Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A week ago today, two of my nephews (from Melanie’s side of the family) flew into town to stay with their grandparents—and hence with us. Eddie, Peter, and Creegan have been having lots of fun with their cousins. Kyle and Jeremy are 9 and 7, which works out quite well with Eddie being 8 and Peter being 6. At 3, Beegy is nevertheless keeping up with them and their shenanigans quite well.

Aside from playing Minecraft and jumping on the trampoline, which seem to be the two major at-home activities, there has been a lot of other fun over the last week. July 24th is Pioneer Day in Utah, celebrating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers back in 1847. It’s basically a repeat of July 4th, but with a greater emphasis on Jell-O. Banks and the state government close down, there is a local parade, and fireworks rule the night. Melanie’s parents took us all to an all-you-eat-buffet, which the kids find extremely exciting. This buffet even had cotton candy, which was a big hit with the kiddos. After that, we came home, hung out for a little while, and then did our own fireworks at the end of the driveway. ‘Twas very fun.

A holiday wouldn't be a holiday without someone in their underwear.  Thanks, Beegy!


Beegy, excited as hell about Pioneer Day.

The next big to-do was going to Hogle Zoo on Saturday morning. It was hot, and Melanie and I both got headaches, but aside from that, it was great. Melanie’s parents bought an annual pass that allows you to take several kids and a couple of guests with you at a time, so we’ll probably make use of it again when it’s a bit cooler. As it was, we only saw about half the zoo, if even. We pooped out by noon-ish, after making sure to ride the carousel and the train. The kids were more excited about that than the animals. In fact, they don’t get very excited about the animals. The strange thing is, I know if I let them watch a YouTube video of a monkey fumbling around in a cereal box, they’d want to watch it over and over again for an hour. When we see the same thing in person at the zoo, they can’t move on quickly enough. Sheesh.

Eddie was super excited to ride the praying mantis on the carousel, mostly because he knows those are my least favorite bug and give me the creeps.

I'm actually quite pleased with how the carousel photos turned out, because I was taking them from somewhat of a distance and zooming in all the way.

Peter studies the map.  (My kids get more excited about complimentary maps at theme parks, zoos, etc. than they do about the place itself.)

On Monday, we went and saw Rio 2 at the nearby dollar theater. And, crazy enough, this dollar theater actually costs only $1 per ticket! On Mondays, they have a “family special” where groups of three or more can get $1 tickets. (I think $1.50 might be the normal price.) The previous Monday, we saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but that was before our cousins arrived. So, this time around, it was a bigger family affair. I slept for varying lengths of time at varying intervals throughout the movie, so maybe my judgment isn’t quite fair, but I thought the movie was rather mediocre. But I think the boys had fun.

As for today, we went to a place called Jump Around Utah, which is a warehouse full of bounce houses. It’s basically like Zoinks, which we used to frequent in Tallahassee, only there aren’t any arcade games. The kids quite enjoyed it. We even got them to try out a hurricane simulator, which is like an enclosed tube you can stand in that blows nearly 80mph winds at you. I’ve included a video of this after some photos.

Creegan took this photo.

And that’s that. Kyle and Jeremy will be sticking around until next Wednesday, so we’ve got a good week left with them. I’m not really sure what’s on the horizon, plan-wise. There’s a carnival at our church on Friday night, but I’ll be spending Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Sunstone Symposium at the University of Utah. (It’s basically a conference for Mormon intellectualism.) I’m also happy to report that I have a doctor’s appointment for Monday, which will put me at about six weeks of having a numb right hand. I don’t know what hoops I’ll have to jump through before we can get me in for surgery, but here’s hoping it will come soon.

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