Friday, June 29, 2007

Field Trip Friday

Today Jordan, Trevor and I went to the Arizona state capitol building for Jordan's Citizenship in the Nation merit badge. It's his last requirement needed to pass it off. Now all he has to do is meet with his counselor. (Sidenote: Jordan has passed off 4 merit badges this summer and this will be his 5th. Three of them were required for his Eagle. He is also in the middle of 3 more. He ALSO only has two more requirements to get his First Class rank.) The capitol building has been turned into a museum of sorts with many displays and exhibits. Some of them are: a display on how a bill becomes a law, how the Arizona Constitution came to be, a memorial on the USS Arizona which is in Pearl Harbor, the Gratitude and Merci Trains, the Navajo code talkers, wildlife of Arizona and much more! They also had several rooms displaying what the first governor's office, the first House of Representatives assembly room, and other government offices from the beginning of Arizona's statehood looked like. They had a wax figure of the first governor sitting in his chair, and Trevor thought he was real for a while. So funny. Jordan sat up in the Speaker of the House's chair and proposed several bills like "Who loves mom" and such and Trevor voted on them. It was cute.

They have separate buildings where the current House of Representatives and Senate meet. We were able to go up in the gallery of both and look down. Cool stuff. We then went to the big 9 story wing that was added to the capitol building. This is where the current governor and other government offices are now. We even got to go through the metal detectors. I forget that we still have to do that in all our government offices. We also visited the park across the street which has several memorial statues for veterans of most of the wars we have been in. Among them was a mast and anchor from the USS Arizona. I had no idea an anchor could be so big. Jordan and I were both touched by the memorials and enjoyed it--even in 112 degrees. :) They had great quotes on the monuments that said things like "Freedom isn't free" and "To honor those who fought when uncommon valor was a common virtue." Isn't that beautiful? We had a nice talk about that. What a good time we had.

Then tonight the family (except Chase) went to the new Bass Pro Shop that opened up in Mesa. When I say it's huge, that's an understatement!! It was overwhelming to be in there. They sold EVERYTHING. There was a shooting arcade, every outdoor thing you can think of and more, a restaurant, a fine gun room, boats, quads, a rock climbing wall, huge aquariums, etc. I don't know if any of you have seen the Circuit City commercial where the wife is talking to the husband in the parking lot before they go in, and she's telling him that they had a plan and weren't going to get stupid in there. The man then runs in all crazy. That's how I felt when we first went in there.

I knew it was like an Sportsman Disneyland when Tanner came up and said, "For my souvenir . . ." I just had to laugh. I was like "We're not on vacation. It's not like we're at Disneyland." But when the kids (and Jerel) are uttering statements like "This is the greatest store in the world," "I wish I had brought my camera," and "This is better than Toys R Us," then it must feel like a vacation spot. :) lol

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Road trip, High School Musical, Boyce and the 80's

I drove up to Flagstaff on Monday to drop off Chase and his friend, Kohl, at EFY at NAU (Northern Arizona University). Well, I was worried that I would get tired driving back by myself, so I took Tanner with me. I shouldn't have worried. I took my Ipod and jammed to music all the way back. Well, I listened to the High School Musical soundtrack two times in a row. I know, don't laugh. I just love the music--and the movie too! lol (And yes, I can't wait for the sequel to come out in August.) Anyways, the first time listening to it, all I could think of was Boyce and the duet he did for his ward talent show. I just sang along and smiled the whole time thinking of Boyce. Boyce, you're so awesome!! So, of course, since I loved it so much the first time, I listened to it AGAIN! And I still thought of Boyce's duet the whole time again. I also jammed to the two 80's cd's that Janel burned for me. Thanks so much Janel for doing that. I must have listened to "We Built This City on Rock and Roll" like 5 times! You guys rock!! (plus you made my trip go by sooo quickly)

By the way, here's some links to the original duet from High School Musical and then the one that Boyce did for his talent show. You just have to watch them to get an idea of why I had such a great road trip AND was totally smiling the whole time!! (The original High School Musical duet.) (Boyce's AWESOME duet.)

