Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: Family Fun (page 2 of 25)

John

Eleven is a big year for this boy here.

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He got to perform at the Hope of America, which is a big program at BYU (part of the Freedom Festival) where 5th graders learn a bunch of great songs and get to go and perform them.

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You can’t tell, but there’s John over there in the yellow shirt on the left side.

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Also not John.

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The coolest is when they do this whole flashlight song and sing about how they are the light.

John doesn’t love to have his picture taken right now, but he is indeed a light to our family. Smart and Spunky (and stubborn). We love him.

The other day there was a HUGE windstorm. I hate windstorms. The sound of the wind shaking the windows and the bushes scraping the trees scares me, and I envision our roof being ripped off as I watch garbage cans and coolers and boxes blow down the street. As I was preparing to hunker down inside, I looked out the window, and I saw John on the trampoline. What in the world?
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He thought he would take advantage of the breeze and see if that affected his jumping. That boy loves to jump on the trampoline.

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The pictures aren’t the greatest quality because I took them from inside the house through a dirty window (because I wasn’t going outside, are you kidding?)but you get the idea.

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I actually had to call him inside when dinner was ready.

I love this boy.
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Arizona Roadtrip

Megan and I took off on a roadtrip on Friday to Arizona.
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She has spring break this week, and I really wanted to go and see my dear friend Robin. So, it was just the two of us.

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Megan had a nice camera from school again, so she was the designated photographer, but I don’t have her pictures uploaded yet, so we’ll have to make do with pictures from my not so nice camera. We stopped in Kanab for the night, which is a cute little town. We even ate at the Three Bear’s Cafe, which my mom recommended.

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It was nice that Megan could drive some of the way, since this was my first trip driving without Ryan.

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We used our phone GPS, and sometimes they gave us differing directions, but we made it there ok. Well, most of the time. I had to call Robin twice because I was seriously like 3 blocks away from the destination, but had gotten lost. Darn Arizona neighborhoods–everything looks the same and I can’t really tell what direction I’m going.

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Robin was one of my roommates at BYU.
DSCN0497 We roomed together for 3 of my 4 years there. And she’s come to visit us in Utah a lot, even staying with us for 6 weeks one summer to attend BYU (or was it 8 weeks? There’s some confusion about that). So, when I found out she has breast cancer, I knew I had to go and visit and help out if I could.

Saturday night we met up with Jenny, who was also a roommate of ours my sophomore year. Jenny was kind enough to offer her house for us to stay this trip.

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She has a beautiful house and a lovely family and it was so great to meet them all. Unfortunately, all the pictures of Jenny are on MEGAN’s camera, so I don’t have one right now, but you can read all about her and her family’s adventures on her blog.

My favorite thing about Jenny’s house is the huge ice maker. Fill up those water bottles with ice, and you don’t even have to worry that you are taking all of the ice in the house.

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Sunday we went to church with my brother and his family, and had dinner with them. They even taught me how to index names for genealogy!

On Monday, I really wanted to make some meals for Robin and her family. So, we went shopping and picked up all the ingredients for 6 meals that they can just throw in the crockpot, and then there’s dinner. I got the recipes from here,, and it was very easy. I’m going to do some of these for my family. Robin also wanted some of my wheat bread, so while at Jenny’s house, we made a batch of bread. Unfortunately, her wheat grinder was funky and spewed forth flour all over the kitchen. Sorry! She was so nice to let me make a mess in her kitchen to prepare food! Don’t worry, I helped clean up.

While there, we also went to see Cinderella with Robin and her family.

