Sunday, October 23, 2011

Travelin' Woman

October has been a busy month. The first week we went to California to watch Conference with my family since we don't have basic cable (yes, our tv is old) and Henry would definitely not allow us to all huddle in front of the computer screen.

In between sessions on Saturday, we had to make a stop at Lolas. Visiting home without eating at Lola's is like forgetting to see half of the family. I'm completely serious. I love that place.
My brother was even able to come out from UCLA for conference with the fam. He and Henry like to make the same faces for pictures.

A nice picture-woohoo.

Jacob with the other Lolaites.

Sunday after the last Conference session, poor Johann had to travel back as a lone man to Henderson for work on Monday while Henry and I got to stay and play in California.

And just so no one assumes I spent the whole experience of Conference in a Lola's coma, my favorite talks were Elder Cook's, Elder Scott's and Sister Beck's. Oh shoot, one was before Lolas, one on Sunday and the other a week before. Maybe Saturday was passed in a Lola's coma after all...

Ok, away with you, flippancy. I really do love Conference time. I love going back through my notes and seeing what it is I have been counseled to change, to do better. I'm grateful to have revelation flowing continually from my Heavenly Father through his servants. I too often forget what a wonderful and merciful blessing it is.

On Monday, Jakey decided to stay in the HD to get his tires changed and was a nice big bro and took Hamp, Henry and I out to Red Robin for lunch.

He was really working hard.

It was actually pretty cold in the restaurant and Henry kept snuggling Jacob to stay warm. It was hilarious. I think I will title this picture, "The adoration of Jakey."

Tuesday and Wednesday, Henry and I helped my mom around her class and played at the house. Henry loves having so much space in and out of the house and so do I. And, I cannot deny that he also loved being able to watch Sprout and Nick Jr while sitting in Grammy's big comfy chair.

On Thursday, we were able to go to The Huntington's free day and see the gardens and some of the galleries with my mom.

Ah, The Huntington, how I love thee. Many fond childhood memories from here as well as adult ones-it's where Johann and I got engaged.

Henry being exactly like Henry is. A big leaf? SWORD.
He was fantastic though. We walked all around the gardens and he even allowed us some pleasant time in the gallery and would look at the paintings and different things being shown.

I love that Henry is starting to be more comfortable in museums. I want to set a good pattern for him so he doesn't end up a museum hater.

I think my favorite thing about the Huntington that day was just getting to walk in beautiful nature with my mom and son and feel the peace it brings. They also added a beautiful stain glass window in one of the galleries and I could have stood in front of it for a good hour. Ah, I love that place.

Friday was our last full day in Apple Valley and we got to celebrate Hamp's birthday. Ok, well, by celebrate, I mean eat peach cobbler concurrently. What can I say, the kids a hermit. I think he had a good day, none the less.

We drove back Saturday morning to Henderson and my mom stayed with us until Monday morning when she left to Utah to have a visit out there with her friend Julie.

So for a week we caught up and did our normal things. Then on Friday as my mom drove back from Utah, she stopped her again for the weekend, kind of spur of the moment-woohoo! Pictures of that little visit to come in a later post.

Then the following, ie, this past Tuesday, Henry and I set off for Arizona to see our old friends, the Ivanov's and meet their little girl Elizabeth.

She is pretty darn cute. Definitely likes mommy more than anyone in the world and was certainly wary of me but we had fun getting to see and know her better than just through pictures.

Henry and Lizzie

We spent time together around the house, went to a fall festival at a local farm, had a picnic at the lake, played games and ate and ate and ate. Lena, you cook too well.

I have to admit, I was a bit scared to go all the way out to AZ, by myself, with Henry, in a car that hasn't been completely reliable lately, in the still 90 plus weather.
But about half way through the drive, I felt like the car was working well, Henry was happy and I felt calm.
I'm so glad we got to spend time with our friends and continue to enjoy that friendship all together in the same space. It's so fun to see them as parents and know what good, kind people I get to be friends with. We love you guys! I also now have a lovely store of memories now to remember them by until next time =)
Oh, and can I just say that I will miss having chocolate and martinelli's brought out at night during games? Because I will!

Picnic at the lake-a picture of everyone-yay!

Annnd as a big bonus for facing my fears and going to Arizona, we also go to go and have a quick visit with our friends the Bakers before we set off! We got to witness the beautiful sealing of their son Andrew to them and Henry and Carter were born within a few weeks of each other. I had yet to meet their newest arrival Maylee so that was quite a treat. I almost cried like a big baby when Andrew came home from school-he's gotten so big and acts just like the big boy he is now, talking about what he did at school and whatnot.
It was also fun to chat with Meg again and stand in amazement as she moved, I swear, 2 times faster than anyone I've ever seen. She is super mom! So glad we got to see you and the fam!
Meg and the kids. Henry was pretty sure he wanted to stay there with those boys forever.
I can't say I blame him though =)

So here's to our little travels. It has been fun and thank goodness, because the holiday season is upon us and that means more traveling. Happily though, this traveling will get to involve Johann. It really is more fun when it's all of us together. =)

Friday, October 14, 2011

You've had a birthday (month late edition)!

This past September Johann turned the big 2-7. I keep telling him if he hits thirty, I'll have to trade him in for a newer model. It just seems weird that soon one of us will be in our thirties. There is no denying it, you're a certified adult at that point, or you're ridiculous for not becoming an adult by then. I think he's pretty well on his way to certification though.
So on to the big day.
Since he is merging into total adulthood, he, sadly, still had to go to work. So Henry and I prepared while he was gone. I made the cake while Henry sat next to me, sneaking crusts from the layers whenever possible. That was basically his lunch.

