Miekka: August 2011 Archives


I think this has been the fastest month of my entire life!  We have been busy, busy, busy with all sorts of things. 



Our crazy month began with a trip out to visit Jenni and Justin in Sidney, NE.  We left on Monday the 11th and made pretty good time until we were just out of Rawlins, WY, when I heard a strange sound at the back of the car and then the tire pressure light turned on.  I pulled over to discover that the passenger side back tire was completely flat.  I had never changed a tire on our van before so I pulled out the manual and started working out getting the spare ready.  A nice police officer stopped and helped me get the spare on and I slowly drove the 25 miles back to Rawlins.  James called ahead to a tire place there and we had new tires installed fairly quickly.  All in all the tire fiasco extended our travel time by almost 4 hours.  We finally made it to Sidney though and enjoyed a lovely week with Jenni and her family.  We went to visit Chimney Rock, swam at the pool in Sterling, CO, played at the park, had Jenni take pictures of the kids, and watched an amazing Nebraska thunderstorm.  Jenni and I even snuck in a kids free evening to see the final Harry Potter movie.  During the week we found out that James' Grandpa Baerwaldt had suffered a major stroke and was in the hospital.  Jenni considered driving back with me to see him, but decided not to.  We got home on Sunday the 17th. 



The day after our trip to Sidney, Seth attended his first Cub Scout day camp.  They went up to Jeremiah Johnston Day Camp in Hobble Creek Canyon. 
Here's a not-so-brief summary of what he told me they did that day:

Archery:  Super awesome.  Shot at bag targets, but none of his arrows hit.  He needs more practice.

BB Guns: Cooler than archery.  Shot at cans. Had to wear safety glasses, but they were hard to see through.  Didn't hit any cans.  Wants dad to buy him a BB gun now.

Knot Tying:  Learned several knots, but he couldn't remember all of them.

Jousting:  Had long lances with soft stuff on the ends.  Had to get on a wiggly platform and try and knock the other guy off.  Seth had fun, but fell off his platform a lot.

Row Boats:  They were HARD, the water kept pushing up the oars and it took a lot of muscle to get the boats going.  It took a really long time to finish.  They were supposed to play tag by bonking into another boat, but getting the boats going was so hard that It was not as fun as the boys thought it would be.

Making swords:  Made swords out of water noodles.  Then they had a battle.  Seth was on the blue team.  They were called the Narnian team.  They fought against the white team.  They wore tunics with castles on them and the other teams had crowns on theirs.  If you got hit you had to kneel down for 10 seconds and then you were alive again.  Then at the end, they grouped together and fought the grown-ups.  The kids won both times.  The Battle was the best thing of the day!

Making Boats: Raced boats that they made out wood and paper.  You had blow on the sails to make the boat go.  Seth won two times in a row because his boat had three sails on it.

Compass and treasure hunting:  Learned how to use a compass.  Then went on two treasure hunts using the compasses to find the treasure.  The treasure maps were made out of fake animal skins.  Tootsie Rolls were the treasure for both hunts.

Flag Ceremony:  Sang a song to get their wiggles out and then sang a patriotic song.  Then stood at attention and watched the flag get taken down.

Rock Wall:  Seth tried out the rock wall, but was only able to go up four rocks.  Maybe next year he'll be a little taller so he can go a little higher.

Trading Post:  Seth would have gotten a sling shot, but didn't have enough money. He ended up with with a wooden catapult and a bag of skittles. 

Seth was
quite nervous to go to camp and took his Lion with him in the car, but once he was there he really had a great time.  I think scouts is going to be so awesome for him, especially in getting him to try new things.


The same day as Seth's cub camp, we got the call that Grandpa Baerwaldt had passed away.  He had a horrible time in the hospital, he fought against all the things the doctors were trying to do to help him.  Grandma and several of their children decided enough was enough and had them take him off all the monitors so that he could be peaceful.  They took him out of the ICU and into the hospice part of the hospital and he passed away 3 hours later.  We will miss him seeing him sitting in his chair playing with his great grandchildren.  We will miss his wonderful smile.  We will miss his hard working spirit.  His funeral was held on Friday the 22nd.  He was buried with full military honors and the kids thought the gun salute was pretty cool.  He was a wonderful man and we can't wait to see him again someday.



Since most of the family was here for the funeral we had lots of family dinners and get-togethers.  In the midst of all of the hub-bub Seth celebrated his 8th birthday.  He had a Lego Ninjago themed friend party on his birthday.  He invited Dalin and Gabe and three new friends from our ward here; Colton, Ben, and Cameron.  They had a blast making ninja headbands, throwing ninja stars, picking up Legos with chopsticks, and practicing ninja stealth by playing hide and seek.  It was a really fun party.  That night we had my family over for cake and ice cream.  The Abbott's couldn't be there because Aaron's grandfather had also passed away and they were in California for the funeral.  Seth designed his own cake for the family party.  I put his design into cake form and it turned out really well.  On the cake there are four pillars, one for each of the Ninjago ninjas, and the Sensei standing at a gate waiting for them to return from their quest to gather the golden weapons.  Seth was inundated with Legos and some other presents, but mostly Legos!  I think he got eight Lego related presents. 

