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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Summer 2019

I used to think teachers got summers off. Now I know that you get a lot of time off but there is also a lot of training, evaluating, and planning that goes on in the summer time. It seems like it has flown by as we have worked hard and played hard. I am taking 21 credits this summer so I feel that a large part of my summer has been spent reading books and doing assignments. But we have fit in a lot of fun as well. For Father's Day we gave Jeremy sky-diving which he did with our nephew Garion. Of course, we had to play the song, "Live like you were dying..."

Robyn did swim team again this summer. I have a love/hate relationship of her needing a ride to the pool at 6:30 in the morning. So swim meets on Saturday mornings and periodic running work outs to get ready for cross-country in the fall. She took a few days off to go to the Manti temple pageant with me and her friend Collette. We camped in the city park and enjoyed heat, rain, and cold all within a 24 hour period. I had always wanted to go to the pageant and this was the last year.

Allison works at Chubby's some nights along with her many other activities. She went to EFY at BYU with her friend Kaori. They have been planning this for years.

Then Allison had student council camp at Utah state the following week which she loved. They have had a few activities this summer such as marching in the parade or lighting the G as well. She came home from STUCO camp in time to join Robyn and I for the Strawberry Days Rodeo. The week of Strawberry Days makes me grateful for out smallish town.

Jeremy had a few photo trips in June plus his Mayo trips every other week. For awhile he was gone a lot. Drug seemed to be working as tumors stopped growing and even decreased in size a bit. His liver is having a hard time though so he is taking a hopefully short break and allowing his bilirubin levels to come down.

This year we spent the week of the 4th in Washington State. We were spoiled as we flew there and slept in hotels every night. The rest of the family might disagree about the spoilness factor as some of the hotels especially the hostel were more of an experience than anything else. We drove out to the San Juan Islands where we stayed on San Juan for two days and then Orcas for a day. We hiked around, kayaked (Robyn was convinced I would kill her when she was my kayak partner), saw everything we could think of and enjoyed being lazy and being together. We saw a few of Jeremy's high school friends, got doughnuts at Sly's, watched fireworks in Poulsbo (along with a police officer involved shooting right next to us), watched fireworks at the Indian casino, explored down town Seattle, looked at lots of tidepools, and rode on the ferry's. A great trip.

Girls said this camp was the best ever. Allison was a stake YCL and she enjoyed being more of a part of the planning process this year. Robyn came home covered in misquito bites. What I was proud of was that they packed and got themselves there. Then unpacked, did a swim meet, and cleaned the office before we came home from our trip. Love these girls!

We came home to a wonderful visit with my brother Peter and his wife Kathryn and their two kids for a week. We even had a mini-Hall reunion as Jeremy's sister's and brother's family came over along with his cousin for a Sunday night get together. I love having family around and getting to just hang out. We were able to hike Timp caves with Peter's family which is always beautiful.

Then Jeremy and I to celebrate our 25th anniversary a little early went to Washington D.C. for a week while the girls went to girl's camp. Jeremy noted that by the end of the week he had walked over 50 miles. We went to Mount Vernon, all the monuments (I went back several times to re-live my West Wing fantasies of running the mall), almost every museum even the National Bill Engraving Building, Union Station, the Capitol, National Library, National Archives, and the National Zoo. As Jeremy said, if there was a plaque, we saw it. NASA was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 so on Friday night they projected the launching and landing of Apollo 11 on the Washington monument and shut down the mall so tens of thousands of people could watch it. It was amazing. We even got to go to the waterfront one night to try to cool down, eat pancakes at Eastern Market and one night we visited with some friends of Jeremy's who moved there. It was super hot and humid so we just had to embrace being constantly sweaty and gross. The metro and busses were super helpful to cut down on the walking but nap time was a very real part of our day!

Spencer is doing great on his mission. He has had a few ups and downs with companions but is working through them. He is enjoying the tourist season and all the activities on Temple Square.

And then just all the odds and ends of summer time. Getting snowcones, going to the lake, working in the yard, and just having unscheduled time. Allison had youth conference this last weekend at Heber Valley and that is our last planned get away for summer. I almost cried when I realized that its the last Sunday of July as my free time is ending soon but I am going to soak it up as long as I can.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Spring 2019

I feel that seasonal posts are my new normal. Eventually I want to print these all out but for now digital journaling is what I can do.

