Rebekah is 13

We are now officially the parents of a teenager. But she's a pretty great one.

On her actual birthday (Thursday, June 14), we drove to Rexburg to visit Grandma Hendricks, and then I dropped the girls off at Aunt Anne's house while I went to the temple. Rebekah and Analee had loaded their bikes in the truck, so while I was gone, they went to the nature park with Mack and Tav.

That evening, we had softball practice, so Rebekah shared treats with her teammates.

Her family birthday dinner was combined with Hudson's on June 15 (since we were having the dinner on his ACTUAL birthday). We had assumed we could hold it in our yard, but we've had several crazy weird thunderstorms lately, and we were threatened with one on that day. So we moved our festivities to the church.

 Aunt Rachel supplied a pinata. The children relished its smashing. 

A birthday mask Miriam made and gifted to Rebekah. 

 The banana Grandpa Dennis gave her. There was cash hidden inside.

 Rebekah opening her gift from us: a case to hold her four trombone mouthpieces. She found it online; all I had to do was click on "place order."

Children surrounding the birthday present opening. Rebekah received the mouthpiece case and a set of earrings made out of old records (something she had previously picked out at the Fairview craft fair) from us; masks from Miriam and Winnie; a bracelet and headband from Aunt Rachel; cash in a banana from Grandpa Dennis; a Perler bead "R" from Analee; a replica of Voldemort's want and a knot-tying game from Mack and Tav; a Barnes and Noble gift card from Aunt McKall; and part of a trombone from Grandma and Grandpa Scott. (Grandpa found it at the D.I. in Provo and called to ask if Rebekah was interested in it. Seth and I have told her that we will pay for half of the instruments she wants to purchase. Grandma and Grandpa paid for part of it too for her birthday.)

Seth lighting candles on two pieces of angel food cake for Rebekah and Hudson to blow out. The actual cake was a strawberry cheesecake trifle. 

Rebekah is very responsible and very musical. She houses three instruments in her room (a baritone we're renting from a local company, a valve trombone we're renting from the high school and the trombone she got from D.I.) and likes to spend time on a music composing program on the computer.

Seth is 36

One of the perks of Seth's new job is that he gets every other Friday off. We took advantage of his day off on his birthday (June 8), and the family went to Harriman State Park.

Miriam, Analee, Seth, Rebekah and Winnie by Golden Lake. We borrowed Uncle T's Weehoo for Winnie, and we biked around the trails. 

 Rebekah outside the yurt where we ate our picnic lunch.

The birthday boy. 

 Analee eating Twizzlers.

 Miriam at lunch.

 Winnie at lunch.

Poor Miriam crashed her bike on the only section of "moderate" trail we went on. She ended up with a slightly bloody lip and nose, but the real damage was done to her hip area. She must have hit the handlebars on her way down, because she ended up with these lovely bruises just a couple days later.

 These were on her thigh.

This was on her hip.

But the rest of the bike ride was lovely.

Seth and the girls (and their bikes) by Silver Lake. 

Seth napping at Grandma Hendricks' cabin following the bike ride.

That evening, we ate cake in his honor and retired for the night. The next day, we drove into Yellowstone and spent the day there. We drove to the Old Faithful area and pulled out the bikes so we could ride them to Morning Glory Pool while stopping along the way to see the sights.

 Miriam sitting on the boardwalk waiting for Castle Geyser to erupt.

Seth relishing the geyser shower from Castle Geyser. 

Rebekah, Analee, Miriam, Andrea and Winnie at Morning Glory Pool. 

 Seth and Andrea at Morning Glory Pool.

Then we drove from Old Faithful to West Thumb, Fishing Bridge, Canyon Village and back to Madison Junction, stopping at a few of our favorite places along the way.

Skipping rocks at Lake Yellowstone. 

Analee walking around the Mud Volcano area. 

Winnie expressing her dislike of the smell. 

Analee, Rebekah, Winnie, Miriam and Seth checking out Dragon's Mouth. 

Seth keeping tabs on Winnie at Dragon's Mouth. 

Rebekah at the upper falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. 

 Miriam, Winnie, Analee and Rebekah on the rocks by the upper falls viewpoint.

Climbing the stairs from the falls viewpoint back up to the truck.

