Sunday, August 22, 2010


Tyler left on July 7 for a round-the-world, 24-day, 6-country business trip. I stayed home for a round-the-house, 576-hour (I counted every one of them), 4-kid-and-1-dog experience.

Somehow we both survived.

He went to California, Germany, India, Singapore, China, Taiwan, and Japan. We went to summer camp, the canyon, swim lessons, the park, the pool, tennis lessons, Granny's house, and the store (but never with all four kids at once).

I gotta admit, I was really proud of myself. I was mostly patient, and even a little fun. I saw the appeal of simplifying life--we tried for only one activity a day and a decent dinner. Anything else was gravy.

Grandma and Grandpa Halverson came for a few days and were lifesavers with Seth's birthday party. There's no one better to help plan a 6-year-old's party than an elementary school teacher.

Seth had the never-ending birthday this year: a family party, a friend party, Granny taking him out for lunch a couple of times, and extra presents when Dad returned from his business trip.

His favorites: a zippy red Plasma Car, that he likes to steer with his feet, naturally.
And "curtains" that Grandma H. sewed for his lower bunk. We attached to the bed rails with shower curtain rings; Seth likes to close them and read books or sleep hidden from view in his wild animal fortress. He was so excited about them he would tell everyone, "Guess what I got for my birthday? I got curtains!!" This prompted more than a few raised eyebrows in my direction. It's one thing to pawn off socks and underwear as birthday presents, superhero undies notwithstanding. Curtains are another thing entirely. But they really are pretty fun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

California Vacation

So, is the purpose of a vacation to relax and enjoy yourself? Or to learn new things--about yourself and your destination?

Our Northern California trip this summer fell into the second category. Here's a few things we learned:

The only thing better than eating a donut as big as your head is eating a donut as big as your head every day for four days. Ditto on the chocolate croissants for Mom and Dad.

Yes, your cousins have cooler toys than you do.

Sand in your underwear doesn't really feel that good.

Nothing beats an old-school Crockett Scrabble game.

Why is it fun to splash other people, but it's not fun if other people splash you?

You can never really get away from work. And, even on an iPad, answering e-mail is just not that cool.

The ocean is really cold.

The following sentence only makes sense to adults: "Don't bother putting on your swimsuit. It's so cold you won't want to go in the water."

Always leave room in your plans for an unexpected adventure.

Try not to let the unexpected adventure be the discovery of poison oak. Luckily we got away with an intellectual and not a hands-on lesson.

You're never too young to play in the sand.


When it's midnight and you're hungry, you can still get really great food in San Francisco. Lehi hasn't reached that stage yet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Only I could bring you this post

Last year we raised a good-size crop (for us) of red potatoes. We stored them in a box in the basement, hoping that the dark, cool spot would keep them. We ate them for a good six months.

Then we forgot about them.

This week we cleaned the basement.

We discovered the box of red potatoes, now ready to star in a veggie-themed horror movie.

Beyond their grotesque sprouts, stretching futilely toward a light source, we discovered the interesting fact that they had completely used up every speck of nutrition from the potato itself.

The only thing left of the original potato is a shriveled carcass, sucked dry.

You think there's a parenting analogy, here?