Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Time Begins!!

I love when school gets out and we get to go do so many fun adventures! Even just something as simple as spending the day at the playground is so fun. We invited our neighbors, Martin and Lucia, to start off summer break with us by going to the Adventure Playground and afterward doing some archery at the nearby Archery Range!

While we were there, the kids enjoyed playing with the panoramic picture feature on my phone and tried to get themselves into the shot as many times as possible. The pictures are actually pretty funny.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jacen's Birthday & Baptism

We ended birthday season at the Presley home with Jacen's 8th birthday!

In our faith, this is an exciting birthday, because when you are 8 you are old enough to make the choice to be baptized. I have always been proud of Jacen, he has so many good qualities, including his creativity and his kindness. I am especially proud of him for making the choice to be baptized, the beginning of his covenants with Heavenly Father. By choosing to be baptized, Jacen is choosing to follow Jesus Christ, choosing to repent and try to be a little better every day.

As with our older two children when they turned 8, Jacen got his own set of scriptures with his name embossed on them. He thought it was pretty cool. Here are some pictures of his present opening...

And his birthday cake...

Jacen's baptism was just a few days later at the church building. We had lots of local friends and family attend, and it was a wonderful experience. He was baptized and confirmed by his dad.

One of the best parts about being a parent is seeing your children grow. I am so thankful we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we get to teach it to our children.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hang Gliding!

Although most of the time Christian and I give each other traditional gifts that you can wrap up and hand to the other person, sometimes we like to give each other experiences. This year I decided that for his 40th birthday, Christian needed to do something fun. So I bought him a group hang gliding lesson for 2 (I knew he would have more fun if I came along!).

Because weather is important in hang gliding, and because the place was about 2 hours away from our house, it took particular planning to do this lesson, and we didn't end up doing it until June (every date we picked prior to that it ended up being too windy and got cancelled). But we finally did go, and we had a great time! As the day wore on, the wind picked up and we had to end a little early, but it was still worth it, I think.

Hang gliding is not just hanging from the glider, there is a lot of micro movements that determine where the glider will go, and whether or not it will get off the ground. It was hard!

We spent the first part of the lesson learning what we were supposed to do in principal, and the second part of the lesson trying to put that principal into action.

The guy had this cool set up where we were all at the end of a long field. The hang glider was attached to a cord that was looped through something all the way on the other end of the field, and then back to him where he had a motor that pulled the rope in. That way we could learn to hang glide without having to go up and down a hill constantly.

Because the wind was picking up, we did have a bit of time where we were waiting for it to die down between runs, but we each got to try a handful of times.

Christian had one where he made it almost all the way down the field! I felt like I was so close, but only got off the ground for short periods.

It was so fun! I wish there was a hang gliding place closer to us, because I would totally do this again!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Spring Concerts

As the school year comes to a close, we start the fun of spring concerts! This was Aedan's first year on an instrument, and it was really fun to watch how excited he was for the concert. He was very concerned that he pass off all of his songs so that he would be able to participate, and he was eager to do well in his performance on the trombone.

Getting pictures of the kids while playing is always difficult, but here is one of the whole Stedwick Beginning Band. Aedan is to the far left in the back on the trombone.

Since I didn't get a good shot of him during the concert, I made him pose afterwards for a better picture.

I was so proud of him for his hard work this year learning an instrument!

Eilenora also did super well in her concert. She is now in the Advanced Band, and is getting pretty good. For her concert, she was totally in a place where we couldn't see her, but I did get a picture of the whole band!

One fun thing about having kids in multiple ages of music classes, is that you really get to see the progression. I remember when Eilenora's concerts sounded more like Aedan's concert did, and it is exciting to see how much better she has gotten. It is also fun to see Aedan growing and learning, and to look forward to how much I know he will continue to improve over the years.

Breezy Point with Aedan

Aedan's class has been learning about ecosystems and water quality all year long in preparation for their field trip to the Chesapeake Bay. I got to go with him and help with one of the stations for half the day! We went to a place along the bay called Breezy Point, a place we've never been to before. The weather was cool, but not too cold. It wasn't what I would call beach weather, but since we were there to do science and not lounge around on the sand, it was great.

There were several stations that the kids rotated through. Aedan's group started with water testing. He and his best friend, Selena, were in the same group, so they picked one of the water tests to do and started checking the water for dissolved oxygen.

The second station they went to was seining. Don't know what that is? Neither did I! Seining is this...

You have two people take the net into the water and try to see what you can catch. At first everyone was hesitant to get in the water, but once a few started getting wet, they realized how fun it was and they all went in. Although Aedan and Selena didn't catch anything, the classes all together caught a few pipe fish, water bugs, some other kind of fish (not sure what it was), and some tiny crabs.

Next we got to go out on the pier and go crabbing!

We didn't actually catch any crabs (it apparently isn't a great time of year for it), but they had bought some for the kids to look at. A male and a female, so the kids could learn to tell the difference.

After crabbing we ate lunch.

And after that, I had my turn helping run a station, while Aedan and his group went off to look for sharks teeth,

and one other station where they dug down until they reached the water table.

I am so glad I was able to go on this field trip with Aedan! I enjoy all field trips with the kids, but the ecology ones are my absolute favorite ones!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Isaac's Birthday

Birthday season marches steadily on with Isaac's birthday! This little firecracker is six years old! He is still tiny, but has a personality that more than makes up for his size.

Here are some present opening pictures...

And a blowing out the candles picture...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Aedan's Birthday!!

When I was younger, a year seemed like such a long time. Nowadays, a year just flies by! Well, Aedan is officially 10. He's in the double digits. I've been super behind on blogging and am actually writing this months after the fact, but it is still weird when I think of my little baby boy being so old.

Here are some "opening gifts" pictures.

And here he is with his birthday cake!