Westward Bound!

We left Iowa on Monday after the wedding, but not alone!  It was such a fun treat to leave with my brother Eric and his family!  Carrie’s folks live in Colorado Springs, so they were willing to time a trip out to see them with out westward travels.  Since we all live so far apart, it is rare that we hang out with just one family or only part of our cousins as we usually all gather at the same time so we can all be there, which made this a neat opportunity.  We swapped kids and adults throughout the trip, which really helped make the long drive through Nebraska go fairly quick.  We stopped at a hotel about halfway so the kids could swim and enjoy that time together as well.  We arrived in Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon to an amazing thunderstorm!  I’m sure the Anderson’s were very entertained to be in the car with Californians who rarely see rain, much less a huge thunderstorm!  We then spent all of Wednesday together doing some tourist stuff in the Springs before we had to finally part ways.  They stayed there, while we continued our journey.  Here are some photos from those days and beyond.

These photos are from Garden of the God (or as Carrie’s family calls it, God’s Garden!):  DSC00756DSC00754 Kissing Camel rocks

DSC00762  DSC00764 DSC00772 DSC00777 DSC00780 DSC00782 DSC00783A view of Pikes Peak in the distance

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We all met up with Carrie’s parents at a fun pizza place called Fargo’s.  The kids loved the player piano after lunch!DSC00810 DSC00814

Then it was off to the Focus on the Family headquarters.  They have a pretty big Adventures in Odyssey play area to explore, which is how we spent our time there. DSC00822 DSC00825 DSC00834

Then we made a last minute decision to check out the Olympic Training Center nearby.  We arrived just in time for the last tour of the day, so we joined in!  DSC00836 DSC00840 DSC00843 DSC00844 DSC00846  Cousin bobsled team!

DSC00850 DSC00851 DSC00855 DSC00861 DSC00862 DSC00866 DSC00868And the adult bobsled team!

 DSC00876 DSC00880 DSC00885 DSC00892 DSC00893 DSC00894 DSC00897 These were some last minute hugs and cousin photos before we said our goodbyes.  So many fun memories made with cousins again this summer…makes us miss being close all the more!

DSC00910We drove to Alamosa on Wednesday evening and then Thursday morning headed to the Great Sand Dune National Park.  We had no idea something even existed until we were booking that night’s hotel and we were seeing comments and ads for visiting this.  It really is amazing…an enormous sand dune sandwiched between mountains and a seasonal stream.DSC00911 DSC00913 DSC00914 DSC00915We had to cross this trickling stream to get to the dunes, but it was refreshing.

 DSC00923 DSC00926 DSC00928 DSC00931 DSC00938 DSC00942The sand gets VERY hot in the heat of the day (140 degrees!) so we weren’t able to climb too far in our sandals, plus it was very hard climbing!  We enjoyed our little hike and then the stream felt extra refreshing!

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Check out this beautiful scenic overlook along our drive in CO: DSC00949 DSC00953 DSC00955

 DSC00961DSC00964 We also come across patches of snow as we climbed the mountain pass and the kids were begging us to let them touch it.  Well, to touch it meant crossing a pretty big ravine which they quickly discovered to be swampy and muddy!  It turned into a rather HUGE muddy mess…memories, right?!

DSC00965This was one of the nicer hotels/pools that we stayed at on the trip.  Whenever possible, we loved to let the kids burn some of their energy in the pool before bed.

DSC00996 DSC00998 Lauren found the phone, microwave and fridge in each hotel room and that was her entertainment!

 

These next photos are from Four Corners National Monument.  While it was fun to get the photos of being in 4 states at a time, that was really all there was to it!DSC01004 DSC01027 DSC01030 DSC01032 DSC01034 DSC01037 DSC01038

Then it was off to the Grand Canyon.  We arrived there on Friday afternoon and spent the reminder of the day walking trails and enjoys the beauty of God’s creation!  AMAZING!DSC01044 DSC01048 DSC01050While most everything is about evolution, there was this one gem on a wall!