Everything's coming up roses

Hey all! This is the cake I made for my final cake decorating class. I made the whole thing. I couldn't believe it. I was so afraid to tackle the roses; they looked too hard to make. But the roses weren't as hard to make as I thought they would be. I think they were my favorite thing I learned how to do. The roses were still a little soft when I put them on my cake, but I think it still turned out pretty good. (Just don't look too hard at the roses close up.) I also really enjoyed making the polka dots for this cake. I finished it off by putting edible glitter on the top. I had never used it before and ended up liking the effect. The kids were so nice and complimentary. Trevor told me it was "beautiful," and Tanner said that I was a "professional." The kids sure love all the "homework" I get to do for this class. Next month I'm going to start a fondant class. (By the way, the cake was a devil's food chocolate cake with a raspberry and whipped cream filling. I also base frosted it in a whipped frosting. Just added that so you could get the complete picture and, you know, make your mouth water. lol It has to taste as good as it looks, or what's the point?!)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Top awards

I have been meaning to post this for the last month, but didn't have a picture of the boys in their nice dress clothes with their trophies. So I have been trying to remember to take a picture of the boys with their trophies every Sunday, but I keep forgetting. I give up; I just took a picture anyways. We're very proud of our boys! They work hard and deserve honors for their efforts.

Chase received a trophy for getting a 4.0 or higher for the first 3 quarters of the year. (He actually ended up getting a 4.0 or higher for all 4 quarters.) It's quite an honor that not many students get. It was given to him by the principal and faculty at a special awards assembly. Most of the students honored were 9th graders. He was dressed up very nicely and handsome in his dress clothes and went on stage to receive his award. Jordan received a trophy for being the "Outstanding Independent Reader" for his class. He feels that he probably would have got an award for math too, but they try to space out the awards among as many kids as possible. I bet he would have too, he's quite sharp in that area as well. My mom will know what this means, but he got 458.6 AR points this year. AR is a special reading program that tests kids on reading comprehension of different books they have read. The number of points they get is based on how difficult the book is and how well they answered the questions. Jordan had the highest points in the whole school. He beat the person in 2nd place by like 100 points. He didn't even take tests on all the books he read this year. Jordan was also voted the "Smartest" by his class.

Bonjour Trevor

Tanner, Jordan and Trevor were getting ready to watch a movie tonight, and then we hear Trevor getting upset in the other room. He sounded quite intense and there was even some slight jumping up and down in frustration. When we inquired about the problem, we found that it was because Trevor wanted to watch the movie, Monster House, in French. Yep, that's right, French! So I said, "Okay, just let him. He'll get bored and want to switch over. He probably just doesn't know what it means." Well, it's still going because Trevor, "Likes it that way--it's funny!" The other boys ended up putting on English subtitles for themselves. Our children are so cultural!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Clowning around

I have been taking a Wilton cake decorating course with my friend, Stephanie. We have been going every Wednesday night in June. (I wish I would have paid better attention to what my mother tried to teach me when I was at home, and then I wouldn't have to take this course.) I've been learning all sorts of new techniques. Before, I pretty much could only do stars. But now I'm learning how to make different borders and flowers. I'm loving the class! Here's the cake that I made tonight. I'm not really a clown fan, but I have to admit that I think these turned out pretty cute. I'm also going to show a picture of a monkey cake and cupcakes that I made for Trevor's birthday in February. It was a Curious George party. I think they turned out really cute, so I feel like sharing them too. The monkey cake didn't have a pattern to follow so I just made one up myself by looking at pictures online. The cupcake faces are made out of melted chocolate that I made in the shape of a monkey face; I then decorated it with icing.

I told you so

Two or three weeks ago I was messing around with the kids in the backyard. I was chasing Jordan and trying to catch him. Much to Jerel's amusement, I couldn't catch him. Well, anyways, Chase was trying to help me and head him off at the pass. Needless to say, we caught him and while he was wrestling with us and trying to get loose, he stepped on my foot pretty hard. It was an accident and so I tried to forget it. It never swelled up or bruised either. But it kept hurting. Every couple days I would tell Jerel that I thought my foot was broken, he would say, "Oh, it's fine. You'll know if it's broken." I would think, "Yeah, I think I know it and that's what I'm telling you--I KNOW I broke my foot!" But he still dismissed me. To make a long story short, I finally went to the doctor today because the pain started to shoot up to my ankle, all the time. It turns out I fractured the bone on the top of my left foot. So now I get to wear a boot for the next three weeks. When I go back, they will x-ray and check it out again. If it's not better, it will be more boot time for me. So Jerel---I told you so! :) lol

p.s. Jerel, I guess we're even from when I sent Tanner to the time-out chair when he broke his arm. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tanner scores big on POP DAY!

