This week was a great week for visitors. One of my mission companions came by with her family on the way from Oregon to Disneyland. I haven’t seen them since we visited them in Portland on our way from Seattle to California. She was in the hospital after having her fifth child, who is now 3. It was great to catch up with them and see their family thriving and growing up. Our kids are getting so old!
One of my great friends from study abroad in London stayed with us a couple nights this week. She was in town for a wedding. A few years ago, we also found out that she and Erik are third cousins. It was fun to catch up and have some time with her this week.
When I saw this bowl of cereal, I knew we were almost back to normal around here. Jet lag is getting close to done, and back in to the flow of our life. Yum!
I take my kids swimming as much as possible in the summer. It has been hot, so even I ventured into the pool today. I love the exercise they get. They have fun together. And today I got to play and do some laps. Summer is so fun!
Today was the day that Brandon and Jameson Welch got to fly to Salt Lake. Tomorrow they will start their two weeks at Sky Mountain Ranch. It is fun to see these boys growing up and growing in confidence. It seemed quite normal to be taking them to the airport and sending them off together to board their plane and figure out all the travel on their own. They are 14 and 15 years old now. We will definitely miss them, but I wouldn’t have them go anywhere else or participate in anything better. They will have two weeks of hiking, working, playing, growing, learning, friendships, and fun. Brandon took his guitar with him on his back. They had their backpacks and gear. What great boys!
Tonight was the send off for the Pearson family. They have been in Palo Alto for three years. I feel like they are members of our family. They are heading off to Colorado for more medical training. It is hard to say goodbye to so many great people. But I am excited for them in their new adventures. We had a bunch of families get together for dinner and goodbyes. Love these ladies!
We celebrated Brandon’s birthday in three places. First was in Paris, the night before we flew out. We picked up a cake that was really a Father’s Day cake, but it looked delicous, and shared it with the Flanigans before we flew home.
Then we had a birthday breakfast in his honor at the Westerlinds the morning after we got home. We had pancakes in Brandon’s honor.
Then we celebrated at home with a few gifts. We love Brandon, and he is 15!
We had to rise early to get to the airport for our flight. We took a taxi and it was raining a bit. We got there on time, and the flight was delayed. We ate some food and read and waited. It is Brandon’s birthday. We gave him a puzzle book and some treats.
After we boarded we had our movies and food and sleep time. I was tired. I watched Lincoln and Pretty in Pink and slept. The kids had time for games and movies and a little sleep. This is Brandon’s longest birthday ever.
We arrived home around 4:30 and everyone wanted to go to sleep around 5:30 but we got Subway sandwiches and around 6:30 got ready for bed. The three youngest girls fell asleep on the couch reading around then. I went to bed just after 7. Brandon was at his friend’s house and went to bed the latest after watching the Giants game. Wish we could have celebrated more for him, but we were just too tired!
Our last full day in Paris! We did some of the biggies. We took the metro to the Louvre.We waited in a bit of a line to get into the Louvre, but it was in an underground mall, so it was tolerable. Then we just decided to head straight for the Mona Lisa and see that section of the Louvre. The building itself is massive and full of amazing art at every turn. The Mona Lisa was definitely a gathering place.
We went out to the Tuileries gardens for a stroll and to find pastries and lunch. Then we spent some time on the carousel and they even had a trampoline park!
We stopped by the place de la Concorde.
There was some rain in the sky, so we had our umbrellas we had borrowed from the Flanigans. We headed over to the Eiffel Tower.
Robin, Maren, Brandon, and Erik walked up to the first level of the Eiffel Tower. It started to really rain, so Nicole, Camille and I sat underneath and found some souvenirs.
It was raining and we went toward the metro to find dinner. We decided to go to the Champs Elysees and find a restaurant. We found a nice meal and then Nicole, Camille, and I did some shopping while the others headed home. We walked home and saw this sign calling us home.We had a cake with the Flanigans to say goodbye and celebrate Brandon’s birthday early. We loved these kids and Jennifer and Rob have been so generous to let us stay with them. What a blessing to us! The kids are so cute and fun. And now to pack! Paris was enchanting and delicious and so interesting.