We had a work thing at Cowabunga Bay (waterslides!), and I invited Jenny and the kids. Mark made it home in time to stay back with Dresden (so we could stay later). Oh my gosh, the kids were wired, they were so excited! We went on all the different slides, played in the lazy river, joined the dance party, ate tons of pizza and cotton candy, and the kids both said they want to come back next year (which is good, because this is where we're going next year, too). Ziggy was too busy trying to catch ping pong balls (for prizes) to stop for a picture.
When I was in Michigan, Ben and I were talking about those little metalworks toys. I wanted a windmill, but I didn't want to build it. Ben said he could build it in one night, and I told him that wasn't possible, so I bought it, and he built it in one night (he even said it was a pain!). Now it's adorning my work desk.
My cousin Jim and his family are in from Nebraska, so we had a family dinner to hang out with them. Dresden didn't love the people (Jenny said he has social anxiety, which I can appreciate!), freaked out about me putting snapchat filters on his face (he kept trying to rub the dog nose off his own nose -- which was adorable), and adored the chocolate chip cookie.
Jim spent the evening playing the piano for us. We got some classics, hymns, and, for me, Broadway!
Jenny had me watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and I finally finished the first season, and was so distraught by the ending, that I needed to talk about it! So I left work a little early, stopped at the store for ice cream, popcorn, root beer, and oreos, and then went to Jenny's house where the kids ate junk food, Dresden watched Cars, and Jenny and I discussed our feelings about all the TV shows we both watch.
Then I had to leave to pick up Dad, then go to the Hart's to get Makenzie, her friend Ellen, Eliza, and Ivy for the Pioneer Day Concert.
I went to my parents' to get my stuff so I could move back home (since it's no longer insanely hot in there). As I was leaving, I saw a cute little snake hanging out on their front porch. I thought it was fake, but then it moved and kind of freaked me out. Apparently after I left, Dad, who came out to see the snake, forgot to shut the door, and by the time Mark got over, the door was open and the snake was gone -- we're hoping it went into the yard and not into the house.
Today is Ziggy's 11th birthday! We went Jenny and Mark's house to open presents (I went over early to play with the kids), and then to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. Ziggy loved the gifts. I got him a lego sports car of some type, and he was appropriately delighted with it.
Then Dad and I snuck out early, met my friend Erin, and headed up to Deer Valley to listen to Matthew Morrison play with the Utah Symphony. It was COLD, but his voice is gorgeous, so it was great!
Camille cross-stitched this for me for my birthday! It didn't seem professional to put it anywhere on my desk that people could see it, so now it's on my desk ridge facing me. I look at it when people come up to talk to me, and I laugh because I love it. I mean, technically, "Social anxiety triggered by people is the worst" would be more accurate, but I can see why she didn't go for that!
This is a home first, a bird got down my fireplace and was just hanging out in my house. I was sitting in the kitchen and kept hearing flapping noises, I went out, and there was a bird on my picture! I freaked out and tried to retreat, but smacked my toe REALLY hard on the side of the wall as I turned. Then I called Mom, she panicked more than I did and said, "Why do you have a bird in your house? YOU NEED TO GET IT OUT!" Really? I did not realize that yet. So I hung up on her and called Jenny, who suggested a broom or a blanket. She also stayed on the phone while I closed all the doors except the front door, closed all the blinds, turned off all the lights (to make sure the only light was the exit), and then put a blanket over my arms (but the front of them, so if the bird came toward me, I could duck and hide under it), and flapped my new wing-arms at the bird. It flapped back at me, so I got closer, and it flew up and landed ON the door, but the inside, so I flapped at it, but it was higher than me, so it just gave me a sort of condescending glare before it decided it was ready to go outside. I sat on the floor, talking to Jenny, and panicking that I had a bird now. It was very cute, but I prefer my wildlife to stay outside.
Melody used to buy her son and daughter-in-law baby clothes as a "hint" that she wanted grandkids. They very firmly told her they don't plan on having children, so she's upset, but has lots of extra baby clothes! She brought one little shirt in, drew "TANK" on it (she wanted me to draw something cute on it, but I didn't want to get involved), and put it on Joan's oxygen tank... We're not sure why. So, that happened.
