Like Legos

only more colorful

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A Year in Review

Forgive me if you didn’t get a Christmas letter.  I had good intentions of getting them all out this year but life got hectic as we packed 3 carry on suitcases for over 3 weeks of vacation in Indiana.  I still have a stack of unsent cards in my dining room.  If one belongs to you I’m sorry.  Next year!


Two thousand and nine turned out to be a year of change for us.  Probably our biggest change was our decision to homeschool the boys.  Yes, you heard that right.  Homeschooling.  Don’t worry I won’t be wearing jean jumpers or putting my hair in a bun anytime too soon.  After countless hours of thought, research, and prayer we decided homeschooling would be the best decision for our family this year. (We are taking it year by year.)  And so far, after four months it has!  We just love the extra time with the boys and our days are much less stressful than when we were running back and forth from school, taking care of school business, and fitting in evening homework.  It’s also been great to see their relationship grow (who knew they could get along so well!) and have more time for fun activities like the classical choir they sing in and taekwondo!  Hiyaaaaa!!!  Yep, early last year, we started studying martial arts as a family.  Currently we have worked our way up to green belt!  Next step purple with our eyes set on black in the future.

Nathanael and Noah have been living up to our “like legos” motto but instead of “we fit together like legos” it has become “there is nothing like legos”.  They continue to build and pretend for HOURS (I’m not exaggerating) a day.  We have lego boats, cars, mansion, ships, towers, billboards, stores, planes, pyramids, basically a lego cosmos growing in our house. They also enjoy playing their Wii on the weekends (see we are not total weirdoes!) and tormenting their cat, Sunny, who btw has grown fatter and lazier this past year.  He has almost caught up with the pugs, Nico and Nigel.

Brent’s business has remained steady.  Praise God.  And as Brent is a self-employed, freelancer, I don’t say that lightly.  This year, he was given the opportunity to do more video work, which was a fun change of pace.  In July, he shot 9 children’s music videos in 3 days with yours truly as his assistant.  In the future, he hopes to do more of that sort of work.  He also helps with homeschooling by doing Bible every morning, science, and reading aloud to them every evening.  It goes without saying, that the boys LOVE this time with daddy and I appreciate his commitment/help more than I can say!

I bet you can pretty much guess what I’ve been up too.  Teaching, kicking, driving, and assisting when needed.  The boys and I have also continued to deliver groceries to homebound elderly through the organization Shop Ahoy.  Two of our elderly friends have ended up in the county nursing home.  One is without family so she is a big part of our lives right now.  I’ve also continued writing my health and fitness blog.  In November, I changed the look and title of my blog to Girl-Heroes: The (almost) sane girls guide to insane health.  Catchy huh? J Check it out at  In August I started training with kettlebells!  Kettle…what????  Kettlebells!  Think strong man sideshow circus freak!  Cannonballs with handles that you swing, press, lift, toss and swallow.  Not really!  Lovin’ the kettlebells.  Best workout ever and oh so fun!

Well that’s pretty much covers 2009.

We miss all of you and wish you a wonderful 2010!!!!

Mucho Love,

The Nims

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  • Rocketing

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  • Noah found his first loose tooth today when we were brushing his teeth.  Excited doesn’t even describe his reaction.  He was elated.  Giddy.  He started talking .  It was really cute.  Here is a short video of him talking about it after the initial excitment.

    Noah and the Tale of the Loose Tooth from Jenn Nims on Vimeo.

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  • New Neighbor

    So ugly he's cute!

    So ugly he's beautiful!

    There is a new cat in town.  His name is Moses.  That’s what is on his collar.  And he is so ugly he’s beautiful.

    The first time I saw him I was captivated.  I stopped the car and stared in wonder.  The second time, I rushed across the street with the boys and we discovered Moses is greasy.  The third time I saw him, I invited him onto the front porch for a treat.  It was mostly fine except Moses has the weird habit of hissing for no reason.  I think he is subconsciously angry about not having any hair.  Sort of like short man syndrome for cats.  Anyway I was excited about my new friend until Brent opened the door and informed me Sunny was sitting on the other side listening.  I decided I better go in let Sunny know he was still number one even though I had become rather obsessed with Moses.  Nope. Sunny would have none of it.  He puffed up and walked away from me.  I reached down to pet him and was shocked when he showed his teeth and hissed at me.  Uh-oh.  I followed Sunny to his favorite spot in the house the window between Brent and I’s desk.  Once again I tried to pet him and this is what I got.



