Budding Engineers

In our ward, the Activity Day leader was released so the Primary needed volunteers to host an activity until a new leader is called. Seeing how I am so fantastic and willing to do all (there's sarcasm in there if you didn't know already:) I offered to host this week.
We talked about how the "glory of God is intelligence" so we stretched our brains a bit and had an engineering competition. The girls were in 3 teams and I gave them a ball of playdoh, 33 straws, and 30 minutes to build a structure that could withstand the wait of a cup full of rocks. They did really great working together and at the end of 30 minutes our winning structure held over 52 gravel sized rocks. Second place held 34 and 3rd place held 9.
It was a lot of fun and I was surprised that none of the girls had ever done an activity like this. What's up with that? Brainy girls are the bomb!
Here are some photos from the activity.

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Horsey Ride

Since we can't get to Grandma & Grandpa's house for a while, Kate has to settle for this kind of horsey ride.
Woe, boy! Kate just got this "wild" horse for her birthday and she hasn't broken him yet:)
Thank you, Grandma & Grandpa!!

Shawn Johnson Finally Gets Gold!!

We have been rooting for this tiny thing since the Olympics began. Laney loves her!! I was so happy to read the news this morning and see that she had won the gold medal on the balance beam. To me, she is the symbol of good sportmanship. Nothing seems to get her down. She just seems thrilled to be at the greatest athletic competition in the world. Of all the athletes I've witnessed so far I am so impressed with her, especially for being only 16.
I read a little of her bio and was impressed that they called her "not a typical gymnastics robot". Apparently, she goes to her regular high school instead of tutors. She practices 4 hours a day which is half the time of other gymnasts. She tries to have the normal teenage life. I commend her parents for helping her with this because after her gymnastics lime-light is over, she'll be ready for the rest of her life.
And we just think her smile is WAY contagious:)!!!
Congratulations, Shawn!!

Eric's Office

I've been working on decorating Eric's office for a few months now. I'm not quite finished yet. I'm searching for a piece of artwork that catches my eye and doesn't break the bank. I haven't found anything that matches both of those criteria just yet. This is one of the last rooms in the house that needed to be fixed up. It has just been a folding table with boxes for over 4 years now. The desk and bookcase I found at Costco. They are so great. The desk has so much filing space and the bookcase has a huge filing drawer on the bottom too. Bye, bye boxes of files!! The mirror is from IKEA. It is humongous and way heavy, but it's bolted into studs in the wall and I doubt an earthquake could move that thing! The visitor's chair is also from IKEA. I was surprised at how comfy it is for its size, but it is perfect for me to hang out in when Eric's paying the bills:) It also reclines, which I think is nifty. When Eric is having his presidency meetings for Elder's Quorum, they always fight to see who gets to sit in it. They usually let the EQ Pres though. Hee! Let's see...I hung up our diplomas and marriage certificate which are very important events for us. And last, but not least, I sweat and toiled making those fabulous curtains. I know they look green and red, but they are different shades of green and brown. The flash made the dark brown look red. I tried to go for something masculine enough. I think they turned out manufique!! I even lined them...oh..ah!! Overall, it's been a fun process with this room. I can now not be embarrassed by leaving the doors open all the time. Eric loves it too, which may come back to bite me if he hangs out there too much. We shall see:)

"Symphony Hall, Here I Come!"

We are very lucky at our elementary school. The 5th and 6th graders can choose to be in orchestra. Mikelle requested (or maybe I did:) to play the cello. She is one of 4 students playing this instrument. She brought her 1/2 sized cello home on Monday and is getting the feel of it. Meanwhile, I've been searching for my earplugs. I know I have some around here somewhere! Just wait until I post a video of her practicing:)

Grandparents Come For a Visit.

Eric's parents came for a visit this past week. We tried our best to entertain them with our amazingly adorable children! We, of course, tried to stay cool in the pool, we tested their endurance by making a trip to Build-a-Bear, we tested their ears by performing piano pieces, and we celebrated Grandma's birthday. Eric taught Grandma how to index names from the church census records. (If you haven't tried it, you should.) She really liked that...she's hooked! And we just enjoyed their company. We were sad to say goodbye.
Here are some photos from our week. An advertisement pops up after a few photos. Just click the "x" at the top right hand corner and it will go away and you can see the rest of the slide show.

Disaster I.Q. Quiz

I saw this quiz in the New York Times and took it. It's only 10-15 questions. It was interesting...the facts I hadn't even thought about. Here's the link:

Party Time

Mikelle and her buds. She had a great day with her friends from church and school. She is very blessed to have so many good friends.
All this just for little 'ol me?
Let's swim. How many 10 year olds can we fit in the pool?
It takes a BIG breath to blow out ALL those candles! (Notice how Kate's patience is wearing thin. The wait for those ice cream cupcakes is unbearable!)

Dinner with the President...

...via letter from the White House. Here's the story: Earlier this summer, Mikelle wrote a letter to the President of the United States of America. She asked him all sorts of questions, such as..."Did you always want to be the President?" and things of that nature. She also invited him to dinner at our home on Friday, August 1st. She let him know what a good cook her mother is! Anyway, today, August 1st, there was a large envelope in the mailbox from the White House addressed to Mikelle! It was the usual form letter with the President's seal and stamped signature with a nice photo of the Bushs. There was even a sheet of stickers of Barney the White House dog. Now, I know it was a coincidence that the letter arrived today, but what a cool coincidence for Mikelle!