Saturday, June 30, 2012

Allen Celebration

In Allen, they have a huge celebration on the Saturday BEFORE the 4th of July.  
And by HUGE...I mean seriously HUGE!  
Like 50,000+ people.  Like live music on that stage in that picture.  Last year it was Foreigner.  This year it was The Bangles.  Like tons of food and jumpy things and amazing fireworks that last for 30 minutes!!  

Thank goodness I took a BEFORE picture of my outfit, because after spending the whole day and most of the night in 90+ degree weather, the AFTER pictures are a little melty and tired looking.  I SUPER love this dress.  Every time I've ever worn it, it's been a good really good.  And it matched my pedicure, so I picked it for today.  (Sorry about the crazy messy bathroom in the background...)

We happen to have some pretty good friends (the Rodriguez's!!) who live right on the edge of the park.  Which means we can sit on the lawn beside their house and hang out with them while we watch an amazing show.  This is the second year we've gone and I'm pretty sure there will be many, many more.  It's the perfect way to spend the 4th of July (unless you're in Utah, in which case the best way to spend the 4th is at Sugar House Park with the WHOLE Thunell family.  Man, I miss those guys in the summer!!  I SO wish we were there this year.)  

I LOVE fireworks!  And I LOVE hanging out with family and friends on the 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nightlights and Noise

I was laying in bed tonight, trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep, and decided to just give up.  It's one of those nights when I've stayed up too late and I'm the last person in the house awake.  I hate that.  It's so late that all the little lamps that we have sprinkled around the house and set on timers, have all turned off.  The outside flood lights (also on timers) have all turned off.  The dishwasher has completely run through its entire cycle and there's no comforting noise of water running anymore.  It's way too quiet and way too dark for me tonight.  

I've never been a huge fan of complete darkness or complete silence.  

When I was a little girl, I remember falling asleep to the sound of my parents' TV blaring long after they had fallen asleep.  It was comforting to have that noise in the background...until about 3:00am when it would wake me up and I would wander into their room to turn it off and then have to walk all the way across the hall in complete darkness, and try to fall asleep again.  My parents were the "early to bed, early to rise" types.  They were morning people through and through.  They were usually sound asleep by 9:00pm and up before 5:00am having coffee and deeply engaged in conversation.  I always woke up to the sound of my parents' voices in their bedroom...or the smell of breakfast from the kitchen.  

On the weekends, when we lived in California, my older brother and his family would drive from their house in San Diego to our house in Vista, and spend the weekend with us.  There was always tons of food, singing, ukulele music, more food, football and wrestling on TV, and Clash of the Titans on HBO (that movie was on every single day!)  I always loved the noise and activity during those weekends, and the comfort of going to sleep in a house filled with people.   
My mom and my brother singing Hawaiian songs
My parents had an RV that they loved taking out on the weekends, and once, we all went "camping" parents, my grandmother, my two brothers and me.   (My brothers are 20 years older than adopted mom's twin boys from a previous marriage before she met my dad.  And this was in the 80s, so they were in their 30s when we went on this camp out.)  The thing slept 8, but it was a tight squeeze. I was on the top "bunk."  There was a brother in the bed below me.  My parents were in the two hide-a-beds.  My grandmother was in the bed that we made by lowering the kitchen table and unfolding the seat cushions over it.  And another brother was on a sleeping bag on the floor between my parents.  It was definitely more togetherness than we had ever experienced, but we had SO much fun.  My mom had brought some children's books with us so that I would have something to read, and she decided to pull one out of the basket and read us a bedtime story.  The whole thing was so completely mom reading fairy tales to her entire family while we were stuffed in that little RV together...and we all totally got the giggles.  I went to sleep that night with all the lights on, listening to my brothers and my mom still reading and laughing.  

that's the RV in the background, but this was a different trip
my mom and my brothers
Last week at Girls Camp was kind of like that for me...absolute comfort and security in that cabin with 20 other people.  I went to sleep every night in a room filled with little flashlights and the sound of girls talking and giggling well into the night.   I always think that the middle of a family party would be my ideal place to fall asleep...which is kind of what Girls Camp was...tons of happy people who love each other, having a great time, and making lots of noise.  Bliss...

