Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Snowbird Tram

One of the things I love the most about Jordan's visits is how she blends in with the family.  I don't treat her any different from my other three kids.  When she is here, Jordan is child number four.  When Jordan leaves, I miss her terribly.

Having four children is a bit more stressful.  Adding one more child into the mix means more bickering, more fighting.  I know my blood pressure has escalated a few times in the last few weeks.

Jordan and Suze both get car sick so both think they deserve the front seat.  Of course, front seat time is never divided equally.  Ask Suze, she claims Jordan sits in the front seat longer; and you know what Jordan says.

They fight in the car because someone has the music too loud; Sydney left crumbs too close to Eric; or someone is touching someone else.

One person is disappointed by our day's destination.  One person is hungry, usually it's Sydney. 

When we arrive at our location, this day was at the top of Snowbird via the tram, someone is immediately ready to leave.  Why can't they enjoy the moment?  They are always rushing into the next activity! 

I love these kids so much!  Why do they stress me out?  My problems are so small!  I am incredibly blessed, and yet I can feel my blood boil!

I am trying to learn to control myself; and take deep breaths.  Time is escaping much too fast.  It is scary!  Soon they will be grown and I will miss these chaotic, breathless adventures.

I love these four children so much.  They are my everything; my world.  Yes Jordan, I mean my four children.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FantasyCon Part 2

I took these three, plus one to FantasyCon last week.  We started off pretty rocky.  I was worried!  I was ornery; Eric was ornery.  I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew!

I switched out my Sydney for the guy on the right.  She was much happier at his house.  I hope "L" enjoyed FantasyCon, but he never says too much.

We were a bit stressed when we first arrived at FantasyCon.  Eric had one thing on his mind, an autograph from Sean Astin aka Samwise Gamgee.

The frustrating thing about FantasyCon was the lack or organization.  They had a huge row of autograph booths, but there were not times or costs.  We had to ask a few people before we learned the necessary procedure for Sean's autograph.

In the meantime, we took advantage of all the cosplayers walking around the facility.  Jordan and Suze wanted to take  tons of pictures.


"L" didn't like his picture taken, but I managed to talk him into a few photos.

 I made the kids sit through two one hour panels so that we could have good seats for the Middle Earth kickoff.  That is not entirely true.  Jordan took Suze and Eric to get Sean Astin's autograph.  I made "L" stay with me because there was no way I could save all four seats.  One nerve wracking hour later they came back.  Eric was all grins; Suze was pretty excited too!

These men are almost unrecognizable without their beards and funny hair.  They are most of the hobbits from the same named movie franchise.

Suze went on and on about Sean Astin.  He spent several minutes talking to the kids.  Suze told him she was an extra in a few different movies.  He told her he hoped to see her in more movies.

Suze was completely enamored with Mr. Astin.  "Mom, do you think I can be in a movie with him someday?"  (Sean Astin is the one in the black tee shirt and glasses.)

Billy Boyd, aka Pippin, sang this song from The Return of the King.  I guess I am a nerd because it kind of gave me a thrill.

John Rhys Davies was a class act.  He entertained the audience with his humor and quick wit.  That little guy in the corner with the blue shirt and hat is once again Sylvester McCoy.

Eric is a big fan of Captain Jack Sparrow's work.

How on earth do you make a costume like this?  These people are incredibly inventive?

There were plenty of backdrops.

The kids were both repulsed and strangely attracted to this gentleman and his "pet."

Before we left, Eric had to experience the feeling of being the center of attention in several of the autograph booths.

My free tickets cost me over $60.00 for an autograph, food and parking.  I can't decide if I came out on top because Eric absolutely adored most of his time at FantasyCon.

Ask me in ten months if I have signed up again?  Maybe it's like child birth; and I will only remember the good!

Monday, July 21, 2014

FantasyCon Part 1

A few months ago, I had the bright idea to volunteer at the first FantasyCon held in Salt Lake City. I volunteered because the reward for service rendered was free tickets.  I thought Eric would enjoy FantasyCon because most of The Hobbits were scheduled to make appearance.

You might be unaware that Eric is fascinated with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies.  He lives for the stuff.  I wanted to give him a special I offered my services.

I underestimated the amount of time required to fulfill my obligation.  I also underestimated how much money I would spend.  Free does not mean free!

I drove up to Salt Lake City for the training meeting; all hands on deck meeting; charity night; and my scheduled eight-hour shift.  It was tons of mileage on my Caravan and a few bucks (a lot of bucks) for parking.

I learned new vocabulary, like cosplayers.  These are people who put a great deal of time and money into making fantasy costumes.  Some of them are beyond belief.

These people live for ComicCon and FantasyCon.  They immerse themselves in it.  They have their own culture.  I didn't understand a lot of it, but I was fascinated watching it.

I did get choked up at the charity night.  This special event was by invitation only for underprivileged and sick kids.  The cosplayers lined up on two sides and the kids made their way down the "parade route."  It was touching, watching their faces as they passed these super heroes.

On charity night I was sneaky and took a few shots of this small and demure man.  He is none other than Sylvester McCoy.  You may call this man Dr. Who.  I call him the brown wizard from The Hobbit.

Mr. McCoy seemed rather charming, taking his cane with him wherever he went.  He was quiet, but observant.

My actual assignment was eight hours in a panel room on July 4th.  I helped accommodate a new panel at the top of the hour and emptied the room for the next panel as the hour drew to a close. 

It is still debatable whether the pros outweighed the cons.  There were some tense moments when I brought the kids on July 3, but there were also lots of smiles.

I will continue my FantasyCon journey tomorrow; maybe as I put "pen to paper", I can make the decision if I will do it next year.  Eric is already pleading with me to do it again!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rain Gutter Regatta

Eric participated in his first cub scout rain gutter regatta.  I was so proud of him!  He loved the whole thing; and was such a good sport!

Eric took a lot of pride in his boat.  He helped dad build and paint it.  He helped with the sail.  It was Eric's boat.

Eric won the first race, hands down.

Eric was not so lucky with the second race, but he didn't care.  He had a great time.

On the other hand, Michael worried all night that he let his son down.  He berated himself for not modifying the sail enough to win all the races.

Eric ended up consoling his dad; making sure Michael knew how much Eric appreciated all the work he had done on the boat.

Michael has already done research on swift sails for next year!