thought it was worth the wait.

I can't wait until we can go again. (This was in April, I lost my phone in Denver on the way there.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alex’s Farewell

Alex went on a mission! I never even blogged about it! Why? Yes, because I had no pictures. A blog about a mission farewell is a little dull without pictures. He entered the MTC on Feburary 4th to prepare for his mission to Frankfurt, Germany!

Here's the video of him opening his call (I'm filming, yes I jumped up and down and yelled…sorry)

Here is the traditional MTC sign picture. The shadows of the trees were a little strange across his face, but, oh well.

He then got his name badge thinger, and yes, there it is. His Dork Dot! Mahahaha. I speak of this as if I've been on a mission and have experienced the dork dot, but I haven't. I still like to pretend that it's really funny though.

Alex liked to pretend that he was pretending like it wasn't funny.

Here are my three brothers. They're my favorite brothers ever. The big question is, will Alex be the tallest, or will Daniel?

Alex and our parents.

My last picture with Alex, pre-fluency in German. Yes, he's my "little brother".

Last but not least: How many people does it take to un-sew the pocket of a suit jacket and put the name badge clip on?