Monday, August 12, 2019

Baby Boy Brigham

Two weeks ago, Ben and his wife, Makayla, welcomed their first little baby, our tenth grandchild, and fifth grandson.

 Brigham Alan Denton

I was so lucky to spend a night up in Utah with them this past weekend. 

 He looks so much like his daddy, it's crazy! I wish I'd gotten a picture of his wrinkly forehead--a sure indication that he will have his daddy's expressive brow. Didn't get pictures of Mom and Dad . . . how could I forget that?

My favorite part of the trip?

Walking to the Draper temple from their house was good . . .
I wouldn't categorize the trip as a walk, per se. It's definitely a hike. And so steep that I had to jog down to prevent myself from tripping. You know what I mean?

That was great, but my favorite part was snatching a quick nap with the new little guy.
I was supposed to be taking care of him while Mommy rested . . . I took care of him, didn't I? Ever since my dad took naps with his grandkids, I've looked forward to this moment. Grandkids are the best!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brace Face

It was a big day for my littlest guy.
 For some reason, he's been begging me to start his braces. I even required him to complete a chart of 30 straight days of brushing to prove to me he was serious about this whole orthodontia business. When he proudly presented me with the chart (31 days after I request it), I made the first appointment.

He eagerly walked back to the chair to be fitted first for an expander then with his full set of braces.
 And now he looks older and ready for junior high, right?
His transition to braces has been harder than my other kids'. I think it's the combination with the expander, but he's been pretty miserable.

Drowning his misery in ice cream, Slurpees, and Madras Lentils from Costco.

Two days down, two years to go.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Wedded Bliss

Brad and I took a quick trip to Utah for my nephew's wedding.
It was a glorious spring day. Look at that sky.
Forest married his perfect match, and I can't wait to watch them create a life together.

It's not often all four of us are together for a picture where one of us isn't pulling a stupid face . . . or blinking . . .  or looking weird in general. 
 We insisted Dad and Mom join us, and I'm so glad we did.
These are the people that have known me from the beginning. They're the ones who tolerated my adolescent outbursts and idiocy. Love them.

 This mom of mine is one of the best people I know--selfless and kind and loving.
 I'm ever grateful she's my mom.
 And here's my dad. The man who has always supported me and fought for me and fought with me and loved me unconditionally.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I came from a home where I was always accepted and loved . . . and I knew it. I can only hope my kids get half of that from our home.

 A few more outtakes
 I was so happy Ben could make it to the wedding with us.
 Brad tried to get this picture . . .
. . . but Ben had his own agenda . . .

 Can you tell I was cold?

 Twenty-four hours later, we were back at the airport.
 Quick trip but fantastic memories.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hyrum Turns 12! (and other sundries)

Big stuff around here this week . . . if you're Hyrum. But first, an update on the rest of us.

Eli and I spent a morning together while Karli was at the doctor with Caroline. He was so fun!
 And I taught him to say, "Yepperdoodle!" Love this little guy.

And it's nearing the end of citrus blossom season. In all the years I've lived here, this is the first year I've cut blossoms and brought them in the house. They only last a day, even in water, so I'd cut a new bunch every day.
 In case you're wondering, those are grapefruit blossoms. Grapefruit aren't as valuable around here as the navel oranges, so Brad didn't begrudge me the blossoms off the tree!

Hyrum and Eve had track and field day. I didn't get a picture of Hyrum, but he got 8th in the 50 dash and second in the co-ed relay.

Eve took fourth overall in the 50 dash and second in the girls' relay
 This is a day the kids look forward to all year, and the weather could not have been more perfect--about 76 degrees and sunny.

Micah has decided to exercise his agency and grow his hair out. Here he's rocking ponytail like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite.
 I'm ready for him to cut it all off, but he's determined to grow it out till he's required to cut it before EFY in June.

And here's the birthday boy doing some homework.

Hyrum has been gypped a few years in a row as far as birthday parties go--we've been in the Easter Pageant, which makes it difficult to plan a party. But he lucked out this year, for sure--two parties!
 He and 13 of his buddies got together for a neighborhood scavenger hunt and Mario Kart tournament--plus treats, pizza, and presents.

 I have NEVER heard louder singing than these guys around this table. Seriously felt like the pain from a loud concert. But they had fun. And he used the money from his birthday to buy his first longboard.

That was Saturday. But his birthday was actually Thursday . . .

