Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Secret Garden Inspires Again

I really love pictures of children flying kites and swinging.  It just seems like childhood at its finest.  A couple of days ago we had our FIRST break in horrid winter weather we've had for weeks and weeks.  We have had a very cold, very snowy, very gray, very bleak winter.  Has it really been that bad?  Or have I just been enduring the first trimester of pregnancy for all of winter?  I don't see that it matters what the reason.  I just haven't been enjoying this winter.  So when we had blue skies and a wee bit 'o sunshine this week, we just HAD to get outside.
Also, we've been reading aloud The Secret Garden for our kids' book club and even though I am not a gardener by any definition, I LOVE THIS BOOK.  I love to read it just before Spring and be inspired to plant a garden that I know I have no intention of actually planting.  I love the idea of children playing out in the healthy fresh air and everything coming alive after winter.  I just find it very healing to my soul.
I do believe there is a very good chance there will be a garden of sorts this summer, as both Clark and Faith seem quite determined.
Look!  This park has been completely covered in snow since before Christmas!  It will be green again some day.
Cannon informed me that after many months, his front tooth is beginning to grow in.  Just thought you'd like to know.
In other UTTER ADORABLENESS--- Clark was asked to his first high school dance-- it's a girls' choice "Sweethearts" dance.  The gal is Jenny, and could she be any cuter?  I think not.  I'm told they had a great time.  Tradition here in Utah is that they do a "day date" and then the dance in the evening.  As several of the group couldn't do a date on Saturday during the day, they did their "day date" Friday afternoon/evening.  Out to dinner and to the Ice Castles in Midway.  Then Saturday night it was just the dance.
I thought perhaps the day date was overkill.  Why not just do dinner and the dance.  Until I remembered that when I was in high school the thing to do was to stay up all night as somebody's house after the dance.  Umm... as a parent, I'll take the day date, thank you very much.
One more of children playing outside.  Supposedly, the ground hog  DID NOT see his shadow this year, which means spring will be here sooner rather than later.
I hope that is true.
Except for spring allergies.  I don't really want those to come. 

Family Field Trip

Wednesday was a family field trip to the Living Planet Aquarium that is quite near our house.  Everyone was a fan and since we now have a membership, I anticipate us returning often over the next year.
Elinor was our wildlife photographer.
The kids enjoyed touching the sting rays.
My brother Chip and two of his kiddos joined us.  They have a 4D theater that was entertaining.
I will say, it was pleasantly child friendly.  
All of the exhibits were very accessible, even for the little patrons.  Peter was so happy to toddle around looking at everything.  Sometimes it was hard to convince him to move on.  We only lost him twice before we had to contain him in his stroller.  
With such a large family and different activities and schedules, it is a real treat for us to all go do something together.  Especially an animal/nature place that appeals to everyone.
Within the aquarium there is a giant indoor play area that is heavenly for children in the winter time.  Oh, to get to run and play in open space!  Obviously my little ones loved it, but truth be told, Bethany and Elinor quite enjoyed playing with the little kids as well.  That is something I really enjoy about them even as they get older.  They are very playful.
They made up some sort of leopard capturing game and Bethany came to tell me she had ripped her jeans while playing.  She said, "It's been a while since I got a hole in my jeans while playing".
Somehow this made me very happy.  
And then, the day had been such a success, that we decided to press our luck and go out to eat at a Thai restaurant on the recommendation of Chip.  It was Thai Siam (where the old Ruby Tuesday's used to be) and it was super tasty, super FAST, and quite inexpensive (since we did the orange chicken special all the way around).  Are they always that fast?  Or did they just want to get us out of there quickly?  It doesn't really matter, because we enjoyed ourselves IMMENSELY! 
For the rest of the day all the kids kept saying what a great day it was.  I agree-- it was a really fantastic family day.  Which is pretty much as good as it gets.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mixed Emotions

Sunday evening was  very emotional night for me. 
Granted, I am pregnant, and I cry very easily.  But still, I was rather a mess.
Since he was about five years old, London Flynn has been one of Clark's closest friends.  He is the guy just to the right of Clark.  Sunday evening was his Eagle court of honor and it was a wonderful evening.  It was tender, but I could manage it, until the slide show. 
In so many of the slide show pictures of London, there were pictures of Clark and lots of these guys.  Their lives have been so intertwined in so many good ways.  I felt so grateful for his and our associations with such good friends for so many years.  Growing up in the military myself, it is a different thing to live with and share experiences for many years.  My experience was getting to know a lot of great people, but then moving on and meeting new great people.  To have this kind of longevity is a different, wonderful thing. 
I felt grateful for the opportunities they have had together-- book clubs, Shakespeare classes, trips, Lego robotics, big robots, dates, D&D.
I felt sad that they are all almost grown up.  Mission papers are in for a few of them.  College has begun.  This is their last season of robots together.  IT HAS GONE SO FAST.  Everyone said it would, but who believes that?  The days are so long but the years are so short.
I felt hopeful for their futures.  They've had top notch home school educations and experiences.  They have brilliant minds and they will do great things to help their fellow men.
I felt such joy remembering all the great times.  What happiness they have brought to their families.  The memories made me so happy.

Regency Romance Ball 2016

Last weekend Abe and I enjoyed a lovely evening at the Regency Romance Ball.   We've been going to this event annually for several years, but we didn't go last year.  It was great fun to be back.
We particularly enjoy the evening with great friends.
 Aren't they just the most dashing thing!
In the past the event has been at the Masonic Temple downtown.  This year it was at the Little America ballroom.  Much prettier.  And the dresses this year!!!! It seemed that just about everyone was seriously regency era.  Very impressive.  It did make me a little self conscious of my nightgown, turned regency gown.  Oh well.
Just lovely.
 This is kind of a funny picture because it was taken in the ladies room... but it was such a pretty bathroom!

Peter Rules the House

Peter refused his nap two days in a row this week.
He was upset about his new shirt with a dinosaur on it.
Or maybe he thought he was funny.
Peek-a-boo!  He's back!
Every meal is exciting with Peter.
He likes to hide things in his shirt.  We find all sorts of interesting things at the bottom of his footie pajamas after breakfast.
Hopefully his new shirt didn't get stretched out too much in it's first wearing.
He is quite entertaining to us.
The girls love him and love playing with him.   I didn't realize they were still wishing he was a girl:)