Note: this is not proof-read…hope it makes sense!
On the first of June we packed up and headed up to Girls’ Camp.

Lots more on what we did up there back HERE.

The last day of Girls’ camp was Max’s birthday.

I thought about him all day up there with a big smile on my face.

We came home and celebrated his birthday with a card game and some cookies with candles:

These are Lucy’s “notes” during sacrament meeting the Sunday after we got back from camp:

Dave had to travel to China for work.  He was gone the first time we put our dining table to use for Sunday dinner so we had to document:

Lucy still loves to make the table all fancy with her little place-tag-notes:

Lucy took the coolest art classes from a lady a neighborhood away from us.

This particular unit was on Japan.  She came home so proud of her projects.

I think these flowers on our back porch are so beautiful.

Claire did a volleyball camp and learned a ton.
These girls and I went on a little shopping date.  I hate shopping but something about that day and the errands we ran together made it beautiful to me.  Maybe because I rarely get them all like that, together, with me, all at the same time these days.
Sometimes I take the “regular” so for granted.  
It’s a rare thing when I can get Lucy to run any errands with me, let alone with the whole gang to a mall (heck, it’s a rare thing when I will go to a mall myself), but I love that we were able to sweet-talk her into this date.  
She was smart enough to bring her book though, and looked like this most of the time:

Elle did NOT want to take this drawing class for her major (she’s doing graphic design).  She was so worried about it because she figured she was an awful artist…until she actually tried it!

Once she actually tried and put her heart into it she found that she actually loves it!  And wants to take another drawing class.

So many things are like that in life, don’t you think?  We are so scared of the unknown and it takes a leap of faith to take the plunge and just do it, but man oh man do we ever learn a lot from just getting in the arena!

This is the quote we were trying to memorize over the summer.

I say “trying” because I had big plans for this summer.  Oh we were going to do a lot of things.  And that is a simple quote, right?  I think some of the kids did memorize it, but I’ll be honest, we didn’t do a fraction of what I had planned structure-wise this summer.  I had a big plan to have a “morning meeting” every day and get so much accomplished, and all those thoughts fell flat.

Sure, we did a lot of other stuff, but I always figure I can do way more than I really can.

So did Lucy:

At least she specified “almost” every day on that math dealio:)  And be nice to teachers?  I mean, now that’s a goal 🙂
Maybe we need to work a tad on goal setting too.  Dad, can you please come for a little training session?

We are regular dog-walkers around here these days.

Even in 115 degree weather here in the desert.

And Bo is in LOVE with those walks.

She wags her whole entire body when you mention “walk” and she prances over to the door with all the enthusiasm she can muster up.

Mother’s Day and end-of-school awards still lingering on the fridge:

Desert sunsets have my heart:

I tried a list of “summer money jobs” so the kids could earn a few extra bucks for the stuff coming up during the summer.  Claire chose to plant the flowers in front but it was so dang hot all day long and by the time we got around to doing that little chore it was dark.

So we used my cell phone flashlight and attached it to the trash can and got to work, that warm air from the pavement penetrating through our bodies as we worked and talked, just me and my sparkly girl.

There’s something about one-on-one work with kids that has the ability to make a task float.

At least sometimes , but this night was one of those times.  

Dave was still in China, so we put on our pajamas later on, did face masks and pedicures while we caught up on This is Us.  Loved snuggling up with those girls of mine watching that show that makes you think about things on so many different levels.  I talked about those last few episodes and how it made me think more about my marriage back HERE.

The only picture we got was this one Grace took …my facemask doesn’t show much but it was there!

Last day of volleyball camp below.  This picture is taken from the closet where they keep the first aid kit because Claire touched a cactus on the way and had a hand filled with little cactus prickles.

Yep, that’s what happens when you live in the desert.

We didn’t find any tweezers by the way, but we plucked those suckers out as best we could and she got to work.

I want Claire to experience volleyball so much, and she does too.  She loved this camp but by this age everyone around here has been playing club volleyball for years.  For reals, that’s no joke.  So I don’t know if it’s too late to get her going…still trying to figure that out.

Although Lucy’s summer goals seemed quite broad in those pictures above, she has been diligent as ever on those things.  Instead of trying to get away with not doing checklists like everyone else, she reminded me of each thing she had to do very conscientiously and meticulously.

And I love that so much.

I mean, just the meticulous work of making a “book” for her checklist was an undertaking in and of itself!

She was really into making up her own math problems in June.

We had the Young Women over here to finish up some paint projects from camp.

Then the next morning, these girls followed me like little ducks in a row to take off for Utah to get reunited with that big sister of theirs…and their Dad too, who met us in Utah directly from China.

