Saturday, July 27, 2019

Can I Have Marshmallows with My Hot Chocolate?

Ben met Will's friend Anika this morning.

Corinne and I were soon out the door to take Ben to the tramp place.  Most of my 293 pictures looked like this.

The tramp place has updated its facility.  Ben liked all the new features. 

The rock wall is new.  I was certain Ben was too short, too young and too light, but I asked anyway.  No problem, the team said.  Ben was very excited.

He climbed to his heart's content.

We all had a great time.

While I put together some lunch, Mom and Ben did a little fishing.

After lunch, Ben tricked me with his cup game.

We built two lizards out of beads.  I was very impressed.  He can count extremely well.  We needed 8 beads for the tail, and he counted 7 left in the bowl.  He looked up and said simply, "We need one more."  I've decided I really like the beads.

Then it was time for the pool.  I just couldn't go.  I am so done with the pool and the heat.  Papa said he'd go with Corinne and Ben.

I cannot explain what came over me, but I decided to go to the pool after all.  As I arrived, Ben did a handstand for me!

Then he showed me his best cannonball.

While sitting in the shade, I spied Ben's water bottle, and I was very pleased.  He had added the lizards himself.

Ben needed some down time after the pool.  He has taken a shine to Nana's loveseat.  We all love that he loves this.

Papa was in charge of dinner.  Corinne loved the vegan pizza with a cauliflower crust.  I had a small slice.  It was very tasty.

Ben and I both had hot chocolate that was hot.  I had banana bread with mine.  Ben had potato chips.  Corinne has learned to pick her battles.

The night ended with a sweet kiss.

Friday, July 26, 2019

I'm Going to Have a Blast!

Corinne and I took Ben to the indoor playground at the mall this morning.  He was in heaven and found quite a few other kids who were happy to run and jump and play with him.

We only had six items in our cart at Costco, but we were in a very long line.  What did Ben find?  More kids to play with.  This was actually pretty funny.  Corinne and I both stepped toward the kids to intervene before we realized they were all laughing.

Will has been in town this week, taking a break from his summer job in Mt. Pleasant.  Leaving me home to wait for a delivery, Papa and Corinne took Ben to Will's apartment to meet his lizard.  I'm sorry there aren't pictures, but I was assured that the lizard was a big hit.  Then, they went to the Crepery.

As you can see, Ben immediately became Will's best friend. 

Upon arriving home, Ben raced to the table to show Will his new Minecraft Lego creation.  Will was suitably impressed.

Corinne asked Will if he'd take Ben around the block on his scooter.  As they went out the door, Ben said, "I'm going to have a blast!"  We should see a little more of Will this weekend.

After 25 years, I am getting a new mattress, maybe a little overdue.  The mattress was out of the bedroom waiting for the delivery guys to take it away.  Ben had a wonderful time and asked me if I couldn't keep it there forever.  I hate to disappoint sweet children, but that wasn't in the plan.  Honestly, this was such a hit, if I could have I would have.

Soon it was time for games.  I don't usually have to bribe grandchildren to play with me, but I had to bribe Ben.  He had fun in spite of himself.

Fortunately, we beat the sun.

I am not sure Ben has ever played Memory Tiles with me.  I can't remember.

Ben was very pleased at the end of the game.  So was I!

With overcast skies, we made the decision to go for a walk instead of going to the pool.  This turned out to be great for a couple reasons.  First, the temperature dropped significantly, so our walk was very pleasant, and second, it rained on us just enough to justify our decision.

Yesterday in Costco Ben begged me to buy shrimp, something I never purchase.  When we got home, he refused to eat it.  Such is life.  Corinne cooked dinner tonight.  Turns out the shrimp are excellent!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Jedi in the House

The Jedi sword from the cereal aisle has been a big hit.

Fortunately, the sword makes sounds, so I always know where Ben is.

Ben accompanied me on a few errands this morning, one of which involved a return.  The little grey kitty ended up being part of the return credit, much to Ben's delight.  His name is Kitty.  I suggested other names, but Kitty told me he liked being called Kitty.  Kitty and Dusty accompanied us into Costco. Notice Dusty carefully strapped in the cart.  This picture was for Mom so she'd know where we were.

