Monday, August 21, 2017

Fingerprint of God

Ben has been planning for this eclipse for several years.

He wasn't responsible for the clear skies, but otherwise all his efforts paid off today.

My family was engrossed.

Everyone knew something special was happening.

All of us were careful to use our glasses.

Lily joined us today.

So did Grace.

I loved being able to share this experience with Erik's family.

I wanted to enjoy the moment, but I also wanted my camera to focus.  Ben helped me with a solar lens.

Jeff had his own version of hi-tech to watch the eclipse.

I realized the blue image on the lower right was a reverse image picked up by my camera.

Dave helped Papa, who was taking movies.

This was Corinne's second eclipse.  Her first was in Novosibirsk in 2008 with Ben.

At this point, the people around me were excited.  It was happening!  I removed the solar lens and then realized I was focused on my camera, not on the eclipse.  The blue crescent is another reverse image of what I was seeing through my glasses.

I took off my solar glasses but still tried to get my camera to focus. I was successful without realizing it.  I didn't learn until later that this was the first diamond ring as the eclipse approached totality.

At the moment, I can't think of anything more breathtaking than a total solar eclipse of the sun.

What my eyes saw was different than what my camera could see, but both views were stunning.

At this point we were all screaming.  Erik whispered to me that we were seeing the fingerprint of God.  I agreed.

I cried.

And then, in one massive heartbeat, it was over.

Eclipse Eve

Most of our family attended a local ward this morning.  The ranks of the congregation were swelled by eclipse tourists.  Ben and I stayed behind with Will and watched our stake conference via a live feed, but Melanie took this photo for me.  I had Frito Pie ready for everyone when they returned.
After lunch, Jeff declared that naps were mandatory.  I complied, almost doubling the amount of sleep I'd had in the last 24 hours.  When I woke up, I helped Adele put a fun pirate puzzle together.
She and I found brownies which Aunt Carolyn had made.
Everyone has become quite enamoured with Lewis on this trip.  He likes all of us, but mostly only if his mom is nearby.  I was thrilled that he let me feed him a brownie.  I managed to take the picture and get the brownie on the fork all by myself.
During this lull in the action, my artists enjoyed another painting session.
Adele woke up and joined us.
Bradley came in to see what was going on.  I invited him to pick up a brush.  He declined.
Once all the parents had their beauty rest, they piled the kids into three cars and took them to a nearby park.  Dave took this picture for me, titling it, "Ready, Aim, Fire!"
I had spaghetti and meatballs ready when they returned.
Luke loved dinner and returned for seconds.
My favorite part of this week with our family might be watching all the grandchildren having fun together.
I thought two heavy meals on a Sunday might be too much.  I was wrong.
The skies were cloudy, but we ended up on the deck hoping the clouds would go away.  Jane took a selfie with Jill.
Matt was chilling, waiting for a little action.
The action was planned, unbeknownst to me.  The family thanked Papa for the fun trip together.
Emotions are a little high right now, and Ben got a lot of hugs from the sweet people who love their grandfather.
It melted my heart to watch them engage so completely.
All of a sudden, it was my turn!
The big kids behind me kept the tackles from knocking me over.
Camille's hug at the end was very tender and sweet.
The family has embraced Ben's love of eclipses.
By 10 pm, the sky was clear.  All the children but the two youngest were out with us in the dark, waiting for a turn at the telescope.  Those of us who had jackets had them on, and we were outside for more than an hour.  The Milky Way Galaxy was crystal clear. Steve was able to show us the Andromeda Galaxy, M13, the Ring Nebula, and Saturn.  I spent the evening carefully pointing out the Big Dipper and then the Little Dipper to each grandchild.  While showing Luke and Jane Polaris, we saw a shooting star!  
In the meantime, Melissa is enjoying every minute with Richard, who is old enough to open his eyes.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Dewey, I Didn't Come Here for the Nutrition."

Matt had leftover s'mores for breakfast, of course.

I love watching cousins play together.

A family gathering isn't complete without whipped cream.

Plans for tonight included a cowboy dinner theater.  Jane wanted a small meal.  Dave suggested squirrel ribs.

My childred decided to take their kids to a park.

I love my grandchildren.

My summer with Jacob will end on Monday.

Will is staying with us for a little while.

This was a nice park, but it was more fun for me to watch all the kids play.

I'm thinking that maybe the big kids haven't played at a park for a long time, because they had a really good time.

Ben has loved being with so many cousins.

Jill braided Jane's hair this morning.

No one braided Ella's hair.

Bradley chatted with his brother Richard on the phone this morning.  It was pretty cute.

Kate is the kind of girl who takes books (plural) to a park.  She still had fun.

Adele opened a cafe and sold chicken, carrots and pudding.

Lewis enjoyed every minute.

This teeter-totter was pretty fun.

Even I got in on the fun.

Everyone laughed.

Jill braided Jane's hair, too.

Corinne found a shady spot to watch the action.

Ben saw this photograph and asked me when I took it.  I had actually sneaked up on him with my 50x zoom.

Lewis knows how to spy on people, too.

Parks make everyone act like kids, especially kids.

Camille and Luke are just a month apart in age.

Jeff and Dave taught Matt about options in testing the virtues of artificial intelligences.  Matt loved the conversation.  There was a reason I was sitting far away on the steps of a slide.

Camille found a bottle of water which I knew had come from my car.  Because it had been opened, Camille was careful in how she drank.  I followed suit.

At some point, we were all having so much fun that Corinne had to leave her shady spot and join us.

These three used the teeter-totter as a conversation pit.

Kyle was King of the World.

This is what Ben did for an hour and a half.

Matt is great and interacts with everyone.

Lunch was grilled cheese sandwiches.  Ella didn't want cheese.  I suggested grilled peanut butter.  She jumped on that, so I added jam, too.

The kids have had fun with a tether ball in the yard.  The rope was broken when we arrived.  Sammie brought 25 feet of glow-in-the-dark rope and Matt repaired it.

The afternoon was perfect for painting shards.

Camille takes her artwork very seriously.

Ben cheerfully painted four shards and then was done.

While I glued the bail to the shards, some of the kids watched Tangled.  This scene was scary.

The ending is happy.

We were excited for the cowboy theater.  We rode a rain.

We saw many interesting things in the cowboy village.

Lewis rode a bear.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and show.
Afterward, we returned home and aligned the telescope.  We're getting ready for the big day.