Ok, buckle in because a lot happened in November. I've already written a bunch in other posts, but here are some stragglers.
Some are not actually "little things" like the fact that Max came home for a week. I wrote about how I felt about that back HERE, but didn't get to all the best details of his stay.
What's that you say?
It sure seems like I did because I already said a ton?
Well, you just can't say enough about your boy coming home from college for the first time in my opinion. It was so fun to see how much he's grown. Not so much physically (although he did seem even taller), but emotionally and spiritually and mentally. It was just so great to have him home.
Four of my favorite parts of his visit:
1) When he and his cousin drove into the driveway and he unfolded himself from that little car he'd been driving in for so many hours to give us big hugs. I never got a picture with his "Welcome Home" banner that promptly fell off the garage right after we put it up, but I think he felt welcome anyway:)
2) After we caught up for a little bit we got to go together to pick up Claire (who had been gone to Science Camp for the last couple days). Now, keep in mind that this girl had been counting down the days until her brother got home. We pulled up to the school and Max was so excited to go find her in the sea of kids that he hopped out while I found a spot to park. My friend pulled up behind me in tears because she had just seen their reunion. I guess it was quite joyful.
3) The few dates the two of us went on to get him some supplies and to go out to lunch. I took him on a "date" to serve at BrainFood. I loved sharing that great organization with him and also sharing him with them.
My heart filled up as he shared his thoughts about his upcoming mission and the temple and things he's learned at college.
4) The temple experience which I wrote all about back HERE and which will always hold a pretty solid part of my heart.
Our neighbors knew we'd be missing him again for the next few weeks so they left us a giant surprise substitute in our yard one night:
Oh man we love the Daltons!
In other November news, we took down our Halloween stuff:
We finally got our pool done right at the tail-end of September so we had all the cousins come enjoy it one night at the beginning of November before it got too cold.
Accidental matching hair-dos:
The idea of having their mother teach them didn't last so long...
Soccer season was in full swing:
(a whole soccer wrap-up post is in the works)
Dave and I got to go see our nephew in concert.
A random family dinner Lucy was apparently really happy at. Not sure why I have this picture...
I already posted this picture (back HERE in my post about friends), but I just adore these girls and that they used their dolls to do their Greek/Roman clothing project:
Lucy was pretty proud of her cute Roman girl and did great in her oral presentation at school.
And on reading the Dictionary. Ha! See that up there by her? She likes that thing enough to read it for bedtime stories sometimes.
Lucy is our table setter. She takes her job very seriously and I'm so grateful for her!
Art Masterpiece is rolling again. I got to teach Claire and the rest of her sixth grade class about Marcel Duchamp and the Dada art movement. This is our "nonsense" art:
I posted this picture before too, but man I love these women.
The one second from left went to India before we did and stayed there for a month with her husband and six children. So she gave us a lot of advice for that trip (more about that over HERE). She was also was the one who introduced me to CICFO (the orphanage we visited in Cambodia). Ever since she sent me the bios about those kids my heart yearned to visit them. Luckily we got to do it (back HERE).
But after all that cyberspace interaction I had never actually met her in person so it was so fun that she was in town for a soccer tournament with her daughter and we got to meet up. I could sit and talk to those women all day long for weeks and still have more wisdom to glean from them (the other ones are my neighbor Brynne on the left and my cousin Kara on the right...love them).
I went on a few photoshoots with Elle last month as she got back in the "groove" of family photography. I love this location:
When I go with her I am her "model" when she figures out lighting, etc., so I have a few of these nerdy pics. of myself:)
Every once in a while Dave writes little notes in Lucy's lunches. She's over the moon about that little fact. Here's one I found in her backpack:
Family Home evening art (we love this activity where everyone draws one section without letting anyone else see it and then we unveil the results):
Aside from photoshoots, Elle and I spent some serious quality time together doing college applications.
Getting ready for Max to enter this place...
A few mishaps for Elle...
Claire got to go to Science Camp. Can you tell how she (along with the entire sixth grade) felt about that grand adventure??
Elle got answered for Winter Formal:
I've been pouring over ancestor pictures as I finally got an "ancestor wall" put up in our house.
Another piano lesson...
Lucy and friends were invited to perform at a leadership training meeting at church. We did a few practices at our house leading up to the big day. They were so cute and SO good.
Claire adores her cousins and gets extra excited when she gets to hang with them.
Elle and her friend heading out to pick up their dates for their Winter Formal "day date" (they do a date a couple weeks before the real deal here in the desert).
We finally got our barn doors installed...
Lunch get-away with Dave's sister and her husband while they were staying with us:
Greek/Roman toga day in the third grade:
Thanksgiving hosting prep:
We've had a whole slew of people ask where they can get these shirts we wore...working on getting more made for those who are interested.
We love these family friends who live close-by.
More on Thanksgiving HERE.
I adore my Sunday kitchen helpers:
One more photoshoot prep for Elle...
And Claire and I were both "models" for her to figure out lighting.
One more great desert sunset.
Then it was on to tearing the house apart to figure out how to do Christmas here.
Bring on December.
Oh wait, we're already here! Time is marching quickly these days!