In May there were a couple days cool enough to squeeze in a few hikes.

I love my desert!

And also those good hiking friends.

We had our much-discussed and awaited-for social media book club discussion:
(which I talked about HERE and HERE)
The schools closed up shop for the teacher strike at the end of April and into May.  We really enjoyed having that time off, I have to say, but we were glad when this letter came because we were starting to get a little nervous they were going to have to tack on extra days after school was supposed to release us into the summer if it went any longer.

 …and that wouldn’t have been good.

I think those days off sure recruited a bunch of kids (Claire included) to “shadow” kids at a nearby charter school.

She had such a fun day at “school away from school.”

For our first gig being Activity Days leaders, my partner leader and I loaded up these cute girls and took them to the temple to take pictures for their moms for Mother’s Day.

(All about my new Activity Days calling over HERE.)

Lots of mission calls come in toward the end of the year.  This is one Grace took a video for.  Such a great kid who’s going to do great things out there!

 Lucy’s self-portrait:

 Flashback to last month’s “Y” hike that happens to be in my May pics…

Early piano recital for Nana and Papa who couldn’t come to the real-deal the next week:

 This is where Bo likes to be while Lucy takes showers:

Max came to town for his friend’s wedding.

Yes, he has a friend who just got married!

How crazy is that?

I wrote about it all back HERE, but here’s an extra picture I found of the reception:

Let’s get a better close-up of those good boys:

There we go.

Lucy and Claire had a piano recital (also in THIS POST)…

…and I had an bitter/sweet experience with Lucy supporting her friends’ dance performance (also back in that post).

Oh, and our college girl arrived safe and sound in JERUSALEM.

Gosh, I need to do a post of just her pictures some time, because they are beautiful and also so nostalgic for me!  That place has part of my heart, and now I think it’s safe to say it’s got Elle’s heart too.

These people too:

She’s learning so much.
One of my favorite things she’s told me is her first time at the Western Wall.  It was sunset and the way she described it just made me well up with gratitude that she is there.  And that I got to be there too.

Yep, I’ll post more of those soon.

New summer flowers in our pots:

And “melted” Claire after hours running track after school each day…one day she came right home and just jumped in the pool with all her clothes on.

Grace started working at Old Navy, which has been a pretty great and also boring experience for her.   All about that back HERE.

We had our second cul-de-sac “Bike Night” to try to get to know a bunch of new families who keep moving in:

Speaking of the cul-de-sac, our neighbors are pretty inspiring.  They home-school and work hard.  They play hard too.  But they are up at 5:30 every morning and most of them practice piano for at least two hours every day.

Now, I do exaggerate from time to time, but that is the real-deal.  They are dedicated.

Every time before they do a recital they have to play their recital pieces for at least five people (or is it ten?  I’m not sure).  We always get lucky enough to get a performance over here.  Here they are one night performing for us.

I should have recorded, because they are pretty impressive.

They often make me wonder if I’m pushing my kids enough…wow.

Lucy had an eye appointment.

Her eyes change a lot.

It was Golden Scholar night at the elementary and junior high:

(all about that back HERE)

…and the conference track meet:

 (all about that back HERE)

Lucy had her weekly “mobility training” with this awesome helper:

She’s been helping her navigate with her cane, walking to and understanding intersections and how to navigate through life with low vision.

(That was a day when Lucy had an itchy arm and figured it would feel better in her shirt πŸ™‚

Late-night birthday delivery:

Near the end of the school year around Mother’s Day they always hold a “Muffins with Moms” morning at the elementary school.  It was particularly packed this year!

We went on a date to California that included Grace.  We got to be there for our friends’ daughter’s wedding.  It was beautiful and I apparently loved the treats at the reception:)

(pictures of that wedding weekend are back HERE)

Claire played a bunch of volleyball and wrapped up her first club volleyball season (more about that back HERE).  Here’s an outtake of a little video clip to remember how the assistant coach always made them jump for high-fives:

Then it was Mother’s Day…Grace and I arrived back from California that morning as Dave had to head to China, and these girls spoiled me back at home.

Bo Jangles wanted to be in the pictures too πŸ™‚

There we go:

We went on our traditional Mother’s Day hike that evening just as the “hot” was fading to “super warm” πŸ™‚

Lots more about Mother’s Day back HERE.

Also, I posted a funny note from Lucy back HERE in my “perceptions vs. reality” post, but here’s another she gave me on the big day:

I sure like that girl.

I got to reconnect with these “Golden” friends from my “golden” mother years (with little kids):

We celebrated cousins graduating:

(back HERE)
Bo is still sometimes trouble:
She tucks her tail in and hides when she knows she’s done something naughty.

We wrapped up our year experimentation with Claire homeschooling English.

This is an out-take of the video of her reciting all she memorized from “The Living Christ” which was pretty impressive:

(yes, kind of awesome that we got to memorize a religious thing for English, I love that we can set our own parameters in home-schooling, and I LOVE anything we can memorize like that!:)

We wrapped up Lucy’s handbell year with a couple last concerts:

Man I will miss seeing her concentrate up on that stage!

