Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Grandpa

Two summers ago we took a long road trip to Ohio to visit my mom and family.  During that trip I drove a few hours to visit my grandpa Ron, my mom's dad.  It was the first time in many years I got to see him and it will be the last.  It was a visit I will treasure.

When I was about 4 my Mom and Dad separated.  Then for a short month for me (so short I don't remember it) but one long month for my grandparents we lived in a trailer in their driveway.  My memories all blend together but there are many things that blend together.  And for memories sake I would like to jot them down.  We loved to go visit them in their house on the hill.  They had some property and in the back was an acre or so that they had to mow and maintain which required the coolest ride on lawn mower!  Me and my sisters would sit out in the garage when we would visit and pretend that we actually knew how to drive.  They would also go to Pismo Beach.  I only remember one trip and I remember lots of sand.  My grandparents had a couple quads, what they called a rail runner (?).  On the way home one of the families flipped their trailer, so we pulled over on the side of the road waiting for emergency vehicles (no injuries!0 and we ate left over turkey sandwiches (it must have been around Thanksgiving) and the sandwiches were well sandy! My grandma and grandpa separated close to this time.  The things I remember about my grandpa were all in my early years.  I definitely remember his gold El Camino with grapes on the door to represent the Napa based construction company that he co-owned.  I remember going to his house with my grandma Debby, his second wife, in Benicia where he tried to fight the city about the parking right at the 680/780 interchange and that it was an eyesore.  He was very passionate about what irked him.  He is the one that introduced me to the Yule log burning on TV.  Wow that was cool.  I know I had more interaction with him than what I can remember but those memories are locked up tight.

What I know of him is that he was a gruff man, and could be a little intimidating.  He was not mean, he just spoke his mind.  I can honestly say that you would never doubt how he felt.  One of his characteristics that we have named is the Hill glare.  It is a stare of intimidation and one with a raised eyebrow.  While he gets the credit, I am sure every parent who holds any authority, has the same stern look.

When we went to visit him, it was just me and the kids.  He did get to meet all 6 of them and for that I am grateful, even if Jackson and Lauren were too young to remember.  I knew him best as a man from California so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he fit in and loved the country life.  I shouldn't have doubted since that is where he was born.  He just returned to his roots.  He lived on a hill, come to think of it all three houses that I can remember him in were on a hill, which happens to be his last name!  He got pizza for all of us.  I loved watching him interact with the kids.  His personality was still gruff, but the years had softened him.  It was a sweet surprise to see him be gentle with the kids.  He took several trips on his little buggy to show off his property.  It was neat when he took me and Jackson back there.  He was very proud of his land.

One thing that I will remember is to see the devotion to his wife.  I have no doubt that he loved Grandma Debby.  He showed me this area in the woods that was hard to get to, but he pointed out how Debby loved that area especially because of the butterflies.  He said it inspired her to paint.  He was proud of her.  They were a perfect match for each other.

When Grandpa took them on a ride, they picked flowers for Grandma Debby.
I am sad that he is gone, sad for my mom as well as her brother and sister who have lost their father.  I am sad for Debby who has lost her husband and best friend.  I am at peace with the fact that he is in pain no longer.  I am also grateful for the knowledge of eternal families.  I love the idea that it is a temporary good-bye and I know I will get to see him again.  In the meantime, whenever I look at my feet and laugh because they are exactly a half size difference, I will remember comparing feet with him on his porch and having him tell me that I got that from him! So thank you, Grandpa for passing that on to me!  God be with you til we meet again.  I love you Grandpa!
Jackson was pulling on Grandpa's extra skin.  It made Grandpa laugh!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Not a proud mommy moment!

On Halloween I had the glorious opportunity to chaperone 3 darling 1st graders to the San Francisco Zoo.  It was a lot of fun and the day was perfect.  It didn't start out that way.  In order for me to go on this trip I did some babysitting so I could swap and Jeremy wouldn't have to take the time off of work or worse I wouldn't be able to go!  Let me tell you getting 6 kids ready for the day including lunches and the other things was stressful.  We get ready and things are going smoothly although I am panicking because I am dropping off two kids and picking one up.  It is always more stressful getting other children to school on time and not just your own.  So we get everyone in the car as I start loosing my cool because my keys were not where I left them two days prior!  To say I threw a full on fit would be an understatement!  I recall throwing things and when the yelling started Jeremy started looking as well.  I could not find them anywhere.  The sad part is that we live a few houses away from the school.  And the sitter lives easy walking distance as well.  But I had to drop the 2 little ones off and a carseat.  If I had planned on walking we could have done it had I know 15 minutes earlier! I couldn't even find the spare key! I then started yelling at the kids to help and they got out of the car.  Then I told them to get back in the car.  I looked some more.  At this point Jeremy offered to let me use his key, but I was too mad, proud, stubborn...to accept, besides I didn't want to hear him say a word about how I am always loosing stuff especially my keys!  Finally I decided we would just walk and be super late.  I told the kids to grab the booster out.  I could just imagine the yelling I would have to do to get Lauren and Jackson to walk FAST so we could attempt to get there on time.  Then I threw the booster seat down and yelled "Dammit!" and ran back inside for one last check for the spare key, which happened to be in it's rightful place. (That is how Jeremy places everything...where it SHOULD go!)

