Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jesse's High School Graduation!

Jesse graduated from High School!  Here are some pictures from the event.
Grandma made Chile Rellenos for all of us going to the graduation - Bruce & I, Jesse, Mary, Peter, Libby Grandpa (Bruce's Dad), Aunt Lorna Kay and Kaylee.  It was delicious - thank you Grandma!

Jesse's cousin Kaylee took GREAT pictures for the rest of the night.  Thank you Kaylee!  (See her blog here.

I could look at this picture for the rest of my life and it wouldn't be enough.  
And this one's not too bad either.

Getting ready to go...
Jesse was in the Top 10 Scholars.  All ten of these students got a 4.0!
Grandma and Grandpa
 Jesse in the processional (is that what it's called?)
Jesse and Mary sang two numbers with Madrigals - The National Anthem and Wade in de Water.  When they got done singing that second number, Grandma leaned over to me and said, "That was hard!"
Jesse gave a great speech about living in the present and enjoying the journey.
Crossing the stage for her diploma!
One happy girl!
Our high school has the tradition of decorating your cap.  No surprises here!
And now for the celebration!
Thanks for the flowers Lorna Kay! And Kaylee - I love these Photographs!!!
Another Family Graduation Photo!
I love my Jesse Bessie!
Lovely girls!
The proud parents
Congratulations Jesse!
Here's the traditional picture with the graduate and the next sibling down.

Just for old time's sake...

Thankfully it will be two more years before Mary shows up in these pictures!  This is also a reminder of what I kept telling Bruce the whole night.  "We are getting good at this graduation thing.  We have done it 3 out of  the last 4 years!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Live After the Manner of Happiness

Josh sent home this picture last week of a fun P-day that Pres. Glazier had with this Zone of missionaries.  Josh loves Pres. and Sister Glazier!
And this is the view outside of where he eats lunch on Thursdays.  Wow!
This is a wonderful picture of Manuel getting baptized.  He is an older man whom Josh and his companion found.  They have been working with him for many months.  It is a miracle that his baptism took place.  Josh loves him so much!  He was baptized by Hermano R., whom Josh also baptized a few months ago.  What a wonderful blessing.  I love this picture!
Joseph sent home a classic picture of Jesse' graduation announcement that he put on his fridge.  I can post it here because it has our last name covered up, replaced by the last name of one of Joseph's fellow missionaries that lives in the same house that he does.  We had a good laugh over this!!

 Peter and Libby had their long-awaited RAD performance on Tuesday.  RAD stands for Race Against Drugs.  Their school does this performance every year, and the kids have all the songs memorized and they love it!  Peter got to be a "surfer dude" this year.  He wore aviators and a Hawaiian shirt and really looked the part.  Libby was in several dances.  Both Peter and Libby were in the tumbling - Peter did a front handspring, which totally surprised me - I had no idea he could do that.  And Libby did a roundoff back handspring which was awesome!  Macey - one of Libby's best friends is included in the picture.

The other big news about Libby is that she now is the proud owner of 2 goats!  Lilly is a pure-bred Nubian doeling, and Buck is buckiling mix of Nubian and some other breeds.  The plan is for Buck to become a wether, and be a companion goat, and Lilly will be bred this fall and become a milk goat.

Libby holding Lilly
  Libby was adamant that she wanted a goat to milk.  Since she has had some experience with Buttercup and milking, we thought she knew more of what that entailed than the average Joe.  We talked to her about it a lot, and she remained adamant.  So she took her money that she had been saving up for gymnastics (which has become unfeasible financially) and bought these two goats.  They are as cute as can be!  They follow Libby everywhere.  We have them penned up in the chicken coop, as that was the most secure pen that we had, which they definitely need!  Libby has to cover her ears and sing "la la la la" as she walks away in order to not hear their bleating and crying when she leaves them. 
Libby with Lilly on the left and Buck on the right

On Saturday we were out weeding the grow boxes with Grandma and Grandpa, and Buck and Lilly were right in the middle of all of it, eating all the flowers and seeds off the weeds.  When Buck got right in the middle of Grandpa's legs while he was trying to rake, he had a good laugh.  (But you can't tell he's laughing unless you look right at him.  He has a silent laugh).

Thursday was Jesse and Mary's last day of school!  We continued the 12 year tradition (since 2001) of having a huge water fight when the kids get off the bus. Of course, the word was that, "We're not having it this year - it's just not going to work out this time."  Ba ha ha ha!  The kids know not to believe us by now, but we still keep up the steady line and straight face.  

There were a lot of kids - home school kids, pre-school kids, Peter and Libby (whom we took out of school at the Charter School just for the event), and other kids who get picked up - who were already there before the other kids got off the bus, so there was a lot of water flying around before the bus even got there!
Libby getting Bruce!

Everyone lined up waiting...

Pandemonium erupts as the kids get off the bus!

What's even better is that this year we got the local fire department to come out!  They brought a fire truck with 3 firemen.  It was so awesome.  The tank they had was full of WARM water, so one of the fireman just stood with his hose and filled up our tank, and we filled buckets over and over and went and dumped on the target of choice. Bruce filled up a water trough and took it down on a trailer with the four wheeler, but we had so many little kids there that it was half gone before the other kids even got off the bus!
If you know Bruce - this picture will totally make you laugh!!

