2.22.2012

CARPE DIEM continued...

My mom called last night and said;
"sweetie, this is mom,
...why on earth didn't you get Kal into Kindergarten this year? have you lost it?"

well, she was slightly a bit more tactful than that.

but yes, it's true I didn't enroll Kal in Kindergarten this year.

My homeboy Kal is five (turning six in April) and is still at home with me.

Poor Kal. He will look like Billy Madison by the time he reaches the third grade.

"next year for sure buddy!"

My mom's call did get me thinking though.
What was my deal?
Why didn't I get Kal in school?
I didn't really have a good answer for her other than the truth.

The truth is that a few months ago I was literally not all there.

At the first of August, as summer was winding down my mind, heart and soul was still in Africa.

Having just returned home from Sierra Leone, I was still daydreaming all day long, scheming and planning how to move us all there. I recall that a few months ago I was 97 % sure we would be moving to Freetown by Christmas.



Instead of registering my kids for school a few months back, I sat in a daze and browsed through pictures of my trip all day long and tried to secure Dean a job in Africa as I prepared for all of us to move there.

Now, a few months later as I force myself to realize that a move to Africa is not in the near future, I checked myself back into reality and have been catching up
and looking back through our summer pictures.

I suddenly feel an urgent need to write about our summer. (besides Africa.)
(you knew that was coming didn't you)

If you will recall, our summer theme was Carpe Diem. We ended school and started our summer 2011 with a wake up call and a beautiful sunrise.
We pinkie promised and committed to each other to "Seize The Day."
Well, you guessed it. We were all talk and no game. 

We slept in, let the lawn and garden burn up, watched mindless TV, ate our weight in five dollar pizza, and fizzled out on all our summer ambitions.
However, at the end of it all,
 just after Labor day...
to mark the end of our summer...
                                    we all drove up to Squaw Peak to watch the Sunset.

As the sun waved goodbye over Utah Lake,
we symbolically said goodbye to our summer ~

We talked for a minute about everyones favorite summer memories.
Lauren mentioned the time she and River were stranded at Seven Peaks hours after it closed.
Brett remembered a few horse rides up South Fork with Uncle Jared salting the cows.

Dean remembered work, work and more work.


we brought along a little evening lunch and surely interrupted any mountain romance that might have been going on as the kids ran around yelling like wild possums.

We recounted many good summer memories.

But before I put it all away and smack myself in the back of the head for not blogging about it....

I wanted to show you a few of our summer highlights...
 ( mwwaaahhhh...I have you trapped now)
Now is a perfect time to reflect on warmer, sunnier, kinder days.
    We started out with such good intentions of a growing a glorious, abundant family garden.
instead, we only grew dirt eating children. They tend to grow like weeds. 
Willy boy came home from the Army and we had a surprise party for him.

Surprise!

wow Will, bet you weren't expecting that at all.

I wanted to tell you that sweet little Quincy turned three 
and we had a sweetie peetie cutie pie birthday party for her.
Sweet quickly turned sour when little brother crashed the party
and little missy went into the two year old hysterics.

"It's my party and I'll pout if I want to."

 My sister-in-law Kathryn, invited us to her art showcase at a local gallery. She is one of those incredibly multi-talented, generous people who somehow is able to make us average non-artistic people (like me) feel..."special in our own little way."

(she painted these and many more)
The first two weeks of summer were focused on River Jane,
 
as she tried out for "Spanish Fork's Next Top Seven Year Old."

We also spent the first few days of summer in the
middle of no-where (Delta) at Youth Conference. 
Dean and I were in charge of the workshops.

I brought along the big guns to make me look good.

We gladly sent Lauren and Brett off to summer camps
 and hoped that their leaders could shape them into good kids after all.

Brett's leadership camp at USU did little to teach him leadership.
Although, he did learn how to make a nice ice pebble/shaving cream bomb.

During the summer we usually ate breakfast at 11:00, lunch at 1:00,
and dinner on most days was a free-for-all.

One afternoon we discovered
 a perfect little heart shaped in the Swiss cheese.
nothing cheesy about that eh? get it? cheesy...yeah I thought so.

We drove to beautiful places and beautiful spaces,   

And dreamed that those beautiful places were all ours.
(Hal and Kathryn's field of dreams)

We attended a wedding shower for my niece Courtney.  

and had fun trying to answer all the little girl's questions;
" why won't Courtney show us what's in that "other" pink stripped bag?"
"and why does she need all those new pajamas?"
"why won't Courtney look anyone in the eye?" 

     Riv and Wade discovered that they've got moves like Jagger
during dance classes at the city Arts Festival.
Wade and the Davis boys hire out and perform at weddings, and Bat'Mitzvah's.  

One lazy warm Sunday afternoon we met up with my Aunt Robin (visiting from Colorado)
 and her cute family. Hamburgers, pot luck, and baseball - it's what we do.      

Cousins meeting cousins for the first time.  

And then we usually top off the evening with a quick dip in the mud.

Lauren trained long and hard to have the "honor" of becoming an official
"Stadium of Fire" dancer.

Night and day practices, round the clock, in the miserable July heat...
all for this moment.

She is the little green dot just above the Statue of Liberty's eye... you see her?


This fourth of July we were reminded of why we love this country,
 why we love this state and why we love this valley.   

and why we love the Freedom Festival Parade.

Our National treasure, Yogi Bear is saluting everyone, but Brett was too busy checking out the tattooed, and very busty Princess Leia.

After the parade we were walking through the masses of people when Kal said loudly while pointing,
"look at that weird lady!"    