I miss all those noisy family parties and long weekends.  And I miss going camping in that RV.  I'm so grateful for the love that my parents had for all of us, and for the fun things we experienced together.  And I'm grateful that I was up late tonight thinking about them.

And now it's time to turn off all the lights and walk all the way down the dark hallway in complete silence...ugh!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer in Texas

It is seriously HOT here this week...

This is what TCD's phone said yesterday when she tried to use it at the pool.  And it had been UNDER her towel.

I'm grateful for air conditioning today.  I'm grateful that Girls Camp was last week and not this week.  I'm grateful for neighborhood pools.  I'm grateful that my unlimited supply of Sonic ice is less than 2 minutes from my house.  And I'm grateful that this weather only lasts a few months.  

Right now, I'm trying really hard to remember that this is what we'll look like during football season...only we'll have better seats.  :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Horton Hears a Who

OK...I'm starting to come down off my Girls Camp high...slowly.  I think this is the last camp-related post until next year.  (Oh...I said I would do one on the food, didn't I?  Um...I might have to skip that one.  But let me just say it was AMAZING!!  All organic, tons of veggies and whole wheat everything, homemade alfredo sauce one night!  We were seriously spoiled!

This year's theme for Girls Camp was "Dr. Seuss and President Monson's ABC's."  When I first heard it, I thought it was a little awkward.  It was long, and it required a little bit of explaining to get the girls to understand exactly what it meant.  It wasn't as straightforward as some past camp themes, like "Your Happily Ever After" or "Arise and Shine Forth."  But...guess worked!  (I really need to work on that trust thing...)

In January, the First Presidency message was called Living the Abundant Life.  I remember reading it and being very inspired and moved by it.  I even wrote a blog post called Abundance after I read it.  In his message, President Monson challenged all of us to make a significant quest this year for the abundant life.  And then he gave three ways to do that...

Have a positive Attitude.
Believe in yourself.
Face challenges with Courage.

The Stake Young Women's Presidency took those ABC's from President Monson's message and combined them with the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss books and came up with the Camp theme.   

Throughout the week, there were Dr. Seuss influences everywhere.  T-shirts, stripey socks, Cat in the Hat mailboxes.  It was really fun.  And more than once, Dr. Seuss books were read or quoted.  

On Wednesday, our theme activity was a lesson on Attitude.  One of the YW Presidents from another ward taught an awesome lesson on how we have the ability to choose how we handle the challenges we face.  She talked a lot about deciding to be happy and relying on the blessings of the gospel to help us see the good in things.  And then at the very end, she read part of this book (one of my all time favorites)...

Horton knew something that no one else believed because they couldn't see or hear it.  And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make them understand.  But he still KNEW.  And he never gave up.  Even when his little clover was thrown into a giant field of a million other clovers, he didn't stop looking until he found it.  Even when all those crazy jungle animals dragged him off to court, he never stopped believing.  He KNEW what he KNEW.  And eventually they figured it out, too. 

I love Horton.  I'm a big fan of elephants anyway, but this one is seriously awesome!  I love that hearing that book read in the context of that lesson last week helped me remember to KNOW WHAT I KNOW and never waiver.  I don't have to be on trial because of the things I believe, and I rarely have to prove them to other people, but I need to be faithful and courageous and have a good attitude because when I don't, I lose sight of the things that I know.  I'm grateful that all good things can testify of Christ.  I'm grateful that He has given us opportunities to remember the things we already know.  And I'm grateful for the little moments of clarity I had at Girls Camp last week.  I can't wait till next year.  

Be Good.  Be Patient.  Don't Forget.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stuff I Learned at Girls Camp

Here are the Top 10 Things I am taking away from Girls Camp this year...

10.  Don't complain - it could be so much worse.
When we arrived at Bonham State Park in the middle of the afternoon, it was pretty darn hot. Hauling all of our stuff from the parking lot to the cabin was making all of us sweaty and tired.   We were certain that the little window air conditioner was not going to be able to keep all 20 of us at a comfortable temperature through the night.  But each day that we were there, the breeze stopped breezing, and both the temperature and the humidity kept rising.  By Friday night, everyone was longing for the milder temperatures from earlier in the week.  And guess what the forecast is for this week!  Over 100 everyday!  I'm SO grateful that camp was last week.  

