|Jeremiah, the 2016 champion!|
|Jessica and Destiny|
Notice the intricate braiding. It took Jessi's sister more than three hours to do mane and tail.
We were amazed at what these kids have achieved and all that they accomplish in addition to the many hours they put into building robots!
Wednesday Mike was back at the pottery studio at the Red Barn for the first session of the new school year. After that we joined the cuatro amigos for a surprise birthday meal at Moriah's house.
|Moriah's 18th; piano duet with Hannah; lighting the decorated oreo ice cream cake; little brother Isaiah's piano entertainment|
|Hannah, the future vet, feeding the male gecko|
Speaking of living creatures . . . these young deer stared at us as we drove down our lane.
My writing focus this week was to process what I had learned at the conference last weekend, which ended up becoming my first newsletter as a writer--"The Strangest Things Happen at a Writers’ Conference . . . and what I learned." (If interested, write me a comment.)
We had two more fun events to look forward to and prepare for: our great-granddaughter's second birthday; and a special visit from my New Zealand cousins.
Mike and I worked on a gift for Rebecca. My father had made a little doll bed for Leah many years ago. Mike took the remaining parts, that have survived innumerable moves and the vicisitudes of life (just wanted to use that big word), replaced some missing pieces, rebuilt, and painted it. And I made a mattress, pillow and sheet so it would be ready to pass on to Nanna Leah's favorite granddaughter!
|The headboard remained intact.|
Saturday at noon, Matt and Kayla hosted the many guests in their new home: four grandparents; four greats; one great great grandmother (!); and many uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.
|Waiting for matches to light the candle|
|Oops! Coudn't wait till the end of the birthday song to blow it out.|
|The last of many gifts|
Bruce and Lois arrived just in time for the party and thus were introduced to many all at once! Family crowds are not new to them. Both come from large families (7 and 8 siblings respectively) and they themselves have eight children and 37 grandchildren. One of the main purposes of this summer travel to the US was to attend a family reunion (my uncle Lowell's clan) with more than 80 in attendance.
We went to Ivanhoe's that evening, which we do with every one of our guests, and took the obligatory photo by the Garfield statue. I insisted Bruce stand next to the ice cream because his family, when asked how much, has perpetuated the saying, "Way too much!"
Another robotics-graduate sighting--Jordan, working at Ivanhoe's and soon to start at Taylor U!
Later that evening I got out the 1997 photo album to recall one of Hoyt-family visits to Upland. All those young'uns with them on that trip are grown, married, and multiplying. Liana in the upper left corner has seven children, including baby girl twins.
The very next page in the album recorded the visit of their cousins to check out Taylor University. Hannah, lower left, is getting married next Saturday in TN. That will be Bruce and Lois' last family event before flying back to NZ next Monday.
We also enjoyed singing hymns, or listening to their beautiful booming voices. It was interesting to learn of their family's involvement (along with many others) in putting together and publishing this new hymnal for their denomination in NZ. What an enormous project!
A funny thing happened Sunday after church. They were approached by one of the choir members and invited to join, not realizing that they were only passing through.
We were privileged and blessed to have Bruce and Lois with us. Their visit was brief, but packed with sharing memories and getting caught up.