I’m sure most of you don’t want ALL the details of what I did on leave so I’ll just give you the highlights. Of course graduation was the main event and since you’ve already read about that I can move on from there.
Family was the next big event and I was grateful to be able to spend some wonderful, quality time with my family and extended family. It was great to see my parents, my brother Chris his wife Keri and daughter LoraLynn, aunts and uncles - Mike and Elaine and Loy and Emily, Janae’s parents and her brother Dallin his wife Memorie and their kids.
I took each of the boys out on a “date.” The activities were as varied as are the boys. We ate, we saw movies, we played video games and we went to a comedy club. It was a lot of fun. Janae and I spent two days at the Homestead. The first day we took Luke and Braxton with us to swim in the Crater – Seth had to work. For those who don’t know, at the Homestead there’s a volcanic cone that it is filled with 80 degree mineral water. The water is 60 feet deep and is a world renowned place for scuba certification as well as snorkeling and soaking. We thought it would be fun to bring the boys along and sure enough, we had a great time. Our allotted time was for 40 minutes but because it was such a slow day we were able to stay as long as we wanted. Luke was ready to leave before Braxton so he and I went to the hotel pool, hot tub and sauna while Janae and Braxton stayed in the Crater. After 2.5 hours Braxton was ready to leave.
The next day I had made arrangements to go horse back riding but since we woke up to wind, rain and scattered snow showers it was no surprise when the stables called and canceled our ride. I was pretty disappointed but what can you do. Instead we went to Park City and did some shopping, browsing and just enjoyed spending time together. We found a great little restaurant on main street in Heber for dinner, Spin Café. If you’re ever in Heber be sure to stop in.
We had a great time at the comedy club. Seth has been several times but the rest of us haven’t so we decided to make it a family event. Again, rather than bore you with the details let me just say that we had a great time. The boys came home quoting some of the more memorable quotes of the evening.
It was also wonderful to see so many friends and neighbors at church and around the neighborhood. I stopped by my office and was pleased to see that they really do miss me and are looking forward to my return.
What else? Yard work. I know, I know, most of you hate it but I love it. It’s really therapeutic for me and I was able to get some done. Our wonderful home teacher, Don Capps, got our rototiller working and I got started tilling our garden before something new plagued the process and had to use his to finish tilling the garden. Once that was done we got a few things planted and I’m looking forward to getting home permanently in August to see its progress.
The last weekend at home was Orem City’s Summerfest. As per tradition, we went to the parade with our good friends the Atkinson’s. A couple of years ago someone in the group called out to someone they knew on one of the floats or in a band or something. I think it might have been Janae. Well someone else in the group began calling out random names in an attempt to get someone’s attention. And that started the tradition of yelling random names at each passing group. This year was no exception. Now while I don’t expect any of you to see the humor in this – it’s one of those “you had to be there” experiences, we had a ball. As we yelled to a group of “Golden Girls” on their float, Janae overheard one of the women say to another on the float, “they must be drunk.” Of course that garnered quite the merriment from those of us engaging in this rather juvenile but entertaining behavior.
We also call out “greetings’ and “cheers” to the entries. Calls such as “Way to go Barbershop Singing Men!?” or “Spin, spin, spin” to the people carrying the balloons. I’m pleased to report that we were successful in getting every balloon entry to spin their balloon. We were even successful in getting one group to then spin it in the opposite direction. Well as the silliness progressed we began to throw out cheers to others as well, cheers such as “Way to go mother pushing the stroller!” “Way to go teenage boys walking in front of us!” “Way to go goth kids!” We even yelled out “Way to go couple in love!” closely followed by “Kiss her, Kiss her!” When he planted a passionate kiss on her lips he got an even louder cheer. Needless to say we enjoyed the parade immensely.
The fireworks that followed were a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and are always a big hit.
We also saw “Pirates” and while I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, loved the movie but didn’t love the ending. I’ll leave it at that.
It was so nice to be able to drive on paved roads, although all the construction in Orem was a pain. Luke begins driver’s ed in a few weeks so is anxiously engaged in accumulating the requisite number of hours driving. He and I were able to get out and spend several hours practicing. Janae had relegated the task of taking him on the freeway to me so we were able to get out and drive on the I-15. Because I knew rush hour traffic would be a bit much, we decided on the safer bet of driving Sunday morning while everyone was supposed to be in church. I’m pleased to report that he is quite a good driver.
Mmmm, I can still taste the milk. We get that wonderful boxed milk that doesn’t quite taste like real milk so it was great to drink the real stuff. All the ice I wanted in any kind of drink I wanted to put it in was nice. Home made ice cream. Cheese cake. Edible and delicious pizza. Iceberg milkshakes. Home cooking. Home made rolls. I could go on and on. I wish I could say that I exercised some restraint but I didn’t. I also wish I could say that I continued my rigorous exercise regime but I didn’t. I’m sure I’ve put on at least 5 lbs since being home but it was so worth it.
Thor was glad to see me and I was glad to see him. I’ve missed my puppy almost as much as the rest of my family. Janae and the boys have done a great job taking care of him and actually got his weight down while I was gone. He looked great.
Fish tank? You’ll have to ask my family.