Monday, July 21, 2014

Primary Pioneer Parade 2014

This evening was our Primary Pioneer Parade.  They started at the Primary President's house and made their way to our neighborhood park.  This sign was not made by one of my children, but I loved it anyway.
Here is our wonderful Primary President leading the parade-- having to run to keep ahead of the speeding bikers!
At the starting line.  Bethany is not in Primary, but she was George's escort.
George loved being in the parade.
And I LOVED seeing my Georgie ride by. 
There is Cannon in navy blue on his scooter.
The carnage of bikes, scooters, trikes, and strollers.  There was a great turn out and we had a great time visiting with treats at the park afterwards.
I quite adore this little group of neighborhood boys--Lincoln, George, Joey, Cannon, Jake, and Ryder.
The little ladies-- plus Joey on the right:)  Lucky, lucky kids to have such good friends living so close.
Hill rolling-- one of the truest joys of childhood.  What a fun evening with family and friends.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Baby Sprinkle

Some of my dear ward girlfriends wanted to do something to help me celebrate the arrival of this little baby boy.  I suggested we have a girls' night-- but NO GIFTS!  I have a lot of baby supplies already and since this is very possibly my last baby, I'd much rather make do with what we have than invest a lot in new clothing or equipment.  Besides, who needs a shower for baby number 8?
So my sweet friends threw me a "Baby Sprinkle" rather than a baby shower, which was a girls' night and ladies brought just a little something to put in a basket for me.  I felt very loved and it did make the upcoming event feel a little more real.
Don't get me wrong-- I feel really, very pregnant-- and huge and uncomfortable-- but it's hard to believe that it's going to translate to a new little person very soon.
The "P" in the cupcake is the initial of this little person.  I don't believe I've revealed the name on the blog yet.  Here goes:  It's "P" for Peter.  This is my dad's name and my youngest brother's name.  The full name will be Peter Jesse Fox.  Jesse is after Abe's brother just younger than him.
Here is my little basket of goodies.  It was chock full of chocolate to help me get to the end of the pregnancy!  There were a few little onsies and outfits which will be nice, but you know this baby will have more than his share of hand-me-downs from three older brothers.
I'm not sure why I look so frightened of every piece of baby clothing I touched.  Well, okay, I sort of know why I look frightened.  Believe it or not, I am quite nervous about having another baby.  It's partly the actual process of getting the baby here, but it's also that it's been a while since I've cared for a newborn.  Life is busy and there is a lot going on at our house and I know how I like to care for infants and I'm not sure how those things are all going to fit together.  It will be an adjustment.  Clark is 15.  George is just about to turn 4 and there are a lot of children and activities in between.  I know I have a lot of helpers who are super anxious to "mother" a little baby.  But this is the largest gap between children and I feel very out of practice.  Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike.  Hopefully.  If not, there may be some tearful blog posts.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy belly pictures with super cute, skinny, pregnant people.  Good thing Annie Chase is so nice!
At the end of the evening we posed for a picture.  Several of these gals are my neighborhood book club friends as well.  I love my ward/neighborhood friends!  Thank you, Shelley, Sarah, and Liesel for a fun night and helping me get ready for Peter's arrival.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago Abe and I and our three small children showed up to the home of perfect strangers who had sent out an invite to a yahoo homeschool group.   This family was looking for other local families interested in forming a group to read and discuss books and form a community of like-minded home schoolers.
Ten years later the members of this group are our dearest friends.  We've traveled together, our children have grown up together, we've helped each other through the very happiest of family events, and the very saddest.  The Flynns, Clarks, Youngs, and Thygersons are a blessing to the Fox family.  
The last few days we've enjoyed one another's company for our annual book club retreat.  We all converged upon the Flynn's home and hospitality for a few days of talking, swimming, playing games and eating.
The little ladies were baking up a storm in the kitchen. 
They required a quick trip to the store for supplies.
The younger crowd was the Lego club.
The little kids were so excited to do the pinata on the final night and Cannon was beyond thrilled to behead the donkey.
London (left) was in a car accident a week or so ago and broke his collar bone.  Then sadly, Alan (right) had an unexpected injury to his bicep muscle while swimming yesterday.  They are here from San Diego and he'll have to have surgery when he gets home.  Here is a picture of the Sling Brothers.
Oh, but the swimming was heavenly!  Cannon was living it up with the ladies.
The triple jump off the diving board.  You must believe that although this picture would suggest otherwise, we do feed Cannon regular, healthy meals.
And the award for Dad of the Year goes to Abe for his endless patience in the pool with his three youngest children.  Faith and Cannon were already independent swimmers, so he just played A LOT with them.  In three days George made huge progress in learning to swim.
He could cover great distances all by himself-- face in the water, feet and legs kicking, arms paddling--- there was just one problem:  He wouldn't come up for air.  No matter the distance, he would do it without breathing.  Talk about lung capacity!  But I don't think that qualifies as fully swimming if you don't breathe.
I cannot even begin to express how amazingly good it felt to float my massive pregnant self around the pool for several hours.  Curse you gravity!  I haven't felt that good in months!  It was actually worth the trauma of getting into a swimsuit for. 
Elinor and McKinley had a grand time together.  
They found another cool spot to chill out.
The gang of young people gathering to organize themselves into a game they were all playing-- Witness Protection Program-- it was kind of Mafia meets Hide-and-Seek.  It was very enjoyable to see so many different ages working together.  That's my favorite thing.
In the talent show, Christine, our personal professional yoga teacher, led us in a few stretches and breathing exercises.  Once again, I love how the teenage boys down to little Georgie (in blue at the right) are participating.
Andrea and Christine-- aren't they beautiful?
The boys did a little too much of this, but Clark did come out for regular swims and socializing.  And if he didn't come out often enough, I was so good as to remind him.  He loves me.
I figured since he was leaving to scout camp the day after the book club retreat, screen time would even itself out for the week.
Last year the boys worked out this little diddy and we got the reprisal at the talent show this year.

