Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First day of school, Solar eclipse

For some reason these two weren't quite as excited to start school as the other kids were. Tyler is a sophomore, and Spencer is a senior!! That huge instrument is his bari sax.

Dallin is our only one in middle school this year - he is in 8th grade with his twin cousins, Ethan and Jonah. My brother Josh is teaching 6th and 7th grade math at his school, so he'll be driving him to school everyday. 

 Chloe was SO excited to start kindergarten!

Her braids didn't stay in the whole day, but she sure looked cute! She has Mrs. Goldbach, which is who Levi had last year. 

Brennan is a 5th grader this year - oldest in the school! He has his same teacher as last year, Ms. Rodriguez, which he's really excited about.

Levi is in 2nd grade and has Ms. Yarborough. We love her!

This is the last year we'll have 3 kids in elementary school! 

Our last kindergartner!

She loves the kindergarten playground.

They had the parents go into the classroom to help the kids transition and avoid tearful goodbyes. Chloe was a little nervous, but she did great!

One week before school started, we volunteered with United Way to help Stuff the Bus. We spent a few hours in the Wal-Mart parking lot, handing out flyers and asking people to purchase school supplies for local kids in need.
People actually bought stuff! Tons! We were impressed. They collected and organized it on the bus. 

Some people just donated money, and Brennan and a friend had a blast buying the school supplies. 

I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled when Dave told me he signed us up for this. But the kids loved it, and it was a great experience!

The first day of school was also the solar eclipse. It was a really cloudy morning, and I assumed I wouldn't be able to see it; but the clouds parted right at the very end, and I was able to catch a glimpse. It was awesome. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Day at the lake

Our friends invited us and my brother and sister's families out to their lake house the Saturday before school started. There were so many kids that they took turns going out on their boat and swimming/kayaking/paddle boarding around the dock. 

I think it was their first time paddle boarding, and they loved it!

Some of Josh's kids had never been out on a boat before, and they loved it!

Finally it was the little kids' turn out on the boat. Everyone did great, but Luke, Chloe and Kate weren't interested in tubing.

 Brennan was extremely patient waiting his turn. 

Levi went on the tube with Layla. They spent a long time trying to talk Luke into going too, but he wouldn't.  Maybe next time.

These girls were very brave! 

Nathan and Brennan enjoyed going fast!

It was a really fun day at the lake!  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spencer's Santa Cruz Island trip

(I am writing this blog more than a year after it happened and Spencer is now on his mission and unavailable to help me with captions, but I will do my best!) Spencer applied and was chosen to attend a week-long science course at Santa Cruz Island with other students from his high school. He went for a long weekend last Thanksgiving and loved it so much, he was thrilled to be able to go back! His good friend Jeneva also went. They went to some kind of science museum and camped at a church before taking the boat out to the island. 

I think that's the same kind of fish Dave and Spencer saw tons of when they went snorkeling at Anacapa Island 8 years ago

 Just like on their trip out to Anacapa, they were greeted by a humongous pod of dolphins!

They weren't allowed to take cell phones, so anyone who wanted pictures had to take a real camera. Spencer borrowed Dallin's.  

 They played lots of hacky sack. 

And pool. They stayed at two different parts of the island, which are only open to research scientists. Their teacher has been going there for many years and has connections.

The island foxes were small and cute and very close! Apparently they were everywhere. 

They drove around in some sketchy vehicles. 

 They did a lot of hiking!

Native Americans occupied the island for thousands of years, and

They had a paleontologist with them to find and study tools. That was his specialty. 

Look at all those abalone shells! They weren't allowed to take anything off the island, and there are so few visitors, that it was practically untouched!

He had such a fun time! Here is a promotional video his friend made with his drone while they were there. You can spot Spencer a few times. It looks so beautiful!