Sunday, August 13, 2017

Birthdays, Road trips, and Our First Arizona Summer



June 4

On Memorial day everyone was feeling good enough for us to pack up a lunch and drive up near Mount Lemmon. It was a long drive, but the kids got a HUGE kick out of the Beatles #1 CD we brought and played in the car. Addie slept on the way up and they both slept on the way back. While up in the mountains we went for a couple short hikes and enjoyed the fresh air and cooler temperatures. Addie kept pointing at boulders saying “boulda! boulder!” over and over again. They both enjoyed looking for ants and chipmunks and overall it was a great holiday.

Ready to go hiking?!

Mom and Hinckley at the Tucson Temple open house

Hinckley started swimming lessons this week and has been getting more courageous doing bobs and "glides". I got to observe some of it when we went swimming yesterday. Hinckley also attended a birthday party (and Kas and Addie joined him when he realized it was an all-girls party and he was sort of overwhelmed by it all). Lately he has begun to incorporate trucks and dinos into his train-playing regimen and it is fun to see him let his imagination run wild. Also he loves "Mighty Machines" on Netflix and has the theme song down pretty good!


Addie continues to explore her vocabulary and copies us much more. It is extremely cute! She's started to put words together like "want it" and "get it" and continues to belt out "Yeah!" to most questions. At the pool she is addicted to jumping/falling off the edge into our arms and it is quite the upper-body work out to keep up with her demanding routine. She loves following Hinckley around everywhere he goes, and if he isn't giving her attention she has her ways to get it.


June 11

We had a great time in Zion for a reunion with Kassie's family. We drove up to Zion, stayed there yesterday, and then today I drove back while they drove on with John and Naomi to Colorado. Yesterday H had a blast with Ean and Kohl, playing in the dirt and with rocks. It was very cute. We also went swimming and he was able to run around with his water guns. We had a good time, and I think it went well. We also went down into the park yesterday and saw weeping rock and went on the river trail. That is one of the most glorious places in the world, I love it so much.

 
Building lizard traps with Kohl and Ean

In the Zion Shuttle with Aunt Rochelle and Mama

Weeping rock, Hinckle's all time favorite place in Zion

Watching a DVD for billions of hours straight in the car

Family photo in Zion

July 2

We did our best to stay indoors this week as the temperature has been above triple digits all week (and nearly all day/night) long.

Hinckley is getting extremely excited for his birthday and Addie and I went to go get a bike for the boy we'll present later this week before the big trip to UT. He and I went to Home Depot for the kid craft thing and made a bug house which was pretty fun! I don't know why I haven't thought of going to those things in the past, especially after seeing all the fun pictures from Trent and kids. We'll be going again I am sure. We also went and saw Cars 3 and despite the fact that Hinckley wanted to leave in the middle of the movie a few times he ended up liking it quite a bit and now all his imaginary games with his trucks and dinos involve racing of some kind. The other night Hinckley wanted to strip down just to his underwear so he could “exercise” and run around and eventually go to sleep like that. He and Addie ran around the couch for a very long time, roping Kassie into it for some rounds as well.



Addie is really repeating things a lot now, and has started making small demands by saying things like “I get it” and “Want it”. She has also started perfecting the dramatic tantrum. Her royal fits rival only Hinckley when it comes to pitch and physical violence. We are all learning new levels of patient endurance. She'll be turning two in August :) Despite the fits and strong opinions, she continues to be incredibly sweet. She'll often ask for kisses, grin at you and laugh till you can't help but laugh with her, and give big hugs and cuddles. It is hard to do anything other than hold her when I am home and she is awake.

Tomorrow we are driving to a small mountain town called Bisbee where we'll tour a mine, watch local boxcar racers, maybe play on slip-n-slides, and see the local parade all in weather we pray will be the promised 15 degrees cooler. We're planning on staying the night at a home we found on AirBnB and come back in time to see the local fireworks in Sahuarita.

At Bisbee's famous 4th of July kart races

Fireworks and glow sticks at Sahuarita "Red, White, and Boom"
Inside the Tombstone Silver Mine (Hinckley's cloud 9) 

July 15, 2017 

Well, how to summarize the last week? It was a flurry of family, food, and fun. It began with us leaving shortly after work on Friday the 8th and we drove to Dan and Sam’s new home in Goodyear just outside of Phoenix. We broke the news of baby #3 and Sam was very excited that their baby will have a cousin at a similar age. We had a great visit with them, and even had a scorpion scare in the bathroom sink!

