Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rockin' Chalk kids and Youth Conference!

So proud of our kids for the good things they're doing! Stephen competed in The Annual French Competition and placed 5th in his Prose category in the state of Texas -- so exciting! He's such a good boy - loves to hang with his friends & play with Geneve! (He's pictured here holding her up so she can see a squirrel darting over the neighbor's roof...)



Kenny did his first talent show, performing a super difficult kata that he's been working on for months... his instructor, cute Miss Carol, came to the show and was going to introduce him but the other karate student's teacher didn't intro him so she didn't want to show him up. But she gave me her speech notes so we would have them -- "I have had the honor and privilege of being Kenny Chalk's karate instructor for about 3 years now. He has been such a joy to me. I can honestly say that I have never met such a well-rounded, solid, up beat kid in my life! Every time he walks in the karate school he lights up the room with his smile and incredible personality.  The great thing about Kenny is that he has the amazing ability to learn super fast. He is a tremendous teaching assistant and all the other students respect him."

Here's his practice at home: https://youtu.be/gDxWpBoBxgM
And his performance: https://youtu.be/UzDl1Ku54Bw


Kassie is back on her horse! It's been 5 years since she rode in Switzerland... Before:




Love this girl and her fun personality - always laughing and likes to be herself, esp in her fluffy Friday boots, as pictured here cleaning our church building...

We loved being a Ma and Pa for our Youth Conference this year! We didn't have Stephen and Kas in our families, but they had a blast too. Kas loved YC - when she returned, she said "I feel so mormony right now, I want to go fight every temptation that's going to come across my path!"  Some great quotes: "The Savior not only KNOWS you... but He LIKES you!!"; "What Heavenly Father has in store for you is worth every sacrifice you'll ever have to make"; "Families are a learning laboratory... a safe place to practice a SERVICE MINDSET"; "You wouldn't think of yourself as much if you realized how infrequently others think about you... don't get hung up on it!" 

And here's Stephen doing his "flex" ...


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Surprise Spring Break Carribbean Cruise and Stephen is 17!

We kidnapped the kids for one of the most fun adventures we've done yet -- we drove them to Florida, saying 'we're going to a surprise all-inclusive resort, so pack swimsuits!' The morning we boarded, we drove around town as they kept asking where we were going. When we finally drove past the ships and Daron started talking about the Allure of the Seas... the Royal Carribbean ship that was the world's biggest cruiseship til someone recently built one a few inches bigger... we casually talked about it and the kids said we should go on it sometime. So Daron said, OK - let's go, and drove us over there. They all screamed - it was so fun. They had no idea. So it was a dream vacation where we also got to celebrate Stephen turning 17 at the end too!! Off to St. Thomas & Bahamas for the week... The fun ship had ice skating, ziplining, surf flow rider, rock climbing, a carousel, Central Park Garden, crazy yum buffets including all you can eat donuts, pizza, and ice cream... But one of our most favorite parts was playing all our board games we brought! Loved the excursions to Megan's Bay, Underwater Fish watching boat in Bahamas, and bus tour of St. Maarten, although Kas got a little sick...

Swimming in beautiful Megan's Bay, St. Thomas:  https://youtu.be/QrGJRs5U5vQ and
https://youtu.be/nN-DIO8R9kM and https://youtu.be/dNy5jb4_Kbc
Dinner on the ship:  https://youtu.be/Kn5laOKxv24
Playing in kid zone:  https://youtu.be/6ot6baT6bmg
Kids doing "Eat 10 saltines in 1 minute" challenge: https://youtu.be/vAT-Uhyew5g





And the big surprise vomit... poor Kas got sick on the St. Maarten town tourbus... yikes!




Kids find out we're cruising!

Playing in kid zone

Kids play floor piano

 Mel ziplines

Kas dancing in giftshop

Ice skating

Beautiful St. Thomas, Megan's Bay!

Touring St. Maarten ~ the bus where Kas got sick...

Kassie does St. Patrick's Day dancing