Tanner has been going to basketball camp at the local high school--the Mountain View Toros. The camp is run by the head coach of the boys team and some of the players. Tanner told me that the head coach used to coach the Spurs. Every day they go and have fun while learning skills and playing games. Tanner is going with 5 friends this session--Dallin, Jake, Glenn, Mason, and Drex. Every Friday it's Pop Day. They have 3 games of speed, dribble tag, and dribble relay--the winner of each game gets a soda pop. Tanner won the dribble tag---wooo hoooo, he got a POP!!

GOOOOO Tanner!! (think GOOOO Cougars and you will get the voice inflection and intensity intended)

Too cute for words

Tonight I was driving with Trevor (just as the sun was setting) and he informed me, "Jesus is going to sleep right now."
So I asked, "How do you know that?"
He responded, "Because Jesus is the sun, and it's going down."
I then had a nice little conversation with him while I tried to explain that Jesus is the "son" not the "sun." To which he replied, "Yeah, but he's as bright as the sun!"
He then said, "Well, he is still wearing a red tie." (I'm thinking he meant the red robe we often see in pictures.)
I told him I didn't think Jesus wore ties, he informed me that I was wrong. So if any of you have a picture of Jesus with a tie, a red one at that, please send it to me.
(Gee, what are his parents teaching him! lol)

Also, Trevor wanted to talk on the phone to his Grandpa Randy tonight after Randy got out of the hospital. I told him previously that he was feeling kind of sick. So he wanted to call him. He then asked, "Are you still sick? I will say my prayers so you can feel better."
He then told me when he got off the phone, "I'm going to say a blessing for him in my prayers so he will get better."

He always has cute things to say. A favorite of mine was when a while back he told me that he loves me as much as string cheese. I was like, WOW, that's a lot. I'm a pretty lucky mom!! And so whenever I am having a bad day and feeling like I'm doing everything wrong with my kids, I just think, "You know what? I'm better than string cheese, and that's pretty awesome!"

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Trevor's first testimony

Hey, I forgot to write that Trevor bore his testimony for the first time on Sunday. He practised it for a couple days, ALL day long, to prepare. He must have told it to us 200 times (literally), and every time he said it, it was a little different. We weren't sure what he would say when he got up there. He was SOOOO excited for it to be his turn. He was so cute when he went up there, standing all by himself. When he got up to the pulpit, he wasn't sure what to do because the microphone was up really high, so he just stood there for a few seconds looking at us. Tanner (who had gone up with him) quickly realized what was wrong and fixed it. He then started "I'd like to bear my testimonies. I know this church is true . . ." Uh, oh. He got a little nervous and forgot what to say. He turns around and looks at Tanner who was sitting on the seats behind the pulpit. Tanner quietly prompts him with a few words. He starts again . . . "I like my mom and dad and my brothers. I like to read the scriptures. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Oh, he was so proud. He came down very excited and gave Chase a "five"--a loud one too I might add. He has had a good example of bearing his testimony from his older brothers; Jordan and Tanner usually get up every Fast Sunday. It was a great day!

A typical day for me . . .

Hey everybody! Jerel has been giving me a hard time because I haven't "blogged" yet. He's told me like 50 times now "I should have just put that it was the successes and struggles of Jerel, not the Jerel & Camille Campbell family." So here's my first blog. All my days tend to revolve around my kids' schedules. I get up every morning at 6:10 - 6:15 to get Jordan up for swim team. I then drive the carpool to the pool and arrive there at 6:30. At 7:45 I get the rest of the family up when Jordan gets home and we all have scripture study together. I then start laundry (I'm always doing laundry since it takes me days to finish it), get breakfast going, while encouraging the kids in personal scripture study, working on faith in god and duty to god stuff, working on scouting stuff, my summer projects like passing off merit badges and cleaning out drawers, and just regular old chores, etc. Jordan wasn't happy when I told him all his shirts he was keeping had to be folded when he put them back in his drawer. I can be so unreasonable sometimes.

