This is a picture of Russ the day he entered the MTC. He is suppose to send his memory card home once in a while so we can upload all his pictures. I will post more when that happens.(if it ever happens) !!!! Russell has been gone for almost six weeks. His first area is Santaquin and it includes 4 other small towns near by. He covers 3 stakes and has 15 investigators. On his second Sunday out they attended 4 sacrament meetings, 4 ward correlations and a youth fireside. He and his companion spoke at two of the sacrament meetings and at the youth fireside!!! He is very busy and really happy. We couldn't ask for more! Russell's companion/trainer is Elder Gregson from Calgary! Russ actually met him the summer after he graduated as Elder Gregson was working in Edmonton for the summer. They get along great and obviously have lots in common. I love getting his weekly email and hearing about his experiences. He is doing great and loving his mission.
Maryn and Max were in too big of a hurry to have their pictures taken on the first day of school. I will try to pin them down one of these mornings. Maryn is in grade 12 and Max in grade 10. They both go to Harry Ainlay. It is hard to believe that this is Maryn's last year. They both have pretty full schedules and will have to work really hard. Max was lucky enough to have Jordan Garside in almost all of his classes and Maryn got her timetable just the way she wanted it with a 7/8 spare. I think they were both being "looked after" by Mr. Olsen, because that just doesn't happen. It's going to be a great year!
Sam didn't start playschool the first week. I thought he would be bored an unhappy at home alone with me, but he was just the opposite. I think he really enjoys the extra attention. We made soft pretzels together on the first day of school. They were really good but too time consuming. Sam likes to be where ever I am and is so good to entertain himself when needed. He really likes to "go" and this is what he said to me the other day " let's go grossry shopping mom, but grosseries aren't gross"!! Too cute.
Dallinis in grade one! He was pretty nervous about his first day. I tried not to let him see how anxious I was too. I will really miss having him around during the day. Of all the kids I think Dallin would really love home schooling. Every Monday morning He starts the count down until the weekend. He has the BEST teacher this year. Mme. Henry, she taught Shaina in grade one too. She is kind of the "full meal deal" she's funny, kind, organized and very enthusiastic. We couldn't ask for more! I know it will be a great year for Dallin.
Shaina is in grade 4 this year at Richard Secord. She has Mr. Girard for her teacher, he is very french (I can hardly understand his english!) Shaina comes home everday with funny stories to tell me. The thing she likes most about school is that her teacher lets the kids in her class bring Webkins to school.
Juliedidn't have the best start to her school year. On the first day I get a phone call at about 10:00 " Hi Mom, can you come and get me?" " Sure Julie, what's the matter?" " I just threw up in the bathroom" " I'll be right there!" At least she made it to the bathroom!
It was just a 24 hour flew and she was right back at it the next day. Julie is in grade 8 this year. She goes to Vernon Barford Junior High.
So last Sunday I was sitting in sacrament meeting and Maryn leans over to me and says "I work all this week" Karen- "I told you not to book yourself this week" Maryn- "Why? it's not like we are doing anything" Karen- " Well maybe we are going to go somewhere" Maryn- "Ya right, like where?" Me- "Maybe the Redwoods!"
The long story made short is... We went! I came home and asked the kids if that sounded like something they would all like to do, we did some rearranging of schedules, a couple quick loads of laundry (yes, on Sunday) packed our bags and pulled out of the driveway Monday morning at about 10:30 a.m.!!! We stopped at Wall Mart and while Maryn and I loaded up with all the road trip essentials, Julie managed to drain the juice out of the Yukon battery. (listening to the radio) We spent the first hour of the trip waiting for AMA to come give us a boost and then...We were off.
We drove to for 12 hours the first day and stayed in Abbottsford B.C the first night. Tuesday morning we drove on toward Seattle where upon arrival I tortured Max, Dallin and Sam with a few hours of shopping at the Outlet Mall before making it to Jim and Marie's by about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday we went downtown Seattle to the Science Center, we spent the morning there, then on to the Zoo for the afternoon. It was great to visit with our Davidson family there. We don't see them often and the kids had a great time catching up with Will and Nina. Thursday I got the kids up early and we were on the road again! The drive from Seattle to northern California was about 8 hours. Oregonites drive a lot slower than what I am used to and there were state troopers everywhere, so it was a bit of a painful drive. We got to Cresent City at about 4:30 p.m. We checked in to a hotel and then Max and I went looking for some kind of Park information place. We got there at 6:00 just before the ranger was closing up. He was very helpful and showed us some things we could see in our short one day stay. With some protest, we all loaded back into the Yukon that night, and drove along the coast and down into the Redwood National Forest. We went to see the "Biggest" tree, it was just about dusk and let me tell you, the sheer enormity of the trees combined with the lack of day light nearly sent us all running back to Edmonton that night!! Seriously, it was AMAZING! we couldn't get over just how big "BIg" really is! (that doesn't make much sense does it?) Since it was getting late we went back to our hotel and had a quick sleep anxiously awaiting the adventures that Friday would bring. I woke everyone up early, as I knew we would be short for time. After we ate, we loaded up again and set off for Jedidiah Smith National park where the ranger had told Max and i that we could do a fun drive and a little day hike. I can't begin to tell you how great of a day we had. The trees were sooooooo big and the kids all had such a blast exploring the trail. It never got boring, tree after tree after tree. Our only regret is that we didn't have time to see more. We took lots of pictures and of course they don't really do it justice, but here are a few for your viewing pleasure! I haven't figured out how to arrange the photos so they follow the text, can any one help me out???
After a half of a day of fun we drove back to Seattle where we bunked down at Jim and Marie's for a few hours, then at 6:00 a.m. we got back into the Yukon for the long drive home. We arrived back in Edmonton at about 10;30 Saturday night. It was so nice to see mark and be back in our own beds again. The kids did so great with the many hours in the car. They watched a ton of movies and then some! Dallin will remember the trip for the fact that he beat two new D.S games in 5 days GREAT! Maryn read half of the book Twilight to me and most of her own book to herself. Shaina turned 9 on our trip and spent her day in three states-Washington, Oregon and California! O.K she really just spent the whole day in the car!! Julie had the onerous job of sitting by Sam most of the time. She did really well helping him to stay full of junk food and entertained. Sam was great, he only got really mad once or twice, and he kept me awake with his constant requests for more junk food. Max gets the award for sleeping the most and making the least noise. And I take the prize for being crazy enough to haul six kids to the Redwoods for six days hands down!!!
We had such a fun trip and hopefully created some great memories! I would do it all over again in a heart beat. With the new school year on the horizon i am already looking forward to next summer and what ever adventures it will bring!
I am a wife to my best friend Mark, and 7 great kids call me MOM! I love my family and everything I do is in some way an attempt to make our lives together better and more meaningful! I take life one day at a time and try to make each day a good one!!