July 14, 2003

Time keeps flying. I couldn't hope to do this more than once a month, excepting occasional bursts of ambition. Lately, I have been preparing for a convention that starts on Wednesday, the 16th. I'm going to be in Salt Lake City for the rest of the week, until late Saturday. Fun. I haven't really spent that much time apart from Kari and Elijah before. It will be weird. Hey, the overtime paycheck will be amazing, though.

In June, Kari helped friends (and family) who had babies by throwing baby showers. It took a lot of her time. I've told her it has to be a while before she is alowed to do another one. We also attended a couple of wedding receptions, including one the property of a mansion. That girl married into some nice wealth. I'm sure he is a nice guy, too. The entire thing was impressive, from the food to the live music, to the decorations and the sheer amount of people there. Eh, give me a reception in a church gym, any day. Yeah.

July 4th was definitely different for all of us. Kari, Elijah and I drove up to Malad, ID. Who knew it was so close? I didn't. Why would we go there? Because the tiny town of Malad is where my brother-in-law, Doug was raised. The benefit was that Doug and Liz, with their two adorable daughters (and another child in the oven) were also there, visiting his parents, Dan and Diana, who were very nice to invite us. It was a crowded house, but we had a lot of fun. They were so open, so friendly. Elijah was happy to get to know new people, but he was nervous about all the fire crackers. Oh, I didn't mention the firecrackers. Malad is an interesting place around the 4th of July. For the first 36 hours of us being there, we heard explosions from amateur demolition experts, showing their patriotism for this country by blowing up a small portion of it (thank you, Simpsons, for that quote) constantly. I mean it. Non stop. I have never heard anything like it. These people really like to light firecrackers.

While there, we had barbecues, a weiner roast, played Uno, talked a lot, went to a July 4th celebration (there was a meal and tons of fundraisers, plus a "race" for children. Elijah "competed" but didn't get very far. He was hot and tired and needed a nap, but he still got a free popcicle) and a parade. The parade was interesting. People in the parade threw candy to the spectators. Pretty long parade for how small the town is. Later, Doug and I watched Brigham City together. Liz, Hannah, Elijah, Kari and I went swimming. Several of us checked out a house being rebuilt. The guys helped load up a U-Haul (Grrrr, evil U-Haul) with a piano, organ and various other things (the piano was for Liz and Doug, while the other stuff was for Doug's brother Dennis and his roommate, Joe). Oh, there was also a pinata, where Elijah was more interested in having the stick than in actually hitting it. In fact, he walked away more than once with the stick, but got angry when anyone else wanted to take a hit. Elijah and Bethany played a lot (they played together, rather than beside each other) and enjoyed a wading pool for much of the weekend. Yes, Elijah is a brown boy, with all the sun he got. Kari and I saw some decent sun, too. Liz wasn't as sick as she has been in the past. She and I got to bond some. Hannah told me about the new Harry Potter book, but didn't give away all the secrets.

If it sounds like a lot happened that weekend, well, I haven't even scratched the surface. It was a fun and relaxed weekend. We didn't mind the cramped quarters or the single shower for 10 adults: Dan and Diana, Doug and Liz, Kari and me, Dennis and Joe, Donya and Norm (Dougs' sister and brother-in-law) and Diana's mother (who showed up for a surprise visit). The shower was an add-on that wasn't very tall, definitely for people shorter than 6 feet tall. Oh, well. It really was fun. The best part (aside from getting to know Doug's family) were the fireworks. You thought the fire crackers were something. Everyone in town went to a local athletic field and sat on the grass on blankets. On the other side of the field, they set off the fireworks. Above us. We were looking straight up above at explosions and flaming embers coming directly toward us. You didn't think the firecrackers stopped in anticipation of the fireworks. People in the audience still lit their firecrackers till it got dark enough to start the big stuff. Oddly, Elijah wasn't too worried about the fireworks, even though a flaming ember did hit his forehead and landed on his pajamas (Mom and Dad were watching very closely and made sure it got put out quickly). The amusing was Doug and Dan's attitudes about the inherent dangers of sitting under explosions. "In Idaho, we don't believe in safety," followed by laughter. Thinking about it now, it could seem pretty scary, but the laughter was infectious. We just learned to dodge when debris came raining down. I got in the habit of yelling "incoming!" whenever a particularly dangerous looking storm was headed our way. The danger aside, it is quite a view, seeing fireworks going off directly above you. And according to Doug, only once has anyone ever been hurt, so I guess the ambulance nearby was practically superfluous. Ah, well. Good times.

Well, Elijah has learned to dance lately. He will get on the coffee table and stamp his feet when we sing to him. It is so cute. He is also starting to pick up words, like "dog" and "cat," "hot," "apple" and "up." He is adding words to he repertoire all the time, now. We got him a little car recently, that he sits in and we can push him on his walks. He loves "steering" and pointing at things as we walk around the neighborhood. Of course, he sometimes will try to get out of the car when he wants to play with a local dog, and once, I found him holding on to the steering wheel and the rest of him out of the car, being dragged behind. I only looked away for a second, but he is quick. Church is still difficult, because he would rather talk to people and walk around than sit still. Strange boy. Of course, everyone finds him adorable. Can't say I blame them.

Eventually, I hope to put some fun pictures up of the recent events, but I have too much to do in the next week. Then, at the end of July, we are going to Arizona to visit friends and family. That should be fun. Oh, and I've been working with a professor at BYU and she has been very helpful. Hopefully, next year I can get into grad school. We shall see.

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