Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smash Face

Dan started doing this at Momma Kimball's house. Don't know why, but it sure was funny.

It is fun having a boy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grandma Moses

This is four generations of women in my family. It is fun to think about the legacy that one person can leave. My Grandma Moses had five children, who in turn had 27 children, who in turn had 25 children (thus far). So, because of my Grandma Moses, 57 people exist. I wonder what my own legacy will be.

Mom, Grandma Moses, Me, and Nicole

My Grandma has always been so good to me and my family. When my Dad left my Mom when we were little, my Grandma moved out of her house so that we could move in and have a place to live. She has always been such a giving and loving person.

My Grandma was a painter and an artist. She would draw portraits of all of us when we were children and they were so accurate, I loved it. I also loved getting cards from her as a child because she would always draw something beautiful on the envelope of the card and I always loved it. I would keep all the envelopes so that I could look at her drawings. As she got older, my Grandma lost her site and was unable to paint. So, it makes the art that she did create that much more special.

My Grandma has also always been a story teller. When I lived in her house as a child, she was still in my ward and she was the storyteller for primary. She was so good at animatedly telling a story and making the words come alive. Even though she couldn't paint anymore, she was able to make pictures with her words.

Grandma also always loved her jewelry. She always had multiple rings on her fingers, a brooch on her shirt, and earrings in her ears. And her jewelry is always real. No cheap stuff for her. She once told me that she got nice jewelry for herself because it made her feel good. Since she has lost her vision, she has started giving her jewelry away. She says that she can't enjoy it anymore, but she would like her grandchildren to enjoy it. She gave me a few rings that are amazing! It is just like my Grandma to give away her own things. She has always been such a giving woman.

My Grandma Moses is actually not in great health. She is in her 80's now and recently had surgery on her shoulder and had complications from the surgery. She is in a rehabilitation center. It is strange to see her health so declined as she has always been a woman so full of life. Her health has never been wonderful, but I am really starting to see her health declining.

I love my Grandma Moses so much. And even though I know that she cannot read this blog... as she is blind, I just wanted to share a little of her with my readers and write down for myself what she has been to me. Because I know that my children will probably not remember her.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Fourth

So, this post would be better if I had taken pictures on the fourth of July, but I did not. The night before the fourth, on the third, I had the stomach flu and it was awful. We were supposed to wake up early on the fourth and go and see the balloons launch with Marie's family, but since I had been up all night, sick, we cancelled. Which turned out to be okay since Marie reported that the balloons didn't launch due to bad weather.

So, for most of the fourth, we stayed home and recouped a little bit. Then, later in the day, we went to Momma Kimball's for the annual barbecue and fireworks. Momma Kimball lives a couple of blocks from the stadium of fire, so we always go to her house to watch the show.

I was still feeling pretty sick, but stuck it out and went to the family event and tried to avoid people. But, I had already been with the Kimball's the day before to take pictures... so... they were all doomed to get the stomach flu. Which they did. My bad. It was not my intent to get people sick but it is a little late for that. Sorry to all the people I got sick! *cough Marie* I was just feeling crummy and weak, so I spent most of the day on the couch while the kids played outside with their cousins.

So, we were a little nervous about doing fireworks with Nicole because she has a fear of loud noises and we have learned that it doesn't take much for her to get over stimulated and have a meltdown. But, we were both surprised that she was able to handle it quite well. When the fireworks started, she started laughing maniacally and started running around aimlessly (over stimulated), but there was no crying. She seemed to really enjoy them. Dan, on the other hand, was freaked out. The aerial fireworks in the neighborhood (before the stadium of fire) scared him and he cried and cried and clung to Matt or to me and did not want to let go. He had a little baby death grip. Which I didn't mind too much because I just pretended that he wanted to give me snuggles, which I love. But, he eventually got used to them because he slept on the lawn through the stadiums fireworks. I was so pleased that there were no major meltdowns about the fireworks and we got to just enjoy them. Plus, Dano snuggles are so nice.

