Monday, 27 July 2015

Taking 14 By Storm

On July 10th Chloe turned 14 years old!

Ken and I took her out to a baseball game that night - it was a good warm-up for when we go see the Yankees in NYC next month!

Chloe makes 14 years old look good! She went to her first dance the day after her birthday and danced with boys. Since then she completed the intermediate level of SAIT Cooking Camp.

And then just this weekend she put on a Ward Pioneer Party. For the WHOLE WARD. It was a wild success with a mixture of traditional pioneer food and modern BBQ. 

She ran games for kids and adults alike including 3-legged races, 

Stick-pull contests, 

and a High Priest Group vs Elder's Quorum tug-of-war (High Priest Group were the winners, they had a weight and numbers advantage since the missionaries left early). 

At the end of the party Chloe had arranged for this couple in our ward to play some music as a harmonica/accordian duet and  EVERYONE got out their video cameras for that, even impressing a local Instagram celebrity who I saw pull out his phone.
It was lovely.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Chloe's First Job

Imagine the best first job on the planet. Sorry, Chloe still has you beat. Chloe is working as a pony walker for special events at Spruce Meadows - lucky girl! Her job entails cute kids and cute horses, what could be better?

High School Awards Ceremony

So a few months ago Carmen went on her first date, and I resisted the impulse to get a picture. (I do occasionally try not to be embarrassing.) Well, good things come to those who wait.

On Monday Carmen was the recipient of the English 10 AP Award and she also received one of the major awards: 
Citizenship Female Grade 10. 

Well deserved, Carmen! 

Bonus for me: the recipient of the Citizenship Male Grade 10 Award was the guy from her first date. And now I have my photo.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Grade 8 Awards Night

Chloe worked so hard in school this year. It was difficult and stressful and miserable sometimes, but she certainly got results.

Chloe was recognized for Honours with Distinction, as well as two subject awards in Language Arts and Social Studies.

In Fine Arts she was recognized for her mastery of the French Horn.

(a group shot for the yearbook)

And she also received a citizenship medal, which continues to be my most prized award from a parent perspective.

Way to go Chloe! 

Now lets enjoy summer!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Farewell Elder Olson

Steven entered the MTC in Provo on Wednesday. Leading up to that he spoke in church the Sunday before, which was also Father's Day. We had fun hosting Father's Day Dinner for both sides of the family that day, as well as spending time with friends that evening who came by to wish Steven well.

Carmen and Ken took Monday and Tuesday off work so we could have some together time. We went to Lake Louise, which was reminiscent of going to Banff with Jaclyn the Monday before she entered the MTC, except for the obvious seasonal differences.

We started our hike at Chateau Lake Louise, 

Stopped for some pictures at Mirror Lake,

with Big Beehive in the background.

Steven got some great photos with his new missionary camera

The falls immediately below our ultimate destination of Lake Agnes. You can just see the Lake Agnes Tea House at the top of the falls.

Another photo from Steven

Lake Agnes. 

Tuesday was laundry and packing for Steven. We went out for Sushi for dinner, and then President Spackman came over and set Steven apart as a missionary. Once again he had us each give Steven a piece of advice, which I recorded. I haven't tried to read my writing on that yet.

Steven woke Carmen and Chloe up for hugs goodbye when we left the house at 4am, but he only wanted Ken and I at the airport.

Oh, how we will miss him!

Ken and I both went to work that day, but Carmen snapped me this picture of Chloe in Steven's bed later that morning.

It was comforting to know that Steven had Jaclyn and Mason to pick him up at the SLC airport and see him the rest of the way to the MTC. We've heard from him already, and he is loving it!

Friday, 22 May 2015

A Beautiful Day

Jaclyn married Mason on May 1st in the Bountiful, Utah temple and it was a beautiful day!

There has never been a happier bride and groom!

And we all felt the same way

We had plenty of time to visit and celebrate outside the temple

Carmen was the Maid of Honour and she was the hardest working Maid of Honour I've ever seen. She put in so much thought and work ahead of the wedding, anticipating potential snags that I hadn't thought of, and finding the solutions.

After I came home I told people it was one of the happiest days of my life, and for some reason everyone would play that statement down. They'd say it was only because I was happy with who Jaclyn was marrying. And yes, that's true. I admit it! I love this boy.

It was a big deal to have so much support. Nearly every person at the temple had to travel a great distance to be there.

Mason has a cute family. They put on a 'rehearsal dinner' the night before which was super fun at a Brazilian BBQ restaurant. Jaclyn's a lucky girl that Mason came with this package of people.

Mason's pretty lucky with his new extended family as well.

This guy makes all my days happy.

And so do my kids. I'm a lucky mom.

Jaclyn wrote some hilarious bio's for the wedding party introduction at the reception. Let me share:

Sydney: Sydney, sister to the groom, just finished her freshman year at BYU where she participated in many sports including volleyball, distance running, rock climbing, and extreme jacks, the last of which she competed in semi-professionally.
      Carmen: Carmen, Maid of Honour and sister to the bride, is a baller. Her high school team had an undefeated season this year, and won the city championship, which secured her spot as the first draft pick on the Yugoslavian women's basketball team. Unfortunately, she had to turn it down in order to finish high school.
Amber: Amber, former missionary companion to the bride, is an amazing singer. After singing in an ordinary sacrament meeting spontaneously caused the entire congregation to burst into tears, Amber has developed the ability to sing with her mouth completely closed in order to use her great power with greater responsibility.
      Chloe: Chloe, sister to the bride, and better known in the family as “Chef Chloe” spends her summers attending the SAIT cooking training camp and is an extraordinary party planner, skills which will eventually allow her to secretly control In-N-Out Burger behind the scenes and thereby take over the West Coast.

Steven: Steve, brother to the bride, recently went on a camping trip to Lake Powell, where he single handedly rescued his friends from a pack of alligators - a skill that will come in handy during his upcoming mission to Jacksonville, Florida.
Luke:  Luke, brother to the groom, graduated from BYU last week in Political Science. He hopes to move to Washington DC, where he will get a completely ordinary job that totally will not include going on secret counterterrorism missions and absolutely is not a cover for working for the CIA.
      Tyler : Most people are impressed when they learn that when Tyler first came to BYU, he was accepted into the prestigious BYU school of music as an organ and piano performance double major, but most people don't know that Tyler is also an accomplished bassoonist and is actually famous throughout Europe and the Middle East as the South African bassoonist known simply as "El Maestro".
Trevor: Trevor served his mission in Buenos Aires Argentina, where he picked up the useful skill of speaking Spanish .

They are, the most interesting wedding party in the world.

Mason's mission to Montreal and Jaclyn's mission to Halifax are a big part of their love story.

On to the reception:

Jaclyn was a gracious bride.

Kevin was a masterful M.C. He had a few tricks up his sleeve throughout the night,

And Mason helped Kevin along once in awhile.

Jaclyn played, and Mason sang. They're a talented pair.

The cake actually gave Mason a moment of trouble, but ultimately his great sense of humour is what we will remember!

A little slideshow during dessert

Jaclyn and Mason have both studied Ballroom Dancing at BYU, so they can really dance.

Chloe will be the life of every party she ever attends. She has a gift for fun that she spreads wherever we go.

Then, after a little more dancing, and the toss of the bouquet, 

We gave a sparkler send off to Jaclyn and Mason and sent them on their way to the rest of their lives together.

I will say, I was wholly unprepared for how joyful it would be for me to attend the wedding of my own child. I am so very happy for them, and I will look back on this day as a perfect one.