The next day we left for Provo. Addie was very excited to realize we were going to “Nana’s House!” and was saying that over and over again, and they both did pretty well with the trip. Lucy and Kendall had baby James blessed in OH1 the next day and we had a great group of family and friends over to hear Ryan talk about being a chaplain. Ryan, Trent, and I went to Jamestown to give Grandpa H a blessing. He ensured to stand and shake our hands and he called us each by name and asked about what was going on in our lives. I am very humbled to be connected in anyway to that great man.

Feeding frenzie with cousins

Preparing to hike timp cave

Goofin off with Dad

Posing with Grandpa and Jack



Monday we fulfilled our nearly 1.5 year old promise to Hinckley that I’d take him to Timpanogos cave. Most of the family went and it was fun to have Trent and Natalee and their kids come with us as well as Tommy Spencer. Tristan held Hinckley’s hand most of the way and it was really cute to hear the things they talked about. Hinckley did the whole 3 mile hike without anyone carrying him! It was pretty neat. He loved the cave, and had lots to say about it, naming the columns and other cave geological structures much to the rest of our delight.

The rest of the week was spent at a cabin near Mt Pleasant Utah where we played volleyball, ate tons of food, contracted sickness, had deep discussions, and many other things. Hinckley spent most of his time looking for “BBs” - little pellets that apparently were used at one point as a part of an BB gun war or something on the premises. Over the course of the 2-3 days H and his cousins were searching, many BBs were unearthed and preserved in plastic cups. It was really hilarious to see his zeal in finding those and also enabled him to spend most of his time unsupervised by us which was amazing. Addie was pretty needy for much of the time, unless Grandpa was around! She also had lots of fun playing with Sadie and Annie in a miniature kitchen area and it was fun to see her develop relationships with some of her uncles as well (as she really gravitates to men so well!).

Awesome birthday monster truck, courtesy of the cousins

Birthday boy and family

Hinckley’s 4th birthday was a wonder as we had a piƱata (Thomas the Train that I dangled from the balcony), water balloon play/fight/enjoy, cake, and presents. H was overjoyed with it all and it was so fun to have all his cousins around him congratulating him and hugging him. He was pretty darn excited about it all.

There was so much that occurred and I’ve only scratched the surface. 

July 23

When we arrived home from Utah last Saturday we were met with our first Monsoon experience in Tucson and it did not disappoint! The rain has been pounding down throughout the week, mainly at night, and the desert has bloomed green in response. It is remarkable to be in Arizona in the middle of July and know that it is in the 70s right now! It still gets kind of hot, and it is much more humid now, but all in all we are loving this.


Hinckley loves the water and puddles and is eager to be out in the wet whenever he can. He is also in the midst of two intense interests: finding and consuming "junk food" and "getting money". "I"m hungry for junk food" and "Mom will you pay me money?" are some of the most frequent phrases out of his mouth. We have instituted a job chart and have given him extra chores he can do if he would like to make a few extra coins. It is funny because he still hasn't fully understood the value of money, he sees the coins as precious treasures for his infamous treasure box.

Addie has been growing her vocabulary and expanding her caring personality. She often expresses her love with "I uv you!" and "Kisses!" she loves copying every thing Hinckley does and also enjoys nagging him too. She continues to sleep really well, and seems to have realized we aren't going on trips and such and is seems more confident in things. Nursery isn't as scary and she hardly sheds a tear now!

Milkie Hangout 

Eating Egee's cookies while the oil gets changed

We spoke in church today, Kassie about tithing and me about turning to the Lord and we are glad it went well. My biggest fear was the kids but they didn't significantly better than last week (which was a total nightmare). We are feeling blessed.

July 30

On Monday we had Mom, Dad, Granny, and Grandpa Great here for dinner and a Pioneer day FHE. It was fun to have them here and the kids enjoyed showing off and displaying their personalities.

