Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day Fun at the Park

Well, we had a real holiday with everyone home!!! Amazing. The swimmers got back from their swim meet in Irvine, California and Mark was in town so we all were able to have a nice day together-our last before our move and before Lauren goes off to college.

We BBQed and watched a movie. Mark's ribs really didn't need anything else to accompany them. We devoured them for an hour. We had some fruit and soda but that was an afterthought.

We also took a walk to the park close by and played wiffle ball and watched Kathryn on the playground.

Kathryn is really the catalyst for our "walk" because that's all she could say once she woke up from her nap. "Walk!" She got her shoes and went for her jogger/stroller ready for adventure. We just had to ablige her.

Our ball game was very fair with no cheating and no teasing. Everyone did really well and looked like pros. OK, I'm being sarcastic. It was wild and fun and silly. We never actually tagged each other out. We just threw balls at each other and claimed the outs that way (we have a lot of the wiffle balls). I (Mom) was the first to steal a base. I love doing that. Christian tried to mix it up with some softball style pitches. Lauren showed the Moody family skills by hitting the ball well-even thought she's never really played. And all 3 boys who have played baseball were tough batters.

Kathryn got to join in with all of the big people and bat and boss the pitcher and chase the balls. She stole the bases, literally and kept her team and the opposing team on their toes.

All in all, it really was a fun outing. It's nice when we can spend fun family time together, huh guys?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some Mornings

By Sheer Numbers

I think that just with the sheer number of people in our home, we are, on a fairly consistent basis, dealing with one form of a trial or another. Being the adults in the home, Mark and I have our own trials. Then the kids through the years have continued to have theirs. As a parent I find that I watch their trials and find it a comfort that I have enough experience in life to assist our children through many tough times. But fairly often, what I know or have experienced isn't enough. Each child is a unique person with specific needs and characteristics. So they all need to work through things in their own ways.

It's in these times that I find myself more focused and on my knees praying for guidance, support and growth for our family. I have found that I reach success by working with the Lord to find solutions. The solutions come in many forms-no lightning bolts or angels. I try to guess but usually I just have to exercise patience.

One thing that we seem to learn is that bad times come and go and our attitude in dealing with each other during the down times is really key to making it through without too much depression, sadness and emotional scar tissue.

Another thing that I, personally, have learned is that most great things in life, including key learning experiences, take time. That's very painful at times. During the learning experiences we are usually trying to adjust our characters, habits and mindsets. We can call this the "smoothing of a stone". And isn't being a beautiful smooth stone a great goal in this life. Have you looked back at yourself ever? I just watched my wedding video from over 20 years ago and cringed at a couple moments of immaturity. Sure I was overall in a great place at that great moment but 20 years brings a lot of life experiences that for me have helped to make me a better person who would have done a couple things differently, if given the choice. That's a pretty normal thing with everyone in their work, home, etc.

Success in the end of a trial can be defined by whether one has learned a key life lesson, or one has been able to continue to move forward in life being productive without caving under the pressure. I don't know. There are a lot of measures.

I was inspired in this line of though by an speech (of which I only have a portion of so I can't quote the original speaker) that my Dad sent out to us at one point.

Here is the quote that I liked:

"Success seems to be largely matter of hanging on after others have let go." William Feather

The speaker added this though:

"I am so glad I hung on! I even think we need those times where we have nothing left in us. They help us build a trust and dependency on the Lord."

Words to live by. During some very challenging times for so many with tough economies, natural disasters and decaying societies, it seems a very good idea to stay close to the Lord and "hang on" for success not only for ourselves but for our loved ones and friends alike.

End of School Year

It's the end of the school year and that means recitals, performances, banquets, art shows, and open houses. We are in the full swing of these follow up events. In the last 10 days we attended Jonathan's art show where we saw some really great talent on display. Jonathan had artwork and photographs on display.

The artwork was a chalk picture of a bright yellow flower. He had nice shading and movement in the picture. He also had a sculpture of a runner that we liked.

His photographs were interesting-one of a football player that displayed photograph developing skills with another picture in the picture. The other picture was one that he took of his baby sisters hands and feet that we really liked.

It is really interesting to see the levels of creativity and talent. There was some artwork that would sell extremely well. It was amazing.

Just a couple nights ago we went to Michael's middle school awards assembly. It was held at the school in the evening. This was a gathering of the school's top students. There were teacher awards, attendance awards, and academic awards. Michael got the Presidential Award for academics. I think he was just happy to be done with it all. I made him take a picture. It was like pulling teeth. What a riot!

We have a couple athletic banquets for swimming and track and the Senior Awards Assembly and then Graduation! We're almost there.
Good work guys.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is this what Calculus Does to people?

First let's just give some credit where it's due. There are GREAT teachers out there! (and in our public schools, to boot! Yeah and thank you!)

Well, here's the scoop. It's a odd phenomenon that I've never witnessed before.

It was a sighting worth recording for posterity's sake. After a full year of hard studies and countless extra hours both at school and in study group all over the northwest Las Vegas Valley, they came together with a plan. They were going to conquer the AP Calculus exam. How would this be? How could they possibly master the seemingly impossible feat? What would it take. The plan was dancing, adopting a mascot, driving their teacher crazy, and dressing for the occasion. Only in a unified uniformed state could they come out the victor!

So through their organized study groups, they came up with t-shirts, matching pant colors, paint, tube socks with stripes, ribbons for their hair and jigs to go with their stressful moments. Did they come out on top? We don't know the outcome yet. My Black and pink creation came home dazed with a test sticker attached to her cheek. It was a worrisome site but there is hope on the horizon.

I just think that others should see the proof of this craziness in the ages of education.

Behold Lauren's Calculus Comrades in all their glory. (Lauren is on the far right of the 4 girls sitting down, just in case you weren't sure at this point)

Calculus is FUN, really.

(and in case you didn't get it, yes, this is how they dressed for their very serious AP exam on wednesday)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sportmanship is around still?

Of course it is. With all of our kids in sports, and throughout the years, in various kinds, we've seen the good, bad and the ugly. This video was sent to our family by Grandpa Ellsworth. It's pretty cool:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Going Green

Well, by now most everyone that we come in contact with on a daily basis and our families know that we are moving our family to Lexington, Kentucky.

It's not a new idea for us. We've had a second home in Lexington for about 4 years now. Mark had been traveling back and forth for about that time as we've been running our business' in each state. But now we'll just change the home base to the green hills of Kentucky.

For those of you who might say, "why Kentucky?", well, Mark grew up in Lexington and we've loved it from day one. We almost moved there right out of college but couldn't get in-state tuition so we went to Las Vegas where we've been for almost 20 years.

Vegas has been so good to us. We have very strong roots here. The people we've lived by, gone to church with, shared ball fields, pools, and ball courts with, and hung out with in general mean so much to us.

We have very caring friends who have been with us through thick and thin.
This will be hard in the aspect of leaving such great people, but we are ready.

Some things that make this transition a little easier:

  • The boys are all going to be in high school at Mark's alma mater and think that's pretty cool.
  • Lauren will be off at BYU swimming and doing her thing.
  • We have a small farm that we are thinking about utilizing.
  • The kids will all continue with sports, scouting, working, driving, etc. just like here. They've met several kids through swimming and church already over the past several years. So there's a comfort in the move.
  • Ultimately, we feel inspired to do it now

    Anyway, We'll still be around our Las Vegas home-Mark and the college kids will be in and out over the next couple years quite a bit. Sherrill will be, too. Who knows, we might not stay away!

We're going to try to see everyone around Lauren's graduation at the beginning of June.
This is a big time for us. Aside from our move, our first child is off and running soon (if she doesn't pull her hair out this week preparing for 3 AP exams).

*****We want everyone in Las Vegas to know how much we love them
and we will keep in touch.*****