Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Mother's Camera Addiction

My mom paid for us to get our pictures taken professionally. On our way home, we were trapped by a train, so my mom decided she would pull out her camera and start taking pictures of us. She took a whole bunch of pictures of us. Then, by the time the train left, she was so into it, she didn't want to stop. She even took pictures of us on the train tracks.

Mom wanted a "serious" picture
Then a happy one
This is Ben
And this is me
Here's Elisabeth
And here's all four of us
This all of us, including Robert
This is Leilani
And the adorable Robert
This picture is one of my favorites, especially because his hands weren't even in his pockets. He just stuck them in his pants
This is Elisabeth
Me sitting on train tracks
And walking on train tracks
And posing
And looking down
And jumping!
Ben being.... a ninja?
Robert the cutie

Sunday, September 7, 2014

End of Summer

So..... I really haven't posted for a while, and a lot has happened. This summer I took a ballet intensive and had a performance, I went to Girl's Camp, we went camping as a family, and I started school.

I had the opportunity to go to a ballet intensive at my studio, and it was really fun. We did ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, and broadway dances. It was three weeks long and we had a lot of fun.
We did a song from "Chicago" here
It was called "I Just Can't Do It Alone"
This was our hip-hop dance to 'Problem" by Ariana Grande
This was another song from "Chicago", "Razzle Dazzle" 
This is our modern dance, called "Sacrifice"

Girls camp was way fun. Unfortunately, it was only a three-day thing, because we had trek way back in June. But it was still a good camp. Each unit was a ward, except ours, which was first and second wards. We were the rubies, and first ward was the sapphires.

Molly, Abby, me, and Charlotte up in a tree
Same people here
This is all of the girls in our unit
This my friend Shannon and I
This was our "funny" picture, as requested by some of the girls
And this is me up in a tree, because... that's what my mom wanted.
We went camping as a family on the coast this last weekend. We brought Natalie, one of my Mom's daughters from trek. She was a lot of fun to have with us.
This is Robert and me at the beach
This is my Dad trying to take a selfie 
This is me. On a stump. In front of water.
 And this is me pushing Elisabeth of the stump.... oops
She didn't even make a very big splash.... that was kind of disappointing
This is me in a tree, again?!
I'm in going to high school at Connections academy, an online school. It's been kind of fun. I've already had multiple opportunities to babysit during school, and it's really nice to not have homework.

My First EFY

On the Wednesday before I left for EFY, I got braces. That wasn't the best timing, but it wasn't too bad. When I got to EFY, I think there were more kids with braces than without.
At first I really didn't want to go to EFY. I'm a shy person, and I am quiet around new people. So I figured that was why. Mom had tried to get us into EFYs all over the country, but we couldn't find the money, or we couldn't get there, there was always something. Finally, we found the Ogden session. Our Young Women's leader just "happened" to be going up there around that same time. then, our Aunt Kari just "happened" to be coming back from there right after EFY. After that, I didn't feel bad about going to EFY any more.

We went up with Sister Crass a week before EFY started. We stayed with our grandparents, swam, did baptisms for our ancestors, and even went to a family reunion. Leilani and I swam and hung out with our cousin Andrew and some long-lost relative named Chloe. That was fun. After EFY, we went to the Ogden temple open house with them.

Ogden temple open house

Finally, EFY started. On our first day, we had orientation, then we met our companies. My counselor's name was Britney, and she was super nice. Our boys' counselor's name was Skyler. We had a lot of fun together as a family.... I mean company. The first day was great. Our girls even did the music program together. On the second day, It started out normally. While my company was in line for dinner, my counselor Britney came up to us and said, "konichiwa" and "sayonara", telling us that she had learned some Japanese phrases from her friend. For whatever reason, (I didn't know what at the time,)  I felt I should get over my shyness for just one minute, and tell them that I spoke Japanese. I am proud to say that I did overcome my shyness, at least for a minute. I told them I could speak Japanese, and Britney just freaked out. She was all like, "Are you serious?" and hugged me and kinda ran around. When she came back to reality, she said that there was a boy there who had just come from Japan a week earlier. She introduced me to him, and asked if I could translate for him. That freaked me out, and I immediately blurted out that my older sister also spoke Japanese. I didn't think my skills would be sufficient to help him. I didn't know any religious words in Japanese, and besides, I had only been speaking Japanese for nine years. That was definitely not enough time. Right? Well, we walked over to Leilani, and talked to her for a minute, but then we went to our company spot and the Japanese boy, whose name was Kazuyuki, came with us. I got through dinner, and we both had a lot of fun at the dance afterwards, we even danced together once. I went home that night and prayed that I could help him and that we would be able to understand each other, and that he could have a good experience. The next day we went to some classes, but I didn't think I was doing a good job translating, because he slept through one of the classes. But then everything just seemed to get less stressful, less scary, I was almost relaxed. We understood what each other were saying, he even spoke some English. If we had a misunderstanding, I always seemed to suddenly just... get it. On Thursday, we had our "churchy" day. We had great lessons and devotionals. At testimony meeting that night, Kazuyuki bore his testimony. He spoke in Japanese, but I could understand what he was saying. He said that he had had a great experience, and that he was glad he had come, and the all the Mormons were so nice. He even said he wanted to learn more about our church. After that, I started to shake. Not like a little shiver, but a big, I-think-I'm-gonna-fall-off-my-chair shake. That's the kind of shake that I get right before I force myself to bear my testimony. This time was no different. I bore my testimony, about how I know that God has a plan for us. The last day, We had a good time. Everyone did a Preach My Gospel activity. I had the opportunity to, during that time, translate for Kazuyuki in an actual missionary teaching session. They arranged for more meetings with a Japanese-speaking sister missionary. After that, there was a dance, and we said our good-byes. And that was it. EFY was over. But I know that I was put there, in that particular EFY, so that Kazuyuki's and my experiences could both be enhanced and enriched. I am so thankful that I could have the opportunity to share my educational talent with him, and have such a spiritual experience.

My company at a morningside
Skyler, Sarah, and Justin
Some of my company
Britney and Skyler
The boys
Skyler and Kazuyuki
My whole company
All the counselors
My company again!
After EFY, Leilani and I stayed with our Aunt Kari before going home.

Our painted nails
Us on the carousel
By the apes
On the train