i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

wait just a minute ...

when did all those get there??
although i have to admit i think i have earned every last one of them! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

somebody hijacked my camera ... again!

i did not take this upclose picture of my library book ...

but i think i know who did ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

we went to the ward campout!

we did it ... we had a nice sleep in our nice warm beds and after the rains came down and there wasn't a flood we decided to pack up the tent, sleeping bags, our huge air mattress, some sweatshirts, s'more stuff, our bikes and a few snacks and hit the road ...

we made a stop at the bowling alley - bowled a few games with our 'extended family', the quigleys (minus their dad)...

and then made our way to cascade park!

we decided not to bring all our gear so after setting up camp and taking a quick polar dip in the river, we drove up the road to granite falls for dinner at mcdonalds and then came back to cascade for a program put on by the activities commitee and the bishop. then the quigley's showed up and we had ourselves some s'mores!!

in the morning, i made a fire, we had chocolate chip pancakes provided by our fantastic ward people, helped them clean up and pack up, pumped up our raft, 'mostly' packed up, donned our swimsuits and life jackets and headed down to the river - it was still freezing (btw) - after we were numb from the neck down (or the neck up as the case may be... ) we decided our camping trip was over and loaded in the rest of our stuff, changed back into our dirty clothes and came home!

it was so fun! for real.

Friday, August 27, 2010

i'd like to make a call ...

instead of camping thursday night we took the kids to alderwood mall and had dinner in the food court ... we had some coupons from our entertainment book to use and so we made a night of it!

we also had a history lesson ...

this is something my kids have never seen before ... they have never watched me use one ... and have not had the opportunity to use ever in their young lives. 

15 yrs ago who knew the pay phone would be a relic/obsolete/archaic!? 

you mean people used to have to pull over at a gas station or 7-11 to use the phone on the road?
you mean you didn't have a phone in your car? or in your pocket?  or in your purse?
you mean you had to put coins in the phone?
a quarter?! (it's 2 quarters now!)

it was a fun little field trip!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

making up new words ...

but let's face it ... these 2 campers
would have a hard time
without these 2 campers
o what do you do in the summer time
when all the world is gray?
do you sit on your bum
and watch shows that are dumb
while the summer days all fly away??
is that what you do? 
unforturnately so do we!

o what do you do in the summer time
when all the ground is wet?
do you get ready for camp
wish things weren't so damp
and pray the clouds would dry up and go away??
is that what you do?
come back and do ShawWright Labor Day Campout with us!!

it was our plan to go camping today ...
but now it's raining ...

rain, rain go away ...
come again when autumn is here
summer's supposed to be sunny and warm
so we can go camping with all our gear
rain, rain go away!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

in preparation for our campout ...

Andy practiced eating smores ... and getting them all over himself!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the many faces of me ...

I use picasa 3 to make my collages and just discovered that it has facial recognition and will categorize all the faces ... and then try to match the rest of the faces in all the pictures you've got on your computer ... it's amazing ... and entertaining - sometimes it recognizes eatson's face as mine ... elyssa has shown up in my queue as well!  guess my kids do look like me!  i only have 3,522 unnamed faces to deal with ... it's been fun and funny going thru all the pictures i have ... the best is getting to see all the faces of me ... andy, abi, elyssa, ammon, easton - the baby ones, the crying ones, the cheese-ing ones, and the laughing ones! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

a few things you should know about the four year old in our house ...

seriously ... is this kid cute or what!?
1: he knows he's cute ... he is told how cute he is on a regular basis (and not just by his mommy) and he tries to get away with things because he is so cute.

2: he loves his mommy. he wants me to lay by him for a few minutes each night and we usually sing a song or two together. he likes to hold my hand - everywhere we go. he kisses me, on the lips sometimes ... not gross - sweet and slobbery ..., on the cheek, on the forehead, butterfly kisses on my nose ... he's my little charmer.

3: he has uncanny balance. this kid was riding a 2 wheeler bike at 2 years old! he got a new yellow bike for his birthday and LOVES it! he roller blades and not just around in a circle at the skate deck ... he jumps, steps up onto the carpet without falling and wins races!! he can kick his skateboard up our sloped drive way, jump on with both feet and ride it down the driveway! he's amazing - all self taught ... we did not help/force him ... he is totally athletic!

4: he still sucks his left ring finger backwards (palm out) and loves his taggie!

5: he's starting preschool this september! whenever we talk about him going off to school he makes sure that i remember that he will come back home. he's not going to stay at school - 'just like ammon did' he says.

6: he loves to sing! he knows lots of songs (mostly christmas and primary) and most of the right words!

7: he's a pouter! if he doesn't get what he wants he usually shouts: "Darn!" folds his arms or flops on the ground or kicks things ... i usually ignore it ... but sometimes have to stop myself from laughing in his face! his pouty face is pretty 'darn' cute!