Hinckley finished another round of swimming lessons this week and passed his class. He is becoming quite the swimmer! We are considering soccer or gymnastics as an activity to try out in the winter so we'll see if he takes any of those up with equal energy as he did with swimming. Addie continues to enjoy copying his every move and teasing him too. They have enjoyed playing "dinos" this week, an imaginary and immersive game where they run around with Kassie looking for food and berries and getting sick and being healed. Hinckley is called "Hip Fire-lighter", Addie is "Baby Tooth" and Kassie is "Sharp Claw". I joined one session this week as "King Dino" :) 


August 6

Kassie and I went on fun date this week to celebrate our 6 years of marriage. Time flies! The kids were excited to have a baby sitter though Hinckley was reduced to tears when she put toys away in the wrong places. Yesterday we had a fun time at a kid jump place. One of my co-workers invited us to come for her son's birthday party and Hinckley had a blast jumping on the trampoline surfaces, eating cake, and identifying small pieces of trash (AKA treasure) to bring home. After that we drove up to Goodyear to visit Dan and Sam Burnside and meet their new baby.

Other activities this week included a picnic at the park, more swimming, and a couple of playgroups. Addie's recent phrases include "What?!" to many of the statements we make, and she also says "Sorry baby" at times when we ask her to stop something. When she gets upset or cranky she gets the cutest angry face and cocks her arm up ready to hit and begins an attack. Then she'll often change immediately into happy Addie saying "hug!" and she gives contrite hugs. Hinckley has been binge-watching Octonauts, a strange show about turnips exploring the ocean. He has begun spouting facts about otters eating red urchins and creatures of the "midnight zone". The other day he asked me if I had ever seen a current, and he went on and on about currents! Ha ha, it was pretty funny how much he is learning about the deep sea. He asked Kassie why we aren’t whales, he would really like to be a whale he said. 



August 13

We had a happy birthday for Addie this week! She reveled in her presents and Hinckley learned something about celebrating others. We all had fun and enjoyed an amazing Hummingbird cake that Kassie made. We only ate a small portion of it so I brought what was left to work the next day and people were raving about how good it was :) 

Family party

2 year old birthday girl
Cake time!

Brother birthday hug

Today is the Tucson Temple Dedication and we watched the three kids of a family in the ward this morning while their parents when to the first session and cornerstone ceremony, and then we are going to the afternoon session and leaving the kids at their house. It will be pretty neat to have our own temple again!

Shot of the Tucson temple from my second day of volunteering as a parking guru

Hinckel-bee the Pirate

Hinckley has begun to really embrace the idea of being a pirate, it goes with his never ending quest to find treasures and items for his treasure box. Yesterday I made an eye patch for him which I am quite proud of, even if he wasn't too impressed! When swimming yesterday I would throw him out of the water into the air and he was ecstatic saying things like "I flew so high I touched the sky!" and "Dad, I love it when you throw me into the depths of the sea." Addie got a new pair of shoes in the mail this week and the box they came in has become her treasure box since she doesn't have one yet. Hinckley has worked with his regular intensity to ensure she has enough items to get her starter-kit functioning as a full fledged treasure box as soon as possible (including shoving old wrapping paper and receipts in it so she can have her own "treasure"). 



Hanging out with one of her birthday presents (potty seat)

As a certified 2 year old Addie has perfected the full-body-prostrated-on-the-ground position paired with ear-splitting screams and pounding fists known as having a "fit". In a matter of seconds she can move from such a state to a calm and kind hugging approach that will melt your heart, especially when accompanied by "I wuv u!" and "I sorry" as her golden head bends to the side to rest gently on your shoulder or nearby body part. She has loved playing with her new toys and copying Hinckley in everything he does.

On-demand bed service demo

Kassie and Hinckley pose for a pregnancy picture (we're expecting #3!)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Summer Commencement

April 30, 2017

This week we enjoyed having some of the Bishopric over for a visit and Kas and the kids had a few more playdates with folks in the ward. Everyone has been incredibly warm and welcoming and we feel really grateful. On Friday we went on our first date out of the house and the kids did great with the babysitter. For our date we went to The Zookeeper's Wife which was super intense (too much so?), about a family in Warsaw Poland during WW2. The movie theater nearby somehow stays in business . . . there was hardly a soul there and it was Friday night! We went to get a treat afterwards but everything other than a bar was closed! I guess we don't live in a college town anymore.



