January 29, 2014

Grandma Packer’s Funeral

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 10:21 pm

My Grandmother passed away on December 5, 2013.  We knew she was dying as she suffered a heart attach the weekend following Thanksgiving. Her last few days were spent in the loving care of my Mother and her siblings. My mother has been the greatest example to me of selfless service. I know it was hard for her, but she was able to care for my Grandma until she passed away. Those final days were spent mostly sleeping due to the medications helping her get through the distress of her heart valves not communicating with each other. She passed away in the morning with my Mother at her side.

My Grandmother’s funeral was December 10th in Idaho. All of my siblings except Bryan (who is serving a mission in Korea) were able to attend and sang a musical number together in the funeral services. It was so neat. I feel the Holy Ghost most when I sing or listen to music. To be singing “O my Father” with 9 of my siblings, thinking of the joyful reunion of my Grandma with her husband, and just remembering how great her life was, it’s no wonder that I started to cry. I’m not sure if I was the reason why, but soon everyone else was tearing up as well. They were such happy and hopeful tears; it was a neat experience.

There was a luncheon provided for us after the funeral. It was there that the photos of my siblings and parents were taken. I love them.

I traveled with my sisters to the burial site. It meant so much to me as I have place flowers on my Grandpa’s grave for as many years as I can remember. It also gave a great sense of closure. I will definitely miss my wonderful Grandma.

January 6, 2014

Playing in the Snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 10:58 am

Most of these pictures were taken in December and at the tail end of November. We had some awesome snow that made for lots of fun. Alisa and Hyrum helped me make a snowman one day while Benjamin was napping. They also made one by themselves afterwards. Another day Alisa knocked over the snowman and turned it into a “snow ant”. Our neighbor gave us two child-sized snow shovels for Christmas and all three kids enjoyed playing with them.

Alisa made this one entirely by herself. I was so proud of her persistence. It took her at least 20 minutes to get the head to stay on.

Hyrum made this one mostly by himself with some assistance from Alisa.

Thanksgiving 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 10:57 am

We were delighted to travel to Chubbuck and have Thanksgiving with my parents and younger siblings. On the way there, we stopped for a fun family outing to the Hogle Zoo. Our favorite was the new seal and otter exhibit.

Thanksgiving was a small group, but it was good food and we had a fun time with each other. My kids really enjoyed playing basketball with Brittany outside my parents home. Joe and I also enjoyed playing basketball with Brittany at their church house. Brittany was awesome and won HORSE fair and square with some awesome shots. Benjamin preferred to play basketball at Grandma’s house as their hoop could be brought lower.

On Wednesday before thanksgiving, we got together with my sister Beverly and enjoyed pizza, salad, and bread sticks at her house. We also played a fun game of Apples to Apples.

On Thanksgiving Day, Anthon, Brandon, Joe, Alisa, and Hyrum went and played Frizbee golf while waiting for the turkey to cook. For some reason the turkey didn’t have the popper, but my mom did an excellent job and made a very moist turkey. The meal was wonderful and it was fun to enjoy everyone.

Friday evening we had a lot of fun playing Telestrations (a mixture of telling stories and drawing that ends up like telephone). My Dad, my Mom, me, Joe, Anthon, Brittany, Brandon and his girlfriend Kylie played, and we laughed so hard. Some of us were better at drawing than others so our stories got pretty crazy. It was fun to play.

Another fun thing we did was to go to a Home Depot kids workshop. Grandpa G* helped Hyrum, Grandma G* helped Alisa, and I helped Benjamin. They each made a small toolbox to keep small toys in. We also did a little bit of shopping, but mostly stayed at home to be together with family.

This is our Thankful Tree

We got to spend a lot of time with Great Grandma P* (my grandma) as she spends the nights at my parents’ house. She loved to watch my kids play. She was usually watching them play while she sat on the couch and crocheted hats that she is planning to give out for future Christmas presents. Other times she was doing her word searches. She had her usually sense of humor and made some really funny comments. At Beverly’s house my Mom thought that she would help Grandma bring her walker to the kitchen for dinner. My grandma hadn’t yet grabbed the walker and my mom didn’t notice that she had left my Grandma helpless. My Grandma called after her “I thought I was the one who needed help walking.” During another time at dinner, she mentioned that she wanted to go to the light parade that the town puts on every year (even though it is outside and cold). Anthon asked her why she wanted to go so badly and she said “Because I don’t know if I’ll be able to see another one.” Anthon thought he would be equally funny and asked her where she thought she was going to be going. Her response: “Well, I guess I’ll go either up or down.” We all laughed a lot about that one as we realized that she was joking about going to heaven or hell. In fact, there was so much laughing that Alisa said “I don’t even know what she said, but it was just so funny!”  We did end up going to the light parade and my grandma enjoyed it a lot. We bundled her up a lot and she had probably 10 blankets on her to help keep her warm. My favorite was her white hat that she wore to keep her head warm.

