Dave was out of town the two last full weeks of school.  He had a bunch of meetings in the states one week, then met up with us in California for our friend’s wedding (here), then off to China for a week.
We missed him like crazy, and we tried to document things while he was gone to keep him in the loop…because I’m so horrible at documenting other times…HA!  But really, we sure did want to include him. 
There were funny things I didn’t take pictures of, like one night when we were supposed to be meeting for activity days (which I talked about HERE), Lucy decided to walk to the grocery store with some friends and I was racing around trying to track them down at the same time as I was supposed to be meeting all the other girls to take our little field trip, there were doctor appointments and blood draws and late nights finals cramming….

…and other things I did take pictures of and document (sports wrap-ups, the conference track finals, golden scholar night, last handbell concert, spring sports awards, class t-shirt hoopla).

But here are a few additional things I want to remember too:
We celebrated these three high school graduating cousins:
We were late coming from Claire’s volleyball awards night, but hey, we made it.  And we sure love those boys.
Lucy had a big field trip to BizTown…something all the 5th graders do every year that they prepare for for months before.  I didn’t get to go but luckily my friends sent me some pictures from all the action:

(Lucy came home glowing from that fun event.)

Bo and I paid a visit to the vet to get her license renewed…

…and also to find out she had an ear infection.

Not in my wildest dreams a couple years ago would I have guessed I’d be a lady who puts ear cleaner and ointment in her dog’s ears.

Lucy has been mesmerized by the school talent show every single year. 
I think all my girls have.  All three of my big girls tried out one year and all made it which was kind of a banner year for our family 🙂  (Check out how little they were back then over HERE!)

Yep, that talent show is a kind of a big deal here in these parts.  
Lucy tried out one year with her friend doing a very darling dance (at least in their mothers’ eyes), and they didn’t make it.

Last year she had her heart set on trying out playing a Christmas song on the piano (in May), but through a few complications we missed the try-outs somehow, which was kind of sad in different ways for all of us.

But this year she was determined again.  And tried out with her newest whiz-bang piano song she loves.

And she made it!!

Woo hoo Lucy!

I went to the school-day performance.  That girl has no fear.  She just walked up to that piano, played that song memorized with no mistakes, and sat right back down again.

She remembered the dynamics and everything…no nerves.

Some of her friends did this “blob” dance that she thought was pretty darn cool…and I had to agree:

I was SO happy my dear mother came to town for my brother’s end-of-school party, because of course that good lady of mine jumped right in to help me divide and conquer to be in more than one place at a time to try to cover all those end-of-the-year bases.

Oh boy I love that lady so much!
So do my girls.

She was here the night Claire tried on my 8th grade graduation dress (here), and I love these faces:

It seems like the whole time she was here we were talking ten miles a minute to try to catch up with all the things we’ve been wanting to talk about.

Loved having an extra companion on our school walking:

And it was so great to have her here for Josh’s end-of-the-year celebration he holds here each year for his class and their parents.

Our back yard was packed with good people…and also ducklings that had just hatched in the classroom.

That brother of mine is the best teacher.  I’d say I’m biased, but these huge groups that gather at our house year after year are pretty good validation of my point.  They just gush about him and love him so much.

And it’s so fun to be surrounded by them.

He does an amazing slide show every year that documents everything they’ve done in gorgeous vibrant colors (he’s such a great photographer), and it’s so fun to hear all the kids so incredibly delighted as they watch.

In the midst of that, a guy named Collin Kartchner happened to be in town.  He did a night with another keynote speaker one night that my mom and I attended, then another night for kids and parents.  Here’s Claire with some friends on that second night:

I have lots to say about that in another post, but those smiles are telling 😉
We hosted the end-of-the-year soccer party:

…complete with a big slide show as well.

It seems like I our back porch looked like this a lot of May, with remnants of lots of gatherings:

Meanwhile over in China we got pictures from Dave like this:

There were other good things Dave missed too, like the kitchen sink breaking and spewing water all over, 134 door-slams and huffies from Lucy (and some from me as well), some friend crises, Grace’s new work schedule (more on that soon), late curfews, early crazy mornings, etc., and boy, were we ever happy to get that guy back.

…and hug him right up.  


  1. I would love to hear about how you set up and entertain such large groups. It looks like you would have lots of tips and tricks to share. Pretty please!

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