Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Angel Blessings

Our Heavenly Father loves us so very much, and, while challenges come into our lives, either as a result of our choices and their consequences, or for our personal growth, He also sends special angels, brimming with blessings, to help us...get through.

Last week, those angels were there. We celebrated our grandson's choice to be baptized and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Usually, children are baptized in their home ward, but, since both sets of grandparents, most of the aunts and uncles, all of the great grandmas, etc. lived in Phoenix, it was arranged and we were blessed to have the baptism come to us.

We celebrated afterwards: lots of swimming, lots of heat!, lots of smiles, lots of pizzas, lots of cousins, and, above all, lots of love!

I felt so blessed to see ALL the wonderful people, I refer to them as Adam's Army, who love and teach, who set the example, for my sweet grandchildren. My son in laws family is awesome. My family is awesome.

This little the most wonderful hugs. Yesterday, I NEEDED two: with two coughs...each! So missing her! (Explanation: when Gracie hugs, she hugs tight enough that you KNOW you have been hugged. A successful hug, in her world, elicits a cough...signaling the total breath squeezed out of you. I tell you, it. is. awesome.)

Grammy has an awesome food room (pantry) and set up a special spot for Joshy to go and get treats, aka fruit snacks, ritz crackers, etc.

This demonstrates how MUCH I love my granddaughter...she is escaping with my dark chocolate chip supply. Grandbabies can have ANYTHING at Grammy's...but, my kids: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!
So missed this little boy: he's gonna be some awesome ball player someday! We now have a food room connection...I think he likes that!

So very well pleased with this guy! Love playing games with him. And just watching him. He is a learning sponge.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Birthday and Papa Fun

Just a quick recap about our fun weekend, the two day Vegas turnaround. (My rump does rumble when I say that. I swear...the demon who designed the dipped in seats in our Crown Vic must have had his first job at a torture camp. Guantanamo Bay needs these seats. No waterboarding necessary. Put an Al Quaida operative in the seat, put him on a trip where the car has a steering problem and veers all over the place on a rough road and make him sit there without being able to move his/her feet due to purse, scriptures and backpack-o-fun, and he/she will divulge EVERYTHING)...
but, I digress.
I a few words...Cam and Danyel, when you have get to put on a birthday party for one of your kids, do what Allison does! She is planned, organized, AND creative...something I have yet to be able to master. She has blogged about it, and I was merely the photographer (she performed yet another major task when she went through my 325+ pictures of "every breath each guest took" and put them into a coherent piece).

This is the look of hesitant terror Josh gave as we rushed in...we got there 10 minutes before party launch. (Thank goodness I was able to convince Dad there were no bathrooms in Kingman! He did, though, complain...a lot...about toxins and feeling rather faint. Huh...complaints!) That look, however, went away as soon as the party was over. Apparently, we appeared to be "tall kids leftover from the party".
Nathan attends to one of those pad things while Adam watches the Old Mario guys remember them...not a cartoon but actual actors. It was funny...Allison had it playing as the party guests arrived...and they were totally fascinated!

Look of terror...again...but I promise you, he warms. Thank goodness for Daddy being right there!

Adam works on his Mario hat in the first world challenge. Allison got sale fabric, printed "M" badges that each child decorated as they desired, and then pinned them on the hats. The stick on mustaches, while totally awesomely fun...were not comfortable. Please, young male party attendees...REMEMBER that someday when your girlfriend/wife complains!

Gracie is SUCH a cutie...mustache and all!!!

The bedroom was totally dark for the second world challenge. Balloons were all over, and plastic gold coins were to be collected. At first, I thought my flash would ruin it, but Adam assured me it was a great "lightening" effect. Ha...Grammy made special effects!

Gracie is so patient and sweet. In the third challenge, the boys took turns target shooting. She waited....and waited...and waited...while they each shot. It almost appeared they were going to forget her turn, and she got just a little sad...but Mommy remembered, and let her have her turn. Come on, guys...she only took a few minutes!

Note the slight smile. This, however, was taken when he was playing with one of the party attendees, not Grammy...but he is soooo doggone cute!

Princess Peach in her jail cell...waiting for freedom. Such a happy little prisoner!

Musical chairs came before the last challenge. Adam said he has NEVER lost a game of musical chairs, and this game was NO exception!

After all the games, and freedom for the princess, the party came straight to the kitchen...and Godfather's Pizza. Joshy is very, very serious about his pizza!

Singing "Happy Birthday To You" with a delicious red velvet cupcake and cream cheese frosting. Each cake was topped with a custom topper...a Mario character.

Gracie had picked the princess cupcake, but trying to get out of the kitchen left the princess cupcake on the floor, and tears. Uncle Nate came to the rescue, cleaned up the mess, (ate the cupcake without the frosting) and got her another princess one.

Joshy is serious about cupcakes as well. Papa lured him with this one, but he brought it to the kitchen, and wanted it on the table, not the bench. He sat on a "borrowed" church chair (please disregard the presence of a church chair at this soiree. As we all know, when it comes to church chairs, it is FAR easier to repent than to ask permission. Besides, this was a closet church chair.) and put the cupcake at eye level. He dipped his finger in the yummy frosting over and over, and Grammy kept him from sliding right through the back of that slick seat!
Last visit, Gracie sat outside with a kitchen spoon in hand, digging in dirt right outside their home, searching for dinosaur bones. Papa got the idea that she needed an archaeologist kit. So, he created a sieve, with wood and screen, and got trowels, brushes, and an awesome magnifying glass (thank you, Party City clearance rack.)

