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My Sweet Cason

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My sweet Cason!  Of all my kids, Cason is the hardest right now.  He wants to do what he wants when he wants to.  He doesn't like to be told what to do.  He doesn't like to help.  He seems to just want to do things that will make his parents or siblings sad or upset.  When someone makes him mad he says he is going to wreck them (like Wreck It Ralph).  BUT he is the sweetest boy and whenever I start to worry for his future, he goes an does something that reminds me that he will probably be just fine after all.  Today was one of those days.

Corbin was at school and I was playing with Cason and Kinsley.  We were doing Ride a Horsey and Pat-a-Cake.  Then all the sudden the thought popped into my head that I wish my dad could see and hold Kinsley.  I didn't say anything out loud and I doubt my facial expressions changed much.  Literally the very next second, Cason started singing a song with a made up tune and words.  "I like Grandpa Jeff, I miss Grandpa Jeff. I like Grandpa Jeff, I miss Grandpa Jeff. I loooooove him."  Then he came over to me and told me he misses Grandpa Jeff.  Then he started singing "Families Can Be Together Forever."

I texted my sister this and she pointed out that my dad's spirit was probably very much with us at that moment.  So even though my dad didn't get to hold Kinsley with his physical body, he was there seeing her and getting to be with us as much as he is able.  

I just wanted to remember this special expereince and express my love for my sweet little man, Cason!  

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Luau

Our ward had a Luau along with the Spanish Ward and Polynesian Ward that meet in our building.  It was a fun event and great for kids.  There was even pig!

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The boys were pretty curious about it and wondered if we could eat it! 

Kinsley was dressed for a luau!

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During the performances, she was moving and dancing to the beat.  The only video I got was of Connor helping her. But it was still cute!

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Then for one of the dances, Connor was called up to learn it.  He brought the boys with him and I thought they did great!

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It was a fun, beautiful evening!

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Connor's Birthday

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Happy Birthday to my handsome husband!  For Connor's birthday, he opened presents before breakfast, we went to Corbin's t-ball game, had lunch at The Habit, had an afternoon date of a movie ("42", the Jackie Robinson movie) and dinner at Panera.  I would say the highlight of the day for Connor was getting 45 minutes to sit and play a game on his iPhone and to go on our date.  Also, all three of the kids did something special for him all on their own.  Since we got home just in time to put the kids to bed, I made him his traditional butterscotch pie the next day.  We didn't even do candles.  When you are 32 birthdays aren't that exctiing.  A funny story about that.  When the kids first woke up and came into our room, I told them it was dad's birthday.  They ran to look downstairs to see the decorations.  They came back and told me it wasn't dad's birthday because there were no balloons.  We tried to explain that we decorate just for their birthdays but they didn't get it or like it.

Here are 32 reasons why I love Connor:

1.  He is very handsome.
2.  He is an excellent dad.
3.  He is a loving husband.
4.  He does anything I ask him to. 
5.  He works so hard.
6.  He honors his Priesthood.
7.  He is responsible.
8.  He is kind.
9.  He does his home teaching,
10.  He makes me laugh.
11.  He has a positive attitude.
12.  He is very intelligent.
13.  He encourages me.
14.  He is a friend to everyone.
15.  He loves the Giants.
16.  He does the dishes.
17.  He puts the kids to bed.
18.  He listens to me.
19.  He is a good dancer.
20.  He fixes things around the house.
21.  He helps me learn new things.
22.  He knows a lot about the scriptures.
23.  He has a testimony.
24.  He will do anything for me.
25.  He will be there for me through anything.
26.  He compliments me.
27.  He relieves me when I am stressed.
28.  He likes to play games.
29.  He has similar tastes as me.
30.  He wants me to be happy.
31.  He takes care of me.
32.  He does everything he can so we can be together forever!

Utah Trip

We just got back from our trip to Utah for Grammy's funeral.  Although it was very tiring we were so glad we went to celebrate Grammy and to see family!  We were in 4 different states in 48 hours so there was quite a bit of driving.  I had originally wanted to fly but we couldn't find tickets for cheaper than $600 a person and having a 6 hour layover for an 1 1/2 hour flight is just not practical.  So we drove.  

On Thursday, I picked up Connor from a meeting at work and we left at 4pm.  I wasn't too happy about this since I knew that meant we would hit traffic and we did.  We got to Sparks, just north of Reno, at 10pm.  With no traffic it would have taken about 4 hours.  But the kids did great and were even okay to go to sleep late.  Unfortunately, per their usual, thet wokeup early.  

We then started the long part of the drive across Nevada.  Like the day before, the kids were amazing.  No complaing or whining.  We would just have to ocassionaly get them a new movie or iPad.  

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We got in to Utah and hurried and got dressed and fed the kids to make it to Grammy's viewing.  We weren't sure if we were going to make it in time so we hadn't prepped the boys.  When my dad passed, we felt we shouldn't bring them to his viewing so I wasn't sure how this was going to go.  We got in the room and Corbin was instantly at her casket.  I told him he didn't have to but he said he wanted to.  He asked me if that was Grammy and he just looked at her for a while.  Cason wasn't as interested but he did have me pick him up so he could see.  I'm still not sure either of them completely understand but we were there to answer any questions.  

