Does your dog watch t.v.? Ours does. We've never seen a dog watch t.v., but we noticed that Sariah notices what is on television, especially if there is an animal involved. Other dogs, cats, lions, and even horses will attract her attention, and sometimes she barks and looks like she wants to jump right in the picture. She's just another family member watching t.v. Sariah loves to be with us, and Jenna spends a lot of time photographing her, doing puppy selfies and also having Sariah tag along when Jenna rollerblades. Sariah loves to "go for a walk," and she seems to know when we're putting on the kind of shoes that go out on the trail. She stands and sniffs our shoes while we're trying to put them on. She knows the question, "Do you want to go for a walk?" Her response is an immediate focused attention, a whimper or bark, and a beeline to the foyer to wait for us to follow. If it gets much past 4 or 5 p.m., she stands at the door and barks just to let us know it's getting a little late. Another one of her incredible gifts is surgery. She performs precise, efficient surgery on any animal with stuffing or a squeaker. She has dissected every toy in her bin including tennis balls. We have stopped buying toys and switched to a chew bone so she can let out her energy on the bones. The one toy that has survived the longest, Foxy, was a little tougher than the rest of her toys. Sadly, Foxy was found beheaded on the living room floor this month. Rest in peace Foxy.
The annual Labor Day weekend trip with the guys was this weekend. The group hiked to Thousand Island Lake in the Sierras. What beautiful country! The group of guys was great, the hiking and scenery were divine, and the fishing was amazing. Kelly really enjoys this get-a-way, and the group is already looking forward to next year.
Heather started 10th grade today. A sophomore. Wow. Time is flying. She was all set with her new glasses and her stylish Union Jack backpack from Aunt Michelle. I can't wait to see what this girl is going to do this year. She has Honors English and has done the summer homework which was all about mythology. Right up her alley. She also has Spanish 2 and will have Biology, History and Geometry on the schedule. It's a new track season, and she's going in as a seasoned athlete. We wish her a fabulous year!
Jenna concentrated on keeping cool today. She still has another week before school starts. I found her in the living room with all of our icepacks on her. Very clever. Very, very clever. Creative ideas are definitely one of Jenna's strengths.
Jenna and Sarah have so much fun together. They are both passionate about make up and nails right now. They got together for a sleepover and experimented with make up. I found a number of selfies on the camera roll, so I chose a couple of them to remember this period of time by. Jenna has been so creative with her nails this summer. I love this little tuxedo design. She doesn't like me to take pictures of her nails if they aren't perfect. She doesn't understand how good they are or how even her beginning designs with their little mistakes are virtually unnoticeable to others. We're goo busy being impressed. We got in a little more friend time with a lunch at Mimi's too. Summer is so fun with no school schedule to dictate our days.
Penelope is Heather's "Marvel Buddy," and the girls went to the premiere of the latest Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. It was the night before their 10th grade year was to start, but no worries. It was their last day of freedom, and they were enjoying it! I love that these girls share this passion for movies and fandom. It's awesome!
One of the big trends this summer was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was getting so big on Facebook and Instagram that the girls were starting to get nominated for the challenge. It consisted of dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, filming it, and then donating to the ALS foundation. the girls didn't know it, but their own great grandmother passed away due to ALS. I shared this information with them along with a great description of the disease from my friend Rhonda:
"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. It's a cruel cruel disease and anyone can have it and not even know. It badly needs more research. As right now it's a death sentence for sure if you have it."
Both Heather and Jenna wanted to take part in the challenge and donate their own money. I was so proud of them for wanting to be a part of this for their grandmother. In the end this challenged raised over 100 MILLION dollars as well as necessary awareness for those suffering from the disease. The celebrity involvement helped tremendously in raising awareness for the cause. One of our favorite actors, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), was a great supporter before the challenge, and he took part in several ice bucket plunges. We hope the money will be beneficial in finding a cure. It is an awful disease.
Jenna was not interested in the trip that Heather and Kelly took to Half Dome, but she was interested in a trip of her own with her Daddy. She has been wanting to hike Angel's Landing again in Zion, so she and Kelly took the only weekend left before school started and made that trip happen. Kelly took Jenna shopping for hiking shoes on Thursday, and we said good-bye to them on Friday right after work. They made good time and even stopped for super shakes at Icebergs.
On Saturday morning, Jenna and Kelly hiked through The Narrows, and Jenna was really brave. After changing clothes at the hotel and stopping for lunch and a shaved ice, they headed up to Angel's Landing before sunset. They made great time, and really enjoyed being together. They headed back to California on Sunday. So glad Kelly was able to make the trip happen for he and Jenna. Great memories!
