Baseball and a Graduation

I always think I have nothing to put on here... then I look at the pictures I have and realize I actually have quite a bit to update on :) 

This post is all about the Jimmer. First- he had his first baseball season. I asked him this year if he had to choose ONE sport to play, what would he want it to be? Baseball. There ya go. Due to the never ending sicknesses we were encountering in winter/early spring, I missed the deadline. Gah. But, not by too much. I could still sign him up if they had spots available. A week later (or 6 days after they said they'd notify us...), we got the email that let us know he had a spot on a team. James was so excited! We figured he'd get put on a tee-ball team since he's never played before. Nope. Machine pitch. Eesh. The first game (which was at the jamboree they held and wasn't really part of the season), he definitely had room for improvement. By the end of the season, he got Most Improved Player on his team. We're (more like I'm...) still deciding if he should play again. He loves to bat and he loves to play catcher. That's about it. But I think if we go with a league that is more organized and really work with him on his focus, he'll definitely continue to do well.
Seattle Mariners!
 This kid LOVED wearing his uniform
 Favorite position- catcher! The coach was really impressed with him as catcher since he was the only one who didn't mind getting hit by the ball. James liked to call it, "catcher armor"
 Last game and pizza!!... which we totally missed, thanks to me. Oops. We made it to the tail end of the pizza party at least. Then made it up to them with happy meals for dinner instead
Here is a video of James getting a hit. Don't mind my annoying jumping and yelling- I can't help it. So exciting! He was the last hit for the game so Brad had him run the bases anyways
Next- James graduated from kindergarten! Aaaah! The day before the last day of school, his class put on a little program. It was so cute- we went to the school's small outdoor amphitheater and they sang 3 songs for us. Then we went back to the kinder area where they had bubbles, chalk, the playground, two crafts, bean bag toss, and yummy watermelon. Once we were all nice and hot, we crowded into the classroom for the graduation. They went alphabetical by first name and they would read what the student had said they wanted to be when they grew up. I kind of had an idea what James would tell them, but you never know with him. We have a talk almost daily about some new career he wants to be (and I love it. the world is your oyster, kid!). He told his teachers, "I want to be a soldier so I can protect America." Isn't that awesome?? It was my guess of what he would say because of a random conversation we had had a week or so before. Who knew he was so patriotic?? 
 Last Day! Didn't he just start?? 
The last day of school he was a little bummed, knowing he wouldn't be having his teachers anymore. On the way out of dropping him off, I was able to talk to the assistant teacher. Turns out, James had been in the high reading group the whole year. Had no idea. Totally thought he was in mid range. He is loving this new knowledge, reading all the signs in stores and things here and there. His love for reading just keeps growing. We actually just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last night. It's really something awesome to be able to share the love of reading with my children.
This little boy is growing up right before our eyes. Next up, 1st grade while his younger brother has his turn at Kindergarten. Oddly enough, Jack won't start for two more years so I won't lose all my kids to school at once ;) 


Color Me RAD

I did my first color run! AND I did it with Brad, my love. Not to sound corny (but I might a little), but it was really something special doing this with him. He's been wanting to do something like this with me for a while, and I don't think I realized how much he had until I asked him if he'd want to. I got a resounding, "YES!" Which is big for him. 
Blank slates, ready to go
 And we're off- this picture defines our different personalities SO well
The day of the race, my friend and her family watched the boys while we ran (thank you again, Ashley!!). I always get a little self-conscience running with people because I really cannot run at a normal or steady pace. I usually peter off at 3/4 of a mile or so. And then it's a mix of walking, feeling out my knee, trying to run as long as I can, and going back to walking. Once I pass that initial distance of running, I cannot match it again. The number just gets smaller and smaller of what I am able to run. Now, Brad on the other hand, can run. He can keep pace. He has no problem. The whole time he kept saying, "Whatever you need, babe. Whatever you need. You set the pace and I'll follow." I finally stopped apologizing for being slow and was just really grateful that he was being so understanding. And enjoyed the run! Seriously, it was fun. I thought there would be more color stations, but when they did have them we tried to go as slow as possible so they'd just deck us in color. 
Ashley took some pics while we were racing- isn't her daughter just the cutest thing?? Her twin brother is just as adorable too
All five of them being silly
Color Me Rad's pictures
No matter how I am feeling, I always try to finish my races running. We walked extra long so I could muster up the last of my knee and run to the finish. And who was waiting there but our wonderful boys, cheering us on with my sister, our brother-in-law, and our friends. It was awesome! I grabbed Gavin for the last color station and he loved it! The boys really felt the energy and had a blast thre (except Jack. which was kind of weird, but he's a kid. they go weird on you sometimes). Once finished, we grabbed our snacks and they give you a free color packet. Ooooh yeeeaaaaah. I am SO glad I had the boys wear white shirts as well because we were just throwing it all over each other- it was so much fun! But not for Jack. We would put a smidge on him and he'd start crying. Sheesh. Once our packets ran out, we posed for some pictures. Then we dusted off and headed home for some very colorful showers. All in all, very fun run.
I love this guy
 And I love these boys- James had given Gav a hug from behind and got the red powder aaalll over his face (as you can see)
The boys have already decided that they are doing the run with us next year. Looks like we'll be training these boys for endurance running :)