We looked at wigs, went shopping for super comfy clothes that Robin can wear to chemo appointments, and debated about what to do with her hair. I think she should color it some funky bold color, and then if she doesn’t like it, she can cut it all off!
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Sadly, our trip ended so soon. We had to leave on Tuesday, but not before a nice brunch with Robin and Sarah. Sarah is like a cousin to Megan. They have known each other since they were tiny, and even though they only see each other once or twice a year, they really are great friends.
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And so cute!
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Of course we couldn’t leave without citrus. We picked grapefruits from Scott’s house and lemons from Robin’s house.
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Quick trip, but a great one. Good friends, some sunny weather, and lots of time in the car to talk with my girl.
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There may have even been some singing into that tiny microphone.

Our Weekend

Our Weekend was a lot of fix its and fun.
(The Brazilian boys left on Monday, did I mention that. Sad? Not so much. They did say goodbye, but there were no tender goodbyes. WE did the best we could, and we’re not sad that it’s over.)

Friday I did two shows of Pinkalicious. Fun, yet exhausting. We’ve completed one week. Two more weeks (and 14 more shows) to go.
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My friend Rachael Gibson took these great pictures on Friday. I’m SO glad I have a few good ones from the show!

John’s Valentine’s party for his class was also on the schedule.
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I brought ice cream and soda so we could make root beer floats. Some of the kids really pigged out on the soda. Sorry, Moms!

Megan came home because her laptop was hosed. Hoping talented Dad can fix it back up. She also needed a light installed in her Carolla. Turns out two of her tires were pretty bald, too, so she and Ryan went to the used tire place to get two tires.

He’s also working on a new computer for me. The one I’m using is old and slow and has quite a few hang ups. So for a Christmas/birthday/valentine’s present, he’s got me a new something. But I think I have to clean up my office before I can actually start using it (my stipulation, not his).

The Camry needs more work. It didn’t pass the emissions, and we’re hoping that’s from old gasoline. So, Ryan put some additive in there, and then it smoked up like it was on fire. Now we just have to drive it and gt all the old gas out. So, he drove me to Walmart and picked me up. It takes a LONG time to run out half a tank on an old Camry.

John went on an overnight “Klondike” camp. It was quite warm for a winter camp. He came home SO tired and grumpy I haven’t really heard much about it, but he did eventually take a nap, so let’s hope his attitude improves. Naps are required after camps!

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Since it was Valentine’s day, Ryan made breakfast. Yum. I got heart shaped pizzas for lunch, and gave everyone some chocolate treats.
017 Ryan and I went to the temple and did a session. We left right after 5:00, and got out right before 8:00. Lost my points for eating after 8 because we went to Rumbi’s for a late dinner.

Today is Sunday and we all need another sleep in day. Church and then dinner with my parents. And we even get the day off on Monday! Hooray for a needed weekend!

Boys from Brazil

It’s been over a week now and we are getting more used to having these Brazilian exchange students with us. Yes, they found their luggage and they don’t seem to be getting lost anymore. But since they have the freedom to GO places, it seems that’s what they want to do. We had kind of expected them to eat with us, or be here on the weekend so we could do something together with the family. That is not their plan, however, and they are wanting to spend their time with their friends. On Friday, I had asked them if they had any plans for Saturday, and they said no school. I assumed that meant no plans, but alas, they wanted to go shopping with friends. We were kind if irritated by that because we had planned the day. So, we DID get to do some things with them on the weekend, but I’m not sure how happy about it they were.

Saturday we went to John’s jr Jazz basketball game, then took everyone bowling. For our kids, that’s one thing we HAVE to do with exchange students. I think they did have a good time with that, and it allowed us all to loosen up a bit. Then we went to dinner at Pizza Pie Cafe.
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Sunday morning we took them up to Temple Square for the broadcast, and then did a tour of the conference center.
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Probably really boring for them, but…Oh, well.

Then we dropped them off at the Gateway Mall so they could do some shopping and have lunch with some friends. WE had told them we needed them to be home before 5 because we were having some other people over for dinner.

Sunday night was kind of fun. A sister that Ryan baptised while on his mission in Brazil was here in Utah with her family for a bit, and we invited them over.

