Aftyn, expert bubble blower! Ainsley and Seth flying high! Gavin loved the playground at the park too!
If you've read my Sis's blog today, you will see that I have was at her house most of last week watching over her little brood. =0) We had a smashing good time too! I love to spend time outside, which isn't all that easy in Dixie this time of year, so I was excited about the nice weather for sure. The kids loved it and we made sure to do something outside everyday! The first day we went to the park, I loaded the stroller only to have Gavin run all the way there! He loved it and Seth was perfectly happy to grab his hand as they crossed the streets for me as well. Ainsley rode her bike happily there, not so happily the way back. Oh well! =0) We came back and blew bubbles in the backyard and after Gavin got up from his nap, we ran to Wal-Mart and got t-shirts to decorate with fabric markers. The second day we went to the sandbox in the morning for a little while, but it was fairly warm and came back to play in the backyard for a little while before lunch. While Gavin napped, Seth, Ainsley, Aftyn and I decorated our t-shirts from Wal-Mart and I made one for Gavin as well. They loved it! I've done the same thing for my kids before and at 3 bucks a shirt, it's a pretty cheap project too! After Gavin woke up from his nap we drove to Lehi and got ice cream cones and played for over an hour at McDonald's! They LOVED it! The third day was a failry quiet one, everyone played outside in the morning for quite a while and after Gavin's nap we ran to Wal-Mart and got a little food and I bought all the kids a notebook and a package of twistable/changeable markers. We also rented The Princess and the Frog from Redbox, it was a big hit too! The last day we cleaned the house for Mommy and made sure it was nice for her to come home to! We played outside again for a little while in the morning too! It was nice for me to get away form things for a few days as well and the kids were very well behaved, even Sethee monkey! I was very happy to go home though and hug my DrakeE and Adree and my Lee too! Look what was waiting for me when I got here!
Lee and the kids went to Vegas and picked up my new van, hooray! After almost 6 weeks of no vehicle, it has been great to have. It drives nice and is comfy too, the kids love it! I'll try harder to stop being so whiny about losing my good van! =0)
I Love my DrakeE! He is such a happy boy, if albeit a tad oblivious to his surroundings! Drake likes his own little world and lives in it quite happily. Occasionally though, like at the dinner table when we're all eating together, we get some rather interesting comments out of him. Such as the one that occurred at the table tonight: Lee: When I was a boy, my Dad just cut our hair. Adree: You didn't go to the barber then? Lee: No, my Dad just cut our hair... Drake: Were you afraid the barber was going to eat you? Mom: Well! That was quite the random comment! Lee rolled his eyes and then had to chuckle...as Drake chortled into his cup of milk. One thing for sure about Asperger's, you never know what he's going to say! Actually, a few nights ago Lee was talking to the kids quite seriously and Drake made a comment that wasn't close at all to the conversation. Lee looked at him with an annoyed look and asked, "Now why on earth would you make a comment like that..." and I interrupted him seeing that he was irked that Drake wasn't taking him seriously. "Baby, that was Asperger's...they can't read social cues and have a hard time with facial expressions as well," I told him. He softened and explained to Drake what he was saying and simplified it after that. Drake has taught me patience, an immense amount of it some days...it's my hope that he can figure this life stuff out and live a relatively normal existence. I hope! I heard Asperger's described as landing on an alien planet and you speak the language, but what they say sounds strange to you. Things they do and say is perfectly normal to them, but it seems silly to you and out of place. To a kid with Asperger's, he's perfectly normal...it's just everyone else that's weird! Either way I love him and wouldn't trade him for the world! =0)
Lee all hot and dusty from laying Railroad ties Pausing to plot his next move Lee's lawn turned out gorgeous! What a difference a little less than a year makes! =0)
