Walker's Golden Scholar!!!

>> Thursday, April 30, 2015

 Today Walker's High School held their Golden Scholar Ceremony. I'm not sure why they do it during the day, but we were there with bells on to cheer him on! :P

They divided the Freshman & Sophomores in one ceremony and then they do the Juniors & Seniors afterwards. I think It's because the auditorium can't hold everyone. 

Walker has been working very hard this year. It's his first year in High School and he's handled the transition very well. He has all Honors Classes and one AP Class. His GPA is 4.2! He amazes me!!!

Left to Right: Nelson, Chase, & Walker
 Walker's best buds! Chase and Walker are best friends. It's so neat to watch them grow up together!

Alayna wanted to come and support her big brother! She was so proud of him! It was pretty cute! :)

We took him out of school early and went to get his favorite breakfast...bagels! We dropped Alayna back to school and Walker is now relaxing doing his "teenager" thing. LOL!!

Great job Walker!!! We know how hard you've worked this year. You deserve to be recognized for your dedication! We love you!


Getting Thrown Into The Deep End!

>> Monday, April 27, 2015

Eli has only been a Deacon for a week and he's been given the Priesthood, gone to the temple for the first time on Saturday, and was asked to give a talk on Sunday as well as pass the Sacrament  for the 1st time all in the same day!!! Whew! Nothing like being thrown into the deep end! :P

Apparently they don't give the Deacons a whole lot of training to pass the Sacrament. We showed up to Sacrament Meeting yesterday and they told him he was going to pass it. They have this card which they showed him for like 2 minutes and then it was go time! Holy Moly! Maybe we should help our poor new Deacons a little more than that. It's a BIG job..one you don't want to mess up. 

Thankfully he's a quick learner and he did just fine. I watched him as discreetly as I could with a giant grin on my face. I was very proud!

As soon as he was done passing the Sacrament, he walked up to the stand and got ready to give his talk. I had butterflies in my stomach! I was so nervous for him. He looked so calm and collected though, it amazed me!

He was the very first speaker...I think that's the theme for him this past week!!! :D

I thought I'd share his talk with you. I didn't edit it, the way you see it is the way he wrote it. Enjoy!

  • name
  • ward for life
  • just turned 12
  • this is my talk

I was asked to give a talk on Joseph Smith. I actually have a cool story about him and my 5 times Great Grandfather, Philemon C. Merrill who traveled with him, who was one of his bodyguards. This story was told by his son and is a little different than other accounts I have read. In 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith was put under arrest by the United States Marshal Ronalds. They were traveling for purpose of getting the prophet and running him over to Missouri so he could be tried. They stopped at an Inn for lunch. While there, the Marshal and his guards were sitting on a little knoll and the Prophet, with my ancestor Philemon, and his other guards were close by resting in the grass.

The U.S. Marshal got a couple of stones and marked lines on the ground and started jumping, and marked his mark. No one came to contest with him. Then, he said, “I can out run, out throw, and out wrestle any man in the state of Illinois!” He repeated the statement again, this time using the name of the Lord in vain.

Joseph Smith laying close by told Philemon, who was in his early 20’s, unmarried, and was tall and slender to accept his challenge. The Marshal was a large man weighing over 200 pounds. So you can imagine Philemon was probably feeling very unsure about this, but having faith in the Prophet he knew he wouldn't steer him wrong.

As the Marshal continued to boast, the Prophet commanded Philemon to throw the Marshal. He hesitated at first, he being so large, and him so tall and slender. The Prophet then said, “Philemon, in the name of Israel's God, get up and throw that man down!”

He rose and spread both arms out at arms length… This part of the story is a little confusing but the  Marshal wanted to take a grip that even his own men said was unfair, but the Prophet said, “It makes no difference either way he wants to.”

The Marshal then said, “Now when I count three (spitting on his hand each time) he counted 1-2-3---Go! Philemon caught the Marshal onto his hip and threw him into the air and when he came down he landed on his head and shoulders about fifteen feet from where they were.

The Prophet ran to him and found that he was not dead, and asked him if he wanted more?

Now for the purpose of making this “PG” for Sacrament Meeting the Marshal said, “Not by a long sight.”

After, the teams were hitched, they started back on their journey to extradite him to Missouri. They sent a request to Nauvoo where a Writ of Habeas Corpus was issued by Daniel H. Wells for the Prophet not to be extradited to Missouri. He was tried in Nauvoo by the court and exonerated and turned loose.  

