This last Friday night tragedy struck. This is a house of one of our ward members and friends. From our front porch. The blessing of the fire is... no one was home... no one was hurt.
Their immediate needs have been met by the ward/neighborhood and Christmas has been replaced by the Stake. Insurance is helping with on going basic needs. There is an account set up at America First called "Cowley Family Charitable Fund" if you'd like to donate for future needs of this family.
Are you having a jolly week? I sure hope so. Considering tomorrow is the end of the world. But then again, maybe it won't end. So I hope your week is jolly so you can keep going after tomorrow with the jolliness. Or something.
I know it's been a tough week and it's kept me from blogging. I don't want to move into funny and stuff too soon, but I also don't want to be sad. Here is where I am... We live in perilous times. No laws or confiscations or medications or anything else will stop bad guys from doing bad things. Or from getting guns. Satan has got a hold on the hearts of the children of men and he will not let go or even loosen his grasp until Christ comes. I hope you are praying, as we are, that He will come soon.
On to the happy. Because happy is good. Happy is Joy.
Last week our cub scouts went to the Veteran's home in Ogden to pass out ornaments. It was so fun to watch our cute cubs and their sibling go into the residents' rooms and give them an ornament. Or 15. I took pictures as they passed them out then took a picture of the group. Sam wouldn't stand with the group so I snagged this one.
Sam wrote this special piece in school. I love the last line.
AAAAGGGHHHHHH!!! Isaac just texted me from school and said his science fair project is going on to the district!!!!! AAAAAAGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
We got our tree up last Saturday night. Sunday was the family party and since it was a Christmas party, I figured it would be nice to have a tree up. Plus, it's Christmas next week. Notice there are only like 2 decorations on it. Those are Ruthie and Sam's ornaments they just made in school and gave to me this week. The lights are part of the tree. Luckily. And there are really presents under it too, much to our kids' delight!
And here is the play room minus the toys and games and clock and other such things. Also minus the chairs and tables for people to eat dinner Sunday. The basement, for which I have NO pictures, mostly because I don't go down there since Sunday because it was a disaster and there were games destroyed and toys EVERYWHERE!, is awesome. Well, messy. But still awesome. And it was a big hit. It was so hot and crowded in my house that it was a relief that it wasn't more crowded and hot because most of the children and teenagers were downstairs.
So now I'm ready for Christmas and am so grateful to celebrate with our home full of safety, peace, love, completeness and JOY.
All 7th graders take a class called CTE. I only know the C stands for Careers. T might be for Technology?? E may be for something that starts with E. Just a guess on my part. Anyhoo, Isaac's first quarter in CTE was all about wood and big tools. He built a truss, a cart of some sort and other things that earned him an easy A. This quarter is filled with clothing care, child care, family stuff, cooking. And sewing. Isaac was so excited about the sewing machine. It's a machine and he does well with machines. So I put him to work to cinch in his new church pants. He got in there and sat down and asked if my machine was computerized. ?? Um, no. Mine is the cheapest of the cheap. Story of my life. I should show you my carpet. So he threaded the needle and practiced a straight stitch on some extra fabric. Then I put his pants in. He had asked me to mark a line where he should sew. Then he left. I ended up sewing his pants. But he did a fantastic job threading and getting the bobbin into place. Do you know how funny it is to have your 12 year old son talk freely about bobbins? Funny I tell ya.
Sam was taking a bath and had asked Ruthie if he could use some of her bubble bath. Sure, she said. Then he called us in for a picture. Gives a new meaning to the term bubble boy. Sam has recently made a list of all the Godzilla movies ever made. I do believe he knows every single one. There are 2 that are rated PG-13, so he has to wait a bit to see those. He has big plans for his 13th birthday.
Sunday was the annual Abbie's Christmas Cookie Party. We got to see our cousins who have been in North Dakota for a bit. They're back and we are so happy they are. Ruthie made beautiful cookies and even brought them home. The boys left theirs on the table. The other day Ruthie said, "We get our cuteness from mom and our tallness from dad. I wasn't born from mom's tummy, but I am still tall." So there you go. I just so happy the cuteness came from me. I'm glad it wasn't that they had gotten hairy toes from me. Cuteness and tallness and so many other things that all 3 of my kiddos inherited from us.