I am so glad that we were able to visit my family this Thanksgiving. While we were there, we started to worry about my Grandma P* as her shoulder was hurting and she didn’t want to eat anything. We worried about a possible heart attack, but it seemed to be going on longer than we thought for a heart attack symptom. Joe and I went out for ice cream Saturday night while our kids played sardines my mom and my sister Brittany. Right after we got in the car to return to my parents house, my mom called me telling me that I needed to come immediately. My grandma had basically lost control of her body and was laying on the floor. We hurried home, but the ambulance beat us. The paramedics could tell that her upper heart and her lower heart were beating independently. All signs pointed to a heart attack that she would probably not pull out of. It was difficult for me to have something that I knew would happen at some point happen. And while I wanted her to be OK and not hurt, and the same time I hoped that she could pass on and leave her frail 98 year old body and rejoin her husband (who died even before I was born). So we just prayed for peace and for my Grandma not to hurt and went to bed. (My mom had gone to the hospital in the ambulance with her). I was surprised to hear that my Grandma was still alive Sunday morning. She was doing a bit better, but couldn’t sit up or support herself (and medical personnel confirmed that she had experience a heart attack). We attended church and left early in hopes to beat a storm in the mountain pass on our way home. Before we left, we got to go see my Grandma in the hospital. We were able to talk with her and wave goodbye to her. I had a hard time not tearing up as I knew it was most likely the last time I would see her in this life. My kids all got to wave to her too, and were excited that she had moons and stars on her hospital night gown. After we left, my grandma apparently experienced a lot of pain and will be on high pain medications for the rest of her life, which will most likely not be long. She still has no desire to eat and her heart continues to beat out of sync with itself. She will be on hospice care but will be bedridden and sleeping most the time due to her pain medications. Although hearing of her this way makes me very sad, I am so grateful for the time I had to spend with her this last Thanksgiving. She reminded me about what is most important in life. I am so grateful that I know I will see her again and that death is not the end. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ gave his life that we can live again.

Fall pictures and Halloween

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 10:49 am

We had a very blustery day in early fall that dropped over half the leaves on our big Maple tree. Alisa’s friend Caitlyn H* came over to play and they had a blast playing in the leaves. We also carved pumpkins the Monday before Halloween which was also our seventh anniversary (hence Joe’s pumpkin). Hyrum wanted an Angry Bird pumpkin and Alisa wanted a butterfly. I gave Benjamin’s a standard Jack-o-lantern face.

For Halloween this year, Hyrum was Mario (the mustache was his favorite) and Alisa was Rapunzel. Zoe was Darth Vader. Benjamin and I went with Joe’s theme and were Chewbacca and Princess Leia. Joe’s costume was the accumulation of a lot of work. Joe made everything that was non-fabric (except for the purchased boots, light saber, and helmet). I made everything that was fabric. We were working on it for the good part of two months. He was really awesome. He got many kids coming up to him and asking for photo shoots. Also, it was really fun to have Grandma S* join us for Halloween. She wore her bat hat and made a bunch of people laugh as she claimed to be “Darth Vader’s mom”. Alisa, Hyrum, and Benjamin all enjoyed trick-or-treating and showed me everything that they received. It was a fun night.

Alisa and Caitlyn in their school parade.

After all the work on Joe’s costume, I just wore my bathrobe backwards and called it good.

Visit from Grandma S*

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 10:48 am

We were lucky to have a visit from Grandma S* at the end of October. She flew out to help Aunt Cynthia with her new baby Acadia and we got to see her lots, also. We did a lot of fun activities with her while she was here. We went to the duck pond and fed ducks, did some art projects, swam with her at the new Rec Center, went bowling, and had a hot dog roast up in American Fork Canyon.

January 5, 2014

Raising a Monarch Caterpillar

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 9:24 pm
Uncle Anthon brought back some Monarch caterpillars after visiting Grandma G* in August. He very kindly gave us one to raise. We had so much fun as a family watching it grow and turn into a butterfly. Benjamin quickly learned how to say Caterpillar and loved to watch it. After a few days it formed a J and then made its chrysalis. It was hard for everyone to wait for the butterfly to change, so we passed the time by scouring our library for books and movies about Monarch butterflies. Alisa and Hyrum became experts. We even learned about the four different Monarch generations and that ours was fourth generation-meaning it would make the long flight to either California or Mexico. Finally the Monarch hatched one Sunday while we were at church. After letting it pump its blood to its wings and waiting for them to dry, we released the butterfly from our back yard. It flew to the beans and rested them a little longer before finally flying away. Raising the butterfly brought back so many memories from my childhood. I’d love to keep the tradition going.