8: he's the size of a 5 and 1/2 year old. he's always been big ... and he seems to be keeping a steady pace. look out ... he wants to play football and we're gonna let him - that is unless he's really good at something else and changes his mind ... we'll let him decide but he's gonna be a BIG kid and coaches are going to LOVE him!

9: he's a really good friend. he's always looking out for people, sticking up for his friends. he likes to play with everybody! he's nice and friendly and likes to include people and doesn't care/doesn't notice the difference between boys and girls! friends are friends!

10: he's four today! i can't believe it! my baby is getting so big! but he'll always be my baby!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

i took my circus TO the circus (at the science center)

We decided that we better use our guest passes before they expire, so we invited one of Easton's best little buddies and her mom to join us!  It was a lot of fun!  The girls stood in line almost the entire time waiting to go on the flying trapeze for 15 minutes each!  Better hurry if you want to see the Circus - it's only in town for a few more days!
this shot only took 4 tries!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

yw camp : important details (don't need a travel log)

holy long post ...
camp was 3+ weeks ago but i want to remember a few things ... i had the awesome opportunity to hang out with the 4th years! i was an assistant leader which translates to indian - not chief (hooray!) ... i did as i was told/asked to do and helped out where i could. mostly i was just an adult 'supervisor'. that makes it sound like the girls were my minions/subjects/subordinates ... on the contrary, i was merely older ... these girls were in charge and they knew full-well what they were doing and rarely needed my guidance! our team had some awesome YCLs (youth camp leaders) that basically did EVERYTHING and we (the adult camp leaders) stood around and watched!

the first day we gathered our girls and took them about 20 minutes north to where they would camp for the night and do their 4th yr hike. we went back up that evening for FHE with them ... wow - these girls are awesome ... this was my first chance to see them in action! Megan Hickman and Whitney Perkins lead the FHE and did such a great job. they talked about goals for YW camp and the things they had talked about on the hike - wanting to get to know each other better, no gossiping amongst ourselves, no drama, be AWESOME and don't have clicks. Megan talked a little about EFY and a quote she shared: "the distance between you and the Lord is the distance from your knees to the floor." we read in D&C 6 and she pointed out the words Pray, Seek, Gifts and Friends and whitney shared Matt. 25:14 about talents. she talked to us about how the Lord will say to us "well done" when we use our talents for good.
it was wo great to see them in action and feel the spirit there with them ... just as they were getting to know each other ... i was still trying to learn names myself!

tuesday morning we went to pick them up and caravanned back with all our girls! after lunch we had our opening ceremony. one of the first tasks was to start preparing a skit ... we had a list of things the girls needed to incorporate and our girls were awesome!! totally not biased opinion! the 4th yrs skit ROCKED!

during our free time Sarah Platteborze and I did a few runs down the enormous slip n slide and then went and played in the river! on our way back from the river we stopped at the crafts pavilion and made ourselves some lip gloss!

later that night, after each group performed their skits (and did i mention that ours was the best?! - and the leaders did not have to perform {halleluiah}), brother fawcett - one of the camp dads - sang an impromptu song ... including a few leaders and girls by name. (pretty stinkin' funny)

one of our jobs as leaders was to enforce the rules ... not fun ... but i learned from the other leaders about being firm and loving. we went to each tent and ensured we had all our girls in at 11:00 - told them that we loved them and goodnight!

the next morning i thought about going to the polar dip ... but decided to build a fire instead - the mornings were COLD!! brother stewart - camp dad - came over and surveyed my fire ... he was impressed ... the last few years he was on morning fire duty for the 4th years ... he was glad i was there to take on that responsibility - and i was happy to do it! ;o)

we did our service project that morning - half of the campers were on mulching trees and the other was tasked with building nice wide walkways ... we collected river rocks the size of one of our feet and made the edges of the paths with the rocks and filled in the path with mulch - they looked great! and we mulched 173 trees! it was a great project!!

later on that day the 4th years were scheduled for the ropes course. Wow - what an experience. we have some strong leaders in this rising generation - and i mean physically powerful as well as enthusiastic and effective. the most outspoken of which were 'taken ill' and were instructed not to use their voices (in an effort to bring some of the quieter girls to the front and allow them to lead. i was even caused to be lame (i know i'm lame ha ha), my leg was 'broken' and i had to be helped across the logs. we learned about team work, trust and how to listen. i personally learned about stinging nettle ... did you know that the spores on the back of the fern leaves can neutralize the stinging?? it's true ... but the stinging lingers for a few hours ... annoying!!

that evening was the night hike ... i had been hearing bits and pieces of what we would be doing but didn't really know what to expect. our YCLs were involved so that left the adult leaders in charge of the evening fireside and we had decided to read the story "The Parable of the Golden Pathway" to our girls. it was awesome ... such a powerful message. when we finished our fireside we had time to read scriptures for a few minutes and use the potty and get ready for the night hike...