 It was his first adolescent birthday--clothes and books . . .
 . . . and a loaf of bread, which I thought was hilarious. The kid LOVES toast and begs for me to buy white bread every single day. I thought a loaf of his own would thrill him, but it puzzled him more than anything else.
I can't believe he's twelve.
Last year of elementary school. Last year of "childhood." He's such a good kid, and I'm proud of what a good friend and good example he can be.

 Plus, he shares his cake and candles . . .

Monday, March 25, 2019

Spring Break with the Brubakers

How could I resist a Spring Break trip to Idaho? 
 Brad and Micah attended Mountain Man Rendezvous for the scouts, so I brought two tagalongs with me on the airplane--which makes the experience five times more fun (and more exhausting, I guess!).
Heidi packed all six of her kids into the van to get us at the airport, and I was immediately surrounded by the joy and energy and love that fill her home.
Hyrum challenged Lydia to a staring contest that he promptly lost. She's pretty good!
 First thing on Eve's (and my list) was to hold three-week-old baby Kate.
 Just look at the cheeks! She and I got cozy in my bed one morning while Heidi took Sam to work.

And Gran can't come visit without making chocolate chip cookies! Hyrum convinced me to get milk chips this time, and he may have singlehandedly changed the trajectory of our family's cookie enjoyment. All in Idaho were converted. We'll have to see when more of the family gets together and votes.
 Lydia is like me in a few ways--the brown eyes and hair, to be sure, but the girl LOVES her boots!
 And these two girlies love each other. Spending a week together was the best for them. They're growing up, and they tried to match whenever they could.
 Eve even convinced me to take them to Walmart and get matching outfits so they could match when they were apart.
These two are opposites in almost every way, but they're becoming really goo friends--giggling in the dressing room together, trying to have "girl time" when surrounded by brothers. I loved it.

And how can I help but love this face? Look at that baby.

 And this baby who isn't the baby any more.

 Lydia loves her baby sister, and I can't wait to watch them play girl games and dress up together.

Rexburg had one of its snowiest Februarys on record, so we spent a lot of time indoors. Jonah beat Eve on this round of Guess Who? and he was stoked. Eve was a little bugged that she got beaten by someone half her age . . . 
 The AZ kids were enamored with snow, and even they acclimated to the warmer temperatures, often leaving the house without a coat if the sun was shining and the wind wasn't blowing. They tried to entice the cat, Prince Hans (yes, THAT Prince Hans) to play with them the way Cleo does. They don't know that cats have more pride than that!
 One afternoon when Heidi's kids were all down resting or gone to school, Eve and Hyrum excavated important artifacts from the ice on the back porch, including this glove.

 I promised them "Ralph Breaks the Internet" one afternoon, and they all sat there for almost an hour without anyone leaving. It may have been the popcorn and fruit snacks, but I loved watching the all together for a while.
 Tommy loves that baby. He's only three, so he has to be monitored or he wants to bury her in blankets or play too rough with her. But in his heart, he's so tender. She's lucky to have three big brothers watching out for her.
 Sam had a crazy week at work, but that didn't stop him from helping with the baby as he worked on a presentation.

 Hyrum and I snuck away to the temple one morning. He didn't think he'd need his coat, but he underestimated the power of an East Idaho wind on the temple's hill. I, as a native Idahoan, did not. I think he learned a valuable cold weather lesson!

 Jonah joined me and my kids to eat lunch with Ellie at school.
 She opened her peanut butter sandwich, filled it with her fruit snacks, then smashed it flat before eating it.
 She swears it's delicious, but I'll have to take her word for it!

The kids all spent lunch recess together. It's been years since I was a kid on an Idaho playground, and I'd forgotten that they just play on the snow and ice . . . 

 . . .  sometimes almost falling in the process . . .
 This kid thought he was so big to be at the school. Next year, he will be a kindergartner. How is that possible?
 Hyrum mostly played with the other kids, but he did take a few opportunities to get baby snuggles.
 And Lydia learned that every time I moved the mixer to the island, it was time to make something yummy. Here she's patiently waiting to help me.
 On Saturday, Heidi set up a small leprechaun treasure hunt, with the first clue waiting for the kids when they came in from the snow.

The prize was only a plate of cookies, but this proved that kids don't care how big the surprise, only that they get to have fun along the way.

Whew. Picture overload. What a great week, and we can't wait to go back in May!