Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Great Water War of '13

It began suddenly in the pre-lunch afternoon at Logan Central Park. Battle cries, harsh and ominous, sounded in our ears. The children were attacking! Led by their fierce Uncle Doug, they surrounded the peaceful adults and commenced firing on us until all were ... mildly annoyed. "Don't get the baby," cried a helpless mother.

Then there was calm for lunch and family pictures. We thought, we hoped, we had seen the last of General Doug's army.

We were wrong.

Historic Vacation - from the kids' perspective

Almost everyone
For the first time in over 10 years, all of Joy's siblings got together. We gathered for no particular reason other than the convenience of all being in Utah at the same time. We invited the kids to talk about their memories.

When we prompted them about each of the aunts and uncles, this is what they remembered, along with some help from Joy:

Princess: Uncle DeWayne have fun. I just played with him.
Joy: You did some dog pile and he threw you in the air.
Superstar: I remember about the trampoline. I jumped on the trampoline with him.

Superstar: I miss Uncle Dougie. We played Mario. Uncle Doug put the hose under the trampoline and water came out of the trampoline. And I sprayed them in the face!
Princess, on coming in the door at home: Where is Uncle Doug and Paris?
Joy: Doug made the biggest water fight.
DW: That's going to get its own post.

Princess: Aunt Fran didn't come back. I did lots of fun on the floor. I slept in a tent. I think so.
Superstar: We played Mario Chase and Mario Ghosty.
Joy: Now he wants a Wii-U. He talks about it like it costs $1-2.

(The kids didn't interact with Uncle Dustin much, so they came up with strange answers:)
Princess: I played all night with Dustin. Now they're gone.
Joy: I think she liked the chips at Uncle Dustin.
Superstar: I had 4 pieces of cake at Dustin's house.

Superstar: Christopher read books with me will we were gone from our house.
Princess: Christopher ran away (I think she is giving him the characteristics she would like to have)

Superstar: Abby played Mario Ghosties and Catching Mario Wii with me.
Princess: I did play with Abby, a toy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Learning new words

We were reading the scriptures in the car the other day, including this verse, spoken by Jesus:
And even unto the great and last day, when all people ... shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil -- If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; ... according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ.... (3rd Nephi 26:4-5).
Superstar asked a good question. He's been doing a lot of that lately. He asked what "damnation" meant. We explained that it meant being unable to live with Father in Heaven or being an eternal family.

The kids then practised sounding out this wonderful new word they had learned.

Joy and I looked at each other, waited, listened, and decided not to let them smell that this was a big deal. They might say it more often, if we did! They finished. We let it drop. And when we were done, I asked the kids what we had read, and they did not say, "Damnation."

One more disaster averted.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why is this boy smiling?

That's what I asked myself when I saw the pictures. Why is my son smiling?

Oh yeah. He lost his first tooth just before we left Nigeria.

He lost his second tooth (right next to it) in California.

We never found either one, so he still hasn't been visited by the tooth fairy. That or else she does things via internet right now and he has some bit-coinage laying around.

What has made him slack jawed?

A brand new set of Woody pajamas, like he got the "first" time he went to Disneyland. Now he could match his Woody doll he got from Pop and Grandma.

I don't suppose I need to explain the smiles here.

This person deserves a raise

To Whomsoever was starring as Minnie Mouse at the 8:30 character breakfast at Disneyland on May 21, 2013,

Thank you.

You were the person my not-yet 2 year-old daughter was dying to see. She was excited to see other people, too, but you were the one she talked about before the trip. So the character breakfast was the very first thing that needed to be done. You were right there as we walked in. She ran up to you with a Hug of Everlasting Happiness in her arms and an older brother in hot pursuit.

You admired her and made kissy sounds and all the things the other characters did, and that was nice.

You got hug after hug, and that was nice.

You and Princess Ariel sure knew how to take a picture, and that was nice.

You put up with Woody being bonked on your head, I'm sure not for the first time, and that was nice.

But when your break had come, you took an extra moment to dance with my little girl ...

That was Disney Magic.

A week after the trip, we asked the kids what their favorite things were. For the most part, they enjoyed California Adventure more than Disneyland ... except you. You were her favorite out of everything.

Thank you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Enjoying America

(Ten mostly-random pictures from the last three weeks in the US)

It's nice to be in America. We landed in LA and had lunch with my grandmother the next day. Then we spent the next day with my brother's family in Ventura - like here at Chuck E. Cheese.

Joy and Princess got matching dresses made in Nigeria. Here they are before church the first Sunday.

Pop and Grandma took us to Disneyland. We bought Princess her own Cinderella dress, which was adorable ...

while Superstar got a Woody costume to match the Woody doll he got for his birthday. Woody was declared to be his second favorite toy the first night and was his official Favorite Toy and Best Friend the next morning.

Woody goes around greeting everyone by saying, "You're my favorite deputy." Superstar pulls his string several times to get him primed for that saying each day.

Princess loves Disneyland.

She loves being on a horse.

She loves her Daddy.

She also has a serious crush on anything dressed in polymascotfoamalate.

She feeds the furry creatures (or anyone else she likes), gives big hugs...

She kisses their noses...

Tigger, Miko, the Brother Bears, Chip n Dale, all big winners.

Minnie Mouse was the biggest victory, and her first introduction to Disneyland (this trip). Video and pictures to come.

 Superstar agreed to go on the river rafting ride. He was kind of nervous, but decided after the first splash this was pretty great.

We did lunch at Ariel's Grotto, which was one of the kids' favorite experiences. They liked Ariel alright, but their treatment of the other princesses was odd.

Aurora came by and they said Hi.

Snow White came by and they ignored her completely.

Tiana came by ... and ELVIS WAS IN THE BUILDING.

Tiana got hugs. They gave her food. They put stickers on her dress. They both talked to her. They smiled. They LOVED Tiana.

Belle came. She worked really hard to get a smile out of them. Nothin'. They'd stand up with her, but that was about it.

Princess Tiana. Who knew?

After Disney, we flew to Provo where we have an apartment for the summer. Among the nice things of living in the land of plenty is having large boxes of diapers delivered the next day.

Another nice thing is turning large cardboard boxes into airplanes that you can fly back to Pop and Grandma.