 DSC01052 DSC01054 DSC01057 DSC01061 DSC01067 DSC01076The girls became Junior Rangers for the Grand Canyon as well, which earns them a little badge/keepsake.

 DSC01077 DSC01110 DSC01114Not a bad view for a picnic dinner!

 DSC01119 DSC01123 DSC01126 DSC01129DSC01138 We took a tram back to the visitors center after our hike and saw this elk near the roadside along the way! 

DSC01140We stayed long enough to catch the sunset, which was beautiful! DSC01142

DSC01152 DSC01163

We made another last-minute decision/detour to visit an old mining town called Calico.  It was a bit out of our way, but it allowed us to take a portion of the old Route 66.  It was a fun stop, though about 100 degrees!  There were many wild burros wandering the streets and you could buy a bag of feed for $1.  The kids had fun with that.  Then we also were able to see a shootout in the center of the town.  DSC01177 DSC01192 DSC01196 DSC01201 DSC01207

Our final stop was at the Hoover Dam.  It was bout 104 while we were there and being toward the end of the last day of the trip, we were running out of steam.  However, it was a pretty amazing structure and fun to see in person!DSC01215 DSC01217This photo (above) was taken from the bridge pictured below. DSC01227 DSC01232 DSC01237 DSC01242 DSC01248 Couldn’t resist snapping this photo as we re-entered our home state!  We had such a wonderful time on our trip and are so thankful for the opportunity to do all that we did.  However, there really is no place like home after traveling for 2 weeks!! 

Whew…I think I can finally move on to more recent photos. Thanks for sharing in our journey with us through photos!

Wedding Photos…Take 2

As suspected, I have a bunch more photos to post from the wedding, as well as our time in Iowa in general, compliments of my sister’s camera.  It was such a fun and beautiful day!  Here are some more photos:

IMG_3069 IMG_3083 IMG_3087These photos were from the “meet the other side of the family” dinner on our first night in Iowa.  Carrie did a great job hosting and Kendra added adorable decorations!

 IMG_3146 IMG_3163 IMG_3181 IMG_3185These were just some cute pictures from when we walked to a local park. 

 IMG_3195 IMG_3201These are from Alyssum’s western-themed bachelorette party!

  IMG_3367This plant is called Alyssum and was the centerpiece for the rehearsal dinner!  My mom did the plants and Kendra did the artwork…they turned out so good!

 IMG_3383 IMG_3384IMG_3396These were all from the rehearsal dinner.

 IMG_3440 IMG_3484 IMG_3508 IMG_3514 IMG_3599 IMG_3608 IMG_3633 IMG_3670 IMG_3685 IMG_3688 IMG_3690Due to the VERY hot ceremony, Eric had already shed some of the more formal wedding attire…pre-pictures!   Oops!

IMG_3699 IMG_3717This is the extended family that was able to make it to Iowa for the wedding—my mom’s sister Kerry, my dad’s sister Prudy (and Leigh) and brother Phil.  

IMG_3720 IMG_3781 IMG_3837 The newlyweds…Mr. & Mrs. Anderson!

Road Trip Recap, Part 2

Though I don’t have all the photos from all the cameras from our time in Iowa, I will begin this section of our trip with what I have.  If there are some additional ones to add later, you’ll get double!  We had such a WONDERFUL time in Iowa with family.  Wedding’s are always fun and this one was extra full of adventure since it was an outdoor wedding and their location got flooded out just days prior to the wedding.  After some tough decisions on where to go, plan B worked out beautifully, as if it should have always been there!  The Lord graciously held off rain all day, despite a chance of it in the forecast—an answer to many prayers for sure! My older brother and his family also live in Orange City and they were wonderful hosts for 15 of us!!  In all truthfulness, we enjoy being cozy since we don’t all get to be together very often and it allows for some good bonding time and fun memories.  A huge thank you to Eric and Carrie for your hospitality, generosity, and planning on so many fronts.  We loved our time in Iowa!  

