Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 181: Kira Hijacks My Camera II

The other day, three-year-old Kira took a turn hijacking my camera and snapped this photo of her brother Luke:
It looks like we have another budding photographer in the family.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 180: Playing Nicely

The other day, I caught this candid shot of four-year-old Jackson and three-year-old Kira playing together.

Cute kids, my nieces and nephews.

Day 179: T-Ball Time with Luke

Me: How many outs, Luke?

Luke: Grape! Or Cherry!

If you're familiar with the Brian Regan routine about his days playing Little League baseball, then the above conversation will make sense. Even if it doesn't, suffice me to say that, earlier tonight, I finally made it out to one of my nephew Luke's t-ball games at Tolman Elementary in Bountiful.

It's not the World Series, of course, but Luke loves to play the game, and he and his teammates enjoyed themselves and played hard.

Incidentally, Luke did go home with a grape-flavored Kool-Aid treat.

Day 178: Voting in the Primary

For participating in the democratic process and voting in today's Utah Republican primary, I was awarded this handsome sticker:

I could be wrong, but I think both Mitt Romney and Orrin Hatch have a good chance of winning here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 177: Dinner with the Bay Clan

Bill Bay is one of two American mission companions (all of the rest were native Peruvians) who served with me in Peru . . . well, a number of years ago. We were paired together for only a month-and-a-half, but we enjoyed a great deal of success during that time and got along famously, and he has remained a good friend over the years.

This week, he and his family, who live in Florida, have been visiting family (Bill's parents are serving a mission in Heber City), friends, and the sites along the Wasatch Front, and I'm glad that he got a hold of me and arranged for us to go out to dinner together tonight.

The plan was to go to Bountiful's Peruvian restaurant, Rico Pollo, only it turned out to be closed for the day, so we journeyed to nearby Robintino's to enjoy some delicious Italian food. It was good to catch up with my old companion, as well as his wife, Kristen, and their daughters, 11-year-old Gabriella and seven-year-old Gina.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 176: June Birthdays

At today's family dinner, we celebrated the four family June birthdays: Mom's, McKenna's, Dad's, and Adi's.

Jackson posed beside the cake, making a classic Jackson face:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 175: Paco's Taco Shop

I was bound to run into it sooner or later. Did you know that there is a Paco's Taco Shop in Centerville?
Well, there is, just west across the street from IHOP. And it's pretty tasty food, too.

Day 174: On the Road Again . . .

For a myriad of reasons - none of them, thankfully, due to any sort of people problems - I have again moved, this time to Dave's and Jessica's basement in Woods Cross, and they and their four kids have received me with open arms. I am very grateful that they are willing to take me in for a brief time and that they have gone out of their way to accommodate me.
At the same time, I am also very grateful to have spent the last five weeks with Mike, Jana, and their four amazing kids (I have a total of eight wonderful nieces and nephews), who have, likewise, made me feel at home and have been a joy to be around.
As I was packing things up yesterday, four-year-old Jackson came in and spent some time jumping on my bed:
It's just one of many reasons I'll miss being around him, Kylee, Dallin, and McKenna on a day-to-day basis.
At the same time, I look forward to getting to know Jenna, Luke, Kira, and Jacob better.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 173: Jackson's "Donald Duck" Outfit

Pizza was on the menu for dinner the other night, and who should sit down beside me to enjoy a piece? None other than four-year-old Jackson, wearing a t-shirt - and basically nothing else.
After snapping the pic, and now that I have posted it, I have realized that Donald Duck basically wears the same outfit, too. Right?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 172: Picnic

It was a nice, cool evening last night, so Jackson made the suggestion that we enjoy family dinner together outside on the back porch.

