Monday, July 27, 2009

Like Uncle, Like Nephew

A few years ago Christian was stoked to try out this cherry red sports car while feeling just a touch ticked off that the little blondie kid was getting his greasy fingerprints all over the windshield. Sean was holding his breath just hoping (please! please!) the situation would resolve itself before he had to play "tough guy" yet again. (Being the tough guy is SO against his gentle nature.)Kimball likes to emulate his awesome uncles. He located this sweet ride at our local Red Robin Restaurant a few months ago and is still checking into the paper work trying to get a clear title, etc., etc. He might have to break into his piggy bank and pour some big bucks into making this roadster street legal if he ends up with it. I don't think the local cops are going to look the other way when just-a-smidge-shy-of-legal-driving-age Kimball cruises by. The local cops can be pretty sharp; I mean, you don't think a policeman is not going to do a double take and think to himself, "Hmm. Now what is wrong with this picture?" Obviously, the lack of a windshield is going to get Kimball in a huge heap-o-trouble. Believe me, those cops miss NOTHING.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo!

Although we still get a little whiny about not being able to visit the unbelievably awesome Nichols Library in Illinois, we take what we can get. And actually, our local library is not too shabby. So we'll take it. Technically, it is not "our" local library, but more on that later. Christian, Kimball and I stomped around the library two days in a row this week. Very tantalizing, all of those books.

Ah, a library. Don't you love the papery/woody aroma of all of those books sitting on the shelves biding their time just waiting for someone to pick them up and escape into their insides for a moment or two? Poignant memories remain from my childhood of visiting the multi-storied SLC Library, and a few years later, the Provo City Library in its lovely creaky old building in the downtown area. Taking my own kids to the Nichols Library was a matter of routine for our family. Story time for toddlers. Recording endless reading logs for prizes. Listening to visiting authors. It was all way more than good. A library is such an asset to any community, don't you think? Encouraging the pursuit of even more knowledge, etc., etc., yada, yada.

You can see in these pictures that this library isn't solely about books. Check out the ornate marionette stage donated by the local university. Kimball is itching to join the von Trapp Family Singers. He's been practicing "The Lonely Goatherd" for a long time now. The windows behind Christian and Kimball are actual leaded glass. And the Harry Potter corner is adorable.

So one of the cool things about a library is that we get to
check out those yummy smelling books for free! Free! Well. Not really. Not really at all. Not for us.

Because I live in Hooterville, aka, Tiny Town, aka, No Free Library For Us Towne, I don't get to go to my library and use it for free. BECAUSE WE HAVE NO LIBRARY! . . . nor do we have our own police department, nor our own fire department, nor our own hospital, . . . but we do have our own golf course! Yay! The fact that this golf course is bleeding money as rapidly as the water passes over Niagara Falls is of no matter. The fact is, the former mayor who is now on the lam (and I'm not making this up) was mighty proud of that golf course that he railroaded through. And now we've got it. Lucky us. A golf course and no library. (Priorities, people!)

As a result of Hooterville not having its own library, I am resigned to borrowing Ashley and/or Jordan's library card issued by The Big City to the South. It all worked well and good until the librarian asked me at the check-out if my address was still current. Tick, tock, tick, tock. I cannot tell a lie. Yeah, well, I'm not that person listed on the card. Tick, tock, tick, tock. You are not allowed to use this card if it isn't yours, I am told by the librarian. Humph. Blink, blink. But you can pay a $75 non-resident fee to have access to the library, part of which will be reimbursed to you by Hooterville, I am also told. Ooookkkaayyy. Humph. Geez. But then I started to reason it out: why would they need to charge me a non-resident fee, for heaven's sake? I mean, what's that all about anyway? And then it occurred to my slow-pokey brain that since I don't pay taxes to The Big City to the South, I am not contributing to the establishment/maintenance of their pretty cool library. Fair enough. I've concluded that for me and my personal ethics it would be something akin to stealing a Big Hunk from the local Piggly Wiggly since I would be receiving something I didn't shell out for. And I'll tell you right now I'm NOT going to sell my soul down the river for a stale Big Hunk. If I'm selling my soul down the river, it better be for something worth all of that fire and brimstone--something like a Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster. Black, please. jk!!! . . . . Maybe red. jk!!! jk, alright?!!! In the meantime, I'll be the proud owner of my own shiny library card issued, received, and utilized all on the up and up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fridays With Kimball!

