Sun has set on September long, long ago, but here I am to document what happened that crazy month.
(Claire took that above pic. at one of her soccer practices…or maybe it was game warm-up?  But I love how she caught that gorgeous big sky with the silhouettes of the players all tiny at the bottom.  Go Claire!) 
I love this watch of Lucy’s.  This is her one morning when she decided to call her grandparents.  

I love that she can call them, but also that when she does, they cause her to make that face 🙂

September was a month of doing a lot of research on technology and what it’s doing to our kids…and our society.

My thoughts (and great comments from readers) over HERE.  I’ve got another draft ready to go soon on what we’re doing lately about that little dilemma over here.

We escaped the heat over a weekend and took six little girls to California.

(I slipped in a little post about that back HERE.)

I loved my friend’s thoughts on the eclipse:

Dave worked pretty hard on a surprise little anniversary get-away for us to celebrate our 20th anniversary (two and a half years late).

But weather reports like this re-routed our plans:

We still got away and oh man, I am so incredibly grateful for this guy right here:

That we got to hang together, just the two of us.

And see beauty like this:

…and also visit beauty like this: 

Ha!  I love that brother of mine and that we got to drop in and surprise him.

While we were gone, my in-laws stayed with the kids part of the time.  It just so happened that it was Grandparent’s Day at the school and Lucy counted down the days to that exciting event.  I was so happy when I got this picture of her in all her glory with those two wonders:

I like to screen shot stuff like this so that I can do workouts away from my regular when I need to…

Grace had a ton of stuff going on in student council during September.  Every once in a while she would send me pics. like this clean-up work they “got” to do:)

She loves student council so so much, the work and the play alike, such great kids in there!  And good leaders too.

Despite this larger print Lucy’s piano teacher has started to write out for her (as well as some enlarging her Braille teacher has supplemented whenever we ask…I love her!) she still stands up to play most of the time.

She loves piano and has been working toward being able to play the prelude in Primary at church.

There is something so spectacular to me about seeing a tub of this beauty at the grocery store.  I adore Fall!

Not sure why on this one, but I love it…

…and this one too…especially that these cool juniors are including Claire in whatever they’re doing, see her peeking out in the back?

Grace and I got to have a little pedicure date to get ready for Homecoming…her first big dance.

As you can see, she wasn’t too disappointed about that 🙂

I love this pic.:

Those two had so much fun.

(More pictures from that dance back HERE.)

Slime and play-doh stations…we are still going strong on slime over here.

Claire is also pretty into this stuff:

We had my in-laws over for dinner:

So grateful for these two sparkly-eyed individuals who are so full of love and goodness.

They left to go serve in Africa again in October…they’ll be gone for six months so we wanted to hug them up as much as we could before they left.

I always love these little thoughts:

(Good technology)

Back to Claire and her shenanigans:

Women’s conference with my girls:

(I wrote all about my thoughts on that back HERE…it was SO amazingly good to me.)

I’ve been so affected by this thought lately:

(wrote all about that back HERE)

The youth in our church congregation learned a new song to sing to make a new tradition when missionaries leave to head out into the big, wide world.  You can’t see it very well from this pic, but that stage is flooded with youth.

So grateful for them.

Speaking of being “flooded,” we are flooded with goodness here with so many good family members who live close by.  Not only do many of Dave’s nine siblings live close, he has some cousins who live close too.  And we LOVE to get together with them when we can.

One of those cousins who doesn’t live here came for a visit and we all got together one Sunday night:

(That’s just the girl portion…)
Max continues to be loving his mission…and we never cease to get so excited on Sunday nights when his emails come in.

I know I mention this all the time, but Lucy is surrounded on every side by so much goodness.  I had to record some of the dancing going on when I went to pick her up from a party a while back:

What goodness abounds among those kind older girls!  I love them!

We learned to make caramel apples for a church activity…and they were pretty dang delicious.

Speaking of church, our group was in charge of the combined activity in September so we put on a “manners night.”

We served dinner…

…and had this awesome couple come talk to them about all aspects of good manners, from dating to technology use to family awareness…good stuff.