 The "weird" nice lady stooped down to let the kids pet her lizard who apparently likes to ride inside her tank top and hang onto her nose ring. (my kids are so sheltered) 

All the kids played so much ball that the games would run together in my mind.
"go Yanke.e..I mean go Buzz...I mean go Nationals! go Wade..I mean go Laur...I mean go Brett!" 

We got our money's worth out of our Pass of All Passes.
Those business execs didn't see the Roberts family coming, now did they? 

The bumper boats seemed like a good idea at the time. What I couldn't see right here was Dean giving Lauren secret instructions and a wink and a nod.

As you can see per Dean's instructions, Lauren steered us right under the fountains
and left us there as the kids took aim.
it was madness.

One run on the bumper boats is all it takes to know what I am talking about.


 Towards the end of the summer we met up at the Roberts Reunion 
with all our favorite people.
Imagine all the cool kids in High School gathered together in one location acting...cool,
and that's pretty much what it's like at the Roberts Reunion.

My nephew Dallin (in the middle) is now a full-fledged walking, talking, preaching, teaching missionary in Brazil! I promise just yesterday he was two.


My sweet little niece Reagan said she wanted to tube down the frigid river
 with her brave aunt Hil.
So I had to indulge her, but the water was so swift and ice cold,
 and I lost my footing, and my breath...and I was quickly going down...
 so I took her down with me.
a weekend full of lovely ladies looking...lovely.

and lots of good-old fashioned soggy, muddy, dirty, fun.

This summer, Brett proudly wore a callus or two at his summer job working for "the man"
("the man" was uncle Jared)

We enjoyed a few wonderful summer storms.




And a quick late summer trip to Bear Lake with friends,


and Hasselhoff wannabes,

and tough guys,

and beach babes...

And all that and more made up our summer, and it was so great!

However the one thing I want to remember,
the one time we actually achieved "Carpe Diem" greatness,
the one memory that will forever remind me of Summer 2011 was...
this...
       and this...

and this...                                                                                              
and this...
and this...


 The end of July, just days before I left for Africa...
our little family spent the weekend at Stephen and Leisa's cabin in Wolf Creek.

We arrived just as it was getting dark and Dean insisted that the kids jump into the Duchesne River.
 He said if they didn't jump, he would push them in. (he says it's a Dad's prerogative)

 Lauren is motivated by fear,
 so she jumped in first.

Wade soon followed...
.

Brett was the holdout, challenging Dean to try and catch him.
 In the end he took the easy way out.

  Quincy wanted to go in, but needed some help.
eventually every single Roberts family member took the plunge, except for momma.
Dean made good on his promise and jumped in.
  He claims that an evening swim in the Duchesne River is the Fountain of Youth.

We spent some of our camping weekend all cleaned up and at church,
and we drove to Dean's hometown and drove by the old homestead.
After lunch we packed up some gear and went fishing at Big Tom's cabin.

Big Tom is a friend of Stephen and Leisa and he lives on an incredible ranch nearby.


Tom told the kids to call him Uncle Tom and took us on a tour of his cabin and invited us to fish till our heart's content on his lake.
 

We aren't the most skilled fisherman, but the kids gave it a go.

Within minutes they were reeling them in! 

One after another, each cast came back with a fish attached.

Lauren was so excited when we explained the whole concept of catch and release.


Dean was the official "fishie hookie gettie offie"


Kal was trained in the art of fishing without a hook, or bait and Quincy was his pupil.



 Canyon baby was intrigued with the mud and mixed it with his runny nose to make him
 officially  the grossest baby alive.

something had to be done with him. I paid Brett in promises of junk food to clean him up.

 Meanwhile Quincy found a little worm
escaping from a Styrofoam cup.
I casually told her that his name was Wormy and he wanted to be her friend.   
So she picked him up and was thrilled.
She was surprised how "alive" he was,
 and stretchy.
Quincy talked to Wormy, and she played with him, and petted him,
and hugged him and promised to save him from a fishing hook, 

and she got really mad when Brett told her he needed to "borrow" Wormy for a minute,

"we're best friends" she said.

One of the kids dared her to lick wormy,

She looked at him, studied him, smelled him, weighed the risks ~
 and then...
 licked Wormy!

and she was only grossed out when the kids told her she would turn into a worm.

life as a worm really concerned her.

only for a moment;

After that she was making special plans for Wormy to go home with her and sleep in her bed...

and feed him and bathe him.
Sadly wormy didn't make it.
R.I.P WORMY 2011-2011


Brett was finally handed a tangled, twisted pole after the kids all had their chance.

Brett was hoping to find the one fish in the pond that was tagged with a $1000 prize. 
He had big plans for that thousand dollar prize that included all he could eat Big Macs. 
River watched and waited, until it was her turn.
She really wanted to catch a fish that she could take home and cook and eat.

Once she caught him...she was a conflicted little girl.

Even the momma got in on the action.

I gave Dean the camera just so he couldn't run up from behind and push me in.


I think Kal's fish was the prize winner!
(not the thousand dollar prize, but he didn't care)
We spent an entire day, nine hours, at a small, quiet lake just the nine of us.
Nothing to eat except for one pack of Pringles,
no TV, or other entertainment except for the fish jumping.
And it was wonderful.   

After fishing it was back to the cabin for packing up and saying goodbye.
Thanks Uncle Stephen and Aunt Leisa!


 I completely forgot to mention that we got two flat tires on the way down the mountain,
but it didn't matter. 
The sun set on the boys as they changed the tires and the whole time they were smiling and joking. We all were.
 That day at the lake was our "Carpe Diem"

mission accomplished!


(let's see that one more time)

MY HELPLESS TEENAGE DAUGHTER

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