This morning I was doing church calling stuff for about an hour. Yesterday I spent about 3 hours calling and making arrangements. A good friend of mine in the ward, Lynn, lost her mother to a car accident on Sunday afternoon. I am Compassionate Service leader, so I was doing all the arranging for help she might need this week. She's having a rough go since her husband is literally just getting off bed rest from a debilitating spine infection and back surgery, so every time she needs to leave, someone has to be with her husband. Last week I was taking kids to orthodontist appointments, getting new glasses for Tanner and dealing with scouting stuff on my "free time" --as I am trying to get my gym to host a Personal Fitness merit badge class. Chase has had only 2 merit badges left for his Eagle for the last 8 months, and this is one of them. I'm ready for him to be done.

I try to get to the gym by about 8:30 or 9:00. Sometimes I take Chase and his friend, Kohl, since they both joined the gym for the summer. I spend about an hour or so, and then head off to Trevor's swim lessons that start at 10:30. I've added a picture of Trevor on "fun day" at swim lessons. He was so cute and laughing so hard. Meanwhile, I usually get about 3 calls at the gym and at swimming lessons while I try to encourage the kids to finish their "jobs" before they can play with a friend. Usually Tanner is "just starting them" as I pull out of swim lessons. lol Once home, it's more house cleaning, dealing with kids, lunch, showering, more jobs, etc. Although today I ran errands including to the scout shop after swim lessons. I then drive carpool for Tanner's basketball camp that starts at 1:00. Then I take Jordan to his Speed and Agility and Weightlifting classes. He and I are really trying to get in better shape this summer. I did great last year, but have gotten lazy and have much to catch up on. He's there from 1:30 - 3:00 two times a week. Chase also has piano during the summer.

I also seem to be hosting kids here and there all day. Swimming is always a plus for them, but then I often find myself outside watching them instead of in the house doing my many piles of laundry and other pressing tasks. Check out the picture of Tanner and 2 of his friends, Mason and Nate, as they float around our pool in Nate's tiny raft. As I watched them, all I could think of was "rub a dub dub, three men in a tub." They were so funny together. I wrote a quick note to a friend and tried to read part of a book while I was watching Trevor swim in our pool today. I then try to reclean the house and make dinner before Jerel gets home. I also spent time today making dinner for someone in my ward. Then after dinner it goes on from there . . . Like tonight I got the kids showered, made brownies for Chase and some friends who were over playing pool, and I played Yahtzee with Trevor.

So here I sit at 10:15 at night while some of my kids are still asking why they can't stay up longer and trying to type my exciting blog. And people wonder why I don't write more, it's because I need better time management skills. :) There is tons of funny stuff that goes on, but as I sit here, I can't think of a single thing. Trevor did tell me that he is "so good at Yahtzee" and is so excited that he gets to "spend the night" in Jordan's room. So until tomorrow . . .

Saturday afternoon

Tanner attended Cub Scout Day Camp for 3 days this past week beginning on Thursday. The camp (held at Heard Pueblo Scout Camp in Phoenix) began each day at 3:00 pm and ended at 9:45 pm. Scout leaders and parents are required to attend the camp to help the boys and the camp leaders. Camille has attended the camp as a volunteer for the past 3 years. When it came time to sign up to volunteer this year, she volunteered me! I cannot tell you how excited I was - I mean who wouldn't want to spend 7+ hours with 11 cub scouts in 100+ degree weather. But I couldn't argue too much since Camille did have me by 3 years to none.

We met at our church building at 2 pm in order to carpool and get to the camp on time. There was a little confusion about who was attending but we ended up with 3 parents and 2 leaders. One of my good friends, Matt Rasmussen, was the other parent volunteer who was assigned to the cub scounts. They say misery loves company so I was glad to have Matt along for the ride.