Yesterday we had a full day of going to a stake service activity, and later went on a nature hike at Sabino Canyon (right near Saguaro National Park) and enjoyed looking at all the different types of cacti and plants (including Mormon Tea). We got a double stroller and I took it for a run yesterday morning. It was below 60 so we all needed jackets :) 

Double Joy Stroller

This week at work I had an intensive workshop all about Criterion Referenced Instruction. It was great to have so much to do and to learn the framework I will be using here at Intuit. We still loving everything here and we are having a good time.

May 7, 2017

We hit over 100 degrees this week but are happy that it is cooling off this weekend and next. 

Hinckley and Addie are doing great, and I think everyone is feeling fully settled here at home now. Kas and the kids took a few visits into "town". They had a field trip with a group of preschool kids to Krispy Kreme to see donuts being made (and eat some too of course). They went to a library in Tucson and Hinckley got another book on caves. He was “delighted” that there was more about erosion. That guy is hilarious. They also tried out a splash pad in Tucson and had a great time. 

Putting on gardening gloves

Addie loves vegetables and the other night she didn’t want to eat the unhealthy garlic bread I had brought from the store, nor the yummy pasta noodles, or her milk, only the small peas Kassie added to the noodles as an after thought. She points at what she wants and makes herself known! That reminds me of when we had a yummy rice dinner and all she wanted was the asparagus that we cut up for her. She had multiple helpings. She loves to do as Hinckley does, and is always saying “Hinkeee!” in the morning when she can’t see him (since he wakes up much later than her usually). I enjoy the time I usually have with her in the morning as I make breakfast and get things ready for the day. She usually cuddles her bunnies, explores things in the living room, or begs for “gulk” (milk). 

Inside the bowels of Colossal Caverns

Yesterday afternoon was momentous as we went on Hinckley’s (and Addie’s) first ever cave visit. We went to Colossal Caverns and it was great! Hinckley chatted the whole time earning several smiles from the other cave visitors with us on the tour. He was begging from the start to see the stalactites which was really cute. Half way through the tour he turned to Kassie and said, “Mom, this is really amazing!” Our little 3 year old is quite amazing I’d say. Addie seemed to enjoy it too, and they both pointed at the dark shadows and the shapes with lots of energy. We also visited Mission Xavier which Hinckley and Addie seemed to think it was pretty neat. 


Cave entrance excitement

Getting ready to hike the cave

San Xavier Mission

May 14, 2017
This week Kas and the kids came to visit me at work so Kassie could get her biometric screening which they were doing at work. It was fun to see those cheery faces in a different setting! Friday was schedule the Father's and Son's campout, and after lots of deliberating I decided to cut it back to just a camp out in our backyard. H and I walked to a nearby park to "stargaze" which was really fun, and then I read him some books and told some stories . . . and then spent the next hour naming every shadow, shape, and sound in the tent till I thought there was nothing left to describe. Hinckley was quite scared and we finally ended up going inside and he went right to sleep in his bed, and I quite happily got into mine. Maybe next year! ha ha. 

Getting ready to not sleep in the backyard

Mommy and Hinckley Playing Trains

Yesterday I was trying to get Hinckley to begin getting ready to go to the pool, and in an effort to not be nagging and also fun (something I need to exert more energy to doing) I spoke as if I was his flip flops, trying to hide from him. Not only did that work to get him to find them and put them on, but he wanted to “talk” to his flip flops for the next 2 hours. As we drove to the pool he was “showing” them everything out the window, and when we returned from swimming he introduced them to Jack and “Mighty Mac” (the two diggers who currently work his mini construction site he has established out in the rocks and dirt of our backyard). As you can tell, he is in full blown imagination mode. He is also quite anti to eating anything other than milk - I got that book Lucy recommended and began reading last night and hoping there will be some insights we can work on. 

Addie follows H around all over the house, giggling and messing with anything he touches. She has even started asking to "Pee! Pee!" and wants to just sit on the toilet. She loves dancing around and showing off during scripture study time and it is hard to get upset that she wont' listen . . . we'll keep working on that. I am proud of myself for learning how to make a pig tail in her hair in a regular basis, and am getting a little better every time I try. She is a patient model for me! 

