Saturday, June 30, 2012

The good life

If you believe in reincarnation, you may want to try to come back as Gavin next time. He has a pretty great life. For example this week included:

- Lots of puzzles. We bought 2 new ones at the dollar store and borrowed some from Brayden:

- Eating and playing at McDonald's with friends
- Riding in a race car cart at Publix and eating a free sprinkle cookie from the bakery
- Breakfast in front of cartoons multiple times
- Swimming lessons:

 he can jump off the diving board and swim the whole length of the pool:
 Gavin is now done with lessons for this year. He learned correct stroke technique this year, using the floating technique to breathe. Next year he'll learn how to take side breathes correctly.

 -Homemade chocolate banana ice cream (frozen bananas + cocoa powder + food processor):
 - Dress up:
 - Lots of legos and transformers
- Trip to the library to pick out books
- Falling asleep while snacking on cheerios and watching cartoons:

 - Lots of swimming in our pool (glad we have it this week - today it's 108 degrees with a 120 heat index!):

 Gavin's game of the week was throwing his toy dinosaur and then swimming over to fetch it:

 - Haircut by Jake (that part he didn't like) and chocolate oatmeal candy:


Bologna is not something I normally buy. I don't have anything against it - I ate many a bologna and cream cheese rollup as a young child, but I think I've outgrown it. By about 30 years. Last week I got a package of bologna free after coupon at Publix. I gave Gavin a slice, and he liked it. A couple days later I walked into the kitchen and found this:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


This is the kind of conversation I've been having with Gavin lately. Or rather, the type he's been having with me:

Gavin: "I want to talk about decepticons." (the bad guy transformers)
Me: "ok"
Gavin: "One day I saw decepticons at aquarium. What's aquarium? Have dolphins and fish and sharks? I saw sharks aquarium up high. You like sharks?"
Me: "um hmm"
Gavin: "I saw shark 7 feet long. Like this (hold out hands)."
Me "then what?"
Gavin: "I run on Daddy. I scared. Know that?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Swim Lessons year 3

When I returned from Kansas City last week this produce was waiting for me in the garden:

 Yesterday Gavin started swim lessons again with Miss Victoria:

 As usual he is working on turning over and floating when he needs to take a breathe (he would rather just quickly poke his head above the water and keep swimming):
 He is also starting to learn correct strokes when swimming:

And today he started to learn the backstroke. I told Miss Victoria I hadn't realized how much Gavin has grown this year until I saw him in the pool next to her - he has gotten tall!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wedding Weekend

I had a milestone kind of weekend. First, I took a vacation by myself, without Jake or Gavin. I flew up to Kansas City to attend the 2nd milestone, the wedding of my cousin Joe. Tom and I were really close to Joe growing up- we lived in the same town plus my mom and his mom are sisters and my dad and his dad are twins. I stayed with Tom, which was a lot of fun. We haven't been together like that since we lived at home with our parents. Thursday night after my plane landed Tom and I went over to eat dinner with Joe and his beautiful bride Catherine (Cat), whom I met that night. She is awesome and perfect for Joe. Friday Tom and I went to lunch with my mom, who was also in town for the wedding, and with Aunt Jan, with whom Mom was staying. This picture was taken on Tom's balcony before lunch:

After lunch Mom, Jan, and I took the parade of homes tour, driving past all the houses we had lived in when I was little and my family lived in Liberty, right outside Kansas City.

The house on Jefferson street. I was a baby here and my parents moved in part because there was a high deck on the back and they were afraid I'd fall off and hurt myself like a neighbor kid had done on his deck:

We moved to this house on Shiloh Court, the first house I can remember.

My handprint is still in the sidewalk out front:
That house was awesome because it was on a cul-de-sac and we spent lots and lots of time outside playing with neighbor kids and with Joe who lived just 2 doors down with my Aunt Jan and Uncle Gary:
When I was 5 my family moved out to the country, to the Route 5 house a few miles outside town. It had a 2 acre + backyard and backed up to a nature preserve. It was a beautiful and peaceful place to live. It also had a huge basement we spent a lot of time in, doing everything from roller skating to playing video games. It has since been totally remodeled - it didn't look anything like this when we lived there:

Here's my elementary school, Franklin Elementary:

A few years after we moved to the country Joe moved to this house on Wellington Way:
A year or two after that, when I was 11,  my parents decided it was time to leave the country and found a good deal on a house just 3 doors down from Joe. We lived here until we moved to Florida in 1993 (with a few months layover in Independence). Tom's original basketball goal is still there:

Saturday morning, 11am, was the big event - The Wedding! Tom and I rode with Mom and Jan, and took a few pictures all dressed up in Jan's backyard:

Pilgrim Chapel, where the wedding took place:

Mom and Tom:

Joe with Uncle Gary, his wife Mary, and her kids and grandaughter:

Uncle Gary and Joe:
Me, Joe, and Tom:


The happy couple:

Uncle Gary, Mary, Joe, Cat, and Aunt Jan:

Joe and his parents:

Cat and her cute nephews, who were in the ceremony:

Aunt Lynda (my dad and Uncle Gary's sister) with Joe, Cat, and Gary

Tom the DJ:

Jan giving a speech at the reception. Joe gave one too but I didn't get a picture.

That night the newlyweds, their friends, and some family celebrated at the power and light district in downtown Kansas City. It was fun but it made me miss Jake - I really wished he were there with me. Tom took good are of me though, even buying me a diet coke:

Sunday afternoon Tom, Mom, Jan, and I visited White Chapel Cemetery where my grandparents on my mom's side, her Aunt Virginia, and her grandparents on her mother's side are buried. My Grandma and Grandpa Shemwell were amazing people and a wonderful example of a strong, healthy marriage. Mom and I hadn't visited since we moved away in 1993, it took a prayer from both of us to find the graves. Once we found them I said a prayer through tears for all of us and made my mom cry (in a good way).

Then we drove nearby for me to see the new Kansas City LDS Temple:

Sunday evening was really enjoyable - Mom and I spent most of the evening sitting on Tom's balcony at his apartment talking and enjoying the incredible view:

Monday evening Tom, Mom, and I ate dinner at Jan's house with the newlyweds, Cat's mom, her sister in law, and nephews. After dinner Tom and I presented Joe and Cat with our wedding gifts, a collection of 11 items that hold fond childhood memories of Joe. We told the accompanying stories to Cat while the gifts were opened. Among the presents were bubble tape, Ernest goes to camp, a koosh ball,  potted meat, and UpWords:

I really look forward to seeing Joe and Cat in the near future and getting to know her better. Hopefully we can schedule a joint vacation some day. All in all it was a great weekend, made better by the fact that I never once had to worry about Gavin. Jake is such a great dad I knew he could handle everything at home. When I got back home, after Gavin asked for the toy MeeMaw had promised him, he told me "last night I cry, I miss you." Sweet boy.