Johann asked for a polish honey cake. The only fancy dessert I know how to make. He then further asked if it could be green as an ode to his 2009 cake. I didn't know how dark green would look so we went with a very, very light green.
All decorated and ready for Papa to come home so we can celebrate.

Johann decided to open his cards before dinner. Henry was very willing, as always, to help. Thanks to our generous family Johann's been able to get some new church and work clothes, which is great considering most of his stuff was held over from his mission still. Yes, it was time.

Getting ready to head out to dinner.

Dinner at Red Robin with the cousins, we didn't get a chance to snap a pic of Nancy before she had to take off and pick up her girls. Thanks to everyone for coming out with us!

Oh, yes. We moved into the 21st century and have a Wii. Since we don't have cable this was actually a much cheaper option and my mom and I went in on it together for Johann's birthday. Johann's been so kind as to let us all use his birthday gift too. We really enjoy having it.

Johann and his birthday present opening team.

He got some more Wii stuff, a second controller and wheel. Then he also got this little fella above from the Berkley collection. We're hoping to start collecting more of these.

I think it's safe to say Johann had a very nice birthday. Thank you again to the cousins for coming and celebrating with us, and to Natalie and Bryan for skyping in to sing Happy Birthday to Johann, it meant a lot! We are lucky to still get to have family around to celebrate and play with.
Happy Birthday, Johann! We love you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Family Photos

I was just working on posting about the end of our Utah Boot List when I realized I don't have our computer but my moms and therefore I don't have any of the pictures. Instead I thought I'd post the pictures she has on hers of some pictures she scanned from my grandma. I really like these photos.

My great grandparents on my dad's side. Rilla and Hampton. My little brother is named after him. According to my Grandma Fern he was the kindest, sweetest man she ever knew and treated her better than anybody.

Mattie Jean Keenan. My grandma's grandma on my Dad's side. She was Cherokee Indian. That makes me 1/16, right? I think that's pretty cool. I wish I had know about that during college scholarship applications.

Grandpa Haskell. My dad's dad. Out on the farm.

My dad with his dad. Oh wow, dad, nice shirt. It was the 70's. I guess he deserve a break.

Grandpa Hat (Haskell).

Grandma Fern and my dad.

My dad, the stereotypical child of the 50's.

My dad. Isn't he adorable?

Dad again. I love this picture.

My dad ay a high school dance.

My half brother Micah

My grandma Fern.

That wraps up the ones I liked the most. I love seeing these old family pictures.

Gettin' the Boot.

Remember how we made a Boot list? I never updated a second time on those activities we managed to get done before we left Provo. So here is our final Boot list update, since we no longer reside in Utah.

Simonds' family Utah Boot List:

1. Attend a session at the Salt Lake Temple We're lame, we never managed to get out there. This is still something I'd like to do someday though.
2. Go to the Gateway Discovery Children's Museum Check
3. Go to the Springville MOA Noppers
4. Go to the BYU MOA and eat at the MOA Cafe. yumm...Nope
5. Visit Logan and/or Ogden. (We've never been north of SLC so we thought we should give it a whirl) We did it! Woo. It was getting a little pathetic there. We went out to Ogden and visited our friends Kelly and Nate who went with us to the dinosaur museum out there. Pictures below.
6. Visit one of those fancy SLC bakeries Check
7. Go to a BYU performance Check-I think we'll count Seussical for this though it wasn't an actual BYU performance unless we can manage something else. Hey it was at BYU so it kind of counts.
8. Attend the SLC symphony or opera Check
9. Eat at Diegos I can't remember but I think we did...
10. Go bowling at BYU or FatCats Went bowling at FatCats. All the intense rave light action was a little much though and I was afraid Henry was going to have a seizure. It was still fun though. I think Henry actually won...hey he had a stand and bumpers! And Johann and I stink.
11. Hike the Y Probably one of my favorite things we managed to do. We saw Llamas coming down with a camping group and talked to a really nice family at the top.
12. Drive the Alpine loop Check, I believe...
13. Ride one of the city buses Didn't get to it. Some day we'll be citywise though.
14. Visit Manti and see the temple Sad we didn't get around to this one.
15. Go to the Cathedral of the Madeline Sad we missed this one too
16. Attend a UofU symphony or Opera performance I'm starting to wonder why we made a list...we didn't even do half, did we? Wait, 11/19 oh good. We didn't completely fail.
17. Visit Magna (I know...but Johann's grandma was born or grew up there so he wants to see it)Check
18. Go to the Scera pools/splash pad Swimming and packing took over and this did not happen.
19. Eat at the site of the first Crown Burger Check

Here are the pictures of the activities we did after the first update. Enjoy.

At the dino museum in Ogden. Henry loved the robotic baby triceratops. Didn't love the robotic trex however.

Sorry, Johann, too good to pass up.

Fat Cat's for bowling.

The balls Henry picked kept getting heavier and heavier until he managed the above.

Hike up Y mount. We started doing more little hikes as a family before we moved and Henry loved it. On one of the trails at the Bonneville shoreline Henry rant he entire way in, probably about a mile or so. Of course we had to carry him most of the way back, but I found that pretty dang impressive. I think it'd be hilarious if we had a little runner considering Johann and I both do not love just running for running's sake. Either way, kid likes to move for sure.

Can you spot our apartment building?

The llamas! How crazy is that?

Baby llama. It actually came right up to us, so I, of course, freaked out and stood on a bench.


Here's to the end of our Utah boot list. Maybe we can take an extended trip when Johann goes back to defend his thesis and do some of the things we neglected. Oh, Utah. I did not appreciate thee as much as I should have until the end, and of course, now. Being human. Sheesh. Goodbye, Utah. We'll have fond memories.