Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rasslin'

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My nephews Luke and Jackson, both neverending sources of entertainment, got in some old-fashioned rasslin' Sunday after bi-monthly family dinner at Ben's and Adi's house in Centerville.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hangin' with Christian

My youngest nephew Christian is now five months old. They sure grow up fast, don't they?


I was fortunate enough to get to spend some quality time with him over at Grandma's and Grandpa's house Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Second Thanksgiving

Hobbits have second breakfast; we have second Thanksgiving. At least, we do on the years when everybody goes to their in-laws' on Thanksgiving Day.

Such was the case last week, when bi-monthly family dinner became second Thanksgiving. Scott, Claudia, and their gang came up from Lehi and joined us for the occasion. The food was plentiful and delicious.


Christian continues to be the ladies' man wherever he goes. . . .


Most of the nieces and nephews gathered around the Christmas tree to play with Grandma Plowman's new train.


Good times, as you might expect, were had by all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Family 5K

How was your Thanksgiving this year? I hope it was a good one all around. As far as the Plowmans' holiday went, four of us (Mom, Dad, Biz, and myself) participated in our first 5K race.


Jeff also joined us for the South Davis Recreation Center's Family 5K, a race covering parts of Bountiful and Centerville. As for the four aforementioned first timers, it wasn't necessarily about speed or competition but rather in crossing the finish line, which we did together after about 66 minutes on the road.
 
And now we have these cute medals to show for it. So, it was a win-win all around.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Leaning Tower of Dallin

At last week's family FHE, Mike taught an object lesson with wooden building blocks. Basically, the lesson was that, together, we can do and make things better than we can on our own.


As part of that object lesson, Dallin and Jackson worked in tandem to create the night's tallest Jenga-like structure, which reached up to the ceiling.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Little Drummer Boy

Mike, Jana, and the kids recently acquired a drum set from some friends who were moving and didn't have a place to put theirs.


Not too surprisingly, Jackson has now taken up drumming.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Carving Pumpkins

Halloween is, sadly, now over. Still, I have one more photo to post today from recent Halloween-related festivities.


Last Monday night, I joined with Mike, Jana, and their kids to carve up the pumpkins we picked out the week before for FHE. As you can see, we (collectively) made some pretty great jack-o-lanterns.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ben's Birthday Bash 2013

It was Ben's birthday last Saturday, and to commemorate the occasion, Adi put together an enjoyable birthday party for him at their home in Centerville. It being only five days before Halloween, the event was also organized as a costume party.

Our family seemed to unofficially capture Disney/Pixar as a theme for our costumes, as Ben and Christian, respectively, dressed up as Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story:


Summer and Steve were two Pirates of the Caribbean, yours truly dressed up as Squishy from Monsters University, and Adi portrayed Hamm (also from the Toy Story films). Adi's friends Corinne and Joe were a couple of bank robbers, and Biz and Jeff were a couple of zombie killers from the movie Zombieland.

In one of my favorite photos from the event, five-year-old Kira took a turn holding her three-month-old cousin Christian.


Ben and Adi also brewed up some Butterbeer, which was based on a recipe from the Harry Potter world. It was surprisingly good.


Here's to many more birthdays, Ben.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spider

Today's video clip is from last Friday night's aforementioned Improvables Halloween performance.

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In it, Bryan, Keenan, and Brianne re-create a 60-second scene in 10 seconds. It's about spiders.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Improvables' Halloween Extravaganza 2013

Friday night marked the Improvables' fifth annual Halloween performance, as well as our second anniversary of performing at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts (aka CenterPoint Legacy Theatre). It's hard to believe that we have been together that long and that we have put on that many Halloween shows, but the calendar doesn't lie.

Among the highlights were "Half Life," played by Bryan, Keenan, and Brianne:


. . . Erica's zombie costume, inspired by "The Walking Dead":


. . . and our many fans who dressed up for the occasion, including our costume contest winners, one of who is pictured here as the Last Airbender:


Following the show, the assorted troupe members (and an enthusiastic audience member dressed as Bruce Lee) posed for this group shot:


Yours truly chose to dress up as Teddy Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States and one of all-time favorite historical figures.


Good times were had by all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Walking the Dog

At Monday night's family FHE at the Pack Pumpkin Patch, Jackson took the leash from Ben and took Kuma for a short walk.

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Then, at 10 seconds into this video, Kuma took Jackson for a walk.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday Night at the Pumpkin Patch

For family home evening last night, the Plowman clan (minus Adi and Christian, who are in Florida visiting Adi's friends where she served her mission, and Jeff, who was in class) made our annual trip out to the Pack Pumpkin Farm in Farmington, something that has become a much-loved Halloween tradition for our gang.

Jackson, entertaining as always, enjoyed running through the hay maze and then posed as a zombie atop a different stack of hay bales:


Luke, McKenna, and Jenna posed alongside the pumpkins that they picked out for themselves:


We posed for a family picture . . .


