Days 2017

Days 2017

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Boys and Chocolate

Boston had a good birthday.  I told him he could have a *small* friends party. (I'm thinking 2-4 friends.) Sigh.  He is our unstoppable force.  I think we ended up with 10.  I think the last one or two he just kind of informed me about.  Luckily, it's not that I don't like having kids over, (in fact, I quite like all of his friends--I even used to be a primary teacher at church to most of them) it's that I always feel so weird about my kids raking in the presents that other people had to buy.  I wish people would listen when I insist that no presents are necessary, but after 13 years of parenthood and birthday parties, I realize that's like trying to stop the tide.  (I guess I'm just cheap myself and don't want other people to have to hassle with it, either.)  I tried to keep this party super low key, just my style.  (In other words, no party favors, no invitations, minor decorations, no trying to be like Pinterest, etc.) After all, he IS a nine year old boy and only cares about two things at this point--Food and Fun, which in this case, the Fun translated to Football.  I didn't have to do anything about that part except remind them to shut the door to keep the flies out of the house and examine a turned ankle that wasn't even from the football, but from hopping over the fence.  (Sorry, Eatons.  Next time we'll take better care of your boy.)  They had a blast and it was super cute to watch all these boys playing their hearts out under our trees in the September evening glow.

The food, now, that is a language I can speak.  In our family, the birthday is a big day and you get to pick the meals.  Boston, no dummy, wanted crepes for breakfast (Crepes rhymes with steps in our family, Mark being a Frenchie and all.  His crepe pans are his babies.)  I love this option because I make the batter the night before and then Mark does all the cooking.  Although I have learned to flip them myself by now.  Best served with a thick slathering of Nutella and whipped cream.

For dinner he wanted spaghetti.  He's a pasta man, through and through.  Easy, peasy, and even the baby likes it.

The thing he'd been talking about for months, though, is that he wanted to do the chocolate fountain.  It was
a big hit.  I laid out trays of strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, and Boston's special request, cubed Angel food cake.  Oh, and previous to the laying out of the goodies and the flowing of the chocolate, we were really fancy and put old newspapers down on our outside junker table.  Mark started up the fountain and all the grownups (Mark's folks came for dinner) just kind of backed off with a wave and a Bon appetit.  We went inside and left the wolves to the prey while we watched through the window.  Ten pairs of eyes just kind of lit up with disbelief.  My favorite part was coming back out about ten minutes later and snapping pictures of the happy chocolate faces.  (I also put out a pack of baby wipes and pointed out the garbage can.)  That night I really was so happy and grateful to have two rowdy sons at this joyful, messy, sweat and mud and laughter stage.  So beautiful and innocent and fun.  I just wanted to eat them all up.  They'll be teenagers soon enough.

 What else have my rowdy boys been up to?  Well, one Sunday morning we woke up to a downed sapling across our patio.  It was still partly attached the the main tree, and the boys spent a very long time being lumberjacks, trying to chop down the rest of it.  I wouldn't let them use knives or the saw, but after Boston came in begging for plastic knives (?!) I suggest a hoe and brought the baby in for safekeeping.  They were pretty proud of themselves when they finally got the job done, and I had a very restful Sunday morning.  (We have church starting at 1:30 in the afternoon because there are four full congregations that share our local church building.)

 A couple of weekends ago our family went to the Ogden Temple open house.  It was a somewhat rare opportunity to tour the temple with our children because after dedication kids aren't allowed until they turn 12, and even then they don't have access to the full building because it is a sacred space.  Both the boys had stayed up too late the night before, talking and laughing after lights out, and both woke up cranky.  They were pretty ornery the entire time, did not want to go at all, complaining, dragging their bootied feet noisily, etc., and although Luke was plenty happy to be there, he was very very loud about it.  Lots of WOOOWWW! at every chandelier and painting.  (It was supposed to be a no-talking until afterwards tour.) I think I was sweating with the strain of it all by the time we came out and had a serious debate with myself whether or not I should "let 'em have it" as soon as we got in the car or if I should just let it go so as not to sully their memory of the day.  I decided to let it go.  (Leslie and Macy thought it was lovely.)  It just goes to show that no one should give our family any kind of halo.  We definitely have our bad days.  I just hope that at least as they look back on it, they will remember that it was important to their mom and dad that they visited the temple, and that maybe they might want to come back someday!  A for effort, right?

Actually, there was a bright spot.  We must be doing something right in the way we've been trying to teach our kids about family history.  They were all excited to be in Ogden, where my Grandpa Happy Jack Drake Haynes was born, and where "Grandpa Drake the Sheriff" did his tough guy stuff back in the early 1900s.  (Cooper's middle name is Drake.)  It would have been a better tour going through with you, Grandpa.  Wish you could have made it.

Sometimes us parents are the rowdy ones (albeit rarely).  We had a fun date with our dear friends the Denisons, having dinner and then hiking (scrambling) the Red Rock on South Mountain.  I was not at my best when the vertigo kicked in, I'm such a wuss about heights, but Jay and Elsje were total mountain goats.  Thanks to Mark for getting me down safely.  I felt like a teenager, albeit the responsible one who keeps insisting that this isn't really actually a trail that we are on.

The scary part was all the slippery shale--no footing.  I think the backs of my legs started trembling and my hands sweating about this point.

The view, though, was spectacular.  And I could turn my back on it as long as I was sitting down somewhere secure.

It is the Draper Temple in the background here.  We could have seen four temples from where we were except for the glare.

Elsje wanted to peek down at the rock climbers.  I refused to do so.

This was so I could impress our boys with what we had done.

Don't think I've posted a messy face lately.  Boston ran out of time to finish his blueberry smoothie before the bus came, so...

1 comment:

elshmobelsh said...

I feel honored to have made the blog! Thanks for sharing the pics too. We had so much fun. So grateful for your friendship!!