Thursday, October 30, 2008

Issue 23

Mommy and Me by Ellie age 4

Ellie handed me this portrait of us the other day and said, "Here mommy, will you put this on your blog?" I am fascinated with the evolution of her artistic ability. This week, on her own, she has gone from stick figures to people with bodies, fingers and hair. I know there is a natural progression in the way children learn to draw and now I'm interested in studying the reasons behind it.

Go Cougars!

Andy and Marsha (Steve's parents) invited us to the BYU vs. UNLV football game on Saturday. It can all be described in one word. Perfect. Perfect weather, perfect company, perfect to have my husband to myself all afternoon, and a perfectly suspenseful ending to a fun football game. (BYU won, but it was dicey to the end.) Thanks for the invite. Go Cougars!

Speech Competion

Clubs are an important part of our family's education. Janey participates in Liberty Girls, the boys attend Knights of Freedom and Steve and Whitney participate in Statesman Club. All of the clubs belong to American Youth Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization that seeks to build Statesman. I am privileged to be a co-leader for the SL Statesman Club this year that Steve L. attends. The youth learn public speaking, parliamentary procedure, have book groups, compete in Mock Trials, the Freedom Bowl (Jeopardy style competition on the Declaration or Constitution) and participate in a week long government simulation.

Thursday was our club's speech competition. The youth wrote and delivered two minute speeches on Benjamin Franklin. Our contest was judged by the very gracious president of the SL Toastmaster's Group. Steve L. competed and did a stellar job! He has a natural talent for public speaking and really enjoys himself. The judge scored him 96 out of 100 and said he had "perfect vocal variety." His score won him a spot at the statewide Statesman Club speech competition in Dec. (managed this year by yours truly.) Way to go Steve! (I feel a public speaking merit badge coming on.)

Shallow Leaves by Steve L.

Steve L. got creative while raking our inaugural leaf pile of the season.

L&P and Hot Water Beach by Noreen

Our favorite beverage in New Zealand is called L&P, a Sprite type drink (only much better) bottled in Paroa from their spring water. We couldn't resist a tourist picture with a giant bottle while passing through town. Their label claims "World Famous in New Zealand!"

Our next stop was Hot Water Beach. Because of an underground lava flow you can dig down a couple of feet in the sand and reach positively HOT water. Sometimes you burrow down with your feet and jump back out with singed toes. Come prepared with a shovel and dig yourself a whole. It fills with very warm water and you have your own jacuzzi!