After the viewing, we went to Grammy's house and were able to just talk as an extended family.  Connor had cousins and an aunt and uncle and they just told stories of his grandparents.  I wasn't able to mee his grandfather so I feel like I got to know him better.  

Saturday was the funeral.  

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We went over early for the viewing and the Duke cousins to practice their song.  About half an hour before the funeral started, Kinsley was getting tired.  So I sat in the chapel with her while she took a nap.  I was the only one in the family section at that time.  I was a mess.  I kept thinking about my dad.  Then I was a mess through the funeral as well.  I'm not one to be able to hold it together anyway and funerals are even worse.  But it was a beautiful service and it is clear that Grammy was a beautiful, humble, inteliigent, kind, caring, generous person.  She still is!  I'm glad to know that death isn't the end.  (More on this later!)

After the funeral we were to drive up to Preston Idaho where she was to be burried.  It was about a 2 hour drive and it seemed like a piece of cake compared to what we had done.  I felt bad for the kids since we had just spent 2 days of driving, but they were awesome as usual!

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The cemetary was FREEZING.  But all the kids did well.  I'm glad we did go.  After the cemetary we went to Grammy's cousins house for a lunch.  They had this cute playhouse in the backyard built in the early 1900's and it was amazing.  I didn't actually go inside but I heard it was really nice.  The kids just loved playing outside even though it was so cold.  

We made our way back to Utah and Connor and I decided we would go to the temple that night, even though we were dead tired.  We just couldn't figure out a better time to go and it was extremely important that we go.  It had been so long since we had been and it was needed.  I'm glad we decided on that night.

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I went hoping to feel close to my dad and I'm pretty sure he was there but I overwhelminly felt Grammy's presence.  Connor also said he felt the same.  I'm not sure how everything works when we pass away but since it hadn't been that long for Grammy, I feel that she was VERY close to earth and that's why I felt her so strong.  It was a wonderful way to end the evening.

The next day was Sunday and after church, we all had a nap!  I cam't remember the last time Connor and I took a Sunday nap.  For dinner that night, all the cousins came over and had a blast!  There was so much playing that the boys were tuckered out!  

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Papa may have fallen asleep next to them after he read them their stories.

We woke up on Monday morning to SNOW!  The boys were excited.  They quickly learned how to throw it at me and Cason LOVED to eat it.  

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We went to the Church History Museum and the kids playing in the children section.  They loved it.  

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Then we went to the new City Creek and had lunch and the kids played in the kids area.

We took Kinsley back home for a nap and the boys came back later with Nana and Papa.  That night we got pizza for everyone and we got to go through some of Grammy's things and take some stuff to remember her by.  I think it will be nice to see and use these items and remember Grammy!

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Tuesday we had to get on the road early so Connor could call in to a conference call.  But while we were on the road the meeting was cancelled.  But luckily our kids were GREAT in the car again so we made it within 2 hours of home before we stopped at a hotel.

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The kids did some swimming and then we had some snacks and Jamba Juice in bed!  Connor worked and then Kinsley woke up around midnight.  She was having such a rough night and would just cry and cry.  Connor took her for a drive, but that didn't work.  I tried taking her into the bathroom and turned on a hot shower to get some steam in her sinuses, but that didn't work.  All that did was make the fire alarm go off in our room and wake up the boys.  Needless to say we had a pretty rough night.  

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The next morning we were stuck in a little bit of traffic coming home, but we made it and we were all glad to be home.  We loved seeing all our family and can't wait to see them again soon!

Kinsley at 10 Months

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Honestly, I do not know how this last month went so fast but all the sudden I realized that Kinsley is 10 months old.  I love this little girl to pieces!  Here's a couple new things:

-She seems to be saying some words.  It's really hard at this age to figure out what is babbling and what is actual words.  But here are some of the words she has said more than 5 times in the correct context.  "Yeah"  When we ask a question or talk about her wondering if she is doing or saying or thinkng a certain thing she will say "yeah".  "All done" (ah du) We have been trying to get her to sign "all done" and "more".  Sometimes she will sign "all done" or sometimes she'll say "ah du".  She says "dada" but not necessarily in reference to Connor.  She rarely says mama.  She will say "baba" a lot but I'm not sure what that is in referene to if anything.
-She LOVES to snuggle soft and fuzzy cuddly things.  Whetther it is a blanket, stuffed animal, toy.  She LOVES it all.  She just grabs it and hugs it and puts her face on it.  
-She's not super clingy anymore.  She goes to Connor more easily.  And she will go to mostly anyone and be held without crying.  But if she does see me, she would rather me hold her so she'll reach out for me.  But if she doesn't see me she is fine to stay with the person holding her.  And she will almost always touch the nose and mouth of the person holding her.  
-This isn't new, but we have been experiencing it again.  She is an awful teether.  When she is teething she gets super snotty which makes it hard to breathe and then good sleep is compromised.  I got this new "toy" as an early birthday present that tracks my sleep.  And for the 7.5 hours I was in bed it says I was awoken 14 times.  
-She has really been into pointing at things.  
-She has definitely become more of a daddy's girl.  
-She is scooting around on her little bum like crazy.  She is getting super fast.  I think we might skip crawling.  She is also trying to pull herslef up furniture, stairs etc.  But so far she just gets to her knees.
-For her naps and night time sleep, she is stll sawadled around the middle.  She has long since stop being able to be swaddled with her arms.
-It takes a lot to get her to laugh.  Usually a good tickle or some sort of major attention.
-She LOVES Corbin.  But he does pay her a lot of attention.  
-She's in 6-12 month clothing and size 3 diapers but will be chaning very soon.

