In January, we made a goal to try and invite people over more often - we enjoy the company, we can't invite ourselves to others' houses, and it forces us to keep the house clean. Since getting the awning, we're doing a much better job with inviting people over. There are a few families we've been wanting to get over for a long time, but haven't been available much. Finally after about a year of trying, we were able to invite a coworker of Kris's and
his family over for a little barbecue. His name is Mike and his wife is Katie. I'd never met them before, and Kris only knew Mike, but the whole evening was a lot of fun. Ironically, we were able to help each other out as well. We had a receiver and surround sound system that we no longer needed and were looking for a good home. They had a couple bags of little girl clothes that they were trying to give to a good home. We were able to swap and it has worked out great. It's funny how things like that can happen. The kids all hit it
off very well too. In fact, as they were getting in their car to leave, Kyson went and got a car and gave it to the older daughter. I think that because we were giving their family something and they gave us something, he wanted to give something of his too. It was really sweet, especially when you know how much he loves his cars.I'm glad I finally got to meet Kris's friend and his family. They were a wonderful bunch and I hope we can do it again soon.
Kris's parents help us out a lot with the kids. In fact, as one of their Christmas gifts to us, they gave us babysitting once a month for the year so we could go on a date. I'll admit we fell off a bit during the summer, but we're trying to get back. Well, Kris and I have been dying to see Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon and the last Harry Potter. We decided to take them on one of their babysitting offers and see Harry Potter. The movie was awesome and we can't wait for it to come out on DVD, but what was even better was the sight I came home to. Carol had taken Kyson up for a nap, and Errol said she'd been upstairs for some time. He thought maybe she wasn't feeling well or something, but when I went upstairs to check on her, she was asleep with Kyson on his bed. Our children are loved so deeply by their grandparents and I love watching it all.
and for years I've wanted to take Kyson to the dinosaur museum there, but I can't bring myself to spend $35 on a museum where the kids will say, "Wow!" and then run off to the next thing. Two dollar Tuesdays was perfect and so during my week off, we took advantage of the deal. Kodi got in free because she was so young, and the total cost for an afternoon at the dinosaur museum was $6. I can handle that. We got there shortly before it opened and there was already a line, but I'm still so glad we went early because it
wasn't crowded. I've heard that it's not even worth going on these days because it's so crowded - going early worked. Kyson loved looking at all the dinosaurs and both Kyson and Kodi were chattering up a storm about everything.
They were good sports and I think they really enjoyed it. we forgot a stroller for Kodi so she had to walk the whole thing, and surprisingly, I think she loved having the
freedom, and I loved not having to worry about fitting the stroller into hallways or crowds.
At the end of the museum, there is a place where kids can take off their shoes and go into a giant room-sized sandbox. They dig for fossils in this sandbox and of course Kyson and Kodi were all over this. It was a wonderful $6 activity and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Every year, I take a select group of students on a week long field trip to the Shake- speare Festival. This year's plays were: Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. We also saw three non-Shakespeare plays which were: Noises off!, Music Man, and The Glass Menagerie. Every year is fun, but a lot of work to keep track of the students and hold them accountable to what they should be doing. This year, however, was wonderful! I had a lot of fun and didn't feel like a babysitter.
Every year there is an actor that the girls fall in love with. This year, it was Elijah Alexander who played Oberon and Duke Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Richard
in Richard III. After one of his performances, the girls wanted to get a picture with him so badly, but he snuck out. One of my students saw him making his way through the crowd and like a
mother wanting the best for her child, I ran after him and asked him if he'd come back for a picture. He was the most gracious and genteel person. He not only came back for a picture, but he sat and chatted with my students for a short time. When the girls were getting pictures with this fine actor, I had to join in and get one too.
This year, the Shakespeare Festival was celebrating its 50th anniversary and to do so, they had many additional exhibits. One of the pieces they had on display was the first edition folio of Shakespeare's plays. This book is on
display in a museum in DC and to get it hear it had its own 1st class ticket and a chaperon under lock and key. This thing is priceless. When Shakespeare died, he had never made a collection of his works, so his performing company put together all of the plays they had done with William Shakespeare to make this particular book. If his players had not done this for him, I doubt we'd have his plays now. This was one of the best trips I've been on and the girls had so much fun. I think this will be a fond memory of theirs for years to come.
I know it seems like we go to Bear Lake a lot, but the reason we do is because we need to get out of Dodge with the hectic lives we have. Getting out of town gives us permission to relax. This is only the second time we've been able to go to the lake with the Allreds, long-time friends of the family, and once again, it was very enjoyable. This time was especially great because my sister came up. They were only able to come from Friday to Sunday, but just the fact that they came made me so happy. She hasn't come up in years.
Before Jen arrived, we decided to take advantage of the summer weather and do some four-wheeling, since the attempt last trip didn't work out so well. Once again, Kyson, my dad, Wes, and I went up into the mountains. Kyson loved it, and it didn't rain this time. At one point, my father
dropped his map so Wes, Kyson and I killed time by taking pictures, and playing around. Kyson and then Kyson wanted to pose for a picture. Wes is such a good sport.even put his hat on inside out so Wes followed. Wes was such a good sport, and Kyson's BFF for the weekend.
Out at the Lake, Kyson caught two frogs. He wanted to hold them non-stop, so we decided to put them in the pool of the Island. For anyone
who doesn't know what "the Island" is, we have a huge inflatable relaxation station that has a seats for 8 people, a part to lay out and tan, a small slide, and a mini pool in the center. The pool became the frogs' home for a short time until we let them go. Kyson named the two little frogs Kyson and Kodi - oh how cute.
Then Jen came and we decided to go out on the
boat. They have an inflatable "taco" that we used to go tubing behind the boat. I went once with my dad who nearly killed me when he rolled over me and we fell in the water, and I went with Kyson another time. He loved it. Kodi is still too little for the taco. If it had been a stable tube like for Kyson's first time when he was a few months old, that would be different. I don't want her to be afraid of water for falling in.
I really enjoyed the entire time we were there, as usual, and I always look forward to going back. I'm so grateful for the getaway place, and when we can stay for free - it's even better.
I've always loved the zoo. I'm an animal-lover and I think that's why I love going so much. I could watch the animals all day, but know I don't have the time for it. This year, because Hogle Zoo had a special exhibit, we had to make a point to go. Zoorasic Park was there for the summer and it had many life-sized automated dinosaurs. One dinosaur spit on people as it walked by, and the T-Rex was life-sized and amazing. It would look right at you and then start roaring. Kyson liked the dinosaurs more than the animals, but who cares. As long as he's having fun - I'm having fun.
As we walked in, my favorite radio station had a little booth set up and they were giving out prizes if you could spin the wheel and have it land on a certain number. I won. I chose a DVD and I got to
take my picture with Frankie from the morning show. He's a nice guy. I think that was one of the highlights of my trip.
The weather was beautiful and I couldn't have asked for a better afternoon.