Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fairy House

Somewhat randomly, we decided today would be a rather perfect day to make a fairy house. Arming ourselves with only a somewhat vague picture in my head of what we were looking for, Julianne, Lilian and I scoured the aisles of Bennion Crafts hunting for little plants, little stones, little mirrors and other little fairy-like things.
And then entertained ourselves on the back porch for a few hours...going through a few different versions in a sort of trial and error sort of way as we got the whole thing put together.

And when I say we, I mostly mean Julianne because realistically, she was the creative force behind the thing....even if I came up with the idea to begin with.
And because Lilian and Julianne didn't always see eye to eye in terms of fairy house interior design... we made two.
Lilian decided on a beach scene...with the orange beads as the beach, and the moss as the waves. See the little beach house in the middle made of terra cotta pieces and and topped with a white crystal/stone? Yeah, she was proud of that thing....along with all her shells and fancy rocks.

We talked about the chickens potentially coming up to the deck and causing mischief with the fairy houses. Lilian put hers up on a little deck side-table to help protect it.

Well, clearly that didn't work.

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's what fun is...

In the past 14 years that we have lived in Davis County, we have only been to Lagoon twice. Strange considering we pass the place almost daily. I'm sure many reasons go into why. Young kids? Long lines? Expensive entry fees? Summer heat?

This summer Rebekah works at Lagoon. Lagoon-a-Beach to be exact, as a lifeguard. Which means that about once a month she brings home discount family passes. It's a screaming deal as far as discounts go. Lilian has been begging every time we drive by, seeing as she's 6-years old and hasn't ever been. And though, in my perusal of Lagoon's website I discovered (not surprisingly) that she's still not tall enough to go on 1/4 of the rides...still, there were enough to keep her smiling. So last week on family discount day, we decided to go.

Rebekah had to work until 3:00. And Bryan claimed that he had far too much work with looming deadlines to join us. But off we went all the same, with plans to meet up with Rebekah after she was done with her shift.
Even though we hadn't planned to swim, we wandered through Lagoon-A-Beach to find Rebekah and see her hard at work. I took her picture.
"Ummm....kind of awkward, Mom."
But it's her first job and what else is a mother to do but take proud pictures of her baby being all grown-up and going to work??

First ride we went on....Ladybug Drop. Lilian hated it.
Apparently that feeling in your tummy when the ride drops, was not agreeable. We went on BomBora next (a roller coaster).
"That was sick, Mom! Like....awesome sick!"
Well, that was a relief. I was starting to worry that maybe she wouldn't like any of the rides. (I still have to deal with her fear of the wimpy little Dragon Slide waterslide at Cherry Hill every time we go.) And sick?? Can you tell she lives with teenagers?
The long lines I was worried about didn't materialize, which was nice. Most of the lines were somewhat short and moved swiftly. But the summer heat was fairly intense. I've made no secret of the fact that summer heat and I don't get along. By early afternoon I was miserably hot and sweaty, yes. But dealing with it well, I thought.  I even went on the Cliffhanger to stay cool. One of my all time favorite rides from the last time we visited Lagoon, it slowly swings you upside down and through a water fountain a few times.
  (Julianne and I are on the bottom row....6 seats in from the right.)

See? Not too crazy at all! I got off feeling wet but cooler, and with a smile on my face. I was tempted to get right back on seeing as there wasn't a line, but hated to make Lilian and Brandon (who didn't want to get his shoes wet) wait for us again.

My stomach was rumbling. It was past lunch and a banana and a cookie do not a solid breakfast make, really. I suggested we stop at Teriyaki Stix right around the corner from Cliffhanger. I was ordering our lunch when suddenly and surprisingly I started to feel lightheaded and shaky. I had handed over my credit card and was waiting for the receipt to sign when my vision started to go fuzzy and dark and my ears started ringing. "Julianne," I said, somewhat panicked, "I think I'm going to pass out...." Luckily at that very moment the receipt arrived. I scrawled my name, though I could hardly see by that point, and then took a few wobbly steps toward a nearby chair and more or less collapsed into it. Head between my knees....and there I stayed until I felt safe enough to sit upright. Food helped. And lots and lots of ice water. And though throughout the rest of the day there was more than one time that I sat on the ground while waiting in line for a ride because I started feeling lightheaded again....we found many ways to stay cool and enjoyed our day.

One cream cones in Pioneer Village. And I'm not talking about wimpy frozen yogurt or soft ice cream. Although at that point, anything would've been appreciated. I'm talking about the real stuff. We stood in a long line and paid a pretty penny for it, but it was worth it!
Another sure fire way to stay cool? Rattlesnake Rapids. You are absolutely guaranteed to get wet. Soaking, really. And we all laughed so hard at Brandon who was trying to do everything in his power to keep his shoes dry...that we decided to immediately get back in line to go again. Trying to stay cool or no, it's just a fun ride. One of my favorites.

Nine and a half hours at the park and what was most likely heat exhaustion, meant that I felt like I had Lagoon hangover the next day with some serious exhaustion and a wicked headache. All the same, a few weeks later on the next employee discount day we went again. This time with Bryan's sister Carolyn and her family in tow in a combo family/date activity. Meaning that Rebekah, Megan and Jordan all brought dates....and the rest of the family tried to stay out of their way.
This time it didn't seem as hot. Oh, the temps were up in the mid-90's so maybe it was just as hot, but I handled it better...drinking lots more water and eating frequently. Carolyn has MS and was in a wheelchair so we took the whole day just a little bit more slowly. We were there from open to close....a full 11 hours so we were plenty exhausted by days end, but we had a really good time.

Lilian spent a lot of time getting wet. As if Rattlesnake Rapids and the Hydro Luge and the Log Flume weren't enough....she spent a whole lot of time in the water fountain. And got soaked through to the point that you could see her "Brave" panties.

My favorite ride...The Rocket. Oh my, nothing quite as exhilarating as a good drop ride. I went on it for the first time ever last month. And it was glorious. But this time the anticipation kicked in. Nothing was a surprise....I knew exactly what it felt like to make that initial drop and was actually all the more nervous for it. The scream that ripped out of my throat was completely involuntary. And left my throat sore for the rest of the night. But oh much fun!
Our last ride of the day was the ferris wheel...Sky Scraper I think is it's official name. We didn't notice until we got to the top, that the wind had kicked in. And though I know that this area of Davis County fairly regularly withstands massive wind storms and the ferris wheel has always fared was still somewhat unnerving to be that high with the wind blowing that hard and banging us around.

I'm starting to see the wisdom in a Lagoon season pass. Being able to run over for just a few hours here and there when it's cooler, or to just hit Lagoon-a-Beach, or just ride the kiddie rides, etc. rather than spending all day going on every single ride because you only go once every few years and you are trying to get your money's worth....yeah, that sounds kind of nice. Maybe next summer?

Here's an awesome little video that Rebekah's date Jayden made of their Lagoon date...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family pets

We have allergies at our house. Not many, really. We suffer from hay fever and seasonal type outdoor stuff. Bryan struggles with poppy seeds. I suppose we are quite fortunate to not have any other food allergies. Our biggest allergy issue is animals....specifically those with fur. Something that has been primarily Bryan's allergy, as the kids have grown, Brandon too has started to suffer. So as you can imagine, this impacts mightily our choice of family pet. Dogs are out. Hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and even horses cause grief. And oh my, don't even get Bryan started on the complete evil that is cats!

So what does that leave for us? You know...after I put my foot down on anything that comes from the reptile or amphibian family.
Fish. Which I kill far too easily.
And birds.
We have 5 parakeets that live in a big cage in our kitchen. And we like 'em. They make happy noises. Or at least we consider it happy until there is just too much noise with the radio blaring, this kid singing, that kid trying to have a conversation with another sibling, the dishwasher running...all competing with the nonstop chirping. Then it gets to be a little much. But for the most part we are hugely entertained by our parakeets and enjoy them tremendously. We're so used to the chirping it hardly fazes us. But as there are 5 of them, they've made friends with each other and for the most part only tolerate us when we are feeding and watering them. They are not big fans of sitting on our fingers or coming out to play.

A few months ago we inherited 3 chickens and 2 ducks. They still had that new-animal-baby cuteness and so we were enamored. I figured the novelty would wear off when they grew to full size. And though I expected to be happy about the eggs they would eventually lay, I didn't intend for them to become anything more than farm animals.
So I was surprised when they started getting personalities. And becoming dependent on us for not just food but social interaction. They are free range animals in our backyard so we find them frequently up on our deck pecking at the back door. Every time I come out to water the plants or do any kind of yard work, they come running and follow me around. If I sit on the porch swing to do some reading, it is not uncommon for one of the chickens to jump up next to me and make herself comfortable snuggled up next to my leg. They patiently let Lilian hold them and pet them and play with them.
In short, these farm animals have become pets. And for a family where pets are few and far between, it has been a lot of fun.

Frosting on the cake....we get 2-3 eggs a day. Bet your dog can't do that!