The next day, Seth left the cabin early to drive to Rexburg and attend church with his grandma while the girls and I put the cabin back in order and came home in time to shower, do hair and get ready for our church.

Memorial Day weekend

Usually we spend the entire Memorial Day weekend in Island Park, but due to circumstances (a funeral in the ward and feeling like we ought to stick around to help in our callings on Sunday), we sent the older two girls up with their cousins on Friday (May 25), and the rest of us joined them Sunday (May 27) afternoon. We spent several hours at Henry's Lake on Monday (May 28) fishing, and although we didn't see a single trout, the kids had loads of fun catching a total of 50 Utah chubs. They're an invasive species, so we felt justified in hauling one after another in on our lines.

 Winnie hefting Kelsey (it's a thing my kids do ... seeing if they can pick up their friends) outside their cabin.

Winnie and her pet worm. 

Miriam and Winnie practicing their casting. 

Seth fishing. 

Analee waiting for a bite. 

 Rebekah with her first catch.

 Analee's first catch.

Winnie showing Ellis her blackened fingernail with Hudson in the background. Winnie had accidentally shut her finger in the door weeks before. 

 Miriam with her first catch.

Rebekah with her third catch. She ended up catching 9. 

Analee with her second catch. She ended up catching 6.

End of school happenings

The whirlwind that is May has come and gone, and we survived the countless end-of-the-school-year activities.

Miriam at the top of the Cress Creek trail on May 21. I got to go with the 2nd grade on their field trip to BYU-I and then Cress Creek. 

Analee sitting on the lawn of the church we stopped at on the 5th grade bike ride on May 22. I got to accompany her on that field trip. We biked from Ucon Elementary to Iona Square.

Rebekah rearranging chairs and stands on the Rocky Mountain Middle School stage during the last concert of the year on May 22. The jazz band (of which she is a part) played "Chameleon," "I Remember Clifford" and "In the Mood." The concert band played the theme songs from "The Avengers" and "The Incredibles."

 Analee preparing her rocket for launch (along with her friends Cheznee, Claire and Josilyn) on May 25.

 Off it goes.

Despite her best efforts, Analee as unable to catch her rocket after either of its launches. It blew behind a fence both times. 

Winnie following her final day of preschool on May 25.  

Winnie with her card and magnetic cars she received at preschool graduation. When she got dressed that morning, she was trying hard to look like a librarian.

 Miriam's photo on display during the Accelerated Reading assembly on May 25. She earned over 200 points this year.

 Analee's photo on display during the Accelerated Reading assembly on May 25. She earned over 700 points this year.

Analee is 11

Because Seth was doing this:

Seth at the dam in Parker, Arizona. He went for work.

on Analee's actual birthday, we held her family birthday dinner the Saturday before (May 19) her birthday.

The weather was spectacular (a few raindrops fell from a puzzlingly sunny sky at the very beginning of dinner), so we had ate our chicken enchiladas outside.

 Analee with her dinner.

Kids gathering around Analee as she gets ready to open her presents.  

Opening her present from us: a clay charm kit. Analee also received a pixel coloring book from us (on her actual birthday) money from Grandma Susan and Grandpa Dennis (hidden in the balloons pictures above); gel pens, a Switch Pitch ball, a coin purse and money from Tav; paint supplies from Aunt Melissa; a Star Wars origami book, a Star Wars doodling book and fabric and a pattern for pajama pants from Grandma and Grandpa Scott. (Analee went over later and spent the day with Grandma sewing the pants on her treadle sewing machine.) She also received a dream catcher key chain and a necklace from Aunt Rachel when we visited them over Memorial Day weekend.

Analee retrieving the goody bag Rebekah hid for her. 

My camera (actually, my dad's camera because I had shipped mine off for repairs) ran out of batteries, so I have fewer pictures of her dinner than usual. Besides what you see, she also blew out the candles on a chocolate tres leches cake.

On her actual birthday, I went to the school and ate lunch with Analee. Then later that evening we had our softball practices and shared treats with her teammates.

Lunchroom selfie.

Analee is a smart and talented kid. She has an insatiable curiosity and loves to create. She often borrows my tablet to look up DIY tutorials on YouTube. And she loves to cuddle her mom.