Unfortunately, my knee did not recover as well as it usually does from a run. It looks like this year will be my last year for running until I can strengthen this knee of mine. I'm pretty sure it's runner's knee and it's a problem I've had since I've been in the seventh grade. But being 'pretty sure' isn't great when it comes to such an important body part, so I'm hoping to get in to the doctor soon and get the right exercises going here. I do have another Dirty Dash coming up (eeeek i'm so excited!!), but there isn't a ton of running in that. So hopefully I don't kill myself! Here's to wishing and working on this bum knee of mine. 


Life Around Here

As usual, there is lots that I haven't posted about. To make it easy, here's a bunch of pics to tell the story
First off, our kids are just plain cute.
Apparently Wacky Wednesday means underwear on the head to wear to school. Call me a prude, but that got a quick veto from the mother...
 We made a treasure map together and I became extra awesome in their eyes since I burnt the edges. If you're going to make a map, do it the right way.
Brad picked up some traditional veshti outfits for the boys as well. Jack straight up refuses to wear the "skirt". The other two looooved 'em

I myself sported some new Indian clothing. Brad got me this shirt (which has a proper name, I was told, but cannot remember what it is) as well as another plus two traditional outfits.
One day perusing Target we found a Darth Vader backpack that I'm going to buy Gavin. Because it's awesome. And he looks too cute and grown-up in this picture
Our first walk of this beautiful spring season, not even two blocks away from our house, Jack was running, tripped, and skidded on his head. End of that walk. Once he got over the initial "ow!", he was fine. Such a trooper
One happy kid, this one.
We finally went on another hike! Spencer's Butte again and no one had to be held. Score!
Beautiful, even with low clouds
I don't know if anyone else is noticing, but Gavin has this hand-pose thing he does whenever I ask him to take a picture. Whatever works for you, dude.
Since Easter fell on our church's General Conference broadcast, the boys dressed up for Easter the Sunday before. Which was basically no difference in clothing from any other Sunday. I love boys :)
Boys and their mama!
Boys and their dad! Handsome group right there
Oh, and my latest project- making a framed chalkboard!
James started baseball! He's never played before, not even tee-ball, and he's playing with a pitch machine at the games. Eesh. He's showing some improvement and he's enjoying learning the game. Pretty sure the best thing for him is the uniform, though.
And the final picture- Jack playing with the erasers. I kid you not, he played with these erasers for two hours. Broken up in time, but in the end, yeah... two hours. If I remember correctly, he was making them into Transformers. Imagination... it's a wonderful thing. (and the next morning he roped his brothers into it for another hour and a half. he doesn't play with them every day, but he really does love to play with them...)


