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Archive for November, 2007

just a hint

We are going to be getting something quite fun for Christmas this year. It’s entirely possible that we will need professional help to ween ourselves from it because I have the feeling that we will be involved with it into the wee hours of the morning. We don’t want to say exactly what we are getting ourselves into, but if we haven’t given away what we are getting for Christmas yet, then I don’t think we should really say anything more.

Can you guess? Do you know?

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wamego’s grand elf 2007

Apparently, each year around Christmas time, the library hosts a little drawing to find a child (K-5) to be the Grand Elf for the Christmas Lighting Parade. In Wamego, they do up the City Park with a pretty nice display of Christmas lights all over the park. On the night of the lighting ceremony, they do a big parade (well, I suppose big is a relative term). After the parade is over, everyone walks over to the park, which is pitch black (though the local telecommunications company always hands out little flashlights for people to use on their way there). The Grand Elf is then supposed to flip a (fake) switch which turns on all the Christmas lights around the park. It’s a big deal. And this year, Chloe’s name got drawn.She had to be at the high school’s back parking lot early, so we had to pack the kids a dinner that they could eat on the way, as Mom and Dad struggled to get them up the hill in the wagon.

before the parade 3

along for the ride

While waiting for the parade to assemble (and for someone who knew what we were supposed to do with Chloe), Michelle found what she wanted for Christmas:

merry maids

No, not the car…the maid service, of course.

The sleigh finally arrived, pulled by eight six tiny reindeer tractors. Supposedly, she was going to ride with Santa in this sleigh, along with a bunch of presents, but Santa decided he wanted to ride in the pony-drawn sleigh at the end of the parade, instead of at the beginning. And, judging by the size of the sleigh, it’s a good thing he did, too.

When one of the organizers found us, she told us that, if it were her kid in the sleigh, she’d want to ride with, or at least walk along. So Michelle decided to ride with Chloe.

But, once Hyrum saw that the sleigh was being pulled by a bunch of tractors, boy, did that bottom lip come out fast and far. The organizer saw it and immediately called her superior to find out if he could ride too. Fortunately, it was allowed.

getting ready for the parade

getting ready for the parade

Once they got settled, I set off to find a spot to watch the parade from. I found some friends of ours from church across the street (or rather, they found me looking lost and forlorn and pulling an empty wagon), so I hung out with them for most of the parade.

Anyone want to bundle me up and push me around for a while?

anyone want to bundle ME up and push ME around for a while?

i don't think she's smiling

Wasn’t March of the Penguins on this weekend?

wasn't march of the penguins on this weekend?

Then the parade started. I had to run to the other side of the street to make sure I got Hyrum in the picture, but then Chloe didn’t look at me. And that’s okay…she had work to do, waving to all her adoring fans and all. Michelle told me that she saw a lot of her friends from school and they were all super excited to see her.

if it takes that many tractors to pull a single sleigh

the grand elf and her entourage

After the parade, Chloe was supposed to go to a spot near the bridge where it “was obvious” (we were told) where she would be flipping the switch. Apparently, somewhere along the lines of command, the word “obvious” was not connected to “put the switch out and make it” because we looked everywhere (as best as we could in the complete darkness) and there was no switch near the bridge. I found the real switch, but no fake one. I asked the band that was there (the teenage boy I spoke to had no idea what I was talking about). I asked the police officers (they looked hard, but no luck). The parade organizers didn’t even know where it was.

anyone seen a switch lying around?

Finally, they decided that, since no one could find the switch, they’d just have Chloe count down from 10 to 1. She wasn’t all that excited about doing that. But, when the man called her over to the police car’s PA mic, she was a trooper and gave the countdown anyways, straight from 10 to 1, not skipping a beat. She was even all smiles afterwards when the lights came on right on cue.

counting down

After the lights came on, the band played some Christmas songs and everyone went over to the Wamego Museum for cider and cookies. We couldn’t find the lady that let Chloe wear her Santa hat, so another lady said we could just keep it for a souvenir. Though Mom and Dad were a bit skeptical, Chloe was already jumping for joy.

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As I mentioned earlier, a couple of weeks ago my grandmother passed away. She was the last grandparent on my side of the family, and the one I knew the best, so it hit me harder than any other before her. I flew out there for the funeral and to spend a day or two with my family. It was really nice being back in Utah. There’s just something about the mountains that I feel very connected to, so it really did feel like I was returning home. Add to that the fact that my brother Russ, whom I hadn’t seen for a few years, and all the rest of my extended family, that I hadn’t seen in even more years, also flew out, and it just really made everything complete.

While there, I had a great time with my camera, and brought home some images that I am really quite happy with. This may be a long post, actually, because of all the pictures I want to put up.

Day one I was apparently either too busy to take pictures or not interested enough in anything to actually get the camera out of the bag. The only shots I really got were from the Kansas City airport in the wee hours of the morning while waiting for my flight and from my dad’s front yard in the late afternoon.

an early start to the trip

at my dad's house

More pictures after the jump. And not many more of them are of the sky, I promise. (more…)

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Here. No explanation should be necessary.

But, just in case.

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Now, you can find out, courtesy of the amazing Jessica Claire. I hope you’re ready for this.

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life lessons

I received an email from one of my students today:

Dear Rik,

I’m so sorry I was absent today, I got acute gastroenteritis last night. I’m not gonna cook by myself anymore.

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…any rectangular, roughly donut- or cake-sized white box needs to have a post-it note placed on it:

This does not have food in it. Sorry.

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