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The Portuguese speakers outnumbered the rest of us by 8 to 4, but I didn’t mind. The boys actually talked during dinner and didn’t disappear down to their rooms as soon as dinner was over. It helps that Julia has two beautiful Brazillian daughters that they could talk to. It was a fun evening, and a good reminder of the blessings that come (even many years later) from serving a mission.

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This morning it was my turn to drive the boys to the trax station, and I tried to get them up. I knocked on a door and asked if they were awake, and saw the light on in the bathroom. However, when it was time to go, they were still not upstairs. I called to them, and they said they were coming, but did not. It looked like one of them was ready, the other was not. Ryan had to take them, anyway, because by the time they came up, there was no way they would make the train, and would have to catch the later one.

So, we have 3 more weeks with these kids. We are learning to chill out and not expect them to want to participate with us. We are a “hotel” and “taxi”, not a “host family”. And I think I’m ok with that now.

San Diego

Back in the summer, I won a radio contest. The prize was “a trip to San Diego”. Really the prize is 2 nights in a nice hotel, 4 passes to SeaWorld, and 4 passes to the Wild Animal Safari park or the Zoo. So, no, it’s not a Free vacation, (since we had to pay for gas, 3 nights hotel, passes for the other two of us, and all our food) but it is a reason to go on vacation. So, for our fall break, we headed South. We picked up Megan from Snow College and made our way to Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Somehow we lucked out and got the BEST two room suite in the whole hotel. It was HUGE! The kids were So happy that everyone got a bed (or a sofa bed) and no one had to sleep on the floor. Free dinner at the hotel that night and they all frolicked in the pool. Not good to have the first hotel be the best, and I didn’t plan it that way. I’ve been burned by hotels before, and I always worry that the “good deal” I booked will be another crap hotel, but I did pretty well on this trip.

The next morning we drove and drove and drove to San Diego. When we finally got there and checked into our hotel (which was ok, but nothing like the first one. And the GPS took us through a sketchy area of town to get there, so I was worried!) and then we went to a lighthouse/museum and visitor’s center right on the coast. 036

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It was beautiful. WE had fun looking at the waves before the tide came in.
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At the visitor’s center, there was an armor display, so we “put on the armour of God”.

The next day we got up early, had breakfast at the hotel, and then went to Sea World. We had hoped that since it was Friday, instead of Saturday, it wouldn’t be as crowded. The temperature was perfect, around 75-78. Not TOO crowded, but of course we saw a family we know from Highland and kept running into them all day.
232 We went on the rides (Atlantis and the Rapids ride and the skyride and Mantis) and saw the shows243 (the pet show, the sea lion show, and the Shamu show) and had a fun day.
390 I noticed a skyride I didn’t think I had seen before, and really wanted to go on that. It was so beautiful to go up and over the bay!

The Seamore and Clyde sea lion show was Halloween themed, and I don’t think they had gotten it quite down. The Sea Lions didn’t really want to do all the stuff they were supposed to do. Oh, well.
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The Killer Whale show was great, as usual, even with their conservation plug.
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We were not sitting in the splash zone.

Of course, by the end of the day, we were pretty dang tired. We wanted to see the penguins and I got us sidetracked into the turtle place AND the shark place.
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We wanted to see EVERYTHING, and since they closed at 5 for fall/winter hours, we had to really hurry.

Then we made our way to the Catamaran Resort and Spa, the hotel I had won. It’s one of those fancy places right on the beach that we normally couldn’t afford.
Wow. Beautiful! I had to pay extra to get a larger room with two double beds and a pull out couch, and I’m SO glad I did. We would have been tripping over each other and miserable in the standard room.
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Out in mission bay with the ocean on one side of the street and the bay on the other, and the hotel opened right up to the beach. There was even a wedding there on Friday night. As we were playing on the beach, the wedding was happening right there on the grass.
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Saturday we went to the San Diego Wild animal Safari park. We’ve never been there, so we chose to go there instead of the zoo. It was really a great place, but SO spread out, so there was a ton of walking.
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One of our favorite things was seeing the lion cubs playing with their parents. SO adorable. And SO close. The Lion came RIGHT up to the glass where we were standing. Amazing.

