by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Good Friends & Family Rituals


When Tonjia Grimble accepted a friend’s invitation to go swing dancing, she had no idea it would be the night she would meet her future husband. It started as simple conversation between her “and the handsome gentleman at the bar.” They soon realized the bond of single parenthood and the relationship grew from there. Tonjia and Kenneth Grimble are now celebrating seven years together.

The couple relocated from Texas to Vista five years ago. “It’s like being on an extended vacation that provides all the perks of fresh air, great views, and family interactions,” Tonjia said.

“It’s like being on an extended vacation that provides all the perks of fresh air, great views, and family interactions.”


family_grimble5Jointly, Tonjia and Kenneth have two sons, Brandan and Kenneth, Jr. Brandan is a student at Vista High School and has a passion for music. He plays clarinet for the Vista Regimental Band and Pageantry Corps. “In his spare time, he enjoys interacting with his friends playing in the cyber-world and writing short stories for young audiences,” Tonjia shared. Kenneth, Jr. graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in theater with a film-making concentration and is headed to Stephens College in L.A. for his graduate work. He was also a collegiate athlete, running track and serving as the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Kenneth, Sr. is a senior computer engineer who develops hardware for major government projects and private sector companies. Tonjia holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) and works as an educational consultant and adjunct professor at Alliant International University. Most recently, Tonjia has designed the Technology Discipline Seminar to help parents navigate their children’s use of technology. “When growing up as a child it was required that my parents knew the friends I hung out with,” she said. “This got me thinking, as parents why have we stopped performing this ritual for technology? What is extremely important to learning Technology Discipline is re-establishing the parenting ritual on everything the device offers,” she explained.

Parents: Tonjia and Kenneth Grimble, Sr.
Children: Brandan and Kenneth Grimble, Jr.
Community: Sea Vista Neighborhood
Parents’ Hometowns: Tonjia – Dallas, TX; Kenneth – Natchez, MS
Parents’ Occupations: Tonjia – Adjunct Professor and Educational Consultant; Kenneth – Senior Computer Engineer
Favorite Place in Vista: Local Farmers Market

Beyond technology, the rituals for the Grimble family include the simple pleasures of food. “Every dinner creates a moment of joy and discussion,” Tonjia said. These moments over a good meal extend to their neighbors and friends as well, who they love to host. “Because we are Texans, we enjoy outdoor grilling and sharing great memories,” Tonjia acknowledged. “Vista just feels like the central heart of North San Diego County that has a hidden charm of small families building fun memories and friendships.”