Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quick Quips

(Little O is reading the Book of Mormon.)  (p.s. He can't read.)
Me: What are you reading, O?
O: This book.  It has lots of stories.
Me: Will you read one to me?
O: I'm reading this story. (He shows me a page in the book of Alma.)
Me: Oh, that's a good one.
O: It's about a boy who doesn't have a name.  But tomorrow he will have a name.  Because tomorrow is his birthday.
Me: Does he get named Alma?
O: No.  Alma is a girl name.
Me: Oh.  Too bad for the guy in that book named Alma and his son named Alma, too.
O: I was just kidding.  Alma is a boy name.  But his name is Hunter.  And he goes outside and the lightning is chasing him!  Because it's chasing-people-lightning!  But he is really a robot.  Also, he is not a Hunter.  It is just his name.  And when I marry the Pirate Princess someday I am going to name ALL of my kids Hunter.  And the bad guy's name was Bad Guy Making Robots Lightning Chasing.  The end.

Me: Dad and I are going out on a date.
Curly: (incredulously) You and Dad still go on dates?
Me: Sure, why not?  Old people get to have fun, too.
Curly: But aren't you guys already married?
Me: Last time I checked, yeah.
Curly: Then you guys don't need to go out on dates.  You're already in love.

Princess: Do baby teeth ever grow into big teeth or do you have to actually lose them to get big teeth?

(A recent dinner conversation at our house.)
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Curly: An artist.
Princess: A mom or an author.
Hubba: A mall security guard.
O: I want to be a police guy so I can kidnap robbers!
Cowgirl: I want to be a person who is kidnapped by O.
O: You want to be a robber?!
Cowgirl: You want to kidnap robbers?!
O: I mean catch robbers.
Hubba: Seriously.  I want to be a mall security guard.

Hubba: I think a lot of people around here must really like playing chess.
Me: Why do you say that?
Hubba: Because I keep seeing Pawn Shops all over!
Me: They don't just sell pawns at pawn shops.
Princess: Seriously Hubba? They sell the whole game of chess there, not just the pawns!

Monday, July 29, 2013

National Jamboree

All-a-Boy worked hard and saved money and made plans for almost 2 years to attend the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia this summer.  He was gone for 15 long days. 

We anxiously waited at the airport's baggage claim area along with a large group of other families.  We watched as every passenger, pilot and stewardess (do they have some more PC name for stewardesses now, since some of them are male?  Flight attendants?) from their flight exited the security area with no sign of any scouts.  Then finally they all arrived, walking in two single file lines toward us.  You'd have thought they had been gone for years when you heard the applause and cheering coming from the crowd as they approached.  All-a-Boy spotted us in the crowd and got his typical I'm super happy right now but trying not to smile half-grin on his face and gave us a little wave.  The scouts counted off and then joined their families.  All-a-Boy hugged every single kid, even the ones who usually drive him a little nuts.  I think maybe he missed us as much as we missed him.

He had all sorts of stories to tell of rain and mud and hay and the unpleasant smells that come from those three things combined.  He told us of patch trading and mountain biking and national monuments and historical sites and having the time of his life with a whole troop of scouts and leaders in New York, Washington DC and West Virginia.

So our family is almost complete again!  

Just one more year until Allen-the-Younger gets back from his mission for our church, then probably another year after that for ElemenoB who is planning to leave for her own 18 month church service mission in December or January.  I think we'll all be together again for about a month or so before Thumbelina plans to head out on her mission around July of 2015.  But who's counting?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Until Next Year, Camp MIA Shalom

I just returned from another week of young women's camp in the beautiful mountains of MIA Shalom.  It was an unexpectedly wet and rainy week with daily booming thunder but we enjoyed a couple of days of baking in the sunshine, too.  My week at camp is the one week of each year where I have time to slow down and study and learn and reflect in a place that seems closer to heaven than anywhere else.  I relish the rare quiet times there on the mountaintop.  I tend to stay awake long after the others have crawled into their sleeping bags for the night just to soak in the quiet and gaze at the stars or the moon as it glows brightly behind the clouds and occasionally peeks through the overcast sky.

I think that hike day is my favorite day of all as we walk along the rim of the camp and catch a glimpse of heaven in everything that surrounds us.  Every flower, cloud, tree, and rumble of distant thunder testify to me that there is more to life than what exists around us here below.  This song came to mind at least daily:

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee - how great Thou art.  

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
 When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze -

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee - how great Thou art.  

In a lot of ways this year was different than any of my other years at MIA Shalom.  I'm not sure how to explain that except to say that I learned a lot about myself and my imperfections.  I learned to count my blessings and find the silver lining in every cloud.  I loved watching my two oldest girls serve as leaders over the whole camp.  I am constantly impressed by their abilities and examples. 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this week.  Each is a favorite for a different reason.  And if you think it's too many pictures you should be grateful I didn't post all 350+ that I took because I kind of wanted to.




I didn't even realize I was photobombing this one.