Hangin' with Grandpa Great


May 28, 2017
This was a different week as I was in Mountain View CA for most of the week for work while Kassie stayed home with the kids while getting over sickness. It was fun to see Ryan for a few minutes during my layover in San Diego! Intuit treated me very nice during my week there, and I got a more full orientation which helps be better understand how I can build a career here and so forth. 





Sunday, April 23, 2017

Long overdue . . .

Lots has happened since October . . . and here are some snippets from Greg's journal and family newsletter entries over the last few months.

October 
Last week started with a fun birthday gathering for Grandpa H and it was fun to see him there and other cousins and family. Hinckley was overjoyed to see Logan and Sadie and they all seemed to have a pretty good time. Nothing crazy happened this week as things are moving forward steadily. We enjoyed going to Kassie's cousin's wedding ceremony up the canyon, the leaves are just finishing up their most stunning phase of change as we gear up for the winter months. Hope you all have a great week! The quote of the week comes from Hinckley: "I hate babies". He said this while we were eating dinner with a family in the ward and their baby continued to wreck his tower. Both the baby and Addie thought it was pretty fun but H didn't like it as much as can be inferred by his statement. 

Kassie's parents came in to town for a couple days and watched the kids while Kas and I had a short getaway to SLC. We enjoyed the new-ish Church History museum, a movie, and sealings at the SLC temple. The kids had a great time with the Burnsides and all went as well as one could imagine. When we got back we went to the pumpkin patch and Mom joined us there too. Hinckley got a huge kick out of the hay ride and laying in the corn kernels and Addie was shaking/jumping for joy at the petting zoo area with the sheep and goats. 

Too much fun at the pumpkin patch

We have a little sickness going on and so far I've been able to escape it. Hopefully the rest of the family will kick the bug away before much longer. 

Halloween is upon us! 

Ladybug and Robot

Hinckley started swim lessons (his second time) and is enjoying learning to put his head under water and such. Most of the sickness is gone from our home and so it's been nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the warm fall weather. Yesterday we went on a small hike up rock canyon. The kids had a great time going up and then Addie fell asleep in the carrier as Hinckley groaned about being "exhausted" on the way back. 

Halloween festivities started at Jamestown on Friday evening when Hinckley and I met with Mom and Grandpa H for a costume parade and activities. Then yesterday we had our ward Halloween party which involved face painting, donut string challenge, and bowling with pumpkins. The evening came to a close with a trunk-or-treat outside and Hinckley had a blast! He chose 7 pieces of candy to keep and offered the rest as sacrifice. This morning the great pumpkin (having removed the candy in the dark of the night) brought him a huge excavator toy much to his joy and delight. We'll see how long that tradition works! ha ha

We had fun going to the park with Nana, crunching leaves, making and eating warm soups, and carving pumpkins. Addie continues to almost walk - she's clocked in a 5 step record and continues to explore a little more each day. She increasingly wants to do whatever Hinckley is doing, and has started to develop her own personality and opinions which she shares with us with lots of energy. Kas and I enjoyed seeing the Minerva Tichert exhibit at the MOA (thanks for watching the kids Mom!)

November

Hard to believe we are in to November already! I can't wait for this election to be over with. Hinckley and Addie has some adventures this week going to the park, preschool Halloween party, swimming lessons, and playing with babysitters. One big question in our mind is why the public parks close the restrooms so early in the year . . . then again, I suppose it is't that early in the year. It makes for some pretty uncomfortable memories (poor Hinckley . . . poor Kassie). 

It's been an interesting week with the elections and all, we were quite shocked like many others and are now trying to avoid reading the news or using social media too much as it seems that is the only thing anyone can talk about right now. We all went and got flu shots this week, it was a bit traumatizing for Hinckley but with the promise of cookies he made it through. Addie has been struck down with something like the flu and Hinckley got pink eye . . . so that has taken up some energies here. We had a fun time bowling yesterday and walking on the Bonneville trail (gorgeous weather here that can't last much longer). 

It was fun to see Ryan and Nicki and family for a few minutes day as they trek up north, and I got to spend some time with Mom before she took off to Germany. Hinckley finished up swimming lessons this week and has learned some about floating on his back and going underwater. He loves running through the leaves, collecting berries, and shouting things with exuberance. Addie has started crying lots at night and in the morning, lets hope this passes soon. She is walking lots more and getting more confident in her new found powers. Kassie had a Relief Society activity on Saturday that went well, and we had two families over for dinner Friday night. Kas and I went to the temple yesterday while Dan and Sam (Kassie's Brother and his wife) took Hinckley and Addie to Chucky Cheese! They had a blast. 

