We love BYU. This is no secret. Often we are teased for our deep love and support of Brigham Young University. Last Friday the BYU football game was in San Jose which is 30 minutes away from us. The only bummer is that this game happened right after daylight saving time and started at 8:30 P.M. Bummer. We are all about staying up late and doing fun things with our kids, if it had started at 7, count us in! 7:30, ok we can do the first half! But 8:30?!! Bummer. Thats like 9:30 for their little bodies and ya…just too late. SO! Instead we threw a big bash at our apartment. It started as another family and us wanting to have a BYU Pizza party for our kids to dress in their gear and have fun at a reasonable time of night. But then, I just wanted to invite every mormon in our courtyard and the next! I decided this 3 hours before dinnertime, and I think everyone I invited came! Somehow I had made enough pizza, with the help of another friend, and it was quite the party! We had so many people in our little place and it was SO FUN! The secret to throwing a party is this, decide 3 hours before so you don’t have long enough to stress out and be miserable, you can just roll with the punches and enjoy your time because everyone knows this was last minute. There were so may kids in our little place and they were all so happy and excited. Dave even found the cheesy “Cosmo saves the day” type DVD’s we have and we watched those at the end when the kids started getting tired. Needless to say, it was so much fun. It was a house warming party of sorts, and it was great to get to know a lot more people too. Dave even got to go to the game with our neighbors, who had an extra ticket, and sit on the first row in the end zone. He had a blast cheering for our Alma Mater! I happily put the kids to bed, watched the first quarter on tv, and went to bed!! I was a proctor for the SAT early the next morning so I was happy to get some extra sleep.
On Saturday we went to an outdoor pool on campus and had a blast swimming! The kids have been begging us lately so it was nice to make their dreams come true! Its very strange to go swimming outdoors in November and not be freezing cold. We might get used to this!
On Sunday we got to speak in church about forgiveness. Dave is such a talented speaker. He really dives in to the doctrine and is able to explain and put things in a new light for people. It’s so fun to watch him shine and see this ward get so excited about his teaching skills. Proud wife moment.
We leave for UT on Friday so I am trying to get our house prepared. Its a little crazy, but this trip will be so much fun. I can’t believe its snowed there. We keep forgetting its fall here in CA. Oh and Utah peeps make sure to contact us to for sure set up a time we see you while we are there!
Oh! and Josie Jo is 8 months today! Huzzah! Where has the time gone? She is cruising around the house, and riding this mini strider bike out in the courtyard. The kids are pretty excited that she can say, “mama” They are all eagerly awaiting the day that she says each of their names. Today Popy told someone, “Josie can talk. She really can. She says mom and dad and mmm and ya” haha. So cute. Popy will push Josie in the swing and make games up and they both giggle. Rolf makes up sweet songs to sing to Jo all the time. Tommy is like a circus act that does goofy faces and dances and Josie dies of laughter. Its pretty great.
Today Tommy and I played catch for quite a while. Someone saw he had his baseball glove on and they asked if he was playing catch he sweetly said, “No.” and then added, “I’m pwaying BASSSEBALL” glad he clarified that one. He loved the grounders I’d toss to him. He would lay on the ground to get full body help and then pose before I would toss it. What a guy.
For most of today Rolf was dressed as jigglypuff. He is such a funny little boy. He said to me at one point this week, “I’m really grateful I’ve shared the spirit of Pokemon with the courtyard. I’m really proud of me.” (Insert laughing crying emoji) Seriously. The things he says. Uncle Jon you should be pretty proud of the poke fan you have created. (Is Poke fan a term I can use? My knowledge of Pokemon is so minimal)
Popy consistently tells Dave and I that she really really really wants us to have 131 kids. (This is the biggest number she can think of) for the record she also wants 131 kids of her own. Awesome. We must be doing something right because all the kids say they want us to have an outrageous amount of kids. Well kids, one (or two) at a time…
I have officially invented the recipe for the BEST pumpkin pancakes and homemade syrup. Meaning we might become billionaires off me selling these puppies. Seriously. That good. Dave and I can’t decide if he should finish his PhD or if I should sell these on a food truck for our paychecks 🙂 (Ok we have decided school is still a good idea, but you get the point!) I really really enjoy baking and cooking, its a huge stress reliever for me, and each week I try to make a couple new foods; tonight it was sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. Yummy! I’m really grateful for that time in the kitchen.
