Thursday, April 26, 2012

Camping--the HARDCORE way

We recently had the opportunity to camp out as a family with our ward, (tents and all), at a local neighborhood park less than 2 miles from home.  Sounds easy, right?


I'm not going to lie, it was the most hilarious, awful, wonderful, and difficult camping experience we've EVER had as a family.  The night program was fun--everyone brought their own food and set up camp chairs and tents and talked.  We had a campfire sort of deal where we roasted mallows and ate s'mores with Reece's Peanut Butter cups, thanks to Merri.  We had a totally fun dancing wii game set up for everyone--yes, I danced with my big pregnant belly because Tyson  felt like he needed me and Mitch to be over there in order for him to have fun with all the bigger kids.  He told us, "Did you know that dancing is a form of exercise."  Smart kid--no one else thought I was exercising, though, they thought I was trying to induce labor.  Haha!  There was also a movie with TONS of kettle corn made all by Mitch.  And THEN...the camping challenge began!

11pm:  Emmett finally stopped talking and zonked out.
11:15: I finally fell asleep even though the wind was extremely loud
11:55:  The air mattress I was on was mostly deflated
12:00:  I had to go to the bathroom
12:15:  Mitch wouldn't wake up to move the baby and air up the mattress so I toughed it out
12:55  I REALLY REALLY had to go to the bathroom and Mitch aired our mattress back up while I was gone
12:59 I return and we try to get comfortable
1:01: It begins to rain
1:06--Flashlight pans over to the kids' mattress to see that they're gettting rained on, too.
1:07--Mitch runs out in the rain to re-secure the rain fly
1:10--We move all the wet blankets of the kids and thank our lucky stars they're still asleep
1:15--We try to get situated again and I gracefully almost break Mitchell's arm falling into bed and we start giggling because it's such a ridiculous situation
1:30--we finally fall asleep despite the noise from the wind and the rain and the recent ADRENALINE rush
1:31--Emmett wakes up and has to pee, and he has issues standing at the door of the tent because it's raining and he starts to cry that it's raining in our tent.
1:45--Emmett is in new dry clothes and starts to fall asleep
1:50--Mitch's quote of the night, "Who would have thought that camping 2 miles from home would be so hard core?  No, you have to go ALL OUT when you camp at the park."
1:59--we doze slightly
2:00--a donkey starts to breigh
2:15--a ROOSTER starts to crow
3:00--The wind blows our tent
4:00--The wind blows our tent and wakes us up
5:00--the wind is STILL blowing our tent, and the airmattress has been flat again for an hour, now.
5:30--my back hurts like crazy and I can't roll over.
5:45--We're DONE trying to sleep, we walk outside and it sounds calm and peaceful--but inside the tent it still sounds like a hurricane.

 Tyson loved camping

 Emmett loved sleeping
 Tyson and friends fed the goats leaves
Emmett chilled by the campfire

Mitch made the morning campfire out of wet wood and paint thinner.  We kind of helped with breakfast, definitely helped to eat it, and everyone was packed and home by 9am.  It was the shortest as well as LONGEST camping trip I've ever taken.  But what's funny is that we had so much fun and in the middle of the night when it would have seemed that I should have been crying or upset, we were actually laughing instead.  That was actually one of the happiest nights I've had in a long time where I had essentially NO SLEEP whatsoever.  So glad we survived the ward campout. : )

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This Has Got to be The Good Life

 Good Friday's Potluck & Egg Hunt at the Park with Friends...
can it get better than eating a picnic dinner on a blanket with Dad?
 Saturday morning's Egg Hunt with the Harmony Park & Dana Ranch wards...
can it get better than running in circles to pick up ONLY blue eggs among the hundreds in the yard?

 Can it get better than running downhill to gather Easter Eggs among the THOUSAND+ on the grass?

 Can it get better than dying your fingers along with the Easter Eggs at Grandma Borden's?

 Does it get better than eating neon yellow waffles with purple buttermilk syrup and BLUE milk when your Daddy makes Easter Breakfast?  I think not.
 Don't forget the blue milk mustache!
To top off Easter weekend, we ended up at the Tenney's to see Taylor get the Melchezidek Priesthood and eat Easter dinner.

 Could it get any better than to watch all the MEN enjoying Pride & Prejudice at Grandma & Grandpa Tenney's whilst the women sat in the kitchen making dessert?  (Mitchell says that "enjoying" may be too strong of a word.)

This is a good life.  A good, good, life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Best Part of March

 On St. Patrick's Day, we got to spend the evening with Shayla and her family.  Bishop & Sis. Haws hosted a special dinner for her and some friends and family, and then after dinner we all went to the Stake Center for Shayla's baptism.

We've been so lucky to meet Shayla--it's like all of a sudden she showed up in our lives and it's been awesome ever since.  Mitchell is the Ward Mission Leader and the missionaries told him at the beginning of this year that Shayla was interested in having missionary discussions.  Her husband Victor had been deployed in Japan and while he was away, she started looking into joining the church.  It's been an amazing journey for her, and for us to tag along and experience it with her.  We were lucky enough to host several of the missionary discussions in our home.  When my friend, Jenny, joined the church, I remember Sister Bess always had awesome treats after each discussion and she was a great hostess.  So in my mind I remembered Brother & Sister Bess and tried to do everything possible to make Shayla's experience in our home a good one, and it just turned into a life-changing experience for us to be a part of it with her.  My kids have felt the Spirit of missionary service.  It's been awesome to have the full-time elders in our home so often and to become friends with them.  It's been great to see my husband lead and get to conduct the convert baptism meetings.  And most importantly, I will NEVER forget how it felt to hear Shayla say she wanted to get baptized.  The look on her face as it sunk in and her excitement to take that step in her life was so WONDERFUL!

