I know. It’s nearly July. And here I am writing about May. But can we all agree that May is the new December? I could barely keep a handle on every event, game, recital, costume, class project, teacher gifts, and on and on.
I’m a low drama gal but May always throws our world into high speed. Like that old fashioned merry-go-round at the playground. The one that playground-powers-that-be probably deemed unsafe in our modern world of overprotection. I think I climbed on when it was slowly turning, then May started jetting it round so fast I couldn’t jump off! Throw in our anniversary and three birthdays and yeah. . . life felt a little out of control.
This little diddy by the Holderness Family had me laughing in full affirmation.
May also ushered in lots of joy and beauty. Like this double rainbow!
The whole month was rather cool with tons of rain. In fact, this year has been the wettest year Utah has seen since 1874! And cold! Most of June, it hasn’t been warmer than 80 degrees by mid-day with lots of days in the 60s. Last week I went to soccer games for the boys in my winter coat!
But these cooler temps have been a blessing. With such a heavy snowpack in the mountains, a quick melt would have made it difficult for the valley to capture all the run-off, and there would have been flooding. Instead, it has been a slow and near-perfect melt for utilization.
While it seems that mother nature is off-kilter in these desert parts, I see it as a gift. The end to a 20 year drought. The answer to lots of prayers last year for water.
A few weeks ago we thought it would be fun to drive out to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Usually you can drive out onto the salt flats and pedal to the metal at crazy high speeds. But check it out:
No salt flats. Just a huge lake of water. A foot or so deep due to all the rain this year.
Maybe end of summer we’ll try again?
Rain also brought an unusual influx of painted lady butterflies. They were everywhere in our yard. In everyone’s yard! A plague of wonderful winged creatures. I read later that this was the largest painted lady migration Utah has seen in twenty years!
All due to the water. Painted ladies always migrate north, but the vast increase in precipitation yielded a superbloom of butterflies. Pretty cool.
Doug and I hit the 20 year mark. Hard to believe. Twenty years with this fella! When I think of the countless long days he has put in — all for the love of caring and providing for our family, I feel so grateful. Doug is happy at home, makes everyone laugh, and lightness the mood when I can’t get a grip on the kids’ antics or contention. I am so incredibly thankful we are on this wild and precious road together.
Eliza turned 14! 🎂
And she could not be more delightful. She is proof that those emotional, puberty driven years eventually mellow out and tween girls are restored to steady and delightful humans!
Our family threw Eliza a surprise party. It was so fun. She had no idea. All these cute girls responded to texts with the help of Liza’s closest friends, and when Eliza came walking around the back of my Dad’s house, she was completely shocked and surprised!
We played some fun games. Gave out prizes we’d put together of Eliza’s favorite things. We barbecued and had cake and ice cream as the sky churned with storm clouds and the sun broke through! The light was stunning!
Then, as a thunderstorm began to pound the yard with rain, we rushed everything inside and finished with a kahoot about Tom Holland that Ali had put together. He is unabashedly Eliza’s celebrity crush. All the girls loved it. That little spider man seems to be the heart throb of the day!
I’m sure in the future Liza will laugh about this. But right now, she is telling us every few hours how many days util Spider Man: Far From Home opens in theaters. In case you’re wondering, it opens in 6 days. July 2nd. 😊
Eliza is teaching sewing classes at a finishing school near our home. She absolutely loves it and adores the little girls she helps. It’s a happy place with a wonderful owner that we think is fabulous! Love you Libbie!
I am proud of what Eliza is doing with her life. She has been swimming her guts out at early 6AM practices this summer 😵 and steadily dropping times at all her meets. She is so helpful to me, is kind to her siblings, and tries hard to make our home a happy and welcoming place.
We bring these tiny, dependent babies into the world, and can’t even begin to contemplate that at some point they won’t need us. But that is the goal, right? To work ourselves out of a job. Get them independent, prepared, and confident enough to step out on their own.
We’re definitely not there yet. But some days, I catch a glimpse of what they will be like. All grown. All on their own.
Spencer and Gordon turned 10! 🎉
These two. They have been hard lately. I don’t think they mean to be rebellious or disobedient. I think they just want to have fun. Like 24-7. All the live long day. Every day. Chores are an obstacle to their plans, an inconvenience, and a frustration. And they have endless energy to burn. But. . . “Resistance is futile,” I tell them. And we trudge on.
Maybe it takes years and years of talking, teaching and exampling (is that a made up word?) for some behaviors to take root.
They really are sweet, and they’re still young. Evident by the stuffed animals they sleep with, the way Gordon hugs me around the waist, and the fact that Spencer continues to try and razz me with his hand buzzer from scout camp. I love them so much.
An interesting development this year is that Spencer decided he loves BYU. A fact he proudly likes to parade with his new jersey. Especially for Grandpa Jim and his Arveseth uncles, who love to give him a hard time. In die-hard Ute territory, this is no easy walk. But when he found out BYU had a men’s soccer team, he was immediately converted. We’ll see if this lasts.
Thanks to the boys’ wonderful Primary teachers, who gave them these awesome candles.
They sing, turn, and sparkle. You can find them here: The Incredible Birthday Candle
The boys had a fabulous 3rd grade year with these wonderful teachers.
And. . . they whittled down their sports interests to start competition soccer. I’ve been holding off entering this level of play for a couple years, but they love the game so much, and their recreation team was clobbering the rest of the league. So we decided it was time.
To our surprise, they made a premiere team and have an incredible coach that they love, from whom they are learning loads of great skills, play, and life lessons.
Spence chasing down the ball.
Gord comin’ in with a side tackle.
It’s a great team of boys they have joined.
Ali and Sami graduated from 6th grade. Now it’s onto Junior High! Say what?
Graduation party had to be held inside due to rain. (Every May event scheduled for outside was moved indoors. Field Day. Graduation. End of year parties.) The parents put together a little luau party.
My friend Kristie made these darling cookies. If you live local and are looking for decorative cookies that will blow your mind because they not only look good, but taste good! send me an email and I will give you Kristie’s number!
I can’t believe these two cuties are finished with elementary school.
While they have missed being at the charter school and longed for their friends there, returning to the neighborhood school was the right decision. It helped them develop friendships that will make starting junior high, I hope, an easier experience.
Sami was tearful at the end of their last day. She loved her teacher and is a pretty sensitive soul. I think, in a way, she was mourning her childhood. “I’ll never go back to elementary school,” she kept saying, so sad that this was the end of such a sweet era.
Ali, on the other hand, didn’t seem to care one bit. “Good riddance,” she said to me. “I’m onto Junior High and never lookin’ back! HA!” And that was the conversation we had right before I took this picture. 😂
Sami bought herself a parakeet. She has been so excited about this. Since we can’t make a cat or dog happen, this was her first real pet, beyond her many goldfish. She named the bird Lucky. And Lucky has been fun for all the kids.
Ali had a great year of dance. Her first year in Company and doing competition. Big growth year for her.
With her bestie, Lydia. 💗
My favorite piece they performed was called “Bills.” Group photo above.
Next up? Summer survival tips, and a list of our favorite chapter books for kids.
Hoping you survived Maycemeber with more energy and patience than I did, and that summer has you enjoying sunshine on your face, time with your family, a delicious read, and a few quiet minutes to gather your thoughts!