Dave is seriously rocking this PhD. His professors are super impressed with him and he doesn’t seem to overwhelmed. He deals with the school stress amazingly well and I always am so proud of all the hard work he does. He got some desk lifters so that when he raises his desk to standing position its actually tall enough for my hunky tall husband. He stairs at the computer screen basically all day. Good thing he likes what he does.
Our neighbors the Rodgers are such great friends! We are often at each others house late at night playing games, eating treats, or discussing different topics. Its so awesome to have best friends through the wall. We are so blessed. we also have gotten close to a couple other families and I’m so grateful we are all finding good friends.
There are so many blessings in our life and I’m so grateful my kids help me see most of them! Hope you all have a great week! And we will see you soon! The kids have instructed us to “drive straight to Wymount” when we leave on Friday for UT, though I don’t think the timing will work out, you at least get the idea of how excited for normal UT life they are!
Dave, Jess, Rolf, Popy, Tommy, & Josie
The Dixon Family
Its been sooo long. Sorry about that family. We still live. We still are happy. And we are feeling fully immersed and a part of our new life here in Palo Alto, CA. Maybe thats why I keep forgetting to write? Well as most habits go, its been so long it seems impossible to catch up. I’ll do it though. I’ll be brave.
We’ve started holding Family Councils each week and boy do our kids love it! Freedom to discuss their ideas and thoughts and our plans for the upcoming week=A kids dream! I’m happy to implement this inspired program and grateful to already see its blessings in our life. We also have been striving to make the Sabbath day different. Set it apart and make it holy. We’ve discussed what this means to us as a family a lot and its nice to let the kids be in on this decision process. The outcomes have been fun family Sunday moments and conscious efforts to feel the spirit more throughout the day. Pretty good, eh? We also end up eating a lot more cookies since making cookies together is one of the kids favorite choices. This is a great result. 🙂
Dave is well into his first term here at Stanford and totally fits in. He is happy and enjoying all the great seminars he is taking. He works hard but is enjoying the work he is doing, so I guess that means we made the right choice in getting a PhD here at Stanford 🙂
We have lots of “welcome to Stanford” moments. Some include, fancy meals at every meeting Dave goes to, fancy people at these meetings, and no one blinking an eye at these things. haha. This last week Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve apostles came to Stanford to speak at the LDS Convocation at the memorial church. We got to have a lunch Q & A with him earlier in the day as well. What an experience. We discussed so many great questions from motherhood, fathers presiding, job success and balancing families, to making time for sacred learning while we are learning at Stanford. I’ve never had an experience like this, the spirit was so strong and it was so wonderful to have an apostle answer all these questions most of us have been pondering. The Convocation was awesome too. It was held in Stanford’s memorial church which is in the center of campus and truly beautiful and huge. The institute choir sang from the Choir lofts and our kids said it was like angels singing to us. It really was one of the most beautiful choir performances I’ve ever heard and in such a special place, too. After the convocation ended Tommy really really wanted to go shake Elder Cook’s hand. I was hesitant of waiting in line since it was already so late past bedtime, but I couldn’t deny those big brown eyes. I also couldn’t deny the chance of my children meeting an apostle of the Lord. So up we went, all 6 of us, to the front of the chapel and waited maybe 100 seconds before Elder Cook seemed to appear in front of us. With his big smile and friendly “hello” He asked for the children’s names and when he shook Tommy’s hand he said, “Bless your heart little Tommy” He didn’t say anything besides Hello to anyone else in our family, as if he knew that Tommy was the one to make this happen. What a special moment. What a memory. We sat through a long, kinda boring meeting with our 4 kids late into the night, but none of that mattered once they met Elder Cook. All of the craziness seemed more than worth it once we met his kind gaze. Thank you Heavenly Father for teaching me that we hold a sacred responsibility in teaching our children the importance of the gospel.