Oh happy day!

The friends who came on that flight with her:

Yeah, they all got a little crazy with the wash-out-able hair colors after that last day of school.

We had such a great time for a week in Utah.

All about getting Elle back, my nieces missionary farewell and Lagoon HERE.

All about hiking and soccer camp and soaking up downtown Salt Lake City over HERE.

And all about our visit to the Salt Flats over HERE.

Lucy was so sad to say goodbye to her Grammie and Grandfather.


Which kills me and which I have much more to say about soon…they are doing so great but make me miss Max more than ever!

Bo got surgery one day in June (she got spayed).

Check out those eyelashes will you??

The girls made an instagram account for her back when we got her and they got me laughing with this post:

The next day Elle got her wisdom teeth out:
(I talked about that stuff back HERE, but this picture makes me laugh with those hands holding them up…they were so goofy coming out of anesthesia!) 
And the day after that, Lucy had her long-awaited MRI’s I’ve been stressed about forever.
So good to knock out all that medical stuff but it was a crazy few days around here.
Lots of cousin time in June:

…and lots of slime too.

Lots of cousins happened to be around when Elle got her wisdom teeth out.

Fun times.

And one cousin is a master at hair-dos.

This one on the left below:

I need to hire her when these girls start to go to dances for crying out loud, she is amazing!

We did a sweet-sixteen-surprise party for Grace:

…all the details about that are back HERE.

Dave and I took a quick anniversary trip to California:

Twenty-two years, baby.

Among other things we rode bikes from Newport to Huntington.

To me it was glorious, right down my alley.  To Dave he would have rather been doing 47 other things, but he came with me because he loves me.  And has been doing stuff like that for 22 years.  And oh how I love adore him for that and all the things he does (and puts up with) from me.

I’m the luckiest.

We sent this pic. to the girls back home to make them jealous 🙂

(That Banzai place was our favorite in Hawaii…right down the road from BYU-Hawaii and they have one in Newport too.)

Meanwhile Claire got to go to the lake with some friends.

It’s weird that we live in a day and age when even if you’re not there, your childrens’ life gets documented.

I think I have maybe 5 pictures from my life during this age.

I think Claire has 794.

Isn’t that kind of interesting to think about?

It was fun to get Elle back to the desert with us.  Man oh man we love having that girl around.  The house has filled up with her friends who are home (which isn’t many, but still feels so much more full around here).

Her favorite store is “Savers,” so she and Grace took a little trip there and came back with some gems.

They cut off t-shirts and dresses to style them how they wanted.

They crack me up.

Loved having some family game nights in June:

Elle had been so excited to come home and read Harry Potter.  She read book six in a couple days.

We got word back from the MRI that there aren’t any other internal problems going on in Lucy’s back, just a really curved spine.

…and a shaky eye.  That probably will never get better.

But at least it isn’t due to something not connecting correctly in her brain.

Lots to go forward and figure out on the health front now that we’re back to real life.

Claire had her first tournament with her new soccer team.  It was so dang hot, but such a great night.

I think she’s really going to like this new team.  (more about her new soccer team HERE).

Birthday pictures for Grace:

Celebrating with cousins here:

Then the real-deal birthday:

More about that back HERE.

The day after that we sent her off to China.

And she had the best five weeks ever.

Still waiting on her post about that, but I wrote a little back HERE.

I took this picture only to document one of about three times I did Lucy’s hair in June…right as she was taking it out to swim.

Yeah it was one of those Junes.

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  1. Just curious, do you take Bo out early in the morning etc rather than at midday? It's just that that is the hottest part of the day & can be really hard on dogs in the heat.

    Also, the pavements can hurt a dog's paws.

    Hope you don't mind me saying all this. x

    I love these monthly updates & all the posts actually. Thank you for them.

  2. Your family adventures are so fun to read about! (yes Julie has a good point I usually put the back of my hand on the ground to see if it is too hot for my dog's feet.)

    Cue the comments of people shocked and horrified by the subject matter in those beautifully done sketches in 3,,,2,,,1,,, 🙂 What a gift to be able to sketch like that! I often think you have to be in that space of pure "flow"… where you are accessing pure creativity to bring something to the world in a creative manner. It is like we are the "gate way" and "access point". All so wonderfully fascinating.

  3. All I can think about looking at that nighttime gardening is, "Ahhhh! Scorpions!!". Obviously I haven't gotten out after dark yet. 🙂 We find a couple in the yard every other night or so, so I'm inside once the sun comes down. I should probably get over that fear soon!

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