Here are some “little things” that happened before we left for the summer. I’m so far behind but I want to remember this stuff! While I was gone on one of those crazy trips at the end of the school year Elle had her first church dance (14 and up). My friend sent me this pic. Oh I sure love all those good friends of hers. And I think it’s funny that it’s happening: she’s starting to borrow my shirts. She doesn’t seem to mind that they drown her. The kids all took up some exercise for their summer goals. Dave is trying to teach Grace the joys of running here: I finished my “Mother’s Day card” for my mom like a month after Mother’s Day (after I finally decided to pay Elle to color it for me). It shows everyone in the family and what they’re up to that year, plus what they say that is funny. The idea is to freeze that point in time and it’s been a Mother’s Day gift tradition for years and years since all nine of us kids were still at home (my sisters used to help me…everyone still helps come up with the funny things their family says and does to capture). This is the last year because it’s just getting too hard and complicated to do (too many people in our family! :), but I’m happy we have as many years as we do covered. My cousin came for a surprise visit. He’s a pediatrician and he and his family just moved to Boise if anyone is looking for a good one… Dave and I celebrated anniversary number 17. We had the best date just hanging out. Love him. Old news but couldn’t leave out Claire’s soccer award now that we’re about to start soccer again (I’m bracing myself). This is how Dave gives lessons at Family Home Evening after church on Sundays (it’s not always him, we take turns with the kids every once in a while).He is a good dad. Plus he’s really easy on the eyes:) He’s gonna get mad at me for posting that “action” shot but I love it. Grace’s friends decorated the front door for her birthday:(I think I forgot to put that one back here). After having grand ideas with my friend about doing a “Monthly Service” with our kids, she went ahead and set one up for us. (Love that Claudia:) We went and put together food kits for a place called “Feed My Starving Children.” These kits get sent all over the world to places in need. They showed a really cool video that got the kids (and us moms) so excited about being able to reach out of our little part of the desert. We also got to hang out with these “service friends” a little bit which we don’t get to do too much since they moved into the big city. We adore all these girls. Max and Elle were thrilled that they got to get vaccinations for India: We did a LOT of swimming over the summer.This day in particular was one we spent with our sweet neighbor and her daughter who were moving. To watch my older kids cajole her to jump off that ledge and to see all their smiles made me wish with all my heart we could just keep having more little kids for them to “mother.” They love this little girl so much and we miss them already! Josh always makes swimming more fun. Elle counted down her days to EFY like it was better than Christmas morning.Which I think it almost might have been…more about that later. I have loved watching my brother Josh help my girls with all their technical questions. He is SO ultra patient with all of us teaching us so much. Lucy found some make-up. She also had a summer school class that she liked while it lasted before we took off for some trips. Here’s our kitchen while getting ready to be gone for so long: …and our endless lists of jobs and extra things to get done: And then we were off to make some awesome family memories. …and some awesome shoe choices to get out and stretch at gas stations. Coronado for the 4th of July was the first stop… …and that’s coming tomorrow.