Dave went to the Rheumatologist this week, we still don’t have all the insurance stuff figured out, but once we do, Dave has a dr who is very concerned and kind. We feel so blessed that we found a Dr that could see him so quickly and also give him samples of some of his medicines while we wait for insurance and the referral mess. Thanks for all your prayers in his behalf, we know that this helped the process!
We had our fun ward Halloween party and Halloween this week! We dressed up as Harry Potter characters! Rolf as Harry, Popy as Hermione, Tommy as Ron, Josie as Hedwig, Dave as Dumbledore, and I was Professor Trelawney. It was a blast! We loved pretending to be these characters. Rolf and Popy fit their characters all too well, Tommy looked adorable in his red wig, and Josie was the cutest Owl ever ever ever. To say we had a blast is an understatement. Trick or Treating was an exciting thing too. All three of the older kids got it and loved it. We went around our courtyard and then headed to Old Palo Alto (1 mi away from our front door) where Steve Job’s (well his wife), Larry Page, and other tech giants live. It was like a theme park. The streets are blocked off from cars and the people go ALL out with their decorations. There were live musicians, stage performers, actors dressed up creepy dancing around, and crazy technology! There was a house with lights that looked like it was on fire, a functioning R2D2 in front of someones house, there were “fauns” as my kids said (really demons) dancing on stage blocks, there was a circus stage and show set up, and you waited in lines to get candy from the houses. A totally different experience. Seriously I don’t think my kids will even know what to do when we move somewhere else in 5 years and they realize this is not the norm. haha. So next year come join us, its quite the experience!
Josie is a mover and shaker since we last updated everyone. She crawls everywhere, sits fine by herself, and pulls herself to a stand on everything. She also has learned she can scream. A blood curdling scream. For everything! But mostly joy! haha! It definitely catches everyones attention! She also loves solid foods and is quite ravenous all the time. Its very cute! She has a little walker that she walks in it around the house and she likes that she can be at a higher level interacting with the kids. This is because she thinks Tommy Rolf, and Popy are the funniest people ever. She can’t get enough of their slapstick humor (even just their smiles are hilarious) She brings so much joy into our lives. We are so grateful she is part of our family.
For those wondering we will be in UT Nov 14-27 so be prepared to party UT folks!
We love you guys!
Dave, Jess, Rolf, Popy, Tommy, & Josie
The Dixon Family
(Click any picture for full resolution)
Just because it’s beautiful. Doesn’t look like November in Palo alto will be too bad
Yes, Rolf had another trip to the hospital. Just a cut near his eyebrow. Glued back together just fine
Jessicas clever solution for cutting pumpkins together in the living room
Prior to his convocation address, Elder Cook asked all of the Stanford students and faculty to meet with him more intimately for lunch, where he shared some thoughts and took questions. Unbelievable experience.
This is at the late Steve Jobs House. His wife still lives there and, among many other things, always has some amazing carved pumpkins. “I am Ron Weasley!”
She can crawl!
Cutest Hedwig ever. By a yard.
I think the roots of Professor Dumbledore’s beard are showing
A slightly blurry picture with one of our favorite friend families. He just started the MBA program
Just relaxing at the end of the ward party This may seem like nothing. But I forget sometimes what “local” can mean here
This is A picture of our kids taking advantage of a wonderful hammock. We were invited to a wonderful Halloween breakfast at my old friend Sophia Shoemaker’s house. We were in the same district in the MTC… A few years back
Grandma Shelly sent these wonderful scarves Just in time for Halloween evening
Getting ready for trick-or-treating!
Rolf… I mean Harry… With one of his best friends… Harry
Some best friends The two Harry’s meet another Harry!
This picture is at the beginning of our trick-or-treating in Palo Alto. In the neighborhood of all of the tech CEOs. That’s Zach, who is also in Dave’s program.