I like how we have stories showing how the Prophet Joseph was a real person. It helps me appreciate all that he had to overcome to follow the Lord’s Will.
  • church true
  • prophet true
  • temple feelings true
  • i know that when joseph smith told my ancestor to throw the marshal god helped them
  • i know that joseph smith true

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I sat there in pure awe as he shared his talk with all of us. He was so comfortable up there. He was so at ease. He had everyone laughing multiple times throughout! And yes, I cried....I couldn't help it, I was so overwhelmed by his maturity and spirit. :)

I had several people come up to me afterwards and tell me how funny he was, and how composed he was, and what an amazing job he did. Jared said he had several people tell him the same thing. Eli said Bishop Hawk told him in Priesthood that that was the best talk given by a 12 year old he's ever heard, and since he did so well, he wants him to speak once a month!! Ha!! 

We love you Eli!


Walk N Roll

Alayna's school had a Walk N Roll fundraiser on Friday. She put $10 of her hard earned dollars up to be able to participate. She is so giving! I mean $10 when you are 8 years old is a ton of money!! She didn't even hesitate though. She wanted to help her school and I was so proud of her for being so selfless!

The kids who participated each got a t-shirt, sno-cones, a dance party, and the fire department was going to come and spray all the kids with fire hoses! lol!

However, the weather turned very rainy, and the fire department was on call, so they didn't get to get sprayed down. I just heard  though, that they are rescheduling for this coming Friday! :)

She said she had SO much fun walking laps around the field. This picture is the only one I have of her. Someone just happened to take this for the school's Face Book page at the exact right time! If it was a second later she wouldn't be in the shot! :) I love it when things work out like that! 

She has her shirt on backwards..lol! Each time they completed a lap they got a box marked off. She only had 2 boxes not marked at the end of time given. She was little upset she didn't finish...but was proud of how hard she tried to get as many as she could.

Look at that determination on her face! Great job Alayna!!!! What a great thing you did for your school! :D


1st Temple Trip

>> Saturday, April 25, 2015

Now that Eli is 12 he is able to go to the Temple and do baptisms for the dead. He went with his Deacon's Quorum today for the 1st time!

They try to go at least once a month as a Quorum. They get up bright and early and meet at the church by 6am. He was so excited to go, he was up and dressed and ready to go before I even got up! :)

After they were done he said Bro. Bollschweiler took them to Bosa Donuts for breakfast! Lucky ducks! Bro. B dropped the boys off at their homes and I ran out to snap this pic of him before he came into the house. I wanted to capture the "temple glow" on his face and how handsome he looked! :P

He said it was a really cool experience to be in the Temple. He said he was also really nervous. For whatever reason, he ended up being 1st for all the different things, and since it was his 1st time, he didn't know what to do! LOL! Poor kid! But he said it all worked out (as it always does) and he can't wait to go back again. 

The Temple is such a blessing in our lives. I'm so thankful my children are now able to take part in the ordinances there, and receive the blessings from our Lord for serving Him and our fellow man. We are able to feel His Spirit so closely and receive inspiration and direction for our lives. It is truly Heaven on Earth!


Spring Clean Up- Back Yard Makeover!

>> Friday, April 24, 2015

We put in the pool about 2 summer's ago. We wanted to make over the backyard at the same time...but sometimes you have to save up for the things you want. :P

We have a lot of flowering, leaf dropping, tree rooting plants that were too close to the pool and beginning to damage the filters. So we bit the bullet and started getting quotes for the work to begin. After all, we spent our hard earned cash for this awesome pool, we didn't want to ruin it! 

Here are the 'Before' pics.....

The oleander in the center has been our bane since the beginning. I don't know why we didn't just rip it out when they installed the pool, but we didn't. It is SO close to the cool deck that it would just drop seeds, flowers, and leaves into the pool. You couldn't even walk by it! A few weeks ago I was D-O-N-E! and I took some loppers and I hacked it down to a stump! LOL!! It was as big, if not bigger, than the two large ones on each side in this picture. 

The grass is also another issue. We think it got over compacted when the bobcats were brought in. We used to have a beautiful green lawn, and now we have....this! :(

Yesterday the landscaper came and got to work! 

I'm not sure bushes are supposed to be IN the pool..lol!