And not to be outdone, the ladies reprised a number that the Fox family performed last year.

Cannon and Anders have thought it over and agree that the retreat was a success.  Happy ten-year anniversary!--- even if these two weren't even born yet when we got started!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Week Home

It has been a very busy week since we arrived home late last Saturday evening.  On the one hand, time moves so very slowly when eight months pregnant in the heat of the summer.  But on the other, how is it possible that a whole week past? Yet it feels like we arrived back home two days ago?  It actually frightens me that my perception of time passing is so inaccurate.

Bethany left early Monday morning for a week of Oakcrest girls camp.  This is a church owned and run girls camp for young women, but they only go once-- the summer after their 7th grade year.  She came home Friday afternoon and she LOVED it.  I was so happy that she had such a fun, uplifting week and wanted to soak it all in-- making new friends and enjoying all the experiences camp had to offer. 
We celebrated her homecoming with a bit more grown-up hair style.  Our friend and neighbor cut it and I think it is adorable on her!  I am so glad my Bethany is home.
Bethany is not the only one who needed a hair change.  I was growing my hair out throughout this pregnancy, thinking that if my body was getting markedly larger, my head should not remain small with a really short haircut.
But the longer hair was driving me nuts!  My head and neck were so hot and I didn't even like the longer hair anyway.  So I'm back to the pixie cut and I could not be happier.  This is the hairstyle for me at this point in my life-- even if Abe did say the shorter hair accentuates my growing tummy... hmmm.  Rash decisions at the end of a pregnancy often do not turn out well.  Fortunately for me, I think this one did. 
But you know what was a bad decision?  Trying to go shoe shopping this evening.  Wow!  That was uncomfortable!  It is getting harder to put my shoes on at home, much less try on pair after pair while sitting on a little stool.  
Elinor and her friend Megan collected and prepared individual habitats for about 30 snails.  They hoped to sell them to neighborhood friends today, but the heat of the day was too much.  They put off their snail stand to another day.  Let's pray they survive.