9.  Don't forget to pray.
I don't have one of those stories to go with this...about how we didn't pray and some terrible thing happened.  But all week, I kept feeling like we should have been having morning and evening prayers together as a ward, and we didn't.  We prayed in devotionals twice during the day, and personal prayers were being said all week long, but if I could go back now and change one thing, I would have wanted our girls to be more like a little family and say family prayer at the beginning and end of each day.  Next year...

8.  Some things are better with a group.
I like to be alone.  I feel like I'm more efficient and more content when I'm by myself than with a lot of other people around.  But at camp, I realized how much more quickly a thing can get done when you do it in a group.  Cleaning the bathrooms took all of 5 minutes because there were so many of us doing it.  And memorizing The Living Christ was so much easier when we chunked it up into smaller pieces and divided it between the groups.  And one of the most important rules of the week was to ALWAYS have a buddy.  There are definitely times and places when being alone and quiet are best, but some things are better with at least one other person.

7.  Trust.
This year for -Camp, all the girls were divided up by year and then randomly assigned to a Team with other girls from the stake.  Most teams consisted of 7-8 girls and only one girl per ward which meant that the girls spent the majority of their time with people they had never met before.  When this plan was first presented to the leaders, I hated it.  I worried that the girls would be uncomfortable and not enjoy camp activities as much.  But by the end of the week, as I watched girls making new friends, I realized that the stake leaders who had made those decisions about camp were totally inspired.  Not everyone loved the Teams, and not everyone made a new friend in a different ward, but some did.  And in the coming years, those girls (especially the younger ones) will see those familiar faces in the hallways at the enormous high school, and in seminary, and at Stake dances, and they will be more likely to walk up to those girls and say hello.  Who knows what kinds of little seeds of potential friendships were planted this week because of those Teams?

6.  All things testify of Christ...even Dr. Seuss books!
This is going to have to be it's own post, because it's kinda long...

5.  Heavenly Father is aware of all of us, all the time.
It's amazing to me that even at the conditions that are not exactly perfect, there are little reminders that Heavenly Father loves us and is with us all the time.  The stars. The quiet moments that happen even when you don't think it's going to be quiet.  A surprise visit from a friend and the time to sit and chat with her.  Just the right scripture at just the right time.  We're never alone.  He's always with us.

4.  Be where you're supposed to be
Because our schedules were so tightly packed all week, there were times when we all felt like we would rather just sit or sleep-in than go to yet another devotional or spiritual thought (and sometimes we did skip a few things...just not the spiritual ones.)  But I found that when I dragged myself out of bed and down to the lake for our morning devotional, or to the pavilion for a lesson, or down to the primitive camp sites for a night hike, I got something...something good...something that I would have missed if I had stayed in the cabin or taken a shower.  There are definitely places I was supposed to be this week, and the more I made myself go to them, the more little "somethings" I got.  

3.  RELAX!  
I'm typically NOT very relaxed about stuff like messes and dirt and whining and a large group of lively girls.  But this week, I decided that I wasn't going to get stressed out about that stuff.  I decided I was going to let my own girls do what they would do at camp if their mom was NOT with them.  I decided I wasn't going to tell any of the other girls to go to bed or stop eating candy or to clean up their stuff.  I decided I was just going to take care of my stuff and be where I was supposed to be.  (I did remind the girls to put on sunscreen and I did tell a few to hang their wet towels outside, but that's about all the nagging I did.)  And it worked!  For everyone...especially me.  I wasn't uptight all week about dust bunnies or crap all over the floor.  I didn't clean up after anyone.  And I didn't get frustrated that they weren't cleaning up after themselves.  There's a lot to be said for natural consequences.  Occasionally a girl would lose a t-shirt or a water bottle or a shoe, and they would whine and get frustrated about it.  But I didn't rescue anyone.  (I'm not a rescuer anyway, but I especially didn't this week.)  And guess what...everyone survived.  No one went anywhere naked.  Everyone had shoes on.  No one died from living on Skittles all week.  No one lost anything of any value.   And they all managed to have a great time at camp and come home safely.  Relaxing is a very good thing.  Now if I could just figure out how to get that to stick at home...  