We LOVE LOVE this girl so much!!!

Corbin: An Actor?

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Corbin came home from school the other day with this mask.  He told me they acted out the story The Three Billy Goats Gruff at school.  He was really excited about it and we have sinced acted it all out together as a family several times since then.  

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Then today when I picked him up, he had this bear hat.  He told me that acted out Goldilocks and the Three Bears today.  His teacher pulled me aside and told me how great Corbin did at acting it out.  She said he was clear, loud, and enunciated clearly.  He knew his "lines".  He was also excited to tell me the story and how it was acted out.  

I would never have guessed Corbin would be so interested in "acting".  I wish I had a video of it!

Corbin School Picture

Corbin's preschool takes their pictures near the end of the year, for some reason.  But we just got them back yesterday.  Here it is!

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What a cute boy he is.  We can't believe how grown up he looks.  

Here are all 3 preschool years side by side!  We love this boy!!

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Grammy

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Connor's dear, sweet Grammy passed away last night.  I've only had the privilege of knowing her for 7 1/2 years and the majority of that time we have been living in California.  While I don't have near the amount of memories as most of the other family, I will still miss her and am saddened at her passing.  

Connor has a ton of wonderful memories of Grammy as he grew up.  She was one of those kind of grandmas that just adored her grandchildren.  She spent a lot of time with them and made them feel loved.  She was kind and generous and she loved BYU!  

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Even though we lived too far away to see her often, she let us know she was thinking about us.  Especially at birthdays.  I don't know HOW she did this but she sent us all birthday cards every year and they would ALWAYS get here ON THE DAY of our birthday (unless it was a Sunday, of course, and then it was just a day off).  I was always amazed at how she could do this.  I thought that was so awesome.  Another thing that I loved about those cards, is that mine would always refer to me being her grandaughter.  And I do feel like she was MY Grammy too!   

She bought me my temple clothing before I went through the temple and was then sealed to Connor.  She gave me a doily she made for my bridal shower and we have in displayed in our dining area.  As a wedding present, we have probably 50-75 snowflakes she made for us to put on our Christmas tree and they are my most favorite part of my Christmas tree every year.  I LOVE that I have all these special reminders of Grammy in my life.  

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Obviously, with the passing of my dad 9 months ago, death has been on my mind a lot.  Death is an interesting thing.  It causes a lot of pain and hardship to people left here on earth, but it is actually a very joyous and wonderful thing for the person who is going.  They will no longer be suffering pains and ailments of the body.  They will get to see loved ones they have lost as in the case with Grammy who is now reunited with her husband who she hadn't seen in 20ish years.  

I'm grateful for the knowledge of the Savior and his resurrection.  I'm especially grateful for eternal families.  We will get to see our loved ones again!!  

Visitors

We were lucky enough to have Connor's brother, Clint and his family come visit us. ( Someday maybe we'll have a house big enough for everyone to stay!)  But we got to spend time with them and that is what counts.  It is always fun to see them and see how the cousins interact together.  As always, they all get along wonderfully.  Cousins do truly have a special bond, even when they live far apart!

Here are some of the fun pictures we got!

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We love family!

Do We Have A Future Pianist?

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April Fools!

This morning we were telling the boys that today is April Fools Day.  Cason asked what that meant.  I told them it means you can play jokes.  Then they wanted to know, "What are jokes?"  I can't believe we've never talked about jokes before!  So I told them a few "Knock-knock" jokes.  Here was the one Corbin made up:

Knock-knock?
Who's there?
Apple
Apple who?
Apples don't knock!

Good point, son!  He clearly doesn't get the purpose of a joke.  Then again, it did make us laugh so maybe he DID get the point!

A few months ago, I saw an April Fools joke that I wanted to try on Connor and the boys!  I told Connor that I had a good one and for some reason he kept thinking it was going to be this big mean trick.  I don't think it's mean at all and even if it is I did it in a way where it is quickly not mean anymore.

After dinner, I told my family we were going to have some brownies for dessert!  I bring out the pan and…

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BROWN EE'S!!!

They DIDN'T think it was funny!

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But then I quickly brought out REAL brownies!  

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See!  I'm not that mean!  Happy April Fools Day!


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