After Dad and Jenna left for their trip to Zion, Heather and I went to the mall to do some school shopping. Heather starts high school an entire week earlier than Jenna, so it was time to get busy. We picked up some essentials, and we also visited Heather's favorite fangirl store, Hot Topic. Heather has had a job this summer taking care of our neighbor's dogs' backyard pick up, and she had quite the money saved up. She joyfully spent a bit of it in her favorite store and is seen here sporting her new Dr. Who "Bad Wolf" beanie. More Dr. Who love is in the bag she's holding. I love this girl.
The Instagram craze is causing me to take more pictures than ever before, but I love it. I'm not sure I would have documented tonight's church Youth Activity beach outing, but because Heather's friend was able to attend, and because the girls had so much fun together, I had to post a picture on Instagram. And then blog it. My kids, grandkids and great grandkids are going to know more about us than we ever knew about our ancestors with all these pictures I'm taking!
How was that for a blog post title? On 8/16/14, we spent the day with friends, Judy and Bill, and their daughter, Lauren, as she married her sweetheart in the Newport Beach LDS Temple. The sealing was beautiful, the bride and groom stunning, and the reception was amazing out in Temecula. On 8/17/14, we were privileged to meet Miss Jordyn Neubert, the granddaughter of my friend, Michelle. Her daughter, Brittany, was only 9 years old when they moved in down the street from us, so it is surreal and wonderful to be seeing her in the role of momma. After Heather greeted Jordyn, I got to hold her for a good long while as she fell asleep in my arms. I was in baby heaven! It is a beautiful thing to love friends for this long and see their babies grow up, get married, and have babies of their own.
Kelly and Heather had the AMAZING experience of participating in a LDS Pioneer Trek this week. August 7 - 9. On the trek, the youth reenacted a pioneer experience wearing period clothing, pulling handcarts and traveling over rugged terrain. It was not exactly what our pioneer ancestors would have done, but it was similar enough that our youth got an excellent taste of the type of sacrifices that had to be made.
Each wagon consisted of a "family" with a Ma and Pa, and an aunt and uncle. The family had to work together to load and unload the wagon and to get their wagon to the various destinations, often over difficult terrain. There were periods of relaxation where the youth learned games the pioneers would have played, and they had a square dance night. In addition, the youth read scriptures, heard accounts of real pioneer stories, listened to actors portraying Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other key figures of the time, said goodbye to loved ones who left to join the Mormon Battalion, and they buried babies who died on the journey. It was one of the hardest experiences and one of the most memorable that Heather and Kelly have had with the youth program.
Before Kelly and Heather left, I researched Kelly's line to see if there were any ancestors who may have traveled over in these original wagon trains. There were TWO! Both Captains and very important in their service to both prophets at the time. This knowledge made the experience that much richer as Kelly and Heather both thought about their ancestors while on the trail.
A beautiful video was made of the trek, and the accompanying music is perfect. Heather's voice is heard at the beginning urging on her family members as they struggle up a hill. She is seen later pulling at the front of the wagon in a purple bandana. This was during the time the young men were at the war front and the women had to move on without them. The young men came back to the trail to watch what the young women were experiencing while they were away. Near the end of the video, the men run to return to their families, and Heather's purple bandana can be sighted as she is locked in an embrace with Kelly. The last hill, Testimony Hill, was the hardest, and the youth worked together to help each other up, even if their family had already arrived. I am so grateful that Kelly and Heather had this experience. They will never forget it.
Jenna had an idea to buy some white shoes and decorate them with markers. She worked on her shoes in art class today, and they were a success! Her teacher was so inspired, she designed some also. I love Jenna's eye for creativity. She has been really into creating designs for her nails and hair, and she has some great ideas. I don't know if I would have had the courage to create on a pair of shoes! She is quite spectacular, and we love this talent she has for taking care and making things beautiful.
Our summer has been one busy ride after another! We took some time out today to have lunch with friends. Heather and Grace have been friends since Kindergarten, and Grace is attending another high school. Although Grace's mother, Sheryl, and I see a lot of each other, the girls don't. They had a great time reconnecting and sharing the ups and downs of the past few months. It was wonderful to make this happen today, and we hope have many friend "reconnects" before the summer ends.
Kelly and I celebrated 27 years together on our actual anniversary, August 1st. We made time for a date to our mutual favorite, Cheesecake Factory. Because selfies are in, we took a few. These were the best, and that's not saying much. Hahaha! It doesn't seem like 27 years have passed. We've experienced three moves, a college degree, buying our first and only home, career moves, the birth of our two beautiful daughters, the death of three parents and other family members, birthday parties, holidays, vacations, the deepest heartaches and the greatest joys. We've grown up together, and we still like each other. Kelly still makes me laugh. I still drive him crazy. The fun never ends. Happy Anniversary Babe!
I'm a wife and mother of two of the sweetest girls ever. In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. I love learning and sharing experiences, and the chance to journal for posterity. I wish I knew as much about my ancestors as my posterity is going to know about me!