Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dixie Leadership Conference

So, I was lucky enough to be a chaperone for the Maple Mountain Student Council to attend the Dixie Leadership Conference in St. George.  It was a jam-packed, fun-filled few days.  Here are some highlights...

Love the red rock scenery.  And the weather was very mild for July.

When we moved to Utah, I worried about where to enroll the kids in school.  We lived in Orem, but planned on living in Springville.  I tried to enroll them at Sage Creek, but the day before school started, we decided that they should go to school in Orem.  It would be for 1 year.  Summer had the most amazing teacher and made great friends at Foothill Elementary.  She reconnected with some of those same friends who are now on the student council at AF and Orem.  Small world.  
Less Serious.
Less less serious

One of the activities was to attend the Little Mermaid at Tuachan.  It was so well executed.  I have heard people describe some of the effects but it exceeded all of my expectations.  And it was a bonus that it was about 90 degrees rather than the usual 110.  Oh, and we also shared a spot in the audience with Mitt and Anne Romney.  I think all 483 students tried to get up close and take a selfie of Mitt.  
Summer did a pretty good job and was mostly inconspicuous.  As were the other 482 selflies.  Not.

We did a service project at the Food Bank.

I listened in on most of the of speakers, activities, and discussions.  This one was the highlight event of the conference.  They listened to motivational speakers, did some hands on (literally) exercises, and the culminating event was breaking a board using martial art skills.

Summer gets herself psyched to break the board...

Last minute instruction…

And she breaks the board.  YES!!

Here are all of the MMHS students with their broken boards.  It was impressive and emotional.  
I thought that the conference was absolutely outstanding.  It would do a lot of high school students (and adults) well to attend a conference like this.  I can't believe how much I learned from sitting in on so many of the activities.  Super inspiring.
When the conference was complete, they joined in a circle of prayer to give thanks for their opportunity to attend the conference and to serve their fellow students.

*one story that I wanted to record…At the beginning of the conference, I walked in with Coach Smith. The man who was giving instructions to the group was a voice and name I recognized:  Gary Dunn.  He was on the faculty at my high school.  I asked Coach Smith about him.  Coach said that he knew Gary Dunn well and that Gary started this leadership conference years ago and it just keeps growing and getting better each year.  Gary Dunn is currently the student council advisor at Lone Peak High School.  They sent 60+ students to the conference from their school alone.
I was so impressed with the conference that I found Gary Dunn at the very end, after the evaluation session with all of the advisors.  I briefly told him what an amazing week he had put together and I also told him that I remembered him from OHS, and then I said "you know class of '88--we were State Champions in Football." He reached for my hand and asked if he could tell me a story.  Lots of other advisors and DSU people were standing around, but I said yes.  First, he asked me my name.  I said, "I am Kelli Robison.  I was a cheerleader."  He said, "I clearly remember you.  You were short, with dark hair, and a darling smile--exactly like you have right now."  I told him the names of a few of my friends and that I married Rick Herlevi.  Rick was a library aid and worked in the library for one of his classes. Mr. Dunn was a library assistant.  I don't even think he taught anything or had much interaction with students, but he did remember Rick, too.  Gary said to me, as he continued to hold my hand in his, "that is the year that changed my life.  That football season changed my life.  I started recording that football games and compiling highlight clips.  I was just doing what I liked to do.  And the football team just kept winning.  And I just kept recording games and highlights.  At the end of the season, I put together a State Championship Highlight video and we showed it in the auditorium for an assembly.  One thing led to another and people started asking for a copy of the video.  With the limited technology that we had at the time, I started making copies of the video and selling them.  I realized that I was good at this, I liked to do it, and I had talent.  It was at that time that I decided to finish my training and become an instructor and eventually a student government advisor.  So, that is the year that changed my life.  Every time the football team has a reunion, they still invite me to come show the highlight video."
I told Gary, "You a a bit of a hero to them, too.  You provided a very valuable gift to those young men and to all of us in recording those memories for us."
And Gary said, "that is kind, but they changed my life forever and helped me become who I was meant to be."
And, of course, I am practically crying.  I told him that we still have a copy of the highlight video in our own personal archives.  It's such a small world!!  I love that he took the time to tell me that story in front of all those other people.  What a great week!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sumbum

Have a great 17 birthday.
We are lucky to have you in our family.
I hope you enjoy your senior year of high school!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pleasant Valley Days 2014 Version

Time for our annual trip to Pleasant Valley Days in Scofield where this quiet little view turns into hundreds and thousands of people who move into this area for a weekend of fun and celebration.