Roadtripping cozy style 

Hinckley and digger dreams

One of Hinckley' gratitude notes for the November gratitude jar

Sandbox in the fall time
For Thanksgiving we had a good visit with the Burnsides in Colorado. The kids had lots of fun playing with Schnitzel (the dog), digging in the sandbox, and spending time with grandparents. We enjoyed lots of movies, some hot tub evenings under the frozen CO sky, and wonderful food. We have lots to be thankful for! Our trip ended a little early as we saw that some winter storms were forecasted for today so we came home a day early. Addie is walking around and using lots of vocal commands that are foreign to us (but not to her!). Hinckley has amped up his love of coloring and especially loves markers. 

December

Christmas models

We had a fun ward Christmas party last night. Hinckley sat on Santa’s lap for the first time in his life. He went on and one about how he liked Santa because he was so soft. “His face was soft, his knees were soft, and he was nice!” He had seen that the Santa was giving out oranges and candy canes and so when Santa asked “What do you want for Christmas” Hinckley said, “An Orange!” and then Santa said, “Great, anything else?” and he said “A candy cane!” and Santa laughed and gave him both. Hinckley was amazed as it seemed like magic to him. It was hilarious. Yesterday I took Addie with me to go get my first set of indoor soccer shoes in over 10 years or so. That was exciting! I am excited to get back into it, though nervous as I know it won't be the same. Addie was cute toddling around the empty store grabbing things off the shelf and chatting in her new baby babble dialogue we are working to decode. 

Addie is trotting around much more these days and is very cute. She is pointing at things all the time and is certainly learning to communicate more and more frequently. She has become more accustomed to taking milk at night and in the morning so the weaning seems to be going well. She loves books and is always pulling new board books into the living room from her room and making little cooing sounds at them after thrusting them into one of our laps. The Christmas books are her favorite, especially any with the nativity in it as she loves to make mooing and baaaing sounds when a cow or sheep makes an appearance. 

Sledding with Logan and Sadie

Two snow queens

Hinckley is also growing in lots of ways, and is becoming a little more mischievous around Addie - especially when guests come and give her lots of attention. It is a good reminder to me to ensure we always keep him close and build him up and ensure he knows we love and value him. The other day he got a bunch of things from preschool for Christmas including a squishy ball (that is what he named it). He pounded it and stood on it so much that it started deflating and he was quite sad about that. We had conversations about death and life and sorrow and it was all quite deep. Yay for manufactured toys that come to an early death - didn’t even last a day!

The two are developing a new relationship. Hinckley prayed that Addie would be comforted when her pacifier broke and we threw it away, and then later randomly whacked her in the head and laughed like a maniac . . . sibling relationships are interesting things I suppose. They are our super babies (see video 1 and video 2 if you like!) 

January 

Hinckley's fascination with caves hit new heights this week as we got a book at the library on the subject. He is dying to go to Timpanogos cave but will just have to wait! He is very sweet lately, giving lots of kisses and randomly expressing his love for us. I continues to get very shy with others, even family members such as Kassie's parents who came into town for an evening this week. 

 Addie has been a little sick again and the nights have been rough, but hopefully that is coming to a close soon. She has taken to a high pitch scream that rivals Hinckley's from days gone by (as many of you know who were in town last week). That being said, she is extremely cute and endearing. She has begun trying to say more words and it is hilarious. She points at pictures of Jesus and says a garbled something with "g" sounds and "s" sounds. She also starts saying "bye bye" in the mornings as soon as I put on my coat and enjoys blowing kisses! 

