Thursday, August 4, 2011
We had an all-out train adventure today. Porter wanted to ride Frontrunner, so we decided to take the train from here to Ogden. Then we walked to the train museum where the kids got to climb on engines, see model trains rumble down the tracks and across bridges, and even blow a real train horn. Then we had lunch in a train car, and took the train home. What fun! The kids loved it and we came home tired and happy.
Daniel and Courtney came with their family today for a visit. Our kids are already having so much fun together. Courtney and the kids will stay for a few days while Dan is away at a business conference. Later in the evening we went to get our family pictures taken at the city park, and although I haven't seen them yet, I am thrilled with the way the photo shoot went. The photographer was excellent: quick to keep the kids' attention spans, and relaxed and fun. I can't wait to see the pictures!
Tonight I went to book club early and had a wonderful time visiting with my bookie friends. We all enjoyed the book, but mostly we talked about life. We tied a beautiful red, white, and blue lap quilt for Sylvia's son, Seth, a 19-year-old veteran who just got his legs blown off from an IED bomb in Afghanistan. Sylvia heads up our book club, and has flown out to Washington D.C. to be with him while he is in his extensive recovery process. We also donated boxes of books for the hospital library, because Sylvia says it's so hard to have nothing to do but wait.
We cased the DI today looking for paperbacks and interesting toys. Charlotte found a giant pillow pet pink kitty and Isaiah found a huge T-Rex head covered with plastic slime. I figure I'm renting these things from the DI, as I'm sure to give them back in awhile. We had fun though. And as soon as I announced that we were going, Charlotte yelled, "D....I....Prize!" She already knows the drill.
Today we had chocolate cake and ice cream at the neighbor's for Landon's birthday. Everyone was amazed at the cake: a little fondant replica of Landon's blue 10-passenger van. It had fruit snack pieces for the taillights, blue icing the exact color of his van, and an oreo cookie dirt road to drive on. Loved it!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Our outing today was to Smith & Edwards, a weird smorgasbord of a store which Seth's family loves as much as mine loves the D.I. We laughed at the funny juxtaposition of layouts: hairbrushes and combs hanging above the candy, John Wayne cardboard cutouts standing next to army uniforms, buckets of nails and screws across from the toy aisles. Isaiah chose a 3-foot long gummy snake as a treat, Charlotte a wad of chocolate-covered marshmallow. We were hunting for a wedding gift, still laughing at the fact that some couples register there. At a loss to find the Lewis & Clark commemorative skillet, we chose a fancy apple/corer/peeler/slicer. I hope they like it!
Isaiah ran away from home today. Barefoot. He took Charlotte with him; pushing her in the stroller (also barefoot). I had sent them into the fenced backyard to eat an afternoon popsicle while I made dinner. A few minutes later when I didn't hear the usual teasing, fighting, and screaming, I went outside to check on them. I could tell they were gone. I ran to the front yard, to both of the neighbors. They were gone. I went to the sidewalk and peered down the entire block, and there I spotted a small child and a stroller. I figured they had to be mine, but I couldn't tell if they were across the street, in the middle of the road, or just at the end of the block. I started running. I went past a couple sitting on their steps enjoying the hilarity of the whole thing. Isaiah started running, pushing happy Charlotte further down the block. Finally I caught up to them and gave Isaiah a talking to. You're not to run away, you're not to go on walks without asking, you're not to leave and not tell me. Isaiah laughed all the way home. He was proud of himself and his little escapade.
I took Isaiah back to the doctor to see about his constipation issues. The doctor was helpful, giving me a list of medicines and other diet suggestions, but I'm still harboring a lot of guilt for being hard on him. We've had a 3-year power struggle (gnashing teeth, tantrums, threats, all included) over the potty. At this point I have no idea how to solve it. We got to take an X-ray of his stomach to view his intestines (100% full — very problematic). Isaiah loved the gruff X-ray technician, especially when he saw his office lined with toy skulls and skeletons. Why does the doctor like skeletons? he asked. I replied that probably all doctors were interested in them. It was neat to see a picture of Isaiah's little spine, ribs, and hip bones. We convinced them to let us take a printout of it home to hang on the fridge.
Tonight we went to the library-sponsored puppet show, which was an exciting bit of family fun. The kids sat on the front row and laughed and laughed at Marvin the Monster and his kissy dog Woof-Woof. The puppeteer was hilarious and great with children. Isaiah volunteered and got to hold a red chickadee for the Five Little Chickadees song. Later we checked out a book on making your own masks and puppets, so we'll have to try creating some of our own.
