Days 2017

Days 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sixteen in '17

Well, I apologize that this post is pretty much going to be the Leslie show, but she was born before the age of social media, so I have a lot of catching up to do as far as sharing embarrassing photos of her life... (Next time I will post about Cooper playing basketball or me doing the dishes or something.)

Let's start with some flashback shots that never made it to the blog, just for the record.

This one makes me laugh every time.  I think there was a long string of drool as well here.

First day of Kindy-garten.
 Leslie has had a pretty full month or so.  Our neighboring city had a Winter Ball, live band, formal, everyone is invited, and free.  Apparently the last few years a large group of teenagers from her high school has been attending and dancing ballroom, etc., right alongside the grandpas and grandmas.  She and her friend Becky decided that they would venture.  They had a blast, and she even picked up a few ballroom steps, not yet having taken social dance.

Becky, Leslie, Nathan and Sarai
Mark had a little bit of fun in the midst of all this teenager stuff.  He goes to San Diego quarterly for work.  Here he is at some lighthouse while we were home alone.
Back to Leslie.
She has been playing in the Pep Band for girls and boys basketball.  I did this my senior year of high school and loved it.  The way the games are set up here, though, they play back to back varsity girls and boys whenever there is a home game.  That's a lot of bleacher time and it wears her out a little, but she has fun hanging out with her friends there.  I feel like the band isn't very big since our tiny school always filled up the bleacher section for the band, but maybe it just looks that way because there are just more bleachers here.  I should check my yearbook and count how many we actually had.  Also, pep band is not required attendance, so there may only be 50-75% there for a given game.  She is just left of center here, the tall one with the flute.
I have been fairly busy as a new Young Women's president, and learning a lot.  Our big kickoff, New Beginnings night went smoothly, although the chocolate sunbeam bundt cake I was making for it was nearly toxic.  Luckily when I went to put the "nonstick spray" back into the cupboard, I noticed that there was already a can of it in the correct place.  And what was that lemony smell, anyway?  Furniture polish!!
Back to Leslie.
She has been very proactive about getting ready for her driver's license.  Not only do the kids have to take driver's ed, but they have to log 40 driving hours before they can receive it, including 10 nighttime hours.  So she has been running many errands with Mark, and occasionally I even was brave enough to let her take me a few places.  She finished up her hours on the way to the DMV.  She is also under the mandate to only drive herself or family members for the next six months.

This is Mark's car.  I told her we could get her a great-Grandma olive green boat from the seventies for her birthday like I did when I turned 15--driving age in MT (drove it once and promptly gave it back), but she declined. 
Once recently in our discussions about college, I asked Macy what she would like to study when she goes to college.  She was very specific and certain.  Rainbows!!  Or Snowflakes!! Or maybe Butterflies!  This is the rainbow thread sculpture at the BYU Art Museum.
Back to Leslie.
The week of her birthday she also completed our church's Young Women's Personal Progress program, and received the Young Womanhood Recognition Award.  This is sometimes compared to the Duty to God award for the Boy Scouts.  She has been working on it since she was 12.  The mothers are encouraged to work on it with their daughters, and I was able to stand up and receive mine alongside her as well .  (Kind of glad I don't have 10 daughters.)
About a week and a half before her birthday, she decided she wanted to have a great big party.  (I was pushing the idea that her Dad could just take her out to lunch on her "first date".  That also happened, and she sloughed most of school that day, with the DMV and all.)  She wasn't sure how many to invite, but it's hard to cut down the list once you get going.  I told her since we were just having cake she could invite as many as she wanted and I would just bake two cakes.  Besides, they wouldn't all be able to come.
They were all able to come, and we had 16 teenagers in our home that night.  Wow.  A bit raucous.  Leslie and her dad planned the party (I did the streamers, gifts and cake) and did an Olympics theme, where the kids were split into 3 countries and had all these crazy events, scoring points and earning the gold, silver, and bronze at the end.  It was pretty funny.

A highlight of the evening was when they played one of our family's favorite games, fondly titled "Mexican Jumping Beans" since we learned it at a fiesta one time.  It's like limbo but you have to jump over the broomstick balanced on cans of beans, instead of going under it.  Here are some videos of our two finalists, who managed to clear a higher stack than we've ever done before.  Mark also participated and did pretty good since he keeps up his hops playing men's volleyball regularly, but these two schooled him pretty well.  I think Mark can clear 7 cans, and these two were up to ten if I remember correctly.  I feared for my life a bit in this first video when the broomstick came flying toward my face.
This was Hunter.
This was Nathan.  His prize was a can of beans.

That night one of her friends was picked up in this Lamborghini, (on loan to the Dad, who is in the business), and the kids were having fun taking pictures with it.  A perfect end to a sixteenth birthday.

Leslie is on one of her high school's three Science Olympiad teams.  She stays after school a couple days a week to prep for the competitions.  One or two of her events is always the same, and then she gets put into another one or two as a helper, as needed that day.  So far so good.  She has medaled a couple times now and her high school always does really well.  They went to Nationals last year.  Parents don't watch the events because they are tightly controlled, so I don't have any pictures.  I did help serve hot dogs at her school's invitational, and that's about all I've seen of it.  The kids were rushing around to their events and I only got to talk to her for a minute.  Anyway, many of her friends are also on the team, and she chose to ask her chemistry event partner on her first date, the Sweetheart's Dance, a girls' or boys' choice.  I guess for such things, you don't just ask or text someone, you have to come up with some (what Grandpa Heagy would call "malarky") big idea to ask them.  Here was Leslie's.   Cooper got to help deliver it to the door and got to wear a ski mask and everything.
Cooper was worrying a bit that she would get turned down.  The next evening or two, as we sat at the dining room table, he was a little glum.  He looked around at all of us and asked, solemnly, "Why isn't anyone in our family attractive??"

What can you say to that, really?  I guess we all needed to be taken down a notch.  Pressure is off--no more trying to look good! 
We asked him what he meant by that, and he said, "Leslie had to ask a boy to a dance, and Mom has to wear makeup!!"
Just then the doorbell rang, and our family was somewhat vindicated.  The boy said yes.
Although this answer caused some great outrage among our more vocal BYU fans.
Boston got in on the science scene as well this month.
Boston and his buddy Ryan tested the voltage on some homemade batteries made from fruit.  The pineapple won.  But back to Leslie, while the buddy and his mama were here helping to clean up the experiment, Leslie came upstairs and attempted to strike up a conversation with Hilarie, the other mom and our neighbor.

"So how has your day been today?" 

Hilarie looked up with astonishment, "Are you talking to me?"

I laughed and answered.  "Yep!  My teenager actually talks."  It was a proud moment.

On to the dance, which was Great Gatsby themed.  She planned the date with two of her friends.  They had a nerf gun war, pizza, then got dressed up, then went to the dance, then had root beer floats.  Fun stuff, but mostly I just liked how pretty she looked and wanted to stare at the pictures all evening as I stayed up watching Cary Grant movies and waiting for her to come home.  Typical mom I suppose.

One fun note:  The stylist's little four-year-old daughter sat and watched Leslie's hair get curled.  She didn't make a peep until Leslie stood up.  "OH!  She's a QUEEN!"

This picture warped the sides a bit.