Friday, September 26, 2008

Little Debater

Sammy will make a great debater some day. As Dominic put it, "he has the gift of gab." He has always talked a lot, but today he put this skill to great use.

This afternoon Sammy went up to Dominic and said, "I like ginger ale." He then listed all the good qualities of ginger ale. He described how ginger ale is not just for sick people (I give it to the kids when they've got the flu), but it's also a good soda. He went on to mention how each family member could benefit from drinking ginger ale. At the end of his 7 - 8 minute speech, he asked "Dad, can we buy some ginger ale?" By this time (well, a couple minutes into it) Dominic was convinced. So we bought ginger ale this evening.

I only wish I could have heard him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Toby Keith concert

A little background: Dominic has been to several concerts that he still talks about. I've only been to free concerts in the park and orchestras. Last May I asked him to take me to a real concert. Toby Keith was the only one I'd heard of who was coming to the area, and some of his songs are funny. Dominic found half-price tickets online (I love that man).

Last night: We went to the last night of Toby Keith's Biggest & Baddest Tour. It had been raining all day, and the concert was in an outdoor ampitheater. Fortunately the weather calmed down. Montgomery Gentry started off, and although they're popular, I'm not a big fan. Plus, one of them acted slightly intoxicated - less than impressive. Around 9 pm Toby Keith finally came onstage. Obviously the headliner, he had pyrotechnics and a large screen behind him for close-ups and audience shots.

He was a great entertainer. He joked with the audience, tailoring his jokes for Utah, and adding lines about Salt Lake City to his songs. He has a very strong voice. He is also good with slow songs, which I never noticed before. I liked that he showcased his band, even letting a back-up singer solo a song; she was very good. He sang 3 encores, ending with a couple of patriotic songs. Unfortunately he cussed a lot, and I didn't realize how many songs are about alcohol. As a matter of fact, I'm glad we made it out of the parking lot unscathed, considering all the alcohol consumed by the audience. I was once again reminded why I don't drink.

Overall I had a great time, it was a fun concert, and I'm glad I went (and came home safely). It ended at 11 pm. What with the traffic and the long drive, we got home about 1 am. I had no idea it would be that late! Dominic knew it, of course. The poor babysitter fell asleep on the couch. We paid her as much as both tickets cost. Ok, she's not so poor anymore.

Enjoying Nature

We spent a couple of days enjoying nature and animals this week. Dominic and I are not outdoorsy, meaning we don't do a lot of outdoor sports, but we love to be outside when the weather is nice (I'm less tolerant of extreme temperatures as I get older). Unfortunately I forgot the camera for our outings.

Antelope Island: We visited Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake for the first time. The lack of trees surprised me. We hiked up a little bluff, and Elisa walked about half the way. Dominic thought it was cute that I pointed out buffalo chips to the kids, but they avoided stepping in them after that.

We tried to go to the beach, but we couldn't find the trail and ended up following an animal path, where we saw a bobcat (yikes!). Luckily it wanted to avoid us and quickly disappeared. Since it is near the end of the dry season, the beach was quite expansive, and we never came close to the water. But in the sand we saw a lot of animal tracks: rabbit, bobcat, fox, and the path of a running antelope. Speaking of animals, we actually saw a pronghorn deer, jackrabbits, the bobcat, several buffalo, and countless water birds. Oh, and I saw brine shrimp (aka sea-monkeys) for the first time.

Hogle Zoo: The weather was still nice, and we hadn't seen enough wildlife, so 2 days later we visited the zoo. We saw the bobcat better on the island than at the zoo; scary! Dominic finally got to see the Pallas cat awake. It looked like a very fluffy house cat, and it kept eyeing the birds flying outside the cage.

The funniest thing I saw was Sammy and Benjamin walking around like monkeys. Dominic asked Elisa what the cougars were, and she said, "tat?" But just moments earlier she was saying, "tat tat tat tat," her word for cat. She got out of the stroller at one point, and Sammy quickly sat in her seat. Lisy pushed her big brother around the giraffe house, and they both laughed a lot.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sweet Sammy

Referring to his children in a letter to his wife, Emma, Joseph Smith wrote, "Be tender and kind to them; don't be fractious to them, but listen to their wants" (Ensign, Sep. 2008, 13).

Yesterday I was looking at pictures in a magazine with my boys, when we saw a picture of a girl giving her mom some flowers. I was tired and wanted to keep flipping through the pages, but Sammy really wanted to talk about that picture. Remembering the above mentioned quote, I turned back to the page and let Sammy talk. He mentioned that he likes to give me flowers and that he's very sad the dandelions are gone for the summer; he gave me many dandelion bouquets this year. I assured him the flowers will come back in the Spring. Then today at the park he found some bushes in bloom. He was thrilled to be able to give me flowers again. I probably would have missed the significance of his gift if I hadn't taken the time to listen to him last night.

Friday, September 5, 2008


My brother-in-law and his wife, Devin and Maren, came to visit us this past week. The boys love their uncle and aunt, and they excitedly jumped around during most of the visit. On Wednesday we ate a BBQ dinner at the park. The kids played on the playground while the adults played "Rook." Thursday we went to Salt Lake City and did the tourist thing. We toured the Conference Center, visited the Tabernacle and Visitor's Center on Temple Square, and ended at the Church History Museum. Somehow they'd never been to any of them before.

My highlight was walking on the roof of the Conference Center. About 8 years ago I helped plant dead grass on the rooftop garden. They assured us the grass was just dormant, but it looked dead to me. This trip was the first time I saw the finished garden; the roof was closed due to rain or snow on my previous visits. I'm happy to report that the grass actually grew!

Last month my sister Emily offered to babysit for us. Friday evening we took her up on the offer. We dropped off the kids and had a great time at the nearly-empty waterpark (it was the last day of the season). We ate dinner at the "Pie Pantry" but didn't get any pie; I don't know why. The water slides were the most fun. It's a shame we didn't know about them earlier in the summer. To make the evening even better, the kids didn't want to come home. One word: cousins!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Low-key anniversary

Our 7th anniversary was fairly low-key this year. It was better than our 5th anniversary - we were moving across the country and were somewhere in Nebraska. The next day I realized we forgot our anniversary. Oh well, we knew there would be more.

This year our anniversary landed on a Sunday, which made things difficult. Instead of going on a trip, although that would be fun, we bought a new laptop. I get Dominic's old laptop, and the kids get the computer on the fritz. On Sunday Dominic cleaned the living room for me. Of course the boys messed it up within 2 minutes, but he made them clean it up again. Then he had to go to work. So I made him homemade brownies when he came home (he prefers brownies to cake).

Monday, being Labor Day, we just rented The Covenant to watch after the kids went to bed. We actually liked it a lot. It was suspenseful, a bit spooky, and well made. The special effects were very good.

Tuesday evening we hired a babysitter and went out for dinner. We also finished reading the Twilight saga. Good. It took up way to much of our time, though it was an exciting and funny story. So, although we didn't do anything spectacular, it was fun to spread the celebration over several days.

Have I mentioned how grateful I am to be married to Dominic? We balance each other quite well. I help him feel happy and supported and he helps me calm down and relax. After 7 years, he still makes me laugh.