This couple had a little “Family Feud” game to help teach in a great way (see up on that screen below?)  They put in a lot of work and it paid off because the kids loved it.

The “activity day” girls came to help serve (these girls up to age twelve get together twice a month for activities and were pretty sparkly-eyed about being asked to help serve the “big” kids):

Here’s our “manners guru” couple:

Went to celebrate my friend Claudia’s birthday…love her and wish she still lived closer dang it!

Went to the high-school-where-Dave-grew-up’s homecoming game to watch one nephew in the Homecoming royalty, another in the marching band, and a niece as a cheerleader:

(All of his siblings who live locally here are in the boundaries for that high school.)

Whenever I see one of these, Grace very much appreciates if I send her a picture 🙂

She loves those things.

Lucy had a pre-birthday birthday party.

All about that party back HERE.
Lots of soccer in September:
Handbells too:
(I go in to help as much as I can so I get to witness their beautiful music a lot…and it makes me so grateful Lucy gets to do that great thing because of the help of her Braille teacher I told about back HERE.)
Dave won tickets to a baseball game at some work thing.  He had to be out of town for the big day but we got to go with a bunch of cousins so that was fun.

The game itself was kind of a boring one, but to watch these cousins together was better than any game in my opinion.  So grateful they have each other.

Grace is good at getting Bo to pose:
We had Evening in Excellence.  That’s a night where all the young women display the “value” things they’ve been working on for the year and they talk about the Personal Progress program (here).

It’s appropriate that I screen shotted this quote in conjunction because I love how those experiences help youth get out of their comfort zone into the “growth zone.”

I think my family and I are a little crazy when it comes to trying to be in the “growth zone” sometimes…more about my thoughts about that at some point…

I got to go meet some friends in California for a girls’ trip.

We’ve been through lots of parenting ups and downs, celebrations and worries with each other through the years and it was so great to get one night with them (I came late because Dave was in China and we had church stuff and life was crazy).  But even one night was pretty great.

We laughed until our guts hurt:

 Took walks through foggy beach beauty:

And since we had the place through the weekend, the moms left and these girls took their spots:

We took a long bike ride from Newport to Huntington Beach.  I kind of didn’t mention that it was almost 15 miles round trip from where we were, but in the end the trick was on me because boy howdy, I underestimated how tough that would be on a tandem with Lucy as my passenger.  
But we all made it on that foggy afternoon, and went to the Sugar Shack for brunch under skies trying to get ready for an air show.
We tried to get our fourth girl to “be there” with us, but couldn’t reach her, dang it!

Then we rode on back to where we were staying…Claire documenting on her bike from behind:

And met up with DAVE at the grocery store who had flown directly there from China to meet up with us for Conference and Lucy’s birthday weekend.

Oh man it was a joyful reunion in that grocery isle next to the cereal and pancake mixes.  We missed that guy!

We were joyful to have another bike basket to load up with groceries too:)

It was a great weekend…I love this video of Claire and Lucy heading to the Fun Zone by themselves to ride the ferris wheel with their own hard-earned money Claire holding:

We did a little paddle boarding…

…took bday pictures of this soon-to-be-11 girl of ours:

Enjoyed the good weather:

Did a little girl/mother photography learning.

…and soaked in the sunset.
Followed by a pizza picnic on the beach (which included a homeless man as our companion who was pretty excited to get some pizza), and some ice cream en route back home:
…Oh, and chest pump shenanigans that night…

…which ended up with a lot of laughing and smartly figuring out that pillows would help in that activity 🙂

Then it was off to celebrate Lucy’s birthday and bask in conference the next day…October 1st…which I wrote about back HERE.

September, you were good to us.

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  1. "Oh yes. Limit the demon technology before it ruins our deliberate parenting…"….spoken as Lucy calls her grandparents on her I-WATCH…. seriously??

    1. If you read her connected post, Shawni talks about balance and using it for good and avoiding it for bad our as a time waster. I think talking to grandparents would be in the wonderful use of technology section!

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