I was supposed to watch Brody and Corine's kids for a weekend while they were in Europe, but then their a/c went out and MY a/c went out, so the kids are staying with their grandparents and I just ended up taking the middle three for the day. We started our day at a dollar store where I gave them each $5 to buy whatever they wanted to do for the day (we also each picked out something for Makenzie). Then to Sonic for lunch, obviously. Then to my parent's for arts and crafts (I'd bought a little rock painting kit for each of them). Then it was up to them to use their purchases for entertainment. The things we did involved: a game to see who could keep sourheads in their mouth the longest (I lost. BY A LOT), a water-balloon fight, sidewalk chalk drawing, races to see who could put together a puzzle the fastest, a throwing competition, a photo shoot with the props they'd picked out, and watching Despicable Me 2 while I made sure my parents' house wasn't a disaster when we left. Then we had dinner at Blackbear Diner. Eliza was fascinated by the waiter flirting with me; probably because it was the most awkward thing ever. Those kids are SO much fun!
When I was in Michigan, Nicole, Nadine, Ben and I had art days. I painted a little canvas of Michigan with a heart by Grand Haven so I could look at it and think about my Michigan family every day. I also painted ones of Utah with a heart in Salt Lake and Virginia (a VERY hard state to draw!) with a heart in Richmond so that Grandpa and Grandma would be able to look at those and think of Ali and me.
Also, the best part of painting them was when Nadine tried to argue with me that Michigan is an easier state to draw than Utah...
RPC was supposed to start at 9, but we got there at 8:30 to help set out badges, and there was a crowd of people outside the door waiting to be let in. Retirees take this convention very seriously!
Gen played the piano for the event. I helped pass out badges. Richard and Pam Norby spoke and did a great job. After the convention, I gave Meryl and Gen a tour of behind the organ in the Conference Center since I knew how to find it and was brave enough to pretend to be a tour guild!
I got to babysit for Brittney and Jake while they went to a piano performance (well, Jake left that early and went to play tennis). The kids were so cute and fun! We did crafts, colored, jumped on the tramp, rode bikes, drew faces on balloons (that we then put in the tramp net and tried to pop), and made the most random dinner of baked potatoes, cheetos, and otter pops (their choice!). Though, they just wanted to play electronics the entire time, and I made them go outside with me. They were not fans of that. Or of the time when I made them go to bed (but I let them play electronics for 30 minutes in bed). They all complained they weren't tired, but then they were all asleep within about five minutes of me taking the iPads away -- except Amber who fell asleep WHILE playing. Oh, and Trevor was a little sick, so every time I brought out my camera, he'd give me funny looks, but he was also sad and only wanted to be held, which is something I'm always willing to do!
Dad and I made it home (despite the REALLY early flight!! Grandpa didn't even wake up to say goodbye, and Grandma was going back to bed after she gave us hugs, that's how early it was)! I had Mom drop me off at work as soon as she got us, and I got in almost a full day of work, even. Though I was kind of tired and out of it. Then I went home to discover my a/c has been leaking all over my sewing room. Luckily (?) for me, the leak was right above my sewing board with fabrics on it, and under that was a cutting mat with more fabrics, so most of the water soaked into my unfinished (but washable) projects rather than going through the floor into the apartment below.
Another sibling-filled day of 'mocking (hammocking), shopping, hanging out, and, oh, the best part, go-kart racing. I won! But only because Bill let me win.... and he let me win because Nicole and Ben got into a crash and they turn the cars off to clear the crash site, so my car went off while I was going uphill and Bill's went off while he was going downhill, so the momentum made him pass me as I started sliding backwards before the car was powered again. And we played arcade games. I beat Bill at skeeball (legitimately!) and had the high score for the day! I may not be good at physical sports like my siblings, but I can kill it at skeeball!
Dad bought a puzzle last night in Holland. I told him to buy a cute one, but he went with a beach scene that is 100% sand, grass, and sky. I got involved for a little while, but my sanity couldn't take how hard that thing was, so Grandpa and Dad did the puzzle while I did things with my siblings. Also, Nicole, Nadine and I watched Big Hero 6, which I'd never seen before! And we went out to see Finding Dory, and Nadine and I were the only ones smart enough to bring blankets. Theaters are cold! I ended up giving my blanket to Nicole and Ben and sharing with Nadine.