. . . and then the others arrived, after which we took another one. I must say that we are pretty good-looking motley crew:


Good times were had by all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Whoosh!

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Jackson kept himself entertained for a good long while the other day as he kept on filling up a balloon with air and then letting it go, watching it as it flew all over the room.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jumping Jack

Watch Jackson in action:

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There is nothing else to say.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weirdo

The title of this post doesn't refer to my 19-month-old nephew Jake---not in the least. Rather, it refers to the fact that he thinks I am really weird,  and, in this photo, the look on his face reflects that he is looking at me.


I'm the weirdo; not Jake. Mr. Weirdly McWeird.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jackson's "Fox" Sing-a-long


A never-ending source of entertainment, my five-year-old nephew Jackson recently sang along to Nickel Creek's "The Fox," and I was able to capture some of it on video.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt

Last Thursday was my birthday. A group of about 15 friends, including Ben, Adi, Steve, and Summer, joined me at the Karaoke CafĂ© in Murray to celebrate by singing karaoke and eating cheesecake---two of my favorite pastimes.


Getting older is acceptable as long as I can do those two things in the company of good people.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Musical Workshop

Over the years, one of my favorite things about performing improv with the Improvables is that something new, unexpected, and fun is always around the corner---both at our shows and during our workshops.


Such was the case this past week, when Lorin led a musical workshop that emphasized the importance for us all to be more willing to support each other during musical numbers. I snapped the above photo as Rickey performed a peppy musical piece, accompanied in the background by Erica, Ryan, and Lorin.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mushroom Kingdom


We Plowmans are big video gaming fans.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Improvables Summer BBQ

On Saturday, the members of the Improvables troupe gathered together in Bountiful for our annual summer social and barbecue. Or, at least, it was the beginning of what we hope will be an annual event. (Generally speaking, we're not very good about holding get-togethers outside of our regular improv business.)


At any rate, Ryan offered his bachelor pad as our meeting place, and there were plenty of tasty hot dogs, chicken, salads, s'mores, desserts, and other goodies to eat.

The grass directly below our makeshift grill pit in the backyard caught fire briefly, a fact to which Scott alerted us all, only to be put out by a quick-thinking Ricky and a water hose within a few seconds.


Since we didn't burn down anything other than a small patch of grass, I'd have to call it a success.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Christian's Baby Blessing

My newest nephew, two-month-old Christian Jordan, was blessed in church in his Centerville ward last Sunday by his daddy, my brother Ben.


All of the Plowmans were there, as well as our Sanders cousins and a handful of old friends. After the meeting, we gathered at Ben's and Adi's home for a brunch.

Good times were had by all.



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pillow Fort

Whenever my nieces and nephews throw themselves into a project, they always give it their all.


Such was the case with this pillow fort, which McKenna worked on tirelessly.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grandma and The Thinker

I love this photo of Mom holding her newest grandson, two-month-old Christian Jordan, taken at last week's bimonthly family dinner.


As she serenades him with "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma!, he appears to be listening intently while making the same pose as Auguste Rodin's famous sculpture The Thinker.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Jackson Show


There's never a dull moment on "The Jackson Show."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Plowmans Invade Oklahoma

It was essentially "The Plowman Show" last Saturday night at the Murray City Amphitheater, as three members of the family starred in Oklahoma! together. Ben and Steve headlined the production as Curly and Will Parker, respectively, and Summer gave support (and made her acting debut, to boot) as Gertie Cummings.

Prior to the beginning of the show, however, Ben joined his bluegrass band, Bluegrass Thunder, on stage to perform a number of tunes, including "The Orange Blossom Special" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," to get the crowd warmed up.


That was only the start of Ben's marathon evening, as the main event then followed. He and his castmates poured their hearts and souls into the performance. My brothers did their share of solo/duet singing and stage kissing, and I may be somewhat biased when I report that they did a great job. We were kept well entertained throughout the evening.


In particular, I enjoyed Steve's improvised moment when a very loud helicopter passed over the stage and amphitheater, as well as Summer's giddily amusing laugh as Gertie.

Good times were had by all.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Improvables at the Davis County Fair

One of the head honchos with this year's Davis County Fair asked the Improvables to perform an hour-long show not once but twice, on both Wednesday and Thursday nights, at the fair, and we were more than happy to oblige. We were, in fact, given a spot on the main stage, which was near the center of all of the many activities going on, such as carnival rides, a petting zoo, tasty junk food, etc.

Here, Parker assists Brianne in figuring out why she's "Late for Work," with both Keenan and Lorin also lending a hand:


It was good to get a chance for us to get our name out there in the community in a different venue, and hopefully we were able to make some new fans in the process.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shakespearean Festival 2013

A couple of weeks ago, many of the members of the family and I made our annual trek down to Cedar City for the Shakespearean Festival. For more than a decade now, it has been an important family tradition.