So here at the houses of the CEOs and other various luminaries, there’s a line for each house. But the decorations make it so worth it If this was a video you would see that this is a fully functioning R2-D2 with noises and movement and many moving parts
There’s something moving in the bush Unfortunately this house was on fire
This is a live stage show with spooky performers set up on the front yard of the late Steve Jobs, now put up by his widow, who still lives there, and is right across the street from Larry page, founder of Google. See below These are part of Mrs. jobs wonderful pumpkins
This house had a live band performing appropriate music
It’s hard to see here but he was adamant that we call this giant pumpkin with the carpet on top a Trumpkin Here we are entering Larry page, the CEO and founder of Google (now alphabet),’s yard setup
One of the many live performers at Larry Page’s House moving in creepy Ways
This is where you get your candy at Larry Page’s House The Owl fell asleep
A better shot of the stage on the corner at the Job house. Walking home everyone’s tired
Not too tired for a little inventory
Mama Shelly came last Monday and will be here till this Friday! Woohoo! 11 days. We have been having a great time with her! She is a great example of someone who is humble. She is always willing to change and do better. She has been eating healthy since she got here and she has been walking with us. She even walked 4 miles one day! Whats up?! So awesome. She even cleaned our living room and kitchen last night while we were away. What a sweetheart. We are so proud of her and the kids love spending so much time with her.
Grocery Update: I’ve received a couple worried messages and phone calls about grocery bills and such. We are eating! Don’t worry! I even found eggs for $2.79/doz at Trader Joe’s! There is a fabulous Grocery Store called Grocery Outlet that we found. There is nothing like this store to compare it to in UT. Its very fancy and yet super cheap food items. You never know what will be there because its things close to their expiration, but its still a great store and really great prices. So yes, we are eating and we are happy that we found such a great place!
We have seen the hand of the Lord so clearly in this moving process it is so comforting to count up all those tender mercies and blessings. I know that without prayer all 6 of us Dixon’s would be feeling more stressed, unnerved, and unable to cope with moving. It has been a great teaching moment to help our kids realize the power of prayer and its purpose for which we are grateful.
Dave is finding so much success here! School hasn’t even started and yet he is researching for Stanford like crazy. He gets to go to Arizona for a week and research. He is thrilled that he has hit the ground running. Its fun to see him succeed and we have enjoyed all the welcome parties were we have met his fellow students and his advisors.
The mountains are pretty close to us here. I was excited to learn this. We had a party in the mountains yesterday and it was beautiful! The trees are unbelievable! So tall! Dave’s advisor has a beautiful cabin and she threw a smashing party! There were activities for the kids like flower pot painting and tie dye, chocolate making stations, and a non stop taco truck of food. So awesome to know the kids were having fun while we were able to talk to new friends. It was also fun to do some of the crafts with them! We had a blast.
A definite highlight of the week was the BYU Football game. WOOOOHOOO!!! Dave made a pretty good DubSmash that expresses our feelings pretty accurately. It uses Greg Wrubell’s reaction to the hail mary! (He is the radio voice of BYU football). Here it is:
We are grateful for all the family that is good at FaceTime-ing us! Its hard to stay on top of phone calls and video calls so we are grateful for the family and friends that makes sure it happens! Thank you! We love you all! And FaceTime us!
Back in Utah I would tell people we were moving to Palo Alto and their faces would immediately change to the “woah face” and then they would say, “Palo Alto is paradise!” I, who had never been, would say, “Oh ya, hmmm….thats what I hear” totally unsure if this paradise would be a paradise for my family and me. But two days ago on our nightly campus walk I turned to Dave and said, I really do think this place might be paradise. There almost always is a perfect breeze, the days don’t normally get too hot, the people are friendly, we have a beautiful courtyard of friends, and the palm trees are very fun.
