Sunday, December 30, 2007

Busy End of Year

I have not been keeping up with my personal commitment of posting to this blog every day lately. It has been pretty busy with all of the happenings around the holiday.

This has been a memorable year for both the good and the bad. I look back at it right now and recall several moments that were important to me. Even to look in the previous blog posts helps me remember.

Right now is an interesting time for music discovery based on plenty of 'best of' lists that are floating around the Internet. Some really great finds were: Spoon, Gogol Bordello, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Justice, Stars, Animal Collective, and Panda Bear. Panda Bear is the most recent one I found and it is really deep with a new sound that is familiar while still interesting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Aftermath

Today it was up to me to clean up all of the Christmas goods that we received from Amber's side of the family. The aunts all get together and make an amazing array of stockings and several gifts under the tree. Christmas morning includes more gift exchanges. The last few years we have struggled to get everything into the car. This year was close but we did not need to have anyone carry gifts in their lap or have to resituate seating arrangements.

Most importantly we got to see them and have fun together. The kids really love going there. Everyone is very kind and truly love seeing the excitement and joy children have around this time of year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

We just had our family Christmas and it was very, very fun. The kids appreciated that Santa brought them what they asked for. It looks like they each were good this year.
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I Have a Hulu Account Now

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Memorial

Yesterday was Mom's memorial service. Many people showed up to the church. The service itself was touching. Amber asked me how I felt about the speakers. I liked hearing what other people say about Mom and it doesn't change how I remember her. I would have added that she was so sincere and honest as well as kind.





Today I went to Allen's class to help with a Christmas party. It was fun and I hung out with Kathy Petersen to decorate cookies with the kids. Abby was very shy when we first got there and sat very quietly in a chair at the back of the table. I stood next to her and made sure she was feeling happy.
Allen only spent a few minutes at the table but it was really great to get a hug from him in front of his classmates. I know that will change when he gets a little older.
Ashton also brought home some neat Christmas gifts. She received a gift from her teachers and she was disappointed that it was a truck instead of a girl toy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Christmas

Today was the Gibson family Christmas. Gregg's family was here yesterday but Geoff and his clan collided with some awful weather including freezing fog. We had a great time on the Holley Trolley and then met up for dinner at my Dad's house. We opened gifts and had some fun. Dad read the Bible to us about the birth of Jesus and Geoff convinced him to also read some T.S. Eliot poetry.

Mom's special Christmas gift was also revealed: an historically accurate story of one of our ancestors. Mom also hand made some art to supplement the story. It was almost completed when Mom died so between Karin and Dad they completed the project. It is a very special work. In my Dad's words: "It was Grandma's last art project."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Storm

Waking up this morning and looking out the window I saw that the snow storm that we expected landed. It was punctuated with plenty of gusting wind and drifting. The drive to work at 8 a.m. was not that bad but I do prefer clear roads. The worst thing about driving in bad weather is the other drivers.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Top Off the Trapezoid

Tonight we watched the new Harry Potter movie as a family. It was a highlight to our whole evening because it took the whole evening. I quickly wolfed down dinner and then we immediately popped it in the DVD player. It was nice to be able to fit on the couch with everyone. Most of us shared the same blanket, too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Allen's School Journal

Amber showed me Allen's journal tonight. It displays some interesting things. He has a picture of himself as president, Grandma and himself at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and one of himself proudly declaring that he can read. I especially enjoyed the picture of Allen as a shark!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

House Chores

I spent the morning with Abby and we hung out. She really likes her night gowns and stayed in her pajamas until about 10:00 a.m. I did some laundry and dishes because I got home on the late side last night. Ashton soon came home and she relaxed with Abby and they shared some Cheez-Its for a while. Ashton played some games on Nick Jr. while I tried to get ready for work. Amber came home at about 1 p.m. after hitting the store for some necessities.

It felt like a fast paced day even though not much of anything of consequence occurred.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Brought to you by...

the little girl that calls cupboards "covereds" and the Great Wall of China the "Gray Wall of China": a short story.



There once was a princess with a very shiny crown. The crown sat by the princess’ two beds. She stood by her dresser and the king called her to tell her to put all of her clothes away. The princess had a teddy bear and a kitten and a royal television. Today was also her royal star and a royal birthday cake. Her royal basket sat in the room on the floor. The princess knew that she should do all of her chores. The queen placed her crown upon the royal cat just for laughs.

In this kingdom was an evil witch. She wanted the princess dead. The princess found out about the evil witch and she hid in the castle. The princess’ name was Ablorina.


-Ashton Gibson

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Ride on the Icy Roads

We expected a big ice storm today. Instead, the snow was melting and then it hovered around freezing so everything was icy hard slush. Dad needed me to take him to an appointment in Grand Rapids. The ride was actually not bad. Dad and I talked a bit. He told me about what his procedure was all about and he talked about Mom a little as well.

