Saturday, November 26, 2011

Putting Up Christmas Lights

Ryan was thrilled this year to be able to help Papa put up the Christmas lights – on the ladder!

After climbing the ladder to string the lights over the bedrooms, he decided to get on the roof, hang over, and hook the lights from above. I had to go inside so I couldn’t see him. It made me nervous.

Shortly after these last pictures were taken, Ryan decided to “test his pass accuracy” by throwing rocks he found on the roof and in the rain gutters at the mailbox. (You moms see where this is going, I know.) His accuracy isn’t that great. One rock hit the back window of Papa’s car, breaking it. We obviously had a lot of opportunities to talk about thinking through consequences before acting. But you know the “7 years of bad luck” for breaking a mirror? Ryan’s decision seemingly started about seven weeks of bad luck for our family (his observation, not my attempt at guilting him). More to come…

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Last year, we spent the first part of Thanksgiving feeding dinner to the homeless at the Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Salt Lake City. Apparently there have been some problems in prior years with little kids being somewhat unsupervised by their parents as they served dinner. So they now have a minimum age in order to serve dinner there. Ryan isn’t old enough yet, so this year we delivered meals to people who were shut-ins. We went to one high-rise apartment building with about 20 meals, and delivered them to people.

When we finished, we drove to Orem for Thanksgiving dinner with Frances’ family. There were about 25-30 of us there, with our immediate family, her immediate family, plus aunts, uncles, and cousins. Here is a picture (from Frances) of our table.
Mom made her famous fruit turkey, and Frances made super cute turkey cake pops.

When we finished eating, we all went to see “The Muppet Movie.” We all enjoyed it – even Alice & Claire! We especially loved the cameos by some of our favorite actors and musicians, such as Jim Parsons and Dave Groll.
After the movie, we went back to the Andersons for pie. There were about 8 different varieties…so hard to choose! We had a really fun, full day with all of our activities!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Murray Thanksgiving Swim Meet

November 17-19 was the Murray Thanksgiving swim meet. This was one of the biggest meets we have ever participated in. There were about 50 kids in each event! It was long, and it was crazy.

On Thursday, November 17, Ryan swam:

100 Freestyle (first in his heat, 7th overall, beat his own time)

50 Backstroke (6th overall, beat his own time)

50 Breaststroke (10th overall)
100 IM (14th overall)
50 Butterfly (9th overall)
On Friday, November 18, Ryan swam:

200 IM (12th overall)

100 Freestyle (23 overall – out of about 50!) The picture is of Ryan’s friends and teammates cheering him on at the end of his lane. Sorry it’s a little blurry.
50 Backstroke (17th overall – out of about 50!)

50 Butterfly (14th overall)

The swimmers do a “Big O” cheer for Ryan. Here’s the daughter of one of the coaches doing the “Big O Cheer.”
On Saturday, November 19, Ryan swam:

50 Freestyle (19th overall) - With his cheerleaders at the starting block.

50 Breaststroke (13th overall)

100 Butterfly (12th overall) and 400 IM (12th overall) – I was on deck to be his timer for the 400 IM, so there aren’t any pictures.

It’s fun to see the swimmers socialize with each other during swim meets. They work the full 2 hours during their daily practices, so it’s during swim meets that they are able to relax a bit and have fun between their events. It’s a great group of kids, and they have so much fun together!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ryan’s First Term SEP

Wednesday, November 16, was Ryan’s SEP for his first term. His teacher, Mrs. Schmidt (also the student council advisor) had all excellent things to say about Ryan and his performance at school. She complimented him for not only being an excellent student, but a wonderful leader, both formally in student council, and informally in other school situations.
We also enjoyed walking around the school, looking at Ryan’s art projects and student council picture.

I'm SO proud of Ryan and all he does! He is a hard working kid!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Priesthood Preview

Many of you who read this blog are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So, as an introduction to this post…

When young men turn 12 years old, they are ordained with the Priesthood. They are given responsibilities, such as passing the sacrament in our main Sunday services, collecting Fast Offerings (voluntary donations to the less fortunate) from members of the congregation, and taking those donations to the local church leadership. In preparation for this, there is a Priesthood Preview – an introduction of the blessings and responsibilities of the Priesthood for the young men.

Sunday, November 13, was the Priesthood Preview for our stake. All boys who will be turning 12 during 2012 met together with their families, the ward and stake Primary leaders, bishops, and stake presidency. There were a couple of talks and a couple of musical numbers, but the majority of the time was each ward’s Primary president introducing the young men from their respective wards.

I was so touched by the things that our Primary president said about Ryan. The first thing she said was, “Ryan is a ray of light.” She talked about how much she relies on him as the oldest boy in the Primary to set a good example for the younger kids, and how many younger kids look up to him. She then said, “Ryan will bring the Priesthood into his home. I know his mother is looking forward to this blessing. Ryan has a great responsibility to honor the Priesthood as the Priesthood holder in his home.” She was emotional as she shared this, which in turn made me emotional! We love her, and think she is just awesome. We appreciate her knowing Ryan well enough to share that with the rest of the congregation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 11-12 ~ CCAT Meet

November 11-12 was the CCAT (Clearfield) Autumn Invitational swim meet.

On Friday, November 11, Ryan swam:

100 IM (placed 5th overall and beat his own time)

50 Backstroke (placed 6th overall)
On Saturday, November 12, Ryan swam:

50 Butterfly (placed 6th overall)

50 Breaststroke (first in his heat, 7th overall, beat his own time)

400 IM (first in his age group) – No pictures since I was his timer.

Last June, Ryan met a CCAT swimmer named Payson at the Utah Summer Games. They enjoyed seeing each other again and hanging out between events.