2.  Relationships are more important than schedules.
The girls time was heavily scheduled at camp.  They had devotionals, games, certification activities, crafts, spiritual thoughts, meals, and hikes that were all scheduled for them.  And as a "shadow leader" of a Team, most of my time was also scheduled.  But every now and then, some of our girls would need to sit with their ward friends for dinner.  Or one of my daughters would need to hang out with me instead of their Team.  Or I would just need to connect with the other adults from my ward.  One afternoon, all of the Mia Maids and Laurels ditched their afternoon activities and just stayed in the cabin with me and one other leader (also ditching our activities.)  We hung out in the air conditioning together for several hours and talked and played games and got to know each other SO much better.  I loved having time to spend with just the older girls.  That was the right place for all of us to be.  We needed to bond with them much more than we needed to play water baseball and swim in the lake.  

1.  No matter what, home is the very best place to be.
The very best part of the week was walking into my house after 4 days of being somewhere else.  I loved camp.  I loved being with the girls.  But where I'm most happy and comfortable is in my own home, with my own bed, and my own family.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mormon Boys

We have a girl in our ward who just moved here from Connecticut a few months ago.  She is bubbly and happy and SO outgoing.  She taught all of our girls this hilarious camp song that she had learned at Girls Camp a few years ago (apparently those east coast campers are pretty dang cool!)  And then our girls taught it to the rest of the stake.  (I didn't check to see how the Stake YW Presidency felt about that, but it was still super fun!!)

Just in case you can't understand what they're saying...

I like Mormon Boys and I cannot lie
There's something that I can't deny
When a boy walks in with scriptures in his hand and a smile upon his face
You get a date!
A celestial mate
But NO!  
He's going on a mission.  
Leaving you wishin' that you had a man
Someone to hold your hand
We don't like your preachin'
Cuz your brothers are hot and you are not
So bring on the righteous priests!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

100 Years of Girls Camp

Girls Camp has been around for 100 years!  I have been a member of this Church for almost 20 years.  I have served in the YW program in this Church for over 10 years (cumulative...not successive.)  And do you know how many times I've been to Girls Camp?  ONCE...including this year.  (Although last year I did go up for about 2 hours to help drive girls.)  Crazy, isn't it?  Somehow, in all those years, I managed to time pregnancies, new babies, relocations, and releasings just perfectly to avoid Girls Camp.   It wasn't really planned, but I remember thinking each year how fortunate I was to not have to go.  

But guess what!?  After this week, I'm so sad that I missed it all those years.  

I'm not exactly an outdoor kind of a girl.  I don't like bugs or heat or humidity or dirt.  I don't like going without a shower, and I like taking a shower in a stall even less.  I don't like public restrooms.  I don't like bug spray or swimming in lakes or sleeping in a tent.  I don't like smelling like a campfire.  I don't like having frizzy hair.  I don't like getting up with the sun.   I've never liked any of those things.  So, I just assumed that there was no way I would LOVE anything about being at Girls Camp for a week.  

But guess what!  I still don't love any of those things up there, but I found some unexpected things this week that I DID LOVE...

I loved going to sleep listening to the sound of girls telling ghost stories and giggling.  I loved looking at the stars at 3:00am on my way to the bathroom.  I loved not having a mirror and not worrying about my make up and hair.  I loved having other people cook all my meals for me (more on the awesome Camp food later...)  I loved that sleeping in a sleeping bag means you don't have to make the bed in the morning.  And I loved hiking through the beautiful trails at this park.  

This was a big accomplishment and a huge personal victory for me.  It was one of those things that I never thought I could do.  A few times this week, I wanted to just get in my van and go home, but I didn't.  And even on the drive home, I thought, "I'm so glad this is over, and I hope I never have to go to camp again!"  But...after a shower and a nap and a few hours in my climate controlled house, I felt the satisfaction of what I had actually done.  I made it!  I did a hard thing and I didn't die (or kill anyone.)  Which probably means I can do other hard things.  