I left early and got home late so my time with the kids was just sending them off to school. Allen had it in his head to take a cold lunch today even though he has prepaid hot lunch ready. Amber told him to get milk from a "milk line" and he got upset. How upset? He didn't want to go to school. I remember having anxiety when I was in elementary school, too. It is tough being a kid. I feel for the little guy.

Playing Outdoor Games in the House

We had a great time tonight before Amber got home playing ball tag in the house. We ran around and caused all kinds of trouble. It was awesome!

Abby asked to watch Yo Gabba Gabba today and the way she says it is the epitome of cute. Ashton is making strides in keeping her bathroom etiquette. She is also getting to be a young lady. Her growth lately is surprising Amber and I. She weighs almost as much as Allen and is gaining on him with regard to height. Allen is gaining a mastery of comedy and he is really coming into his own when the funnies are involved. He is also maintaining some good habits and is very good lately about cleaning up his room and picking things up.

Amber and I have excellent kids. We are incredibly fortunate.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yet Another Sick Day

Last night was pretty rough on Amber. She had to get up a few times because the girls were not feeling well. When morning came around both of the girls were feeling pretty rotten. Ashton barely had a voice and was running a temperature. Abby was still sleeping after I picked her up from the couch. Allen was feeling pretty well and he was the only one that went to school today.

I came home to an empty house because everyone went to the doctor. Both Ashton and Abby had something that needed a prescription. I hope they feel better soon. I feel awful that they look and sound this way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Preparing for Christmas

Abby and I spent the morning together as usual. I decided that I would enforce some tough love in the form of limiting the binky availability. Our opinions collided a few times and we each compromised (read as she would find them after yelling at me). She is tons of fun in general. She kept me running around.

Ashton also was here at the usual time. She had a substitute bus driver and she tried to park in our driveway. Later on Ashton really wanted to draw some pictures. She asked me to draw a large picture of a bird and I complied. A few minutes passed and she triumphantly returned to show me the coloring she did with the bird. Truthfully, I was a little disappointed with my drawing but when I saw her color job I was legitimately impressed. She turned my sorry looking bird into a nice scene with a tree, grass, clouds, and even eggs ready to hatch. When I told her I really liked it she gave me a sincere look of appreciation and I had to hug her. It was a really great moment we shared.

Allen got home and things began to move a little faster. Dinner needed to be made, cleaning needed to be done, and kids needed attention. Shortly after he arrived home, we received a delivery from the florist in Hastings from my work with their condolences. Allen had it in his mind that I must be a great employee if my employer is sending me gifts. I think that inspired him to make a gift for Amber. He went to great lengths to collect the necessary items for the gift and all of the kids helped me wrap it after bath time was over. I won't spoil what it was, Amber could read it and ruin the surprise!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mind Numbing Day

I had an early (but not first-thing-in-the-morning early) shift at work that lasted into the late evening. Before I had a wife and kids that kind of shift was great. I could sleep in a little and I wouldn't have to be at work very late. Now that kind of shift guarantees that I don't see much of anyone. Amber had a very long shift today, too. We are both tired. The kids were pretty much in bed when I got home.

Due to all of this I can't really recall anything really different or great that happened. Allen stayed home from school, Ashton got on the bus by herself, and Abby got up a little later than everyone else. Typical day in our house.

I did happen to spot my Dad and my brother-in-law Brad at my work today but I was tied up and didn't have much of a conversation with either one.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Picture

 
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

All is Done

Today was Mom's burial.

It was a rainy day and it did not let up. Early in the day it was freezing rain and our road and driveway was a sheet of ice. I went to church for the testimony meeting. It was really great to hear other people remember Mom. There were several moments that tears were in my eyes.

Karin told me that in the process to plan for the memorial service songs were selected based on Mom's requests. They tried to find a song with the word "grant" in it. Mom always did make a big deal out of hymns that my name appeared in. I miss her.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Siblings

The last two or three days have been full of emotion. Geoff, Gregg, and I spent some time to reacquaint. I felt like it was a great time and I will always remember it. I wish that I could have even spent some time with Karin but she has had some immediate responsibilities with preparing Mom for burial.

I went with Geoff this morning to pick up Steph from the airport. She came at Karin's request to help with the all important details. Geoff and Steph also came over for dinner and to take it easy. We had a great time and I know the kids appreciated seeing their aunt and uncle. While we watched a movie together Ashton whispered to me that she really liked having guests and was happy Geoff and Steph were here at the house.

Mom Has Passed On

At 6:40 p.m. Friday, November 30.

Many tears have been shed. We will always remember her.