Saturday, March 2, 2013


We are home!! And boy, is it good to be back! We enjoyed various things about our stint back east, but all-in-all it made us that much more grateful for our western desert home.

We waited out our remaining weeks in Virginia enjoying the spring-like weather and taking the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. and my Opa one more time as well as a quick Sunday visit with our friends Adam and Chuchie in Virginia Beach. We said goodbye to friends in our ward as well. It was hard to leave after just getting to know some truly great people!

John didn't have much in the way of class for the last week, so we spent most of our time getting errands done, fixing up the car for our trip, and packing up. Thursday Feb. 14th (yes, Valentine's Day) was John's graduation. It was a pretty short program and we went home to continue packing, heading out on our long, cross-country trip a little later that day.

The car was pretty much packed to the rafters with our stuff. We drove about 6-7 hours to Charleston, West Virginia where we stayed the night.

After a delicious IHOP breakfast Friday morning, we continued on our way St. Louis, Missouri (well, close to) to once again visit with John's oldest sister Amy and family. This leg of the drive was about another 7 1/2 hours. Thank goodness for snacks and the DVD player we bought for our trip out! Thomas decided Toy Story 3 was his favorite and watched it over and over.
What a trooper!
It was fun to spend a couple days (Friday night-Sunday afternoon) with the Reeds. Friday night, Amy and Brad graciously watched Thomas so John and I could go on a Valentine's date! We went to see Warm Bodies (funny!) and grabbed a shake afterwards. On Saturday, we all went to a space museum in town which was fun. We attended church with them on Sunday, ate a great steak dinner, then headed back out on the road. We knocked out about 4 1/2 hours and made it to Joplin, Missouri.

The next day was a lot of driving. We drove through Oklahoma, the panhandle of Texas, and half of New Mexico! We stopped in Tulsa to see some beautiful gardens (but got pretty lost thanks to our GPS and lost some time) and then in Amarillo, where we just missed seeing the vintage RV museum we'd been looking forward to! Rats. Oh well. We caught dinner and pushed on to small Moriarty, New Mexico (a ways outside of Albuquerque). We stayed in a tiny, ancient motel, but the people were great and it had what we needed.

The next day (Tuesday), we broke up the drive with some fun stops! Part of the reason for taking the southern route we did was to see Chaco Canyon, an AMAZING "national historic park" where they have TONS of indian ruins that are in amazing shape. Seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The road out there is a rough dirt road and they like to keep it as de-commercialized as they can, but it's totally worth the trip. I'm glad I finally charge my camera battery so we could take a bunch of pictures. I have to post some...

A large kiva

His latest smile cracks me up!

It was so neat walking through the ruins! I can't believe how immaculate the doorways were.

Great shot by John!

Inside one of the only in-tact rooms. You get in through the door on my left.

Like I said, super neat. We went on a few short hikes around the ruins, had a nice Subway and snacks lunch, and headed on our way. Altogether an AWESOME stop. Next we went to Four Corners...or tried to. We got there a few minutes to 5 to find it closed. Supposedly it was supposed to be open until 8, but thought we must have just missed them closing at 5. Come to find out, it's been closed for who-knows-why for a while! Oh well. We were CLOSE to being in 4 states at once. We continued on and stayed in Page, Arizona.

We were sure to get a hotel with a pool this time and had fun swimming the next morning before checkout. We continued on for the 3-ish hours to Diamond Valley (near St. George) to visit my parents! We stopped randomly at Pipe Springs National Monument, just for a little break. It was so good to see my parents and little brothers for a few days! We stayed from Wednesday afternoon til Saturday morning. We went for a nice drive to see the beautiful scenery nearby. We played lots of games and enjoyed each other's company. Too bad my mom got horribly sick! :( It was still a nice visit, though.
After heading out Saturday morning, we made the rest of the 8-hour drive home to Winnemucca, NV. It is a long drive, but wasn't too bad after such a nice break. It was so great to be driving up to town and arriving home! Our tenants had left the house at 60 degrees, so we were relieved not to find any broken pipes or nasty surprises. We unpacked the car, got our beds ready to sleep in, had dinner, and spent the night in our own beds. It was nice to also have Sunday to recoup and further unpack. Overall, it was around 48 hours of driving!

