Once we arrived in Montana, Paul and I enjoyed watching the kids interact with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There were a lot of new faces for Emma to see! Matthew luckily has an excellent memory and remembered everyone right off the bat. He especially had no trouble whatsoever wrestling with Grandpa nonstop.
|Grandpa with his two granddaughters: Evy and Emma.|
Both kids were smitten with Aunt MaryRose. Each night around dinnertime, Matthew would ask: "I sit next to MaryRose?" When I tucked him into bed at night, he would ask, just to be sure: "Mommy...MaryRose is my friend, right?"
I'd just reply: "She's even better than that, Matthew. She's your Aunt!"
|We LOVE Aunt MaryRose!|
|Cousin piano lessons with Aunt MaryRose.|
Grandpa took Matthew and Paul fishing on two separate occasions. Even though he was pretty tired, Matthew was looking forward to going. He had been begging Paul to take him fishing for a while now. Unfortunately, neither trip resulted in actually catching a fish. Shortly afterwards, Matthew asked me why they call it "fishing" when no actual fish are involved. Maybe next time, he'll catch something!
Matthew was so excited to play with his cousins Benedict and Steven. Each day, he would look forward to them coming over to play. There was the occasional fight and shedding of tears, but overall they got along splendidly. At one point, all three of them were entangled in an intense wrestling match. I was a little worried there would be some bloody noses and bruised eyes, but everyone emerged unscathed!
|Benedict, Matthew, and Steven playing in the leaves.|
|Amy (+Evy), Benedict, Matthew, Ali (+Stevie), MaryRose, and Emma.|
|All the Nistler grandkids together on one bench.|
Paul and I also got to meet our little niece Evelyn ("Evy") for the first time! She is six months younger than Emma and is the most adorable little lady! Both Emma and Matthew were quite taken with her. Matthew especially liked to stroke the top of her head and kiss her. I think he misses the days when he used to be able to patronize Emma that way. Now if he tries to pet her head or kiss her without permission, she'll squawk at him or punch him.
|Matthew simply adored Evelyn. He loves babies!|
|Emma, Matthew, and Evy.|
Since our last visit, MaryRose had become the proud owner of an adorable cat named "Katie". Emma was especially excited to see Katie, although it took quite a while before she realized that not all cats are named "Riley". She soon figured it out. Luckily, Katie is a super-affectionate cat and seemed to tolerate the amount of attention Emma gave her.
|Katie braces herself to receive a kiss from Emma.|
We also enjoyed seeing some of Paul's many, many cousins. We especially enjoyed getting together with Paul and Amy's godson Josh. That kid is hilarious. We went on a hike with him and he took us on a path that went straight up the side of the mountain. This normally would not be a problem except, as we told him at the time, he was taking three old-timers (Paul, Amy, and I) along with him. We were all panting after him as he practically ran up the side of the hill. That's what you get when you go on a hike with two pregnant ladies and Paul. Before we left, Josh gave Paul a big box filled with Almond Roca - his favorite homemade candy. That box won't last long!
|Paul with his godson Josh|
It was such a wonderful few days visiting with so many people we love - Mom, Dad, Amy, Ali, Jake, MaryRose, Joe, JohnPaul, Benedict, Steven, and Evy - just to name a few! As we sadly drove away to make the long trek back across the country, we promised that the next time we came we would stay for a longer period of time! Until the next time we see everyone again, thanks for some great memories!
|Emma and Aunt Amy reading a story together.|
|The two granddaughters.|
|Family picture take two. We had to retreat inside because it began to rain as we took our first picture on the porch!|