Reading time with Mom

Addie's first meal at the table

TV addicts

Today Addie was allowed to "try out" nursery and she stayed there the whole time. Kassie and I felt like it was a gift from the heavens! It is amazing what church is like when you can actually listen to the people around you. Hinckley got another cave book from the library this week and is completely obsessed. It is really fun to hear him talk all about different elements in caves and the different types. When Nana and Grandpa stopped by before embarking on their journey Hinckley chattered for a good 20 minutes about everything in his universe. Addie has really taken to clothes (specifically jackets/coats) and shoes. She slept overnight with her shoes on and we didn't notice till morning! She is very cute, going to the closet and bringing some piece of clothing she wants us to put on her. She continues to tag along with Hinckley, always trying to make him laugh and snuggle him if she can. It's hilarious, but unfortunately usually ends up with her getting kicked in the face or shoved to the floor. :( 

This Saturday Hinckley and I went to a UVU Women's basketball game. I realized how fun it is to take him to a new environment and teach him about things like sports and why people yell about things like "defense" and so forth. Last Saturday we went to a BYU swimming and diving meet which he really enjoyed - it was pretty neat to see some of those divers! Hinckley has grown quite excited about his "space connector toys". He spends many hours building things and creating new structures (see picture). 

A "Coal Container for my trains"

Addie discovered necklaces this week, and while Kas was getting ready for our date last night and deciding to wear a necklace for the first time in forever Addie was somewhat intense in getting all the jewelry she could and putting them about her neck. She would then walk around shrugging her shoulders and waving her hands, giggling like mad. Very cute! Also very sad when we had to take it away and she threw a royal fit. She's become really adept at those - including laying on the ground and thrashing her hands back and forth and even hitting her head on the ground . . . which inspires additional crying and suffering for her (and all of us). Yay! She goes to nursery today for the second time! We'll see how that goes.

Addie's bling bling
We had a historic stake conference today in that both our children were calm enough that we could stay in the chapel the entire time! What makes this even more remarkable is Addie kicked the pacifier habit this week as well. There can be miracles :) 

Kas and I enjoyed the adult session of Stake Conference yesterday while the kids had a blast playing at Nana and Grandpa's. I've been spending a little more time with the family this week as it has been a roller coaster hearing back from companies and waiting on emails. We went to some of a BYU women's tennis match which was pretty fun. Cosmo was there and Hinckley was very fascinated with why Cosmo kept teasing him. Kas went with her sister and sister-in-law to BYU's Mary Poppins which Matthew Kupferer is helping on.  She said it was really great! 

February 

I had a great birthday (thanks for all the well wishes) and have been enjoying lots of extra time with the kids. Today (Saturday) we had a fun time going to a "Baroque Jam Session" at BYU, an ensemble group put it on and it was specifically for kids and families and was really neat.  Hinckley and I went to a magic show earlier this week at the Provo Library which caught his imagination (though he is still obsessed with caves over everything else!). Addie has now taken to wearing multiple jackets including Hinckley's Dino jacket which she loves. 

Babe in dragon's clothing

Giggling breakfast club

In a fort with popcorn, and on on the phone with Grandma

Happy at the park


We had a fun day celebrating Kassie's birthday and are grateful for all she does and is in our family! We ate some wonderful food and while Mom watched the kids we went and saw La La Land which we both liked quite a bit. 

March

Last Sunday I mentioned to Kassie the idea of maybe just moving out of our apartment and moving forward in faith that we'd get something job-wise in the next month. She could visit her parents with the kids while I kept interviewing and then come back to M&D's while I *hopefully* found a job. We weren't 100% with this plan, and we sent a message to our landlord asking about how much time it usually takes to sell our apartment contract and process applications. Well, the next day he told us that he had listed the apartment on KSL and that he was ready to help us sell the contract before the end of the month! So after thinking about it for a few more minutes we agreed, and began packing. The contract sold in less than 24 hours, and we are now all packed up into two U-boxes (transportable storage unites) and today we are at 1220 with the Kays. Kassie and the kids leave tomorrow to visit her parents for 1.5 weeks and I have 4 interviews this week (Allen Communication in SLC, Qualtrics in Provo, Intuit in Tucson, and a phone screen with Redfin) so hopefully one of those comes through! Also on Monday a guy who has hired me in the past to do instructional design contract work said he could take me on as a contractor for as long or short as I'd like - so regardless of what happens we have that to lean on. We are feeling very blessed and very hopeful. 

