Saturday, November 28, 2009


DeWitts like their card games! Some of my very limited memories of my Great Grandma and Grand parents were of them playing cards with my Mom and Dad. All card games are superior to board games (with the exception of Settlers of Catan). And of all the card games to be played, Pinochle is the very best. It is full of strategy, best played in teams, always different and like the lottery (which we don't play) there is always the chance for miraculous fortune. We have tried teaching Pinochle to Dave's family and many friends but with all of its complexity it often discourages new learners. And so as Dewitts (and in-laws) we are proud connoisseurs of the very prestigious game of Pinochle.

We play many games when we go for a visit to Arizona. Dave and I had played who knows how many games, and had lost them all. It was very discouraging. And then to make matters worse...way Dad rubs it in with a double run! For all of you non-pinochle playing people, a double run is very rare! So rare that I have only seen it three times in my life. So rare that it is worth 150 points. That wins you the game right then and there, you only play to 150 points! It was sickening. I was turning yellow and green (a bit of envy) by the minute watching my Dad jumping up and down for joy holding up his hand full of cards. I mean it really was rubbing it in. We were total losers, failures and really having no fun at all!

And then it happened. Redemption! After getting our butties kicked game after game, night after night we finally had some extraordinary luck ourselves. While a double run is hand down, undeniably the rarest awesome luck in the world, double aces don't happen every day either. So here is my hand, double aces 100 worth 100 points and a run worth 15 points! Plus we took every trick, another 25 points. With that one hand alone (with a bit of meld from Dave) we finally one a game! What an amazing week for cards!

Grandma's Book

Grandma always has lots of fun crafts planned for when we visit. Busy hands stay out of trouble! One of the projects she had ready for us was a make your own pop-up book kit. Little did she know we would write a story all about our stay at her house. We each took a page and brainstormed topics for each page. We had tons of fun. Here is our master piece. I think we made one happy Grandma!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa and All Their Grandkids

Chase, Grandpa Dewitt, Kate, Sara, Emily, Jessica, Rebecca, Grandma DeWitt and Ryan

My first...wanna be professional pictures. And to think my Mom wanted to hire somebody...

Snow In Arizona

Grandma's can preform miracles and today Grandma DeWitt made it snow in November in Arizona. No small feat! She brought us to the La Encantada mall and sure enough at 6:00 it began to snow. Bubble snow. The kind that doesn't get you wet and cold! It was the best. And my little girls were in Heaven up on Dad's shoulders with hands out stretched collecting flurries of "snow"!


This is ROTC Land. My Dad after retiring from the Army in 1994 took a job as the JROTC instructor for Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona. Since he started all those years ago the program has grown into a nationally known, award winning, record breaking success. He loves it and his Cadets love him.

And lucky for us he has lots of cool stuff! It seams like every year he adds something new and awsome. It is like Disney Land Army style. So we call it ROTC land. This November we had a great time hanging out with Grandpa!

Some of Grandpa's cadets can finish this grueling course "ranger style" in less than a minute! It took Chase 1:40! AIR RIFLES : TAGET PRACTICE!
Grandpa's shooters have taken many national awards I think they are in the top five in the Nation! ROCK WALL CLIMB
Everyone had a great time doing this except Kate! She prefered looking for treasure in the dirt and collecting them in her shoes!
I wish I knew how many feet we were up in the air. You can tell though from the perspective of the pictures that we were up really high! All I had to do was bribe the kids with $5 and they did it even though poor little Emily was scared to death. I think I took several years off of poor Grandpa's life having him repelle my kids!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sonoran Sunset

Katie Takes To The Streets!

Katie first hands-free ride!
Katie's cousin Jessie brought her bike over to Grandma's house today! Who knows what got into the Dad's but the next thing I knew Emily was running into the house saying Kate was riding a bike without training wheels. I guess Dave and Jon decided to tackle this Dad job together. So Grandma, Nicole and I ran out as fast as we could cameras ready!

It was a beautiful evening. Thank goodness for Arizona it was still plenty warm outside and the beautiful sunset made for a perfect backdrop! Kate was so excited. She was concentrating so hard and being uncharacteristically brave. Her jaw was set and it made me smile to see her tongue peeking out from her smile. She had an extra large cheering squad and her cousin Jessie to run along beside her routing for her all the way.
Isn't that cool that Kate and Jessie can say they learned how to ride their bikes together!


We were so busy making and then eating delicious food that I forgot to take pictures. So I swiped this one of the kids eating pie from my sister. It's the only Thanksgiving picture this year. I know, tisk, tisk...I already slapped my own hand.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Influence Like No Other

Grandmas and Grandpas are everything nice.
Like presents and candy and raspberry ice.

And chocolate fudge sundaes, with cherries on top.
And popcorn and peanuts and grape soda pop.

In winter or summer, in rain or in sun,
Grandmas and Grandpas are wonderful fun!!!
- By Unknown Author

These last few months have been good months for visitors for us. We saw all of our Grandparents and even Great Grandpa in the last two months. That is unusual since we live so far apart from everyone. It was so nice and it has left me thinking a lot these last few weeks about the importance and influence of these wonderful people.

Isn't it wonderful that today's increased life expectancy allows us to have these wonderful people in our lives longer! And though they would all probably argue with me these "great and grand" people in our lives enjoy better health too. These two blessings are so important in today's times. Here we are nearing the second coming with all of it's signs of fear, doom and trouble and our loving Heavenly Father has given us a gift. He has allowed our parents and grandparents to tarry here a little longer. To give of their strength, to continue to teach by example and to love us just a little longer.

Of all of the blessings I am thankful for in my life one of the most cherished are the relationships my children have with their Grandparents and Great Grandpa!

When I can not teach - they're lessons are accepted.

When it doesn't matter what I say - what they say matters most.

When my hugs and love become "uncool" - there's will still be cool enough.

When I lack an experience to share to teach - they have a million to share for back-up.

When I'm flustered and impatient and overreact - their patience and wisdom give balance.

What a blessing these dear people are. How blessed I am that my children have such prime models! I couldn't ask for more perfect Grandmothers. They are such a wonderful compliment to each other. And together they have such strength and exude love for my children from every pore. (this dumb post is making me cry) And as far as Grandfathers go I don't think there are two better men in this world. I love them both so much. And then Great Grandpa...well I thought I loved him a lot. My children worship him. We love his stories and the quiet strength he has about him. My favorite picture of him is this one,where he is holding Kate. Because that is what he does best. Hold stuff. He holds up our family and is the link that keeps it together. He holds up his missionaries. He holds and supports Dave and I in our efforts to raise a good strong family. And he can quietly, lovingly and without a world hold my children until they have had their fill.

Heaven forbid the time when they pass away. I hope they will remember planting flowers and painting with Grandma Wilcox. Being read to and being held by Grandma DeWitt. Golfing and fishing with Grandpa Wilcox. Tickling and wrestling with Grandpa Dewitt. Making cookies and airplanes with Great Grandpa. And I hope they remember all of the lessons, advice, stories and examples. I hope they find things within themselves that link them to these great people. And that their strength, love and influence will go on and on throughout the generations.

After Great Grandpa's last visit Chase is all full of ideas of going off to BYU and living in his condo. (most kids have other reasons to go there...for Chase the only thing that matters is that is where his great grandpa lives) Just the other day he said, "Mom, won't Great Grandpa be great when I have kids?" And that is exactly our hope. That these special people will never leave us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Busy Hands

Busy hands work in my garden.
Hands that are wise with experience,
patient and etched with the lines of caring.
Other hands are small and soft,
they rush and hurry throughout the day
and are learning with time to share.
The hands of the Matron guide those of the child.
Together they are a team.
The flowers that grow are just part of the doing.
The time spent together is more of a treasure.

Grandma's Are The Best!

It seems like the very moment Grandma Wilcox came for a visit the girls we on hands and needs begging for sessions playing nail salon. We are painting nails more and more frequently at our house. The girls are always asking. And I am usually saying "maybe", which Kate has already astutely discovered means no. So having some fresh grown-ups was a big boon to the girls in their quest for every day beautification. Grandma even went the extra mile and applied tiny gems to their freshly painted nails. That is no small task on wiggly girls with tiny fingernails.

Emily and Katie have never asked to paint my nails. Grandma's are more queenly, and so apparently Dee Dee was deserving of her own beauty sessions with our resident nail fashion artistas. Each girl got there own hand. A few minutes later Grandma's nails were transformed into works of art. The girls (especially Kate) had painstakingly painted a flower, complete with stem and leaves, on each finger.

Grandma was the perfect patron. She sported flowers on her nails her whole trip. She even got a special compliment at the grocery store. Art Grandmas the very best!

Have You Seen Us Lately?

Well, here we are.

Monday, November 2, 2009


by Emily Wilcox

Do you own a stuffed animal? There are many reasons why Cocoa is important to me. First, Cocoa is quiet. My sister, Katie, is a chatter-box. That is a huge reason I like Cocoa. I can share my secrets with him and not worry about him blurting them out. Since I sleep with Cocoa, I can sleep in peace. (or is that because I have a pillow over my head?) Once I was telling Cocoa something, he was quiet about it, but I wasn't and Chase burst in and said, "Really?".

Next Cocoa is one of a kind. He's the only Cocoa I've ever known. He isn't fuzzy or fluffy. Cocoa lost all the stuffing in his neck, and he's old.

Lastly Cocoa is always obedient. If I tell him to sit, he's already sitting. If Mom tells us to be quiet, he already is. If I throw him high into the air by one foot and tell him to do a cartwheel in midair, he'll do it.

All in all, there are many reasons Cocoa is important to me: he is quiet, one of a kind, and always obedient. That is why I love Cocoa.

The End

P.S. Cocoa is my stuffed bunny!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Burning The Midnight Oil

This evening Dave and I found Emily asleep at her work. We went up to tuck in the kids before heading to bed ourselves. (and we stay up 11:00-12:00) As we came to the top of the stairs I laughed as I caught Emily asleep at their work table out of the corner of my eye. Her pages were strewn across the table. She had draped multiple blankets over herself to keep warm. And she still had pencil in hand mid word, frozen as sleep overtook her.

Emily has become a writer. This year she has really grown into a wonderful story teller. And lucky for her, Mrs. Gruver, her teacher, is really into writing too. It seems like every week Emily has been writing a new story. Where most kids stop at a page or two; Emily's stories go on for pages and pages. This story that we caught her working on late into the night was eleven pages!

I love watching her grow as a writer. Her since of humor is really developing and I actually enjoy and sometimes even laugh to myself while reading her work. As she matures I hope she will learn to separate her wonderful since of humor from silliness (the bane of motherhood).

Her latest work was my favorite. It was full of excellent sarcastic humor. When she gets it back from her teacher I will post it for everyone to enjoy!