Check out Kimball's first go at the trampoline! He was shocked, SHOCKED(!) I tell you, (see hair pics above) at how much fun he has been missing all of these months by wasting his time on a dull old blanket. B-O-R-I-N-G with a capital b, o, r, i, n, g. Coming Wednesday for Kimball: performing PARKOUR! Wheee! (Click here.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Four Out of Five Broomsticks . . . Maybe Three and One-Half

The gang all went to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" on its opening day. Simply put, the movie is better than good but not as great as great. There is too much to say about the translation from book to movie, so I won't, but I will say that I was fairly/so-so/quasi happy with the way the movie turned out. Well actually, the more I think upon it, the more I am disappointed that critical bits were totally left unexplained or totally left out altogether. I have to quibble, though, about the PG rating; I'm not so sure the rating is appropriate. There were a couple of scenes that would have left me bawling for my mommy if I was just a tad younger than I am now. Just so you're forewarned. On the plus side, the acting among the leads has been ratcheted up a bunch of notches. A bunch. Especially Daniel Radcliffe. Bunches.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed to reread the sixth book to refresh my memory before seeing the movie. Well, I ripped through that in a matter of days, and I bet you HP fans can guess what's next. Of course! After having reread #6, I couldn't JUST STOP THERE!!! Duh, what was I thinking? HP aficionados will know exactly what I'm talking about. The rest of you need to get crackin' on those books! So after quickly reading a novel which was lent to me by a friend (and since it was lent to me by a friend, I felt an obligation to read it and quickly return it to her sooner than I had returned the last book she lent to me--which was about seven months later, uh, yeah), now #7 is my bedtime buddy.

And a word about the books: J.K. Rowling is brilliant. That's all. Her imagination is unbelievable, and her ability to make the reader care very deeply for her characters is genius. My personal benchmark of a book worthy of my time is if I find myself thinking about the characters of the book as I browse aisle seven for pasta sauce, or while sitting through the high counselor's talk on the third Sunday. (Oh, come on! Don't tell me you've never had your mind wander during those talks. Er, well, except for your HC talks, Dave! We're always perked up and alert while you're at the pulpit. Promise.)

Speaking of rereading, Christian committed to himself to reread the entire series (through #6, anyway) before he saw the movie. The rub is that he committed to this only about two weeks ago. In the picture below you can see Christian in the theater where he literally finished the last pages of #6 during the previews (and those annoying ads) before the start of the movie. I know, I know. For you sharp-eyed readers who see that Christian's place in the book isn't anywhere near the end, the photo was a recreation. A recreation just for you guys. Are you good?

Since we all had tons to discuss about the movie, we stayed in the theater so long that the clean-up crew was sweeping around our feet; we were the only guests left. I think the workers were dangerously close to tossing us each a broom and asking us to pitch in with collecting the staggering amount of trash and popcorn left on the floor. It was then that we decided it was time to take our leave, thank you very much.

We are definitely looking forward to movie #7 and movie #7 the second.

In case you are wondering, yes, that is a blanket on my lap. There appears to be a pact among theater owners throughout the country dictating that they must, under threat of having to submit their marquees to incorrect punctuation, maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees winter, spring, summer and fall. I like to come prepared for the inevitable.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

But NINE(!!!) Dozen?

Well! That's the last time I send him out for a measly gallon of milk . . .

The last thing he remembers is a book hurtling straight at his forehead entitled, "You and the No-Sugar Diet: How to NONVIOLENTLY Deal with Feelings of Krispy Kreme Deprivation."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Ashley and Jordan . . . love ya!

*Click on image to make larger. Sorry for the bluriness--perhaps you need glasses?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fridays With Kimball!

Definition of the Day:

FEEDBACK (fed'bak')-noun: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots. Feedback.

Full disclosure requires me to report that Kimball actually loves his carrots. When he gets around to eating limburger cheese . . . now that will be an entirely different story altogether.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Jeepers, Creepers

The other day I snipped these gorgeous hydrangea blossoms from my very own yard! Ha! Take that FTD! Anyway, after having been in my kitchen, on my island, inches from my food, for an entire day and night, I discovered that there is, er, well, was a stow-away on board. FREAK OUT!

And this, on the very same morning that Christian informed me that when he took his doo-doo covered shoe out to the back deck (that's a story for another time, but suffice it to say he drove home from the site of the doo-doo stepping while holding his shoe outside of the car for the entire trip; I didn't raise a hick, you know), where was I? . . . oh yeah . . . so Christian tells me this morning that while he was out doing doo-doo duty, he spotted a three-foot snake in our lawn!!! MAJOR FREAK OUT!!! I'm dying here, folks. Bugs, doo-doo and snakes all in one day--I have a feeling somebody is going to have some mighty wicked dreams for a few nights.

Do you want more horror? Only two days prior to the snake sighting, Baby Kimball was laughing and cooing and being his adorable self. On. our. grass. Ponder that one. Shiver me timbers.

(Christian declared, "That was a long snake! But pretty cool, though." Yeah. Whatever.)

(Oh. And in a sincere effort to mitigate my freak out, Dave told me to be grateful for the snake for it keeps the rat population down. Wha . . . ? wha . . . ? Yes, I am now officially CREEPED OUT.)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

But It Still Would Have Been So Worth $450

Before we get to the rest of this post, I am so happy to report that we finally received an email from Sean yesterday letting us know that he is safe and sound and happy despite the political coup (or non-coup, depending on your source) down in Honduras. The situation is still unresolved, so we continue to pray for his safety and that of all of the missionaries in the country. To tell you the truth, I'm just a bit confused about who is wearing the white hats and who is wearing the black hats in this mess so I won't even try to explain any of it.

