Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Our Incredible Summer - The Forsgren Family Reunion

Our summer vacation began early in the morning of June 24th. That is my oldest birthday. We began our car trip out West with the Forsgren Family Reunion as our destination. Day one, load into the new Hyundai Entourage (that is worth every penny we paid for it). It has automatic doors, leather seats and a mounted DVD player. YEAH! We had four days to get to Bear Lake Idaho. We made it within 10 minutes of check-in on Thursday afternoon. Pretty good timing.

Jay comes from a family of 10 living children. Those children have multiplied and replenished to the tune of 39 grand children at the time of the reunion. Since then we have added 1 more birth and great hopes of two more to be adopted soon. Jay's sister Carolyn planned and executed a great gathering. We shared 1 very nice large house that overlooked the lake. After Friday morning picture taking, which was interesting to say the least, there was much fun to be had. People went to the lake, played pool and ping pong at the house, and just hung out all over. No one had a schedule to keep so we just spent time together. Our favorite way to play. Carolyn and her husband Chad bought all the food, but we took turns preparing it. Every evening we spent time playing games until too tired to see and think.

The children are spaced so closely in age that it has allowed for them to grow up very close as siblings. They all love each other so much and it comes across very clearly when we get together. They have the best time when they are together. They play rough and then they sit around and talk about how old they are getting. Our greatest accomplishment of the reunion was that there were no trips to the emergency room.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Our Incredible Summer - Birthdays and Baptism

I neglected to mention on Jay’s homecoming that he came home a whole day early. That left us with a day that had been blank on the calendar that we could fill. My parents always say that if I can fit it in the calendar square I think I can do it. Well, we decided to celebrate Sarah and Alex’s birthdays. Both fell in June and last year both had sorry birthdays due to their dad leaving. This time it wasn’t looking any better because the calendar was so full. We sent out email invites to Chuck E Cheese for the day after Jay got home and put together two rockin’ parties. Both had a great turnout for last minute parties and most of all their dad was home to help celebrate.
On the second day after Jay got home we had Spencer’s baptism. That was wonderful for him. He had asked Grandpa to speak at his baptism and even though it wasn’t the most convenient thing for Grandpa to do, he came. It meant so much to Spencer who really hates living so far from Grandma and Grandpa.
We ran late to the baptism, but considering it was just our family and friends it turned out okay. Our friend Ken gave a talk on baptism that involved car keys. Spencer was really impressed by it. Then Jay baptized Spencer. Grandpa gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and compared it to an imaginary friend which Spencer could totally relate to. Then Spencer was confirmed. We forgot our camera and so we don’t have any pictures to document. Spencer’s friend Nathan from school came. Grandmama, Granddaddy, Mr. Mike and Miss Mary Sue were also there. Our best friends from church were there along with all of Ken’s family too. What a special two days!

Our Incredible Summer - Jay's Homecoming

A week after school got out for summer vacation, Jay came home from Iraq. He had been gone for a year with only a two week visit at home during that year. We were so glad to finally have him back. Jay caught an earlier flight from Baltimore than we had thought he would and so at the last minute after months of planning we were rushing out the door unprepared. In hind sight, you really don’t have to prepare; he was just glad to see us and didn’t care what we were wearing or how our hair looked. We had a poster that Spencer’s class had made for him. The airport made us passes and let us go to the gate to greet him. A crowded flight to Orlando was lining up in between where the passenger got off and where we were, but when he finally got off and saw us the crowds parted to let him through. He looked fantastic. No kidding, it wasn’t just the six months of not having seen him, he looked terrific. In all our rushing we hadn’t been able to bring the baby because he was still sleeping, but my parents with the baby and our neighbors and Jay’s dad were all waiting for us after we gathered Jay up and left the terminal. I just love homecomings!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our Incredible Summer - School's Out

Our incredible summer began with finishing out school and activities. Sarah performed in her first dance recital and was so great. All we heard the whole dance year was that she was not going to go on stage and no one could make her. By the end of the year a star had been born. I didn't believe that she would do it until the day before when she completed her dress rehearsal. The fancy make-up really helped. Sarah knew her whole dance and did fantastic.

The boys had their first piano recital. Their teacher was awesome and she helped them pick the best music to show their talent well and make them comfortable. Alex played the them from Star Wars and Spencer played I Love to Ride the Roller Coaster. They were very proud of themselves and all they had accomplished. So was I. It was a great recital.

For school, Alex finished Elementary School and Sarah completed Kindergarten. Spencer completed 2nd grade, but they don't make a big deal out of that at this school. Alex had a great completion ceremony and a pool party. Sadly though two of his best friends moved away right after school got out.

Sarah's class had a completion party too with superlatives included. Sarah was given the award for "Most Glorious Hair" and an award for not "moving her bear" the whole year. That means that she didn't get in trouble. She worked and worried very hard about that all year.
It was a great school year. Sarah's dance teacher was Miss Tammy. Alex and Spencer took piano from Melissa White. The children's teachers were Mrs. Christensen, Mrs. True, Mrs. Stitt and Mrs. Kulas.