Thursday, April 28, 2011

Off to Medford, Drew's First Plane Ride

Since Michelle's sister Jill just had another baby, Michelle, along with her sisters Nettie and Tina, decided to go help her out for the weekend in Medford.  This would be Drew's first plane ride so we were a little anxious to see how he would do in a plane full of people.  He is usually a very well behaved child, but when he has his moments he really has his moments.  I stayed home for this trip, but was able to take them to the airport and say goodbye at the curb.

I was told that Drew did wonderfully on the plane.  He was very interested in the new environment.  I was glad Nettie was able to get some photos of him as well as a video of him in the plane.

They made it to Medford in one piece and they spent most of their time helping Jill with the kids as well as organizing their newly remodeled/finished basement.  One of the activities was to sort all of her son's, Andrew's, Legos.  He has several thousand dollars worth of Legos at his house and it took quite a few hours to sort them by color.  They also had the chance to see a swarm of bees be relocated to a proper hive.

Luckily there was still a little time for them to relax.  Drew and Michelle are so much a like.  They both love to sleep when they can.  Don't they just look like they are Mother and Son? 

As usual the time went quickly and it was time for them to come back.  Tina was staying for a few more days so Michelle, Drew, and Nettie headed home without her.  Again Drew did an amazing job.

Thanks Jill for letting Michelle and Drew hang out and help around the house for a few days.  I can't wait till you all come to Utah for Bear Lake in a few months so the rest of us can see Steven in person.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Drew 15 Months and Starts to Walk

Drew had his 15 month appointment today and passed with flying colors as usual.  He was doing OK until he got his shots and then he cried for a little while.  He is beginning to be a big boy and we are proud of his progress.  Here are his 15 month stats:

Weight: 23lbs 12oz (39%)
Height: 31.6 in (66%)
Head: 49.25 cm (94%)

Most people find it hard to believe that he was early at all and even more that he was so small.  He has been learning so much in these last few weeks that we are amazed at how smart he is becoming.  He is learning body parts and a few signs.  We love to ask him to blink and show us his belly button.

In even bigger news he has started to walk.  It is still not 100%, but it is quite a bit.  He has been taking one or two steps here and there, but last night while Chelsea and Darren were watching him he was walking across the room and while we were at the hospital for his appointment this morning he was walking all over the place.  He still can't go from sitting on the ground to standing, but if he can pull himself up he will go for it.  He loves to walk with his walker then let go, go across the room, and then go to the piano.  We took him outside this afternoon and let him walk down the sidewalk.

He is so darn cute and we can't get enough of him.  We can't wait to see what he learns in the next few months before his 18 month appointment.  Lucky for him he won't have to get any shots.  He's growing up fast and before we know it he will be in Nursery.  Crazy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Hunt is On...

For Easter Eggs.  When we got home from Arizona there was a flyer on our front door inviting us to the neighborhood Easter Egg hunt.  Kids 1-12 were divided into four groups, by age, and each age group was assigned a different house to attend.  If you were able to participate then you were suppose to drop off six eggs, either plastic with candy inside or hard boiled and decorated to your assigned house by Friday night.  We thought it would be fun for Drew so while I was at work Michelle and Nettie took him to find his eggs.  There were only six kids in his group and Drew wasn't very interested at first, but by the end he decided to go and find them.

After the hunt they had various muffins and other foods that you could have for a 75 cent fee.  Michelle didn't think it looked very good so she opted to return home and have her own breakfast.

Michelle was also invited to attend her co-worker's neighborhood hunt as so her, Nettie, and Tina headed over to the East side of town and crashed the party.  About 50 kids participated in this event.  It was held in her backyard, which is very large and beautiful. 

The yard was split into sections and the kids were again divided into groups by age.  This time Drew knew what to do and got right to it trying to fill his basket. 

He enjoyed playing around and he even got to see the Easter Bunny and get some pictures with him.  Some of the nurses and one of the doctors that Michelle works with were able to attend as well so they made sure to get a picture all together.

Thanks to both friends and neighbors for making Drew's second year of Easter egg hunts a success.  By next year Drew will be a pro and we might even have the Easter Bunny drop a basket of goodies at our house for Drew to find.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Arizona for Grandpa Gaisford's Funeral

Before my grandfather had passed away, Michelle was scheduled to go to a transplant conference in San Diego and Drew and I were going to meet up with her later on in the week and spend a few days hanging out with her brother Cameron and his family that live in the area, but those plans had to change.  Michelle still left for her conference mid day on Tuesday leaving Drew at the sitters while I was at work.  She would leave her conference early to catch a flight to Arizona.  I decided to take advantage of my days off and drive down to Arizona along with Drew all by myself.  We left as soon as I could get out of work and finish packing all of our stuff in the car.  Michelle was very worried about how Drew would handle the trip since there wouldn't be an extra person to help distract him.  We did surprisingly well as we made our way to Boulder City, NV, just a few miles from the Hoover Damn, to rest for the night.  Although he only took an hour nap, he was very content and only cried about 20 minutes before falling asleep just before getting to the hotel.  On Wednesday morning we slept in past seven and hit the road before eight.  Again Drew did very well and before we knew it we had made it to my parent's house.  That evening we met up with three of my sisters and their kids at the park next to my parents house and had a bring your own food picnic.  Drew loved finding rocks and pine cones and putting them in his mouth.  He also loved getting to go on the swing.