I'm so grateful for the Young Women's program, and for 100 years of Girls Camp.  I'm grateful for the people who have made this happen for the past 100 years so that the girls, and the leaders can have the opportunity to do hard things.  Great things happen when you venture outside your comfort zone.  This week there were lots of those great things.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Girls Camp 2012

OK I'll start with the pictures first...

leaving for Camp...Tuesday 12:30pm

arriving at camp 2:30p

inside our cabin 
Tuesday Night Devotional
(what a goof!)
First Years
Second Years (there are lots more, but they scattered before I could catch them)
Third and Fourth Years

Group Picture!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Girls Camp!

The girls and I will be at Girls Camp this week.  We leave tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 and return on Saturday, so don't worry if there aren't any posts for awhile.  I promise I'll make up for it when I get home.  Cross your fingers that I make it through primitive cabin camping with 16 girls for a whole week!  ...and by primitive, I mean, the bathrooms are not connected to the sleeping areas, there are bugs everywhere, and there is no air conditioning!  I know all of you seasoned outdoorsy types are laughing at my wimpy-ness, but this is seriously scary for me.  Have you seen the bugs in Texas???  

I love these girls, though, and I love my daughters, and I love this calling and the women I get to "camp" with, so I'm going because of them.  And because of Eleanor...
Wish me luck!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Season Tickets

Guess what!!  We officially made the lottery for season tickets at the new football stadium at the high school!  Phew!  It's quite the lengthy, complicated process to acquire these highly coveted tickets.   The stadium isn't even finished yet.  We've been watching this major construction process for the past two years...from ground level to this amazing structure that you can see from miles away.  It is truly amazing.  

The new stadium will seat 18,000 and the sign up for 2012 season tickets started early.  In May, all prospective ticket holders were asked to sign up for a random lottery to be held a month later.  There were thousands of people who signed up!  Yesterday we received an email with the lottery list, and instructions for selecting seats.  1700 people are on that list.  Over a period of two weeks in July, each of the lottery winners will go to the stadium at their assigned time/date and select their seats.  No cell phones are allowed up the stairs while we choose our seats.  Only the person who signed the initial lottery list will be allowed seat selection.  If you miss your time slot, you have to wait until the end of the drawing to select tickets.  (See...lengthy, complicated...)

So, on July 19th when they call #637, we will walk into the stadium (without our cellphones...) and select the four seats closest to the 50 yard line as possible that we will get to sit in for every home game in the 2012 season.  I can't wait!!

The first home game in the new stadium will be on Friday, August 31 against the 2011 5A Division 1 State Champions, Southlake Carroll HS.  The game is being televised on ESPN because it'll be a great game, and because it's the first one in this giant monster stadium!  I can't wait!  (Did I say that already?)

I'm not sure when I became such a huge HS football fan, but I have definitely been converted.  It's so exciting and so much fun to get caught up in the rush of Friday night football in Texas, in the fall.  There really is nothing like it.  The sound of the band.  The crispy fall weather.  The cheering.  The rivalries.  I love it!!  And I can't wait for the 2012 season to start. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I love SUPER LOVE it!  When I started this blog, I realized pretty quickly that for it to adequately represent my personality it definitely needed music.  So, I found a playlist on a friend's blog, borrowed the link, embedded it here, and quickly added about 200 songs that would play in no particular order every time someone visited.  Occasionally, because of copyright issues, songs would randomly be deleted from my playlist, but for the most part, I LOVED using that website.  They had a fairly good selection of music.  It was reliable.  And it fit my needs.  Until a few weeks ago, when changed their format.    They discontinued allowing users to use embed codes to share their playlists as of June 1.  Huge disappointment. may or may not have noticed the deafening silence on this blog for the past 14 days.      
But let me tell you, it's been making me completely crazy to have to come up with other sources of music...or worse! go without any music at all...when I'm on here.  Typically, I have this blog up on my Mac throughout the day and just let the music play.  The number of other people in my house determines the volume level, but it's ALWAYS on.  

