Idylls (of the king?)

If you have made the acquaintance of any 16-month-olds, you probably know of their common (but delusional) insistence that they are Real People. This is all well and good and elicits the Indulgent Smile, when it leads to them putting on other peoples' shoes, and saying "utt?" when you call them, and even standing on stools so they can Get Things from counters---but at the beach it is an alarming and exhausting tendency. "There goes Goldie again, back to the sea from whence she came."
At least this time there's a shadow coming from out of the frame. That means someone, somewhere may be keeping an eye on her?
It's been quite some time since I've gone to the beach on a truly hot day, and I had forgotten how great it is when you WANT the water to chill you a bit. My brother said it hasn't been so hot in California for the whole decade or so he's been living there! Such wonderful weather for playing in the waves! And with an assortment of borrowed wetsuits at our disposal, no one got cold even after hours and hours in the water. It was perfect.
Abe, looking suave.
Oh, little boys in wetsuits! He isn't quite as round and edible as he was in this picture, but still so cute! See those fingers he's holding up? Those were part of an elaborate game, the rules of which were explained to me but not truly comprehended. Something to do with when the wave hits his toes, it's one point, and if he jumps over it as it breaks, a point is taken away, and if he gets to four per hand it becomes the sudden death round, and so forth. This (solitary) game kept him occupied for hours.
A convergence of boogie-boarders. A confluence of wetsuit-wearers? A concatenation of surf-swimmers? Looks serious, whatever it is.
Hang-glider, or butterfly, I can't remember which. Maybe penguin?
Watching these two cousins (just the same age, but not the same size!) play together was the absolute best. They were totally intent on their game too, which seemed mostly to consist of giggling hysterically when the waves knocked them over---and if the waves didn't knock them over, falling on purpose so they could giggle anyway.
Daisy's confiding little arms around Ben---so SWEET!
Wetsuit twins.
Actual twins. THE CUTEST!! We all loved them so much. We really wanted to take them home with us! Malachi asked me if I could "see about producing two eggs next time." !!
A baby, or a sand-monster? Who can say?
Happy gasps when the water hits. I love that.
Seb looks supremely confident. You'd think he did this every day. (The illusion lasts until he gets into the water and is flipped head over heels around his board. But he loved that too.)
Gorgeous, crashing water.
And Allison's favorite beach scene---those sheets of sparkles on the sand as the waves go out toward the setting sun. I have to agree. It was a beautiful, idyllic day!


Sam was still employed at Disney for a few more days, my twin nephews in California kept getting cuter every minute, and Philip and Allison said they could find places for all eight of us to sleep. How could we resist taking one more trip while we could still go to Disneyland free? We couldn't. And it was such a lovely few days!
The happy, happy fish-go-round. What joy this has brought us over the years! Goldie is so rosy and sweet in this picture, I could eat her!
More fish-go-round
This picture just encapsulates so many things. The blazing heat and sun (100 degrees!). Abe and Seb, Seasoned Roller-Coaster Riders (so pleased with their own bravery). That moment of creaky anticipation before you start barreling down the slope.
Speaking of Bravery and Seasoned Riders. When did Daisy get to be such a big kid? She rode all the big roller coasters for the first time and "wasn't scared a bit!"
This escalator has, some years, been some people's Favorite Ride at Disneyland. Glad I finally got a picture. I love the girls' hot, curly, disheveled hair.
Junie had to do a lot of waiting around for rides she wasn't big enough for. We found a place she could get splashed by the waterfall, though, and it was good enough for her. She squealed and laughed and stomped around. We were so hot!
Three boys engrossed in the view from the Ferris Wheel (can't be bothered to turn around for a picture).
Goldie, thrilled with the ride. Sam, laughing at Goldie. Seb, trying to see the machinery that spins the teacups.
How I love this desert scenery. The tricks they've done with color and perspective make the cliffs look so far-off and massive!
When we're somewhere we've been before like this, I can't help but see everyone in comparison to their younger, littler selves in my memory. No more three-to-a-rocket for these grown-up boys!

Antelope Island

When Sam had a day off a few weeks ago, the kids decided they wanted to show him Antelope Island. The rest of us went there last year while we were studying rocks, to see some particularly old gneiss (1.7 billion years old, in fact). We loved how remote and isolated the island feels, we loved the herds of bison roaming around, and we loved the beautiful, salt-worn landscape. The kids had been wanting to show everything to Sam ever since! It was a perfectly warm, stormy morning, just the right weather in which to appreciate the wild landscape.
We found the gneiss first. Yep, still there (1.7 billion years plus one!) We climbed around on it. It's so beautiful! I love the swirls and bands--every rock has its own unique character.

Random Thoughts, monkey-with-a-camera edition

• People always say you shouldn't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. It is also bad, I've learned, to go shopping when you're NOT hungry. I become wan and listless and decide against everything. "Rice? Eh. We probably don't need it." "I'm sure two cans of tomatoes will be plenty for the foreseeable future." "Blech, there's so much cereal here! Who would ever EAT all this?" Then I get home and realize we won't last the week with what I've gotten.

• A cute young woman from church called the other day, and without further pleasantries, asked if I would be at the Young Women's activity that night. "Er, no, not tonight," I said politely. I hung up totally baffled. I got released as YW President over a year ago. Did she just…not…notice?

• The other day as I was making dinner I accidentally slid the whole handful of angel hair pasta out of the package before the water was even boiling. I didn't dare set it down (fearing rolling/breakage) so I just wandered around clutching it awkwardly one-handed and occasionally dropping vegetables, or failing to chop them up with the knife in my other hand. Then the doorbell rang and I opened it, pasta clenched in fist. I saw the lawn-spray guy look down at the angel-hair, look up at me, and decide not to say anything. I, in turn, refused to be ashamed of my pasta hunk and didn't say anything apologetic either. We carried on an entire conversation like that, both of us grimly aware of the pasta, but determined not to mention it.

• I love Hugh Nibley's wonderfully cynical "gas law of learning":
"Any amount of information no matter how small will fill any intellectual void no matter how large."
• Every time I read about a new start-up company, the story sounds exactly like this: "We were just two moms who were looking for high-quality organic baby-care products/soy-based handmade wooden toys/French-inspired classic children's clothing/environmentally-responsible maternity wear that doesn't sacrifice style/quirky bamboo-fiber stationery and earth-toned baby announcements----but we couldn't find any, so we decided to start a company and make it ourselves!" I just wonder, why don't these people ever find each other in their initial searches for products? It would save everyone a lot of trouble.
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