The temperature that was perfect for the lake was suddenly very hot and a little bit humid. Fortunately, the sky was overcast which helped to keep the temperature lower than expected which in turn made the experience better than anticipated. Once we arrived at the camp, the wolf and bear scouts (my assigned group) were separated from the webelos scouts. Of course, Matt and I had 9 scouts to account for while the other 3 parents/leaders had to keep track of the 2 webelos scouts. Makes sense to me!!

All the cub scouts including Tanner were so pumped to be at the camp. The theme this year was Outer Space so everything had to do with ... Space! For example during the opening ceremonies, some of the leaders dressed up like aliens. The day's activities included 8 stations including archery, bb gun, crafts, pool, games, potpourri (not what you think), dinner, and den time. My job consisted of getting the boys to their activities on time and then either watching the activity or, if needed, helping out with the activity. Because of the high temperatures, there is always a concern of heat stroke or dehydration. Therefore, the camp encourages the scouts to bring squirt bottles and water balloons. Thus, pretty much everyone is wet all day long. Our scouts were always looking for opportunities to have water balloon wars with neighboring troops (Tanner claims that we always won).

The day was actually not as bad as I thought. When we first arrived, Camille called and I indicated that I might rather be watching "Sense and Sensibility" then attend cub scout day camp. Matt said that was pushing it. I agreed. The boys were fun and the camp leaders were...interesting. I've come to realize that it takes a very unique person to be a "professional scouter" - funny that they all seem to come from the same family line in Kentucky. I'm joking - it might be from Alabama. I really wish I had brought a camera.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

At the lake

Yesterday I began the day by heading to Saguaro Lake with 3 of my sons and a jet ski. Let me back up - my brother Shad had purchased a Sea Doo watercraft with a friend of his (Aharon) when he was living in California. When Shad moved to Arizona, another friend of his (Freddy) had agreed to buy out his interest. This transaction never occurred so Shad asked if I would like to buy Aharon's interest. I have always enjoyed spending time on the water so I agreed. Shad brought the Sea Doo to Arizona and here it has sat during the winter.

With the summer heat quickly arriving, I had a desire to use the Sea Doo. So I called Shad and asked him what was needed to get it up and running. He didn't think it needed much but wasn't certain since it hadn't been used for a while. I have a couple friends who own jet skis and one of them (Matt Winters) offered to help. Shad brought the Sea Doo to my house a couple weeks back and I began to get familiar with what makes it run. The battery was dead so I removed it. Matt said that Wal-Mart carried this type of battery so that's where I headed. Now my experience with batteries has been as follows: battery doesn't work, go to store, have battery tested, battery is dead, buy new battery, take it home, install new battery in car, trailer, flashlight, remote control, etc., all done. This all went to plan except for when I got it home. I opened up the box which contained the battery and a container full of electrolyte fluid, better know as battery acid. The instructions indicated that I had to fill the battery with the fluid and then put an initial charge on the battery. Small problem - I don't own any type of battery charger. So back to Wal-Mart where they had an assortment of battery chargers. I had been advised to purchase a trickle charger so I'm searching on the labels for something that says trickle charger. Nothing. I find someone who works there and fortunately they had a clue regarding batteries and chargers. A trickle charger is one that charges the battery at a slow rate. Armed with this knowledge, I was quickly able to purchase an appropriate charger. I got the battery charged and installed. Matt suggested that I changed the plugs and directed me to a cycle shop close by where I could purchase a pair. I changed the plugs without incident and was ready to see if the Sea Doo would start. I tried to start it and didn't have any luck. I made arrangements for Matt to come over and see if he could find the problem. He showed up and started the Sea Doo in about 5 or 6 seconds. I don't know exactly what I was doing wrong but I was relieved to learn that it worked and wouldn't require any additional repairs.

So yesterday was the first run of the Sea Doo by our family. The weather was warm but not unbearable. The water was a perfect temperature and the lake was not too busy. Chase, Jordan, and Tanner each took turns driving the Sea Doo with me holding on for dear life and wondering quietly why I thought this was such a great idea. Jordan wanted to try to wake board so we spent some time trying to get him up but ran out of time before he was able to get completely on his feet. We had a great time and I'm sure we'll be back many times this summer. And next time, I'll make sure to get some photographic evidence of the experience.