Since being home, John got back to work (catches the bus at 4:45 am!) and has gotten things there rolling again. Thomas and I have gotten to see a bunch of our playgroup friends while going power walking, having playgroup, and going to storytime at the library. We're getting resettled in our house, found our missing kitchen dishes (our tenants had put them in the garage?), making plans for summer work on the backyard, and gotten a lot of errands and such done. Things are just about back to normal! We're excited for John's 4-10 schedule (he gets every Friday, Saturday, Sunday off!).

So that's that! Here we go, getting back to normal life!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We're having a baby girl!

For those of you who don't know, we're expecting Baby Kimball #2 and we recently found out we are having a little GIRL! She is due June 10th this year which means I'm 21 weeks along. Here are a few ultrasound pics!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thomas Updates!

I wanted to do a post dedicated solely to my little Thomas and all the things he's doing and saying lately. I'm sure we'll look back on this later and smile!

Thomas is getting big! At 28 months, he is now about 36 inches (3 feet) tall and somewhere around 35 pounds. He is a solid little boy! He seems big for his age. He has a short buzz to his blonde hair. He has dark blue eyes that seem like they may be changing color. He’s got a big smile with adorable teeth and one dimple. He wears size 3T and size 6 ½ shoes.

He is so smart! He knows all his letters and can count to ten. He’s working on lowercase letters (he knows about 4/5 already!) and the sounds letters make as well as counting from 10 to 20. He knows all of his colors and shapes, including “zatewabe” (trapezoid) and “ottadon” (octagon), courtesy of a game on the kindle that he likes. He can even pick out triangles, squares, circles, etc. in the environment! He loves playing the kindle and will turn on shows on Netflix like Blue’s Clues or Dora or he will play puzzles or games.

He’s talking better and better each day. One of the funny things that he says is “Oh goodness!” (mimicking me, of course). He also can’t say “quack”—instead he says something awfully close to the “f” word! We can’t help laughing when he begs to read the book Little Quack! He asks for us to “Lay down a you” when we put him down for bed or for a nap. He also still talks in third person and says things like, “Hi, Thomas!” when he’s talking to us. He often calls oatmeal “meh” or “meuh” and says “seeder” for cereal. One of my favorite things he says recently is “Aw, come ‘mere!” while tilting his head to the side with his arms out for a hug and back pat. Adorable!

He loves singing songs and his favorite used to be “I Love to See the Temple”, but now seems to be what he calls “Soapy” (I’ve Traveled Around this Penopee). He also likes Turtle, “Poo Ply” (Shoo Fly), Popcorn Popping, I’m a Child of God, and just about any song he hears.

He LOVES the snow! When it finally snowed a week ago (here in Virginia), Thomas saw the ground covered in white and for a while kept calling it “bubbles.” When we went out, he loved stepping in it, throwing it at daddy and mommy, etc. Now whenever we see even a little patch of snow, he wants to touch it or step in it. He likes going for a walk to the bridge with his bucket that we fill with rocks and throwing the rocks into the river. He also loves reading books, playing with his letters, blocks, or train set, running back and forth in the apartment, coloring, and playing with playdoh.

He has had a few undesirable habits and mannerisms lately, including one where he will cry out/yell really loud out of the blue! He does this at home, in the car, and at church. It can be when he’s frustrated or just when the idea gets into his head! We are working on it… he usually gets a time out or a pat on the mouth when he does it. He also hits mommy, usually when he is angry or frustrated. He also usually gets a time out for this. In time out, he often doesn't stay on the chair and has to be put back over and over or held there. He can be very particular about his food and other things, getting really frustrated if it’s not the way he wants it. He wants to do everything himself, even when he can’t.