It turned out to be a great idea. We enjoyed hamburgers along with apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Good times!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 171: "Space Jump"

One of the things that keeps Improv interesting for us as performers in the Improvables is when we learn to play a new game. Such was the case at our most recent workshop, in which we learned how to place "Space Jump":

You had to be there, so you'll have to trust me; it's a good one.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 170: "Seven Brides" for Two Cousins

I've mentioned before here on Disconcertingly Choppy that I do not particularly care for the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Well, it's still true, but I'll save that rant for another time and another place.
Instead, I'll tell you that earlier this evening I went along with the parents, Ben and Adi, and Steve and Summer to see my cousin Scott (the mayor) and his 13-year-old daughter, Madison (one of the townspeople), perform in the aforementioned musical at a junior high auditorium - one far newer and nicer than most auditoriums I've ever been in, by the way - in Lehi. It was entertaining watching my cousins do what they enjoy doing with their spare time, which is really a thing that most of my family loves to do.
Incidentally, tonight's performance was the first time that Ben and Adi got to see another production of the musical by which they were first acquainted, as they met two summers ago while performing in a Seven Brides production in Murray.
Here's a shot of all four family members - past and present - to perform in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 169: Father's Day

Today marked my first Father's Day at my new abode, with Jana and the kids celebrating by creating this cardboard diorama for Mike:

I think he really appreciated it.

Kenna also went out of her way to wish me a Happy Father's Day, even though I don't yet have any kids. I guess it's the thought that counts.

I got to spend the rest of the day attending my new ward, the Oak Woods Ward, just down the street in Kaysville and enjoyed getting to meet several people, including the presidency of my elders quorum. Afterward, I dropped in on Dad and Mom to wish my own Dadoo a jolly holiday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 168: PB&J

While the rest of the family dined on other things, Jackson enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.
I can't say that I blame him. It had been years since my last PB&J sandwich, so I had to make one for myself.

Day 167: Ben's and Adi's Family Expands

After just more than four months of marriage, Ben and Adi have already expanded their family. Following tonight's Improvables performance, they were giddy with excitement as they introduced me to her:
They have named her Saru, which, if I spelled that right and if I understand correctly, is Japanese for "monkey."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 166: Improvables on the Road

In his spare time, my Improvables colleague Ian is both one of the troupe's leaders and is also a counselor in the Layton South stake Young Men's presidency. This weekend, the Young Men of the stake are having their annual youth conference up at Camp Tifie in Morgan (I hadn't heard of it before, either), and Ian invited Jordan and myself to take part in an Improv workshop and performance in the outdoor amphitheater earlier tonight.
Morgan, which I had been to only once before - for a youth conference of my own when I was 17 years old - is a good 45-minute drive east of Layton, but it is really a nice town and a great spot for holding camp (it does, after all, have things like running water, electricity, an indoor movie screen, etc.). The amphitheater held a good 100 or more 16- to 18-year-olds and their leaders, and they were surprisingly enthusiastic about learning Improv skills and joining in with us on a few games, such as "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Town Hall."
The three of us ended our 90-minute set by playing a handful of one-team games, including - and by audience request - "Two-Line Vocabulary," "Late for Work," "Accents," and (pictured here) "Mumbling Movie Murder Mystery":
Good times were had by all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 165: Sidewalk Chalk Art IV

Here are some more entertaining images recently created by the kids:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 164: "PIGS" Has Sprung

When I was over at Dave's and Jessica's place to visit last week, a group of letters near the front entrance had been arranged to spell spring, which is still, at least until next week, the season we are, technically, in right now.

About the time I left, however, someone with a sense of humor had rearranged the words so it instead appeared this way:

No, that "someone" was not me. Though I was tempted.

