Jul 23, 2014

Jam Anyone?

Remember I told you on Monday that we picked all the apricots off our tree? Well, yesterday was Pack Meeting, so they just had to sit in buckets for a little while. But sometime on Tuesday I had this brilliant beyond brilliant plan... I could teach my Activity Days girls how to make jam!

So on Tuesday about 5:00 I ran fliers to all of their houses, suggesting that they come over at 10:00 this morning if they wanted to learn to make jam. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to see very many of them. It was such short notice and it's summer, but I figured it was a great way to make sure I got myself out of bed and started early.

I was wrong.

By 10:15, I had 8 girls here all excited to learn some new skills. None of them had made jam before, but they were all willing to do whatever I asked of them. In no time they had pitted all four buckets of apricots.

Then they helped the Drama Queen put them through the food processor to make pulp. Some girls stirred and others measured sugar. We had a great system and in an hour and a half we had completed 6 batches. The girls loved using bread to wipe up the remaining jam that clung to the pan so they could sample the yummy sweetness.

By noon they were all gone home, each with a hot pint jar of jam tucked safely into a paper sack so they wouldn't get burned.

It was so much fun! I think maybe we just started a new tradition.

Dance Auditions for Princess

Princess loves to dance! Did I tell you she made the Ballet Intensive program at BYU? She was super excited back in February when she was accepted, but I think she is pretty nervous to be away from home for 2 weeks.

Oh, she has been at camp before, but never for more than 5 days, and that was Girl Scout camp and she usually had Prima Donna with her. It is so amazing to see how beautifully she is growing up! Do you know that she will be 18 in just a couple of short months?!

Anyway, she has a new opportunity to audition and because she is at BYU, she can't audition in person with Crafty and Prima Donna. The Girl Scout National Convention is going to be in Salt Lake City for the first time ever and they are having an opening ceremony. Of course they need to have dancers!

So before she left, Princess and I went to the studio and filmed her dancing. I thought you might enjoy watching her for a minute or so. We have Drama Queen to thank for the professional video.

Jul 22, 2014

Days of 47 Float Preview

In Utah our big Pioneer Celebration and parade is on July 24. LDS stakes are invited to prepare a float about a year in advance and it takes about 15 years for their turn to come around again. The Gym Rat was a young boy scout the last time we had this opportunity.

I knew our stake had a float assignment this year, but because my girls are all busy already on the 24th, and it's mostly for the teenagers, we didn't get involved.

Princess left this morning for 2 weeks at BYU and their intensive ballet dance camp. Crafty also took off for a week at Oakcrest, a girls' camp run by our church. And Prima Donna was already committed to march in the parade with the band.

Interestingly enough, the band was also marching at the float preview tonight, so that gave us the perfect excuse to support Prima Donna and have a fun free activity for FHE at the same time. The float preview is at the expo center and it includes all these amazing floats made by the various stakes. I couldn't quite figure out how the band was going to perform for a whole hour.

Let me tell you, it was the easiest "parade" they have marched in all year! They simply marched up and down the rows between the floats and played each of their songs several times. Since we were indoors it was nice and cool and they had a great time dancing and showing off to the audience.

When we were finished, we spent the rest of the evening picking apricots and pulling weeds in the sand pile. It was a good combination of work and play, two things I really want to teach my kids.

Now if I could just figure out a way to teach them that work can be play...

Jul 21, 2014

Filming a Video for BSA

Earlier this week I got an email from Bill at the National Boy Scout Council. He told me they were making a promotional/informational video about scouts with disabilities and inclusion and they wanted to know if they could interview the Dog Walker while they were in Utah.

First let's just say I was shocked! It's been almost 3 years since the Dog Walker earned all the merit badges offered by BSA and I was pretty sure his moment of fame was over.

I was wrong.

After several emails with Bill, we finally settled on making this movie on Saturday at our home. He said his film crew would be there at 9:00 am.

Film crew?

When the Dog Walker did interviews before, it was just one person doing the interview and someone else with a portable camera. This was a whole different ballgame. Four people showed up on my door with all sorts of equipment. They had one camera, but they also had reflectors and light poles, stuff like that. It was a little crazy!

They interviewed the Dog Walker first. He was a bit surprised when they even did a little makeup, but he was so excited to be part of something so big that he didn't even care. He did a great job answering their questions. At one point the cameraman even confessed to doing a job with George Lucas...

I got to be next, but only after they moved everything from the living room to the kitchen. It was all pretty much a blur, but my sweetie said I did a good job. They shot a bunch of footage, but likely only a few minutes will make the actual video.

Then our Bishop showed up because they wanted to interview him as well since he helped Nate with a bunch of the badges.

All in all, it was pretty cool! I'll be sure to share the link with you on the BSA website when the video is finished. Until then I suppose the Dog Walker can look forward to a tiny bit more fame.

But hopefully no more makeup!

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