One of the things that I don't like about the stadium fireworks is that they don't start until 10:30pm, which is super late for the kids. And, when we watch them at Momma Kimball's we get stuck there because of traffic. After the stadium lets out, Momma Kimball's street is immediately packed and not moving. We tried, this year to get out just after the fireworks ended... unsuccessfully. We ended up parking two houses down and walking back to Momma Kimball's to wait out the traffic. We were there until 1am and then we went home. Even though I enjoy the fireworks, I hate the traffic... and I hate keeping the kids up that late. After the events of the fourth, the kids were off schedule for a few days and it was unfun.

On the fifth, it was like the day of recuperation. We slept in, then we went to Freedom Days for an hour, only to return home and sleep for a really long time. We had wanted to have someone over for dinner because Matt had the night off from work, his first night off in the year he has been working there. But, we were too late in inviting and no one could come. Which was disappointing. It felt like a waste of a night, but it turned out for the best because Matt ended up with the stomach flu that night. One of us gets it and we all get it. Nicole ended up with it the next day. So, our fourth weekend was filled with sickness and Matt's very first night off from work ended in him staying up all night anyway... being sick. Bummer.

It seems like we are often sick on holidays. Last year, my family was all here for Christmas, but I missed almost all the festivities because the kids had croup and I had bronchitis. I hate it when people tell me that it is good that the kids get sick so much because that means that they won't get sick as much as adults. That is a bunch of BULL! I was sick all the time as a child and my Mom would tell me that I was building my immune system. So untrue. I get sick just as much as an adult as I did as a child. I am prone to catching sickness.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Patriotic Photo Shoot

Epic fail at using the airplane in a photo. Plus, Momma Kimball kept walking around in the background unbeknownst to me.
 Momma Kimball bought all the Kimball grandkids patriotic outfits this year and asked if I could take pictures of the kids all together. So, I pulled out my camera that I am not the best at using and just took a bunch of pictures of the kids.

Let me just say, it is extremely difficult to get a picture where all seven kids are looking at the same time. But, I got a few good ones, and a whole lot of subpar ones. It was fun even though it was extremely challenging.

Here are some of the pics that we ended up with.

Dan had the hardest time staying with the other kids. He kept running away. He was the most difficult subject.

And then we gave them flags and everything got worse. They all kept waving the flags in front of others faces.

And then we did the girls, which didn't turn out so bad.

And then we did the boys and didn't get one good picture. Dan was unruly and did not want to cooperate.

Well, I have a new respect for photographers. Especially ones that photograph large groups of children. How do they get them all to look at the same time? Not even smile, just look at the camera? Even though it was fun taking pics of the grandkids, I don't see professional photography in my future.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

St. George Trip

At the end of June, we made a trip down to St. George to visit Matt's paternal grandmother. Momma Kimball made the trip with us which was awesome. I was a little nervous about the trip because Nicole does not travel well. She has a lot of anxiety about going to new places and being with new people and she doesn't like to be in the car... so there were a lot of reasons why it could have been a very difficult trip, but, surprisingly, she did fairly well in the car and after a little bit of anxiety when we arrived, she calmed down and adjusted faster then I thought she would.

We left on a Monday, right when Matt got off of a 12 hour shift at work. The plan was that I would drive and Matt would sleep on the ride down. Alas that Nicole was very needy during the trip and Matt did not get a lot of sleep on the ride down. Also, we had Momma Kimball's dog in the car... which made for an interesting trip.

Dano is an excellent little traveller

We made good time on the way down to St. George and got settled in to Matt's Grandma's house. She has two guest bedrooms, so we were all able to stay there. We just hung out the first night and desperately tried to get the kids to fall asleep in a new place. After trying to put them down in the same room and having them fight for thirty minutes, we separated them and put Nicole down in Momma Kimball's room. Then, after two hours, she finally fell asleep. At which point, we picked her up and brought her back to our room for the night. We continued with this sleep routine for the three nights that we were there. It was not ideal, but at least it worked. Bedtime has always been an issue with Nicole.

The next day, we went to a Dinosaur Museum and it was an epic fail. It was suppose to be this attraction for kids and it was just very lame. I thought that there would be like dinosaur fossils, but there were just fossils of dinosaur footprints. It was very boring. The only sort of good part was the dig sand pit, but because it is St. George, it was like 103 degrees and we were just roasting as the kids dug in the sand. Waste of money, never go there.

Later that day, we went to Matt's uncle Kevin's house for dinner. For some reason, going to another person's house that she didn't know was too much for Nicole. She cried almost the whole time we were there. We thought that we were going to have to just leave because she wasn't able to handle the situation, but then we finally got her calmed down enough that we were able to stay and eat dinner. Sometimes, if there are too many changes, Nicole's anxiety is just too high that she can't handle it. I always feel bad when she gets upset like that because it isn't her fault. Once we found out that Nicole had Aspergers, it was a relief to know that she wasn't just unhappy or acting up all the time when she cried. Now, I am much more understanding and calm and I try to be comforting when she has a melt down or a tantrum. I just hope that other people understand too and don't judge Nicole for crying and screaming or me for my parenting and comforting rather than scolding.

After dinner, we went over to a park to play. It was like 8pm at night, but it was still sunny and blazing hot. That is St. George for you.

Signature Dan, all he wanted to do was swing.

Matt's cousin, Sage, and his aunt Teresa
 All Nicole wanted to do was fill her hat with water and then dump it out. Silly girl.

Dan caught on to the hat game and he started playing too, you know after he swung for an hour.

The next day, we went to a splash pad on Main street in St. George. It is this amazing splash pad and a river running through the square that the kids can play in. It was packed the day that we went, but I imagine that anywhere with water is packed in St. George because it is a million degrees.

Dan turned his clog into a boat and then started freaking out when it actually started floating down the river.

Here is a good shot of the river water feature, but the river ran down quite a way from where Dan is standing.

Matt's Grandma (GG) and Momma Kimball

After an hour or so in the blazing sun, we walked over to the carousel that this park also has. Matt took the kids on the carousel because I get sea sick on those things. The kids loved it. They cried when they had to get off. This park was amazing and so much fun, definitely the funnest thing that we did while we were there. I definitely recommend it if you find yourself in St. George.

That night was our last night there and we just hung around Matt's Grandma's house and made our homemade pizza for dinner. Matt's family really likes our homemade pizza.

Nicole enjoyed looking at birds through the binoculars at Grandma Kimball's house.

Grandma Kimball had this little trampoline and the kids just loved it. They just jumped and jumped and got their wiggles out. It almost made me want to get one of these, but I wouldn't want to store it.

We went home on Thursday and the ride home was a lot more challenging then the ride there. Nicole had a hard time, and I had a hard time. I was in the back for some of the trip and my car sickness kicked in and it was no good. When we finally got home, we all took long naps.

It was a fun little week trip. We travel during the week so that Matt can work on the weekends. We are the opposite from every other working person out there.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was playing board games with Matt and Momma Kimball every night. I finally had people to play with me! Ever since Sarah and Mark moved, we haven't gotten to play games like we used to because we can't find people to play with us. But, since we were all together every night with nothing to do and so they were easy to convince to play games with me.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Swim Party

Momma Kimball had a swim party for all the grandkids on the first day of summer. She set up a slip and slide and a kiddy pool and we just let the kids play and go wild on a seriously hot day.

Dan and Nicole weren't much interested in swimming or slipping on the slip and slide, but Dan was interested and playing in the sprinkler part of the slide.

This is Matt's nephew Thomas. He is so cute with his little Chilean features.

Matt's niece Lindy

Nicole, Dan and Carlitos playing in the sprinkler

Olivia and Nicole

Dan did not like other people using the slip and slide while he was playing in the sprinkler. 
It was a fun little water party for the kids. Nicole did so well playing with the other kids, which was a pleasant surprise for us.