Most of the time, he’s an adorable little boy who is sure growing up! We love our little man.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas in Virginia

For Christmas this year, though John had 12 days off work, we were allowed to take just a 5 day "leave" from being near base. For those 5 days, we decided to visit my sweet Opa who lives in Falls Church, VA, about 2 1/2 hours away.

On break before the actual leave, we did several things. We went to the Petersburg battlefield, John ran a 5k in an amazing time (21:30!), and we went to the Children's Museum in Richmond.
 Thomas absolutely loved the Children's Museum. It had all kinds of displays and interactive exhibits, toys, etc.
Exploring a tunnel!
This was a neat machine that sucked colored scarves through pipes and spit them back out.
An ambulance was one of Thomas' favorite things to play in.

Riding a triceratops!
Just a random silly picture!
 While in D.C., we first visited the Arlington Cemetery. It's HUGE. We walked around to see the many memorials.

 That evening (Christmas Eve with Opa!), we caved and let Thomas have one of his presents (too big/awkward to wrap anyway). A big bag of Mega Blocks!
Loving his new blocks!

Daddy had just as much fun with the blocks as Thomas did! He made Thomas a helmet.
 Thomas immediately latched onto Opa! He LOVED his silly faces, noises, and how he patiently played with him.
Opa and Thomas playing and having fun!

New Christmas jammies!

 Thomas' Christmas Haul: Mega Blocks, jammies, alphabet game, firetruck, Thomas trainset (from John's sister Amy who had us for Christmas), playdough, puzzle, books, recorded video stories from Oma and Opa Whatcott, and a few other things.
My guys playing the piano--Adorable!
 On Christmas, we had some delicious roast and hudtspot (delicious Dutch dish with potatoes, carrots, and onions all mashed together) and we drove to the Washington D.C. LDS temple to see the beautiful lights and nativity set up for the holidays.
Obsessed with touching all the lights!

Having fun with (Great-) Opa!
Such a sweet photo.
The day after Christmas, we decided to brave the super-cold rainy weather to head into town. We rode the metro (Thomas LOVED riding the train!) into downtown and walked the rest of the way, getting cold and soaked, to the Capitol Building. We toured around a little on our own, but didn't think we were up to any of the long tours with a 2-year-old. We decided to head to the Library of Congress to check it out.
Inside the Library of Congress.
Thomas fell asleep on our way home!
What a cutie.
The next day, we went to the Air and Space Museum with Opa. There are some pretty neat aircraft there! (Including the Discovery space shuttle!)

Our last day in D.C., we were able to go into town and get a (free!) parking space right next to the National Mall and walk around to all the memorials. It turned out to be a nice day and we had a great walk around to the WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jefferson, Korea, and Vietnam memorials (plus more I'm probably forgetting).

Pointing to and naming each letter.

So cute!!
We had a great week with my Opa in Washington D.C.!! Our trip home took us 5 hours because of the horrible traffic, and we were reminded how much we appreciate the wide open roads of the west! The following Monday, New Year's Eve, we had our good friends Adam, Chuchie, and their daughter Alexis who live in Virginia Beach over for some celebrating. We played 7 Wonders (a game), checked out Ft. Clifton, ate good food, and had a good time.

So that was our holiday! It was nice to have such a great break and spend time together enjoying some of the neat things not too far from us.

This last weekend, we went to see Jamestown and Yorktown (we already saw Colonial Williamsburg). It is about an hour's drive away. (We forgot the camera, so I don't have any pictures to share.) Jamestown is the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. I'm surprised how much has been found and preserved in the museum there! Swords, suits of armor, books, and even glassware! They had recreated the ships the first group sailed over on and you can get on and explore the ship which was super neat. They also recreated an Indian village and the first settlement founded in 1607. So interesting!

Yorktown is where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in the Revolutionary War. We saw another neat museum there with tons of artifacts as well as the monument there. We got a magnet for our fridge with all three of the historic cities represented. Hooray!

So now, we're down to less than a month until we head home to Nevada! We're all getting extremely anxious to leave...we miss our home, our stuff, John's job, the west, our friends, and being closer to our family.