DSC00494We arrived in Orange City, IA just in time to see my nephew play a baseball game, which was a special treat since we live so far apart!  He had the best cheering section of all that night!

DSC00497 Lauren was overjoyed to finally be reunited with her “buddy” (i.e. Grandpa!).  She rarely calls him Grandpa when she is talking about him…instead it is her buddy and she loves him so very much!

DSC00499The man of the week…Uncle Ryan!  Lauren must have forgotten that she avoided Uncle Ryan last summer because she willingly gave a hug.  However, she quickly remembered and this was one of the last hugs he got from her that week!  Sad!  Some day she’ll learn what an awesome uncle she has!

 DSC00500 DSC00503 DSC00504 DSC00506 DSC00507Strong (and fun!!) Uncle Ryan!

DSC00508After the ball game, everyone was back to Eric and Carrie’s house for a “meet the opposite side of the family” dinner.  

DSC00512Dinner was followed by an impromptu “cousins vs. Uncle Ryan” water fight!

 DSC00535DSC00544One morning, we took a walk to the local donut shop and then to the playground.  We loved being in small-town “Dutch” Iowa where there is much within walking distance and sidewalks abound.  Such a cute picture of all 9 cousins at the park!

DSC00525Bethany LOVED the chance to walk Eric’s dog, Reggie, multiple times during our stay! 

     DSC00550 DSC00551 DSC00553All ready for the western-themed bachelorette party!  

DSC00560 DSC00566DSC00565One of the main events of the evening was a horse-drawn wagon ride through the town.  We even went past Eric & Carrie’s home so all the kids got to see us.  The driver graciously let all the kids pile on with us for a quick trip around the block.  DSC00573The bride and groom-to-be served us on Friday morning with an outdoor pancake breakfast for everyone in town for the wedding. 

 DSC00577 Love this picture of these girl cousins!

 DSC00586 DSC00591Kids table at the rehearsal dinner at a local park.  My parents were in charge of this and did a great job decorating and hosting the evening. It was supposed to be outside, but was moved inside the pavilion at the last minute due to rain.  But it worked out beautifully either way!

 DSC00596More “buddy” time!

 DSC00597The bride getting ready on wedding morning!  Stunning!

 DSC00598This was the adorable little room above a local coffee shop where the bridal party got ready the morning of the wedding.  It was fun to be together at a place with such character.

 DSC00604   Sister again…wedding day this time!

DSC00608The three oldest cousins enjoyed the hour drive to the wedding together!

 DSC00611En route to the wedding and putting up sign posts along the way due to the chance in location and some tricky turns!

 DSC00615 Sisters!

 DSC00620Brother-in-laws! 

 DSC00623Grandpa and Lauren having bubble fun!

 DSC00630Lauren and Brylee had so much fun together!  Only one week apart in age, but living way too far apart!  By the way, my sister (Kendra) did an amazing job making all the girls’ dresses (SEVEN!!) for the wedding.  They looked adorable!

 DSC00633Sisters again!

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DSC00653 Family photo_wedding DSC00660

There was a DJ at the wedding and we all had so much fun being goofy together!  It was especially fun to see all the cousins out there for a good part of the night and loving it!  Here’s the proof:DSC00676 DSC00677 DSC00686 DSC00700 DSC00701 DSC00703 DSC00716The lit and released about 20 Chinese lanterns.  Having never seen them before, we thought they were pretty fun! DSC00717

That wraps up the pictures on MY camera from our time in Iowa, though I don’t have the good camera and therefore don’t have the majority of the photos.  I’ll probably post some more highlights later, but this now brings us to the last leg of our journey…the trip back to CA! 

