Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bon Voyage Cassidy & James!

As many of you know, Cass and James are moving to Hawaii in mid-August, where James will be earning his PhD. at the University of Hawaii. We are excited for them, but at the same time we know this will mean we won't be seeing much of them for the next four years, so we are a little sad. Yes, we are expecting to make some treks to Hawaii during that time, which will be fun, but it will be hard to let them go so far for so long! So on July 17th all the kids and grandkids congregated at our house for a going away party for them. We had a blast! It's so fun when we are all together. Friday morning some of us got up early and went for a jog or walk, as the case may be.

We knew it was going to be a "bad" food weekend, so we tried to off-set that by keeping up with our exercise Friday and Saturday mornings.

It was hot!

We all went swimming a little later, which is the only thing you can do in the desert in the middle of summer. Our pool isn't huge, but it's pretty good sized, so even with all of us in there we had lots of fun.

Sareny being thrown by her Daddy.

Liz, Josh and Jake.

Lexi and Isaac

Cass and James.

Holli and John. We played Marco Polo and just enjoyed cooling off.
"One, heeeeee, one!" (That's Isaac counting to three before he jumps in.)

The highlight for the kids was the faux "Sea Doo" that we got for them to putt around on! It actually did go when they pressed the button. They loved it!

The guests of honor: James and Cass
Of course we we had lots of good food too. Saturday was the big "Luau" day, so after swimming again, we started the official "party." We had to announce that it was party time because Sareny just kept asking, "Is it the party yet?" the whole weekend!

We had shish ka bobs and fresh fruit salad with every fruit known to man in it (practically) and Aunt Shelley's famous dingleberry stew, (sorry, she is quite offended by the name that we have given it.) It's really my brother Rod's fault. He called it that one time as a joke, and the name stuck. It's actually a yummy slush with lots of berries and other good stuff in it, and I agree that calling it dingleberry stew kind of makes it sound horrible, but I can't help it........somehow the name fits.
I don't think little Joshie liked the hat!

Keith, sweet little Finley, and Hill.

We had some carribean music playing in lieu of Hawaiian music, for ambience, and after dinner Hillari started a Congo (or is it Conga?) Line and what a hoot that was. Eventually everyone joined in, even the grandkids, and we wound through the house. After that we all trekked out to Valley of Fire, where we took some great pictures and climbed around on the magnificent rocks.
Jake, Liz & Joshie

I hope the wind was blowing or something......I'm not sure why my hair was looking so strange.

Lexi Lou

Cute little family!

Holl and Johnny.
Aloha Cassidy and James!

Most everyone had to leave on Sunday morning, but Cass, James, Lexi, Holli and John were able to stay for Sacrament Meeting, and John and Holli didn't fly out to Georgia until Monday morning. So we had a great time with all our children. It was a perfect time together in honor of Cass and James. We will totally miss them, but hope we will get to see them a few times each year. We love all our kids and grandkids so much!

Friday, July 18, 2008

San Deigo Trip

We are home from our trip to San Diego, and I feel like I have been gone forever! In reality it has been almost three weeks since I left for Phoenix, which is kind of a long time. We are so glad we were able to go help Hill and Keith and kids, and when we left there for our little trip to San Diego, it was a nice break. We got to do lots of fun things. We stayed in a really nice condo in downtown, right across from Petco Park. Unfortunately, the Padres didn't have a home game while we were there. Jeff was bummed. We saw lots of beautiful sunsets on the beach, went to Sea World, Old Town, went on a Harbor Cruise, or part of one. The ship had engine trouble about half-way through, so we only got half of that. (we did get a refund though). We went to the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, which Jeff loved. I enjoyed it okay too, but we were there for three hours!!!

We even rented a surrey at the boardwalk and pedaled around the island for some exercise. It was pretty fun even though it didn't go fast enough for us.

One of the best days was when we went to the San Diego Temple and did a session there. It is the most beautiful Temple of all, in my opinion. It was perfect.

Jeff got this great shot of the famous Shamu at Sea World.
We had lunch on the deck of the Midway, just for fun. Surprisingly it was even pretty good.
Here's Jeff playing "Top Gun."
Here I am on the Harbor Cruise that was kind of a dud, since it got cut short, but what we saw was pretty cool. This shows the Coronado Bridge in the distance. What a fun time we had. I could move there, I think. The weather is so perfect. I know we are heading home to the "oven."

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's just kinda hard............

Well, I came here to help Hill, but the other day I felt like I was getting a sore throat. It has continually gotten worse until yesterday I woke up feeling really rotten. I looked in my throat and it had white stuff all over it, so I decided I would have to go to an urgent care center and see a Dr. Yuk. I hate urgent care centers. But I went, and he said he didn't think it was strep, but he gave me a couple of prescriptions so I can get feeling better, and not get everyone else sick too. By the way, those of you who know me well know that I hate city driving. I'm practically paranoid about it. So I was quite proud that I drove myself there and back. I mean, it wasn't too far away, but still............I know me, so I was impressed! So I started the medication, but I haven't started feeling better yet. I am trying to help as much as possible though. In the meantime, Holli and John arrived from Georgia. Yay! We were so glad to see them. They will be here for a few days, then they and everyone else are congregating at our house for a going away party for Cass and James. I'll blog some more about that later, with pictures. Also Jeff arrived last evening, much to the delight of Isaac and Sareny. If you are thinking that this is quite a house full for someone who just had a baby, it is. But with Hill, the more the merrier. She likes people around after she has a baby because it helps her get over the "baby blues" better. She always wants me to stay for at least two weeks when she has a baby! I'm sure she would want me to stay longer if I could. Keith is probably about getting sick of all of us! On Sunday Jeff and I will be heading to San Diego for five days to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Hopefully it will be very fun (and restful! These kids have worn us to a frazzle!) I'll get some good pictures to blog.

