Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We Seek After These Things...

Monday, June 13 we met at the Church at 7 am to load the trailers to head to Heber Valley Camp.
You would have thought we were going for a month rather than a week the way some of these girls packed.  
Cole and Rick showed up bright and early with our ward's camp trailer to help load the gear.
Cole gave the Bishop a high 5 for helping...

 The girls had to have 5 things to get on the bus...
water bottle, shoes, sleeping bag, coat and lunch.
 whoops, Summer didn't have a lunch but somehow she made it onto the bus.
Cole surely enjoyed the ride to Heber Valley Camp.
We stayed in Campground Smith and these are our missionaries giving us our orientation and rules.
Apparently we didn't listen very well because none of the cabin leaders showed up to their challenge course orientation as they were supposed to (huge miscommunication) and we missed the part about the very strict 10 pm curfew.  
Monday was rough.  
Tears were shed.
It could only go uphill for the rest of the week...and it certainly did!
This is one of the girls in my ward showing off her Book of Mormon (the project that I helped coordinate.  
angie bleggi holding her B of M, waiting for it to dry
I think I have about 20 of those little 4 inch Books of Mormon covered & embellished) and my island in the basement has a nice covering of modpodge to prove it.  (more on that project later)

The first night we had Cafe Rio salad for dinner.  
We pretty much ate like every meal was our last meal (and I can't seem to break that habit now that I am home.)  
However, I did come home weighing 1 pound less than when I left.  
I think it was because our campsite was about 5 miles up the trail from the others and we hiked/sprinted up that trail about a dozen times a day.  
I personally chose that campsite for the level 3's myself for that very reason.  
Well, that and the fact that it had a covered pavillion and private bathrooms. 

Sister Olson was in charge of the Level 3 FHE and she chose to do a talent show since the theme for that day was "Seek to Know Who You Are". 
Summer brought her guitar and sang a Selena Gomez song... 
She invited the girls to stand and sing along and sing they did.  over. and over. and over.

Each day the girls attended an EFC (Especially For Camp...similar to EFY)
This EFY ended with President Monson's warm fuzzy activity.
McKenna gave me a warm fuzzy. (sorry it's out of focus)
The girls had to participate in a song or an activity for certification.
So we had each of the girls in level 3 take part in a skit.
They were assigned different props that they had to incorporate into a fairy tale that had a Personal Progress Value theme.  
How interesting that Summer was assigned the role of the singing heifer.

Next up...a hike to the Lake.
I may have told the girls in my ward that it was comparable to walking to our church and back.
That may have been an exaggeration.
I was trying to get the right paddle.  It didn't happen.
That was OK, because Sadie & I ended up on a peddle boat instead.

 We kept going in circles.  I think it is because her legs are twice as long as mine.
Or because we didn't know how to steer.
 Alexandra, Summer, McKenna
 Audrey and Brooke
Audrey was the level 3 YCL  Cabin Leader and Brooke was my assistant Level 3 Leader.

The girls had a REALLY hard time remembering to drink enough.
On the hike back to camp I made them stop and drink a few times.  
I made a snow angel while I waited for them to drink.
It was more of a dare, but to be honest, it felt really good to cool off.

Some girl from another camp...must have been Lehi...knocked on my door one afternoon and asked if she could play "Bigger or Better".
I had no idea what she was talking about so she explained that she needed to trade this tissue paper flower for something bigger or better. 
 Well, I certainly didn't have anything bigger, but I had M&M's and those were certainly better.  
So, she took the M&M's and told me that the flower was to be worn as a bracelet.  
But, the flower would surely get in the way of eating dinner so I tied it to my head.   

We had planned to have each of the 3 cabins prepare a dutch oven dessert for FHE.
The weather and the time did not allow for this to happen so we bumped dutch oven desserts to Lunch on Thursday.  
Sopapilla cheesecake
chocolate turtle cake
and Cherry Flavored Dump Cake
all were A BIG HIT...
Brooke and Brynn preparing the coals for the dutch ovens
chocolate turtle dutch oven dessert
We had a formula for which recipe needed which coals and for how long.
The whole thing was quite impressive.
This one was the most tasty to me...it had butter, cake mix, cherry pie filling, coconut and pecans.
 Then there was the challenge course...Summer and I on the zip line.

Service Project...
hauling logs
It was amazing to me how some girls would just jump right in and help and others put more effort into LOOKING like they were working than if they would just do the work.
They would wander aimlessly looking for the least heavy stick, bend over for 3 minutes, and then meander back to the pile of wood with a stick the size of a pencil.  

Service Project
Another activity that we did was Happy Notes.
We hung a clothes line and then we had little squares of paper that they girls could write notes to other girls.  If they saw someone doing something nice, they could compliment them with a note.
They could sign their name or leave it anonymous.
At the end of the week, we took down all of the notes and let the girls have them.
Audrey, removing the notes from the line. 