    Guess he was sort of mad.  If you know my cat you know he is really a dog trapped in a cat’s body.  He’s really sweet and cuddly, almost pathetically so.  I’m sure other cats would make fun him if they knew how sweet he was.  But not today.  I promised Sunny I wouldn’t pet Moses anymore.  But it’s sort of hard.  Moses is so new and it’s so tempting to pet him.  Now when Moses comes over and greets me with a “friendly” hiss I just toss him a treat.  Because although Moses may be strange and beautiful our little Sunny is sweet and faithful.  So I better be too.

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  • Joy

    It’s the new year and one of the things I want to do is update our family website more .  We’ll see how long it lasts.

    smorgasboard We had a lovely Christmas this year.  Simple and sweet.  GG (my grammy) and TT (my grandpa…grandpy sounds weird) came to visit us.  On Christmas Eve, we went to Santa Maria where Brent’s mom really outdid herself and served a wonderful Swedish smorgasbord.  That night we went to church for the Christmas Eve service.  Our family lit one of the advent candles.  The candle of joy.  I was actually going to light the candle while Brent was reading but I couldn’t get the lighter to work.  Hello.  You’d think by now I’d could work one of those stairs things.    At least you’d think.

    After church we came home and tried to coax two anxious boys to sleep so Santa could come.  We set out chocolate chip cookies, milk, and carrots for the reindeer.   Of course, the next morning the boys were delighted to find Santa had filled their stockings with all sorts of junk from China and candy.  Except Santa had mistakenly given them cherry flavored candy canes “AGAIN” even when they specifically wrote “MINT” on their lists.  I told  them Santa is probably pretty clueless since he lives all the way in North Pole.  Nathanael agreed since he also leaves ash allIMG_3151.CR2 over the floor around the fireplace.  Come on Santa get a clue.  Not only that but the elves have quit making toys.  Instead they all sit around in cubicles ordering stuff on the Internet which is why everything says “Made in China”.  Nathanael is 8.  I really need to give this up before he gets made fun of at school.  But it’s just so sweet watching them get so excited about a fat man in a red suit who squeezes himself down chimneys and fills stockings with stuff they get bored with in 5 minutes.

    Amazingly GG and TT arrived at 8:30 am. 😉  We all opened presents and then started making waffles.  It’s been a tradition IMG_3134.CR2 since I was a kid.  I love it, especially when the waffles aren’t soggy!!!  After waffles Brent started in building the Lego Republic Gunship and soon discovered that was all he was going to do on Christmas day seeing that the gunship is over 1000 pieces.  Nathanael  also started building his new Lego airport and was done in less than two hours.  Maybe he should give Brent building lessons.  As the builders built, GG and I started making dinner.  Every year I make a special roast lamb.  It’s really good and since we eat chicken 364 days out of the year it’s a real treat.

    IMG_3139.CR2 As the lamb was cooking the boys and I went to the hospital to visit Lucille.  Lucille is one of the elderly women we deliver groceries too through an organization called Shop Ahoy.  The past year we have become quite close to Lucille.  Unfortunately these last few months she has taken a turn for the worse and ended up back in the hospital Dec 23.  As we drove over we all practiced singing Silent Night together.  Once we got there it was disappointing to find Lucille in such bad shape and I was having difficulty holding my tears as I read the story of the birth of Jesus to her.  And when Noah started singing the first verse of Silent Night to her I gave up.  Nathanael followed Noah with the second verse IMG_3141.CR2and we all sang the last verse together.  I was so proud of them.  They both sang with a sincerity that would melt the heart of the scroogiest of scrooges. Or in Lucille’s case make the weakest of the weak smile.  It was the only time I saw her smile the entire time we were there.

    It wasn’t long after returning home that we finished cooking dinner and had a wonderful feast.  Lastly, before my grandparents and cousin Danny left for home we put a gold candle in the middle of a pumpkin pie and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  Yeah, I know it’s sort of corny and my kids will think were weirdos when they get older.  That’s okay.  They are probably right.

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  • Merry Christmas

    Christmas Card 2008

    Christmas Card 2008

    Hello Family and Friends,

    Hard to believe another year is “In the can”. Here are our highlights from 2008:

    IMG_2934.JPG Nathanael, our little eccentric one, is enjoying third grade. The thing he’s currently “into” is limousines. He draws them and talks about them, or plays with his toy limo daily. For his 8th birthday his GG and TT (great grandparents) surprised him with a limousine ride. Maybe one day he’ll have his own. When I asked him what he wanted to be this year for Halloween he responded, “Bill Gates”. He has also grown into an AVID reader and will regularly sit down and read an entire “chapter book” in one evening.