Here are some cute pictures of the kids' last swim lessons for this session, which I took them to yesterday morning. Isaac was so happy, and wild and crazy, the lifeguards couldn't believe it was the same kid. They asked me if I doped him up on sugar (which I kinda had.) Both kids had a fun
time for their last lesson.

This morning Jeff went to the QT, (or cutie, as we call it) which is kind of like a 7-11, only better, and bought the kids a milk shake. Here's a cute picture of them sharing it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cute Kids

I feel so blessed to be here taking care of my sweet Grandkids! Sareny is totally acting the part of "big sister" and thinks she is in charge most of the time. (Maybe she is!) Both her and Isaac are so loving, kissing and hugging me all the time. Sar will just be sitting there doing nothing in particular and will say, "Grammy Jo, I like you." Isaac calls me "Dammy" or "Doe", never "Dammy Doe," but always one or the other. I have seen a different side to him since I have been here though. I will have to finally admit that he can be bratty sometimes! Hill has been trying to tell me, but I always stuck up for I have to say, he can be a total stinker! He has a temper! He does like to hit and throw things, and also throw fits and crying jags. But overall he is still the cute and sweet little boy that Grammy Jo thinks he is. They were playing with Sareny's dolls (and pooh) the other day and lined them up against the wall and then sat by them. I happened upon this cute little scene, and snapped a picture. Precious moments!

This is little Finley in the outfit that Tia Cass gave her!

And here she is in the outfit given to her by Tia Lexi!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Boy and a Bucket

These pictures are irrefutable proof that kids love to play with the boxes and buckets that toys come in rather than the actual toys. First Isaac stuck this toy bucket on his head, and then he wore it around his middle and was having so much fun. I was afraid he would run into something when he covered his head with it, but he didn't. Remember this next Christmas everyone.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Finley Lynn

I decided to give Hill a chance to blog about the new baby before I steal any of her thunder. Little Finley Lynn is so sweet and cute. It was an absolute miracle being there for her birth. Seeing your own being born in a tiny mirror isn't the same as being up close and personal for your granddaughter's birth. I thought I might get a little squeemish, since I have been known to when watching the kids get stitches and such, but I was not a bit. If any of you know Keith, you know that he would not want to cut the cord, so I got to! It was great. Hill has her babies fast.....four hours from start to finish with this one. Lucky her. Finley has the cutest little dimple on her left cheek! We saw it first thing. She wasn't stuck in the birth canal for hardly any time at all, (Hill pops 'em right out) so she didn't have the traditional mis-shapen head or anything. But she did have some bruising on her face, especially around her mouth. (the nurses all said it was from coming down so fast!) But I still thought she was the cutest thing ever. Sareny and Isaac love her already. Sareny simple won't leave her alone and wants to hold her every minute, but actually does quite well with her. Isaac wants to give her a few kind of rough kisses and then moves on to other pursuits. Here are some of our favorite pictures.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Being Grandparents........

Okay, so we are in Phoenix being Grammy Jo and Bampa. We were waiting for Hillari to have the baby, and now that she has, we have been taking care of two cute, fun, but demanding grandkids! It's been awhile since we were the sole caregivers of a two and four year old! It has been a fun time though. Here's a picture of Isaac, who I have been potty training for the past few days. He is totally getting the hang of it! He always does something everytime he gets on there!

He is so dang cute! Suddenly he has got the curliest hair ever! When he woke up one day after his nap he looked so funny I had to grab the camera, but he was not too happy since he had just rolled out of bed.
We also have been taking them to swim lessons each morning. Sareny absolutely loves her lessons, but poor ol'Isaac starts boobing as soon as he gets started, and boobs the whole time. We don't have the heart for it, so we let him get out and snuggle with us. So on Thursday we talked about not crying during lessons while we were driving there and bribed him with everything we could think of, and low and behold, he didn't cry once! He was so cute. He kept looking over and giving us this little hint of a smile during his lesson. A couple of times his lower lip pouted a little like he wanted to cry, but he didn't. We were very proud of him. Here are some swimming pics, but we didn't have the camera on Thursday, so we didn't get any of Isaac happy. Who knew our bribes would actually work????
Sareny always had a smile since she loves swimming!
Isaac was perfectly content to sit and snuggle with Bampa. For the last few days, eveytime I say for Isaac to come and sit on my lap, he always says, "Bampa!" in a voice as if to say, "Don't be stupid, I only sit on Bampa!"
Sar does everything the lifeguards tell her. Her life's goal is to be a lifeguard herself!