The tram ride was great, too, as we saw so many animals! We took SO many pictures.

By the time we got to the tiger trail, everyone was just worn out. And those maps are not easy to figure out and we ended up walking up to the Condors when we didn’t want to, backtracking, etc. We had all just reached our grumpy points. We just had to find the nursery and see the baby cheetahs before we could call it a day. Adorable!
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Back to the hotel so we could go to the beach, then out for dinner at a yummy mexican place right by the hotel.

Sunday we went to the Church historical Mormon Battalion site. I love how interactive it is now.
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John got to put on the gun, canteen and hat.
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WE even found an ancestor who marched. George Coleman from England. I’m pretty sure he’s one of our Coleman ancestors.

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Panning for gold was cool, too.

We were sad to leave. Even sadder that we still had 13 hours in the car before we would get home. We stopped in St. George this time, and didn’t deliver Megan to Snow college until the afternoon on Monday, so she did miss one day of classes, but she’ll recover.

GREAT trip with the family.

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Tradition

Our opening number in Fiddler on the Roof is TRADITION. We sing of families and how each person in the family is important and has a role to play.

We have many family traditions as well. For the past decade or so, we’ve held a Coleman Family Campout. Most of the time it’s at Payson Lakes, which is about an hour south of our house. Some bring their nice big trailers and campers, and some of us are setting up tents. Sadly, we are still of the tent variety. The way it worked out with our schedules, I took the kids (plus Larissa) up on Thursday, we stayed over night that night, then Ryan came up on Friday, and I took Natalie back home with me Friday afternoon to get ready for our play that night, and Ryan stayed until late that night, and brought everyone home.

We were pretty full with our tent, 6 chairs, 6 sleeping bags, and our stuff AND our food.

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One suburban doesn’t hold all of that stuff too well, but I didn’t want to have to haul up a trailor, so we stuffed it in.

I decided to stop at the Grotto trail so we could take a little hike as a family.
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It’s a short hike so we didn’t have to haul water or snacks with us, and it’s fun to cross the bridges back and forth over the tiny river.
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When we got to the top, there was the small waterfall and a little pool. I guess if you go in spring that pool is bigger and you can wade deeper, but right now it’s just a few inches deep, which is PERFECT. SO cold, though.
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It was fun to get our feet wet, and Natalie even put her head in the waterfall.
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And of course we had to take some selfies.

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What’s that on Larissa’s knees? Oh, she went roller blading the day before our camping trip and wiped out. Major road rash. I feel so bad. So, we bandaged her up the best we could, but the bandages weren’t sticking, and what with going camping and all, we didn’t want her wounds to get dirty, so we secured the bandages with duct tape.

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When we got up to the campsite, we were pretty chill, reading our books and relaxing. Later, after the tent was set up and we had eaten dinner, we went to the lake for a bit. It was beautiful.
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I’m so thankful my mom was so organized. We planned our meals together so I didn’t have to figure out by myself what we were going to fix for a couple days, and we even cooked it inside their trailer.

That night we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Can you believe Larissa had never had a s’more before? Shocking, I know. We played some games, then went to “bed”. There was plenty of room for all our sleeping bags, but it just wasn’t comfortable at ALL. Add to that the fact that we hadn’t put the rain fly on, so the top window was open, made it too cold in that tent. I’m used to sprawling out on a King bed, not confined to a sleeping bag, and I tossed and turned all night. Oh, and the COWS. The COWS were MOOOOOOING all night. It sounded like a cow was in distress, mooing and mooing for his friends to come and find him, or help him out of a barbed wire fence. I don’t know what the problem was, but that cow kept us awake for a very long time.

