While we were in Utah, Brandon and I were sitting on Amy and Justin's couch at night and decided to take a picture. It was cute, but it was a little dark, so we decided that maybe we should change the filter on it.
And here is what we came up with. Pretty creepy, huh???
Something magical happens at Retreat for Girls. Teenagers who are constantly frowning and complaining actually smile! This was Faith's 2nd year at Retreat for Girls in Logan, Utah! She totally loves this week of the summer. It's her favorite!
(This is a practice selfie right before Retreat!) 'Don't judge me!' -Faith
They make friends who smile too!
They take pictures of each other
and they give service!
They listen to famous speakers that give uplifting messages,
but mostly they have fun.
Awesome art! There's also french fry statues around the campus!
Nature scene of my favorite fountain. Last year, the 'Beedazzlers' attempted to throw 'Puddles' into the fountain, after carrying her around. ANYWAYS, I LOVE THIS FOUNTAIN-LIKE-THINGY!
Kayla being herself... Lexie leaning on the A
Pember is her counselor on the top
Silly faces is always a must at Retreat!
Dawson and Kate having fun before the program started!
Pember was the one with the red skirt and white shirt. Katie Smith is the head lady at the mic.
'Angel just stood out to me. I don't really know why. I guess it's because i love Thalia Grace from the Percy Jackson series and Angel was a Mormon-like version of her.' - Faith
This year's theme was Live It! inspired by a quote from President Thomas S. Monson:
"You have a heritage; Honor it. You will meet temptation; Withstand It. You possess a testimony; Share it. You know the truth; Live it."
Each group was a different bird, and of course, the counselors had fun names. Puddles was married in May, so she was no longer able to attend. Ruby Beauties was their group. Her counselor's name was Pember (from Pride and Prejudice.)
They also sang a beautiful song called Live It! by Jenny Phillips. Each of the girls stands in a giant circle around the crowd holding hands and sings. It's hard to watch because the spirit is so strong and many of the girls can't even sing because they are touched by the whole experience and the spirit.
I have prepared for this day.
No one can take my place.
He is counting on me to arise and shine,
A standard to the world, a disciple of Christ.
I am not afraid. I am not ashamed.
I will Live it!
I will show that I believe.
By what I say and what I think
I will prove He can trust me.
I will Live it!
I will follow fearlessly.
But what I wear and what I do,
I will stand by what I know is true.
I will live it!
It's more than just a belief,
It's more than just something I read.
The gospel of Christ is a part of my life.
I am acting on the things that the Savior has taught me.
I want His light in every part of my life!
This is my day. I will stand by Him with every breath I take.
This is my day. I will stand by Him with every breath I take.
After the program, we met up with Kayla, Maddie, Amber, and Lexi to eat dinner at A&W!
It was a blast and I should have taken another picture or two!!!
Faith was sad to say goodbye to more good friends that she met!
We had quite the nontraditional 4th of July this year! This one is definitely one we will remember.
We were able to attend the parade this year in hopes that we would meet up with the Renos! That was the plan. Instead, we both got delayed and then Dusty wasn't able to make it to our part of the parade. (In hind sight, it was probably not the best area. The parade route was different and many people didn't know until right then. We were before the underpass and the only place that those people could have made it to to see the parade.) But, I really wanted to make it up to Idaho Falls and wanted to be at the beginning of the parade!
Brandon & Faith
(This is Brandon's "It's warm!!!" face!)
Kate was soaking to all in. Dawson really enjoyed getting his picture taken!
This was the Chubbuck Stake's float. It was SO, SO good! We won an award and it was super exciting!
A Nation United
We went straight from the parade to Idaho Falls. First stop for mom and Faith was Runway Fashion which is a clothing exchange store. Faith got 2 pairs of pants, 2 capris, 3 shirts for a good price. We even had a certificate to make it even better. She needed capris for Retreat for Girls which is next week!
While we were shopping, Brandon took Dawson and Kate to see if they could get something great for dessert - the Cocoa Bean!!! But they were closed. :(
We took our family to the Costa Vida there (my favorite restaurant) and then to Orange Leaf frozen yogurt. We had certificate for the yogurt too. Super impressed with the flavors and just the overall atmosphere. Very fun and orange. Oh, and the spoons ... I mean, little shovels were SO cute!
Yes, that is Dawson's hand in our photo!!!
We have never gone to Idaho Falls for the 4th, so that was a fun departure.
