Archive for the ‘Camby’ Category

Anlie’s Baptism / Cross Country Summer Trip

=Warning. Boring travel log.=  :) Wow- I am horrible at documenting our family journal/blog. Oh. Well. At least I’m documenting today, right? Well, I suppose I should mention that last December 27th, 2014, our family moved from San Tan Valley, AZ to the Cincinnati, OH area. Michael accepted a position with The Art Institute of Ohio- Cincinnati as the Sr. Director of Admissions & Marketing. I will also mention we are still renting out our house in San Tan Valley (and have been since we first moved to Indianapolis in the summer of 2012). We lived in Arizona for about a year and a half before moving to Cincinnati.

So now that we’re all up to speed :), this last June 20th Anlie turned eight years old! We really wanted to have family be able to attend her baptism so we decided to make a fun summer trip out of traveling across the U.S. Michael wasn’t able to come with us unfortunately. He was under obligation to accept a temporary work assignment in Santa Monica, California. We flew him from L.A. to Phoenix for the weekend of Anlie’s baptism.

We left about 5pm on Wednesday, June 10th, first traveling to Idaho to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Timothy & Kristy, and their family. We arrived Friday the 12th sometime between noon and 2 p.m. I think. They took us up to Yellowstone National Park, Lava Hot Springs, cave exploring and even an evening out at Stoplight Pizza. They had fun slippin’ sliding on a giant tarp in the backyard Kristy hosed down with soap and water and later listened to Uncle Timothy’s true “ghost” stories around a fire while eating s’mores. It was really fun playing and getting to spend time with their family since we rarely see them.

While in Idaho I was also able to attend my Great Aunt Shirley Pincock’s funeral which was nice to be able to go to. Due to the funeral, my mom drove up to Idaho with Cory & Amy who also decided last minute (as in the day of leaving) that they could cram in a quick get-together with my family & Timothy’s in Idaho since they needed to be in Sacramento soon after for Amy’s Uncle’s funeral. Due to Amy’s Uncle’s funeral, they couldn’t stay for Aunt Shirley’s funeral, so that meant my mom needed to catch a ride to AZ with us. That worked out pretty conveniently that the kids got to have Grandma travel with them!

Early Wednesday morning the 17th, we left Idaho and traveled to Arizona for Anlie’s birthday and baptism and my mom’s birthday.  After those events we were able to cram in some dental appointments for the kids with their familiar dentist, a physical for Camby’s school’s cross-country team requirements, and Ryker’s 3-year well visit. Both boys are above 95th percentile for height and about 75th percentile for weight. They must be related. :) Every day we were in Arizona ended up being crazy-busy! I completely spaced getting together with Tiffany Johnson and her kids- something we were looking forward to for several weeks since we haven’t seen them for a couple of years. I was so sad to get a text from her as we were leaving Amarillo on our way home asking if we had already left. Ugh. I was so mad at myself. Oh, well. Anyway, the evening of my mom’s birthday we were also able to go out for frozen custard at Nielson’s with Grandma and Grandpa Neus and spend time with them one last time before going home.

The day after my mom’s birthday, June 27th, we decided to take advantage of being on the west coast and travel on over to L.A. to spend the weekend with Michael in his temporary work-paid-for apartment on the beach for a few days. Hey- might as well visit the beach since it was right out the front door! The kids had a blast. We would have loved to stay longer (um, like the rest of the summer!) but Camby had to be home in time for scout camp. We were also able to walk down to the aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier to let the kids see eels, fish, stingrays, starfish, help feed the swell sharks and touch sea cucumbers and starfish. The day before we left to go back home to Ohio (Sunday the 28th), Cory & Amy and their daughters Ella & Raspberry (Raspberry is a foster child we’re hoping they can adopt) stopped by for about an hour on their drive back to Mesa from Sacramento. It was great to be able to see them one last time before heading back.

I woke up at 4am on Monday the 29th, got ready, and had Michael and Camby help me load the car up for our trip home. We left about 5:30am and traveled to Amarillo, TX where we stayed the night at a hotel. I think we got there around 11 p.m. We left about 10:45 am the next morning and drove all day and night. By the time we reached St. Louis, MO I really wasn’t tired at all so I figured I’d take advantage of the sleeping kids and peace and quiet and kept driving all the way home. We arrived around 6 a.m. Of course it was really like driving only until 3 a.m. since my body was still on west coast time.  😉 We completely unloaded the car, I got the shower I desperately wanted, then I took a little 5 hour “nap”, if you will.  :)

I set my trip odometer just as we left to begin our trip. I check it when we arrived home. 6,502 miles. Yep. We did a LOT of driving in 3-1/2 weeks.

