We sent Elle, our eleven-year-old daughter, on a chartered bus to California without us. My heart was jumping out of my skin when I dropped her off at the school to drive through the night to Sea World for two reasons:

1) I couldn’t believe she was leaving for two-and-a-half days by herself, and
2) I wished I could go with her!

oh, and one more…3) I was SOOOO excited for her.
And I must say she was pretty excited herself.

You see, she has been part of the Oceanography Club at school, and boy howdy has she ever worked hard this year. They meet at lunch time on Tuesdays and have had all sorts of projects. The kids who really did their best got to go on the trip to California. I was so proud of Elle for putting in so much work.
I let her take our little camera with her and I was so happy she took so many pictures. She’ll put more on her blog (which I love, by the way. I especially love this post because of what she says about the church we went to).

I LOVE that she took close-up pictures of flowers like I always do on our trips:
I’m so glad she appreciated the beauty around her.

And I’m pretty glad I got to go on the trip vicariously through all her pictures.
She had such a fun time and learned so much.

My brother Josh had a birthday too:
I love Josh.

And so do my kids.

And so do all the neighbor kids.

And so does his class he teaches at his school, and their parents. He is quite a teacher.
And I love that he has taught me SO much about photography…and Lightroom…and Photoshop.
Thanks Joshua…I love you!

On another note, Max and his friends love to ride their bikes and scooters and longboards, etc. to the nearby Subway.
This happened to be a day when I gave in to my girls to take them there for lunch and he and his friends happened to be there too. I love Max’s friends.

Our sweet babysitters came over with their adorable new baby.
I wish we could keep her. So do my girls. This picture makes me drool even though you can’t even see the baby’s face very well. She is SOOOOO darn cute.

And, last but not least, I think we need to have a little refresher course in bed-making skills for Grace and Claire…

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  1. Good for Elle! What a BRAVE girl! My 10 and 8 year olds started blogs probably about 4-6 months ago and love it! Maybe they could read each others blogs! how fuN!
    That's great that she worked so very hard! Has anyone told you that you have some awesome kids?! not that you needed to be told, you know they are awesome! love the pictures she took! and I super love the name Elle! tara




  3. Hello, I was just checking out Joy School and I ended up here! Just wanted to let you know I'm half way through you and your mom's book, and I LOVE it. It is real, sweet, simple, beautiful, and honest. I got it for Christmas from my mom. Just wanted to say thanks! I LOVE you pictures!

    Oh and good luck with your causes. I'd love to support ilovelucy:)

  4. I love that Sea World in San Diego! I love the Elle belongs to that group, how interesting. When we went to Florida two years ago I lived out my dream of swimming with a dolphin. It was amazing. The pictures of the flowers are really beautiful.

  5. Those trips like your Elle took, and summer camps, are memories that last for a lifetime! So glad she got to go.

    You must live real close to a populated area since the boys get to ride their bikes….Isn't that nice??!!!

    Love your pictures and the love you have for your family!

  6. Even as an adult, I find that beds are much easier to make when both sides of the bed are accessible. Would there be any reasonable way to arrange the room so both beds aren't smack up against the wall?

  7. I wish! Our rooms are so darn tiny we can barely fit two beds in there. But we did have a good little lesson yesterday and I think slowly but surely they'll be bed-making experts.

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