Thursday, July 24, 2008

Issue 9

Youth Conference by Whitney

Last week our ward had youth conference, and it was so cool! First we all met at a park that is in a Church's "backyard". We split into groups, and went to go offer service. We would go to a house, knock on the door, and ask the people that lived there if they had anything that we could do for them. The answer was almost always, "weeding". After a few hours of this we all met back at the pavilion for lunch, and then we went to our classes. There were five. They were about patriarchal blessings, marriage, scripture study, media, and so forth.

After that we had a carnival and it was really cool. They had a snow cone machine, a Cotton candy machine, a dunk chair, and a climbing wall! Plus all the wards had a different activity, like ring toss, water balloon trow, it was tons of fun!!

Then we had dinner, and after everyone went home for an hour to get changed and ready for the dance. It was the first dance I had been to, so I mostly stuck to a group of my friends, but it was a ton of fun! Cant wait till next year!

Me being the D.J. for the not-really-a-cake-but-actually-a-liquorice-walk at the carnival.

The climbing wall at the carnival.

Practicing for the dance with dad.

The Big Nine

Our Daniel turned 9 years-old on Monday! How time does fly. He's such a fun guy and were so glad he's part of our family!

A birthday hug for Daniel!

The satisfaction of getting just what you wanted for your birthday. Happy Birthday Daniel!

Minnesota Friends

Turns out we only live minutes away from our good friends from Minnesota. Our family lived in Minnesota from 1998 to 2002 and two of our children were born there. We had a wonderful visit getting reacquainted and the kids had grown so much! (Amazing what 6 years will do.) My kids are excited to get together again with their new, old friends and I'm glad to have Tami back in my life.

My Little Cannoli

They were pretending to be worms, but I think they look like the Sicilian pastry desserts Cannoli.

Liberty girls by Janey

This week for Liberty girls we played some Indian games. We played a game like hockey with sticks and a ball and another game where someone would hold a stick and someone would hold a hoop. The person would throw the hoop and the person with the stick would try to get it through the hoop. The Indians played this game for spear throwing practice. Then we got to peel corn on the cob and eat it. I liked the corn. We made Indian dream catchers and talked about the book Kaya and Lone Dog. The book was about a lone dog that had puppies. Kaya visited the puppies and got to keep one for her own. I like this book about Kaya.

Crème Brûlée by Steve

I like Crème Brûlée, real Crème Brûlée that is. As an ice cream, it is like a potato chip trying to be a Dorito. Not the real thing, and no express need to try. The custard ice cream was fun, a little thicker and creamier than regular ice cream. I thought for a fleeting moment that I might have a potential winner on ice cream base alone, then I encountered the crunchy caramelized sugar swirl. Things went quickly from promising to "not a chance." Fully expecting the half-burnt tasting, crunchy, thin crispy strip of roasted sugar taste that would top real Crème Brûlée, I was greeted with a crunchy swirl of oversweet and sticky sugar mass. It tasted nothing as I had hoped yet everything like another ice cream I had tasted in New Zealand, Hokey Pokey. An interesting fact about Hokey Pokey ice cream is that it is New Zealand's most popular flavor. Kiwis swear by it. I dislike the flavor. That correlation made, all was lost. Dead last. Yes, dead last is the ranking here. Next week I will turn my sites to true contenders, pulling exclusively from the flavors ahead of NYSFZC on Ben and Jerry's top ten list. Wish me luck!

Days of '47 Parade by Daniel

(Note by Mom: We took the family to the annual Days '47 Parade for Pioneer Day. It was the first time we have taken the kids, since Steve hasn't usually had the day off. What fun!)

The parade was really cool. We saw lots of floats. In one of the cars we saw President Monson. There were a lot of marching bands and it was REALLY hot. My favorite float was of seagulls eating crickets. We saw all the motorcycles of all the Sheriffs of Utah. They preformed a lot of tricks (formations). We saw the Mayor and lots of really, really old cars. My favorite marching band was the Post Office Band. My favorite part of the Parade was seeing President Monson up close.

If you can't tell from the picture, the seagulls are BBQing the crickets for a picnic. Very funny!

This is the Place Heritage Park by Steve L.

On Thursday, for Pioneer Day, we went to This is the Place Heritage Park. When we got there they were about to do a little parade through to village, so we quickly got dressed up and joined in. Then we went and walked around the village. They had a barber shop, a ZCMI store, a bank, a petting zoo and lots of activities (like stamping leather, a mini train ride, and coloring wooden fish and snakes.) My favoirte place was the blacksmith's shop, where they were really making things out of metal. A little later, they did a candy cannon. They took a real cannon, loaded it with explosives and candy and fired it into the crowd! After that there was a mad scramble. I only got 3 pieces, but it was fun!

On Parade

Blacksmith's Shop

Candy Cannon!

Stamping real leather

Printing Press

Christmas in Christchurch by Noreen

On December 23rd we made the marathon drive from Golden Bay to Christchurch. In the process we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere (thank goodness for roadside assistance insurance!) and our trailer breaks caught fire. (They only flamed for a moment, but it demanded all of our newly filled water bottles to get rid of the smoke. We drank juice the rest of the day.) We had been in a remote area with no chance to Christmas shop, and planned to do it this day on our way into Christchurch. We knew one of NZ's stores, The Warehouse, would be open until midnight on the 23rd, so we planned to stop as soon as we found one. That didn't happen until we pulled into Christchurch at 10:45 pm. We woke the sleeping children and rushed around getting our shopping done. Steve helped the kids pick out a present for the sibling they had drawn, and I grabbed a few things for the kids. Christmas is certainly not all about the presents, but waking up to no presents would have been a little depressing. Since Christmas Eve was a Sunday and we wouldn't be shopping, we just squeaked it in. Like lucky Cinderellas we checked out right at the stroke of midnight.

Steve and I didn't fall into bed until 2:00 am that night, by the time we set up camp, and the only late starting ward in the area on Christmas Eve was a Samoan one. One of our goals has been to expose the children to many different cultures and languages, so we decided to attend. The only words we understood the whole Sacrament Meeting were Christmas and Amen! The great thing was, we felt the spirit just the same as attending any other ward. We also had the chance while touring the South Island, to go hiking with Jewish family from Israel, share a small rain shelter with Chinese University students, and made good friends with a family from England and a single mother from Germany and her adorable 18 month old son, Ruben. We heard French, Indian, Russian, German, Swedish, Samoan, Chinese and Japanese being spoken. We only met two other couples from the US at all the campsites we have stayed at, and people always ask us if we are Canadian. Apparently, Americans don't often do the Motor Camp circuit.

Getting back to Christmas, we forgot to buy a Christmas tree, so Whitney fashioned one out of driftwood and green contact paper we had for lining our trailer shelves. The kids decorated it with sea shells and pine cones and we were all quite proud of it. We had a simple and lovely Christmas Day playing together.

End of Issue 9