Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 Graduation Dinner

The night before the commencement exercises, the school does a catered dinner for the graduates and their parents. After the dinner, the teachers spotlight each student. McKenzie's teacher Mr. Haymond spoke about her and Kenzie just cried. When she sat down she said it was the first time she really realized she was leaving the school she loved so much. It was her home and she realized how much she was going to miss it. It was so sweet.

Following the dinner, we went into the auditorium and watched the 4 graduation videos I had put together. They showed pictures of their younger years at the school, field trips, the senior trip to St. George, extra-curricular activities etc. They were great. In between each video they gave out 18 special awards to various students from the 37 graduates. Kenzie got the Abigail and John Adams Courage Award for the courage and determination she showed each year when dealing with her learning disability. She was thrilled and we were so proud. She has worked so hard. Sometimes, 3 to 4 hours a night with a tutor.

That night was wonderful and the kids had fun taking pictures with each other afterward.

Here she is being spotlighted by her teacher. He is such an amazing man.

 The dinner.

 McKenzie is receiving the Abigail and John Adams Courage Award.

 Friends. Sara Cowley

The Senior Class

 A sneak peek of the big night!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

High School Graduation- the pre-party

McKenzie graduated from American Heritage School last night. It was a wonderful event. The fun began last week when the senior class....all 37 of them, okay only 33 went, to St. George for two fun filled days. I went along as a chaperon. They stayed in a lovely home that a family graciously donated. They swam, had amazing devotionals (one on the temple grounds), hiked, went into a lava tube, sang karaoke and enjoyed their time together. It was so much fun. Kenzie came home so tired she slept for about 20 hours straight. Her teacher, Mr. Haymond, is amazing. Austin had him too, and I am so grateful my children have been influenced by such a man of truth.

The theme for the trip was building a strong foundation. It was beautiful. On one of the hikes, once on top of the rock, the kids had a devotional about using the foundation they built at American Heritage to keep them strong the rest of their lives. It was so awesome to see them all stand and sing from the mountain top, "How Firm a Foundation" and "The Wise Man Built his House upon a Rock," complete with actions.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to have my kids have these kinds of experiences.

 Doing the actions to the Wise Man song.

Going down into the lava tube. It was a pretty tight squeeze until you got down pretty far and then it was pitch dark. I didn't dare go, so I held things together on the outside. Kenzie loved it. She has always been so brave. 

At the St. George temple for a devotional.

A final group hug at the end of the trip. We all then loaded into our various cars and drove home. I had Kenzie and 4 other students in my car. We had a great time driving together. Such great conversations.

The whole group, with the best teacher in the world at the bottom. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting his teeth back.

We are at the orthodontist getting Alex's braces off.   He is so excited.   He's sure he will really be a girl magnet now.   I'm leaving after his appointment to St George with Kenzie for her senior class trip.  Good times.  Pictures to follow.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Champion team once again

Besides school ball, Alex plays for our church team . This year they won the stake or local division and they went on to regional and won there too! It was pretty tense for  a couple of games. The score was close, Alex had 4 fouls and the boy to the left of Alex fouled out, but they still pulled through. 

Alex lives and breathes basketball. He is going to a camp the second week of June and he plays several times a week. Last night he was playing at his friends.....and they are pretty intense and come home with another broken finger. I say another because I think this is the 3rd or 4th finger he has broken. I have lost track. It looks pretty ugly. I have always had the motto with him that they dirtier he looks, the smellier he is and the more broken up he is, the better day he had. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smash, bang and are you kidding me?

This week started out terribly. First, Maylin woke up on Sunday morning with her eye swollen shut and red. It did not hurt, it did not itch, it didn't do anything, but look terrible. I tried a Benedryl to see if it was allergies. It didn't work. I knew it wasn't pink eye. There was nothing pointing that direction. On Monday, I sent her to school with a note telling the teacher her eye was not pink eye so don't worry about her being contagious. I had a thought (after searching the internet) that it could be this weird, rare eye problem called Orbital cellulitis. This is what I read: " This is a rare but serious bacterial infection of tissues surrounding the eye, resulting in painful swelling of the upper and lower eyelid, and possibly the eyebrow and cheek. Other symptoms include bulging eyes, decreased vision, fever, and eye pain when moving the eyes.Orbital cellulitis is a medical emergency and prompt IV antibiotic treatment often is needed to prevent optic nerve damage, permanent vision loss or blindness and other serious complications."