We have officially moved in now. Of course there are a few more projects to be done but the main house is moved in and looking nice. I feel happy and relieved thats for sure! I really enjoy the space. It feels so much more like a home than the apartment in Wymount. We loved Wymount for the quad, we just dealt with the inside, but I really like it here. Its built like a townhouse. We have a nice living room/dining/kitchen downstairs. Its big for us and comfortable. Upstairs the kids have their awesome triple toddler bunk bed back and then a whole room is for toys and guests. Our master bedroom is big too! We are happy that there is more space than we are used too. This is almost double the square footage of Wymount, so we are loving the extra leg room 🙂
My younger brother Adam was in Hawaii (hard life I know) and couldn’t get a flight back from SF to SLC. He let me know at 2:30 on Sunday and I had him in the car with me at 3:20. Needless to say I was thrilled!! We sadly take him to the airport in a couple hours, but we have LOVED having him here. We had a nice Sunday dinner, cookies, a nice walk around campus, and lots of hugs and loves and tackles. What a great young man. What a great Uncle. He is awesome. It was wonderful to catch up and talk.
Dave got to go to an awesome “Conversation” between the Blackberry CEO and the publisher for Forbes Magazine. He ate a fancy breakfast at a fancy hotel with the Churchill Club. Fancy fancy. We said this was definitely his first Silicone Valley experience. Very exciting. He sat next to all these big shots and listened to fancy tech stuff really early in the morning 🙂 Dave is getting lots of experience here at Stanford already. He is researching and collaborating and LOVING it all. He gets to go to Arizona for a week and do research before school starts too! He is so happy. Which makes all of us so happy.
The kids love the courtyard and all their new friends. They have made lots of great friends and are happy just exploring and playing all day. I love that there is a gate keeping them inside and that it is bigger than our old quad. Some days they tell me they want to stay at Stanford for forever. Some days they tell me they want to go back to Provo, Rolf told me yesterday, “and be buried in Provo! Never leave!” So obviously they still feel a tad conflicted 🙂
We have been adding more and more chores to the kids repertoire. This makes for slower messier things, but they feel happier (mostly) and I know in the long run its better. The twins favorite is drying silverware and putting it away. Tommy’s favorite is trash with Dad. We have 4 trash cans so there is always something to carry and he feels strong and helpful. My favorite is being done with dishes. Seriously one of our first purchases when we get our stipend is a dishwasher. So much time is spent washing and washing. But I will not complain, I’m just looking at my pile this morning wishing it would disappear 🙂
We have been taking walks around campus around dusk most nights. It is so nice to learn about the campus and walk around it. One of our discoveries was Palm Dr. lined with Palm trees! Another the mausoleum…with sphinxes! Did you know there are man and woman sphinxes….well we learned there are woman sphinxes. And there is a garden of cactus! It is actually really cool! My kids love love loved it. They keep asking to go back and see it. If you go at dusk its actually creepy and so they loved the horror thrill of it. haha. We also went to our first Stanford sporting event! Women’s field hockey…WOOHOO! We had no idea what was happening but there was a fun scoring moment that was so exciting to cheer for! The Stanford football team (well many members) were there cheering and we sat next to them which made the game much more exciting! There was also a set up on a little field for anyone to play field hockey on a little feild during the game. The kids all played and our friends the Rodgers were there. We really like them.
Josie is growing and cute cute cute. She brings so much joy into our lives. She is 5 1/2 months. Woah. Thats old! She does all sorts of tricks but our favorite is her spitting raspberries and smiles. She is a joy. Everyone loves seeing her. She is just adorable. We all love having her in our lives.
We are happy and well. We want everyone to come visit. So come! Come to paradise!
David, Jessica, Rolf, Popy, Tommy, & Josie
One week down, 259 to go!! Things I’ve learned in our first week at Palo Alto:
We are loving our time here and will keep our adventures updates. We already miss you guys. Quaddies! Family! Friends! Send emails, FaceTime us, and keep us updated with your lives too! We are just unpacking still! 🙂 And last but definitely not least, COME VISIT US! 🙂
Dave, Jess, Rolf, Popy, Tommy, & Josie
The Dixon Family