Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day in Yosemite

We have had no time to get up to Yosemite this spring with all the graduation happenings, so Sunday we took advantage of a free day and headed for the hills! I say it all the time, but we never tire of the drive or of Yosemite. It really is one of God's wonders. Here we are starting out the trip...the girls were a little more than excited to be getting up to the mountains!

Our driver and Father of the Day
We're in the pines!
The tunnel going into Yosemite...we had to roll down the windows and raise our voices as we drove through
First view
Me and my honey
First look at one of the falls
This meadow was SOOOOOOOO green....uh, those are just animated field ornaments out there on the path.
Dave was on the phone wishing his dad a Happy Father's Day too
Lunch before a hike
Fruit and Oven Fried Chicken
...and Macaroni Salad...Yum!
A pretty Dogwood tree
Ready for the hike
Vernal Falls from the bridge
So much water!
Above: the trail leading to the falls
Below: The view from the top of Vernal Falls ...breathtaking!

Coya and her "titanic" moment

We made it to the top! You get to Vernal by way of mist trail (three pictures ago)...I think it should be called shower trail as one gets quite wet on the way up...as evidenced by my hair. Hey! How come I'm the only one that looks like a wet rat?!

Vernal Falls

Our fearless leader, whom Coya affectionately called "Dora the Explorer!" She was determined that we were not only going the 1.5 miles to Vernal, but to Nevada Falls as well...mind you nearly another 2 miles UP!

At the top of Nevada Falls...a little rest was in order.

Dave and I....I took this picture holding the camera...can't believe it actually came out!

On the way back down

Yeah! We made it! It was a great day of a little more exercise than we had planned on, but so worth the scenery. Dave spent a lot of years vacationing in Yosemite before we got married and we spent some of our honeymoon there as well, so it seemed kind of fitting to spend
"his day" in a place he loves so much.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Graduation Party

Whew! It's been a busy couple of weeks preparing for Jenna's graduation and the party. We spent months anticipating this moment and then all of a sudden it was over...sort of sad. I know I said it in my last post too, but I just wanted to slow time and try to take in every moment of the party, surrounded by so many people that have had an impact on Jen's life (and ours). We are blessed! Thank you to all who came, we hope you had as much fun as we did!

My good and long time friend, Cindy (back before we were all married) came over to help me get the food set up. Her daughter, Emily, graduates in a week, so we are helping each other out with all those details that just can't be done until the day of the party.

Food! What is a party without food? It's biblical, you know!
Graduation Cake

I love this picture. If I had a decent scanner, I would have scanned a picture of them when they were young....about 7 or 8 years old. Jen put it on her picture board and they saw it and said "We need the same picture of us now!". From left to right, Hillary, Karissa, Jen, Melissa and Kylee.
Missy gave her a photo book with a picture of them as little girls and one of them now to take with her to England.

Jen and Karissa

My mom with Lois Ann. Her daughter, Joy, and I have been friends for over 20 years and my mom and Lois Ann are like two peas in a pod, must be their southern roots.

Hanging out and visiting

This is Jen with Christoph. He is a foreign exchange student from Germany. His host parents go to church with us, so he has gotten involved with the high school group and is one of the gang now. He leaves in July...they are all very sad to see him go.

Christian and Shane....more kids from church

John, Randy and Christy...they all have girls graduating this year too

Jeremy and Nick with Mr. T.

Best friends, Jen and Melissa. Melissa graduated from Fresno Christian the same night as Jen. After all these years of waiting to see these girls graduate and they end up not being able to be at each other's graduation! Maybe this year CHEFA and Fresno Christian will actually think about coordinating their graduations so that they aren't on the same night! So many people have relationships with both, especially homeschoolers who go part time to FCS....o.k. I'll get off my soap box now....
Jen, Missy and Abby
Josh and Jen...he was such a trooper hanging out all day with us and helping out with the party and clean up....

Silly girls
With Joy and Michael Robbins
With Mr. Salley in our little tiny kitchen! Roger and the whole Salley clan have been great friends to our family and our children...praying for Josh while he is away and always great friends. We laugh a lot together with them!
With Mr. and Mrs. Raber...Ann is one of our school administrators through Tower Christian, our homeschool support group. She graduated her kids a long time ago, but loves education and has stuck around to help us with our kids. Cindy Freeman is our other administrator, she came to the graduation, but with all the kids graduating this year, they sort of split their time between parties. We appreciate them both and all they have done to help us along the way.

Pastor Doug and Carol with us and Christy...
Jess and Sally...parent mentors for the high school group...all the kids love them! Sally is like a mom to all the girls.
Jen with Carol and Doug...they have seen her go from baby to young adult
With Miss Ginger. She teaches English classes to homeschoolers through P.S.C.A. She is one amazing teacher too and the reason Jen was able to succeed at her college level English courses. Thank you, Ginger!!!

Noni and Nunu, her Italian Grandma and Grandpa...well actually they are Nick and Katie's Grandma and Grandpa, but we have adopted them too. Josh has spent many hours in their home between swim sessions eating Noni's food.

With Pastor Chad, her high school youth pastor
With Becca, one of the high school leaders
With Dave Ness...another old friend from our college days
With Dr. Troy and Tina, friends and he's our Chiropractor too...a real miracle worker at times!
More friends.....
Kim and I celebrating our daughter's! Melissa is her first to graduate and we have been there for each other through the ups and downs of homeschooling...she still has a few years to go with her young ones at home. Love you, Kim!
The last few left at the party. David, Hannah and Keith (Beaver), other homeschool friends that just graduated...she has had a great time with her homeschool graduating class...they all bonded well and had a lot of fun together....as you can see here!

Here we are at the end of the party...everyone is gone and Josh and Popcorn (my mom and dad's dog) are crashing.
We were very tired by the end of the evening, but would do it all over again. After Josh's party two years ago, we felt overwhelmed by how many wonderful people played a part in helping us raise J & J. It was no different this time either. God has been so gracious to us to allow us to build such great friendships with our church family and homeschooling family, and we are very grateful!!!

Me and my better half

J & J

Our Marine

Matt and Trin having fun w/ Joshie and Jenna

Kadence and Keaton

Girl power

Gabe and Josh w/ Grandpa

When they were young

About Me

My photo
Wife of 23 years to David, Mom to Josh - 19, Jenna - 17 and Nacoya - 16. Voice teacher, choir director and church choir member. I love the outdoors... ocean and mountains, my family, friends, pretty flowers, quiet mornings and more than all that, Jesus.