Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chamberlain Family Reunion

We have been in Utah now for a month! I know...a month is a long time to be away from home. All I can say is that if I can't be home, Utah is where I want to be. It's my first home and I still stay in the home I grew up in that belongs to my parents and it's fun to be "home."

This summer has been a hard one because my Dad went in for a new knee replacement and ended up having a stroke the following day in the hospital. Not a bad place to have a stroke, but strokes are not fun...anywhere. Dad is doing well. He has limited use of his left side (especially his leg) but is gaining some use here and there. He is living in a care center for now and we hope he can come home really soon with a lot of work and physical therapy on his part. If you feel so inclined, we would appreciate your prayers in his and my Mom's behalf. This has been very difficult for them especially. He can't walk because his "good" leg is the one that had the surgery. Thus, both legs are out of commission for now. Not a good combo.
Before Dad had his surgery we had a family reunion with Martin's family in Bear Lake. It was such a party! We got to catch up on everyone. It's the first time the Chamberlain's have gotten together at the same time since Lisa's wedding (10 years). I didn't get many pictures of the reunion for some reason (oh, wait, that's because Martin's mom took about a million). However, one day we did go to Minnetonka Cave and I got some photos there. Here's everyone that went that day!
Look at these cute little guys! These boys are all about the same age and they did great on all those (700 some odd) stairs...way, better than me. Let's just say I'm not used to the altitude yet! This is Josh, Caden, Isaac and Sammy.

Here are some more silly pictures of the reunion. Aunt Debbie made lots of beautiful dresses so the girls could all dress up. Here's Olivia, Skylar and cute little Kendall.
Uncle Nasib also playing with the dress-up items. Any man who can wield a gun for his job like Nasib and still feel comfortable dressing up is a-okay in my book!!

The fun thing about spending time with the "cousins" from the Chamberlain side was seeing how similar they all are. Here's a few pictures of them with my kids and you can definitely see the resemblance!
This is Alex and Nathan. They are a year apart. I just notice their smiles are similar (also their love of video games!).
Here's Caden and Isaac. These two are so alike it frankly scares me. Not only are they the same age and look alike, but they have the same temperament and like to do similar things! They had so much fun sleeping in the cabin together!
And, of course, here's Livi and Madison. These two are 5 days apart in age and they have the same eyes and same personality! They are bosom buddies forever and get along so well together! I think Madison got the "tall genes" of the family!
One cold night we went to the beach for dinner. The whole weekend was too cold to do much of anything outside although the sun shone quite a bit. This night we took silly family pictures with the beautiful dusk sun.

Livi being Livi...(freak!)

We had a great time in Bear Lake with the family. We love you guys and miss you all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

School Year Tie-Up

The end of the school year is always a lot of fun....not. I cannot believe how busy life gets every year at this time. Oh, it's a hassle. We've got baseball play-offs, dance recitals, piano recitals, graduation from middle school, graduation from elementary school, volunteering tie ups, weddings, birthdays, Father's day, and our anniversary; oy, the list goes on and on! I barely get a chance to hit the gym in the morning and do some minor cleaning. I get behind on the cleaning and the yard grows wild! Some days I don't get to shower until late in the evening. I always wonder why everything ends up in the month of June. By the time July gets hear I take a deep breath and sigh...(sigh).

Here's some pictures of the kids with their school teachers. Mrs. Burnett was Olivia's teacher and loved Olivia very much. The feeling was mutual. Livi was given a lot of responsibility in her class this year and helped a lot with organizational things in the class, so the two of them became fast and close friends.

Isaac and his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Miller or, as I like to call her, the Miracle Worker. She was a perfect fit for Isaac's first year of all day school and taught him with patience and kindness to which Isaac greatly responded! Thanks for all you wonderful teachers at IVE. We have loved every one we've had for the past 10 years and we are so grateful for the Issaquah School District!
The last day of school was Martin's and my anniversary. Number 16, people...oh, I feel old. I've almost been married half as long as I've been alive! It's a cruelty we have to grow old. For our anniversary Martin down-played greatly what the plans were. He told me we were just going out to dinner and that he couldn't get me a "nice" gift. Uh-huh, whatever. That night he presented me with the most thoughtful gift I have ever received. He gave me a journal that he had been keeping behind my back for the last year. I looked at it for the longest time and couldn't say anything. I was speechless and confused. He had tried to write every day for a year about us and our relationship and family and how he felt about things that happened. I couldn't breathe as I read about some really good (and really bad) days and remembered things I had already forgotten. Who does that??? It was like he made a photograph of our lives that changed daily for a year. It gave me a little snippet of what we were doing and where we were going. I will always be thankful for this present; not just the book itself, but that he thought about "us" every day of the year. What a gift! Sorry, ladies, he's taken....
Alex got his patriarchal blessing early in June. It was an awesome experience for him and me and his Dad. I loved seeing Alex prepare with his Dad to get this blessing and I loved his excitement. He had a lot of questions and understood in the end what he was going in for. He was totally prepared! I will always remember that day and how I felt when the patriarch pronounced those blessings on Alex. I think Alex will too. Here's him with Martin that day. "He looks like a missionary," Isaac said when he saw this picture. Oh, only a few more years, Isaac, and your brother will be a missionary. Yikes!!! I better get him cracking!!
The month of July has been even busier than June, if you can believe it. We have been with family in Utah and enjoying it very much. However, my Dad had a stroke after knee replacement surgery and we are reeling from that still. Things are crazy now and I'm trying to be here without burdening my Mom and trying to help. But I will post more when I have some time! There are a lot of stories to tell!