Romney is definitely the kid who had the busiest summer. We didn't really make any huge plans, but I sure was grateful that the plans we did end up making seemed to fit in with all of our commotion just fine. Rom was able to participate in three camps this summer and I was overwhelmed with joy as each of the experiences were so positive and wonderful for her.
First, in June, she was able to attend Youth Theater at the U for the second summer in a row. I don't have many pictures because I didn't see much of her - she was gone for six hours every day participating in a melodrama and taking classes in comedy and improvisation. For the performances during the final week Troy happened to be in Preston, Idaho for a work trip and that good man took the time and energy to drive all the way down just to see her, and had to drive all the way back that night. I was so grateful for his effort. Romney had a great part in the play - she's a true character actress and had the role of a crotchety old gramma. She had great comedic delivery and timing. I loved it. She was also delighted by the attendance of her 6th grade teacher, who joined us for Ugurt after the show. We adore Ms. Parker!
Besides the evening performance there was also an afternoon sort of show-and-tell where the kids got to give a little demonstration of what they had been up to in their classes. Again, her comedy group did a great job and really got a great reaction out of the audience. The best part of that afternoon was the announcement that Ms. Penny, the director of the program, was going to give out four special awards for the Rising Stars - kids who really had shown skill and improvement and Romney was one of them. I was just thrilled for her to feel that success about something she loves so very much.
Here she is after hearing her name called:
Here's her darling melodrama group:
Early in July Romney was invited to go to the Stake Girl's Camp. I was feeling anxious about it but did my best not to let her know - she hadn't had many opportunities to sleep away from home, she'd be among a lot of new girls she didn't know besides the three from our own ward going. Sometimes she gets exhausted and has a hard time. But boy did she prove me wrong. She was an absolute trooper, and made friends and got involved with all of the activities. I was just so happy and proud of her.
Romney has a camera with lots of pictures from her camps on it but I haven't been able to get the photos off of it yet. You'll have to wait for an entry that will just be a photo journal of her camp experiences.
While Romney was away, I had to find ways to keep the other two entertained. One activity was to make the LONG trek up to Ogden to the home of my niece's boyfriend - his family has a lovely pool where we spent the afternoon playing in the sun before going inside to watch a movie or, in my case, fall sound asleep in the comfy theater seats.
Another fun outing was taking the two of them to the Natural History Museum. It was such a dang hot day, driving up the side of that sunny hill and just walking into the building about killed us. We had fun though. It's not easy keeping a 14 year old plus an 8 year old entertained doing the same thing at the same time.
The next week was the one that about did me in - my current church calling (or job) is to work with the Stake Primary and we had camps that week for both the girls - Activity Days day camp at This Is the Place State Park and for boys - two days of Cub Scout Camp up Milcreek Canyon at Camp Tracy. I...have no words for how these three days completely did me in. So hot. Such busy kids. But it all turned out well, even though my worn-out Romney fell ill after the girls day camp.
THEN just two weeks later Romney was again invited to go to camp - this time to my heart's home on earth, Brighton LDS Girls Camp. These two invitations were really special partly because Romney wasn't yet 12. She wouldn't be 12 until August, but since she had a summer birthday she was allowed to go to both. I knew she would love camp. Little did I know how much - yes, she did have a home-sick evening but pulled through and had a terrific week. Again, expect a photo journal at some point of her pictures. Maybe I'll even get her to do some writing about both the weeks.
The real kicker was picking her up on Friday afternoon after camp where she told me her big news. She had gone on the Above and Beyond Hike!!! This is a 12 mile, 8 hour trek to 7 summits surrounding the Brighton Camp area. Not many kids do it, maybe 15 or so, but she did! And she was still just 11. I was astounded! And then she told me that not only did she do the A&B, she woke up at 2:00 the next morning to go on the 6 mile sunrise hike. I just could not believe my ears. What a kid! She never gets to complain about walking anywhere ever again, now that she has done this!!
Here she is getting ready to board the bus on Monday morning:
During this week, Chase and Troy were on a trip of their own so it was just Emma and me. We had a cooler day that week so we went to the zoo. Emma wore a coat and got hot cocoa like it was fall. I wish!
We got to feed the giraffes - that was very fun. I kind of love doing something with just one kid because you do more things, not needing to pay for a big group. Just the two of us!
We also spent a day at the children's museum:
Here are Romney and her friend on pick-up day. So tired. So proud of themselves. Great great week. Brighton Camp, I love you, and am so happy another generation loves you too.
Yes, Romney was completely dead after that. But it was completely worth it.