Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Clark Broke and Other Family Happenings

Clark came home late from Young Men's basketball last Wednesday night with a hurt ankle.  He could hobble on it-- barely.  He went to bed and although he had heard a "pop" at the moment of injury, we hoped it was just a rolled or sprained ankle.
 We received a phone call from him the next morning, "I can't walk."
Abe went downstairs to help him hop upstairs and head off to the Instacare for an X-ray.
  Sure enough, he fractured the tip of his fibula (skinny leg bone at the ankle).
This is his first broken bone and only the second for our family.  He'll be in this very attractive boot cast for 4-6 weeks.
In other news, George made this lovely bird feeder at his neighborhood preschool.  He is so very proud of it and attached to it.  Now, keep in mind that George is very attached to many things.  And while the bird feeder is a useful thing, George is attached to many things that don't appear to have any value to anyone else in the world.  He is a bit of hoarder.
Bethany and Elinor and I went to a "Freaky Friday" Young Women's activity this evening.  They were supposed to dress like a mom and I was supposed to be a teenager.  What do you think?
Elinor had my beloved chuck wagon dinner bell and was mussed from working in the kitchen.  It was an improvement on the dark circles she had previously put under her eyes to make herself look like she was tired from a lack of sleep.  I preferred she not represent me in such a fashion,  even if that would have been accurate.
Bethany was great with child, with another baby strapped to her back.  I must make motherhood look pretty glamorous!
We had too much fun at the girls' spring choir concert Saturday night. 
When the choir sang alone they did some modern gospel songs-- complete with swaying and clapping.  Not your average LDS Primary songs!  But really beautiful and inspiring.
As wonderful as the choir was, the acapella group Voice Male really stole the show with a most entertaining concert following the choir.  They sang "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" together and then the choir go to go sit down with their families and enjoy Voice Male.  So, so funny. 

Pics of Pete

Elinor's photo shoot of Peter in glasses.  Just fun.
At eight months Peter has mellowed out quite a bit and we are enjoying him immensely.  Good sleep, however, still eludes us all.
Hello, Blue Eyes.
Here he is wearing the lion costume bought on clearance when Clark was a baby.  It's been well loved over the years.  Years from now will I be able to name which baby this is just by looking at the picture?  I doubt it.  He looks very much like his siblings.
Hanging out at the softball games.
Pete at the piano.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Don't feel too sorry for the people left behind while we went to Orlando.  Abe still worked, but with his flexible schedule, he was able to spend a lot of time with these little people and they lived it up!
This was the Sunday dinner on the day we left.  Please note they actually set the table-- true, it is with paper and plastic, but that totally counts.  And, they have a fruit to go with it.  I think this might have been the only real sit-down meal in my absence, but it makes me feel better knowing they can do it.
They went to Thanksgiving Point to the Museum of Curiosity-- a favorite destination.
They were daring and adventurous!
In the wind chamber.  We have had a Thanksgiving Point membership this year as part of Cannon's science class and we've made good use of it.  This week I plan to go to the Tulip Festival-- something I've been wanting to do for about five years. 
They got slurpees and then sent me this picture via text while we were at one of the parks on a very hot day.  I actually had a moment of jealousy.
Abe enjoyed driving the choir bus Monday afternoon -- which is all the kids in our neighborhood who sing in the children's choir.
Favorite picture of the week-- Elinor after stealing and sliding into home!
As amazing as Abe is, he couldn't be two places at once, so Grandma and Grandpa Cannon came to be with Cannon at his choir concert.
He is in the middle of the second row of the Prep choir.
Beautiful Elinor baked a cake while I was gone.
I almost cried when Abe sent a picture of how she decorated it.....
I was missing them right about then as well.
And because we need another snake like we need a hole in the head, when some neighbors offered us this beautiful ball python for free, we couldn't refuse.  After the very unfortunate incident in the summer of 2012 when I accidentally caused the death of Clark's most beloved snake, Ledge, I have a hard time refusing him a snake.
They played in sprinklers on the trampoline the day after a snowstorm.  I probably wouldn't have encouraged such an activity, but I was off galavanting all over Florida, so I didn't get a say:)
Nor would I have encouraged Cannon to wear a bolo tie to church.  However, Abe took them all to church so I will keep my comments to myself.  I'm glad they went to church.
We were most happily reunited the following Sunday evening.
Elinor handed the snake over to Clark.
Souvenirs were distributed--A Spiderman notebook and pen for George.
An R2D2 football for Cannon.
A Mickey Mouse softball necklace for Faith.
And of course, Elinor's wand from Olivander's-- willow with a unicorn hair core.  What joy!
All in all, Abe is a pretty awesome dad, they are seriously rocking kids,  no one was injured and the house was not too much worse for the wear.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Eating Our Way Around the World

The world showcase at Epcot is a big circle around a lake with many different countries represented with restaurants and buildings in the style of each country.  The first of the two nights we went there, Andrea and I enjoyed fish and chips from England.  Yes, you heard that right, I enjoyed eating fish.  What is this world coming to?
We had such a great time and we thought what fun it would be to come back and eat our way around the world.  We would buy one thing from each country and share it. 
So we did it on our last night of our trip.
Canada was the first country, but because we didn't find anything to eat there, we drank water from a water fountain in Canada.  I'm quite sure Canada is, in fact, known for it's pristine and delicious water.
Next up was England.  We got more fish and chips, but forgot to take a picture.  So you get a picture from a previous day.
Macaroons in France.  Oh la la!
We had quite a silly time taking selfies in each country.
Lamb shawarma in Morocco.  I know, so adventurous of us, right?  Actually, this was the tastiest food of the whole evening.
Then it was onto sushi in Japan.  SUSHI!!!
That is correct, I ate salmon sushi and it was not awful. 
Bethany considered it, but in the end couldn't bring herself to partake. 
Funnel cake in America-- yummy!
Gelato in Italy.  Reminds me of the black cat my family owned in Italy.  It's name was "Gelato il Gutter Gato"-- translated to Ice cream the Gutter Cat.
Sauerkraut and Bratwurst in Germany.  This one was hard for me.  I do not like sauerkraut.  I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.
An egg roll in China. 
A sweet pretzel in Norway.  I like Peter's face in this picture:)
We finished it off with non-alchoholic margaritas in Mexico. 
This was a magical evening and I think it was my very favorite of the whole trip.

