Well we are on our fourth draft of the house. Our architect is working on the layout for the basement. Hopefully will be able to meet with him soon and finish up and get the drawings ready to start the project. We are getting more and more excited about it. I took the boys out to the lot to take some pictures of the seven kids. We had lots of fun doing really good and very cooperative. Nathan was also a very big help. I love these pictures so so much. I'm so glad we got to do it.
This last picture was when we were all done with the shoot and the boys were just playing around on the grass. And it found some bugs and the other boys were showing interest. They were just wonderful. The boys are growing up so fast and I love them all so very much
I am going to go back and fill in some events. Tyler finished his Eagle and January. He started it in November 2012. The paperwork took some time. He could've finished it much sooner but kept putting it off. We are so pleased that he was able to get it all finished up before he turned 15. He is such a fantastic kid and he worked really hard on his project and I think that he should be very proud of himself. So glad that he is being such a good example to his little brothers also. The other day he received his certificate in the mail. We are going to do his court of honor May 10, 2014.
In February the practices for the cultural celebration started. We met together as a stake at Athlos School and Chandler. It was a pretty crowded gym. I got asked at the last minute to be a photographer for the stake. It was such an honor to take pictures of all these amazing kids. I'm sure I have all the pictures saved. There is also tons and tons on the Internet. During the practices the kids were excited and had a good time with the singing and dancing. Some of them definitely did not like it but they all did it and it was really fun to be a part of. We had practice at the park on February 22 2014. We were region too. We had green shirts. And we met in a parking lot east of the temple. Then after lunch we walked over to the park as a group. The park was absolutely packed with people, tents, chairs, jackets, food, bags etc. The leaders were not allowed to park at the park. They had to be very organized and meet ahead of time and schedule someone to drop them off at the park and then be picked up again afterwards. The practice that Friday went really well until the sun went down and the kids started stomping on the field with practice and also playing between the practice times. Lots of dust got kicked up and several people had allergy problems and had to be taken to the medical tent to have breathing treatments. They ended up cutting the practice short that evening because of the dust. I felt so sorry for those kids. Especially since by the time I got home I was in a full-fledged allergy attack also. It was horrible. I had to do a breathing treatment and I finally was able to breathe at about 11 o'clock that night. The leaders involved with making this happen were absolutely incredible. They had so much foresight and inspiration in all that they did. It was just a dream come true for me to be able to be a part of it. I was sad about not being able to go. And not being able to be there. I took this in stride because every other parent was not going to be able to be there as well.
Tyler is in the very end on the left. And Oscar is all the way on the right. Tyler is wearing a yellow shirt and Oscar is wearing a purple shirt. This was taken on the day of celebration. The practices all during the day did not have any rain. There are lots of accounts of what happened on this day. I get choked up thinking about it. The week before the performance on March 1. We were very worried about the weather. It said that it was going to rain on Saturday. And it would only rained that day. Everyone prayed that it would rain on Friday to control the dust and that we would have clear skies on Saturday to be able to do our practice and perform. And miracles do happen that day. While we were at the park practicing all day from 12 o'clock until 630. There was clear skies directly above us. The storm was on either side and in the front and in the back. I was just amazed every time I looked up to see patches of blue directly above us. While all around the skies were dark gray. Of course you can look at it in a negative light and say that heavenly father did not stay the skies for our performance but looking back it was just so perfect. So as you can tell the rain did come. It started raining at about 630. Half an hour before the performance started. They gathered all the kids on the field before the prophet came so that they could be there to greet him when he arrived. The rain was coming down pretty hard at that point. I looked around all the leaders and the kids and I never saw one single person say maybe we should postpone this. Everyone was excited about it and ready to go even if it rained. They did not care. The cars holding the prophet and leaders backed into the park and we could see their lights as it rolled down the road towards the awning where they would be sitting. It was such an amazing thing to see all the kids clapping and screaming and so excited to see Pres. Monson. When Pres. Eyring spoke the rain stopped. We were all so excited to think that was going to stop. But it continued. It was kind of depressing that the rain would not stop. but there was definitely moments where I looked out to see the kids working so hard and continuing to try during the rain and I thought it doesn't matter. It was fun in a way. But as the night went on it was just so cold and they were so completely soaked and it was hard to be happy and chipper and energetic. But I think that the kids learned that they can do hard things that they can work in the rain and that they can still work together as a group. I hardly sought anybody complain. I didn't see anybody say they did not want to go back on the field into their songs. All wanted to participate. Luckily for me I change my clothes in my dad's car before it went out on the field and he loaned me his trenchcoat jacket. This kept me dryer much longer. But by the end of the night I was soaked through just like everyone else. I had a cover for my camera and I kept my hands inside of the plastic covering the entire time and I took pictures as much as I could. It wasn't freezing cold but it was uncomfortable and wet and windy. It's hard to describe how I felt watching the kids do something that was hard like that. But it the same time being excited and forgetting about their discomfort. Even my boys who could've easily come up to me and complained and said they didn't want to do it, they did not. They were cold but they never said they wanted to stop or quit. When we were done we had to gather up the boys things. This meant that we had to walk all the way across the park to the other side of the lake and locate the things which were underneath canapés and piled in with everyone else's stuff. It was a daunting task. Partially because there were so many people there and all you had to do was take your eyes off a person for two seconds and they would be gone. We actually lost Oscar for a little while and it was irritating because we wanted to leave so bad. But Tyler and I stuck together and found the things we needed to find and got ourselves out of there. Need to say a little bit about Shannon. Shannon Williams was my partner in the picture taking. She was the one with all of the great lenses and equipment. And the rain started coming down she was not dressed for it. She got soaked very quickly and could not handle the wet as well as others because of her back. If she starts shivering her back the season. She has had a chronic back problem for a while. So she had to leave early before it was over. So when it was over she texted me and offered to come and pick us up. This was awesome because Nathan had all the kids at home and he would've had to leave them or bring them with him and it would've been difficult and it would've taken more time. We were very grateful to her for doing this for us. So after we found Oscar and all the things we walked across to the school just north of the temple. Well we waited on the porch at the school the rain was coming down so hard and filling every single flower bed and running and running down the streets. We knew that it would soon be over and so we tried her best to stay positive and happy. Oscar by that time was pretty miserable. He was very cold and was anxious to get home to get dry. Again I'm very happy with how the boys handled this difficult thing. Shannon picked us up and had hot chocolate for us in the back of her car. I think the rest of the story can be filled in by watching the video of the performance. I hope I can get the boys to fill in some information also maybe to write in a journal somehow.