Lee asked me to post some pictures of how pretty his lawn turned out! Amazing that he got results like this from planting grass seed! I don't know that I would recommend doing this if you don't have the time to spend tending it, but Lee was fiercely determined to make it work and the result is great! As I mentioned before, Lee purchased an above ground pool for us to enjoy in April. Amazing how much work needed to be done to prep for putting it up! We had a sloping spot of the yard to the left of the driveway (if you're standing at the street), it was filled partially with gravel and was largely unusable. We were in the need for some overflow parking and Lee already had to dig most of it up to repair some drain work. Our first thought was "Well, let's lay some railroad ties and attempt to level it and make it usable". Lee leveled around the path so you didn't fall into oblivion when attempting to throw trash away and layed a few railroad ties to help. Next we got a load of gravel (following a tip from the gravel yard to get a load on Saturday just before close and get a good rate) 36 bucks for 3/4 of an acre of gravel, I believe. That's great, BTW! We unloaded the gravel and leveled the yard and noticed that you sunk in the gravel when you parked on it. Lee brainstormed a bit and decided that we would lay railroad ties in the gravel for stability. It works great! I am still sore from helping dig, level and heft 100lb+ railroad ties this weekend. I imagine Lee is worse! Now that we have just about gotten our overflow parking finished, we should be able to get a load of sand to dump and spread under where the pool is going (so, we don't have to wheelbarrow it forever away!) Let's hear it for my weekend warrior! You're doing a great job Baby! =0)
At my Grandparent's grave in Kanab My Grandpa Johnson on my 4th birthday I believe Our last Thanksgiving with my Grandma Johnson The kids were chasing Lee and caught up with him finally! Chowing down at the rest stop above Glendale in Orderville Canyon Scenic Hwy 89
We mostly stuck close to home over the Memorial Weekend Holiday, hauled gravel, worked in the yard. There was one thing I haven't been able to do for the last few years and really didn't want to waste the opportunity. My beloved Grandpa Johnson passed away just before I graduated from high school. He had been ill for quite some time, so we knew it was coming...as did he. Just a couple of weeks before he passed away, he asked that each one of his grandchildren be brought to him, so that he could say good-bye. Being the oldest grandchild, the gravity of the situation hit me the hardest. I knew he was going to die and even though I believe I will have the opportunity to see him again, it wasn't going make me miss him any less. 14 years later, I still miss him and now my Grandma, just as much as I ever did. Funny, I didn't cry when I was there at their graveside this weekend, I am not doing so well now. Since we were in Kanab and I purposely don't drive past my Grandparents house anymore, I decided that I would do so this weekend and share a few tidbits of memories and facts with the kids who were all too little to remember. I wish they had been able to meet Lee as well, they would have loved him. Okay, I have wiped my eyes now and I can go on telling you what I was going to in the first place! It used to be a tradition that on Memorial Day, we would go with my Mom and visit the graves of long gone relatives. We'd place wreaths and or flowers on their graves and remember them. I haven't had the opportunity to do so myself in several years, being stuck working mostly. This year I couldn't let the opportunity go past. So, on Sunday afternoon after church we loaded up a picnic lunch in our loaner truck and took a drive to Kanab. We stopped by the cemetery and drove past my Grandparents' house (it looks great BTW!) and took a drive up 89 to the Cedar Mountain turnoff, before rolling over the mountain to Cedar and back to Dixie. Our family drove up 89 to Cedar Mountain frequently as children and I believe it's been over a decade since I've been able to do it myself! Wow! I AM old! I love to view the trees and the green pastures along the way to Mount Caramel and Orderville and Glendale before rolling past the Alton turnoff (which is usually as far down that direction as I ever go anymore). We stopped at the Rest Stop just above Glendale for our picnic and were able to let the kids run around and enjoy the cool breeze among the pines. I don't know that Lee appreciated it the way I did, ("you mean we went 214 miles?") but that is what we did as a family. We traveled to scenic places and enjoyed the journey growing up. Life is hectic and full of answering e-mails, running errands, ringing phones, and far too much noise. We grew up simply and enjoyed each other. I want my kids to appreciate the simple things in life, the beauty of God's country, and the importance of family. Live life to it's fullest, appreciate the simple things in life, love each other deeply.