Elder Thurman, Victor, Shayla, Wendy, Elder Costello, Elder Page, Nancy, Angie

I'm so proud of Shayla and the choices she's been making.  I know that the choice to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost are milestones in our lives that must be made to return home to our Heavenly Father.  

I got to help her make the program for the baptism and it made me cry when she asked me to speak at her baptism.  The last time I got to speak at a baptism was when my little brother, Heber, turned 8.  Tessa spoke on Baptism and did an amazing job, and I spoke on the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  With the help of my fabulous mother-in-law, and my awesome mother...AND Mitchell, too, haha!  I made my first rag quilt that week and gave it to Shayla at the baptism to help her remember the analogy of what the Holy Ghost or Comforter feels like. The service turned out great, and Shayla had so many friends and family there for her, plus great support from the ward.  I was so happy.

The next day she got confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and one week later her beautiful daughter, Ali, got her baby blessing (Mitch got to be in the circle for both of those things, which was neat).  I was so happy Victor got to be in town for these huge moments for his wife.  I'm so happy for everyone who was involved, and I'm most happy for Shayla.  She's going to leave our ward soon, and we are going to miss her SO much, but I know we will always be friends, and I'm so lucky we got to share this experience with her.

A Beautiful Heartbreak

Well, the Borden Family sure had a fun time prepping for the 2012 DeWalt Contractor Challenge at Home Depot. Mitchell had the chance to compete for a pallet of tools that was valued at just over $2,000.  He was really excited to be in the competition.  The challenge:  Drill 5 screws into a piece of wood faster than anyone else.

Mitchell made a practice station to drill with his prized Impact Driver.  He practiced a few nights in a row, bought a stopwatch, and I timed him.  His fastest time at home was actually 10.31 seconds, which was awesome and way faster than his qualifying time of 11.79 seconds that won him a drill and made him a finalist for the challenge.

We stayed up late making "Support Team" t-shirts.  Tyson kept praying he'd win.  It was really cute.  The kids made signs that said, "Go Daddy", "You're OUR Champion", "We Love You", and "Good Luck".  Emmett added his own little scribble to make his sign perfect, and Tyson added a picture of Mitch holding a drill to make his sign PERFECT.

My Support Team T-shirt got the words "Baby Bee" across the belly, since our company is "Golden Bee", and I was 8 months pregnant.  Haha!
The station....

The name of my dad's company is called "Golden Bee", so Mitch made company t-shirts for everyone who came on their lunch break to cheer him on.  His "Support Team" consisted of me & the kids, my mom, dad, and Taylor, and then I surprised Mitch by bringing his mom along, too!  It wasn't just any Home Depot, it was a Home Depot 45 minutes away, so we made a trip of it. : )  Apparently I need a new car, because on the freeway Tyson told me and Myrna, "MOM!  This car is so rattling!  It makes my teeth CHATTER!"  He cracks me up!

All the finalists got one more run to beat out a man named Joel who had the current standing fastest time at 10.96 seconds.  Mitch knew he would have to shave off a second and a half off of his qualifying time to beat Joel.  Joel didn't have to do anything if no one beat his first time.  He could just keep it if he wanted to.  All the contestants had their run--one had a slow time of about 15 seconds.  Another one of the contestants gave up in the middle of his try and walked off--LAME.  By the time it was Mitch's turn I was holding my breath--he had a perfect stance, he was ready, the clock started and he was going FAST.  I was amazed and thought he would actually do it, and THEN...he dropped his 4th screw!  IT WAS SO SAD!   Mitchell finished his run, but didn't beat out Joel.  The DeWalt representative asked Joel if he wanted to just keep his time or see if he could be his own time.  The rest of us were curious if he could do it, too.  And so he gave it whirl and honestly beat out his own time, shaving it down to 10.36 seconds--which was super fast.  We were actually happy for him--of all the people there, he was one of the nicest finalists, and he didn't rub it in anyone's face, and he legitimately beat out his qualifying time, so it was a fair competition.

The boys wanted to try, so Mitch helped them after it was over.  

We really had quite a fun day!  I'm so glad we went to the challenge.  I'm sad Mitch didn't win, but holy cow was it fun dreaming beforehand, and making shirts and signs, practicing, driving with a car that made Tyson's teeth chatter, and eating lunch at Carl's Junior with the "team" afterward.  Of all the other finalists, Mitchell was the ONLY ONE with a Support Team there to enjoy the experience with him.  In my opinion this is one of those things that you would call a "beautiful heartbreak".  It was heartbreaking that Mitch didn't win the challenge this year--that pallet of tools would have been SO COOL!!  But the beautiful side is that he had so many people there who love him and who were there to have fun with him and that it was so fun to just be in the competition at all.  

The hope that Mitch will qualify and win next year is already in the back of our minds. : )