Monday, July 25, 2016

Beach day

Spencer took an American history class at Cuesta College this summer to free up his schedule next year. It's really cool, the high school students here get to take college classes for free, and it counts as college as well as high school credit. It was a 6 week class, 3 days a week. That made it hard for us to go anywhere on those days, since it was from 3-5:30, but our Mondays and Fridays were free. We tried to do fun things on those days. 

The kids really wanted to go kayaking at the beach. Spencer loaded up the kayak onto the car (his first time doing it without Dave), and we invited the cousins to join us. The nice thing is that there is a huge pond right next to the beach for the kids to swim in. It was perfect for kayaking too, because there weren't any waves to knock them over.

We've really enjoyed the 2-man kayak we got for Christmas. Of course we fit more than 2 kids - more like 4.

Funny Tyler faces... 

Chloe couldn't decide it she wanted to be in or out of the kayak. There was a lot of back and forth. 

 The pond actually goes back pretty far, under a bridge and into some trees.

Then Spencer decided he wanted to build a canal between the pond and the ocean. People (random strangers at the beach) seemed doubtful.

 But they did it! The water flowed back and forth. 

They even made a little bridge. It was a beautiful, warm day at the beach!! I was glad we had other activities to do than the usual boogie boarding, because the waves were especially tall and powerful that day.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Scout Camp

The  first week of summer was scout camp. This was Dallin's first year going and Tyler's third. 

Tyler's also going backpacking with the high adventure scouts.

Here are all the boys and leaders from our troop that went. Nathan and Dave each spent 1 night there.

Instead of doing an established Boy Scout Camp, they combined with 2 other troops and just did their own thing near Lake Lopez. They completed so many merit badges, like 7 or 8 each! 

This metal sign they made with their previous scout leader really comes in handy! They hung it from a tree.

The camping hammock was a huge hit. 

The boys all helped with the cooking. Some of them were earning their cooking merit badge.

 Of course Dallin was excited to chop.

Even though they earned a ton of merit badges, they had plenty of free time. They spent most of it whittling, playing Bang and Phase 10, and swinging on the rope swing.

Poor Peter came down with a horrible case of poison oak and had to go home early. His family was in Utah, so he spent a day with us and a day with grandma and grandpa.

I'm glad our two wards camped together. We're both small in numbers, and the boys get along really well.

They took their mountain board (which is why Dallin's wearing his helmet). Apparently there were some great hills for it.

 Selfie stick!

Some of the boys took a birdwatching merit badge. 

This is my favorite!

They also had visits from a mountain lion (right through camp, in the middle of the day!) and bears, who stole their hamburger. There were 3 bears one night and 2 bears another night.

I wonder if they had any problems sleeping after that!! 

 Tyler tends to button his hat string into his shirt.

I'd like to thank Aaron Keep for taking all these fabulous pictures at camp! 

He fits right in with the boys. 

  They have an amazing scout master (yellow shirt)! Thank you for taking such great care of our boys!

 You can see them getting dirtier as the week went on.

We were so happy to have them home!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Graduations, awards and goodbyes

The last couple weeks of school are a flurry of awards and promotions. Dallin won first place in the 6th grade writing contest. He wrote a 1st person narrative about our trip to West Virginia. He was one of only two 6th graders asked to read his entry aloud at the 6-12th grade writing contest awards night. He did an excellent job, and everyone laughed at all the right places.The person in charge of the event was also in charge of the elementary school Almond Blossom Festival, and she asked Brennan to be the "special guest speaker" at the end and do his speech about allowing all grades to ride their bikes to school. He stole the show!

Mr. Arnett (Spencer's English teacher) was blown away by his performance. What a huge compliment! Spencer said that all his friends who were there told him the next day how impressed they were with his little bros!

Chloe's preschool had a little graduation which was not so little. We've been to quite a few of these, and they seem to get longer and longer each year!! But there were delicious cookies at the end, and that made it all worth it. Here is Chloe with her favorite teacher, teacher Danae. 

Tyler graduated from middle school and got something called a pillar award. It was given to about 20 8th graders who demonstrated the 3 "R" values of their school, Respect, Responsibility and Reliability. I liked how the awards night was separate from the big graduation. That way only the people getting awards were invited, and the graduation was kept nice and short.

On the second to last day of school, all the 8th graders got to go to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. He loved it!! Dallin also received a pillar award, along with two department awards: science and history. He was feeling pretty sick that day, but he didn't want to miss the awards ceremony. He got all A's his first year in middle school!

Like I said, Tyler's 8th grade graduation was kept really short. I think it was only about 35 minutes long. The weather was perfect! Nice and cool.

Isn't he cute?! Goodbye middle school, on to high school!

One of his good friends, Joseph.

He never had Mr. Grace as a teacher, but he was a great cross country/track coach.

We had plenty of time to make it over to Levi's kindergarten graduation. I was worried about that!

It was funny to go from 8th grade to kindergarten. What a contrast! This one had lots of music, singing and dancing.

There's Levi in the green shirt, being pretty silly! He reminded me of Dallin at this age.

We love his teacher, Mrs. Berry! She's taught 4 of our 5 boys.

Chloe did awesome sitting through both ceremonies. More cookies!

Brennan had been sick earlier in the week and missed a couple days of school. He even had to miss a field trip to the park and a field day! We were glad he was feeling well enough to go the last day.

We love his teacher too! We really lucked out with elementary school teachers this year. All done with school blogs! Time for fun summer blogs!