the YCLs took us in groups of about 10 ... and my group was the last. as we walked thru the dark forrest, flashlights and headlamps lighting the way, we came across adult leaders that we knew - holding framed pictures of Jesus, Moroni, Nephi, other prophets and the last was President Monson. as we approached each picture the leader would read their scripted part of our journey's narrative and then direct us along the path to the next. when we came to the beginning of the iron rod (PVC pipe) we were instructed to "hold on, don't let go and no talking... " we followed the rod up the path where we could hear our very own YCLs inticing us to join them in the great and spacious building, to 'just let go', saying that 'it was no big deal ... we could come back to the rod after we had some fun' ... it was interesting ... the thought occured to me that i can be distracted by people that i know and even trust. we were stopped on the path ... being taunted ... and then we were blindfolded - one by one. and then the fun began ... we walked slowly holding to the rod. people - YCLs and other leaders - tried to get us to let go of the rod. i had people telling me i was done, there was a snake, spiders were going to get me... but i didn't let go. held on ... followed it to the end, where our stake president said, "well done sister shaw, you made it!" he shook my hand and i took off my blind fold and there was the tree - all lit up ... and my girls were there, the ladies i worked with and many people that i had grown to love thru this camp experience. tears welled in my eyes as i realized that we all made it! we were all there!

later i found out that if the 'tempters' were successful they would take the people who strayed to the 'repentance table' where the camp director would share with them a scripture and talk to them about how Jesus suffered and died so that we have the opportunity to repent. and then they were brought back to the rod to continue on their journey.

we gathered in an ampitheater and President Duce spoke to us about what we just experienced and his perspective ... watching from the end and not being able to encourage anyone/watching girls be taken away when they were so close ... feeling like he had a glimpse of what Heavenly Father sees and feels everyday. it was powerful.

the next day we had "Golden Hour' (in my day it was called 'Land of Destiny' ... same idea), the topic was be the heroine in your own story... be the one that conquers evil, comes thru the test and trials and traps with more knowledge and know how and no worse for the wear. i loved this hour ... and asked for a copy of the notes ... so i can study it on my own (so if you'd like a copy let me know)!

from 2-3:30 we had a fun certification activity with the whole camp - it was 'the amazing race' camp style! each team had to follow clues to their next destination and complete the task presented to them ... it was interesting/hilarious - these girls would most certainly no survive if they were stuck in the woods ...

during the activity we saw president brigman ... he was dressed down and looked like he was ready to play. i had been warned earlier that he was ruthless in a water fight ... but i was unconvinced. we snuck away to prepare ourselves - sarah platteborze and i - donned our bathing suits and filled our buckets. and then it was on! and shoot ... if you weren't with him - you were against him! and no one was exempt. we had a water war the likes of which i hadn't witnessed since the days of ryan litchfield when i was a youth! it was fun and hilarious and 'epic'!!

that evening was our ward testimony meeting ... and since bishop briggs was out of town picking up his son from India, brother perkins was designated to be our bishopric member in charge! he brought ice cream sandwiches from cold stone to endear himself to us - and it worked! we listenen to him share personal stories about tying ourselves to the proper source. and then he opened it up for the girls to share testimonies. they did and we all cried and i shared ... it was wonderful and spiritual and amazing experience that i will not soon forget!

following our ward time we had stake testimony meeting ... i was expecting more of the same in the way of testimonies ... and it was to an extent ... the girls went up and then the flood gates opened and so many girls got up and sat in line waiting for their turn. we didn't finish until past 11:00 and it was truly an uplifting testimony meeting ... sister bushman (camp director) was the last speaker and i just love her!!

that evening we 'tucked in' our little family - told them how much we loved them. the last night at camp is always the one that no one sleeps thru and we weren't expecting a ton of sleep ... but in actuality it was not that bad ... we were all so tired that we crashed!

in the morning we heard the YCLs singing to wake the girls ... they started at the tent next to ours 'they wanted to let us sleep a little longer' and they went to every tent and then came back around to ours! :o) sweet cute girls! love them!!

we busted a move and got packed up and cleaned up and ready to be checked out and then headed down for the closing ceremony. YW camp ROCKS! and i told sister bushman to sign me up for next year!

what i learned: while these girls may not be able to pee in the woods, build a shelter, go without showers, or live without their cell phones ... they have such powerful testimonies. they carry with them such strong spirits and have the potential to go so far in this life. i think that is the focus now ... when i was younger we were in survival mode ... now it's refined to spiritual survival mode. these girls need to be rock solid, and with the programs and activities they have the opportunity to participate in - they are becoming just what Heavenly Father needs them to be.

