Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Utah... Could it Really be Zion?

Felt like it for us last week! While Dave, Parker and Matt were at Helaman's Encampment, Sara, Hannah and I and our good friends Amy, Dean and Owen, went on a road trip to Salt Lake City. One word - incredibly awesome!!!! Whoops, that was two! We had such a great time together! The weather was great, the company was greater and the activities in Utah were fantastic.We could not go to SLC and not hit Temple Square. It was so beautiful!!! I would like a gardening lesson from the staff there!
One of our best "treasures" we found were Morph Suits. We had been eyeing these online for quite some time. So, when we discovered a store called Zurchers that sold them, we had to buy them. Look for them in future Stewart Family adventures.... This is Sara and Hannah in front of the Conference Center. We certainly got a few looks!
Dean and Owen hadn't been to Temple Square since they were quite little so it was so great to take them there!
We went to the "This is the Place" monument. There is a whole village of pioneer homes and shops to explore. We saw a bank robbery, had a pony ride, panned for gold, saw a printing press, ate in a saloon and learned the "Deseret Alphabet" in a little school house. Halloween there sounds really cool. Maybe a good fall trip...someday.
We met up with some friends of Amy's from their physio days in Pocatello! As soon as we met up with them, we didn't leave them! Emma, Sophie and Lilly were lovely and the kids all got along so well! They were excellent tour guides and hosts. Thanks girls! We look forward to a future visit with you! Perhaps in Canada....
We rented a house right by Utah State University, which was cheaper than a hotel - and so awesome to have so much room! We arrived on July 4th. Hence the flag on the front lawn!

We went to a Real Salt Lake MLS soccer game that night. Wow! The fans were amazing and the game was great! They played the New England Revolution. RSL got a red card in the first 3 minutes which meant they had to play a man down the entire game. It was intense but they played hard and the final score was 3-3! Amazing fireworks in the stadium after and all across the valley as we drove home on the freeway. All for Amy's birthday! (Which was that day!)
It was hot and beautiful there! So, we went to a neighbourhood pool with our new friends and swam for hours!
What prompted this trip in the first place was the fact that there was an American Idol Concert being held on July 6. We were huge American Idol fans and it seemed like too good of a thing to pass up. So, with the motto "Carpe diem" going through my head, we bought tickets and planned the trip. The concert was amazing and over 2 hours long. We loved it and had to keep pinching ourselves to see if it was a dream or not.
So, is it Zion? Quite possibly. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Awards All Around

June is over. Came and gone like a blur! Now the lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us. They are as welcome to us as the first sliver of light in the morning after a bad dream. Don't get me wrong - June was not a bad dream. More like a roller coaster that keeps going and going when you think it needs to stop.
But so many good things happened - some of which were Award Ceremonies. We are so proud of our kids (righteous pride of course...) They have all had some great accomplishments.

Matt was awarded his Chief Scout Award at a Stake Awards Night. Our stake gives these boys buck knives with their name engraved on them so Matt was excited to get that in time for Helaman's Encampment which is a province wide scout camp being held this week at Camp Impeesa near Pincher Creek.
Next, was Matt again. He completed Grade 8 - with honours. In Alberta, this is when you move on to high school from Middle school. In addition, he was honoured to receive the Male Athlete of the Year award and the Most Improved Award for basketball. It was a really neat awards ceremony and we were proud of all his hard work. We are positive that hard work ethic will be transferred to his efforts in the back yard and garden over the summer. :)
Sara will also switch schools in the fall. She graduated from Grade 5 at Lakeview and will move on to Gilbert Paterson Middle School. Lakeview is such a fantastic school and she will miss it but she is very excited about all the new clubs, choirs and mostly the sports offered at GPMS. She loved her teacher this past year - Ms. Porter. Ms. Porter is also leaving Lakeview with all the budget cuts. So, it was a bittersweet day for both. Great job Sara!
Lastly, but not leastly, Parker was awarded his bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh Award by Lethbridge's mayor, Rajko Dodic. Parker has been working on his award since turning 14. The gold level is presented by a member of the royal family when they are in Canada, the silver level is presented by the Lieutenant Governor of the province and the bronze level is presented by a person of local importance determined by the recipient. Parker wanted to meet the mayor, so it was arranged. Mayor Dodic was very gracious and did a nice job. It was very neat. Parker is working on the silver level now.
As an honourable mention we need to mention that Hannah also completed her year at school. She will enter Grade 4 in the fall. Man, that makes us feel OLD! She barely passed...:)
She will now be one of the "bigger" kids at Lakeview. We're glad to still have her there. It will be a very sad day for us when there are no more Stewarts at Lakeview Elementary.
So, on with July and all it's adventures. Congrats on a great year everyone!