Anyway, we made it through the night. The next day, after breakfast, we went to the lake to play.
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Everyone got a turn in Grandpa’s blow up canoe, some kids swam, we talked, they played with cousins, and it was a very nice day.
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I’m so glad that we have this tradition.

First week of summer!

We’re coming to you live from summer break. Looks like we made it through the first week of summer with very little injury, and not TOO much complaining.

We tried to do some fun this week, and I think we accomplished it.

We went to Thanksgiving point farm
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We oohed and awed over the animals, went on a carriage ride, John got to ride the pony,
and ended up purchasing 5 more chicks (you can never have too many, I always say).

Jenna taught two of her art classes.
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Natalie and I went to 3 rehearsals for our play, “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Megan went to work 4 days.

John went fishing with a friend.

Natalie went to a party at the park.

Jenna spent LOTS of time playing with her friend, Marin.

Paige had two bell rehearsals.

We played with our birds.

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We went to the museum of Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.

Ryan rode about 80 miles on his bike this week. Jenna, John and I joined him on a bike ride on Saturday night and we went 7 miles. Today my butt hurts.

We also read a lot, did a bunch of weeding, pulled out two dead bushes, the kids each had a turn to make dinner (with my help, of course), had 3 piano lessons, and we implemented FOLD Friday, where everyone is supposed to fold their laundry. It didn’t go over too well, but we’ll try again next week.

I would say we did pretty well for our first week.

Splash

While I may have left a not so glowing review on priceline about the Quality Inn in Mesa, the bright spot of my review was the pool. The pool made a splash.

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If they put as much effort into cleaning and maintaining the rooms as they did the pool….

Someone swam there every day. There’s John and his cousin Danny having a great time playing in the pool. If our activity got too hot or we had some free time at the hotel, we always knew we could swim.

And it got too hot for us every day.

There were nice deck chairs, some shade, even in the heat of the day, and it was especially nice in the afternoon. I did swim, but I spent most of my time poolside, reading a book or taking pictures of the kids.

And, bonus, Arizonians do not swim until it’s over 100 degrees. Really. So, there was hardly ever anyone else out at the pool. And if they were out there, it was just relaxing in the deck chairs, not swimming.
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So it was kind of like we had out own private pool. Hopefully as our memories fade, we can laugh about the crappy things and remember the good times of the vacation, like the pool.

Festival of Color

In India, Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. The festival breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. People bury their hatchets with a warm embrace and throw their worries to the wind. Every nook and corner presents a colorful sight. Young and old alike are covered with colors (red, green, yellow, blue, black and silver). People in small groups are seen singing, dancing and throwing colors on each other.

I have seen the pictures, and we have driven by the Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, but we have never been able to go before. This year, I told Ryan that we were going. He uttered something of a groan. Ryan doesn’t always catch the enthusiasm with which I like to live my life. But that’s ok, he has other strengths. And he was willing to go along with it. The kids had seen pictures, but none of us really knew what to expect.

We drove to Spanish Fork and parked our car at the Fairgrounds. I had read that the shuttle bus was the way to go, so we paid for our shuttle tickets and entrance and got on the bus in our white t-shirts.

The bus dropped us off a ways from the site, but it wasn’t a long walk. On the way people were selling water, white bandanas, and face masks, all for $1 each. Everybody’s got to make a buck. WE noticed so many parking lots in farmers fields. At $5 a car, I’m sure they make a nice haul for these two days of the Festival.

We got there right before 11:00 and thought we wouldn’t make it onto the hill in time for the 11:00 throwing, so we stood back a bit to get some pictures.


White, right?
Not for long.
When they throw, it’s like little puffs of color all over.

Of course, my friend, Erin, who is a photographer with a good camera, gets a shot more like this. I’m not sure if hers was later in the afternoon, or what the conditions are, but I love the vibrant colors in that shot!