What is There To Say?

What can I say?  I am a lucky skunk, and I know it.
Andrea and her children, London and Raven, were headed to Orlando, FL for spring break and they took Clark, Bethany, Peter and I with them. Six days straight of Disney World and Universal Studios.  It was almost more fun than I could stand.  Almost.

I have so many pictures, but I'll try to hit the highlights.
Day one was Disney's Animal Kingdom.  We took the kids there when they were very small and Clark loved animals so much.  It was was very enjoyable to go back.  They also had a Mt. Everest roller coaster that was hysterically fun.  Hysterical because I giggle on roller coasters.
Animal Kingdom is still a happy place for Clark.
Kiddie rides are not not really his happy place.  The boys were not amused when I requested they ride the triceratops ride with me. 
 Peter rode the Peter Pan ride at The Magic Kingdom on day two.  I love the Peter Pan ride, even though it always has such a long line.  We did this very near the end of the day when the line was a bit shorter.
Little Peter was in great hands all week.  The girls were very sweet and helpful with him and he got carried and strolled around to his hearts content.  I think he had a wonderful time.
Clark, Bethany, and Raven rode the Tea Cups and spun themselves into oblivion.  I've never seen a cup spin faster, it was impressive.  It took some time to recover from that ride.  I wisely sat this one out.
Raven made us our unique wire mouse ears.
Oh my!  I've died and gone to heaven and all there is to drink in heaven is frozen butter beer.
Day three was Universal's Island of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  This place was unbelievable!  True confessions-- I haven't read all the books, and although I've got nothing against them,  I'm not a huge fan of Harry Potter.  This made me want to read them all again or for the first time.
Hogwarts castle is in the background.  Of course I would have loved for all the kids to get to come on this adventure, but the only one I suffered any guilt about was Elinor.  In our family, she is THE Harry Potter fan-- having read them numerous times and wished so badly that they were real.  As we went around we kept saying, "Oh, Elinor would love this!"  We tried to enjoy it for her.
And we definitely drank her (and the rest of the family's) share of butter beer.
Bethany is holding a long thin bag that contains Elinor's wand-- the one thing she requested we bring her back.  Bethany was chosen at Olivander's wand shop to be fitted for a wand.  I told her to channel Elinor since it was going to be Elinor's wand.
That night we went to see Blue Man Group-- very entertaining.  A little bizarre, but very entertaining.
It was pretty loud, so Peter wore ear plugs.  He eventually fell asleep even through the noise.  He got pretty good at falling asleep anywhere.  Bethany's photo bomb is not because Peter was stinky-- the girls were playing some sort of nose grabbing game. 
On day four we went to Disney's Hollywood Studio for the first half of the day.  I didn't take any pictures.  It was not my favorite park we went to and it was quite a hot, muggy day.  We all decided to go back to the condo and take naps.  In the end, Peter was the only one who decided not to take a nap at the appointed nap time.  Later in the afternoon, the moms and daughters headed to Epcot center.
If you know me, you know that I don't eat seafood.  Period.  If it lives its life in water, I don't like it.  What came over me?  I ate fish and chips in the England part of Epcot.  I blame Andrea.  She makes me do all sorts of adventurous things I might never do on my own.
And that's why I love her.
The girls got the famous Disney turkey legs.  Or are they clubs to be used as weapons?
We were caught in a down pour as we left Epcot.  Rainstorms are charming when you live in a desert state.
Day five we went to the second Universal park-- Universal Studios.  All week the kids told me NO pictures with characters.  But when we say Curious George we all knew we had to make an exception.  A picture with Curious George for Georgie back home.
Over in this park Diagon Alley just opened and you can now ride the Hogwarts Express train between Diagon Alley and the Hogsmead and Hogwarts in the other park.  AWESOME!  More butter beer!
It was very special to me to have this time with my two oldest children.  I see how quickly time is passing and I know they will be off having life adventures on their own soon enough.  I am grateful to have had this opportunity with them before they are off.
We feasted at The Three Broomsticks for dinner with more butter beer, of course!.  
As you can imagine, by day six we were all pretty much shot to pieces.  Having this much fun is a lot of work! We dragged ourselves out of bed for one final hurrah!  WE CAN DO IT!  We got ourselves back to Universal where we hit the highlights of both parks.  We left and dropped the boys off to the Condo.  They just didn't have the staying power we ladies had.  We had had such a marvelous time at Epcot, that we wanted to go back there.  We did, indeed, go back, but that is for the next post.
We were feeling wild and crazy just before Epcot closed at nine, so we rode the monorail back to The Magic Kingdom for three more hours until it closed at midnight!  Like I said, it was almost more fun than I could stand.
 "Thank you" doesn't seem anywhere near adequate for expressing my gratitude for such a trip.  We will always cherish these experiences and memories.  Thank you.