Yeah, It's Been Three Epic Weeks.

So what have we been up to?

Well, my 33rd birthday came & went uncelebrated for the most part, since apparently 33 is a busy age....or perhaps it was just an insanely busy week.  My vote is the latter, since I don't care for the outlook of another 12 months of an increasingly busier rate of living than we already live.  (Probably why my immune system tanked the past few days & my body's in recovery.  Simply put, I am certainly NOT 23 anymore, and it is obvious!)

That day we were building & decorating the gym at church for our Young Women in Excellence night.  It was more casual than usual with a carnival theme, but turned out better than expected.  Plus, Mr LKP is THE most phenomenal guy in the world and was in the shop building free-standing display panels for either side of each of our 8 value booth until 5AM the morning of my birthday.  They were massive at 7'x2.5' --- major labor of love there.  He laid down for only about 3 hours sleep, then we were up and rolling again + he still had to put in at least a few hours at work!  Yeah, pretty sure Mr LKP knocked Captain America & Thor both down a few pegs.  He's definitely my superhero.  :)
(He made 'em from reclaimed wood used in the shipping crates his family's company receive their metal buildings in, so it cost us zilch!  However, the downside is that after 10 panels he ran out of materials before completing the 16 total panels we needed.  So for the remaining ones, Sister Hatch swept in with her genius-ness and slapped metal brackets on the bottom of old reclaimed doors & voila!  Worked like a charm.)

The Value Booth line-up was:
  • FAITH... Blindfolded Putt-Putt Golf
  • DIVINE NATURE... Face Painting
  • INDIVIDUAL WORTH... Photo Booth
  • KNOWLEDGE... Educate the Clown (bean bag toss)
  • GOOD WORKS... Service Can Knock-Out Selfishness (tennis ball tossed at cans)
  • INTEGRITY... T.P. Toss ("Gotta keep your integrity spotless!")
  • VIRTUE... Gold Ring Toss (canning rings tossed on water bottles)

I also had Booster Club shirt peddling to do at the HS volleyball game that night, so the extent of birthday celebrations consisted of some FB wishes from friends, a fabulous hiking26.com t-shirt from my aunt & a raspberry smoothie from Burger King from Mr LKP.  No bigs.  Was too exhausted by the time the day was over that I went home & crashed.  No cake or ice cream, but I plan on enjoying some of that sometime this week.

Day after my birthday I found out that our Round 2 efforts to overcome infertility were in vain.  Not an easy blow at all.  Left me pretty heartbroken.  Am too emotionally raw this time around, so we're waiting a spell before beginning Round 3.

Also on the day after my birthday, we had that Carnival of Excellence to make happen.  And boy did it ever happen!  I was too busy running my Individual Worth Photo Booth to get any shots of the concession stand & the rest of the booths in action, but I do have some that Mini-Me & her friends took, plus a couple shots from our booth.  Complete with hats, feathers, polymer clay mustaches & lips on sticks!

It's hard to tell from some of the pics above (since they were taken right before the Carnival really got going) but we had a packed midway that night!  Oodles of caramel apples, corn dogs, cotton candy, sno-cones...all the typical carnival grub!  Plus, the trinkets each girl picked up at each booth were pretty dang rad, if I do say so myself... (Please forgive the fuzzy phone pics.)
Each YW got their one trinket per booth.  Beyond that, each time they or their family members participated at a booth, a piece of value color-coordinated candy was the reward.

What made that night most special for us is the fact that Mini-Me received her Young Women's medallion.  She's the only Mia Maid in her ward to have earned it, so she's still pretty elated.  She knows she's not off the hook for the last few years in the YW's program, as she's helping do Personal Progress by proxy for one of the girls in our organization who cannot accomplish all of her requirements alone, due to physical limitations. 

Three days after my birthday, creating Mini-Me's sophomore class float for Homecoming was underway.  Their theme was their school colors, so the kids decided to run with the newly restyled mascot logo and dedicate the entire project to one of their classmates who passed away this summer.  He was the most phenomenal kid, with the greatest outlook on life.  He loved every moment he had here on earth, despite the limitations Down Syndrome had on his time here.

On my fourth day into being 33, we had our Community Chili Feed fundraiser for Mini-Me's after-grad party.  (We're trying to raise a little money here & there as they move through high school so that when Senior year rolls around, we can enjoy that year with our kids rather than scramble to raise money & hate every second of it.)  The Chili was awesome, the cinnamon rolls were the absolute best with my new most favorite homemade cream cheese icing!  There was candy bar bingo, board games to play, and raffle prizes to win.  Once clean-up was done, we were back over to my In-Laws' shop to continue building the kids float.