I am sending a letter to each of my girls to let them know how much they mean to me ... and I hope that I get to work with a few of them next year when they will be YCLs! :
"Sometimes there are not words to describe the feelings of peace, hope and love that I experienced while at YW Camp … I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to know such awesome girls – future mothers and leaders … you really are a bright shining generation … so much stronger than you may think you are and yet pure and innocent … you have experienced so much in your short lives and will have to experience/endure so much more. I’m so grateful for YW Camp, EFY and Youth Conference; bright spots in the darkness, moments when testimonies grow and the Spirit is so strong. I feel blessed to have been able to get to know you and hope that we can be friends forever!!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ocean shores = a place i'd like to go again - real soon!

it was a very welcome quick get away!

note to self ... the jetta isn't a jeep ...
stay on solid ground!

such a blessing that the North Beach Towing truck happened by!

the weather was fabulous ..
and there were hundreds of kites riding the warmish ocean breeze

the last time these shoes were in this ocean
the sand was softer, lighter color and the water was much warmer ...
hard to believe it was the same ocean!

tourists were out in force ... and driving on the stable sand :o)

and we were happy to have a few hours in the sun
(even if it was a work trip)

Friday, August 13, 2010

you know it's friday the 13th when ...

emily shaw shows up for a zumba class at the Y!

my neighbor has been pestering me to go ... and i finally gave in ...
so fun and burned 1658, 1659, 1660, 1661 ... calories
(i'm watching my counter go up 1673, 1674...)
it really is a great workout and so FUN!

(i know i promised more on Camp ... and i'm working on it ... i'll post it by Sunday ... :o)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

this is what YW camp does to a leader ...

turns them back into teenagers! 

tomorrow i'll share some details ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

cereal = shaw food staple

today starts the "stock up on cereal fest" at Albertsons! i had 30 boxes in my cart ... along with 10 boxes of cake mix (bring on cake mix cookies!!) and a few other items ... i spent a total of $66.76 and saved $109.43 - seriously love these sales!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shopping advice - long distance.

since my fashion conscious bff moved away i have somewhat shied away from shopping (except for the basics, of course) and worried that i might be stuck in my same-old same-old for way too long... until i discovered that i could still get fashion advice via photo-text!! 
it all started with these ... remember??

then it was a decision between purple and pink-ish ... (btw: pink-ish won ... but needs accesories)
and tonight at fred meyer i tried on this little number ...
and since TX is 2 hours ahead i'm still waiting on a verdict ...
but i purchased anyway ... on the off-chance that i get the thumbs up!
(only if they aren't hurtful - and imagine a purple or tangerine cardigan over those skinny upper arms ... )

update on the 'little number':
i decided it was too loud and i couldn't pull it off
even before i got the big NO from the superior powers that be

Monday, August 9, 2010

blogging commitments not my forte ...

right ... so 'summer' and 'schedule' don't really go in the same sentence around the shaw household ... although a few years ago (2006) i tried to do a set summer schedule of activities and such ... i called it the Shaw's Sensational Summer! i had a "stay-home" plan and a "field-trip" plan ... scheduled out the day from 7:30am to 7:30pm and had free time, quiet time, and play time scheduled! Then 2007 it was SuperFabuloso ShawFamily SummerFun!! we did theme weeks, had a stay home and field trip schedule again ... play time, chore time, reading time, art time; mapped out from 7:30 to 7:30 ... and as i recall we were hit and miss with those schedules. this summer we've mostly been going to bed late and getting up late and doing whatever floats our boat (except our boat was dragged to TX a couple months ago ... boo hoo) and enjoying the sunshine when we have it. i have missed the Y, mostly because my people don't want to go everyday and partly because i'm lazy ... the one thing that i rarely skip in my daily routine is quiet time. though my people don't really cooperate and i have to get after them ... my babiest has a nap and the cranky 3 almost 4 year old is virtually non-existent!
remember how i said i was going to do the blogging 365 thing ... yeah ... i slack, i'm slacking, i'm a slacker ...
on the other hand:
i blog, i'm blogging, i'm a blogger ... in all my days in the blogosphere i have posted many a-blog and made many a-goal, and said "this time i'll really do it" many a-time. but let's face it, i do pretty ok ... could do better, want to do my best, sometimes i spurt, have long surges of daily narratives, interspersed with dry periods of occasional history reports ... i would really like to be an ex-spurt blogger (get it 'expert' - hee hee!) i can not guarantee, take an oath, or vow to blog every single day ... but i've got my phone reminding me daily at 2:30pm (mid-quiet time) 'have you blogged today?'

there are some things i'd like to go back and write down/type up - remember, so stay tuned ... if you want ... there is no obligation/compulsion/duty/responsibility/requirement here ... we just do our best.
just a little peace and quiet