Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Finally Made it to Summer Vacation!

We had a wonderful week at YW camp.  The theme this year was RSVP -Return to the Savior Virtuous and Praiseworthy. The scripture was the 13th article of Faith (this year’s mutual theme).  The camp had a party theme- each cabin a different party. 
 The YCLs (Party Police)  welcome all the YW to the PARTY
Melissa was a councilor over 2nd years and she had a blast – her cabin was the Harry Potter Party.  Jessica was with the 3rd years:  Dance Party.  Their 4 cabins were Swing (that is where Jess was), Fiesta, Ballerina, and Hip Hop (Rachel was in this cabin).  I was with the 1st years helping with certification and was cabin mom for the Masquerade Madames.   Jessica was also a YCL (youth camp leader) and they were the Party Police.  They all did a wonderful job decorating thier cabins.  I'll post some pictures when I get copies.
Counselors of the Harry Potter Party Cabin
Masquerade Madams
Dance Party

The  women leaders at camp were all Superheroes. For this skit I was a chauffeur in the League of Extraordinary Women. (all the superheroes bestowed a super power on the YW).  Instead of cabins doing skits this year each ward did one. Requirements were for the skit to each contain a wig, swim noodle, pose, and movie quote.  Our ward did project runway.  All the designers used a noodle in their design, and of course the models each had a wig.  We had “short people” as our judges (Rachel was a head and feet, and Jessica was a set of arms).  Rachel said the movie quote at the end which was "Alas, Earwax". Pretty stupid but fun. 
The Project Runway, Camp Edition  Judges

As usual, camp was one big party, but extremely spiritual too. A great experience for all.  Highlight for the bishopric of course was winning the canoe race on Bishopric night.  They had a nice fireside with us.  Talked about listening.  Getting away from the noise and distractions of the world and listening.  They had us all find quiet places outside by ourselves and listen and pray.  It was a spiritual experience for us.  Brother Atack gave everyone ibuds (earplugs on string attached to nothing) with this note: “iBud  Inspirational listening device.  Take time away from the world to listen to your Heavenly Father.”  Jessica (and the YCLs) did a great job working and planning the camp this year.  She wrote a nice part in the scripture study program on “Endure”  for the devotional on Thursday night and she bore an inspiring testimony on the subject.  Camp ended on a high with Saviors Eve on Thursday night, and testimony meeting on Friday morning before heading for home.
Leete Ladies

Saturday was relaxing being home.  It was nice to sleep in my own bed and take a long shower.  Melissa and Rachel went to a Teri-stake dance at Seaside on the beach.  Jessica and I went to wedding reception, then picked up Brian from max station as he was returning from Montana where he visited his dad and the two of them toured Yellowstone, and did a quick visit with Jennifer in Rexburg. 

Sunday in Sacrament meeting Jessica was called up from the congregation to share her testimony of camp.  She did a wonderful job telling of all the things that she has learned from camp the last 7 years.  After that the Stake president put a new bishopric and we heard testimonies from the old and the new.  A very nice meeting. 

Now that camp is over, and Brian is on his sabbatical, summer vacation can now begin! The weather is being freaky – we’ll have a sunny day here and there, but  today it is raining again.  A very wet year we’ve been having.  We started by working in the yard Monday morning.  The girls ripped out the bushes by the stop sign.  I trimmed the roses.  We will work a few days in the yard each week. For FHE we planned out  (kind of) what we want to do this summer.  We’ll do day trips. Brian will also take each girl on a short motorcycle trip.   Before the reunion in August we will head down and stop in San Jose/San Francisco area and do stuff.  After Reunion do the southern California stuff- mostly theme parks.  We’ll see how it all turns out. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

From Jennifer

June 19th, 2011

Elder Leete,

I’ve been commissioned to write you the family e-mail this week, since everyone else is going to be busy/out of town.  Mom and the girls are going off to girls camp, and Dad is flying down to visit Grandpa Leete in Montana.   I’m afraid that my e-mail is going to be much less cutsy and have much less pictures than the ones Mom sends, so I’m sorry.

Dad and Grandpa Leete are going to visit me on Tuesday.  They are going to go to Yellowstone, and then come into Rexburg and take me out to dinner.  We may have to go all the way to Idaho Falls (1/2 and hour away)  to go out for a meal that isn’t fast food.  I’m really excited for Dad.  Did you hear that Grandpa Leete stopped by randomly at the house a week ago or so?   Anyway, I really look forward to getting to know him.  It would be nice to know more about him.

Oh!  I dyed my hair again.  The blue that I had in before pretty much all faded out, so I decided it was safe to put in a new color.  I also took Jessica’s hair cutting scissors and chopped at my hair a bit. It’s red now.  Not like Fire-red that I would like it to be, but like an Ariel-the-Little-Mermaid Red.  I really like it. 

