Thursday, December 27, 2018

Mexican Train and Other Fun Activities

My days usually start early, but I didn't expect Little Ben to join me at 5.  Snow had fallen again during the night, so I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk around the block with a flashlight.  No deal.  He asked for peanut butter on two tortillas, took four equidistant bites, ran down the stairs, crawled into a bed somewhere and appeared again about 8.

I love my grandchildren, each one, but truth be told, a morning walk was not in my plans.  Carolyn's surprise Christmas gift arrived yesterday and I had bagel dough rising.

I love to make bagels.

Corinne introduced me to Bella Vitano cheese earlier this week.  I used the last of that on four bagels.  Artisan topping is on the left, Everything topping is on the right.

Corinne and Papa awoke to heavenly smells.

Little Ben was uninterested in bagels.  He found boots and gloves and ran to the deck to make a snow bar for his breakfast.

The birds like seeds, but apparently not so much on bagels.

After breakfast, we went to the Bean Museum, a favorite place.  Are you wondering what Corinne is looking at?

We all like the giraffes.  Some of the animals at the Bean were donated by the families of hunters.  This giraffe came from a zoo after an untimely death.

We covered the entire museum today, finding great treasures in the basement.

We ended our morning on the top floor.

We planned lunch on the way home.  Corinne made the queso.

I should probably be embarrassed about what I'm going to say next, but I don't seem to be. I knew that I had frozen roasted red peppers in the freezer.  They had been there so long that I could not remember what I had originally made them for.  I turned them into a fantastic soup with leftover basil and fresh spinach.

The last of the kale salad found a place on our table.

Sourdough bread with Jarlsberg cheese made a tasty sandwich.

After lunch, Ben helped me put away holiday decorations.  He was nervous about climbing the ladder, but I gave him plenty encouragement, cause it was him or me.

While high on the ladder, he spied a favorite toy, the sound box.  Other adults, never me, get tired of this thing and hide it.  Neither of us could get any sound to come out of the box.  However, I stay well-stocked with batteries for this hilarious gadget.  I grabbed a battery and took Ben to my closet where my little screwdrivers are.  This was a job I was sure Ben could do.  However, the new battery wouldn't work.  I knew what to do.  I asked Papa Ben to help.

I've been married to this man for 45 years.  I know that he can fix anything.  His gift is that he can take any broken object apart and put it back together, and it will work.  The soundbox, however, was a little tricky.

Papa Ben never lets me down!
After we finished putting away the decorations, it was time for a snack.  Yesterday's ice cream sandwiches were pretty good.  I've got the cookies down pat.  Can someone teach me how to make an ice cream sandwich?


I had to encourage Ben to have a little screen time.  He found his own perch.

Then we all played Mexican Train.  Ben and Corinne won in no time and shared their victory dance.

The next game was very long.  Ben has figured this out, and we were actually having a wonderful time.  He understands when a track is closed.  He knows how to match the dominoes. For some reason, we whispered through all the games today.  No one was paying any attention to me, even though I had tapped my domino.

You are wondering if I know how to do a victory dance.  The answer is yes.

Then someone helped Ben discover how to play with the dominoes themselves.

Ben loved this.

Over and over again.

No one got tired of this.

We've had a wonderful week together, but just like falling dominoes, all of a sudden, it's over.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Two Buses in One Day -- YAY!

Early this morning, Little Ben and I slipped out of the house to check out the newly fallen snow.

A flashlight made our adventure more fun.

After a walk around the block, we built a snowman in the driveway.


We moved the snowman to a pile of snow, and for the record, he's still there.

While Ben slid and slipped and threw snowballs at me, I took a few pictures.

My camera was in fine form.

I even used my zoom lens.

In the meantime, Papa Ben made us a delicious breakfast.

Then, we were off to the dinosaur museum.  Ben was brave enough to make make the admission donation.

We all love the museum.  It's just the right size.

Dinosaur Train is one of my favorite shows.  This is a fossil of a Pteranodon.

Corinne and I discussed online dating profiles as I took this picture.

After the museum, we boarded the new UVX bus and rode across town.

This was my first time on this bus route.  I took this picture so you could see what the bus looks like.  People got on and off, but it was actually pretty quiet today.

We walked under University Parkway.

Then, a bonus tunnel!

After our adventure and an errand, where Ben got two lollipops, we stopped at my favorite place for lunch, which we brought home.
I have been anxious to try this new oatmeal cookie recipe.  These turned out so well that I will bake them as Christmas cookies next year.  They have cookie butter inside.  I didn't know what that was until now.


We turned the cookies into ice cream sandwiches.

None of us actually know how to make ice cream sandwiches, we realized, but we managed.

With the sun out, Ben and I went outside again.  He made snow bars, not to be confused with snow cones or snow balls.  I've been chatting with Ben about what snow he can eat, and what snow he can't eat.  As a result, he has focused on the fact that he can eat snow.

We took Maximus and Triceratopsy on our walk, with Ben eating snow all along the way.  (New snow, very safe.)

Still full to the brim with energy, Ben painted a robot.  He did a pretty good job, too!

Bedtime comes to all who wait.

1965-1967 Pictures from Ben's Japanese Mission

Nineteen-year-old Ben received his mission call to the Northern Far East Mission in early 1965.  Included in the call were flight instruct...