Road Trip Recap

Wow, I am blown away that it has been over a month since my last post!  We are back home and settling back in after a great 2-week road trip as a family.  With over 1000 photos, I will REALLY try hard to pick only some favorite or I’ll never get to the end of this, nor will you!  I will also probably do a few posts to keep it from getting too long.  Our ultimate destination was Orange City, Iowa for my younger brother’s wedding.  But we took about 5 days to get there in order to do some sightseeing along the way.  We were then in Iowa about 5 days and then about 5 more days on our return.  We covered a lot of ground and really enjoyed seeing some fun American landmarks.  And what a treat it was to be together as a family as we celebrated the addition of a new sister-in-law/aunt to our family.  I think I’ll let the photos do the talking at this point…enjoy!

DSC00104All set to hit the road!  All smiles so far!  (Let’s just say, if we had taken a photo of us pulling back in the driveway 2 weeks later, the facial expression MAY have been a bit different!!)

We started with a stop in Las Vegas (with caution of course!) and had a lot of fun, including the seeing the Luxor (pyramid hotel), the dancing fountains, Caesar’s palace, and M&M World.  Here are some photos:DSC00121 DSC00123 DSC00133These are tubes of M&Ms…who can go wrong in a store like this!

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On Day 2, we headed to Zion National Park!  How beautiful it was!  We took a hike on a trail called The Narrows.  It was about a 1-mile hike that brought us to a river.  We then could continue our hike IN the river, which the kids thought was pretty great!  It was quite deep and we all got nicely wet and cooled off!  The further we hiked, the narrower the canyon walls got, which made it fun.  DSC00156 DSC00157 DSC00158 DSC00165DSC00168 DSC00172 DSC00173 DSC00175 DSC00176 DSC00179 DSC00182Found a warm rock to dry on after getting out of the river!

DSC00183 DSC00192 DSC00198 DSC00199 DSC00200This is the tunnel that took us out of Zion National Park, which I believe is one of the longest ones in the country.  The drive through Zion was beautiful!

DSC00201That night, we headed to Provo, Utah to stay with some friends, the Stolarski’s, for the night.  We then got to go to their church and hear Mr. Stolarski preach the next day before heading out again.

DSC00203 This is a Mormon temple in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  We stopped to walk around and see what it was all about while passing through.

After a LONG stretch of driving (through Wyoming), we finally arrived in South Dakota!  Our first stop was at Crazy Horse Memorial.  It is a huge carving in the rocks to honor Native Americans.  However, this was begun in 1948!  The finished project is in white, while the actual progress is the brown rock. 

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Only about 30 minutes away was Mt. Rushmore…definitely a trip favorite!  We stayed at Mt. Rushmore from about mid-afternoon through the evening program and had a great day.  DSC00234 DSC00235 DSC00237 DSC00240 DSC00248 DSC00267We walked a trail called the Presidential Trail, which gives a unique perspective of the faces by putting you more under them.   DSC00282 DSC00287 DSC00289This is an actual model of what was proposed for the carving. 

 DSC00292 DSC00301 DSC00304 DSC00309Lauren was a trooper.  She went strong until she could go no longer!  The evening program was a bit too long of a wait for this tired girl!

 DSC00330 DSC00332And the drive to our hotel was a bit too long for anyone to make it!!

The following day was spent taking a drive through Custer State Park and Needles Highway.  It was a beautiful scenic drive before we headed out of the Black Hills area.  DSC00333There were many of these single-lane tunnels to go through on the drive.

 DSC00343From the distance, we could still see Mt. Rushmore at times along the way!

 DSC00347 DSC00352 DSC00357 DSC00362 DSC00367At only 9 feet wide, this was definitely one the narrowest passes!   DSC00373 DSC00381 The Needle’s Eye at the top of the drive!

Who can pass through Wall, SD without stopping at Wall Drug?!  That is where these photos were taken from…all piled into a phone booth at Wall Drug!DSC00391

DSC00399 DSC00406This dinosaur was a favorite for all…

 DSC00410…except for this one!  She was terrified when it did its thing (every 12 minutes), which was to move, roar, open its mouth and smoke.   DSC00414

En route to our hotel, we made a necessary detour through the Badlands.  There was actually a Tornado Watch out at this point, but things never got bad and it never even rained!  We didn’t spend much time here, but drove through it, stopped at a few overlooks, went climbing on the rocks at one point and saw a lot of big-horned sheep!  It is an amazing place! DSC00415 DSC00431 DSC00436 DSC00438 DSC00441 DSC00448 DSC00455 DSC00459  DSC00465Lauren got to stay down on the ground with me for this hike…just stopping to smell the flowers!