We still don't have our Christmas tree up. Still in storage. Daniel is home today so we can finish with the primer on the basement walls and ceilings. I won't have time to paint colors on the walls till after this weekend. The tree will go up Saturday and I'm putting a marbles circle in one bedroom and hopscotch runs in another. Then the main area will have a rug and tables with toys and games. The kids will be banished to the basement for the evening. Oh, did I tell you we are hosting Daniel's family Christmas party this Sunday? Did I tell you that it should be around 55 people? That's why the basement is being done quickly. Though it's not finished, it's good enough to have people down there. Pictures of the basement will be forthcoming. But, just a warning, white primer on walls is boring.
Well, we couldn't figure out the problem with posting pictures to my blog. So we had to move into Flickr and work through that. I have finally figured out how to get everything done using Flickr. So I have pictures. For some reason I have been unable to just write-blog due to the lack of pictures.
Here we all are with my 99 year old grandma. We were so excited she got to come to Utah to see us all. She will be 100 next April and we hope to have a big party for her!
Isaac is taking Art at school. He loves to draw so we figured it would be a good fit. He is awesome at it. His last assignment was a city drawing. It was technical. Here he is holding it. He is next to he picture of my brother Aaron. Aaron drew like this. In Isaac's drawing, he added a little homage to his uncle. He put a crack in the sidewalk with a flower growing out of it. It's something my brother drew and titled "Beauty Amidst Bleakness". (I need to put a close up picture on sometime!) At parent teacher conferences yesterday, Isaac's art teacher was talking to another student before us and telling his dad that this assignment was a tough one and his B- was excellent. Then we get up there and Isaac had 200/200 on it. An A. His teacher was so impressed with his work.
Last week was our annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Officially it is our family's last one. Not officially, I will be doing Pinewood Derbys as a leader for a while yet. Sam's car came in 6th overall. He had fun, though, which is most important. Sam earned his Webelos badge a couple months ago (I'm so far behind) and has a compass point to boot. He has been working on more badges to earn more compass points. yay Sam. (hi Laurie)
Isaac worked on his 7th grade Science Project recently. I can honestly say I took no part in the creation and putting together of this project. I will be earning no grade this year. Isaac chose to use the hop switch on his air soft gun to shoot at 10, 15, 20 and 25 feet. He had a great hypothesis and the results were very different than he expected. And that's as far as I go. Because I didn't do it, I didn't help, I didn't put the data in. All I did was buy the board and glue where he told me to glue. I will, however, much to his dislike, be judging the fair this year. Only I can't judge his. But it is awesome! And this is the basement before the insulation and drywall.
So here is a recent lesson I've learned. First, something I already know. I have a condition called Aquaphobia. It's a fear of water and it's very real. So I used that fear as a reason to never have my children learn to swim. Sick, I know. But you would think that I would have had them learn very early so that they wouldn't drown. I mean, I wasn't going to jump in and save them. But then I would always have Daniel with them in the water. So it really wasn't a problem. But then my dear Isaac was working on his 1st Class rank in Scouts. And one of the requirements is to pass the BSA swim test. Now Isaac can swim pretty well enough as a self taught swimmer. But the BSA swim test was more complex. So I did it. I signed them up for swim lessons.
Here is Ruthie (in purple). She is a great little swimmer and has no fear. Luckily. She began in level 2 and has advanced to level 3. Ruthie has recently been sick. She finally went back to school yesterday. Whew!
Sam is a little more timid in the water, but he is an awesome swimmer too. He was in level 2 with Ruthie and advanced to level 3. Here he is doing the back stroke.
Isaac loves this. He was in level 3 and I was told level 3 is the most difficult level to pass. So I just reasoned that the next set of classes we do they will all be in level 3 together. No such luck. Isaac passed and is going into level 4. As soon as he can do the 75 yards without tiring so much, we'll do the BSA swim test. Cool!
And then there's the basement. We had the dry wall guys come in all day Saturday to put it all up. They are coming each evening and doing tape and mud. It's a long process and my house stinks. By the family Christmas Party on the 16th, we hope to have primer on all the walls, the ceiling painted, light fixtures put up and maybe the walls you see here painted. But most likely the walls won't be painted. I borrowed a large piece of carpet from my brother and that will help the floor. Then we'll put some tables, chairs, games, toys and stuff down there. In 2 of the bedrooms I am going to use chalk to make hopscotch runs and marbles rings. Then the kids will have something fun to do and the carpet will go down over it all later.
So there you have it. There is probably so much more I need to catch up on, but I can't remember right now. And now that I can get pictures back up, I hope to be blogging more. After all, this will be a volume to add to my blog book collection!