Camby had Thursday through Sunday to recover from all his fun before heading off to scout camp at Camp Friedlander early Monday, July 6th. He comes home tomorrow morning. Yay! Guess who gets to mow the tall grass after all the rain every day this week! (Shh… he’ll be so excited!)

Kids Rock Arizona 2014

Last Saturday, Jan. 18th, Maille, Merik and Anlie participated in their first “Kids Rock Arizona” 1 mile fun run!  Camby, Maille, Merik and Anlie have all been participating in their elementary school’s before-school running club.  They all begged to run in the Kids Rock Arizona run once the running club sent out information about it, so I reluctantly signed them up (it wasn’t exactly cheap to register 4 kids!)  :)  A week before the run we found out Camby had a scout camp out that same weekend.  I let him choose which he wanted to go to and camping won out (go figure!)

I was so proud of them for being such good little runners!  Even Anlie, who really wasn’t feeling well and said she wasn’t going to do it, ran anyway.  They got neat “medals” at the end along with a goodie bag.  Just before we left I had the kids line up at the start line to take their picture all together and photographer asked if he could have them hold hands and jump together for future promo shot.  So they did… like 20 times.  And then he finally got the shot he wanted, ha, ha.  Or so he says.  :)  Anyway, it was funny to watch anyhow.  My dad came with me since Michael had to work.  It was a good thing because there was no way I could run back and forth between the start and finish lines in time to help each of them and take their picture.  He was a huge help and of course the kids always love attention from Grandpa.  :)  (Thanks Dad!)

Congrats Maille, Merik and Anlie for being good, fast finishers!

Maille, Merik & Anlie at Kids Rock Arizona

Maille, Merik & Anlie at Kids Rock Arizona

Catching up on Summer – June

June 25, 2011 (Sat.) – Castlegate Community Splash Party and Grandma McDowell’s Birthday at the Circus!

Cousins Connor & Korynn spent the night at our house since their parents (Kevin & Kristen) were up in Flagstaff.  Perfect timing since our community was having a splash party that day AND we were going to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for Grandma McDowell’s birthday!  Much more fun than just hanging out at our house!  :)

Merik sliding, Anlie in the pool, cousin Connor (red/white/blue swim trunks) going up

Cousin Korynn and Maille run down the slip 'n slide

Camby & cousin Connor on the way to the circus - all tuckered out from the splash party

On the way to the cirucs - most of the kids are worn out from the splash party!

Grandpa McDowell holding cousin Henry, and Anlie, G-ma McDowell, Maille, and cousin Korynn

The pre-show at the circus

The pre-show at the circus

The pre-show at the circus; fun watching the elephant paint!

A view of the show from our seats

 June 23, 2011 (Thu.) – Swim Meet: Butterfly

Due to our family campout, Camby missed the backstroke meet, so his 2nd meet was actually butterfly. I had Stake Sisters Temple Night to go to, so Michael took Camby and the kids to the meet.  On my way to the Temple, I text Michael to tell him to record the meet for me.  I couldn’t have timed my text message more badly… Michael was trying to start recording Camby swimming but my message interrupted it.  Dang!  I was so annoyed with myself.  Camby won first place in butterfly!  He was SO happy with himself. We were so happy for him since he was so bummed with his last meet.  His relay team got 6th place.

Camby holding his 1st and 6th place ribbons from the butterfly meet

Camby holding his 1st and 6th place ribbons from the butterfly meet

June 20, 2011 (Mon.) – Anlie’s 4th Birthday and New Church Callings

I can’t believe my baby is 4 years old!!  And to make her seem even more grown up, Michael and I got her a “big girl” bike for her birthday!  She was the only one in our family who didn’t have a 2-wheeled bike (well, we’re not counting training wheels here.)  :)  Not anymore!  She is now the proud owner of cute pink bike with a baby doll seat.  I looked all over for that bike and finally found it.  I knew she would have so much fun riding her bike with her Lalaloopsy dolls strapped in behind her.  We had lots of family over to help celebrate and Anlie got everything she wanted plus tons more.  She got some really cute stuff from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (and Mom & Dad, of course!)  She was one happy birthday girl.  Below are some photos from her party.

Anlie with her Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake

Family enjoying b-day cake & ice cream

Anlie opening presents

Anlie & Daddy posing with Anlie's new bike

Anlie riding her new bike... in the house :)

Merik finishing off the rest of the ice cream!