Here are the themes for the week...
Seek to Know Who You Are--Divine Nature
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the spirit of God..." Romans 8:16-17
"For it is the Spirit who reveals to us our identity-which isn't just who we are, but who we have always been.  And when we know, our lives take on a purpose so stunning that we are changed forever." -Sheri Dew

See to Reach Out to Others
"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works an glorify your Father who is in heaven."  3 Nephi 12:16
"To find real happiness, we must focus outside ourselves"..."may we reach out to rescue those who need our help and our love." -Thomas S. Monson

Seek to be Happy
"And whoso trustest in the Lord, happy is he."  Proverbs 16:20
"Happiness is the object and design of our existence." -Joseph Smith
"Living righteously and keeping God's commandments makes us happy." -Marlin K. Jensen

Seek the Savior
"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me."  D&C 13,88:63
"Our lives reflect that for which we seek, if, with all our heart, we truly seek to know the Savior and be more like him, we shall be, for He is our divine, eternal brother."  Margaret Nadauld

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pain You Enjoy...

Utah Valley Half Marathon:
Rick (and imediate family) was invited to foin the Pleasant Grove Fire Department for the Utah Valley Half Marathon.  They were supporting cancer research so their shirts were pink--Rick's favorite color.
The PG Fire Chief, Marc Sanderson, challenged his staff (and family) to train and run in this years events.  Marc is a running stat freak...he tracks every mile he runs and lists every race he has ever completed, who he ran with, the shoes he wore, nutrition, etc.  This marathon was his 124th.  He has cone 15 ultras of 100 miles+.
The PG Fire Department had 31 of 48 firefighters running the marathon with 35 family members running either the full or the half.  
That is 72% of his department.
Marc jokes that the first question they ask applicants for the department is if they will ever consider running a marathon.  
So, we were proud to wear our PGFD pink at this 4th Annual Utah Valley Marathon.

 I rode the bus up with my friend, Audrey (her first/last 1/2 marathon).
We obediently arrived at the bus stop at the mall at 3:30 am, 
and arrived just above the Sundance turnoff at 4:00 am.
I immediately texted Brandi to see where she was.
She informed me that she was "On her way".
She was still in bed.
She and her neighbors cheated and had somebody drop them off at 5:45.
I hope they feel good about that.
(they do)
So, while we were huddled around the fire pit, we found two of our neighbors who were also running the half...
Lesli, who runs often (her husband ran the full and finished just a few minutes before Rick)
And Shilo, who is also a runner and was just using this as "a training run for another race".  (he finished 1 hour before I did.  wow)

 Oh, it's 5:45...look who just arrived.  
She still looks like she's sleeping...
 The Starting Line...it was pretty cool when we started running.  
It was on a downhill and all you could see for the first 1/2 mile was bodies running.  
It looked like a million people running down that canyon.
The first mile is always the worst for me.  Mile marker 1 was at the tunnel.

 I didn't run with anyone.  It took me 2 minutes to get my music figured out and by that time everyone was long gone.
 I probably lost a few seconds by stopping to take pictures but this was my favorite:
If it were easy, Everyone would do it!!
The other favorite sign said:
Tough times don't last, but tough people do

 It was hard.  I'm not gonna lie.
But, my favorite thing ever was running down University Ave. with the right hand lane blocked off.
The finish line was right in the middle of University and Center.
When he got about 2 blocks from the finish line, all of the lanes were blocked off and reserved only for runners.
People were lined up and down both sides cheering for every person who came running by.
I've heard that that is how it is for the whole 26 miles of the Boston Marathon.
If that is the case, then no wonder people try to hard to qualify for Boston.
It was unbelievable to me how motivating and emotional it was to run towards the finish line with so many people cheering for me.
This was my 3rd half marathon. 
And my best time so far: 2:35.
I was hoping to finish under 4:40.
I am doing another half in August and I hope to finish under 2:30.

Here we are at the end.

Summer, Sierra and Grandma Bette ran the 5K.
Summer was 5th in her age division.
Sierra was 6th in her age division.
They ran in the Dirty Dash the previous week as part of their training.
Sierra loved the dirty dash and can't wait to do that again.
Here is Grandma Bette running to the finish line.  
Her goal was to not come in last...
She finished 2nd in her age division.
The person who finished before her only beat her by a couple of minutes.
She is ready to train for next year so she can finish 1st in her age division.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

you know you're a redneck when...

Actually, there are lots of ways I could finish this sentence but for last weekend, it was...
You know you're a redneck when you cook all of your meals for the weekend
over a fire
in your own backyard.

 For girls camp, we have to use 2 alternate forms of cooking.  
So, one of them will be over a fire.
The leader in charge of this didn't want to do hotdogs.
She suggested breadsticks, like Pizza Factory breadsticks that are wrapped around a stick...

 The bread sticks turned out  delicious.  
We were just missing some homemade honey butter.
 Summer approved!!

 So, the following night, we experimented with the other menu item for camp:  Pineapple.
Some of the leaders didn't think this was going to work...
This is why I think it IS going to work...
1.  Pineapple.  how can you mess that up.
2.  Spread it with butter & brown sugar.  Seriously.  How can you mess THAT up.
3.  it doesn't have to reach any certain temperature to be safe to eat.  
You just have to heat it up enough to make a nice caramelize coating on the pineapple--which was about 10 minutes (which also happens to be the maximum attention span of a 14 year old girl)

The backyard campfire thing has been such a hit, 
that Rick has been researching a more permanent set-up for our outdoor cooking.  
This could be fun, the only problem was that Sunday morning when I got showered and ready for church EVERYTHING in my closet smelled like campfire.  
I just told everyone at church that I was just getting a head start for Girls Camp next week.
All in the name of research.