Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Reunions

Over the last couple of weekends, we've had a couple family reunions. A lot happened, so I'll just share some of the best stories.

Playing at the sand dunes
During the first reunion, I took Kevin and his cousin out on a canoe ride. I was on one end, and they were on the other end. We made it all the way through the channels to the second pond, but on our way back, we got lodged against the side of the reeds.

Just as I pushed away, my two passengers shifted and the canoe tipped over, dumping all three of us into the water. It wasn’t that deep. Kevin's cousin could easily touch the ground, but he started freaking out. He grabbed my elbow and dangled from it, all the while yelling, “I don’t want the leeches to get me!”

It was pretty hilarious, though I was trying to get the canoe turned back over and dumped out. So, I told him, “You’ve got to let go, so I can get us out of the water.” Meanwhile, Kevin was just floating in his life jacket with this look that said, “Why is he freaking out? Should I be freaking out too?”

We eventually got back in the boat and everyone was fine. I bruised my foot a little, and had a small leech on my leg, but I flicked it off. I paddled us back to shore, and we all got out. It was pretty entertaining.
Visiting Mesa Falls, Arkhon was there too, he was just being walked by a cousin
Between the two reunions, we stayed in Idaho, and I had two new nieces born during the week. That was pretty exciting. We also watched fireworks and played with cousins. It was cheaper for us to take the whole week as vacation time than to drive back and forth between the two states, so we stayed and hung out.
4th of July Fireworks
On the 5th of July, I needed some alone time. So, I went outside to think for a while. I was outside when a car came driving up. Thinking that it would just drive by, I ducked under one of the pine trees, because I didn’t want to look like a creeper just standing in front of the house. However, instead of driving past, the car stopped and parked. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stayed under the tree. I was wearing dark clothes, so I knew I couldn't be seen. I just thought it would be super awkward if I popped out, so I didn't move.

Playing at Grandpa's school
The driver turned out to be my younger brother, and he was confused when he saw a female figure walk toward the front door and disappear. When he got inside, he asked who had just come in, and they told him that no one had. He was pretty sure he had seen a ghost. That was pretty funny. We got things cleared up, but we all had a pretty good laugh.

During the second reunion, Kevin was playing with his cousin. Randomly he walked up to him and said, "Zazzy Poopy Sucker." He probably thought it was hilarious, but instead of laughing, his cousin reared back and punched him in the gut. Both of them were 4, and he wasn't seriously hurt, but he was pretty sad. We talked to his cousin about it, and he said, "But...but...he wasn't being appropriate."
Then we talked about how even if he wan't being appropriate, you still shouldn't punch someone in the gut. We asked him to come tell us next time if Kevin was being inappropriate instead of hitting him. He agreed to do so.

We probably are terrible people for this, but we thought it was pretty funny.

Kevin with his great-grandma 
We had a really great time, and it was nice to get away for a while. Things might be happening finally with foster care. The final paperwork has finally gotten to the office, so hopefully we'll know more soon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Fathers in My Life

I think I'm pretty lucky.

I know the most amazing men.

The more people that I meet, the more stories I hear, and the more I learn about foster care, I realize that most people didn't grow up the way I did.

My father was always very respectful to my mother. They worked together to raise ten children and the only time I ever saw my father get mad was if we made our mother cry. They disciplined us with love, and our home was a sanctuary from the rest of the world.
The day Grig became a father.
My grandfathers are both equally wonderful men. Last year, I lost my paternal grandfather, and it has left a significant hole in my life. I'm grateful for the gospel and for my religion. I have learned that if I live my life in a worthy manner, I will see him again. I have no doubts that he is working just as hard on the other side of the veil as he did on this side.

I'm also very close with my maternal grandfather. More than any of my siblings, I have been blessed to get to spend time with him. He has taught me a lot, and has shown great love to my son. I'm grateful that we live so close and can see them so frequently. Now, I just have to renew my fishing licence so we can go fishing.
Grig introducing Kevin to his first cow.
My husband is a wonderful husband and father. He's always trying to better himself, and he love me unconditionally. I'm not the most girly of girls, but I never wanted to feel like the man in the relationship, and I definitely don't with him. He loves me, glaring flaws and all, and he helps me to feel like a princess.

He tries his best to provide for our family, and he works very hard to do so. One of the things that I really respect and love about him, is that Kevin and I are so important to him. He wants to make sure that he is around for his son. He doesn't want Kevin to grow up with his father always working. Grig tries really hard to have individual time with Kevin when he comes home, and I really love him for that. Kevin does too.

Grig is constantly thinking of ways to protect our family and to make sure that we are safe. If we had unlimited funds, and he had his way, we'd probably live in a bunker with six different escape tunnels. Even though I wouldn't really like to live that way, I appreciate the sentiment behind the thought. He takes his role as protector very seriously.
Someone loves their daddy.
He is also my best friend. I can talk to him about anything, and he usually gets excited right along with me. It doesn't matter how dumb I feel like it is, he always takes the time to make sure I feel like what I'm saying is important. He's also a fantastic sounding board for my stories, and I really appreciate his insights. He is always supporting me in my interests and my projects.

Grig's father has also been an amazing grandfather to my son, and a fantastic father-in-law. He and Grig's mother have helped us in more ways that I can count. They both adore my son, and would spoil him rotten if they lived any closer. As it is, they have been so generous with us, and we're grateful that they care.
Taking care of his boy.

I also have some pretty awesome brothers and brothers-in-law. I don't know how we found so many great guys, but I'm glad we did. All of my sisters are now married, and nearly all of them have children (the last one is expecting soon), and I know that their children are going to be raised by loving and caring fathers.