This spring Robyn decided to try something new and ran track. She enjoyed it and learned that she really can run without stopping! She has already committed to try cross country in the fall.

Allison decided to try something new and ran for student council for publicity. She was selected to be on the cabinet and is very excited for the friends and opportunites that she will have. It was definitely an emotional few weeks of putting herself out there for the skits, posters, assemblies etc. She drove off by herself to hear the results on the radio. She heard she didn't make publicity and then had to wait a long ten minutes to get the call that she made cabinet. Red eyes and smiles followed by a late night STUCO initiation.

Robyn thought that looked like so much fun she also decided to run for publicity and won at the junior high level!  Allison just roles her eyes at how Robyn looks up to her and follows her example. Now if you look closely you will see that publicity is misspelled. Allison and I both looked at it at 6 the next morning and thought it looked great. Robyn posted it up, got teased a ton, took it down with friends supporting her, had her YW leader drop by new poster boards, and had Allison and her spend the night watching World of Dance reruns and making better and improved posters.

Taylor had a bit of a rough patch with feeling sick again but a few weeks and one hospital trip and he was doing much better.

After realizing that life is too short to ever post-pone family time, we decided to go to Newport for Spring Break with each girl inviting a friend to join us. Taylor stayed in respite while we were gone. Originaly we were going to cram in a cheap motel a few blocks away from the beach BUT the day before we left a friend gave us his Marriott points so we could stay at the Newport Villas right next to the beach. It was a piece of paradise and my kids thought we were in the lap of luxury.  We didn't tell them about the change in accomodations until we arrived.  They were blown away.

The family laughed that I was laying on the beach fast asleep within minutes of arriving! We left super early Saturday so we could do the beach Saturday. Crystal Cove was just across the street and a shuttle would take us there. Sunday after church we spent the day there again, and then on Monday we hit up Newport 26th street our ultimate beach spot. We even got parking right next to the beach which never happens.  We finished the night with milk shakes at Crystal Cove watching the sun set. Tuesday, Jeremy had to leave to catch a flight to Hawaii for a photo job. The girls and I spent a super long but extremely fun day at Disneyland. Wednesday we slept in as long as we could, then toured Balboa Island and drove to Las Vegas. The girls wanted to see the strip so we walked a super long time till everyone had their fill and then finished driving home Thursday in time for the girls play practice. A wonderful get away that was amazing and way too short.


Jeremy spent a week in Hawaii and got to visit with his best friend from high school while there. Then he went to the opposite end of the country to Chicago for a week. Then back for a day before heading off to the Mayo clinic again. He has been going every other week for two to three days. I am really glad that Allegiant flies out of Provo airport now.

Girls spent April practicing and performing their play. Practices every evening and weekend for My Son Pinocchio. They love it but it wears them out.

 Combined with that Allison had Calculus study groups for the AP test and Prom.

My parents were able to come out for the play and for my mom and I to go to Women's Conference. We were able to stay in the BYU dorm's so it felt like a mini-vacation with my mom who is one of y favorite people. It couldn't have been better timing!

We learned that the third tier drug Sutent did not work for Jeremy. It had prevented new growths and slowed current growth but it was still way over 20% growth. He was worse than he had ever been before by quite a bit and the tumors had crossed over to be on the diaphragm and elsewhere. So he had to go off everything for three weeks and try to get approval to be on the experimental drug in the trial. Its always quite a process! He also started experiencing some pretty good pain which came out of the blue after having a few good weeks in a row. It kept getting worse so he has been figuring out what works and what doesn't to help keep it under control. He also got approved to start the new drug and began a year to the day after his surgery. To celebrate and as an early Father's Day present he ticked off an item on his bucket list by going skydiving with his nephew Garion.

And then other spring activities. I am pretty boring just plugging away with teaching school, being in school and life. I have gotten to work with some amazing ladies this year.

Allison had Morp, and STUCO swearing in, plus work and finals and too many fun activities to count for choir, clubs, and school.

Robyn got to go help Jeremy re-build Discovery Park by us, had her end of year guitar recital and did some fun hikes and activities with friends.

Jeremy got to lead the Eagle's charge at our nephew Garion's Eagle Court...and wore his original scout uniform to do it!

To end out our spring, some super generous friends invited us to share their house with them for Memorial Day weekend. We slept, played, swam, and soaked up as much sun as possible. It has been a non-stop rainstorm it seems like this spring.