This year, Mom and Dad; Dave and Jessica; Ben, Adi, and baby Christian; Steve and Summer; Biz and Jeff; and Jeff's brother, Dave, and sister-in-law Ginny made the trip. At the matinee, half of us went to see Twelve Angry Men, while the other half, myself included caught Love's Labours Lost, which was very comedic and entertaining but nonetheless had a somewhat ambiguous or abrupt ending to it that confused more than a few in our audience.

Well, you can't win 'em all, Mr. Shakespeare.

Between shows, Ben snapped this photo with me sitting next to the statue of the Bard:


At night, we together caught the evening show, Peter and the Star Catcher - which was based on a book co-authored by Dave Barry no less! It was very imaginatively carried out and amounted to a sort of prequel to the ever-popular Peter Pan story and movie.

Good times were had by all, and we are looking forward to the shows in 2014.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weasel Stomping Day 2013

In years past, my friends and I have assembled to watch one of our favorite all-time movies, UHF, starring comedic geniuses "Weird Al" Yankovic, Michael Richards (of "Seinfeld" fame), and many others. Typically, these shindigs have been held during the summer. Since August really has no major holidays, this year we decided to hold this year's party on August 10 and to call the holiday "Weasel Stomping Day," based on the "Weird Al" song of the same name.

One of the traditions involved in Weasel Stomping day is to "put your Viking helmet on; spread that mayonnaise on the lawn," which I demonstrated in the following photo:


Well, why not?

There were only a handful of us involved this time around, but still we had a good time together watching the film. Another important tradition is the eating of Twinkie-wiener sandwiches, which consist of a hot dog on a Twinkie bun (Twinkies are rather hard to find these days, since they just went back on supermarket shelves, so we had to improvise with the generic brand), covered in Cheese Whiz.


Erica was both a first-time UHF watcher and Twinkie-wiener sandwich eater:


I think it would be safe to say that she enjoyed the film much more than she enjoyed the sandwich, which is definitely an acquired taste.

Good times were had by all!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whose Line Is It, Layton?

A dream was realized and an important item checked off of the Bucket List last night when I got to see "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" veteran improviser Wayne Brady perform live at the Ed Kenley Amphitheater in what he termed "the hip-hop center of North America," Layton, Utah.

Amie and I arrived an hour prior to the start of the show to pick up our will call tickets and to find the best possible seats we could. We were seated a ways back, on the grass, but still we had a decent view of the stage.


For those familiar with improv and with "Whose Line?": Wayne's performance did not disappoint and was (for the most part) family friendly, as he put together a long rap song filled with lengthy words suggested by audience members. He also performed several improvised scenes with the assistance of audience volunteers, including preparing for a prom at the prison in "Sound Effects" and acting as a drill sergeant, introducing the latest military vehicle ("The Porcupine"), in "Living Scenery." He then took and answered a series of questions from the audience and then finally capped off the evening by singing a handful of songs, the titles of which were chosen by those in the crowd beforehand. My favorite was "Are You My Daddy?", sung in the style of the rock band Creed and to the tune of "With Arms Wide Open."


My suggestion for a song, "The Brine Shrimp Boogie," was not accepted, but then again, he had dozens if not hundreds of song titles from which to choose. I honestly can't complain.

All told, it was a very funny evening and one well worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Little Monsters

There are times when words simply fail me.


This is one of those times. I love this photo of Jackson, taken next to a cardboard cutout of Mike Wazowski during a recent family trip to the local movie theater.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

These Yahoos

 I get to perform improv with these yahoos on a weekly basis.


All in all, I'd say I'm pretty lucky indeed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Watermelon

My nieces Jenna, Kira, and McKenna recently enjoyed some watermelon together.


It's just, you know, another Sunday afternoon at Plowman family dinner.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekend of Reunions

I'm a week late in posting, but I made it out to Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City last Friday, July 19, to attend what has amounted to my annual Salt Lake Bees' baseball game. Mike had obtained some great tickets (behind home plate) through his work, and he invited Biz, Jeff, Kylee, and me to tag along for the evening.

As for the game, well, the hometown squad was beaten soundly, 18-7, which sounds more like a football score than a baseball one. There were also two grand slam home runs, which is something I had never seen live, as well as multiple other two- and three-run homers throughout the skirmish.

The real highlight of the evening, however, was the appearance of five actors from the 1993 movie The Sandlot at the ballpark. They, along with the film's director, were in town to commemorate the 20th anniversary of having filmed the movie in Salt Lake, and, in addition, they sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.


Following the game, I went over to the nearby Off Broadway Theater to perform with my Improvables teammates Bryan and Keenan in a head-to-head matchup with our sister troupe Laughing Stock. This was another reunion for me, as Improvables co-founder Eric Jensen appeared on the Laughing Stock team, and it was also my first performance on the OBT stage since I discovered their Improv-okie nights and began taking improv classes there approximately 11 years ago.


My "weekend of reunions" was rounded out Saturday night by my 20-year high school reunion at the Little America hotel in downtown Salt Lake. I saw many old friends from the Bountiful High class of '93 there and was able to catch up with them, as well as meet their spouses.