 DSC00470 DSC00473 DSC00475 DSC00477Some big-horned sheep that we spotted while driving.

 DSC00480This is just a representative photo of how Lauren entertained herself at EVERY hotel!  She immediately found the fridge and microwave and played “housel” 

Our final day of travel before landing in Orange City, IA brought us to the Corn Palace in Mitchell.  It is actually going through some construction to update the place, but we still saw the murals made of of colored corn cobs and watched a video on how it all began: DSC00482 DSC00485

Next stop…Orange City, IA!!  I will definitely be doing more posts on this!  And good job traveling this far with us!!

Camera Testing

We are back with a new camera!  Our old one was declared “unrepairable” so we got money near our purchase price to put toward a new camera!  Considering that it was almost 3 years old, it worked out pretty well for us!  After some research and deliberation on where to go with our purchase, we chose a little Sony and so far, so good.  Most of the photos were taken this past weekend as we were able to spend time with our friends, the Mukes again!  What a blessing it was!  The rest are just photos I’ve snapped here and there to test the camera.  Really, our focus has been on getting things prepped for our fast-approaching road trip! 

DSCN4348  These girls have been best of friends since birth.  And though we see each other much more infrequently these days since they live an hour away, these girls write letters to each other often and look forward to any time they can get together!  For Elizabeth’s birthday, she asked to go horseback riding and invited Brianna to join her!  We brought her to Ventura on Sunday (and even joined their family for church!) so Brianna could spend the night and then ride the horses in the morning. 

DSCN4354 DSCN4355They rode in Santa Barbara and enjoyed seeing the water before their ride. DSCN4356IMG_5796 Brianna on her horse, Rocket!

DSC00004The Mukes brought Brianna back on Monday in time to share dinner together.  Then we had this impromptu magic show by Mr. Mukes, which was truly amazing! 

 DSC00007 DSC00011The kids loved it!

 DSC00013Time for some birthday cupcakes!   DSC00020 DSC00025DSC00017 Bethany and Emily have become good buddies too!

DSC00030Bethany loves when Lauren is willing to do her hair…always makes spelling lists more fun!!

 DSC00035 DSC00037We finished up our school this week!  We have been largely done for a number of weeks, but sort of trickled out with a few subjects.  But with out trip coming, we are calling it a school year and are thankful for the work that was accomplished!

 DSC00043Though they would much prefer a big pool, I’m so thankful that our little pool still brings hours of enjoyment in our backyard! DSC00046 DSC00051

A Graduate!

After wrapping up Classical Conversations last week, this week we wrapped up our year of Faith Kids!  The year concluded with a fun graduation ceremony for the preschoolers who will now be entering Kindergarten!  Unfortunately, we went to take a photo as we were leaving the house for our last Faith Kids morning when we discovered that our camera was completely broken—wouldn’t open, no display, etc.  It appears it was dropped but not sure when or by who!  We are thankful it is under warranty, but turning it in for repair means we’re out of a camera and therefore, this may be the last post for a little bit!  The photos I have of our last Faith Kids and of our graduation are somewhat blurry and not great in an attempt to get something rather than nothing with other means!  There were a couple of photographers there with nice cameras, so I’m hopeful I will still end up with some good photos as they get sent out. 

Also included are some photos from Mother’s Day last Sunday.  My kids took it upon themselves to bake me (us!) some brownies!  They know the way to their mommy’s heart! We had a picnic dinner at a park later that evening too.  One of my favorite things to do on Mother’s Day is to get photos with my kiddos. 

