This is my simple photo journal. I like to take pictures and once a month or more, I load them onto this blog so that we can remember some of our family highlights.



The first week of August, we were back to school.

Isaac is now a 4th grader and going to a new school.  
That means he wears a uniform and carries a violin for his suzuki class.
 He has a lot more homework and projects, 
but he doesn't seem to mind.  
This school seems to be a much better fit for him.
Ike is also taking Chinese and Spanish, 
so Google Translate has come in handy.
He can type up anything and have it translate and speak it for him. 

Meg is starting 8th grade.
Where we live, junior high starts an hour after the elementary and high schools.
This works well for Meg because she loves to take her time- no rushing this one.
She has a certain order and way of doing her thing.
This one prefers to cook her own breakfast.
 It is usually eggs and toast.
She always carries it into the dining room
to sit down and look out the windows.

Two days before school started, Summer got her hair colored.
We were both picturing her original color,
before she spent so much time playing tennis in the sun.
She came out with black hair.
The first thing she said was "Dad is going to hate this."  
Tom doesn't like extremes, especially hair color.  
Tom didn't hate it but he thinks she looks best in her natural color.
I really liked it after a couple of weeks and a dozen or so hair washings.

This is the sign we came up for 12th grade since we have run out of fingers.
How quickly they run out of fingers.
I knew this day would come, but it still sneaks up on you and hurts your heart.
We really love having this 17 year old around.
 I especially love when he comes into our room at night to talk before he heads up to bed.

Moving on...

Cole and Luke played in a Sand Volleyball Tournament.
This was so much fun to watch, we almost forgot we were slowly cooking in the August heat.
They had to keep spraying the sand to keep it from burning them.
Nothing like August in Arizona.

They went undefeated until the last game and then
 they lost the tie-breaker to their good friends Nate and Travis.

Summer turns 16 soon and was asked to Homecoming by her friend John Trendler.
At our high school, kids ask to dances weeks and sometimes a couple of months in advance.
 They also ask and answer in some clever ways.

Happy Birthday to
"Grandpa Jack, Captain Jack, Jay Paul Jack, Doh-Doh, The Jake"
  To know Jack is to love him.

The b-day boy busted out his new shaved ice machine.
Never mind that a few large chunks of ice went flying and almost hit the little ones.
It was all good and nobody lost an eye or received a concussion.

Cole's friends organized a rotating lunch group since they can leave campus their senior year.
We had the group over for a nacho bar.  This is really a nice group of kids and I love having them over.
Cole joins in about once a week but mostly just comes home.  It is easier when
you have to eat gluten-free.  I also love having him come home for lunch.
Right now we are on a panini kick.  We are getting creative with different cheeses and sauces.
Udi's now makes a really good gluten-free baguette.
But I think my celiacs still prefer Glutino's english muffins.

 Cole loves when his mom pulls out the camera.
I can't help it.  I want to bottle up this time.

My nephew Rock is back from BYU and leaving on his mission to El Salvador in a couple of weeks.
Isaac invited him to go to the Diamondbacks game with him.
He wants to get as much time as he can with him.

{I love the propped arm pose}

On Sunday, August 25 we met at the cemetery to see Ross's gravestone.
It has been 6 months since his passing.  We think of him everyday.
Tom's sister posted a
  beautiful tribute- here

On the front (hidden by flowers) is the scripture Matthew 25:40
"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it unto me."

This was a phrase we always heard Ross tell the grandkids,
attached to "purple man"- a family heirloom of sorts.  
This creature has been hidden in suitcases headed for college, missions or honeymoons. 
He's been everywhere from the Amazon jungles to the top of a wedding cake.  

Anita with some of her grandkids.
This has been a difficult 6 months for her, but she is handling it beautifully and we all continue to learn from her great example.