Last Monday came, and Homecoming week officially commenced with Spirit Days.  There were some more conventional days like "Favorite Hero Day" (Mini-Me rocked her Superman shirt like a beast) and "School Colors Day"....but there were also some less than obvious choices like "Greasers & Preps Day" (throwback to Grease & Happy Days) and "Feudalism Day" complete with hierarchy (Freshmen were to be peasants, Sophomores were to be knights, Juniors were to be nobles, and Seniors were to be royalty--or something like that).  Mini-Me & her friends were LESS than thrilled at the thought of Feudalism Day, let alone the fact they couldn't come as anything other than knights, so they refused to participate.  I, personally, supported them in their boycott.  (As if the seniors needed another reason to feel cooler than everyone else in the school.)  Besides Superhero Day, I'm pretty sure Mini-Me's favorite day was 60's day when she went as a flower-child.  Worked out perfectly for who she is: kind, beautiful, and the sweetest peacemaker.  (Even though she's quite a bit more conservative than the original flower-children of the era.)

Got part way into last week and was handed 1 free ticket to see "Finding Nemo" in 3-D.  Since around here it's only showing during the school day now, it was my free birthday date to myself.  Forgot how priceless all the dental humor is in it!  (And for being 3-D, it didn't make me sick like usual, so double-kudos for that.)

In addition to dress-up days, each night there was a different activity going down at the school.  Monday was the JV football game, followed by Movie Night (Yeah, "The Avengers" on the big screen at the school pretty much dominated the movie nights of the past).  Tuesday was an away volleyball game + Capture the Flag afterwards.  Wednesday was Powder Puff Football immediately followed by Buff Boy Volleyball.  Thursday was a home volleyball game, and the last minute details were added to Homecoming floats.

The Homecoming float incorporated the truck in with the trailer because their classmate, Justin, adored trucks of all kinds.  He would beg for various high schoolers to sell hime their truck.  So the kids claimed my BIL's truck for Justin.  In the bed of the truck rode the boy's mom, flanked by a couple of the Sophomore girls.  The back of the float paid tribute to him with part of a saying the kids have adopted in his honor that goes, "Fight Like a SAVAGE, Win Like a Coyote."  Savage was his last name, and orange was his favorite color, so it was a wise choice to put his last name in orange.  The entire float materialized over 4 days of hard work, and here it is:

Last Saturday was the big dance.  She's still got another year before she can go with a date, so she tagged along with some of her volleyball teammates.  Her corsage was from her daddy, and splendid with rich burgundy cymbidium orchids.  They had a great time scarfing down dinner at a local buffet, and then showing some of the foreign-exchange students around the mall.

While they had a blast, Mr LKP & I spent some time helping out at the Grange's Old Time Fiddlers event, and then burned the few hours away with a quick bite to eat & then saw the movie "Here Comes the Boom."  Seriously?  GO SEE IT!!!  Great movie....rated PG so the language is fine....and if you need another reason beyond that, well The Fonz is in it!  Henry Winkler's character is hilarious, and I simply love him.  (When my daughter was little she wanted to grow up to be a Jedi Knight.  I, on the other hand, wanted to be The Fonz when I grew up!)

When I got to the dance to pick the girls up, the room was filled with pretty good looking guys in their duds, and some lovely girls all glammed up.  But of all that were there, my daughter certainly stood out, in the radiance of her spirit, her smile, and her beauty!  

I'm so grateful she is confident & strong, knowing that she is a daughter of God.  I'm grateful for the example she sets for her peers.  I'm grateful for her self-respect & modesty.  I'm grateful that she is a positive influence on all she comes in contact with.  She is so very precious to me!

Other than all the commotion above, some laundry's been folded...and Sir-Tuff-a-Lot's been picked on...and THAT is what we've been up to.
(If you listen closely you can hear him snoring!)

So far, 33 has been demanding.  I'm ready for another nap.




2browndawgs said...

You sure have been busy. I am sorry to hear that the treatments did not work out. The carnival looks wonderful. You are very creative. And the float....wonderful! What a good job the kids did on that. Mini-me is sure a beautiful young lady.

2browndawgs said...

Oops forgot to say: Happy Birthday!

Garden of Egan said...

I need a nap!

I'm not sure what the school, church, Mini, LPK and everyone would do without you!

Those were HUGE undertakings. I am so overwhelmed. So beautiful.

You are amazing.
Don't give up and keep practicing.

i love ya!

S.I.F. said...

Dang! Happy late birthday my friend.

And you know my heart is aching for you and round 2... I am always here if you need someone to cry and scream at.

melanie deveer said...

Amazing blog I am new in young womens and i love your ideas they are amazing any way i could get you to share with me the printables for the values and gifts thank you so much melanietree@yahoo.com

Brooke Wilde said...

Hi! I was also very interested in your printables and gifts that you used. Is that something that you would be willing to share with me? Thanks for sharing your ideas and your talent!!

My email is onewildefamily (at) yahoo (dot) com


Anonymous said...

I would also love your printables for the booth posters and the handouts. Thanks for such a fun idea! lgriffeth03@gmail.com

Kim Mendenhall said...

I would Also like to get my hands on your posters and handouts. We are doing our YW in excellence and We love what you have done. Where did you get the big signs that go over the value entrances into the booths?

Luv your blog

koby said...

What a wonderful idea! We are doing a carnival theme for next month and would love your printables also! Also any advice on making the big signs that are over each booth?

kobyglasgow (at) gmail (dot) com

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