Click back to THIS POST to see some videos of that “handbell glory”:)

 Lunch date with my high schooler:

Activity Days spa night:

Claire donned my 8th grade graduation dress just for fun…because that’s what you should do if you still have that thing in your closet and you are graduating from 8th grade yourself…

(back HERE)
My mom came to town too:

…and as long as we were comparing my old pictures to my girls…here are me and Grace in our Junior years:

Wow, poofy hair πŸ˜‰

Getting in depth about the effects of social media learning with Collin Kartchner and his wife:

(lots more about that, as well as our “social media family pact” over HERE)

Got to FaceTime with our Jerusalem-girl:

 Soccer party wrap-up party back HERE…this is the slide-show:

(Our pool was well-used in May!)

Another good friends’ daughter got married:

Grace and her friends got a flat tire on the way to the lake.  These nice guys stopped to help them:

(that’s a screenshot from Grace…still not really sure what “the goats” means, but in this instance I’m pretty sure it can be translated as “the sweetie-pies” in old-lady language)

Came across this scripture doing my studies one morning.  Not sure why I screen-shotted it, but it’s a good one:


(more on my “study of light” for a couple nights back HERE)

Another lunch date with this girl…we met up there…

Dinner table half-set shared with medical bills and wedding announcements…lots to work on these days!

(and phones…)

We joined Dave on his Ironman training one night.  We were missing him…May was one heck of a continual workout/out of town/working so hard month for him.  So we worked alongside him for Family Home Evening doing our “deck of cards” workout:

A lot happened while that guy was gone/otherwise occupied.  More on all those happenings HERE.

So it felt extra great to sneak away one more morning while he was in town to do a little boating with these guys before the last school bell released our kids:

 Tandem bike with Claire and Bo:

 (Bo is getting really good at following right along with her leash.)

My brother Josh had his annual parent/student school party at our house (back HERE), and one of the parents brought me these gorgeous flowers:

How nice is that??

We got to do these t-shirts with Lucy’s class:

 (more about them back HERE)

Kindness.  This sweet friend brought over a treat for Lucy since she had sent out a text to have some friends come over (including her little sister) and none of them could make it:

We are surrounded by so much kindness with that Lucy, she is one lucky girl.

And then, just like that, it was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

(lots all about that and the different groups of kids all these girls had over back HERE)

I’m reading Essentialism right now.  It is good.

 Lots more to say about it HERE, but man alive, it’s just so much what I need to learn!

Claire is trying to sell some old electronics for her “summer job.”  We thought this one was kind of funny:

That’s a LONG time before we can “try again!”

I found this that seems like some great ideas for summer:

 We helped my sister-in-law clean and move:

Went on a lunch date with Claire:

Working on a project came across these pictures that made me a little nostalgic:

Summer fun:

We went and saw the Avengers movie on Memorial Day.  We all hated it, but it was good to be together (Lucy wouldn’t get in the pic…she is behind me, but she was there!)

 Notice Grace’s pink hair…

Yeah, she and her friends decided it would be fun to do that quick wash-out experiment on the last day of school.

When it washed out too quick, she did it again.  Oh man.

Luckily it washed out enough for a little modeling shoot she did one morning…

(she was doing some modeling for this company called Desert Crew Clothing…check it out HERE)

This is a representation of graduation cards we sent out.  Oh boy howdy, those puppies take a long time!

Grace started an online COLLEGE CLASS!  Yep, she’s getting some Econ college credit and it’s kind of exciting actually.

It was a wild fiasco getting signed up…way too many details to get into, but we’re both pretty glad because she’s learning a ton.


The month wrapped up with Claire heading out to Girls’ Camp:

(So weird I wasn’t involved with that this year after a lot of years going…)

My friend sent me some pictures.
I know I’m biased but I think it would be pretty fun to hang out with that girl at camp:

 Love her.

And while she was gone, Lucy stayed with Dave’s parents (thank you, Nana & Papa!), Grace worked hard at work, and Dave and I took off from this:

 to this:

 …to meet head-on with the Ironman that awaited:

(with those two good guys and their wives)

More coming about that adventure!

Similar Posts


  1. How fun!!! I love these posts!!
    So the book you are reading now by Greg Mckeown is awesome.. I actually grew up with him in adjoining wards in England!! His brother is my β€˜ home ward’ bishop where all my family resides!! It’s a small world!!!

  2. My friend once mentioned she was "bored". Her father gave her an old toothbrush, a bottle of soft scrub and directed her to the patio furniture. Our kids knew that they would get chores πŸ™‚

    Bo is looking cuter than ever and I recognize that face when naughty. We have a red mini doodle.

  3. I'm just checking your post while waiting for dinner to cook…so glad to hear you are reading Essentialism! That book has had a big impact on our lives. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on it. I really appreciated McKeown's 3 questions you can ask yourself to hone in on your own life's mission (no spoilers…don't worry), and have shared them several times with friends. That was always something I struggled with understanding, but I feel much more focused about it now.

    I'm doing activity days now too! Only we have a mixed group so spa days probably won't fly…but I may steal some of your ideas!

  4. Essentialism is fantastic! ps- please don't be inspired by pushing your kids to achieve more of such things. 2 hours every morning of piano sounds absurd. Unless it's their choice of course! Speaking in love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *