Friday, May 30, 2014

Graduation Day

A big thank you to the Holste family for hosting the neighborhood graduation party!  And to David Hernandez for his skills on the grill!  It was fun to take a minute to breathe and soak in the beautiful sunshine.  We have such an amazing neighborhood.  So many wonderful people who do so much good.  It has been the perfect place to raise our children.  This year we had 10 graduating!

It's a neighborhood tradition to have a sign on the bridge for important events.
Thanks, Brian for this beautiful sign!  
(Natalie is in a larger font because they had to correct a typo :)
{White Lei worn for Davis}

 Emily's cheer squad consisted of her sweet Grandparents and Mom & Dad.  
And two cute families from our neighborhood sitting near us.

We are pretty proud parents! 

We loved having Mark's parents with us for the weekend!

A few photos before they lined up to go inside.

And because none of her siblings were able to be here with us,  I took a LOT of photos!

 I love this one because we caught her sneaking a peanut M&M!  I was pretty impressed with my newly found photography skills.  I shot all the indoor pictures with my 70-200 zoom (and we were seated pretty high!) and everything else with my trusty 50mm.  Just know that all the shots in the collage and after the graduation were done after the sun was down and I shot in full manual!  Yay!  Things are sinking in :)

Waiting in line for her name to be read

                                                           We just love her contagious smile!

Where in the world did the time go??

Flipping the tassel!

School Song - or part of it!
See if you can spot our girl!

So many great friends...

Thank you to some pretty great teachers who have inspired all of our kids

They hand you your official diploma after you turn in your gown

And one last thank you to Rayann Hansen for her support and love for all our children.  She has been on this journey with us from the beginning.  She told me a few weeks ago that she was sad to see the Firth Dynasty coming to an end.  We couldn't have survived with her!

Our baby did it!  She has been such a joyful little caboose to have in our home.  We wish her all the best life can offer and we know without a doubt that she will have so much to offer the world! XOXO

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


One of my favorite LHS traditions is Candlelight.  It is held the night before graduation.  Some of the kids have written essays about their favorite teachers throughout their school years.  They choose one from elementary, middle school and high school.  Three teachers are chosen and those three students read their essay and then the teacher comes up for his or her honor basket.  Then they have the choir sing and a guest speaker share a few words.  (Hope I explained that well enough!)  The graduates are dressed in their cap and gown and they all move outside where they light each others candles and walk around the campus to hear some mini talks on memories from the past year.  It is pretty cool to see them all with their candles.

Emily has been blessed with some pretty sweet friends.

As we were getting ready to leave we realized that not only was
our baby graduating, but all SIX of our kiddos are LHS Grads!

We needed a photo by the L

and then Mark whisked me away to Charlie's for a celebration treat…

Hot Fudge Almond Malt for him and a Lemon Custard Cone for me!
I still can't believe our nest will be empty in a few more days!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oh Danuta

Danuta is a part of our family…a special connection to our Polish folk.  We are so grateful we were able to connect with her and grow a beautiful friendship.  She shared one of the most special experiences we have ever had.  She helped us find our family in Poland last spring.  This past May she was in Salt Lake City for a genealogy conference.  We were lucky enough to spend a couple of days with her!  What a treat she is.  One of these days I am going to try to figure out how to get a video clip off my phone so I can share two of her Polish tongue twisters!  They are most awesome.

Mom and Dad had taken her to the Planetarium to see a show and do a little space exploration.  We met up with Jake and Lindsey and co. for dinner at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, The Mandarin.

Everyone had a happy tummies and we really enjoyed the conversation.  Danuta has such a great command of the English language.  Her accent is adorable and she can keep you in stitches.

 We spent the night at my parents house and Mom and Dad served up
 an all-American breakfast the next morning.

She loved seeing where our family grew up.  
Every thirty minutes she told us she didn't want to go back home.  
Warsaw is such a different place than here.

We drove up to Tibble Fork reservoir and enjoyed American Fork Canyon.  

The time went by much too quickly.  Mark and I took her to an outlet mall grabbed a burger and then dropped her back off in Salt Lake.  We shared a copy of our book from Poland with her as well as a copy of my mom's life story she had published last year.  It's really amazing how close you can get to someone after spending only three or four days together.  We had an instant bond with her after our time in Poland together.  She has experienced so many things in her growing up days with all that has transpired in Warsaw.  We are certainly blessed to live where we do.   And very blessed to call Danuta our sister.                               

No good byes, just see ya later!!