Happiest Homecoming on Earth

The theme for homecoming was Disney – Happiest Homecoming on Earth -

The kids all decided to meet at the Picard’s House to get ready, have dinner, and then carpool to the event. It worked out very well and everyone had a great time!

The girls helping each other get ready…

Minnie Mouse & Tinkerbell – Abbie & Lauren!

The girls are all dressed up and ready to go!

The boys are all duded up and ready…

Abbie & Mitchell as Minnie & Mickey Mouse

A great 1st High School dance!


James is loving 1st grade and we are grateful to his teacher for all she does to support James!He loves school & learning! Here he is working on his autobiography.

Max is never far away from James… So sweet!

James loving Peppermint.

He really is a cool snake. Even I enjoy holding him… and I thought I was scared of snakes. Gotta love when your children help you overcome your fears.

1st Day Photos :-)

Ever since Abbie started Pre-school, I have made her a school sign the night before the BIG day with the year, grade level, school, and town if different than the year before… we are approaching our tenth year of “First Days” with Abbie and our third year with James. It is always fun to look back at the cute little faces, styles, and where we were living! Once Josh and I graduated from college and began teaching, I made signs for us too… the tradition lives on & each year we all get our picture taken on the 1st day of school! Max even made it into the pictures this year!

 Abbie starting her 1st year in high school:

James starting 1st grade:

Josh beginning his year as associate principal at a new middle school:

Stacie and James ~ both headed off to the Primary School. Stacie as Reading Specialist & James as a big 1st grader!

Excited about the 2011-2012 school year!

James found his desk in Mrs. Smith’s classroom.

Hockinson Fun Days

Hockinson Fun Days has become an annual event for our family! We love the pancake feed, parade, and community spirit this event brings!

Hockinson TKD held a demonstration at the Fire Dept.

James breaking the board Master Clint is so bravely holding!

Abbie, drum majorette, marching with the band in the parade!

Madi, Mitchell & Chandler getting ready to head down to the food & festivities!

The HS Volleyball Team ~ Abbie missed marching with them as she was with the band…

Parade over & getting ready to catch up with friends!

James in his tap dancing costume ~ he performed with his class during the Country Friends End-of-Year Show!

Abbie in May

Abbie ended up having a great time in track this year. She wasn’t sure she wanted to go out as the Club VB season was just coming to a close… she ended up being so HaPpY for going out as she realized she’s quicker than she thought she was AND she loves to sprint! She also stepped in and ran the 4 x 100 / 4 x 200 relays with a group of her buddies!

She tried out for and made Drum Majorette! She and another 8th Grader led the band in the Hazel Dell Parade! I was so proud of her and wanted to chase the band the entire parade route… Her look at me when I started jumping up & down screaming her name told me a very different story… I stayed put!

Nana & Granddad made it up for the weekend and got to hang with us at the parade and watch their “Little Angel” march by!

James enjoyed the candies & popsicle that were handed out during the parade!

More School

Miss Abigail has made the Honor Roll each trimester of her middle school career ~ we are so proud of her! As she is coming to the end of her middle school days, we celebrated her and many of her friends at the grand finale of Honor Roll breakfasts!

Abbie & Lauren good buddies who are both on Wildcats VB & being honored at the breakfast!

A few days later, the girls head to work with Josh for “Take your Child to Work” day. They loved spending the day at a big middle school ~ they went to band, home ec., and had a pizza party for lunch!

James’ class recently studied Careers ~ each child was to create a vest with the career they are interested in -

Meet James, the commercial fisherman!


School is so much more than academics.

Abbie as Paula Abdul judging the performances the MS Talent Show

James running to earn money for Run for the Arts: a fundraiser at the Primary School that raises $$ for the Arts in school.

We have met many of our close friends through Abbie’s school friendships. With James now in school we are meeting and creating friendships with families of his school friends!

James & Sofia

Having a toast to friendships: new & old!

This bottle was sent to us by friends we keep close to our hearts and we decided there was no better way to drink this bottle than with new friends!

A toast to all my friends near, far, old, new!

It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey – Author Unknown



Each year the middle school has a VB fundraiser ~ The kids create teams where each pays 20 bucks to get into this tournament and they play  each other on a Friday night at the high school from 6:00 till midnight.  Abbie was captain of her team this year, which put her in charge of T-Shirts.

The design of the T-shirt this year required some prep work…We created an assembly line and pushed through 9 shirts in just a few hours:

I used this handy-dandy little machine to cut out iron-on stencils

Abbie finalized the stencils by cutting the middle pieces out

while Josh ironed the stencils and player names onto the shirts.

The next day, the team came over and painted their shirts…

The shirts came out super cute! Of course, I don’t have pictures of the final product. 8th grade girls are hard to catch… they are always busy & on the go!




Busy Boy

James shared his taekwondo skills with the community at a demonstration during the school district’s annual Book Swap.

My camera was slow & missed James’ Axe Kick – with this kick he broke a board!

Showing us some of his moves

This month James also participated in the kindergarten concert.

He had lots of fun singing with his friends!

After the show we went for ice cream ~ where Maya decided she enjoyed her Dad’s cone more than her own cup o’ sherbert!

Catchin’ Up with Abbie

Abbie is always busy. She has been working hard all Fall in Volleyball and of course I have no pictures to share. I forgot my camera every-single-time she had a game. I can tell you however that she has grown as a VB player in the past year and it amazes me to see her out there playing a game I completely do not understand. I am proud of her.

She and Chandler had some fun last weekend buzzing around the neighborhood on Gramma’s 4-wheeler.

Josh, Upa, Gramma, and I enjoyed listening to Abbie and the rest of the MS Band as they performed their 1st concert of the year. Again, I was taken back by both the talent & phyicsal growth these kids have made throughout their 2.5 years in middle school.

I did my best to upload some of Abbie’s concert… though I just couldn’t figure it out.

Welcome Back to School


Annual 1st day photos

Abbie starts 8th grade this year. She is busy with volleyball, band, yearbook committee, mentoring, friends…

James starts kindergarten. With budgets cuts, our district offers a part-time kinder program. James attends Hockinson Primary School (where I work) on Monday/Thursday & every other Wednesday AND Country Friends kindergarten Tuesday/Friday & every other Wednesday… what a schedule! He is back in Tae Kwon Do on Monday & Wednesday evenings.

Abbie & Chandler posing before hopping on the morning bus

Josh is still working at Wy’East Middle School as an Associate Principal.

and I continue to work as a K-2 Reading Specialist at Hockinson Primary School.

James proud to be in kindergarten!

We are learning our daily routines, getting used to waking to an alarm… all with a smile because it is going to be a great year!