October 20, 2013

Alisa’s first day of School

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 9:57 pm

The most exciting thing about August was that Alisa started Kindergarten. This was her first school experience as she didn’t attend a preschool. She was excited to go, but also very nervous. She attends Sunset View Elementary in Provo. While it is not her boundary school, it is the second closest to us (we switched her schools as Sunset is in a better neighborhood and has more programs to accommodate gifted students).

Alisa was so nervous on the first day of Kindergarten that she refused to get out of bed or get dressed. Thankfully I had made pancakes and that was finally able to convince her to eat breakfast. We didn’t have time to walk to the bus stop, so I drove her the half mile to her bus. We had her ride the bus the first day to get all the nervousness over on the first day. However, I did follow the bus and keep watch over her the whole time, even though she didn’t know it. I also made sure that a neighbors’ girl who was in sixth grade stayed with her until her teacher came out to the playground (the kids play until school starts). Alisa did great getting on the bus. She was probably the only child who didn’t have her parent with her the first day, but I don’t think she would have gone into school had she known I was there. Alisa had a blast on her first day and told us many things she did. Getting home was also stressful as the bus that came to pick her up was a different number from what I told her it would be. But she eventually trusted her teacher and got on.

Getting on the bus in the morning.

Coming back after her first day.

Alisa was much less nervous the second day as there were no surprises. (I took another picture of Alisa getting on the bus now that she is excited to do so.)  The afternoon bus driver also made sure to use the right bus to pick her up. I hope the bus continues to run as there have been three kids at the most riding it. I asked the Kindergarten teachers at both schools to advertise the bus option, but we still haven’t had many riders (the Kindergarten bus drops off the morning and picks up the afternoon students at 2 schools). However, there is one girl who rides the bus from Alisa’s class and it seems like she and Alisa are becoming good friends.

Alisa really does enjoy the bus!

Alisa continues to enjoy school, although it’s a challenge to find the perfect time to ask her about it. She likes to discuss things on her own terms and even then it’s only superficial about what goes on. We are trying to ask about different times in the day where she felt excited, sad, happy, or worried, but she doesn’t disclose very much about her feelings. We have found the right before bed and on our morning walks to the bus stop are better times for her. We do know that she enjoys reading, recess, and centers. She can’t wait until Monday when they get to visit the school library. And she likes her friend Kaitlyn.

Alisa enjoys showing us the papers she has been working on at school. As she is already reading, she is academically ahead of most of the kids, but I am grateful for the Kindergarten structure and how it is helping her develop social skills as well as writing skills. So far it seems that she idolizes her teacher and will do anything asked of her. At home she is asked to do 20 minutes of “homework” after school. We are supposed to read with her for 10 minutes, practice her letter, number, and 30 sight word flashcards, and write at least 1 sentence. The reading isn’t hard as we already have that structured into bedtime routine. She will usually even choose a side of the book to read. As she already knows the 26 letters of the alphabet, the numbers up to 100, and the 30 sight words (she’s reading at a 2nd grade reading level), we substitute reading on her own for 10 minutes, which she already does during her quiet time. The hard one is writing the sentence. Alisa doesn’t like doing anything that was not her idea (at least not if Mom or Dad suggest it). Maybe we just need to add journaling into her bedtime routine. On most days, that’s what her sentence turns into, anyway. She includes the month, date, and day of the week and then writes sentences. So far most of her writing is all caps and has horrible spacing, but we don’t focus on that. She always includes punctuation at the end and usually sounds out everything by herself. Even though she wants to know sometimes if the spelling is correct, we are trying not to focus on that and just compliment her on her effort.

Hyrum and Benjamin have been somewhat at a loss of what to do while Alisa is in Kindergarten. Hyrum is a very big follower and he usually idolizes Alisa, so he rarely thinks of something to do on his own. It has been good for him to have some time when he is in complete control. The first day he just wanted to sit by me or play with me. He is now getting better and finding things to do by himself, or with Benjamin. I’ll say it is much quieter around here in the mornings as Hyrum and Benjamin don’t have a need to give me a play-by-play of their activities.