IMG_3588 IMG_3589IMG_3592 IMG_3594 IMG_3597  I love this picture…a rare one with all the kids looking at the camera AND smiling!

IMG_3604 IMG_3606  IMG_3619 IMG_3625

 IMG_3627 We had some VERY hot weather this past week, but we also had several opportunities to swim!  Our friends, the Robinson’s have a community pool that also has a splash pad on the side of it!  This was the only picture I got from that day, but we did have a lot of fun.

DSCN4331Our last Faith Kids morning!  His snack was a graduation cap in honor of their graduation later in the evening.

 DSCN4332Zachary led the whole group in as they walked to the front.  These photos are from the rehearsal.

 DSCN4334Each child had 2 different lines.  Zachary kicked it all off by leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 DSCN4336The mom’s worked really hard to make this arch for the kids to walk through at the ceremony, but when we got back in the evening, it was only half-inflated!  Oh well!

 IMG_1751Mommy with her preschool graduate!

 IMG_1752 IMG_1763  IMG_1765  IMG_1768 IMG_1773His second set of lines was to skip count by 10’s.  He did a fantastic job with all of his lines!

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family at fk grad LOVE this picture too!  This was taken by someone else on a great camera and I’m so thankful for a good picture of everyone!

IMG_1797On Dad’s Day, the kids make a gift for all the mom’s, which is a decorated plate.  Here Zachary is giving me his gift!

  IMG_1799It was a GREAT year of Faith Kids with Zachary.  It was a treat to spend one-on-one time with just him each and every week!  I think we both looked forward to it and will miss it!  He’s a great kid and made me proud in so many regards.  I love you, Zachary, and am thankful for completing Faith Kids with you!

Not sure when more photos will be up without a camera for now!  We should have it back in time for a family vacation, for which we are thankful!  In many regards, the timing was great (other than not having it for graduation) since most of our “big” photo opportunity events are now complete. 

Memory Masters & an ER Trip!

Whew!  It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  We just wrapped up our year of Classical Conversations (CC) this past Monday, but with its completion came a flurry of activity!  The two older girls decided to attempt to become a Memory Master.  This means that they must master all 24 weeks of material in 7 different subjects and orally recite it through a process of 4 different proofs.  It meant a lot of repetition and extra drill time as we prepared, but we are so very proud of these girls!  They both passed with flying colors and Bethany was actually the youngest one to do it in our community!  Brianna has a natural gift of remembering, but Bethany had to put in a bit more effort making it such a rewarding experience!  The last proof was with the director the morning of the evening program so it remained busy until the end! 

In the midst of all of that, we had the wonderful privilege of hosting some friends last weekend who are now living in Texas.  I’m so sad I didn’t get any photos of them, but there is a good reason for that!  They arrived in time for dinner on Saturday evening.  We then put Lauren to bed, quickly followed by the rest of the kids.  However, between the time of putting Lauren to bed and then going back in to put Brianna down too, Lauren was in her room crying/moaning.  She was complaining of something in her tooth so Paul took her to the bathroom to help her.  However, what she thought was going on was quite different than what was going on.  She had blood all over her face and we quickly discovered a very badly gashed tongue!  We are still not clear of the exact story, but we think it happened with her climbing out of bed or hitting it on the rail of the bed guard (supposed to be for her safety!!).  Either way, she was disobeying and NOT laying down to go to sleep and received her own natural consequences!  I had sat on the couch for approximately 30 seconds, getting ready to enjoy some adult fellowship with our friends when this all happened!!  We decided it best to head to ER as it was a pretty severe slice in her tongue.  Bless her heart, the wife (Blessy) offered to join me, which was such a blessing to me yet I felt terrible that our only evening with them was being spent this way!  We were there from about 9-midnight, and found out that they don’t usually do anything to the tongue.  So though it looked like it needed stitches, they said it usually is better to let it heal from the inside out and not trap germs inside or introduce outside source for additional germs with sutures.  We were so thankful that Lauren wasn’t screaming, but really quite mellow and obviously tired!  She was a trooper.  If you’ll remember, I recently had oral surgery myself, so perhaps she just wanted to join me in my soft-food diet!  Praise the Lord I had lots of options in the house!  So we’ve stuck together in our foods this week!  The first 2 days were the worst and she is definitely getting better though not sure when it will heal completely as there is plenty to heal! She now likes to use the excuse to avoid some foods in typical 3-year-old fashion, so we are trying to navigate that for now!!  I REALLY wish I had done a better job with photos, but life kind of took over and I don’t have much other than a story to tell in terms of photos!