A Wonderful and Loved Grandma

On February 19th, 2015, my sweet Grandma passed away (wasn't she just beautiful??). She was 89 years old. She was a wonderful grandmother and I feel so blessed for all the time we got with her.
My family has always lived fairly close to her and so my childhood is filled with visits to her house or her coming down to visit us. Before second grade, this also included my grandpa, but he unfortunately died that summer. What a long time to be without your companion. When I heard that she had finally gone (it was a Thursday and she had been struggling for a few days), I felt such loss. Like an end of an era. Grandparents really are something special. After a few minutes, my tears turned more to happiness. Oh, the reunion my grandparents must have had! I can only imagine how long they embraced for! 
I am sure she was also greeted by my aunt, my cousin, the children she lost at birth, and the rest of her family. I think it was a few years after my grandpa passed away, my grandma served a family history mission in Texas. She did so much family history for us. I bet there were plenty of those family members there to welcome her as well :)

The day after Brad left for India, my sister drove down with the boys and I to where my grandparents lived for 20 years, and my grandma for another 10 after he passed, to attend her funeral. SO many childhood memories there, in Paradise, CA. I forgot how much I love it there and it seriously felt like coming home in a way. I loved seeing my kids love it. I'm just going to interject how amazing they did on this trip. They were awesome. We spent some time outside and it just about made my heart burst see my children enjoy what I enjoyed as a kid. My brothers were able to fly out from Utah and Montana, so all us Dell kids were able to be together. I wish we had had more time to just hang out, but I'm just grateful we could all celebrate my wonderful grandma's life together.

While we were there, we drove around to see the old house my grandpa built. We spent so much time outside, exploring or picking the wild blackberries along the road or traversing the creek that ran through the woods. I even remembered the spot where we had come across a buck and it charged at my cousin. So scary when you are young (mmm... scary no matter what age you are...).
That is the store that was down the road from their house we always walked to and we always got War Heads. Just looking at that place made my mouth water and pucker!
The hospital I was born at :)
 My dad informed me the wing pictured below was where I was delivered
And then the house my family lived in when I was born.
After my grandpa died, my grandma sold the house. She eventually settled back down into an older community trailer park. I loved it here. It was so homey and full of love coming to visit her. She always had a cookie jar and a candy dish full. 
The funeral was to be held on Monday. For Sunday dinner, our Aunt Kate had us over for dinner. It had been years since we'd all seen her and I swear she hasn't changed. She's so sweet and has this laugh that is so infectious and genuine. Loved being there and around her again. My boys were smitten with their dogs and when Aunt Kate asked if they wanted to take them for a walk, they were so excited!
Us snuggling in our hotel room. ♥ these boys!!
The next morning was the funeral. We held it at the LDS church building where my Grandpa served as the first bishop of one of the wards and we had had his funeral service in. A bit of a surprise was James became very emotional while we were there. Pretty sure he cried for about twenty (or more) minutes. Nothing I said could get through to the fact that he was going to miss Grandma Great. Sweet little James... I should have seen this coming, he is such a sensitive boy. Finally, we were able to distract him and he listened to what I had to say- even though Grandma Great isn't with us anymore here on Earth, she is waiting for us in heaven. We get to be with her forever. He still talks about her once in a while. The funeral went well- heard sweet stories of our grandparents. Almost all our cousins were there and we always love seeing them. Once the service was over, we all got in our cars to take her casket to the cemetery where she will rest next to her husband. We then headed back for a nice luncheon put on by the ward they used to be in. Such a sweet kindness. Then, sadly, we all went our different ways.
All of the family that could make it. Love them all, even if we aren't always in contact with each other
Our family quickly headed back to the hotel to change and empty my room for checkout. We then went to a local candy store my mom and grandma frequented and picked up some goodies.
After that, it was time for Rach and I to head up north. We really didn't want to, we loved being with our brothers and parents. But Rach had school to get back to and so did James. Before we said our good-byes, I actually remembered to take pictures with my siblings!!
 "I feel like we are some 90's punk band"
 Me- "Wait... are we all posing like that?"
 Aaaand a deep side tickle by the sister I trusted. Betrayed...
 Rachel, Craig, Sam, and me! I love my sister and brothers!
As much as we all will miss our Grandma, I know she is so very happy where she is. I know she is back with my Grandpa, the companion she missed for so many years. I know she is working hard right now and watching over us all. I love her deeply and will hold our memories close to my heart. Love you, Gramma... thanks for be one amazing lady.