    Noah 6 Noah officially “graduated” from preschool in June and is now a bonafide Kindergartner. He has made this transition rather well and every morning when he walks into class he is greeted with many many “Hi Noah”s from his classmates. Where as as Nathanael wants to be Warren Buffet, Noah wants to be a Jedi Knight. He spends many hours practicing moves, playing with his Lego Star Wars figures, and video games.

    This year we have really seen a great camaraderie take shape between Nathanael and Noah. Some days hours will pass before we are summoned to play referee. We have also seen a new concern for others develop as they deliver groceries with Jenn weekly (without much complaint) to home-bound elderly women. These two points of growth alone have brought us so much joy.

    In November Jenn competed in (and won) her first figure competition (probably not what you think it it’s one step removed from body building)! What a huge accomplishment that was and a success on so many levels but mostly it was a huge exercise in discipline and showing determination to finish. She’s been keeping a blog on her journey to health and fitness at The changes she has made in her own health have had such a profound effect upon her that she has decided she wants to help others reach their own goals in health and fitness. She will complete her personal trainer certification in early 2009.

    Brent continues to work hard at growing NimsMedia. We have been blessed with many great clients and projects. Our One Million Children project (documentary film) is finally nearing completion and we’re looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in 2009. Brent also continues to enjoy playing in the worship band at church, taking photos of well… anything (check out our photostream here), and tackling the few remaining projects for our home renovation (come on housing market!!!).

    Balch Park This summer we launched head-long into our newfound favorite family activity with the purchase of a ’93 Jayco pop-up trailer . We enjoyed trips to Refugio State Beach, Cachuma Lake, and Balch Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains where we camped in the midst of the Giant Sequoias. It’s great to be together as a family and get a break from all the responsibilities of home life, and to be in the beauty of God’s creation.

    We look forward to seeing or hearing from you in the New Year. It’s going to be a great one!

    Merry Christmas,
    The Nims

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  • Of course!

    Last night when Brent was putting Noah to bed he said to him, “I love you so much.”

    Noah’s response, “Of course you do. What father wouldn’t love his son.” Duh dad!

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  • "love word"

    The other day I took Nathanael and Noah to Toys R Us to spend Nathanael’s birthday money. After two hours, I’m not kidding TWO HOURS (who’s says I’m not patient) of helping Nathanael to decide on what he would purchase, I hobbled on sore feet to the checkout line.

    We were waiting in line when Nathanael asks very matter-of-fact as if he is asking me if I like ketchup on my fries, “Mom you’re hot? Huh?”

    “What?”, I ask, caught off guard.

    “Not hot like the temperature hot,” he continues.

    What? Where is this coming from I’m asking myself. Looking for someone to blame I immediately I feel like beheading Hannah Montana for corrupting my sweet innocent baby. I’ve never even seen the show, but I don’t like that she wears a long blond wig when she has perfectly beautiful natural brown hair. It’s just a disguise my friends say. I don’t care. She could have chose those black plastic glasses with the plastic nose attached.

    In the car I ask Nathanael a few questions to try and find out where he heard the word “hot” in that context. I also ask him if he knows what it means. He says he heard it at school. Then smiles and says, “It’s kind of a love word, huh, Mom?”

    “Yes honey. People say it when they think someone is really really beautiful,” I say.

    Then he says, “I sort of wish I would have gotten the remote control boat.”

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  • bicycle

    Noah: Bicycle from Jenn Nims on Vimeo.

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  • "Christmas Cerelers"

    Sometimes I get sad. Sometimes I cry. And sometimes joy comes in the funniest of ways.


    Last week I was sitting at the breakfast table with Brent crying. There was no fighting just crying when two little reindeer trotted into the kitchen holding a sign that said “Christmas Cerelers”. Nathanael and Noah had found some old Christmas reindeer antlers and they were singing the Jingle Bells chorus with the focus of a contestant on American Idol. When the chorus ended Nathanael launched bravely into the verse although it was clear he didn’t really know the words. And Noah kept right up with him smiling and moving his mouth. The little reindeer finished their performance. As they walked out of the kitchen I heard Nathanael whisper to Noah, “At least we made mommy stop crying.” Almost. Sad tears had turned to happy tears.

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