Her teacher emailed me during the day and told me her son had Orbital cellulitis and this looked just like it. So, I panicked and took her to the doctor the moment she got home from school. Guess what? It was the Orbital cellulitis. They put her on a serious antibiotic. Poor thing, it just hurts her gut, but the doctor said they have no other choice. I couldn't let her out of my sight and we had to set our alarm every 2 hours in the night to make sure it wasn't getting worse. If it got worse we were told we had a 3 hour window to get her to the hospital for surgery to save her eye. The doctor said, "I'm trying to scare you. You need to know how serious this is." She accomplished that.

Today, she had a check up and the doctor said it looked better so she could leave my sight and go to school. We still weren't out of the woods, but we had a 5 hour window now from a change in symptoms to surgery. Phew.

Also, on Monday, Jay got in a terrible wreck. His truck is suffering from $5,700 damage. However, he was okay. Seriously, lucky since it was a freeway wreck with speeds of 65 mph.

We are glad we have reached hump day. We hope the down hill portion of our week is less traumatic.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What a whirlwind

Life has been one whirlwind after another. I seriously, don't know where the days go. I feel like I never get a moment where something doesn't have to be done. It is crazy. This post will sum up a couple of months worth of activities.

First: Maylin's class read the book Heidi. They had a Heidi celebration complete with wheelchair races, taking their cardboard goat for a walk, traditional foods and of course a craft where they made clocks out of tongue depressors. It was a fun day.

Maylin also has been studying the Native American traditional culture and heritage. I was in charge of that celebration. We played traditional Indian games, learned an Indian rain dance, made dream catchers and they had chili, corn bread, dried fruit and meat.

McKenzie got asked to a local public school's prom. She had a great time. She was nervous about putting on the boutineer so she practiced on Austin. It went well. She had a great time.

Kenzie also had an international lunch at school where they ate Korean and Chinese foods. She has a lot of exchange students from those places in her class so it was nice for them to share.

This was a Daughter Daddy Date night at the church. It was the Donut Olympics. Every thing centered around the donut. Pretty awesome and delicious.

Monday, March 31, 2014

8 and 18! Two BIG Birthdays!

The girls celebrated their birthdays' on March 5 (Maylin) and March 6th (McKenzie). Both milestone birthdays! In our church, children can choose to be baptized at 8. Maylin will be baptized on April 12. Of course, we all know what 18 means!

On Maylin's birthday, she took fruit roll ups and juice boxes to share with her class. She also chose to go eat at Olive Garden. I made her a Sofia the First Cake. It looked cute, but I burned it so it really didn't taste goo at all so we threw most of it away. She got an Anna and Elsa doll for her b-day. She also got clothes. The big news was she got her ears pierced. It was touch and go there for a minute.....she almost chickened out. It made me laugh because she has been counting down the days until she could get them pierced and then she almost chickened out. We all were there as we did it on our way to dinner. It took all of us to convince her. We all knew she would regret it if she didn't. She loves them now.

I bought these pearl earrings in China when we were there getting Maylin. I wanted to save them for her 8th birthday. She was so excited to get them. 

The dolls, next to the purple hat were her favorite gifts. 

After dinner we tried to eat the awful cake and we opened presents. It was a good day.

For Kenzie's big day, we went to the Bombay House for Indian food. This place is mainly gluten free....naturally. All but about 5 items were gluten free! Kenzie as in paradise. It was VERY delicious and the atmosphere was awesome. After dinner, we went to the Lego Movie. We were the only ones in the theater and we laughed our heads off. Maylin and Jay sat at the bottom of the theater and when the Awesome Song started, they got up and started dancing. It was hysterical.

We had really good cake afterward.....there was no way I was going to screw up another cake. It was gluten free and fabulous! She got clothes, jewelry and more clothes.
It was a chocolate gluten free cake with pink lemonade frosting. 

Pretty girl rocking a new b-day outfit. 

Finally, this past weekend....yes March 28.... I threw Maylin a b-day party. My kids get a friend party every 4 years, so this was very anticipated. We did a Rapunzel party. I made great braids that the girls could decorate with foam flowers and butterflies. I put a clip in them so they could actually clip them in their hair. We also made great noise blowers that looked like Pascal, Rapunzel friend from the movie. We decorate lanterns and each girl got a canvas they could paint, just like Rapunzel did when she was locked in the tower (according to the movie Tangled). I also got golden balloons for each girl and they sang happy birthday to Maylin and then we released them into the sky representing the lanterns Rapunzel's parents would let off on her birthday. That was cool!

We had an ice cream sundae bar and I had donuts made that looked like a braid. It was totally cool. The kids had a great time.
 I did yellow steamers around like Rapunzel's hair. It was cute and easy.

The braids. Great decoration and when it was time to decorate, I pulled them down.


Decorating the braids.

Lantern time.

 The girls loved painting. I bought a really cool stamp of a castle and of a crown they used in their paintings.

The braid donuts were a hit.

This was my favorite part.

Present time!