Here are some photos of the last couple of weeks to enjoy!

  IMG_3445While I as recovering from my oral surgery, Paul graciously took the kids on a hike while I enjoyed a quiet morning at home!

 IMG_3448On our last formal day of CC, the kids had an egg drop contest using their homemade egg protectors that they attempted to build.  Ironically, from external appearance, Zachary and Brianna’s looked like they could stand a chance at success but I had very little faith in Bethany’s!  Guess who’s egg survived?  Bethany’s, of course!  The egg protectors got pretty slimy and weren’t able to come home with us, but here is Bethany with her surviving egg!

 IMG_3451Just a cute picture of Daddy and Lauren admir IMG_3452We met Bethany and Brianna’s CC tutors at the library for their 3rd round of proofing for Memory Masters.  I failed to get a picture of Brianna with her tutor, but this was Bethany’s tutor and she was so much fun!  Bethany loved her!  Reciting all their information takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, so it is a significant accomplishment of over 500 facts memorized! 

IMG_3456Last week, we had our last Faith Kids field trip of the year, which was to the zoo.  I was able to take all the kids.  Unfortunately, it happened to be the hottest day of the year so far but we still had a great time and managed to see a lot of active animals.   IMG_3462 IMG_3469The kids kind of took over my camera and snapped photos of many animals.  This was a cute one they took of the koala and with her baby sleeping on her back.

IMG_3477 IMG_3483 IMG_3488 IMG_3492 IMG_3508 IMG_3519 We hung out most of the day with the Forgerson family, who is both in CC and Faith Kids this year.  They have twins that are Zachary’s age, an older sister Bethany’s age and a younger brother Lauren’s age. 

 IMG_3522This is our little patient on Sunday morning after a VERY short night of sleep!  She was proud of the monkey they gave her at the hospital and of her bracelet!   This was the lone picture I took to represent that whole ordeal!  She was so tired that day (and hungry and in pain!) that she slept on my lap through the church service and also took a 3.5 hours nap that afternoon!

IMG_3524IMG_3526The rehearsal for our evening CC program.

IMG_3528 My 3 CC students this year!

IMG_3532 IMG_3534Mommy with her Memory Masters!  It was certainly a team effort! 

 IMG_3536 Getting ready for the program to start!

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IMG_3545  This is Zachary’s class.  Each class was introduced on stage and then sang one of their favorite memory work songs for us.

IMG_3548 IMG_3550This is Bethany’s class…

 IMG_3554And Brianna’s class…

 IMG_3557 This is when they recognized those who achieved Memory Master and they started with the youngest!  Go Bethany!!

IMG_3559 IMG_3562This is the whole group of 16 Memory Masters from our community, including 3 moms that did it!  So proud of all of them!

 IMG_3566IMG_3568Since I did such a lousy job with photos that night after the program, I got these of the girls wearing their new Memory Master t-shirt. 

 IMG_3572 IMG_3573Finally on Z week for Faith Kids!!  Next week is graduation!  This was a zoo animal snack!

  IMG_3584 IMG_3585 These pictures just make me smile.  Lately, Lauren has been into standing really close behind Zachary and following him around to whatever he does.  I don’t know what prompted it, but it has been a springboard for good conversation to let him know that he is being watched and imitated and admired!  She does love her big brother, but too bad they don’t always show it!! :-) 

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