We got in the car and made the swap and ran into the school.  I had at least 1.5 minutes until the teacher walked us in.  Yes we made it on time and my blood was still boiling.  I know where I left my keys and they were not there.  So what if it was on the piano where they do not belong.  I know where I left them.  That day after school I bribed the kids with a slice of cake to find my keys.  Logan found them under the roboquad.  I totally forgot I had hid under the end table and tried to use my car keys to turn on the silly robotic toy!  Oh wait it wasn't me it was one of the dynamic duo who stared at my doe-eyed while I continued to be so uncool as a parent!

And the real reason why I am writing this post.  Tonight at scripture study we were reading and something happened and I said "dang it or should I say darn it?"  And Jeremy quickly responded "Well either one is a lot better than what we heard you say the other day!"  And Miranda said "That is the first time I have heard you swear! Have you ever used a swear word before?"  Wow hello humility!  Then Logan pipes in "Yeah I remember, get in the car, get out of the car, get back in the car, out of the car!"   Jeremy said "I figured I had to wait a few days before I could tease you about that."  Then I asked "You heard that?" to which he responded "I think everyone heard that!"  then we talked a little bit more and Logan piped in "Get in the car!"  Oh man was I embarrassed.  Luckily we were all laughing at my expense.  I try to watch my temper because it can be bad and I have done a pretty decent job to never let it get that bad, it was not pretty or admirable or anything remotely close to keeping the spirit close to me.

As I was kissing the kids goodnight, I asked Logan "I know you remember that moment and it wasn't pretty, but can you think of a good moment where you were so glad I was your mom?"  The best he came up with was "when you cook for me"  It wasn't what I was looking for.  I wanted a specific memory, something that confirmed when he grows into a man that he won't look back at his childhood and remember that ugly mother who visited for a brief moment.  I wanted to hear that he remembered a time when we laughed or when I talked to him after he cried.  Or a moment when he was hurt and I was the one that was there form him.  Later Jeremy said that he is a boy, we don't think that sentimental.  I am satisfied with that, only because I know the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach!  I then asked Miranda and was a little unsatisfied when she answered "Your birthday, my birthday,...."  Then I asked for a specific moment, and it took her a second but she responded "When we went out to frozen yogurt."  It was a good night and a good memory.  It was nice to hear her say that, but at the same time I am truly humbled and know how important it is to ALWAYS be a good example, because it is that one time that they will remember.

Had I been smart enough I would have said it was my Halloween costume, I was acting like a witch, I just hadn't put on the green make-up yet!  Here's hoping I won't have to worry about a repeat appearance!


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Really? Did That Just Happen?

Be grateful there are no photos!

Jeremy is starting his second Mission Prep class tonight and this is how it went down while he was out.  Jackson fell asleep crying because I was making him pick up 1 mess.  Even though his siblings clean up after him EVERY SINGLE DAY!  (SIDE NOTE:  Is it too much to ask a 2.75 year old to pick up little blocks and put them in the bucket that they are all surrounding?)  When he was awakened he wouldn't stop crying, so I held him to calm him down.  I told the rest of the kids to brush teeth and go potty then we would read scriptures.  All easy-peasy right? Not tonight!  Logan apparently was afraid to use our bathroom because of some creepy noise, thank you Halloween!  So when he went to use the kids bathroom, Miranda quickly got on the potty, isn't she clever?  Logan being 110% inventive boy decides to sit on Jackson's training potty, har-har!  Well apparently it is hilarious, which we do encourage laughter.  I wish it ended there.  Miranda was laughing so hard that she started coughing.  If you know Miranda at all you know the girl could pretty much throw up on command.  One thing that makes it easy is when she is coughing.  Low and behold, she threw up.  Again she is a regular so not a big deal, she knows how to clean herself up (but doesn't need to because she always...usually makes it to the potty).  This time it was in the sink of our long galley style bathroom.  Unfortunately Logan has a weak sauce stomach, but was trapped between a wall and a stinky throw-up.  I think his thought process went subtly like this "I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE PRONTO!"and proceeded to drop his shoulder like he was pushing through the offensive line in a football game.  Unfortunately the gagging got the best of him.  He on the other hand never throws up and when he does it rocks his world.  He made it almost to the door.  Because they were goofing off I said they had to clean it up.  Then Logan proceeds to dry heave.  If you have ever been near a male when they are tossing their cookies, you know that just their stomach contents is not enough, they go for all of their internal organs with the most forceful upchuck noise possible.  The third gag, ended in results, luckily he was at the toilet.  Unluckily he hadn't lifted the lid!  Miranda, bless her sweet little heart, was talking so nice to him to calm him down and even cleaned up the seat.  I sent them all to bed (after re brushing their teeth of course). Lauren was stuck between the dirty toilet seat and the pile on the floor, crying expressing her fear in being stuck between...well you get the idea.  She was able to escape and head to bed.  I cleaned up the floor and made sure the toilet seat was clean, then a thought crossed my mind which truly shocked me.  Not one time was I completely mad at Jeremy for not being here, that is unusual for me when I am cleaning throw up, and he is not.  Maybe I am more mature now that I am 34!  Nope! I just wrote a blog post about throw up!

Oh and I hope you don't mind all the words and no pictures, I was only thinking of you sweet reader, when I did not put them in!

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