Benjamin’s Big Bed

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 9:55 pm

Benjamin graduated to a toddler bed in September. He is 20 months, but he is such a climber that we were fearing for his safety. It was hard to get him to stay in his bed and leave the door open for Hyrum, so Hyrum is now sharing a room with Alisa. Benjamin is now doing awesome in his big bed as we can shut the door and he just goes to sleep. Although he doesn’t always alert us when he wakes up and learned how to move the rocking horse in front of his dresser and break cassette tapes (the rocking horse is now in another room). Hyrum is enjoying sharing his room with Alisa, especially since we can leave the door open as he is going through a “scary” phase. He enjoys the safety he feels with having Alisa close by.

Utah County Fair

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 9:53 pm

Alisa, Hyrum, and I all entered items in the County Fair this year. It was so fun to see all my projects on display. Alisa colored a picture for the fair and ended up with a blue ribbon! She and Hyrum also entered trucks they had made at a Home Depot activity and they both got reds. I had to laugh at a comment on Hyrum’s that said it could have been glued better. He in only 3 but competed against all kids under 12. All of my sewing/handwork projects got a blue ribbon with the exception of a nightgown I made last year and have worn quite frequently. So I wasn’t surprised to see it got red. None of the categories that I entered had enough entries to merit a Best of Show award (there must be 10) but that’s OK.

Alisa and Hyrum also loved the model Lego trains. They loved watching them go around and around. Joe also loved the Lego sets, especially the Lord of the Rings sets. Benjamin’s favorite part was the animals. He loved the bunnies, the chickens, the goats, and the pigs. It was so funny to see him baaa at the sheep. He also enjoyed holding a baby bunny along with Alisa and Hyrum. All in all it was great. Alisa and Hyrum even came away with earning $5 and $2, respectively. I think tonight’s FHE lesson with be about Tithing. :)

I entered all four items on display behind me as well as 11 other items.

What a winning smile!

Alisa was so proud of her achievement!

Grigg Family Reunion-Days 3 and 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — kseeg @ 9:53 pm

Tuesday seemed to go so quickly. Joe and I had a lot of fun playing lightning (or speed) with Daralee, Greg, Kyle, Elise, Andrew, Jason, Brittany, Anthon, and Stephen. I got 2nd place a few times, but I couldn’t get Kyle out. He has got talent! We also spent more time at Bear Lake. Greg rented some paddle boards that we had lots of fun playing on. Joe and I tried to use the double one, but it turned out that we were over the weight limit and couldn’t balance correctly with both of us on. It made for some fun laughs, though. A lot of the teens and preteens had fun burying their feet in the mud. I got videos of Brittany, Elise, Mitchell, and David. They were pretty funny.

After lunch we quickly put our boys to bed and got to participate in the Amazing Race that Beverly and Blake hosted. (Beverly opted to check on our boys and watch them if they woke up.) It was a new experience. We had some complications, but ended up getting everything done in the end. I think it would have been slightly easier if I were more familiar with using Ipads and if the internet had been working a bit faster. :) Beverly didn’t quite realize what she had volunteered for as Benjamin learned to climb out of the Pack-n-play while we were gone. She eventually had to sit in our room until he went to sleep.

After our Amazing race, we took pictures of all of us. It’s so fun to be part of such a big family. We also had a kids’ parade and played more in the sandbox. Putting kids to bed was a little hairy as Benjamin kept climbing out of his pack-n-play. Alisa thought it was great that I let her stay up a little later to play with Aunt Brittany and her cousins. Brittany and Elise successfully taught Alisa and Hyrum how to play Skip-Bo and they ask for it frequently.

The adults had a meeting to plan future reunions and it is our turn in 10 years! We look forward the the next one in 2015.

Wednesday was a flurry of packing, cleaning, and organizing the van. Kids played in the sandbox some more and played some last minute games with their cousins. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. I hope we don’t have to wait until the next reunion before we see everyone again. We stopped at Gossners (cheese factory) on our way back home and enjoyed introducing my kids to cheese curd. What a fun vacation!

cousin Elise, Uncle Greg, Alisa, Aunt Brittany, cousin Andrew, cousin Kyle, and Joe

Benjamin loved this truck.

Happy Benjamin on the beach.

Grandma watching all the family.

Joe

Kimberly

cousins Kaylee and Elise

Hyrum

Benjamin

Aunt Brittany

cousin Elise and Aunt Brittany

Alisa

Carter, Evy, and Abigail

Abigail, Jason, Brookley, and Hyrum

Benjamin and Alisa

Hyrum and cousin Brookley

Benjamin

Hyrum, Alisa, Benjamin, and Uncle Anthon