After the party was over, the kids wanted to “race” Grandma and Grandpa McDowell as they drove away down the street.  Anlie opted to ride her bike instead of run with the other kids (smart girl!)  As Michael and I followed behind her, Bishop White drove by (he lives on our street) and mentioned he wanted to stop by our house soon (around 9:00 p.m.)  Well, everyone knows that only means trouble.  :)  Our ward boundary realignment was announced at a special stake meeting the day before on Father’s Day, June 19th.  Subsequently, our ward underwent many new changes since we lost half of our “original” ward and gained half of another (part of the former Sierra Ranch ward which Timothy & Kristy lived in before they moved to Idaho.)   I was currently serving as the secretary in Relief Society, and due to the fact our Relief Society president was due to have her baby any time and that we lost our two counselors to the other ward with the realignment, I figured it would be a possibility that I would be released if they decided to call a new Relief Society president. Anyway, Bishop White came over and as he started to tell me I was going to be asked to accept a new calling, I started thinking he would maybe call me to play the piano or the organ (it was understood we now had a shortage of piano players in our ward) or maybe put me in nursery or Primary.  I was good with any of those and was excited at the prospect of having a little more spare time on my hands.  But he asked me to serve as Young Women’s president.  Huh?  Okay – the last I served in Young Women’s was in the year 2000… just after I got married. I knew practically nothing about the program.  Ha.  Well, um, okay.  So I had a LOT of ramping up to do; a lot of reading.  The Young Women’s program has changed so much in the last 11 years!!  And now I have even less spare time than I did before.  But I will say that I am loving it.  I just love those girls to pieces – they are absolutely wonderful.

On the downside, Michael had to be released from his calling in Young Men’s since I was going to be in Young Women’s (Bishop’s policy).  Michael was so disappointed.  He loved working with the young men and had really started getting the Venture Scouting program into gear.  I know he put so much time and effort into his calling and truely loved it, so it made me so sad that he had to be released due to my calling.  However, Michael was then called to teach Gospel Doctrine.  It has been so fun for me to hear his excitement as he shares with me the really interesting things he learns during his course of study for his lesson.  I love it!  And I know this is exactly what he needs to be doing right now.  :)

Jun 14 – 17, 2011 (Tue. – Fri.) – McDowell Family Campout

We managed to cram in a campout with my parents and siblings’ families (well, all except for Timothy & Kristy’s family.)  We camped at Airplane Flat campground, a site a little southeast of Christopher Creek. As soon as we reached the bottom of the canyon where we were planning to camp, Maille threw up in the car.  Yea.  She get car sick on trips so we figured that’s what it was, but we soon found out it was some sort of “bug” she had.   She and Merik threw up 3 out of the 4 days we camped.  I had lots of fun boiling water to wash out the unfortunate items in the line “fire”. But Maille and Merik were really good sports and still managed to enjoy themselves.  Their throw-up sessions were not very frequent, so that was a major plus if there was one.  :)  I must say that the fire restriction was a bummer (weird camping without a campfire), but it was still fun and propane became our best friend.  Well, next to the skunk that frequented our camp.  He actually gave me a lovely scare in the middle of the night along with some all-natural skunk air freshener. But that’s another story.  We had tons of fun playing frisbee golf, playing in the creek, and feeding the trout at the fish hatchery. Which reminds me… Maille threw up about 8 feet away from the door at the fish hatchery.  Ha, ha.  We used bottles of water to clean it up.  Poor thing!  I know it wasn’t fun for her, but we the rest of us were laughing.  :)  Hey – she felt much better the rest of the time we were there!

Camby (buried in his bag in the back), Maille, & Anlie sleeping

Anlie & Merik

Camby fishing

Maile fishing, Michael "supervising" :)

Anlie was upset about something... can't remember what :)

Anlie and her newly found beatle pet "Strawberry"

Anlie & "Strawberry"... who looks more like a "Blueberry" to me :)

June 9, 2011 (Thu.) – Swim Meet: Freestyle

Camby started swim team (Carson Cudas)for the first time this year. He did better than I thought he would for it being his first year.  He qualified to be in the relay for the “A” team.  At practice the day of the meet, the coaches were using Sharpie marker to number the arms of the kids who were swimming relay.  The coach went to mark Camby’s arm and Camby hollered, “You can’t do that!  I’m Mormon – and that’s like a tattoo!”  Yeah… and the coach had a tattoo above her ankle.  Niiice.  She came up to me and asked if she could write on Camby’s arm.  I said it was fine and then she laughingly told me what he had said.  Oh, brother.  At least he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in!  :)

Camby was pretty disappointed with how he did in the meet.  After he dove in, his goggles came loose and let in a bunch of water.  Michael and I could tell something was up and we were trying to figure out why he wasn’t swimming like he normally did.  Well, that was why!  He placed 8th and he was pretty upset.  And to add insult to injury, the ribbon was pink.  :)  He wadded it up.  In relay his team didn’t fare too much better – they were 6th; but at least the ribbon was orange!  That one was saved from the crumble! I suggested to Michael that he take Camby out for frozen yogurt afterward to cheer him up.  He agreed and the two of them went to Sweetie Peaz after dropping me and the kids off at home.  But I must say Camby did much better at the butterfly meet!