Ok let's talk about beauty one more time.
Those cute girls up there AND their surroundings.
Did I mention I love the desert? Don't ask me about that again in August, because my love affair with it ends by then...or certainly by October when it's still over 100 degrees. Oh, and don't ask me in the midst of the allergies those dang trees cause or the valley fever filling my lungs with spores (ha!), but for now, I adore it.HERE, but alas, life got too crazy and it ended up being just me and Maureen...and my girls ;).
And I shouldn't say "alas" because it was SO great to get that girl one-on-one and really catch up.
Maureen appreciates nature like we do (in fact, she sells the most amazing greeting cards with her photography on them that I adore...I'll have to see if she has a website I can add in here to share).
So it made sense to go enjoy the golden light with her at the Riparian close-by while she was here.
Maureen and I went antique shopping and found one of my most favorite things...an antique yoke. It deserves a whole post on itself so I'll save that for later.
Our salads at one of our favorite places we ate with all the girls last time they came deserve their own post too (they are SO good) but I'll post it here for time's sake:)
(That salad is from a place called Hillstone and it is called the "thai steak salad." If you ever get a chance you should try it. You will not be disappointed.)
Maureen's visit overlapped with my parents who came to watch a couple of Max and Elle's games.
I talked about how they saved my bacon back HERE. Oh boy I love them.
Did I already mention they whisked the kids off to see Cinderella one night?
"Have courage and be kind. When there is kindness, there is goodness. Where there is goodness, there is magic."
What a wonderful message and I want my girls to always remember.
Right after they left Dave's sister and her six kids came to stay with us. I wrote more about their visit back HERE, but here's the end of it after Dave got home:
...and at Max's game too.
So grateful for these good-as-gold and kind-to-the-heart teenage cousins.
Sometimes Dave and I look at each other, our eyes shining when we go to bed at night and look around at our house that the kids have actually taken care of. Some weeks they're just ON on those jobs and zones (talked about back HERE and HERE) and we look at each other in wonder. Some weeks one of them even decides to go the extra mile with her checkmarks:
Am I alone in that?
Parenting is a giant roller coaster I tell you.
The elementary school did class pictures and I know I'm biased but I can hardly stand how much I love those two smiley girls in the front of each.
I'm holding on to my last two elementary school kids like nobody's business. Only one more year with them both there. So weird to think that all four of my girls were there once.
Some of Lucy's latest:
We are at various tennis courts and volleyball courts in the valley what seems like non-stop these days watching these two.
It is nutty/crazy and there are a lot of logistics involved getting the other girls where they need to be if they can't be there, but we trying to balance it all and soak it in as much as we can.
I wrote this on Instagram, but having these two fourteen months apart was the best surprise we've ever had. I questioned that a bunch when they were both babies needing such different things and I didn't sleep night after night with all their crazy antics, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I love all the great athletes they get to work with too.
This is how Lucy spends her time at the tennis matches when we drag her there kicking and screaming (not really, but kind of sometimes!)
Sometimes we have "google hangouts" (aka "extended family home evening nights") on the computer. My girls obviously thought this one was pretty funny.
Lucy is blessed with some really, really cute friends. One day I found this when they were in their make-believe world:
Lucy adores her Legos and when she's not playing with friends (and sometimes with them), she's building all sorts of things which she stores in her little dollhouse.
I was worried at first that she wouldn't be able to see those teeny things very well, and that her fine motor skills wouldn't be able to handle them, but she has learned to use them no problem (thanks specifically to one particular friend who is really good at Legos...thanks Emma!)
Speaking of Lucy, she had a long-awaited 2nd-grade performance at school on healthy living. She put her Chinese sports day uniform to use and was over-the-moon excited about this (talked all our ears off about it for a month before the big day).
So I went to the performance for the other kids at school during the day AND the second performance for the parents that night. She cracked us all up because for as excited as she was about the big event, she sure didn't show it up there!:
There's the smile.
Some other supporters who came to watch that night:
One of the kids' friends (and mine too...we've known her for years), got baptized. After years and years of going to church her mom finally gave her permission. We were so excited for her and loved sharing that special day.
In other March news, we had spring break (more about that back HERE...still awaiting Grace's whiz-bang awesome post she's going to write up about Hawaii for me...).
And Max's friends started getting their mission calls. Makes my heart jump to even think about that! I need to write a lot more about that and what Max's plans are soon.
This is just a random picture I took when I lingered after family scriptures one morning, the girls were eating breakfast and all seemed right in the world...