We’ve been very busy lately. Mine and Jen’s church responsibilities seem to keep us both busy. I’ve had a pretty busy summer as the Venture Scout Leader in my church ward. We’re preparing to go to the Teton High Adventure Base in Hoback, WY (July 27 – 29). While there for three days, we’ll do a white water rafting trip down the Snake, a canoe trip down the Snake, a hike from Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls (in Grand Teton NP), and the upper and lower COPES courses. It should be lots of fun. Last Saturday I took a few Scouts on a canoe practice trip and endured swimming in the Jordan River — about as desirable as licking a dog.
At home, Jen and I have been working on completing the railing on the deck we “finished” last summer. We were going to re-use our metal railing but couldn’t get anyone to do it in a timely fashion or within a sensible budget. So I bought lumber and did it myself. I will say this: I can’t stand making this railing. By the time I’m done, I’ll just about go through an entire 5 lb. box of outdoor screws, I’ll make about 250 cuts with a mitre saw, stain ~100 balusters, and think curse words many times over. I’m not thoroughly enjoying this process because I don’t really know what I’m doing and there are plenty of places on both the deck and railing where a trained eye would look at and say, “Wow, what an amateur.” I’m keeping my day job. Oh, and Karen and Brian — the actual railing lumber fit in my van. It’s not cool, but I was able to put 4 2x6x12 boards in my van.
My sister Gillian is getting married in a week and a half and it will be a bit momentous: all 11 kids in my family and my parents will be together in the same place at the same time. Because of LDS church missions, budgets, and overseas living arrangements, we haven’t been able to do this for many years. While all immediate Clarks will be there, we will be missing 5 spouses, so it won’t be a complete look at the entire Clark Family. Jen’s busy helping with wedding plans and volunteered to make 400 cupcake bites. They are delicious but very labor intensive.
We had a sick house last week and it was quite tiring (more so for Jen, of course). We came home from church a week ago and within 5 minutes of walking in the door, Leah threw up. Then within 10 more minutes, Lauren threw up. This repeated for the next 12 – 16 hours or so. Tuesday found Jen doing the same thing. I took a day off work to “babysit” the kids so Jen could pretend she was pregnant and going through morning sickness.
Finally, the girls started swim lessons. I am very excited about this. In my participation with the Scouts, I’ve seen certain boys who can’t swim at all or very well and it really presents some challenges for us and the boys. There are activities they won’t participate in because they are afraid of the water or the embarrassment they feel when others realize they can’t swim. So I’m very glad my girls are learning to swim. It’s a very important life skill. They loved it today, or so I’m told by my sweet wife.