Clark left for Youth Conference on Thursday and got back home this afternoon.  They went rafting on the Green River and from all reports it was great fun.  I am so grateful for these experiences our children get to have with other great youth and for leaders who take time away from their families to plan and take the youth.  Both Clark and Bethany came home in such good spirits.  Thank you, thank you to those leaders!
My dear friend and sister-in-law, Mary, is staying in Utah with her family this week and she was so kind to bring us dinner Friday night.  The kids were so happy to see their cousins again so soon after the reunion and I just love talking with Mary.  She is a wise woman and as they have recently moved out to Kansas, I am hoping I still get plenty of time talking with her over the years. 

The  younger kids and I had a somewhat slower week.  Our washer has been having problems, so we took a couple of trips to the local laundromat.  Exciting.  Once again, laundromats are not bad things.  You can get a lot of laundry done in a short amount of time.  I do think the owners would be wise to make them more hospitable, welcoming, comfortable places.  Abe has been working tirelessly (when he's been home) to fix the washer and there is hope.  Perhaps next week we will enjoy the luxury of doing our laundry at home.  
And one more note about Abe, he has been working so hard this summer and he had a really great week at work this week.  I am very proud of him and thankful for his hard work in behalf of our family.

This week was also my birthday on Tuesday.  I was treated very well by so many people that I'm feeling more than a little guilty.  I don't think I'm as good a friend as I should be.  People are so very thoughtful and I would like to do better at remembering special events for other people.  Abe and I went out to dinner with my most favorite cousin, Ben, and his lovely wife Cali.  She is my age and due about a month after me with a surprise baby when they thought they were done.  We had lots to discuss and great conversation.

I don't know if I should hope that the next four weeks pass as quickly as this one did or not.  Now that this baby is almost upon us, I'm realizing there are quite a few things I really must get done and ready before his arrival.  I'm hoping to be induced on August 11th so we might be within the one month count down!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Family Photo

The final event of the reunion was an attempt at a huge family picture and the baptisms of three cousins.  We left the baptism and immediately hit the road to head home.  This picture was snapped just as we were leaving Fox Hill heading to the picture.
Clark is 15!  Picture day and driving home day fell on Clark's birthday (again).  It is rather unfortunate for Clark that his birthday regularly falls on a reunion travel day.  His birthday celebration this year is spread over the month of July when we can fit it in with camps and youth conference and such. 
Grandpa made sure to stand on a higher step than Clark.
The four oldest grandsons-- from youngest to oldest and tallest to shortest-- Parker, Clark, Adam, and Ford.
Here is the picture with all the grandchildren, minus 4-- three who weren't there and one who wasn't feeling well and needed to go inside.  That's quite the posterity.
The seven Fox brothers.  You can see how unfortunate it is that they have such a hard time expressing themselves.

The Fourth of July in Spokane

Abe took Faith, Cannon, and George on a hike around Fox Hill and my little sweeties gathered a bouquet of wild flowers for me.
Not only is Faith a sweetie, but she is one tough cookie as well-- giving George a piggy pack for much of the way.
For the evening's festivities on the Fourth of July, Uncle Michael arranged a program and ceremony to retire a flag.  Rather than having the Scouts do it, he has a color guard of young women.  They did a marvelous job and were very respectful.
Uncle Michael has a great reverence for our freedoms and the armed forces.  He is wisely striving to pass that on to his family and extended family.  It is interesting for me, coming from a strong military heritage.  I must admit that I love Memorial Day as a time to honor and revere those who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom, but come July 4th I appreciate a good celebration and party.
Sometimes the worst ideas are the most fun.  Thankfully, no one was injured.
I find it hard to believe that the young ladies could find no other meeting location for a little D&D adventure than the furnace room.  Perhaps they just wanted some privacy.
The young men usually feel the need for a display of physical dominance resulting in an arm wrestling tournament.  Ford (in red) skunks them all.