But YESTERDAY, between driving around, I decided to try a little harder to find another "embeddable" playlist for my blog...and I FOUND ONE here!   I haven't entirely re-created that other playlist because the music selection on this one is a little different.  But at least my top 5 were available!  I can work with that.   So today was a totally happy day when I got on the Mac and there was MUSIC again.  I plan to spend the next few days building back up to 200 of my favorite songs.  


I hope that makes other people as happy as it makes me.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Are you familiar with this book?

It's a great children's book that I have read to my kids at least a million times since they were babies.  My day has been a little bit like Ned's today...

Fortunately, Spell Girl had Strings Camp this morning at University of North Texas.  

Unfortunately, UNT is an hour away and we weren't exactly sure where the music department was.

Fortunately, we found where we needed to be by about 9:15 (only 15 minutes late.)

Unfortunately, university parking is scarce.

Fortunately, no one noticed my car parked illegally in the 20 minutes it took to escort Spell Girl and her bass to the music department.  

Unfortunately, going to Strings Camp by yourself is a totally scary thing and Spell Girl had a small, quiet meltdown right before I left and then texted me 20 times before I got home.  

Fortunately, by lunch time she had made enough friends that the number of texts she was sending had decreased...a the end of the day!!

Unfortunately, even though I had fewer children at home, they each had friends over and wanted to go places and DO STUFF! so I spent most of the day the pool, to the mall, to Cub Scouts, to Young Women's, and back to UNT to pick up Spell Girl.

Fortunately, the Scout Master is home this week and helped a little with my crazy day.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make diner and I was in a REALLY crappy mood after all that driving and running around for everyone else and walked into YW ready to take people's heads off.

Fortunately, we started Opening Exercises with this song...
(the video starts with this whole great story about a guy who started running and it's awesome, but the song is at the very if you listen to patient.)

Fortunately, there is nothing that turns my frown upside down more quickly than music...especially YW singing beautiful, inspirational music!

Fortunately, we get to sing a lot of it to prepare for Girls Camp next week!

Fortunately, there were lots of great things about today.

And fortunately, the day ended better than it started...which always seems to be the case.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I have been happily immersed in pictures for a few weeks now...trying desperately to tag them and sort them on this computer, so people can get to the ones they need (ok...I'm really the only one who needs that, but it's a definite need and I like to organize stuff, so I'm doing it.)

Look what I found...
 this is a picture of my mom (my adopted mom, Dollie, not my birth mom, Chris...sorry it's confusing here sometimes) taken in 1969 at Honaunau National Park.  
this is me taken in January 2011 also at Honaunau.

Fun huh?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Good Genes

I recently went to have my blood drawn at a lab in a nearby hospital.  The cute lady at the front desk who checked me in also happened to be the phlebotomist (impressive word, huh? just means the person who draws the blood, but I had a friend once who went to school to become one and I sort of fell in love with her title.  I know, I'm a dork.)  She was an older lady, and it took her a little while to get all of my information entered.  This gave us a little time to chat.  She talked about how she wasn't very good at technology and we both marveled at how little kids these days seem to just be pre-programmed to use computers, phones and iThings.  That led to a conversation about her grandchildren, and how long she had been in this particular profession.  She was a very interesting and very engaging woman and I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about her life.  After awhile, she started to ask me a few questions...was I married, what did I do for work, etc.  I told her that I had four children at home and that they were my primary job.   She seriously stopped what she was doing, pulled down her glasses to look at me, and said "There is NO WAY you have four babies!"  And I said, "Well, they're not really babies anymore.  My oldest is 15 and my youngest is 8."  And then she said, "Girl, you must have come from good genes, because I never would have suspected you were old enough to have that many kids and for one of them to be 15!"  

I absolutely did come from good genes...
look at how beautiful these women are???

