Monday, September 28, 2015

Shrimp Boil!

We had our annual shrimp boil with the Hughes! We love doing this each year. So yummy! I didn't remember to take picture until after we finished eating, so the guys were already inside, and everyone else was being goofy. 
Thanks for a great night Hughes!
Bailey, Preslee, Emersyn, and Jaxson. It's fun to look back on the pictures from our past shrimp boils. The kids have grown up a ton! We were missing Sawyer again this year, because he had a church meeting he couldn't miss.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sawyer's a College Student!

Sawyer is off to college at BYU-I! We took him up there and got him all moved into his apartment at the Ivy. His roommate is Andrew Page, so I'm sure they'll have a blast. After we set up his room, stocked his fridge and pantry, we said goodbye. There weren't any tears with this goodbye! He's only a half hour up the road, and after having him gone for two years with out being able to talk to him at all, this was a piece of cake. We're so excited for him! He's going to have a great year! He's been excited to get this chapter of his life started. 

Move in day!
Getting his room all set up!
He really likes his apartment! The roommates he's met so far seem great too!
First day of school! I told him if he didn't send me a 'first day' picture, I was going to go up there and wait outside of one of his classes with my camera! :)
Good luck Sawyer! Make great things happen this year!

David Archuleta!

Archie is back! Because of his mission and other projects he has worked on, he hasn't done a concert in 4 years! He is doing a mini tour, and Idaho Falls was his first stop. Me and Bailey went to the concert, and he is still as amazing as ever! He did a lot of inspirational songs off his Begin album (which was released while he was on his mission). At the very end, he performed 'Glorious' from Meet the Mormons, and it was so good! He got choked up when he told the story of recording the song for the movie. He recorded it while he was still a set apart, full time missionary in Chile. He said it was a time when his two worlds came together. So cool! He voice is incredible, and we're so glad he's back!

We were so excited!

Performing 'Glorious!'

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Eastern Idaho State Fair!

It's fair time! I spent one evening there with my friends celebrating Becky's birthday. We love to people watch. So fun and ....interesting! I'm not sure where all the crazies hide for the other 364 days of the year, but they come out in masses during the fair!

We went back on Saturday (closing day), for Mark and Bailey to perform. They played for 45 minutes on the west stage. They did a great job! Here's what they played:

Kiss the Girl
Mama's Broken Heart
Colors of the Wind
Love Me Like You Mean It
King of the Swingers
Blown Away
Black Horse and a Cherry Tree
I'm Yours
You Lie
Psych (theme song)
Circle of Life
Johnny B. Goode
Shut Up and Dance

After they performed, we ate lots of food, saw all the animals, listened to Charlie Jenkins perform, and watched the hypnotist show. Later that night, we went to the Demotion Derby. It was so fun! We totally saw Bailey's inner redneck come out! I was laughing so hard at her. She thought the derby was great, and wished we would have sat lower, so we could have got sprayed with more mud! When the mud did make it up to us, most people ducked and covered their faces, but Bailey raised her arms and cheered really loud! So funny!

Fair time with Michelle, Becky, and Lesa! Cute Madi was at the fair on a date, so we got to see her too!
Performing at the fair!
Love this fan club! Alex, Grammy, Papa, Mark, Coen, Mason, Andrew, Sawyer, Bailey. When Bailey saw Alex, Mason, and Coen walk in to watch her perform, she blushed pretty good! :) 
Andrew was a good sport. We got to the fair at 11:30, and we didn't leave until close to midnight!
Me and Bailey love all the animals!
They made a new friend!

Waiting for the hypnotist show to start.
Demolition Derby time! Sawyer was there with a date, but he was a section over from us. Alex, Mason, and Coen bought their tickets that day, so they were in a different section too. I wish we could have all sat together.
It's fun to pretend you're a redneck every once in a while. I'm pretty sure Bailey embraced it the best!

Until next year...

We Have an Author in the Family!

Bailey has always wanted to be a author. She used to sit in the backyard and 'write books' when she was younger.  She took a Creative Writing class her freshman year, and loved it! She learned a ton, loved the challenge, and grew to love writing even more. She had an assignment in English to submit a certain kind of poem for a national (western states) contest. Her poem was selected by her english teacher to be submitted to the contest. Eventually she found out her poem was selected as a High Merit Honor, and was published in a book! She also submitted a short story, and that was selected too. I'll post about that later, because we haven't received that book yet. She was pretty excited! Now she can check 'become a published author' off her bucket list. I love the poem she submitted! 

By Bailey Varvel

Headphones in my ears,
Thump, thump, thump
Goes the music.

Shoes on my feet,
A tight tangle of knots
I form with the laces.

Feet on the pavement,
Creating a rhythm
As one at a time they hit the ground.

Wind in my hair,
Whispering its soft encouragement
As it passes by.

Fire in my legs,
The muscles burning
From the intensity of finding new strength.

Mind in the zone,
Concentrating completely on
Breaths and steps.

I am at peace,
Because I am running,
And, to me, this is home.

The book her poem is in. 
Page 30!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Visiting Dan

On Labor Day we took a quick trip to Hailey, Idaho to visit Dan Freeman and his family. Dan is fighting stage 4 melanoma cancer. His family owns an organic farm that they haven't been able to maintain this summer due to his illness. Our intention was to spend the day working on the farm, but we ended up doing more visiting than working. The Varvel family put together a memory jar for Dan, so we sat in the house and went through all the memories together. We laughed and cried and reminisced about the good old days. When Dan would need to rest, we'd go out and work on the farm. We got a few rows taken care of, but I wish we had more time to work. It was a heart wrenching and great visit all at the same time. A visit we will always cherish. We learned a lot in the short time we were there. We learned that bad things happen to great people. We learned about unconditional love from Dan's family. We learned to value our family and close friends. We learned that life is fragile, and to never take it for granted. We learned to treasure life's great moments, no matter how big or small they are. Mostly, we learned that Dan and his family are fighters, that are handling this situation with incredible strength and grace. Bailey has only interacted with Dan a couple times over the years, and both experiences (in health and sickness) have been life changing for her. Thank you Dan for the influence you've had on my family! Keep on fighting the fight! 

Bailey and Richard working on the farm!
Weeding the rows between the vegetables.
She was a great helper!
We had a great visit! It was so good to see everyone!

She's a Sophomore!

Bailey is a sophomore, and I can hardly believe it! There is no way I can only have 3 more years of kids at home! Just the thought of it makes me so sad! I'm sure, like always, she's going to make great things happen this school year! She is a dedicated, driven, goal oriented student, and she loves to learn. She's happy, fun, energetic, social, and kind. With all of these things going for her, she's bound to have a great year! Good luck Bailey! Love ya!

First day of school
She gets annoyed with me for taking so many pictures, but I can't help it! I think she's so cute!