Thursday, May 12, 2016

Micah's Eagle Scout Project

 Months ago, Micah met with Ian McCracken, director of Building Youth Around the World foundation. He decided to do a food drive for the Navajo Nation. It was a big undertaking, and has required lots of time and effort. But it is paying off! It began with donation boxes being set up at Smiths and three Reams stores.
We've been so impressed with the generous donations from friends, family, neighbors, and strangers.
 Here is Micah inside Smiths, by his donation box.
 What really got the ball rolling was when real estate group Team Kendrick offered to help collect food for 2 hours. They were so great to work with. We really appreciated their enthusiasm. They even went shopping with Micah afterwards to purchase flour, sugar, beans, and ramen. We ended up with so much food!
Bruce Butcher (customer service manager at Smiths) helped orchestrate this for us. He has been terribly gracious in allowing us to have the box up for weeks, posted on social media, and encouraged donations. This is the photo he posted to his facebook page:
  The car was loaded with everything!

 That's one happy boy!
 This has really been a family effort. Everyone has willingly transported food, sorted, and filled boxes. It's been an incredible family service experience.
 Mr. Matthew has been an absolute trooper throughout the whole thing, happily carrying in food and packing boxes. Many times he has helped Chad unload.

 Many helping hands make light work!

 And cheerfully so.

This was after we got everything sorted into categories: various veggies, soups, chili, beans, cereal, pasta, rice, fruit, peanut butter, etc.
 We have spent several Family Home Evening sorting through the food (eliminating expired food, of which there was a lot) and packing boxes.
 After that first Family Home Evening, we were thrilled to see we had 34 boxes filled! It definitely gave us hope that we'd be able to meet the goal of 120 filled boxes.
 The scouts got into helping, too. We had a Cobble Creek Stake week of service in April, when everyone is asked to complete several hours of service. The scouts went around the neighborhood asking for and collecting donations. We did well that night.
 Getting more and more all the time! We started to figure out that we really needed to stuff the boxes as full as possible.
 Micah's kind friend, Sam Binns, wanted to help Micah collect food, so he transformed his birthday party into a food drive. This is the photo his mother, Judy, took for the invitation.
  Kids brought food and Micah had the opportunity to speak to the group about Building Youth and what his project entailed.
 It's been great to see Micah accept the challenge. He's had to speak in front of groups for this several times. Here, at the party, video recorded to be shared during morning announcements at West Hills, in front of a large audience during a band concert, in front of priesthood and relief society, and at Smiths. Plus, he's spoken with store managers, customers, and many others. What an opportunity for growth and development!
  After the talk, there was fun. Colin had some friends there, so he had a great time hanging out with them.
 Everyone helped load up the food so we could take it home to be sorted.

Good Ol' Dad

I hope our children realize how dedicated and hardworking their father is. He spends the day at work then comes straight home to coach Mira or Matthew's practice, or help Micah with math homework or play tennis with Colin or spend time with Ella. This would be a typical day for him. Nearly every weekday he is engaged with out children in some capacity. I dedicate this post to him!
 One evening, he took Micah, Mira, and Matthew to a Jazz game. They had a great time!

 He has told me that some of his favorite activities are hiking, backpacking, and camping (minus the sleeping on the ground part--ha!). For the second time, he has taken Colin and Micah to the southwest desert in Zion National Park for a backpacking trip. They really look forward to this!
 The packs they got for Christmas are being put to good use. They got all packed up to hike in 3+ miles to their reserved location. Chad says the boys take to this adventure like champs!
 Having to negotiate streams, boulders, gullies, etc. makes the journey that much more adventurous!
 They found their spot a lot easier this time. The spring provides water and shade.
 They slept out under just the netting which allowed for breeze and great views.
 They look pretty comfy-cozy to me!
 Looks like Micah got hold of Chad's camera...
 I found dozens of variations of this shot on the camera:
 Their surroundings:
 Thankfully, Mom and Dad had hats they could borrow to protect them from the sun. (They'd forgotten theirs.)
 Campsite number 5 was their home.
 It's a strange, beautiful place.

Oh, the hours of homework Chad has spent helping with at this table.