We made out way up to the temple. As we would pass people, little by little we started getting more and more color on us. People just put some of the chalk in their hand and toss it as you as you walk by, or they even smear it on your face or shirt. Someone threw some color right in Ryan’s face, and it took him a bit to blink it out and get so he could see again. No personal space, really.

And if you play with the color settings on the camera, whether intentionally or as you are stuffing the camera in your pocket, you get some funky pictures.

We didn’t purchase the little bags of colors, because the line was long and we are cheap.
Besides, we thought there would be plenty of people throwing their color.
We were right.

When we got into the crowd on the hill, there was music, dancing, singing. We even held hands and did some jumping. We are all different, but equal, they said. While it may seem a bit weird to some of us, it wasn’t way out there. There was nothing said that was offensive or takes away from my own beliefs.

Finally it was time for the big throw. They counted down and then everyone threw their colors. Cleansing, welcoming of spring.

I didn’t try to take pictures while we were in the cloud. It went dark for a few seconds because of all the chalk in the air. After about 30 seconds, it was a pinkish haze.

Instead of vibrant colors, all the colors got a bit muted from the thrown colors.

As we walked out and back to the bus stop, there was a stream of colored people walking out, and a stream of white people coming in.

I should have remembered the garbage bags to sit on in the car. I also should have remembered the baby wipes.

Oh, well. Maybe I’ll remember those next time.

It’s Tuesday now and one of the kids at school asked me if I had green in my hair. Do I still have green in my hair? Natalie has pink and orange in her hair, close to her scalp. Lasting benefits, I guess.

It was a fun activity for a Saturday. I’m so glad we were able to go.

Zoo day and more!

On Saturday we took the family plus our guests to Hogel Zoo. It’s been several years since we have been to the zoo.
I guess it just got too expensive, too crowded, too far away? I don’t know. But since we had 8 people, we just bought an annual pass, so we can go again a few times this year.

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First we found Taiwan on the rotating water earth ball.

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We loved seeing all the animals. At each animal, we would ask the girls how to say the name of that animal in Chinese, and we would practice trying to make our mouths say those sounds. For example, elephant is dà xiàng. But we of course say every one wrong, so the girls got a good laugh out of our trying.

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My favorite animal is the giraffe, which in Chinese, is cháng j?ng lù. But you have to make your inflection go up and down or else it’s some other word. There’s a reason I don’t speak Chinese.
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The one animal name we WILL be able to remember without looking it up is the tortoise. Oogway. Yep. Like in Kung Fu Panda.

See the resemblance?

No?

Look harder.

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Even though it was colder than we would have liked,
(Brrr when the wind was blowing)
we had a fun time.

The kids were mostly not whiny.

Mostly.

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We even rode the $2 per ride Carousel, which I have never let my kids ride. I know. When we have exchange students we splurge, since we are getting paid to host them, we use that money to do fun things as a family.

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When we left, John really wanted to go to the This is the Place Heritage Park. Since we bought an annual pass for that one last spring, we only had to pay $3 for an extra guest, so we took the girls over there, too. There isn’t much open until the spring season starts in April, but we still enjoyed our visit.
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I don’t know if the girls understand much about the pioneer history here, but we explained some. And the train conductor’s tour was interesting (this driver went slower and told us more about the different locations) He even took our picture to put on the Pioneer Park Facebook page.

On the way home, the girls were pretty tired.
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We were all pretty tired, and even a little sunburned. So we had a couple of hours at home before we loaded everyone up and went to dinner at the girls choice for their last evening out in America–In and Out Burgers. I don’t know why this place is such a big deal, but everyone seems to love it.
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We had a fun time.

Sunday morning the girls got loaded up nice and early as we had to get them to their meeting place at 8 am. Off they go back home. We had a great experience hosting this time, and we hope the girls remember fondly their time in Utah. So we say
zài jiàn
goodbye

to our Taiwanese girls. We hope to meet again.

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