I thought of you today when my roommates made a Brazilian Limeade.  Apparently at Broulim’s they had a free sample of this great limeade and they just had to make it.  Inspired, they bought 20 limes.  We squeezed the Limes and mixed it with Sweet and Condensed Milk and Sugar.  It was really sweet.  I don’t know if it was really “Brazilian”  or if it’s “Americanized Brazilian” but either way it was good. 

I’ve singed up for my fall classes.  I’m taking Watercolor, Life Painting (another Oil painting class), Design and Color 2, 20th Century Art (an Art History class), and Art Readings.   I’m really looking forward to those classes.    Next week is when I turn in my BFA portfolio, and I’m a bit nervous.  My Expressive Drawing Professor, Brother Jones, is going to take a look at my portfolio on Tuesday, so that makes me a little less nervous.  I’ve left this review off longer than I should, but I’m really glad I did because last semester I decided I wanted to apply for the 2-D studies instead of the Illustration studies. 

Last Tuesday, In media experimentation, I spent 3 hours working with Spray Paint, and later that same day I spent another 3 hours working in the Oil Painting Room, so the next day I had a total hangover.  Let me tell you, It does not feel good.  DON’T EVER BECOME AN ARTIST.  While I love it, I’m beginning to think it’s not good for your health.   I wonder if that’s why so many artists are crazy and high/drunk all the time.  Maybe they are already high when they go into the bar or start smoking pot, and so taking a few extra drinks isn’t all that bad.  Go figure, huh?

This weekend, my RS had a sleepover at the Bishop’s house.  It was fun to roast hotdogs and marshmallows and Starburst over the fire.  We slept in their background in the Barn.  In the morning, they woke us up by throwing a tennis ball and later a soccer ball on our tin roof, which sounded like gunfire.  Most terrifying alarm I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Anyway, we all just wanted to you to know that we love you and have you in our prayers.  Keep up all your good work in Brazil.  I know that you’re there for a reason.  There is somebody out there that you need to help, I can feel it.  Keep up all the good work.  We are all so proud of you.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 8-14, 2011

Wed June 8 Me and my folks went to the Jr. Grand floral Parade.  It was in the Hollywood district- on the other side of the river near the residential area (where we parked) and old town stores (kind of like downtown Beaverton).  It was a long parade- mostly all middle school bands and various youth groups.  Unicycles, drill teams, cub scouts etc.  It was fun.  After Rachel marched by I followed to meet her at the end.  They took 3 busses to get there, but only had 2 to get them home so I gave her and 2 of her friends a ride home.


That evening for combined mutual activity the priests took us on a hike up to Pittock Mansion.  I was a driver so dropped my carload at the trail head then drove up the rest of the way.  We set up yogurt with toppings by the front lawn of the mansion for when they got there.  They had been sent up with maps on different trails in groups of 4.  Each group had a very heavy back pack to carry up.  Adults were stationed along the way to suggest other trails.   When all the groups reached the top they ate yogurt parfaits, enjoyed the view and Nathan and the Bishop lead a discussion of their journey up the trail.  The theme this month was Endure.  The bishop said the hike didn’t quite turn out how they had hoped- the guys with the backpack were being studdly and didn’t share the burden with their group.  Also everyone stuck to the trail on their map.  However they got some great discussions and thoughts shared.

Thursday June 9th  was graduation day! It took us a long time to get there with bumper to bumper traffic.  We were to be there at 6:30- made it there after 7.  Melissa and the band took another route than we did , they left at 5 and got there as people were let in at 6:30.  The band sounded good- they were in the bleachers this year behind the podium in the corner.  The Chiles center was packed.  We sat in the bleachers  behind the graduates.  The choir sounded good.  The speeches were nice- the whole program seemed a lot shorter than last year, but the graduating class was huge and it took a while to read through all the names. It was a pretty mellow ceremony- only one beach ball came out and it was quickly confiscated. (Jessica said that her class was pretty boring). We took pictures and made it home with barely enough time for Jessica to open her cards and gifts.  She took a piece of her graduation chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting to eat in the car as I took her to the school to catch the bus at 10:30pm.  I picked her up the next morning at 5- she was tiered, but had a great time.  She won some smiley faced boxers and a camera.

Saturday, June 11, was the Grand Floral Parade.  We met up with Sis Walker at her usual spot to enjoy the festivities.  It was a cold day- but no rain.   Rachel brought her friend Serena- they had fun shopping at Pioneer place and drawing rainbow pony on the street. Grandma and pa now can boast that they have been to a rose parade in both California and Oregon.

After the parade, the band had a party at the Oak Hills rec center, and Rachel and Serena went swimming at the pool.  The clouds cleared and it was a beautiful sunny day.  Jessica and Melisa went to another grad party that evening.