Thursday I went to my sister Becky's house to visit two of my sisters while we watched Becky's kids while she went to a meeting.  After she returned and my other two sisters had left we ended up making a trip to the mall so she could get a few things.  The night before I discovered that the shoes that we had brought Drew for the trip were too small on him so I decided to get him a new pair of sandals.

After leaving the store we took the kids to the play area so they could release some of their energy before having to get back for dinner.

Becky had another meeting so to help persuade us to watch her kids again she offered to make us a lasagna dinner.  I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with my mom and then taking a short break to rehearse the songs that I would be singing at the funeral.

On Friday I rested in the morning before my sister Rachael arrived from Utah.  I had dressed Drew in one of the outfits that she had given him for his birthday so I had to get a few pictures so I could send them to Michelle.  Drew's new sandals matched the outfit just perfectly.

We then headed over to Emily and Ryan's place for a little while before we had to get ready for dinner.  We ended up going to the park next to Becky's house and had a great time eating some good food and watching the kids play.

Scott's fiance also flew down from Utah for the funeral.  Drew loves playing in the sand and since for most of his life he has either been too young or its been too cold this vacation was some of the few times he's been able to spend a lot of time outside.

After the festivities were over and most people had gone to bed I headed to the airport to pick up Michelle.  It was great to see her again.  She admitted that she didn't like conferences at all.  She would rather be at home with her family.

Saturday morning was the view.  Earlier in the morning I had come to the church to practice my songs once more before returning to pick up Michelle and Drew.  It was good to see cousin's that we hadn't seen in a while and a few we hadn't seen in a few years.  We had an hour long viewing before the family prayer and the start of the funeral.

My Aunt Kay did a great job of putting the paper program together.  It contained great photos of my grandfather, a short time line of his life, the funeral program, and a list of all his kids, grand kids, great-grand kids, and their spouses.  The actual program was very good.  Each of his four children recounted parts of his life and then shared personal stories of what he had taught them during his lifetime.  All of his grand and great grand kids, except for Geoff who lives in Denmark, were able to sing "I am a child of God" for the opening song.  In between each speaker there was a musical number.  I was asked to sing two of the songs, "No Man is an Island" and "Bless this House".  These were two of the songs that my grandfather loved to sing during his lifetime at various events. 

After the funeral was over the casket was rolled out to the hurs and we had time to visit with one another.  Since my grandfather was being buried in a national cemetery and they don't perform burials on the weekend we would wait till Monday to complete the burial process.  We gathered once again in the church to have a meal and watch a slide show of pictures and memories that we had all sent in followed by an open mike session for sharing more memories that we had.


Sunday was a relaxing day.  We went to my parent's ward and were able to hear my dad sing during sacrament meeting.  He has a great voice and did a wonderful job singing "Consider the Lilies".  Once the meeting was over I had a chance to catch up with Chris Udall.  I started babysitting this kid before he was even one  and I was 13 years old.  I ended up watching him and his older brother frequently over the next six years before my mission and then had only seen him a few times since I had been home and living in Utah.  He was now almost 17 and going to be a Senior in High School.  He came up and gave me a big hug and I was surprised he would remember me so well.  After church we visited my grandfather's home a few miles away and looked at what was left of his belongings before they attempted to sell his house.

Our family got together for dinner on Sunday night at my parent's house.  The weather was nice so the kids ate outside while the adults enjoyed talking inside.  We later took Drew outside and enjoyed letting him fight over the mini slide that my parents have.  He is beginning to get quite a temper or he was just tired.

On Monday we got back in our church clothes and made our way to the burial site.  Since my grandfather served in the Army he was able to be buried in the Arizona National Memorial Cemetery with his wife, who passed almost 10 years earlier.  There were quite a few burials that day because of the weekend.  A group of retired service men helped give a lovely little ceremony along with a 21 gun salute.  You will notice that I jumped when the first round went off.  They then folded the flag that was over his coffin and that concluded their part of the ceremony.

My uncle Gordon was then able to give the dedication of the grave.  The cemetery doesn't do their services next to the grave site like most so we were housed in permanent pavilions located throughout the area so the prayer was done from afar.


After everything was done we headed to one of my grandparent's favorite places to eat, Jordan's, a Mexican food restaurant.  Their family started going to this restaurant over 50 years ago.  They use to go there almost weekly.  It was a great way to remember them and the food was great.  There was this billboard outside of the restaurant.  I hope everyone puts it in their planner.  I would hate for anyone to miss it.

Since we were so close to where my grandparents use to live.  We decided to drive by their old house and neighborhood.  It looked the same as it did when they sold it over 15 years ago although I'm sure that it has changed in the inside and I know they have added a pool in the backyard.

To finish off the day we headed once again to the pool for one final swim and to allow Drew to play in the sand at the beach pool.  We headed back home for a quick bite to eat and then we met my siblings at Bahama Bucks for a little shaved ice and ice cream.  It is so good.

On Tuesday morning we packed up the car and said our goodbyes.  We had a great time visiting with so many family members.  It was a sad time, but a really happy time as we joined together to remember a great man in our lives and pay tribute to the legacy he has left behind.