The kids and I stayed with my SIL and BIL Mindy and Ken and their kids for a few days last week.  They live north of Seattle and while we were there we took the kids to ride the ferry.

There’s a ferry terminal near their house so the outing was very simple.  We parked the car, walked on the ferry and enjoyed the 20-minute trip to the other side of the sound. 

E and Mimi both got a kick out of standing on deck and being out in the wind.  It was remarkably windy–Mimi would wrap her fingers through the grills on the railing and laugh and laugh as she was almost blown off her feet.

When the ferry docked at Kingston, the little town on the other side of the sound, we all got scoops of gelato/sorbet.  And then we caught the next ferry back.

It was a lovely little trip.

Quail Fire

It’s been so dry and hot that we’ve plagued with bush fires around the state for a few weeks and on Tuesday one started in the hills above my in-laws neighborhood.

My mother-in-law could see flames from their house.  The police knocked on their door and told them they had 5-10 minutes to get out.  We live 20 minutes away so my in-laws and their cat crashed at our house for the evening.

Fortunately the firefighters were able to stop the fire from burning any homes; a barn burned down, though.  And yesterday afternoon my in-laws got the okay to go back home.

I’m so relieved that no one lost their home in the fire.  At night standing on our porch you could see the orange glow of the flames on the mountain.  It was surreal.

Today it rained for the first time in over 30 days which is apparently helping but also hindering firefighting efforts.  The firefighters have been running themselves ragged; hopefully they’ll have some relief soon.

Tulip Festival

Last week I took my mom and her friends to the tulip festival at Thanksgiving Point.  The flowers were stunning.  Every time I visit the gardens I’m impressed by the amount of work it must take to create such a lovely place.

The festival’s over but the gardens are still worth checking out.  It’s a great place to turn the kids loose and let them run around.

MeeMaw’s Birthday

My mom is in town to attend BYU’s Women’s Conference with some of her friends. Earlier this week was her birthday so my sister Jan, who is an AMAZING cook, whipped up some tasty Korean food and I picked up a Costco cake (I have ambitions but am sadly basically useless in the Korean kitchen).

Singing “happy birthday” and blowing out candles proved to be so much fun that the grandkids wanted to have turns at it too.

Multiple times 🙂

Maphead Signing

We had a fun time at my brother-in-law Ken’s book signing last night. Since he moved to Seattle after winning all that money on Jeopardy we don’t often get the chance to see him speak so it was neat.

Thanks to our friends who came, especially Stephanie and Nick who graciously entertained my kids for a while. E and Mimi were up way past their bedtimes and E’s tiredness manifested itself in a spectacularly manic manner so the extra hands were much appreciated.

Ken’s book signing

My brother-in-law and Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings is in town for a book signing for the paperback edition of his book Maphead.

Maphead is a fun and informative read even if you’re not especially into geography and maps. It would also make a great gift, especially for any dads or grads you might need a little something for.

If we can find a sitter N and I will be there–come hang out and say hi! 🙂

Tuesday April 17th, 7:00 pm

The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Happiest Place on Earth

A week ago we drove to Anaheim to spend a few days at Disneyland with my brother-in-law and his family.

Disneyland during spring break was, as you might imagine, extremely crowded. But E had a blast riding the rides. He especially enjoyed the roller coasters and wanted to go on Space Mountain again and again. E also loved the fireworks. Every night when they started he would turn to us and exclaim, “Mama, Daddy, my wish came true!” with this expression of bliss on his face.

After Space Mountain, It’s A Small World was E’s favorite ride–he still breaks into the theme song at random moments 🙂

This was our first time going to Disneyland as a family and I have to say, I was impressed. I know they’re well-known for their customer service but it’s totally true: their staff is really great. Everyone was cheerful and helpful and everything was sparkling clean and well-run. So much so that it didn’t even seem like that much of a rip-off. ($3 for a bottle of water? Eh, fine–look at the smile of my kid’s face!)

The thing that struck me the most was the complete absence of snark or irony. The ride operators never got snippy or rolled their eyes (I’m looking at you, Legoland) and the actors were very committed to their roles and radiated cheeriness. I was thoroughly charmed but more gratifyingly, so was E.

A Delicious Weekend

We had a lot of great food this weekend. On Friday night I grabbed some Indian food with friends and then on Saturday our family stopped by House of Tibet for the lunch buffet.

It’s a good thing House of Tibet is quite a drive from our house or else we would be there ALL the time. Their chili potatoes and momos are so good and most of their menu is dairy/egg/nut-free so it’s great for E’s food allergies.

And then after all that, we also had some birthday cake 🙂

Happy birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law! We love you!

For your Friday

Behold the power of 80s pop music! It can bring together North Korean musicians and Norwegian shipwrights!

We have an exciting weekend ahead of us. We’re on pins and needles waiting for the arrival of a new nephew who’s going to be born today(!!!) and then tomorrow we’re celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday (and getting a cake from our favorite vegan bakery)!

So yeah, a new baby + yummy cake = awesomeness (and an excuse for lots of !!!)

Have a lovely weekend!