Family present time...I kept it very separate. He LOVED the cards...and the cash! He's madly thinking of EVERYTHING he wants to buy!

The gift competition was stiff this year. A favorite book from Grandma and Grandpa Wilkins, wonderful things from mommy and daddy, ice cream dots from Gracie, cash, and even Nathan's collector Pokemon cards...including one listed for nineteen bucks on Ebay...but, the favorite gift may have, in fact, gone to Papa and Grammy...not for the drawing supplies - including the "world's greatest pencils"...just look on the says so!... but for the Air Hog Helicopter...WITH missiles. (who knew when I went to Target with his list, walked around in a stupor of thought, and saw this at the endcap...and on sale). He had so much fun with EVERYTHING! Last night, he told me the batteries had already died. Perhaps, some of his cash may have to go to purchasing new ones...we shall see.

Papa took the first trip to the playground with Grace. I got to take the second one. She LOVES that playground...and the talk we have a the playground.

Joshy loves the pony ride.

Another difficult standard for my sons, set by my son in law...Mike removed furniture for this party. The freezer and computer desk, et al, were moved into the master bedroom. The crib was taken down, and then put back up...Heck, I had a hard enough time getting mine put up when the baby was about to come. I can't even imagine HOW Allison got Mike to do this??? Joshy LOVED the freedom of "no side" and used it to the fullest, until Daddy sadly brought in the last side. Notice here, also, that Josh's special job is to be in charge of the room lighting. He is VERY GOOD at turning them off...and on...and off...and on...

Nathan and Adam play a game of Pokemon. I watched...and watched...and watched...and still never figured out what they were doing, saying, or how to EVEN play.

Meanwhile, Grace and Joshy work with Papa to put up the yard sale croquet set.

Papa to the rescue...shoe replaced...Papa is a hero!

Gracie wanted to use my camera. So, she took picture after picture of her Papa.

Joshy LOVES bugs.

Here Adam practices with Nate's Tossing Sticks while Joshy works to get a ball back in the parking lot and under the truck so Grammy can get exercise crawling under it and retreiving. That boy looks out for me ALL of the time!

He loves balls...and has an awesome arm! Speed AND accuracy!

Sleeping Beauty...

She Never Ceases To Amaze Me

I sit in awe of my daughter, Allison. She is beautiful, smart (graduated from college nearly right after her second baby was born), organized, diligent, a dedicated and loving mother...and nearly impossible to keep up with (I KNOW. I cared for grandbaby one and two when number three was born. She left me a list, just to help me keep some sort of routine...not nearly even the one she keeps. At the end of the day, I would literally collapse in "couch" till my alarm awakened me the next morning.) She is the "organized" that I love, plus the "creative" that I envy in my sister.

Case in Point: my grandson's eighth birthday party. Adam wanted a "friend" party...You got it...boys! Nate reminded me that THEY never had parties. Part of the reason was...What would you guys do? We had a barren backyard at the time. Girls like manicures and playing Barbies. Boys...what could they do? Well, Allison took all the creativity I never had and created a fun party and held it IN an 800 square foot apartment. And, she did it on a shoestring budget, using things she had, uploads to the copy store, fruit skewers, veggies and dip, red velvet cupcakes with custom decorations. She had games. She had worlds. She had a princess... Suffice it to say...It. Was. Awesome! The boys had a BLAST...for over TWO hours. No one was hurt. The apartment was totally put back into perfect condition in 20 minutes. She kept them rapt in fun from beginning to end.

Super mom. Yes. She loves my precious grandbabies. Yes. Worry about her...yes, all of the time. After all, yep...I was her mom. Worry about them...NEVER. She's got in ALL organized and under control, with a list of fun...and a cherry on top.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prep Pics

I promise this is the last graduation post, but it, in essence, a final tribute. I have been able to go to Nate's school website,, and glean pics off, free, for years. That is why I finally stopped taking my camera to football games and track meets. Eve, the sainted photographer, always captured the best shots, with her awesome camera and her great skills. I could look and find artwork Nate had displayed in the art fair, intramural basketball games that Nate had played in, homecoming week activities, Senior trips...and graduation was no exception. I was always so sad...for Allison, Ethan, and Doran's graduations, we were expressly FORBIDDEN to move from our chairs to take pics...and I could NEVER afford the professional ones of receiving their diplomas...a sad point for me! I forked out bucks for Kayty's. At Nate's, pics were encouraged, and Doran was superb! I checke out the website, and found even more!!! Thank you Eve...and North Pointe Prep!!! I heart you and am so thankful I was blessed to find you!

"Chess Is Harder Than Football" Skit

Number 72 and his final high school tackle.

Nate's friends (group 5)...he is 2nd from left. The yellow stoles are for National Honor Society. The single yellow rope is for 3.6 to 3.99 GPA, the double gold ropes are for 4.0 GPA. Not too bad for a bunch of football players!

This picture (cropped version) ended up as one of the 5 header photos on PrepTV!

I LOVE YOU, EVE...Thanks for the group pic. It was SO hard to have a clear space and get all of us together! We have Cameo, Jessica, Nate, Morgan, Grandma, Nano, Danyel, Mom, Dad, Kayty and Doran.