We met my Grandparents that live in California at our midway point. Our old home for 20+ years...... Las Vegas. They hadn't met our boys yet, so we were all excited for that. My grandparents were like a 2nd set of parents to me when I was younger. Every time they came to see us, they came bearing gifts. Every time we would go and see them, they were sure to have Mr. P's Pizzas, chocolate milk and bacon all on hand. We would spend months with them every year. When I was in traditional school we would normally go stay a month with them. WITHOUT our parents which made it super fun ;) My grandma always took us shopping for our birthday when we got older and would let us pick out whatever we wanted. She worked a department store and would get about 40% discount, so we could really get some great things if we caught a sale. When Cody was born in 1994, things changed (for the better). I started to call my grandparents Mama and Papa because I did not want to confuse him. He was their grandchild also, but when they took custody we thought the title Mama and Papa was fitting until he decided what he wanted to call them (he calls them Mom and Dad). I was in a year round school and spent every single school break with them helping them raise "my boy". It is crazy to think he is 19. I remember pacing the living room to keep him quiet, so Mama and Papa could sleep. Sadly, as Cody got older, so did Mama and Papa. My poor Papa is getting older, but because MANY jobs do not offer a retirement anymore, and they spent the money they would normally have saved in their adult lives raising MANY of their grandchildren. Papa still works a full time, very physical job and it has taken it's toll. Sadly, I believe he will work until the day he is unable :(
I was so thankful for this trip. I do not see them as often as I would like, and each time I see them, I fear it may be the last. Mama cried as she said goodbye. Matthias was asleep, but Adam smiled at her and she lost it. He has a way of touching people's hearts! Papa looked at me with tears brimming in his eyes and said "Jackie, you have amazing kids." Then with his voice breaking added "All of them." Then he hurried off. My dad is 61 years old and has only seen Papa cry 2 times in his life. This was huge. My kids had broken that rough exterior and touched him deeply.
Unfortunately, I have been to may funerals in my life, one just last week. It made me think..... what would I say in honor of my amazing "Papa" I have sooooo many things I could say. He has been through a lot in his life, and may have been a rotten kid, but he raised my AMAZING father and showed all of us love even if it was with a strong hand. He has taught me soooo much in my life. I will never be able to repay him for all he has done for me, but I will do my best to live worthy of him. One of the best men in the World!!!
I love you PAPA!!!!
Here are some pictures from our trip.
Mama had just finished loving on Adam.
Mama brought gifts for all the kids
Daddy making Adam laugh
Dad and Papa
Cody, Dad and Papa
Um Wow I look happy :P
We decided to go swimming and take Matthias for his first time
I'm pretty sure I had claw marks from him holding on so tight
Poor Adam was not allowed in the water since his surgery was too recent :(
When Matthias got out he was happy to sit with Grandma
Love this picture!!
Someone else's pics..... Do not mind my chubbiness :P
Taking it slow
Brittany is just back there doing her own thing like usual
He thought about liking it for a minute then changed his mind :P
He loved playing with Cody's hat for a while :)
Kaitlyn Practing her kicking
For some reason blogger posted all my pictures in backwards order....
Matthias was exhausted after a night on the town ;)
The kids were cold and tired by the end of the night. Time to get some food and get them to bed
Cody had to have a picture in this
The Volcano at The Mirage in Las Vegas
My amazing parents
The 2 Kevins
Matthias was not sure what to think of all of this!
We had to go to Bass Pro shops and silverton to see all the fish. We even happened to be there during feeding time. The kids loved it!
Matthias liked the fish, but he would get overwhelmed after a bit and chew his shirt
The fish did not make sound and Adam was not amused
Love this group of people.... Mama and Papa cannot walk much, so they stayed at the hotel while we explored.
Mamo (She is related to my sister her law, but she is grandma to my kids too) gets to meet the boys for the first time also and Matthias loved her.
Stay tuned for Vegas trip #2 with more pictures and videos!!