This guy wasn't a spring chicken, but he was a BEAST! He was here for 5 hours and did all of the work himself! I'm not sure if you can see the size of the hole he had to dig to get those 7...yes 7...oleanders out of the ground. Look at the size of that root ball in the yard!! I think he may be my new hero! :D  

And here is the 'After'!

So in all, he removed 7 oleanders, cut down that tree in the right corner, trimmed the tree one the left side of the yard as well as cut some of the root back so it wouldn't push up the curbing anymore. He also trimmed two of the bushes on that side as well. He leveled out the yard and put a treatment in the grass to help it to come back to life.

We were hoping to keep the pool clean...that didn't work!! LOL!!! Guess who got to go out and skim the pool for an hour!?! 

The landscaper is going to come back on Monday to help us choose plants that won't litter so much and will be easier to maintain. He's also got a hardscape guy he works with that we need an estimate on for the space between the cool deck and the back porch. As soon as we get all of that in place I will update with the final outcome!!! 

The yard looks so much cleaner and it will be a breeze to take care of this summer when the temps reach 115+!!


Walker's Triathlon!

>> Thursday, April 23, 2015

Last Saturday Walker participated in his 1st triathlon!! He went with his Varsity Troop. 

The Jim Brinkerhoff Triathlon is the largest Varsity Scout event in the nation and it is held in Pima, Arizona. Pretty cool!

They boys had to swim 75 yards, bike 6 miles, and run 1.6 miles. The participants are tracked using a high tech chip device to record their time. 

Before they left they had training twice a week for 6 weeks. They met super early on Saturday mornings, and on Wednesday nights. 

Walker said it was a blast! We are waiting to hear back from his leaders on what place he came in. I'll update when I find out. :)

I so wish we could have been there to cheer him on!! :) I'm so proud of him going outside his comfort zone and doing this. He's learned a lot about himself and that he can do hard things! :D


Eli's Roman Colosseum

>> Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's that time of year when the BIG 6th grade Social Studies project is due! Eli has been studying Rome and he rolled the die and he was the lucky winner of making The Roman Colosseum! :P

We had to use so much geometry that we hadn't used in years to try to figure out how to make this all fit together right. Thank goodness Walker happens to be taking it this year in H.S.!!! :P

Let's take a closer look at that epic lion!!! LOL! :P 

On Eli's checklist of items his structure needed to have it stated, "Royal Entrance". However, Jared had a major issue with this, since the Roman's didn't have royalty!!! LOL! 

I learned a lot as we worked on this with him. Great job Eli!!!! :D


Eli's Golden Scholar!!!

Last night we went to Eli's 3rd Golden Scholar Ceremony!!! Woot!Woot! He's qualified every year and I'm SO proud of that little...I mean young man! :D

 While we were waiting for the ceremony to begin I asked Walker to take a quick picture with me. This is how it turned out!!!! LOL! (Like father, like son!) Dorks!!!! LOL!

Eli surprised all of us, as he was getting ready to leave he not only put on his Sunday Best, he put on a suit jacket!!! He looked SO handsome! :D

This is one of my very favorite pictures of him. He was walking out with the other students and he searched me out in the crowd, looked right at me with that big beautiful smile so I could take this awesome picture! Thanks Eli! (I know you complain about how many pics I take of you, but I think you secretly like it!! LOL!)

Ms. Davis, his 4th grade teacher, who is now a 6th grade teacher, handed out the awards. 

Here he is with his fancy certificate! They used to hand out pins, I'm not sure why they changed it this year. 

A closer look at that well deserved award!

Sorry I had to put one more in...He just looks so mature and handsome! :)

Look how much he's grown! Such a hard worker and awesome kid! Congratulations Eli!!!!! 


Proud Momma!

>> Monday, April 20, 2015

Alayna, Eli and Walker all got excellent grades this quarter (and school year)! I'm not always great at posting their certificates but I remembered this time! :P The High School doesn't really send a certificate  home, but we did just got a letter today informing us that Walker will be recognized at this year's Gilbert Golden Scholar Ceremony next week! :D 

Primary Pride is the equivalent to Principal's List. But it's just for the younger grades. :) Alayna loves school so much! She's at the top of her class and she is killing it in her math (as well as her other subjects)! She is the first one to make it to division and she loves telling everyone about it!!! LOL! Smart girl!