Hinckley learning to save money and pay tithing

This week began with handing our apartment over to our landlord and Kassie and the kids flying to Colorado. They made it safe and sound and have been having many adventures and fun activities with grandparents, including attending a train museum, gymnastics, "the best story time ever" (according to Hinckley), and more. Meanwhile I began doing some contract work for a learning company I've done research with in the past, and had a few more job interviews. We are hoping for a concrete offer from at least one of the five companies this next week, so we'll see. 

Kas and I in our new home

I got the job in Tucson! 

With Dad's help we moved from Provo to our new home in Sahuarita (20 min south of Tucson). We left on Monday and stayed in Phoenix for the evening. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces there and sleep in the good old bunk bed room. Hinckley was extremely excited about those beds! We made the rest of the trip the next morning and had help from our new ward unloading the Uhaul. 

Needless to say we are extremely excited about it all and aren't quite sure what to do with the extra space. We had a big list of errands and things we wanted to complete before I start work on Monday and so we jumped to it. One of those errands was getting a family vehicle and Kassie found one we wanted to check out. When we looked to see where it was located it was only 10 minutes from the crew at 6148! Remarkably Abi and Brian were going to be around that afternoon (that we were looking at this) and we decided to just get in the car and go. It all worked out and though it was a late night and there were some tears and stress, everything turned out great! 

April

My first week at Intuit is in the books, and it has been great! Mom and Dad where here at our home when I came back from my first day. I had a site tour, got a PC laptop, spent some time setting up my email and some other accounts, and had lunch with my assigned "buddy" - a fellow Instructional Designer and also BYU graduate (though a few decades before me I’d wager). Everyone is really nice and it is very exciting to be finally here and digging into some things. 

General conference chaos

The backyard

The kids where ecstatic to see Nana and Grandpa. They went swimming, planted some flowers and veggies in some pots, went to the puny library, and did lots of other activities culminating in a visit to my office and Tucson Tamales. Dad helped me set up lots of furniture we ordered and yesterday Kassie and I put up most of the pictures and things so we are really feeling more moved in and comfortable. Kas found a preschool for Hinckley that starts in August and after contacting them discovered it is the Bishop's wife who runs it and will take place just around the corner - that was cool! 

Yesterday we went up to Madera Canyon (about 35 minute drive) which was really beautiful. Hinckley and Addie had a good time seeing wildlife and doing some of the activities like painting/coloring and going on a nature hike - it was a fun "activity day" sponsored by the Friends of Madera canyon. Hinckley chattered the whole way, telling the guide about characters in Thomas the Train and things about friends back home in Provo. Addie had fun too, wearing her sunglasses and pointing at birds and other things she saw. 

Madera canyon

We are feeling incredibly blessed and grateful for how things have worked out. It has been a very different year thus far and we are happy to be where we are and ready for a more stable day-to-day routine. 

We had a full day of activities yesterday. We went to the community Clubhouse for the massive “eggstravaganza” where Hinckley and Addie were able to get lots of treats, play on bouncehouses, and just be generally excited about everything. They are both so eager about everything there is really never a dull moment trying to keep up with them. Addie has really taken to her bunnies (stuffed toys) she has and lugs them around with her when and where she can. When lying in bed she murmurs “Nunnies!” and giggles like mad when you give them to her. It is terribly cute. Hinckley has been playing in the box that our new sofa/chair came in. It is a huge box and he loves hiding out in it and then bursting out. He also likes punching holes in it with the single Kia Sedona key we have so there was chaos and wailing/gnashing of teeth when we told him he couldn’t do that anymore. We went swimming a couple times this week (and got a library cards as well), and that was fun. I made some salsa that tastes pretty good but we freezing the rest of it that we didn’t eat because our fridge is basically broken and doesn’t cool anything (new fridge coming Monday).



Yesterday we went to the Mesa temple and Kas and I took turns watching the kids while attending the temple Hinckley and Addie and I had a blast at the McCormick Train park in Scottsdale during Kassie's session. We road a small train, played on a playground, and saw some amazing model trains. The kids did a really good job, even when we all shared a bathroom stall while I changed my clothes into a shirt in tie. I was pleasantly surprised. And it goes without saying, traveling in the van on longer trips is about a million times better than the Elantra. Kassie and the kids got lunch and enjoyed the visitor's center while I went to my session. By the time we got back home everyone was very tired and very grumpy. Nevertheless, I’d say it was a successful day. 

Mesa temple