So much has been going on...I am such a dork when it comes to adding pictures and placing the writing in the correct places, so I will write and then throw some photos in...they will be self-explanatory, hopefully.
About 3 weeks ago we started construction on a pool! It is a long process when it's summertime and everyone is here wondering when the workers in the backyard will be done. The last time we did this Bill was a work all day and the kids were in school. Now everyone is witnessing the entire process. They should be done in 2-3 more weeks. Plenty of time to still get some use out of it this summer. In the 5 years we had our other pool, we didn't use the spa much at all in the winter. I have a feeling this spa will get some wintertime use. The kids are older and we will have a remote, plus a button that we can push on the spa. Our last pool was very basic and all manual...turn this and that and before you knew it the spa would be draining and the pool would be full to the brim...we are the CLAMPETTS!!!!
Christine and I had a blast over the 4Th of July weekend! Months ago (pre "unemployment"), we planned a trip to see one of her favorite bands, The Jonas Brothers, in the Stadium of Fire in Provo. It truly was a blast! We shopped a bit and ate "out". She spent some time with a friend from Theatre Camp, and I had dinner with some old friends, Dave and Cindy Gaddis. We were fortunate to get tickets for the Pre-Show gathering in the Cougar Room at the stadium. All the performers as well as the host, Glenn Beck, came in to say a few words. It was pretty cool for Christine to be so close to some of her heart throbs! Come on ladies, we aren't too old to remember how we would have felt! For me, at 16 it would have been James Taylor or Bread or Air Supply...a little younger and it would have been Donny Osmond. (Allan was at the Pre-show gathering too...fun to be so close.) The concert was way fun and the weather could NOT have been better! I LOVE being in the stadium with the mountains in the background. I think our time there was some of the sweetest we have had together. We also hiked up "Y" Mountain and sucked major wind! Was it the altitude, or age?! I'll blame it on the altitude! We made it though and were glad we did. The view was awesome! So was the feeling of accomplishment.
Our whole family ventured to Washington DC a week ago. It was a vacation unlike those we have recently taken. Frankly, I am partial to the sun, beach and lounging types of vacations. But this was fun too. We did ALL of the tourist stuff... Washington DC LDS Temple, the Capitol, Lincoln and Washington Memorials, Holocaust, American History, Natural History, Air and Space and International Spy Museums, National Cathedral, Embassy Row, The White House, Mt. Vernon, The Old Post Office and much more! In the Capitol we ran into Dan Rather and being the person that I am, I introduced myself, Bill and Christine to him...like we were old friends or something :) He was super nice and we visited for a little while. I even got a picture with he and Christine...too bad the quality stinks. I didn't have my flash on and I wasn't about to say, "hey, I have already monopolized a ton of your time and because I am an idiot and can't operate my camera, can I take just one more picture?" Anyway, we did have a great time and were tired at the end of each day. The highlight for me was Mt. Vernon. What a wonderfully restored piece of history. George Washington was an amazing man. I loved every minute we were there.
So...back to real life. We are figuring out that we need to start facing the fact that we are unemployed! The reality stinks. We've had our time of denial and now all hands are "on deck." At times I feel like we are living the lives of retired folks...eating out, vacationing, etc. But really, Bill is actively looking for work. Our challenge is 3-fold. 1) The economy stinks 2) The Dallas market is slow 3) At Bill's level, there are much fewer jobs available. At some point, if nothing looks promising around the Dallas area, he will start looking all over the nation...or world ( I would still love to go international!) So keep us in your prayers...we would really appreciate it.
William continues to do well. He's still in the vicinity of Cartagena. He continues to eat lots of fruit, teach a lot, and enjoy seeing people accept the blessings of the Gospel in their lives. I miss him so much sometimes that it hurts. I wonder, who is growing more through this whole time of separation? Is it William or me?
Grant has started football already. Bill has been asked to help coach the centers and linemen. That makes Grant happy, he plays line, and it gives Bill a little something to help fill his time.
Garrett is gearing up for high school marching band. He and Grant run every morning in preparation for the up-coming 2-a-days in band. He and Christine start on August