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

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