Before the rednecks moved in for the weekend, we had a few days of peace and quiet.
Cole and Sierra took advantage of this time to get some gun handling instruction.

They are both pretty good shots.
And they both shoot Left Handed.
Which is not a result of being taught to shoot by a Lefty…
they are both left eye dominant.  Weird.  But, makes it easier for Rick.

More gun instruction.

Pie Making
On Tuesday afternoon Sierra and I found ourselves home alone without any internet/cell phone coverage and we needed a project.

We decided to go out in the yard and pick some rhubarb and make a pie.  

Much less work space than I am used to…

Here are the pies.  Being served for breakfast the next morning.  We made one rhubarb and one strawberry rhubarb.  So, obviously we had to have a taste test to see which one was the favorite.
Strawberry rhubarb won by a slim simply because a pink cake is more appetizing than a green one.
Also, traditional Kropsa in the background being served for breakfast.

Pie making and pie eating is hard work.

The entire thing was quite overwhelming for Hooee.  (I want to be a dog in my next life.)

Sadly, the mud swallows were building nests all over the neighbors house.  They are gross and dirty.
There was mud and dirt everywhere.  And even a few dead birds hanging from the second story nests.  It was awful.  Rick and Waino sprayed them all down with a super powerful hose.  Again.  Messy.
But, Summer discovered that they made beautiful little speckled eggs.  So, she and Sierra found unbroken eggs that did not have little unborn birds in them and blew them out.  (gross)  But, kinda pretty.

Cole was thrilled when the weekend rolled around and cousins started showing up for the celebration.

On Friday afternoon we headed over to the pavilion to begin preparations for the annual spaghetti fundraiser dinner.  We love our role in the whole thing:  we show up on the day of the event, we help set up, we serve, we clean up, we go home.  Easy.  No other responsibilities.

I did have to bribe cole to behave by sneaking him a few extra cookies.  There are the infamous "cookie tree" cookies that my dad used to order from Nicholas and he would eat one or two every morning for breakfast.

After the dinner was the Little Miss Pleasant Valley Days competition that Sierra decided to participate in.  There were 6 girls in her age division.  Sierra is so funny, when the girl ahead of her was up on stage singing, Sierra turned to me asked me which song I thought she should play.  She didn't decide on the song to play until she got on stage.  Who does that?  After she played her fiddle song it was question time.  Her question:  "If you were stranded on a desert island which 2 things would you wish to have with you?"  Sierra answered without hesitation:  "I would wish for a book about how to build a raft and a carpenter."  What?? 

*Drumroll*  The winner is…Sierra.  I don't know if it was because of her fiddle song or her answer to the question.  Either way, WAY TO GO, Sierra!!!
And time for bed.

As per tradition, we also get up at 5:30 am to be back over to the pavilion by 6 am to start preparations for the breakfast.  Again, no involvement for us besides showing up to set up, serve, and clean up.

Getting ready to serve scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, and pancakes.  (I was serving hash brown, not pictured)

This guy grills the hash browns.  Every.  Year.  I think he's about 95 years old.

They have 3 grills going the entire boring with hash browns and eggs.  Then they pass them into the kitchen through the open window on the right.

Stan is the pancake man.  Don't mess with him.

After the breakfast was the parade.  We quickly cleaned up the breakfast mess and jumped in the Rhino to get to the redneck parade.  

Look who we found, ready for a parade!!

On Saturday afternoon Summer and Sierra were asked to fill in for a musical number that cancelled at the last minute.  They put together a 45 minute show.  It was a lot of fun.  Don't let the empty chairs on the front row fool you.

Enjoying food.  again.  Check out the beautiful peony bouquet on the table.  Just in time for the 4th of July.  Only in Scofield!

Teresa wanted to show Kent some fun times so they went on a Razor ride.  It was a little dirty.

Kinda weird wedding announcement posing brought plenty of laughs!!  Time to show.

We had to fit in a few rounds of Newts.  

We took about 300 pictures up on the hill waiting for the fireworks to start.  no exaggeration. 

Super fun, relaxing, busy, sleep deprived, unplugged, food-filled, family-filled, redneck-filled  celebration!   Love these crazy goofballs.  (missed Rick for the 2nd half of the week)