After a lunch of dino nuggets, Ben and I ended up downstairs for the rest of the day.  Treats from the freezer were fun.  He watched Charlie and Lola while I worked two feet away.  He's laughing at Lola the Princess who doesn't want her hair cut.

Dusty has a twin sister named Heartsy who lives in Texas with a little friend.  Ben wanted capes and invisibility cloaks for each of them.  Making up the pattern as I worked, this is the cape.

In the meantime, I offered to build a tent from blankets for Ben. He had a better idea and raced to the toy closet where he had remembered the tent that his mother got for her birthday when she was about his age.  It took me a few minutes to get it up, especially because I had help, but I got the job done.  He spent the next two hours in the tent tending his animals.  The Jedi sword, for the record, can also be used as not only a diagnostic tool, but as a healing instrument.  Mr. M&M guy on a downstairs bookshelf provided vitamins for the animals.

He did take a pinball break.

The cape doubles as an invisibility cloak.  Now that I know what I'm doing, the blue cape for Dusty should go a lot faster.  This was a fun, peaceful day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I Am Just Loving This

Almost everyone slept in this morning.  Of course, knowing this was our last day together, Kyle and I were up early to get in a few Star Trek episodes.

Ben has loved building space ships with Camille and Kyle.  This morning I caught him surrounded by all the ships.  He said to me, "I am just loving this."  Trust me, I was loving it, too.

I have other toys besides Legos.  Kids like this crazy maze with a steel ball.  I had told Adele that the ball would run better if the maze was level.  Ben asked me what level was.

He spent the next 20 minutes finding level places in the house.

Janet's idea was to take the kids to a park this morning.  This was a great plan!
Janet chose a park in Orem which fortunately I know well.  Lewis practiced a little music.

Adele found a tricky bridge.

Ben began to rappel down.

That was too slow, so he jumped.

Camille found a zip line.

Adele took a turn, too.

This giant pod zips along a course.  Lewis liked it very much.

I'm not real sure exactly what was happening here, but I went with the flow.  I believe that Kyle knew Janet was looking for him.  She was steps away.  The last place she expected to see him was in the pod.  It was pretty funny.

I must interupt my story line and say that Kyle and I had a fabulous time together over the last two weeks and I loved every second -- the puzzles, Star Trek, chats about black holes, and yes, this pod moment.

When Janet finally spied Kyle, well, he thought this was pretty funny.  Janet gave him a great push!

Pretty soon it was time for a cookie break.

Steve thought we had plenty of time for a trip to the pool, so off we went.
Ben showed Steve some of his best splashes.
The frisbee came out.
I was impressed that Kyle can catch and throw without touching the bottom of the pool.


We made the most of our last pool visit.

Toward the end of our stay, Lewis announced that he really, really does not like to get wet.

Camille and Ben did not share his feelings.

Adele has made such great progress over the last two weeks.  She started out with a puddle jumper but hasn't worn it for several days.

While adults besides me made lunch and snacks for the plane, I began sorting toys to put away.  I spied Kyle giving Ben a few Minecraft pointers.  This melted my heart.

This scene happened a few minutes later.  These kids have been great.

Corinne sneaked in a selfie with Adele.

All of us piled in two cars and took Steve's family to the train station.  Steve sent me this picture once they were on their way to the airport.

Corinne, Ben and I did some errands, including buying Ben some new school clothes.  Somehow we got home with a Minecraft Lego kit.  Corinne called up a YouTube video to help them put it together.

Later I spied this scene.

Papa took over so Corinne could make us dinner.
These brussel sprouts with Parmesan were delicious.  There was other food, but it was eaten before I remembered to get out my camera.

Ben helped me put away car seats.  He also took an unauthorized ride on his scooter down the sidewalk.  Fortunately, an older neighbor boy joined him and brought him back.

When it was time for bed, Ben found that Uncle Steve had moved his air mattress into Mommy's room and made a great place for him to sleep.  Good night!

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...