Grig and I are also friends with a lot of upstanding men who love and care for their families.
Father's Day was last Sunday, and I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to all the remarkable men in my life. I'm so grateful I know you. You've taught me so much, and shown so much love to me and my family.
Bird's eye view
Fathers, keep up the good work. You may not know the impact that you're making, but you're appreciated more than you know.

Thank you and Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bedtime and Updates

Grig’s appointment went well, I think. We don’t have any real news yet, and now we're going to be waiting for all the paperwork to be sent to the foster care office again, so who knows how long that will take.

Today he also got a piece of metal in his eye at work, and so he had to go and have that looked at. They were able to remove it, and it didn't seem very damaged.

We had an appointment today with our veterinarian, and Siff and Arkhon did super well. The vet was really impressed with their behavior, and she said they were in perfect physical condition...except for their teeth. So, I brushed their teeth tonight, and I’m going to try and continue to do so. We may also need to do a few more things to remove the plaque buildup. Arkhon especially has quite a bit.

Kevin is doing awesome. Last week, we were really beginning to feel defeated. He still ends up in our bed almost every night, and he probably shouldn't be doing that when the foster kids get here. He's also getting bigger, and I don't really like sleeping on the very edge of the bed every night.

However, it's hard to prevent because he always sneaks into our room after we're asleep, and so we don't notice he's in our bed until morning.

So, we were puzzling about what to do about this, when inspiration struck. If we wanted him to stop, he had to choose to stop. So, we decided he might need some incentive. We went online and picked out a set of toys for Kevin. He chose some PJ Mask figures. He really loves that show. For the first toy in the set, he had to earn it by sleeping in his own bed for three nights. For the next toy, he had to sleep in his bed for four nights, and so on. There are five toys total. by the end, he hopefully will have learned how to stay in his own bed.

So far, he's earned one toy. Then, he hit a few days where he couldn't do it again. Then, another idea struck me. I told him that if he wakes up in the middle of the night, that he should wake me up (instead of just climbing into our bed), and I would help him go back to his own bed. He seemed encouraged by that idea.

After I told him that, he slept (mostly) in his own bed last night, and I was pretty proud of him. More importantly, he was really pleased with himself too.

Hopefully it goes even better tonight.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lagoon 2017

On Friday, Grig's work took all of its employees and their families to Lagoon (a nearby amusement park). We were pretty excited about it. Grig's last two employers have had an annual Lagoon day, and it's been nice to go for the last four years.

For some reason, Kevin was especially excited about the bumper cars. That was the first thing that he wanted to do. So, we went and ate lunch with Grig's company, and then we headed to the bumper cars. It was super hot, so we were excited to get to the water park portion of the park, but we promised Kevin that he could do the cars first.

We stood in line, and a short time later, Kevin was in his bumper car. He managed to hit a couple other cars, but it took him most of the first time to get the controls figured out, so we decided to let him try one more time.

 He was pretty happy about getting back in the cars, and he eagerly waited in line for his second chance to run his car into other children.
However, something went wrong. The car he was in froze on the side and wouldn't move, no matter how he spun the wheel. His face broke my heart a little. He kept looking to his dad for help, but no matter what he did, the car stayed in the same place. He was so disappointed, so we couldn't help but ask him if he wanted to try again or if he wanted to do a different ride.
 He chose to do a different ride. This time, the ride worked fine and he had a lot of fun.
 Next, we headed over to Lagoon Beach. We put on our swimsuits and rented a locker to keep our stuff in. Then, for the next few hours, we swam and took turns going down waterslides. Kevin loved it. He told us later that the water part was his favorite.

 After a few hours, he was shivering a bit, so we went to try a few more rides. Kevin was a lot braver this year. He tried out a lot of different rides that would have terrified him last year. He even tried a roller coaster.

 He gripped his dad's arm pretty tight, but he said it was really fun, and he wanted to do it again. He also really liked a spinning dragon that went backward and forward. It was pretty fast, but as long as he could grip my arm, he was cool with it. He also liked the rocking pirate ship.

After that, he wanted to go back to the beach area, but it was getting late, so we did a few rides that got us wet instead. I think that was a good choice, since it also began to get colder.

As the day neared its end, Kevin and I went on the carousel while Grig went on a roller coaster. Kevin really enjoyed that. He liked picking his animal to ride, and he immediately wanted to go again. Grig got back about that same moment, and so we switched and I went and rode the roller coaster.
 That was nice. I'd forgotten how much I like the adrenaline rush. It was a pretty mild coaster, but it still made me grin from ear to ear.
 Here is Kevin waiting in line for another turn on the carousel.
 We wanted to go on the ferris wheel before we left, but on the way, Kevin wanted to fly a plane, so we stopped to let him do that.
 He also got to fly a torpedo that came complete with a vibrating gun. He really liked that one too.
 About that point, the cotton from the cottonwood tree seemed to get really bad. We were coughing, sneezing, and gagging. We weren't the only ones, either. We heard people all around us sneezing and coughing.

The cotton helped us decide to leave sooner than we might have otherwise. We actually decided to not do the ferris wheel this time, because the wait was long and the sign on the ride said it could take over 20 minutes. So, about 9:00 p.m., we finally left the park.

A few miles down the road, we saw this:
A whole side of a mountain was on fire. We decided the smoke might have been part of why we were sneezing and coughing so much. It wasn't all that far away from Lagoon. 

It was good we left when we did anyway. The next day we had to get up early to go to my cousin's wedding. If we hadn't left earlier, we would have been really tired the next day. 

We had a lot of fun, and it was nice to spend time as a family away from distractions. 

Grig's medical appointment is tomorrow, so after that we'll hopefully have a better idea of what's going to happen next with foster care. If you want to pray for us, we'd appreciate it.