Seth is starting to get more job interviews and callbacks for second interviews, which is encouraging. We have both been so worried. The jobs are at the far reaches of each end of the valley, which has us nervous: from Bluffdale to Logan. I really don't want to sell our home and move. We got a $200 tax bill in the mail, and I cried for hours. But later in the day, Seth got a call from a job in Salt Lake that he is incredibly interested in, and he has an interview there next week. We're praying with faith that the right doors open for us, when it feels like so many have closed.
To celebrate Pioneer Day, we went to the Ogden parade this morning. It was disappointing. We waited in the hot sun for almost two hours for the parade to even begin (never sit at the end of the parade route) and then each entry was almost a full city block apart from the next. We did see a cowboy shootout, which thrilled Isaiah and scared Charlotte, and we made friends with a strange lady sitting next to us. Isaiah can carry on a conversation with anyone.
Lynnette and her family came for piano lessons today and after a quick 30 minute lesson for Kacie, we all trucked off to the swimming pool. Charlotte has reluctantly agreed to sunscreen lately, calling it "loshy". Seth came with us, and we spent the hot afternoon splashing in the water, riding the waves, and hunting for the little fish paintings on the floor of the shallow end. Charlotte learned to love kicking the waves as long as she could sit safely on the sideline steps. Isaiah, the opposite extreme, wandered dangerously close to the deep end, and jumped in further with every swell.
Today we played at a shady area of the park. I pushed the kids in swings, waved to them as they slid down the slides, and helped them shake the sand out of their sandals. Afterward, we strolled over to the library and made it just in time for story time.
I finished reading this month's book club pick: The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It's a non-fiction account of families who survived the dust bowl, clinging onto their farms and their lives in the Oklahoma panhandle. It was amazing. I can't believe they lived off of canned tumbleweeds, got paid to shoot their starving cattle, and learned to live through months and years of dust storms. I was grateful for my warm home, clean bed linen, grassy backyard, and shelves full of food.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Today was a jam day. A friend gave us fresh raspberries; Seth just had to pick them. Isaiah tried to eat fistfuls before I could get them in the jam, but I did save a little bowl for both him and Charlotte to eat fresh. Then I mashed and cooked the berries, added horrifying amounts of sugar, and ladled the jam into clean little jars. Beautiful, and yummy, too!
This morning it was back to the grind of laundry, dishes, dusting. Yesterday we drove 5 hours to make it home. Then we had a fun visit with my parents to see how they fared with the kids for the weekend: wonderfully well, as expected. They spoiled Charlotte and Isaiah, gave them toy prizes, took them on bike rides, and made fun art projects with them. I don't think our kids missed us at all!
Last night we drove down to scorching St. George and spent an easy afternoon. In the evening we dressed up and attended the St. George temple, simply because I've always wanted to go there. I love the brilliant white walls of the temple and it was lovely to go inside and feel another measure of peace.
After yesterday's hours of sitting, today we drove up the canyon to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument. It was surprisingly windy, but the day was full of sun and we found a beautiful hike along the rim of a giant gorge. The scenery and the peace were unparalleled. We snapped pictures of the red rock formations, tiny bright wildflowers, and giant, gnarly trees. I felt my heavy worries of parenting and job loss melt away. And I thought of how many fun experiences are here in this life, just for the taking.
This morning we set off for the much-anticipated Shakespeare Festival. The drive was much longer than we thought, and we came within literal inches of running out of gas. Finally we made it, in time to wander the buildings on campus, buy a few Bard postcards at the bookshop, and settle in our seats for the afternoon performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The actors had spectacular costumes and hilarious antics. We ate at a local Italian restaurant for dinner and found our seats in the open-air theatre for the evening's performance of Romeo and Juliet. It was beautiful and tragic, of course. I loved hearing some of my favorite lines in Shakespeare and having such an awesome date with my sweetie.
This afternoon we drove to Lynnette's for piano lessons, but Kacie had spent the day swimming and two weeks not practicing so it didn't go well. Charlotte loved playing on the swings in the backyard with Katie and Lynnette and Isaiah was in awe, once again, at Michael's spectacular toys. I wonder if I'll ever be a successful piano teacher.