On the last day of Nick and Marlee's visit, we spent a sunny, beautiful day at Manito Park. I made home-made hamburger buns (just like my mom used to make) and Marlee raced to the store to get all the ingredients for the "best pasta salad on earth". Marielle made cream filled cupcakes and Andy brought a salad made from garden-fresh lettuce. The food was divine.
After lunch, we played soccer--Bruce, Brian and Seth against Nick, Eric and I. Unfortunately, I proved to be too great a liability for our team to overcome. We lost by one. Those park benches were the goals and the ball had to roll through the little triangle at the bottom. There were some impressive moments.
This is our family watching a family of ducks. (Maybe they were watching us!)
Sadie almost touched this one.
After the ducks, we walked up the hill to our favorite gardens. The day was so bright with just a little breeze--the kind of day where you're aware almost constantly how perfect it....Nick and I played a walking game of Oh Heck as we went. He beat me but it was good. He's so great.
We capped the day off with a baseball game. What a great time! Marlee is really the one that amazed me the most. She was our pitcher and wow! She was a dead-eye at throwing across the plate and also incredible at catching the long screaming throws from the outfield. She tells us she's been playing a lot of catch in her spare time
The day of our graduation party dawned glorious. While I was upstairs working on food and such, the boys secretly attacked our biggest and longest standing landscaping issue--the retaining wall that had collapsed by the patio. This project took hours.
Their efforts were all the more impressive because they were the guests of honor. We should have been insuring that they had a cushy, relaxing day. But you can't keep good men down. And our wall is now a thing of beauty.
With the wall complete and all the rest in place, the party began. It couldn't have been a prettier or more pleasant evening. Our closest friends in the ward came and Andy's family. It was a great crowd.
We made a special video in honor or Nick and Eric. What great sons they are. We're so proud of their accomplishments. They have the best possible wives and the brightest of children.
After dinner, while the women chatted, the men headed for the field for some shooting. Don't you love that grass? It was the golden hour.
Eric graduated with the highest honors from Eastern Washinton University--Suma Cum Laude Andy was such an amazing support. Together, they managed apartments to pay the bills and they're coming away with three beautiful little girls. They're off to Law School at the University of Georgia.
Brian surprised us all (especially himself) by winning an art award at the recognition ceremony.
Isn't he just so cute? He's going to be the tallest Neslon boy, we predict. He already wears a size 11 shoe and he eats 2 boxes of cereal a day--besides his regular meals. Seth's a pretty good sport about Brian passing him up in height.
Between rain storms, we hurried to get our garden in. It's been the wettest spring in history. The woods have never been greener, the lawn has never been prettier, but without sunshine, I'm a little worried about our garden.
Bruce planted 26 tomato plants! We like tomatoes.
The boys oversaw the corn crop as usual. Marielle helped me plant all the greens and then she and Peter put in the beans. The boys made lovely little squash and cucumber mounds. I hope we have some nice little "after" pictures in August.
About a month ago, Marielle started thinking about singing for the talent show. Her dream was to have Eric come and join her and play the guitar. We were all surprised at how well their voices blended. They sang "Acres of Clams".
OK, so everybody got a trophy. But if there were such a thing a "first place" they'd have it.
This may be one of my favorite days of the year. It's turned into a true tradition--a day of remembering and treasuring our family--wherever they are. The crowd keeps changing, the children getting taller, the numbers of descendents swelling, new faces here, old faces gone. It's a powerful day--rain or shine.
The highlight of the day for me was Rick's prayer and his comments. I love that guy. He's mean and wicked and won't come to my parties, but he's part of my stability in life. We share roots. I so hope he outlives me.
And, of course, there's the breakfast at Golden Corral
Birthdays around here usually start with breakfast in bed. I had been up since about 5:00, studying and puttering and trying to time things just right so Peter would get breakfast right when he woke up. At about 6:00, I heard my bedroom door open and his loud whisper, "Mom! I don't think I can wait any longer. I've been awake for hours!" Isn't it funny how your mind just jolts awake when it realizes it's your birthday? I remember that unique anticipation. It's always a challenge to live up to those dreams.
Fortunately, Eric and Andy hit the ball out of the park with their gift--a BB Gun! Peter didn't see that one coming at all! Wow.
He had definite ideas for his cake--oreos, pudding and worms. The day was everything he hoped it would be.
There are no joys to compare with family. The experiences and feeling associated with family run so deep. Little moments are filled with meaning. They are the people who know us best and who we know best and who will be forever. This blog is a collection of the experiences that we can remember--the ones that happen on earth. I think our associations began long before and maybe the best is yet to be. Brigham Young says that our mortal experience is dreary compared to what is to come. I'm glad I can't see ahead because my life is anything but dreary. These people are my light and my joy.