Sunday, April 20, 2008

Evans' visit and Keables new family members

We had some fun, last-minute visitors this week. Nancy called to say they were in San Francisco for Spring Break and to ask if they could stop by and spend the night before heading back to Utah. We had a great time!! You would think the kids see each other all the time. They hit it off right away and played non-stop, right up until the Evans drove away the next morning. Morgan went with Jacob and Katie to our youth combined activity, which was a video scavanger hunt. Rich took David up to pick up the kids and see the temple, where they saw 4 deer. Nancy and I got to stay up late visiting. It was fun to be together! The pictures are of Beth, Kate, Mallory, Hannah, Jeffrey, Ryan and Adam playing dress-up and then the same group plus Ryan, Josh, Adam and Daniel playing one more round of Nintendo before bed.

After they left, we immediately got ready to leave for a camping trip near Jeanette's house. Rich took everyone Beth's age and up, and Curt took all of his kids plus a whole group of friends. There were 18 kids in all, plus Rich, Curt, and Steve, Curt's brother. They had a ball, even though the boys put a smoke bomb in the girls tent and then collapsed it on them in the middle of the night. Jeanette and I stayed home with Jeffrey and Anna and their two new foster children, Marco (3) and Octavio (18 mos.). They are doing long-term foster care, with the intention of adopting. They just got these boys, who are brothers, this week. They are adorable. They are also a handful, to say the least, and have very much disrupted the quiet, peaceful Keables home. (I suppose most people wouldn't call a home with six kids in the house, including 4 teenagers, quiet or peaceful, but now that the boys are there, everyone is realizing that two toddlers can make even more noise than teenagers!!) The pictures are from a trip to the park, Jeffrey and Marco on the teeter-totter, and Octavio and Anna together. I am also including a picture of Jeffrey because I think it is pretty cute!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Conference Weekend Fun

This weekend, we spent as much time as possible in front of the television, watching General Conference. What a great weekend! On Saturday morning, we headed downstairs with great hope for a weekend full of faith-building and testimony-strengthening experiences. We were, of course, armed with toys for the newly crawling Anna, as well as Conference booklets the Primary President made for the little children. We turned on the t.v. and got settled. Things started out great...all the way through the opening song. Uh, oh, Anna needs a diaper change. Let me run upstairs. Did you grab a diaper for Jeffrey? Let me run back up. Whoops. I forgot the crayons and pens. Who will go back up for those? I better run into the laundry room and get those white shirts started if Rich, Daniel and Jacob are going to make it to the Priesthood Session tonight. Josh, please stop shouting. Daniel, please stop teasing Adam. Can someone give Anna back her ball? Jeffrey, stop taking her toys! Everyone who is wrestling needs to go in a different room. Will everyone please be quiet long enough for us to listen to this one talk? Please?! At one point, Adam, Beth and Jeffrey were taking turns jumping off and hanging from the wet bar counter! Turn up the volume so I can hear! Rich, maybe we should get up early tomorrow and sneak off to the church for one session just so that we can hear something! I really don't think that, in all that sitting there, we heard one complete talk all the way through without at least one interruption. However, Elder Ballard said (during one of the brief, quiet times that we got to hear him) that happiness in motherhood, and parenthood, comes in moments of joy, and it certainly applies here. Some of our joyful moments from this weekend were:

Jacob, Katie and Daniel chose to be downstairs watching with us almost the whole time.

Katie carefully noted in a Conference booklet who spoke and the topic.

Jacob, Daniel and Beth quietly played Conference topic bingo together for most of one session.

Even Jeffrey got in on the coloring and drew pictures on paper while we all tried to listen.

Josh quietly listened to the talks more than ever before.

Anna worked on perfecting her newly acquired crawling skills. The boys gaming console controlers were fun, new toys for her to discover, until her feet became tangled in all of the cords.

Even if it was very noisy, it was also awfully cute to see Jeffrey, Beth and Adam hanging from the wet bar. In any case, I think it will be one of those memories that we will laugh about over the years.

Dad made omelettes and we ate left-over cinnamon rolls (from after Priesthood session) for breakfast Sunday morning.

We all got to raise our hands in different groups as we sustained President Monson in the Solemn Assembly. Daniel felt pretty disappointed that he didn't belong to the Deacon's Quorum yet.

Daniel chose to attend Priesthood session with Dad and Jacob even though he technically won't be 12 until June 1. He decided sitting for two hours isn't that great, but he did remember lots of stories from all of the talks.

Rich and I got to sit next to one another and hold hands lots of times!

The little children left the room to play somewhere else during the last two talks of the last session, so we really got to listen to Elder Ballard and to President Monson. The Spirit was unusually strong.

We got a good laugh from the fact that we were usually 30 minutes behind on the session from all of the pausing we had to do!