Eli has been working so hard this year! We just got another letter from the school stating he is invited to Academic Night this year! He's qualified every year! Way to go Eli! I'll post more about that later. :) Eli continues to show us his determination and perseverance. When things get tough, he doubles down and he never gives up. I don't think 'quit' is in his vocabulary! He's a rock star! 

Walker has a heavy load of classes this year. He's a Freshman and he takes all Honors Classes and one AP Class. He loves learning. Some people just love to learn. They thrive on expanding their knowledge and he is one of those people. It amazes me how he not only learns things so easily, but he retains it forever! It blows me away! He's ranked 26th for weighted GPA and qualified for Golden Scholar!  Whaaaaat!?!! That kids is SMART! :D

I feel so blessed that my kids love school and that learning isn't a struggle. They each teach me things on a daily basis and sometimes I wonder how I got to be so lucky? Love those smarty pants!


Eli is Ordained a Deacon!

>> Sunday, April 19, 2015

 Big News! 

Eli, after being interviewed by Bishop Hawk, was found worthy to receive and be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. :)

Bishop Hawk stood in and Jared conferred Eli to the Priesthood and he is now a Deacon. We are so proud of him! 

As I sat there listening to the words of the blessing my heart was so full. Eli has grown and matured so much in just the past year alone. He is gaining a strong testimony of his Savoir and Heavenly Father. When we have family discussions he adds so much to the conversations and I love hearing and learning about his thoughts and feelings. 

He is now moved up from the 11 Year Old Scout Program to the Boy Scout Program. The LDS church gives the boys a sort of interim year before they move up fully to the Scout Program. This  means he is going to be in heaven!!! :P The Deacons go on a camping trip about once a month and do so many fun and adventurous things! He will go to his 1st Scout Camp this June for a week! He's so excited! 

It is such a blessing to have 3 Priesthood holders in my home now. It brings me so much joy and happiness knowing they are following the Lord and His commandments and doing all they can do. 

Sunday will be fun watching him pass the Sacrament for the first time. He said he's a little nervous but we know he's going to do great! 

We love you Eli! Congratulations!!!!!


Happy 12th Birthday Eli!

>> Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday to my sticky face, big blue eyed, cute as a button, big hearted, quick witted, baby boy! Your larger than life laugh is absolutely contagious! I'm so blessed to be your mom! Love you "To Infinity and Beyond!!!!" <3

We had a small family party for Eli's birthday, since we remodeled his room that was his big gift. :)

We had his favorite dinner, lasagna, and oreo ice cream cake.

And those crazies went swimming!!! Brrrrr!!!!! LOL!

Happy Birthday Eli! We sure are lucky to have you as our son! <3

PS... I love that you don't get embarrassed and totally crack up when I roll the car window down when I drop you off at school and after you get out I yell, "I LOVE YOU ELI !!!!" (or some other mushy thing I can think of) at the top of my lungs so the whole world can hear..LOL!! It absolutely makes my day when I see you shake your head and laugh at me as I drive off!


Walker's Elegy to Art..LOL!

>> Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walker had an assignment in school. He had to write an Elegy. He chose to write about his disdain for art assignments and that every class one way or another tries to weave it into the project they are working on. Who knew someone could have such adverse feelings to art? LOL!!! He cracks me up! He legitimately hates art assignments. He can appreciate art, just not if he has to create it himself. :P

I Hate Art Assignments

Oh art assignments
how terrible were thou?
Don’t you know that I can’t draw
My lines are never straight even when I use a ruler

Oh Art assignments
how terrible were thou?
You will return
Like an unrelenting zombie you will stalk me
You are a persistent mosquito at the back of my neck

Oh art assignments
how terrible were thou?
I have learned that you are unavoidable
art is part of this society

A part i shall not join

You are awful, terrible, bad, abominable, dreadful, and atrocious

oh art assignments
how terrible were thou?

Apparently his teacher thought it was pretty awesome too! You can see her comments below! LOL!!!

Here are two of the other ones she really liked as well. :)

Poetic Monologue: 

Free Choice:

I don't get to see a lot of Walker's work from school. He's so busy and turns in so many assignments each week it's hard to keep up with all that he works on. It was a rare moment that he thought to mention that he got such great feedback on this and told me about it. :P He doesn't ever brag or boast about himself and his abilities. He really is a gifted and articulate young man. It just tickles me to see his teachers see it as well as his humor too. :)


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