Day 163: Jackson's Tutu

Sometimes, a picture just says it all:
I, for the record, did not dress him up like this. I'm told that it was one (or more) of his cousins.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 162: Ozzy's "Crazy Train"

Mike's and Jana's dog Ozzy - mentioned in yesterday's post - has been somewhat of a comfort for me to have around the house. I've missed having a dog ever since our faithful golden retriever, 14-year-old Rolley, had to be put to sleep a few years ago.
Like he Rolley used to do, he, likewise, enjoys chewing on my shoelaces.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 161: Jackson's Fortress of Solitude

The other night, Jana and Jackson were having a little fun outside with Ozzy, the family dog, swinging water tubes (floaties? umm . . . water wings? I honestly don't know what they're called) at his direction as he tried to bite onto them and chew off a piece or two in what became a game of Tug-o'-War.
Eventually, Jackson began to gather up some of the blue pieces, which he called his "crystals,"almost as if he were Superman and were beginning construction on his own Fortress of Solitude.

Day 160: Soaking Up the Sun

The other night, before I headed off to my sleep test, I stopped in the driveway to observe Jackson both riding his bike and running through the sprinklers in the front yard:
He then volunteered to help me finish my Frosty from Wendy's.
It was all in a summer day's work for a four-year-old.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 159: Waffles!

For dinner last night, waffles were on the menu.
Is there ever a bad time for waffles? I submit that there is not.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 158: My Dinner with Kenna 2012

It was my now nine-year-old niece McKenna's birthday yesterday, and while she and her (immediate) family and friends went out and partied, I spent much of the day recovering from the aforementioned sleep apnea test.
At any rate, we went out for our annual birthday lunch together today at Chick-Fil-A, a place I'd eaten at only once before, and we enjoyed a good meal together. After that, we went shopping around Layton Hills Mall until she found a gift that she liked, which was a combination of a necklace and the earrings that she is wearing in this photo:
Incidentally, the Muppet is "Blue Monster," the name that she picked out for another of her birthday gifts. I don't think she'll ever get bored playing with that.

Day 157: Sleep Apnea Test

Last night, I slept in this bed, hooked up to all of these many wires:

. . . which, in turn, were hooked up to these machines:

My long-overdue sleep apnea test was not nearly as scary nor as problematic as I had feared it might be, and my first night wearing the CPAP (aka "Darth Vader") mask was surprisingly comfortable and refreshing.

Now we play the waiting game, as the doc will be analyzing the results and will be getting back to me on exactly which type of a machine I will need to be getting. Stay tuned. . . .

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 156: "Truth or Dare"

During yesterday's family brunch at Dave's and Jessica's home, one of my favorite things to observe was watching Jenna; new teenager, our 13-year-old cousin Madison; and McKenna play "Truth or Dare" together while hanging out in the basement.
I'm not sure whose idea it was, but it was very entertaining.
Ive said it before, and I'll say it again: There's never a dull moment whenever our family gets together.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 155: Jacob's Baby Blessing

My newest nephew, nearly three-month-old Jacob, was blessed by his father in Dave's and Jessica's Woods Cross ward this morning. Several members of both the Plowman and Woodbury clans showed up for this occasion, and after testimony meeting, we adjourned to their nearby home for brunch.

Mom's family's temple work Friday night + Jacob's baby blessing today + Mom's cherry turnovers and cinnamon rolls at brunch = a great weekend overall for the Plowman clan

Day 154: Sidewalk Chalk Art III

I'm not sure what this is supposed to be, but it gave me a good chuckle.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 153: The Atteys Unite

A long-hoped-for goal of Mom's was achieved earlier tonight when the temple work for her immediate family was completed at the Bountiful temple, with Dad, their children (my siblings and me) and spouses acting as proxy for those who have departed from this life. Mom represented herself in being sealed to her deceased parents, George and Kathleen Attey, and then, one by one, her kids stood in for her siblings, and the same ordinances were performed.

It was a very emotional evening for us as a family, and we are grateful that we were able to help out Mom in this momentous occasion. I'm still trying to fully understand the Savior's Atonement, and yet one thing that is crystal-clear to me and one of my favorite parts of it is that it provides for the linking of generations of families together for eternity.

Afterward, we assembled at the parents' new pad at The Village for cheesecake - another favorite family tradition: