Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The kids

The rest of you don't have to read this...

Since this is largely a record for my own use and my children's reading and rereading, here I will indulge myself a little.  I hate to brag...but it rarely stops me from doing so. Here's how I want to remember my nieces and nephews right now.


I stole this picture from facebook.  Clarissa is the pretty girl in pink right in the center. 

Clarissa was Mabel--the female lead--in a community theater rendition of Pirates of Penzance.  She was incredible.  I may have had my eyes fill with tears a few times because she knocked my socks off.  That girl can sing!

photo credit:  Braeden
Desi was largely absent from most of our comings and goings because she is a busy teenager.  She was busy with school and FFA and track.  It was in Idaho so we didn't see it, but while we were there she won the two mile race at a track meet and shaved a bunch of time off her personal best. (Marianne's high achieving children didn't fall far from the tree.)

photo credit:  Braeden
Liberty continues to be the baby whisperer.  All the little ones love her and gravitate to her.  If Ammon is the perfect brother, Liberty is the perfect grandchild--just ask my dad.  She also has more musical talent in her little finger than most people in their entirety.

photo credit:  Braeden
Hyrum is also amazingly musical and I love hearing him sing and play the guitar and piano.  I taught Hyrum how to make toasted cheese and he loved it.  I told him it was a journal moment and he went and wrote it in his journal.  Also I loved seeing him drive a horse with his little chariot.  He looked like a Roman.

photo credit:  Braeden (Clarissa's beautiful costume in the background...Marianne sewed it!)

Morgan rivals Liberty with the babies.  They love him too.  He told my mom he would go and live with Tabor and Katie because Charlotte loved him so much but he had to stay there and "do all his school work and other jobs."  I helped him one day with his schoolwork and that kid has a way of working himself into my heart.

photo credit:  Braeden
Carolina toted her doll Caroline around.  The few times she wasn't with her, Caroline had other plans which Lina outlined for us.  She has more sparkle and pizzazz than anyone I know.  I loved taking walks with her.

photo credit:  Braeden

Liliana is tall and thin like a model.  She is also a model child.  I was amazed that every time Olivia asked her to complete a task, she'd quietly and instantly get to work.  Her smile reminds me of Olivia's so what's not to love there?  I also liked seeing Lili on her horse, Ann. 

photo credit:  Braeden
Ruben.  He melts my heart with his glasses and imagination and the earnestness with which he does things.  I brought some DVDs and other stuff to give to my sisters.  (You know, getting rid of 5 things every day.)  I gave Olivia some American Girl movies for Lili.  Ruben saw them, naturally assumed they were for him, and offered to sell them to Lili.  I love that kid!

photo credit:  Braeden

Marcos always has an impish smile on his adorable face.  I think if he were my son, I'd probably let him get away with anything because of that smile.  I loved seeing him enamored with the pirates in Clarissa's play and I loved seeing a few of Mark's outgrown clothes on him.

photo credit:  Braeden

Ammon and Omar.  They are both young enough and I see them seldom enough that they were a little hesitant to be around me.  They are so cute I want to grab them and kiss their chubby cheeks but I don't think they'd like that very much.  I got Omar up from his nap one afternoon and sat in front of Curious George on TV long enough that he forgot I was his strange aunt he didn't know and he started talking to me about the animals on the cartoon.  I extricated myself from him after awhile to go help Olivia and I set him on the couch next to Ammon.  Without looking away from the TV, Ammon slid over to Omar and slipped an arm around his brother.

More facebook thievery.  Isaiah's in black on the left.
Isaiah is a superstar.  I loved watching him play basketball against some REALLY tough competitors.  Who knew AAU basketball could be so competitive for 11 year olds?  Isaiah's team played an older team because they had thrashed kids their own age so effectively the weekend before.  More than the basketball prowess though, I loved the shy smile and hug he gave me after the game, thanking me for watching.  Even more than that?  I love that he didn't want to play in the tournament on Sunday because he has made covenants (his words) to keep the Sabbath day holy.  I look at him and wonder how so much awesomeness could be packaged into such a skinny kid.

photo credit:  Braeden
Luke is another tall skinny firebrand.  The kids swam in Enoch and Jennifer's hotel pool in Boise the night before Isaiah's tournament.  Luke looked positively fragile with his skinny frame and light complexion.  Braeden was teaching him some swimming lessons and at one point, Braeden was towing Luke behind him and Luke was kicking his legs.  He had his chin jutted out in a determined way and I saw a glimpse of the 2nd grader who played basketball competitively against 5th graders.  He's a fighter.  There's nothing fragile about him.

photo credit:  Braeden
Tabor was talking about Savannah and said, "There's just something about a little kid with glasses."  Just looking at her makes me smile.  One afternoon she came and played with Olivia (Tabor's daughter, we recycle names) and Ruby.  They were beside themselves with joy at being reunited and I love cousin love.  I also loved watching Braeden slowly convince Savannah to get her face in the water in the pool.  She's a delightful blend of sweet and polite and scrappy and independent.

photo credit:  Braeden (Olivia on the left, Ruby on the right)

Olivia feels things very deeply and it is hard for her to live in the wilds of Boulder, UT when so many of her cousins are in Nevada.  A few weeks ago, she told Tabor and Katie, "I don't belong here."  They probed her for more information and she said she wanted to go back to Nevada to be with "her people."

It makes me happy that Olivia and I share the same people.

photo credit:  Braeden
Ruby and Mark were out on the swings and Ruby came inside and said, "Your...daughter..." then she paused, like she knew that wasn't right.

I said, "Mark?"

She said, "Yes.  He fell off the swing and is hurt."  (Mark + swings, usually = risk) 

I said, "I don't know if he'll be more upset that he's hurt or that you called him my daughter."

She thought a second and said, "Daughter and sons are the same thing, got it?"

I said, "Yes."

Charlotte is stoic as only a third born of two vivacious older sisters can be.  She patiently abides being held and cajoled by all manner of loving older cousins and aunts.

photo credit:  Braeden
We only saw Cormac and Azure one morning (and it was early so they were still in their pjs) so I sadly didn't get to spend enough time with them.  We did get to hear Cormac's rendition of the song, "Everything is Awesome" and just as we were getting ready to leave, Azure warmed up to me sufficiently that she gave me a few of her heartbreakingly adorable smiles.

photo credit:  Braeden

I love that Braeden took most of these pictures.  They were much better than any pictures I took.  He brings out the ham-it-up-for-the-camera in just about everyone.

I love all these kids!


Marianne said...

What a nice post. We loved having you around.

Olivia Cobian said...

Great post. You are a wonderful aunt.


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