Ninjago Cake.JPG



Jacob has been participating in an at-home preschool this year called Utah Upstart.  The software he used was developed by The Waterford Institute and the program was paid for by the state.  The program was absolutely amazing.  Jacob could do everything on it by himself and it basically taught him how to read.  Over the course of the year he had to use the program 15 minutes a day 5 days a week.  He almost always went over the required time because he was having so much fun listening to the songs and playing the games.  On the 29th of July he had a little graduation ceremony where he had to take a short test and we had to give the software back.  I really, really would have loved to keep the software for Lia to use while we do school with the boys this year.  She was finally getting to the point where she could do the program by herself.  Unfortunately, it costs nearly 500.00 to buy the software.  We'll just have to wait until she's 4 years old and sign her up for it too!  I am so proud of the progress that Jacob made with the Waterford program and I am excited to start kindergarten with him and continue teaching him this year.



Mom and Dad Lance decided to have a mini family reunion with just the immediate Lance family.  We drove up to Paris, Idaho and stayed at a place called Pioneering Adventures.  Usually they have groups doing mini Handcart treks and showing them different pioneering skills, but while we were there they weren't doing any of that.  We just set up our tents and camped in the yard.  We enjoyed some awesome camping foods (stew, breakfast burritos, ribs, beans and dutch oven potatoes).  We also went hiking to a glacier lake.  The hike was just right for the kids and the lake was really pretty.  You could actually see the glacier going down right into the water.  Jeremy and Jared jumped off a rope swing into the water.  They are a little crazy, because the water was REALLY cold.  The boys (including Seth) went off in the afternoon to do some shooting.  James forgot to take pictures of Seth shooting.  I wish he had taken some.  Seth had a great time being with the men.  The guys also had a lot of fun riding around on 4 wheelers.  Jacob, Lia, Amelia, Phillip and Everett had a great time exploring the yard.  There were goats, peacocks and chickens to look at and a tire swings to play on.  Amelia decided that she wants a pet goat and she's going to name him "Horny".  She couldn't figure out why we were all laughing when she told us that.  Later that evening it was threatening to rain and we made the rushed decision to pack up and head home.  We left at about 9:00 p.m. and didn't get home until 1:00 in the morning.  It's good that James was okay with driving, because I couldn't stay awake!



Jenni came out on the 21st to attend Grandpa's funeral.  She stayed a few days with Mom and Dad and then came to stay with us because we have more room here.  We have loved having her and the kids here.  I feel so spoiled to get nearly a month of Jenni time.  I miss having her close by.  The kids have been really good for the most part, as long as they get semi-decent sleep.  They have been playing dress-up, Legos, pretend family, building forts, and having a great time.  We took them to the new splash park here.  Everyone had a good time, except Lia and Phillip didn't really want to get splashed, so they just wandered around the perimeter of the park.  Jenni left on the 8th in the evening and stayed at a hotel in Rock Springs that night.  She made it home Tuesday afternoon.  Our house has been a little boring since they left, although it has been slightly quieter. :)  6 kids can make a lot of noise!



We are so proud of Seth for making the choice to be baptized.  He was very excited and looked so handsome in his white clothes.  He was the only child in our ward to be baptized this month so we were in charge the whole program.  John and my mom both gave talks and all the cousins sang a song together.  James gave Seth a wonderful blessing during his confirmation.  We had everyone over for lunch afterward and had a good time visiting and playing together.


Yesterday we spent the day up at Deer Creek Reservoir.  Our ward had reserved a beach area and we all went up to have fun playing in the water, riding in kayaks and boats and eating good food.  Lia didn't really want to get wet so she and I spent the day on the shore just splashing at the edge of the water.  Jacob and Seth had fun swimming and they really enjoyed riding on a speed boat.  They even went with James in a tube that was pulled behind the boat and they didn't fall off.  That was the best part of the day for them.  James went for a turn in one of his friends kayaks.  Watching him paddle around reminded me of when he used to practice flipping his kayak in the pool at the Stadium Terrace Apartments when we were in college.  Everyone was exhausted and hungry from being in the sun all day, so we stopped for some ice cream on our way home and went to bed early that night.


Tomorrow is not the official first day of school (the 22nd is the official first day), but our online school should be turned on and we will start some classes so that we can get ahead for the school year.  Jacob is extremely excited to be a kindergartener.  He even has an apple on his desk upstairs for the teacher.  When I thanked him for the apple he looked surprised and said, "What??  You're going to be my teacher?"  I had thought that we had made it pretty clear that I would be his teacher this year, but apparently it never really sunk in for him.  Seth is excited to see what this year will bring, especially in Science and History.  I'm a little nervous about trying to teach 2 children at the same time.  I hope the boys cooperate and help me out, if they do I think we'll be just fine.