Looking back, this was a busier summer than we had supposed it would be. Even though Lauren spent most of her summer in California with 'the aunties', and Rick and Leslie were left to fend for themselves, the summer included a few trips to Southern California, a kayaking trip on the Snake River below Jackson Hole, and a trip to South Dakota that we won't soon forget, but very little time at the ranch. Our time at home was spent on 'projects', which translates to Leslie making quilts, Rick building furniture, and the ongoing development of our patio and outdoor kitchen/family room. We're pretty sure this will one day be completed, it's just hard to guess when that might be though.
Lauren returned home a few weeks ago, just in time to start school at Salt Lake Community College - she's in a program that will allow her to complete her junior and senior years of college at the same time that she works through her freshman and sophmore years of college. Lots of work, but worth it! We just celebrated Lauren's 16th birthday - successfully without teenaged boys!!! It's great to have her home.
Richard checks in each week via email from Australia. He is currently in Armadale, a small town south and east of Perth, and though not remote, it's more outback than downtown. He reports that the missinary work is slow, but he and the other missionaries in his general area spend a lot of time providing service to the locals and spend a lot of thier spare time hiking and chasing wallabies and kangaroos. He seems happy and is having a great experience.
Becca and Justin came down from Logan for Lauren's birthday - it was great to spend a Sunday with them. Work and school continue to move along, and they're both ready to move on to the next phase of life - the 'after college and now what do we do' phase. They'll figure it out - they both enjoy thier jobs and love thier new home.
Jessica, Brandon and Kendall spent time in Yosemite last month and will be taking a few weeks in Cancun soon. Brandon's been hard at it as he's continued to successfully find buyers for Sudweek's Development's office condominiums (tough to do in the CA real estate market). And Jessica will have just taken her LSAT exam a few days before they leave - they'll bring Kendall to stay with Grandma and Grandpa in Utah while Mom and Dad are playing in the sun and sand. Ten days with a toddler in the house will be a real trip - Leslie's excited and Rick's trying to figure out how to keep Kendall safe from the ponds - or keep the koi safe from Kendall - or something like that. It'll be great.