 So for the past five years, I'd say, we've woken up on this particular day - the last day of school - and inevitably it is cold and rainy!  In the past, I've thought, "Oh man, I really don't think we're going to be able to have the water fight.  It'll be freezing!"  But then, and I'm not kidding, it will warm up and be sunny for at least the half hour that we have the water fight, if not the rest of the day.  It's happened every time!  So this year, when we woke up and it was cold and raining, I said a prayer and didn't have another doubt after that!  And sure enough, by the time noon rolled around, it was pleasantly warm outside, and the rain had stopped.  What a blessing!  After the water fight, we came down and hot dogs and chips and sat around and talked on the grass.  Unforgettable memories!

Kimi opened her mission call on Friday morning!  She's going to the New Zealand Hamilton mission!  She enters the MTC in New Zealand on October 24th, and will teach in English.  We were able to be there when she opened her call.  What joy! 
What's interesting is that Kimi has had a love for Polynesian and island people for a long time.  At her Senior night for basketball, one of the things she said is that when she gets older she wants to marry a big Polynesian man!  Later on Friday, after Kimi got her call, she told her her Mom, "I think that I didn't get called to New Zealand because I love Polynesians, I think I love Polynesians because I was going to get called to New Zealand!"  I love that way of looking a life.  I know that I have an intense love for anyone/anything remotely connected to Bolivia, because that's where I served.  :)
On Friday night we had our Family Street Dance to celebrate the end of the school year!  We had one of the best turn-outs that we've had in a long time.  I think it was because we announced it really early, and we had good weather!  It wasn't windy or rainy or cold!  Amazing!  We've still gone ahead with it in those conditions in years past, but this time it was a little chilly, but not bad at all.

Mary invited a friend from her dance class, Nathan, and it was so fun to watch them dance, especially the waltz!

Mary and another long-time friend named Nathan (ironic - huh?), are doing an awesome swing together.  My poor iPhone can't take fast enough action photos, so they are all blurry - but you get the idea.

Jesse and friends dancing away:

Jesse and her Madrigal buddy - Brianna, who also has become a best friend!
 Peter and Libby doing the Macarena!

Peter's 6th grade class had a "Lock-in" where the two classes at his charter school had a sleep-over at the school!  He went to it for a couple of hours before the street dance, and then a very nice teacher allowed him to come back right before midnight, when they "locked" the doors, girls on one side and boys on the other.  Peter had a great time!

On Saturday morning, after I went to pick Peter up from the Lock-in, we went up to Mary's room and sang Las MaƱanitas!  The Sweet 16 Birthday has finally arrived!!  Here she is, with bed head and all, eating her birthday breakfast - an omelet, toast and grapefruit.  Yummy!  In the meantime, her friends Katie and Lindsey were upstairs decorating her room!
Happy Birthday Mary!!
 Mary went on a first date to get ice cream with Bruce, and then we went as a family to Applebee's for her birthday.  She got to go to the Stake Dance after that, which she loves!

Mary is a lovely 16 year old girl!  I am so grateful to have her in our family.  She is very intelligent, carrying a 4.0 in High School, singing in Madrigals, dancing in the Show Choir, taking classes and practicing on her own for Ballroom Dancing, and carrying on a very active and fun social life.  She has also memorized 50 Scripture Mastery scriptures over the last two years - congratulations Mary!

Saturday afternoon, Peter had his last soccer game!  He had a hard time playing because he has some pain on his heels, the same pain that Josh and Joseph used to have when they were his age.  We'll have to get some oils on that!  Jake and Rob, two varsity soccer players, were a great help to Bruce coaching this season.  Here is a picture from last week's game:
Peter taking a direct kick

Jesse went to the Single's Branch on Sunday for the first time as a member of that Branch!  She said it was weird!  :)  I think that's pretty normal.  She'll get used to the silence...  When I looked up on Sunday and saw someone else playing the organ, I cried for the first two verses of the hymn.  I couldn't sing, looking up there and not seeing Jesse playing the organ.  Mothers deserve a few good cries here and there, and that was one of mine.

I was also released from the Relief Society Presidency after 2 1/2 years of being the first counselor.  What a fun time I had serving with Julie, Mary Jean and Stephanie.  I love you guys!!

And last but not least, Jesse had her Seminary Graduation on Sunday night! She was recognized for being one of 7 people who memorized 100 Scripture Mastery Scriptures.  Congratulations, Jesse!  She also accompanied the musical number of 4 boys singing Come Thou Fount.  Her playing is gorgeous.  I love it!  Here are some pictures with a few of her favorite people!
Jesse and fantastic friend Erica
Ms. Morris, Jesse's calculus teacher and wonderful friend!
Bruce, Lorena, Jesse, Shelly and Dave
Mary, Jesse' soccer hero and friend
Jesse and Bro. Waltman - long-time family friend
Tori, one Jesse's best friends and neighbor
Jill and Jesse - friends for many, many years!

Markell and Jesse
Jesse and Kayla, who gave an awesome talk at the graduation!
Tyler and Jesse
Soccer teammate Sarah and Jesse

Elysia, David, Jesse and Erica - dear, dear friends!
BFF's - Jesse and Kalli - going to BYU together! 
Jesse and the boys!  Kaden, Freddy, Victor, Max and Tyler
At the Seminary Graduation, Ms. Morris told Jesse that she got 108% on her Calculus Test, which was the best of any test scored.  Wahoo!

As I look back over these post, I am filled with joy, and remember the scripture that says that "we lived after the manner of happiness." (2 Nephi 5:27)  All of our blessings come from being governed by the law of Christ.  He says, "that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same."  (Doctrine and Covenants 88:34)   I have found that to be true!