We drove home and took a quick rest before heading up to Grandma Kathy's and Grandpa Jerry's house. (This part is tradition for us.) They made us food (thank you guys SO much!!!) and we cheated by bringing root beer float materials to the party. The kids couldn't wait to swim in the half filled pool, so they went the minute that they could!
Kathy loves to be behind the camera, but I occasionally can get her in front!
In the middle of the swim, Brandon is on his phone and says something like "This holiday is about to get really fun!" I knew that meant that he was getting called into work and meant another nontraditional part of our day. So, the grandparents watched the kids swim and Brandon and I headed off to the scene of an accident where a Syringa box got hit as shown in the picture below. (It's underneath the truck actually. See it?)
We had to wait for the tow truck and everything before we could see all of the damage and report back to his work. Funny thing was that we knew one (of 4) police officers on scene. That was quite funny.
Once we returned to Brandon's parents, we saw Dawson eating a whole piece of chicken at once, shown here:
We kept telling him that he should take bites and everything. All he did was nod and continue to chew for about 3 minutes. Pretty hilarious stuff from a pretty hilarious kiddo I tell ya!
I borrowed Brandon's hat to try out how I looked in it. I think that I could really look good in a hat!
The neighbors were lighting off fireworks (legal and illegal) that we enjoyed. About the time the show should have started, the winds really picked up with gusts up to 60 miles an hour. We waited and waited, and then finally called it quits at 11:07. They did eventually start when we were back home. No fireworks for us! Which was the concluding piece of our nontraditional 4th!
We are so grateful to all of the men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve our country. We feel truly blessed to be a citizen of the greatest country on earth - the United States of America! God bless America!
We love going to Boise each year to get away and have some low key fun! This year, Meridian canceled their Dairy Days parade which has become a beloved tradition of our family. We love the parade best of all! Aunt Sondra lives only 1 1/2 blocks from the excitement! We can't wait to be a part of such a wonderful community again next year!
We headed up on Friday and made a quick dash to the mall for a last minute birthday gift for Brandon. I really wanted to get him a new Notre Dame hat. But there was not a single white Notre Dame hat to be found. One of the salesman in the hat store said, "Come back right before football season and we will have a better selection." I wanted to say, "But right before football season isn't when Brandon's birthday is!" It was quite a funny ordeal actually!
Next, we headed to fun Aunt Sondra's to visit and get ready for the BBQ. There were several other families (cousins) that were invited but didn't come. It was very fun though!
Dawson, Brady, Faith, and Colt
Kate and Jadyn
Kate is all about the babies!!!
I LOVE Bristol's smile!
Bristol, Jadyn, Hallee, Kate
I love both of these pictures. They describe why I call her 'FUN Aunt Sondra.'
After the BBQ, we headed out to Settlers Park in Meridian to watch the family movie "Rio" on a giant screen outside. I have to say that it was so much fun and FREE! I definitely want to put it on our list for next time. We got there at the perfect time and had an excellent spot!
Love all of Dawson's faces too!
I love this little girl!
What the movie screen looked like
Saturday, we were invited to eat breakfast with our friends the Zanellis. We figured out that we have been friends since 1998! They cooked an awesome breakfast. While the adults talked, Faith talked to Bekah, Dawson talked to Caden, and Kate talked to Kenna. They had such a good time ... and I forgot to document with pictures. :(
After lunch, Sondra, Dawson, Kate, and I headed out to Robyn's (leaving Brandon and Faith for naps.) Robyn set out this fun blowup slide/pool that all of the kids played on the entire afternoon. It was good to visit and have cousin time ... and I forgot to document with pictures. :(
Brandon's birthday was on Saturday. He is another year older and we love him so much! We hope he had a special day!
While searching for a movie to watch, Aunt Sondra said that she gave away the Twilight movies because she just couldn't handle it. And when I found them, I took that opportunity to take another picture!
We decided on Avatar which was really cool. (I had never seen it before.)
We finished off the night with a bang! Sondra and Brady gave us our own personal firework show which was really cool and fun!
Brady taught Dawson and Kate how to light fireworks. They definitely enjoyed it!
Faith content to watch
Ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing for the show!
We came in to find that Dawson was "burnt bacon" (in his own words). We put on essential oils to make this better! The legs were perfect the next morning, but the back took a couple of days.
And Kate lost another tooth!!! And the tooth fairy found us in Boise!
Sunday, I woke up to see Dawson upside down in the recliner. Quite a funny boy!
We finished up the weekend with sacrament meeting, which happened to be quite incredible.
Thank you Aunt Sondra for hosting us once again and to the Royce family for helping make our Boise trip so much fun! We love you all! Until next time!