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Saturday, December 9, 2017

First Day at a New School

As you have probably figured out, I am playing catch up on all significant events between June and now. You can expect quite a few new posts in the next few days. 

Charlie started first grade this year! Due to boundary changes he switched from Prairie View to Crossroads Elementary. At first he was sad and Keith and I were a bit worried about it since it seemed like we were just barely getting things settled with the nurse and his new school didn't have the social skills program that had helped him so much. Not to mention that he had just barely made a good friend who wouldn't be switching schools.

The last day of school his class had a pizza party. When I went to bring him his pizza I cried as I hugged his teacher and again when I went to tell his amazing nurse good-bye. She didn't know that he was switching and promised to write an email to the nurse at his new school explaining to her what they found had worked best with his formula at school. That was a relief.

Despite our concerns he is doing really well. He has already made two new friends and it only took a month to figure out the formula situation with the new nurse. His teacher is wonderful and he is thriving. Things haven't been perfect, but so far it is proving to be a pretty great year.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Utah Camping

Waaay back in June we took a drive to Utah for a two week vacation, one of which was spent camping in the mountains (Granite Flats to be exact). It was wonderful!!!



We had had Molly for about a month at that point so she came along and proved to be a pretty decent camper, which is good considering the family she has come to. She would get pretty cold in the morning so I would stuff her in my jacket as I got breakfast going until a good sunspot showed up.

I am often jealous of dogs that can lay in sunspots to their hearts content without any pressing responsibilities.

We reserved two sites and for the first part of the week our good friends, the Cleggs, joined us. Their first morning there, Becky pulled out a face painting kit and pretty soon the kids were lined up to get painted. Except for Jane. She didn't want that brush anywhere near her.

It did our hearts good to see a second generation of Clegg-Merrill friendships begin forming.




 Piper, the Clegg's dog, was the first dog that Molly interacted with during her time with us. It was amusing to watch her observe Piper play. It has become pretty obvious that wherever it was she came from, she was the only dog.


I have a new appreciation for my dad's patience and sacrifice as he taught his kids to fish. It is a labor of love. Worth it though. Definitely worth it.


About half way through the week we said good-bye to the Cleggs and hello to the Jaggis!

 
Grant, Charlie, and Jane were playing a game where they would take turns "burying" a treasure while the other two covered their eyes and then they would try to find it. Good in theory but as you can tell from the picture, poorly executed.

 

 Jane loved playing/taking care of Hannah. Hannah loved running into the street and Jane was great at bringing her back to the camp. I took a super cute video of them playing ring-around the rosie. They make sure to fall all the way down, very carefully.

 Charlie really wanted to stay up to see the stars so twice we let him stay up late and twice he fell asleep. Both times we would try to rouse him when the stars came out but he was too tired to be interested at that point. Oh well. We tried.

One night during the trip we were startled awake by the voice of an announcer booming off the mountain sides up and down the canyon. Apparently there was some kind of race (with a very early start time) being held down on the road by the reservoir. The announcer kept on reading off raffle ticket numbers, reminders of race rules, and a seemingly never ending countdown to the start of the race. I was tired, cranky, worried that he would wake up the kids, and cursing the people who would need to have their raffle number announced more than once. But mostly I was furious with the announcer and the race organizers for waking me up. I would drift back off to sleep just to be jerked awake again by the announcer repeating a raffle ticket that someone still hadn't claimed. At one point I dreamed that I stormed over to the stage, grabbed the mic stand and hit the announcer over the head with it. Hard.

Only in the morning (the proper, reasonable morning) did I learn the identity of the announcer. It was the "voice of the Cougars" Greg Wrubell, the man who all BYU sports fans loved. Well not me. To me his name is Mud. (Joking, not joking.)

 There was a lovely reservoir below the campground where we went to play one day.


 Hannah and the "puhppy."

 Jane was REALLY excited to see baby ducks and REALLY disapointed when they swam away from her as she tried to go after them.

 The Jaggis also brought their dog Frankie. Despite the big size difference between her and Molly, Frankie was only about 6 months old at the time. Frankie thought Molly was pretty boring, but thanks to Frankie, Molly was introduced to "fetch."

 Alex took a break from his rock climbing adventures to join us for my birthday celebration! Technically my birthday was before our trip but I wanted to celebrate with family and have Keith cook me a Dutch oven shortcake. :)




Charlie and Jane happily helped Alex find the perfect spot for his hammock; right next to our tent. They think Alex is pretty cool. I agree.


 Beautiful sister and handsome nephew.

 
 Charlie and Grant carried large rocks around. Not sure why...


Swinging in the hammock.

 
 Keith was part way through cooking the cake when he realized that he didn't have tongs for the coals. Not to worry. He made his own and the cake turned out great.
 
 Joe and Bonnie, along with pups Roxie and Sadie, joined us for the evening to celebrate with us.

I think I may make camping with family a part of my birthday celebration traditions. Especially the lack of cellphone reception and internet access.
It was a truly wonderful week.