November 24, 2012

Nothing Says "Thanksgiving" Quite Like Family, Pies, And Dodge Ball

The above photo only shows a fraction of the pies we had to choose from at our Thanksgiving dinner.  That can only mean one thing--Thanksgiving with the Funks.

The designated time to gather at Lance and Sharley's for dinner was 4:00 p.m.  That gave us the morning to prepare and pack and clean the house before we left for St. George.  While we didn't leave as early as Jason was hoping, we were making good time and on track to arrive with time to check into our hotel before our dinner, but just outside of Cedar City, our back left tire blew out and we found ourselves on the side of the freeway, putting on the spare (which was a little deflated itself).  We managed the fifteen miles to the nearest Wal-Mart going 45mph on the freeway, all the while feeling grateful that things had not been much worse.

One hour and four new tires later, we were back on track to our destination.  We arrived just as the prayer had been said and everyone was going through the line, filling their plates with delicious food.  We gave hugs, we ate, we visited, we played, and the younger children did some film-making under the direction of their cousin, Jessica.  Here's what the final product of their acting produced:

When the children weren't busy "playing dead,"they were being entertained on the trampoline by my brother, Lance. (My nickname for Lance is "The Pied Piper of Children."  You can see why they like him so much.)

We all went to bed Thursday night with full tummy's and happy hearts, eager for the next day's activities, which we knew included dodge ball games--YAY!

Friday morning found us in a church gym, getting pre-game instructions from my brother, Clark.  Once the children understood the rules, they were divided into teams and allowed to play several three-minute games.   

The children's games were rotated between sets of games played by the older group of teenagers against the  adults.  I am pleased to report that all of us "old folks" handily beat the teens in nearly every game.  I didn't get any good pictures of the those games because I was busy playing, but Jessica did put together this cinematic masterpiece:

We went back to the hotel after the dodge ball games so Ella could take a nap and the boys could play in the pool and hot tub.

 We took advantage of the great weather and went to the park, as well.

The evening was finished off with dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, Sakura, where Brevin got his first taste of sushi. 

After the meal, we went back to Lance and Sharley's to play Just Dance 4 and look at photos from a recent trip to Hawaii that Lance and Cheryl took.  We gave our good-bye hugs and returned to the hotel.  We headed home to Springville first thing Saturday morning after having enjoyed a most wonderful Thanksgiving vacation. 

This post authored by Amber

November 21, 2012

Lovin' the Leaves

We don't have large, mature trees in our yard, but when all the leaves were piled-up and gathered into one location, there were enough for Ella to jump around in. 

She's cute, isn't she?

November 20, 2012

Country Report

Japan was the country of choice for Spencer's second-grade report.  He chose the same country Brevin did two years earlier, so putting together a presentation was a cinch.  We just updated the facts and added additional pictures of Spencer's choice to the Power Point presentation.  Jason gathered souvenirs from his mission, and he and I brought Ella and Garrett to the school to watch Spencer do his presentation. We also came to hand out samples of Japanese candies and snacks to the children in the class.

I really have enjoyed helping with the country reports.  Of all this projects we have assisted with over the years, this one is still one of my favorites.

 Each student received a paper doll to decorate in 
cultural costume to be displayed on a large world map.

 After the presentation, students were given
 a chance to ask Spencer questions.

  He then showed his classmates all the souvenirs.

This post authored by Amber

November 14, 2012

He Shoots. He Scores.

I think the post title pretty much sums up Spencer's second season playing Jr. Jazz basketball.  Basketball really seems to suit him very well.  He moves on the court with fluidity and ease, he watches constantly for the open teammate to pass to, and he is an effective defender as well.  He's really entertaining to watch.

While I can't take credit for Spencer's God-given, natural abilities, I can be given my dues for trying to cheer him on and watch most of his games while wrestling with wiggly, younger siblings who want to run laps around the gym.   I can also take credit for the photos and video I managed to get that capture him in action and verify my words of boasting (although the pictures didn't turn out that great.  The lighting in the gym is terrible for photography novices like me). Jason can claim partial responsibility for Spencer's success, though.  He was his coach, after all.  (He was also very likely the primary genetic contributor to Spencer's talent pool.)

At the end of the season, Spencer's team was playing so well together and all players had improved their skills.  They also bonded as friends and had a great time learning and playing the game of basketball.  It turned out to be a fabulous sports season.

 This post authored by Amber

November 10, 2012

Snow's Grand Entrance

Technically it is fall, but it has felt like spring...until winter decided to make an appearance.  Balmy temperatures of 70 degrees were struck down in a fury of flakes and frost.  It was a significant dumping of heavy, wet snow that not only brought the temperatures down, but damaged lots of trees that were still trying to hang on to their last leaves.

The timing was good, though.  The storm moved in on Friday and persisted through Saturday morning, leaving us a day free from work and school to shovel ourselves out.  We were then able to go play in it.  We invited Parker, a cousin, to come along with us for some sledding and snowboarding at Big Hollow Park.

 All aboard the sledding train!
  Brevin took a couple of runs on the snowboard.
 I'm not sure why or how, but Spencer always 
manages to get the most air when he goes off a jump.

 I'm not sure why or how, but Garrett likes 
to go down the hill with his eyes closed.
 I really love this picture.

I managed to snap this photo while every single person was 
still airborne after going off the make-shift jump. Totally RAD!

Once we sufficiently wore out the children, we headed home for some hot chocolate and dry clothes.  While Ella napped, Jason took the boys to the movies to see Wreck It Ralph and I attempted to complete a few chores that were left undone due to our outdoor activities. 

Saturdays like that are the best.

This post authored by Amber