Friday, August 22, 2008

Issue 13

Ellie Update by Noreen

Well, it's round 3 this summer of battling Ellie's asthma. She back on her medication and treatments and generally feeling lousy. They now want to put her on daily maintenance meds, since it's so hard on her airways when she gets so bad. I'm am not happy about this, but we have to stop this crazy cycle.

On a better note, we were able to get Ellie's dental work done last week and she now has her beautiful pearly whites back. My friend Alesha read our dental woes on the blog awhile back and quickly recommended an amazing dentist that uses a water laser technology to numb the teeth, and no medication is necessary. Not only was there no medication or pain, but it was a fraction of the cost of what our original dentist was proposing. I'm so grateful. Thanks Alesha!

I know that I promised a sweeter blog this week, but I didn't tag Steve down for his yummy review before he was off hiking the High Uintas with Steve L. and the scouts. I'm hoping for some stunning pictures for next weeks blog.

Declaration of Independence by Whitney

Last week our family went to see the Declaration of Independence. And we only spent ten dollars in gas doing so!

We didn't go to D.C.. We went to the State Capital.

So what was the declaration of Independence doing in the capital of Utah?

Well, in 1989, A man bought a four dollar painting at a flea market because he admired the frame. When he got home he noticed a bit of paper sticking out of the back. He gently pried it out and unfolded it. It was an original copy of the Declaration of Independence!

There are about thirty copies of the document. One was the one signed at congress August and the others were printed and distributed throughout the thirteen colonies on the fifth of July. All but about thirteen copies were lost.

And so we found ourselves waiting in line to see the Declaration of Independence.

After It was certified as an original Dunlap Broadside copy, it was purchased by a couple who had a dream of it traveling across the nation for all to see. It is the only copy in good enough condition to travel.

But it wasn't that simple.

We got there thinking we could just walk in and see it and walk out, like in Washington DC. But as we got in, we were directed to a room with a movie about the Broadside. After that we were told that the line was two hours long. It wound all around the capital building. So we got in line.

And waited.

And waited. And waited. And waited. And moved ahead two meters. And waited. And waited. Some of us went to go see the gift shop. And waited. And moved forward. And some of us go to see the house and senate room, and waited. And waited.

You get the idea. And you could not really sit down because the entire building is made of marble. It was sooooooooo boring, and your legs start to hurt cause your just standing there!


But about an hour into it you cant leave because you devoted so much time.

Three hours later. Maybe we should have left two hours ago. But then you come in sight of the HUGE room that in the middle there is a roped off area that has the Declaration on display. They have securty guards standing on either side. They are escorting one family at a time into the circle to get a close look, and take photos! There where literally thousands of people in the building at the same time! You could go up a flight of steps and see it from a balcony. It was sooooo cool. We got to the display and were able to get up close and personal. It was so cool to see that old of a document up close!!!

It was a four and a half hour wait, but it was worth it!

Conquering Goliath

We all have things that come naturally to us, and things that seem impossible for us to do. For Steve L., building amazing Lego creations, making people laugh, reading, being kind, public speaking and being dependable as the sun, all come naturally.

Swimming did not.

Considering the fact that he refused to put on a swim suit the first time we went to the pool this summer, much less stick his face in the water, Steve has come a long way! Over 50 feet in fact. Tuesday Steve passed off his swimming test for his 2nd class scout rank. It was so exciting to see him conquer his Goliath. He is a great example to me. Way to go Steve!

More Dinosaurs by Daniel

We went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. There were tons of cool dinosaurs. Since we hadn't been there in two years it was really, really cool. My favorite part was the giant sand and water table, where we played with toy dinosaurs and built dams and destroyed them. I liked it better than the dinosaur park in Ogden, because it's all indoors and I don't like getting headaches from the heat.

We went with our cousins and that made it lots of fun. Then we got to go and play at their house.

Dinosaur about to pounce on Mom and Aunt Becca.

Photos by Steve L.

Bobcats and Wolves and Bears, Oh My!

It was really, really awesome earning my first scout badges. I earned my chess belt loop and pin, my wildlife conservation belt loop, my astronomy, BB shooting, and archery belt loops. I also earned my swimming belt loop and pin. I got a Kennecot patch, my bobcat and wolf badges and I earned one gold arrow point and 4 silver arrow points. We also played a game of freeze tag, the boy scouts showed us how to build a fire and we roasted s'mores.
Grandma N and Great grandma came to the pack meeting to see Daniel get all his awards.

Giving mom her bobcat and wolf mother's pins.

Flying Horse by Janey

Ulva Island by Noreen

From Potuwi we drove to the southern most tip of the South Island and stayed in Bluff for New Years Eve. New Years Day we took a ferry to Stewart Island, a small island to the south, and then a water taxi east to Ulva Island. Ulva is a bird sanctuary and totally unspoiled. For our bird loving family this was a highlight! They have walking paths around the whole island, and spent almost 4 hours exploring. Except for passing other hikers occasionally we felt like we had the island to ourselves. We got to see the Weka, the Kaka, the Saddleback and the Tui bird among others.

A rare photo of the whole family (oops...I just realized Whitney was taking the picture!)

My favorite photo of Daniel in New Zealand. What a handsome kid.

A Weka and her chick.

The Parenting Breakthrough - Book review by Noreen

My dear friend Denise invited me to spend the day with her at BYU's Education Week on Thursday. Steve was going to take the day off, but had important meetings at work come up that he couldn't miss. Whitney did a great job babysitting for the day. She played with the girls, made banana bread with Janey, fed everyone lunch and cleaned the house. All this while I was being spiritually fed and having a great time with Denise. What more could a mom ask for?

We attended some really amazing classes and I got to hear two sessions by my parenting hero, Merilee Boyack. Her book the Parenting Breakthrough, has been my "teaching children to become responsible, independent adults" bible. Most of you are probably sick of hearing me talk up this book, but in case you missed out, I highly recommend it! She is just as witty and down to earth in person as she is in her books and I love the way she thinks.

I also had the chance to attend a play that night with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law. Although the play was regrettably awful, to the point of being comical, the company was a joy.

I thoroughly enjoyed my rare day off and I'm ready to try some new ideas and insights. Too bad I can't swing one of these days every week!

End of Issue 13