Grandma and pa left here Monday morning- next stop for them at Uncle Jon’s, then off to Uncle Jim’s to meet up with some cousins visiting from Australia to tour the Disney studios and go to Yosemite. 

Things are calming down here now that the concerts, parades, and graduation is over and that company is all gone. Melissa has been doing finals.  Must not be too hard cuz I haven’t seen much studying going on around here. Jessica has been sleeping in and then spending time with Nate.  Today she, Lanea, and Chelsea kidnapped the guys  from the band room after finals and took them blindfolded to OMSI for the Narnia exhibit.  They are now upstairs playing Mario carts.  Brother Chin and Adam are now our Home teachers and visited this evening.  Melissa and Jessica have been spending her spare time preparing for girls camp.  Grandma helped when she was here painting.  Rachel has been exiled from the bonus room where all the camp secrets have been stockpiled and worked on.  Tomorrow is Rachel’s 8th grade graduation party.  I will be going to help in the BINGO room with Mrs. Kennefick.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another School Year Coming to an End

It is hard to believe we are coming to the end of another school year.  It doesn’t seem that long ago we were getting you ready to go off to BYU. Last Wed we attended the last WV Choir Concert of the year.  There were two concerts again so that there would be room enough for all to attend.  Melissa sang in the first one at 6:16.  Dad and I met up there for that.  As soon as the Women’s choir sang I left to pick up Rachel from Lacrosse practice so that she could see the 2nd that started at 7:30.  Dad enjoyed the first concert so decided to sit through the 2nd one also. We ran out of room on the cameras.  Jessica was awarded the Alto Section Award. She earned it!
Melissa sang in Women's Chor, Jessica in Canotres and Concert Choir

Jessica and her Alto Section Leader Award

Thursday was Rachel’s Meadow Park Band Concert.  Can you believe that we’ve been going to those for the last 10 years?!!  That was our last one.  The end of an era.  I won’t miss hearing those beginning band pieces.  I am greatful for all that the Meadow Park music has done for our family.  They shaved mr. Schlabach’s head because they raised the goal of $6000. They raised over $12000.  The marching band sounded real good. They played a Patriotic Sequence with 3 songs:  America the Beautiful, My country ‘Tis of Thee, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. They were short versions, but sounded good.  They march in the Jr. Floral Parade today- me Grandma and Grandpa will be going to watch.
Rachel on Clarinet

7th & 8th Grade Bands combine to play parade music

Thursday was Jessica’s offical last day of High school.  She looked a little lost the next day. She finaly has some free time now so I took her shopping to get all the stuff promised her for her birthday and graduation.  I was having memories of trying to shop with you as she texted the whole time (poor ploppy- he was alone at school).
Jessica leaving for the Sr Assembly

Jessica takes advantage of her first day as a High School Graduate

The final WV Band Awards Concert were held on Friday.  The Jazz band played 8 songs and sounded very good.  It was a long concert.  Jessica’s sax quartet plus one played between bands which made the translations seem a lot shorter.  When they played the Pokemon theme they got the most cheers.
Melissa & Jessica members of the Wind Ensemble

Saturday we went to Rachel’s Lacrosse tournament.  It was actualy sunny- I got sunburned.  They played 4  30 minute games in a row.  They won all 4!!!!!  They looked really good.  Rachel plans on playing next year at WV.  They had awards and pizza afterwards in the park.  Rachel was awarded  the “Way to be Big” award by coach Atack.  He said that usualy big kids played defence- but Rachel wanted to and really held her ground playing low D by the goal.  I’m glad that she played lacrosse this year.  She had a lot of fun- I did too.
Rachel Finishes off her first Lacrosse Season

Sunday was Seminary graduation.  We had 4 graduates from our ward. I was blessed to work with these three lovely and talented ladies in my Laurel class this year.  They all will be attending BYU Provo.  Adam is a sweet soul and good friend of mine.  Several years ago I got to be his CTR 8  Primary  teacher and speak at his baptism.  He is now our family's Home Teacher with his father. He was so happy and proud to be graduating from Seminary and High School. He will be attending a transitional program at The Capital Center next year.
Tessa, Adam, Jessica, and Charlotte- Seminary Graduates

Monday Grandma and pa Greenall came.  The girls have kept grandma busy painting stuff for them to decorate their camp cabins with.  This is happening in the bonus room- where Rachel is now forbidden to go so she doesn’t ruin the surprise.

We got a surprise call the other day from Grandpa Leete.  He was in Seattle visiting Uncle Jeff who now lives there. So he came down on Tuesday and spent the night.  He will be off on the road to California this morning after Dad/Brian leaves for work.  It was good to see him again.
Father & Son Share the same Smile!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Holiday Happenings

 It feels like we are on the home stretch now with school coming to a close.  Jessica is always gone working on some school project and studying.  Melissa too.  Those two are also working on YW camp stuff in their spare time, trying to hide it all from Rachel so that she can be surprised.

We enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend over in Utah.  We left Friday morning at about 7:30 and arrived in Sandy at about 10pm.  It was an amazingly quiet ride!  Jessica and Melissa entertained on laptops, and Rachel watching Lord of the Rings on the ipad.  There is a lot of room in the suburban with only the 5 of us!  The rental house we stayed in was only 3 miles from Uncle Alan’s, and had plenty of room for all of us (our family, Aunt Parien and her girls, and Grandma and Grandpa).  There was 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, kitchen, family room, pool table room, living room, and hot tub too.  Uncle Jim and his family were staying with some friends, but they hung out at the house too.  It was totally full of  girls! All those girl cousins. (Job and Uncle David didn’t come.) Jennifer caught a ride into town with her roommate- she got there the day before and had been helping at Alan’s house with wedding preparations.  It was so fun to see her again- your 4 sisters were fun to watch all together again.  Everyone had a good time!

7 Bedroom, 5 bathroom Rental House in Sandy

Silly Sisters!
Saturday was Kailey and Josh’s wedding. We headed off to the Draper Temple at 8am.  The sealing was at 9.  We had nice weather- it was sunny with no rain like forecasted.  Jennifer watched the little kids (Heather’s nieces and nephews) and the girls all hung out in the temple foyer and temple grounds.  It was a big sealing room and was full of family members.  The sealer said some really nice things and had wonderful advice for the couple.  Kailey smiled nonstop.  It was a very nice ceremony.  We all waited outside for the grand exit of the couple and tons of pictures were taken. 

Leetes at the Draper Temple

Waiting for the Bride & Groom to make their Appearance
Mr. and Mrs. Josh Dilworth
 We met up at the reception site (a home close to Alan’s) at 12:30 and helped set up all the tables etc. It looked very nice. There was giant cookies, salads, croissant sandwiches, Costco cake, water, and 7up with sherbet served. The reception was from 2-5pm. It was all beautiful and no rain until the very end. Again Kailey was nonstop smiles! She looked so beautiful. Cutting the cake was entertaining. Kailey fed Josh his piece very nicely. He showed the piece in her face- She grabbed the glob off of her face and chucked it at him hitting him squarely in the face! No one expected the“chucking” part and so it wasn’t caught on camera. Julia caught the bouquet (no one else had a chance) and Caleb the garter. 3 trombone players from Josh’s band showed up at the end and played 3 songs- one being the Hallelujah chorus. A nice touch. They made an arch with their slides as everyone lined up blowing bubbles as the couple ran out for their exit. Alan and Heather were very blessed in so many ways  with so many people volunteering items, including the wedding dress, and decorations etc. Everything fell into place and was a beautiful day. That evening back at the rental, some relaxed in the hot tub, others enjoyed the TVs and billiards. Aunt Parien took the girls to the mall where Jessica bought a new dress for Sr. Day and graduation. Most of all we just enjoyed being together.
Before the cake started flying!
Julia catches the Boquet, Caleb gets the Garter
Happy Grandparents

The Newlyweds depart

Sunday morning we went to Salt Lake Tabernacle and heard Music and the Spoken Word. It was the memorial day special broadcast program and included the orchestra and bells or temple square.  It was a real treat.  Then we headed to the Museum and enjoyed the exhibit and art show there.  Afterwards back at the rental house we ate left over sandwiches etc from the reception.  Alan’s family joined us that evening for a BBQ by Grandpa.  YUM.  It was a fun day.  It was a fun weekend.  I spent all my free time crocheting an afghan for Kailey and Josh.  Was able to finish it Sunday night.  Chadley spent the night with us also. It was a lot of driving to get there, but well worth it. 
Sitting in the Tabernacle
Tabernacle seats

Grandpa stands up as the recognize all Veterns
After the Broadcast heading to the Museum
Brian gives a talk at the famous Pulpit
Monday we headed out and drove home.  We met Aunt Lynne in Boise for a late lunch and enjoyed visiting with her at the Great Wall of China Restaurant Buffet.  We made it home at about 10pm, finding all well here.  Margaret Martin took care of our pets and they were happy when we got home.  Melissa was able to make her bottle rocket  in the car on the way home.  I bought some duct tape at a gas station for her, and stole some rocks from the landscaping. She used fruit snack boxes for the wings and nose cone.  Jessica texted a lot- she and Nate “Ploppy” are now an official couple as of Thursday. 

Tuesday was back to school for everyone. Mel got a C on her rocket.  Jess was gone all day filming  a play for her AP lit class- a Harry Potter version of Macbeth.  She had the part of Dumbleduff (or something like that).  Rachel had a great lacrosse game against Southridge- a fight to the end and they ended up winning by one.  Now they will go on in the tournament to play again.  Tonight is WV choir concert. 
I think that is all the Leete Family news for the week.