I was really overwhelmed and grateful to have met that cute lady.  On a day when I didn't get up thinking about how great my genes were, and when I was more worried about my less than perfect skin, or the two little grey hairs that somehow the Johnny Rodriguez Salon must have missed, or the pedicure that my feet desperately need...she was just what I needed to gain back some perspective.  I totally need to step a little farther back from the mirror and just go have a great day!  
Today, I'm so grateful for good genes and even more grateful for a sweet lady who reminded me that that's where I come from!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beehive Spotlights

This year in YW we decided to start a new tradition with the incoming Beehives.  We wanted each of the moms to have an opportunity to introduce their daughters to the group and tell us any fun, interesting things we might not already know about them.  Since this was June's first official Sunday as a Beehive, and since she is the first one of 2012, and since I am her mom, I got to kick off our new Beehive Spotlight tradition.   
This is my favorite picture of the girls.  I love that Spell Girl is in the middle with her arms around the other two.  I love that TCD's hair is so curly.  I love that they agreed to the matching dresses for Easter for a few of those early years.  And I LOVE that sassy look on June's face.  

This is the picture that I showed the girls.  And here's what I said...

"As of today, there are officially FOUR Thunells in YW...phew! that's a LOT!  All of you know the three of us who have been here for awhile, but today you get to meet the newest one.  She is totally different than her sisters.  She loves sharks and the beach and roller coasters.  She is afraid of nothing...really...there's nothing I can think of that scares her.  She tries out for everything, volunteers for everything, and is the first one in line for everything!  She likes to surprise us...sometimes it's jumping out from behind a corner, and sometimes it's unloading the dishwasher without being asked.  She is helpful and organized and enjoys cleaning other people's rooms way more than she likes cleaning her own.  She is as good at soccer and skateboarding as she is at doing her hair and painting her fingernails.  I am so happy to finally get to bring all of my daughters to YW with me on Wednesday nights."

And then I sat back down and watched all of my sweet Beehives help June with the YW Theme (which I forgot to give her a copy of), and guide her in the right direction when we split for classes, and sit next to her and make her feel welcome on her first official day as a Beehive.    I love those girls and I am SO grateful to have such great examples for June to watch in the coming months and years.  I hope she loves YW as much as the rest of us do.

I sometimes feel a lot of pressure being in YW with my daughters.  Years ago when I was Primary President, I felt a different kind of pressure.  I remember having to sit them all down one night and talk to them about not getting their feelings hurt if I didn't call on them every single Sharing Time, and about how I needed to make sure the Primary kids knew that I loved ALL of them, not just my own kids.  It's different with teenagers.  They sometimes want to hug you and they sometimes wish you would disappear.  There is a delicate balance to walk when you are both their mom and their YW leader.  I'm not sure if I walk it very well all of the time, but we'll all have to figure out these new dynamics together.  I'm just glad that I get the opportunity to do try.  I love knowing what they're doing on Wednesday nights, and seeing who their friends are, and being part of the testimony building that happens during Sunday lessons.  There is no place I'd rather be.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Cute Girl

I've been trying to organize my pictures on this crazy iCloud thing and found these cute ones of June, and since it's her month, I thought I'd post some of my favorites...

She was such a mischievous little thing...still is.  And that beautiful little face!  I can't believe she's 12!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Smash Books

June got a little birthday money last night, so today we decided to visit a few of her favorite places...Target and the Dollar Store.  (When you're 12, gratification is found almost entirely in those two places.)   She had a really small list of things she wanted this year...a planner and a little spray bottle for her hair...that's it.

We found the water bottle at the Dollar Store and then went to Target to see if we could find the calendar/planner/daytimer she had in mind.  She wanted something small, but big enough to write in.  She wanted a place to put stuff, but she wanted to be able to carry it with her.  We found several things that were almost right, but none that were exactly what she had in mind.  We settled for that cute little pink thing up there.  And THEN, we walked around the corner and found these...
These are called SMASH BOOKS!  

They are the coolest little things.  And I happened to have JUST SEEN this video on YouTube a few days ago...and pinned it to my Pinterest!
It's kind of like a scrapbook.  It has a bound cover that's embossed with little flowers.  Inside there are pretty card stock pages, and it comes with a handy little pen/gluestick.  June was so excited to have a place to put all of her tickets, pictures, scribbles, notes...whatever she wants to SMASH in there, so it was an instant YES for her!  It's the perfect accidental happy thing that we stumbled upon.  Yet another reason to LOVE Target!