So! I've been on pins and needles awaiting our phone bill (I'll tell you why in a minute) ever since we had our much anticipated and subsequently very wonderful(!!!) Mother's Day phone call with Elder Sean. On Mother's Day and at the appointed time, eight of us smushed together around the computer to use this nifty bit of technology called Skype with which we were going to inundate Sean with all sorts of questions and nonsense.

Skype didn't work.


We used the super-archaic and old-fashioned method of calling: a cordless phone.

Didn't work.

Darn. The recorded message stated that, (pinch your nose and say this aloud to get the full effect): "Due to fraudulent activity, all phone service has been discontinued in this country." WHAT? Didn't those frauds(!) know that my boy was sitting on the edge of his silla biting his lip knowing that during this phone call his mom would ask about the possibility of him having parasites, which would explain the cause of his 40+ pound weight loss, and him knowing that since he considered himself quite honest and truthful, would reluctantly have to reply, yes--yes I do have parasites??? Who do those frauds think they are anyway?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dave decided to take matters into his own hands and manfully dialed the operator, then tearfully pleaded/begged/groveled/prostrated himself on the ground asked for assistance from her in placing this phone call so that his wife wouldn't totally lose her mind and go all ballistic on him, working herself into a frenzy and then blaming him for single-handedly causing every single one of the world's ills, including global warming, and then accusing him of orchestrating the bankruptcy of GM making her part owner of a ginormous failing company THAT SHE COULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO KNOW HOW TO MANAGE IN ONLY TWO-WEEK'S TIME SINCE SHE TOOK PARTIAL OWNERSHIP! (I'm still a bit uptight about my exact role in that management; do I get to do PR? HR? R&D?)

As luck would have it (yes!), we got through to Sean with the operator's nasal-y help, and had a sweet and wonderful phone visit with our missionary. He sounded so content, mature, happy, self-assured, relaxed, and super-cute. Yes, I could tell just from his voice intonations that he was looking super-cute that day. The phone call was perfect.

A few days after that phone call I was sitting behind one of those very intimidating and not-of-this-world contraptions in my eye doctor's office. You know, those beasty things, right? The doctor and I were chatting pleasantly about anything, anything to lessen the awkwardness of the half-darkened-room and the crazy machine perched on my nose, when we started discussing my Mother's Day phone call. I explained the hoops we had to jump through to finally speak with Sean, using the operator in the end. The good doctor laughed a little to himself and then said that he had the very same situation a few years prior with his son who was serving in Ecuador. Without blinking an eye, he said that that particular conversation cost him $450 Americano-minted legal tender dollars!!!

This is a bit off-subject, but just out of curiosity, by a show of hands, how many of you knew that you could come within a breath of taking an eye out if you jerk your head very suddenly (as if you had just received some seriously shocking news) while pressing your face up against one of those eye machines. Betcha didn't know that. The rest of my eye appointment was a total blur--in more ways than one.

Whoa! I almost forgot what I dragged you through all of the previous muck for: the phone bill. I am happy to report that the call to our wonderful Sean only cost a mere $22 and some change. But even at $450 it still would have been so worth every single penny.

Friday, July 03, 2009

It's Not Being Fickle, It's Called, "Going Through a Phase"

Just when you think you have a baby/child figured out, he/she will go and change all of the rules on you just to make sure you aren't getting complacent and turning all comatose on him/her. Kimball loved Sean and Christian's swing. Then he hated it. Now he loves it again (well, he tolerates it for a few minutes--at least long enough for me to give yet another door-to-door solicitor the ol' heave-ho). I actually love seeing babies change and mess up everyone's schedules because it means that they are learning, growing and becoming independent. It's all part of the cycle, isn't it.

On another note, JEEPERS! You should have seen Kimball sit in rapture as I read yet another classic to him yesterday. I mean seriously, he was so attentive and enthralled with the book (or was it my very excellent story-telling technique? not!), that he could have been playing freeze tag and totally won. Love, love, love, "Goodnight, Moon." Don't you?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Trekker" (not "Trekkie")

Christian had the awesome opportunity of going on Trek with about 450 of his closest friends. NOTE: I think "Trek" could be defined as one of the most unbelievably arduous, taxing, hot, cold, wet, exhausting, bug-filled three-day experience a youth could ever LOVE. And Christian did love it. I am so proud of my boy; he pulled his weight, was so helpful, so kind, and so reliable. His ma and pa said so. And they should know because they were with him morning, noon and night for those three days . And bless, bless, bless their hearts . . . because I sure couldn't have survived this. What? Are you kidding me? No, no. Not the part about being with Christian for three days--that I would be the first in line for. No, that other part. About no indoor plumbing and all that jazz. Yeah, that's the part. Anyway, isn't he such a darling pi-O-neer?!!!
(Truth be told, Christian's journey didn't really start in Missouri, but interestingly enough, a pretty eclectic group of people do all hail from the "Show-Me State," including Brad Pitt, Rush Limbaugh, Eminem, Vincent Price, Phyllis Schlafly, Yogi Berra, Chuck Berry, Walter Cronkite, Walt Disney, and a bunch of other "Sure, I'll show-you!" types.)