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.



Back to school.

5th grade
He is still a learning sponge and is 
looking forward to competing
 in the Lego League this fall.  
He is my favorite little nerd.

This first day of school was a bit tough for both Meg and I.
That morning, she had tears and fears about going to high school.
I really wanted to just let her stay home and keep me company, but I couldn't.
I had to be the mom.
 I told her to dry the tears and soldier up.  "You are Meg and you got this."
She is setting on the Freshman volleyball team and team captain.
She is my little bookworm.

Summer is a junior.  
She is looking forward to choir, the school musical and starting voice lessons.
One of my favorite things right now is listening to my girls sing together upstairs as they are getting ready for school and later for bed.  They always have some musical they are belting out.  
Their current fav musicals are Shrek, Adams Family, Little Women and Matilda. 

It is crazy to think that our Bear will be graduating in 2 years.
My nest is slowly breaking apart.

After I took this picture of the girls leaving for school together in the truck, it hit me.  
I do not drive a carpool to school.
For the first time in many many years I do not drive anybody to school!
I did a few dance moves in my bathrobe and shouted hallelujah.

Meanwhile, Cole is taking his finals for summer term at BYU.  
This is his food prep class. He loved it and would send me pictures of all the
dishes they learned to prepare.  I was pretty impressed with all of the terms and techniques that
they were learning.  I am so glad that we heard about this class and that Cole was up for taking it.

He will be coming home soon and then heads on his mission 18 days later.  
Crossing our fingers that the visa to Brazil arrives in time.

Ike made a deal that if I bought him Chinese-Rosetta Stone
 he would do a lesson 5 times a week for a year.  Deal.

This month was all about getting Cole ready for his mission and lots of goodbye parties.

We had our oldest friends over for a goodbye party.
Cole to Brazil and the Pothiers are heading to Shanghai for 4 months.

The Farnsworth side held our traditional Tie and Ice cream for him.

Cole will be the 10th cousin to serve in Brazil.
Here are some of them singing "Called to Serve" in Portuguese.

A lot of great ties and he gets to take his papa's shoes and handkerchief.

Looks like purple man is heading to Brazil

We also had a family night with the Bunker-Stapley side.  
Cole is the oldest grandchild so it was fun to kick-off a 
new tradition for these younger cousins.

The pillowcase says "We prayed for you today" in Portuguese.

Another goodbye gathering a couple of nights before he left.

Farnsworth cousins.  Best support team!

Oldest and youngest cousins, meeting for the first time.
Baby Lewis just moved here from Hawaii, just in time to say goodbye.

Karli Okland and Cole have grown up with each other

We sure appreciate the show of support to hear him talk in church before he left.

These three amigos were up at BYU summer school together.
Justin leaves for Paraguay next week and Zack leaves for Malaga, Spain in January.

It took Grandpa B an hour and a half to get ready to go to church and hear Cole speak.
 My aunt Jennifer got him ready and drove him.
When he got home, he slept all day because it wiped him out.
Cole and Ike stopped by later to thank him. Oh sweet Grandpa.
 I am grateful that my cousin took this picture and sent it to me.

Last lunch date with the sisters

 Brotherly love

Cole going over his missionary packing list for the 10th time and Tom perusing through his old missionary bag for any quotes or talks that Cole could take.

One last group shot before Cole left.
I set up the tripod and turned on the self-timer.
This was the one where everyone's eyes were open.
I had big plans for a professional family picture but this will have to do.

The night before he left, he was set-apart as a missionary.
He is wearing the tie that Ike bought him.

  (From left to right: Luke Shill, Travis Tanner, Grandpa Jack, Corey Blake, Adam Bunker, Clint Bunker, Isaac, Cole, President Cowan, Tom, Mark Shill hiding, Craig Ahlstrom, Terry Turk, Craig Ahlstrom Jr. and Brad Ahlstrom)

We can't seem to get enough hugs

...and then the final airport goodbye.

It helped to have him meet up with DJ Arnson (from Queen Creek)
 who is also heading to the same mission.  We just found out that these two were in the same
Kindergarten class at Franklin South

Wow, this was hard.  I felt like the wind got knocked out of me.
Tom and I drove home and sat in our empty, quiet house and had a good cry together.
I am grateful to all the moms out there that reached out to me this past week.  It helped.