Sunday, April 24, 2011

It Really IS The Greatest Show On Earth

Oh boy! Oh boy! Where do I even start? First, I think the circus was made for adults...we just use kids as an excuse to attend. It was SO MUCH FUN! The sights, the was non-stop entertainment. After the first performance, Mark screamed over the applause - "We need to come to the circus more often!" I took the 4 oldest - Mark, Anya, James, and Peter. And I think it was a good choice to stop at Peter. It was almost a little too much for his little mind to absorb. But he enjoyed it as much as his older siblings.
I don't know how these high wire acts do what they do. There were standing on each other's shoulders, jumping from one set of shoulders to was amazing. The act below didn't stop with the girl just sitting on the chair. Oh no...that wasn't enough. She stood ON TOP of the chair, then stepped down and let the chair fall to the ground. She stood on the wire resting on the other gentlemen's shoulders while they rode their bicycle's to the other side.
In between each major performance, the clowns came out and made light of the previous act by doing their own stunts. It was really entertaining. None of those pictures turned out especially well. So you'll just have to imagine the kinds of things clowns do for your mental picture.
There were two super strong guys (who were also quite nimble) who tied together two telephone poles and then lifted it up on their shoulders while four women sat in swings at the end of each pole and a clown sat in the middle. It was very impressive.
Then there were these hamster guys. I don't know what else to call them. But they went round and round. They jumped rope and did flips and made them go faster and faster. And they could stop them on a dime. Just amazing!
Mark was giddy about it all. Anya was captivated and Peter thought up was down and down was up. I don't think he's ever seen anything like this. During the intermission, Peter told me he was exhausted and wanted to go home.
But then they pulled out the tigers following intermission. And Peter forgot how exhausted he was.

And what is the circus without elephants?!? Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey know how to make the best circus event ever!
James almost couldn't contain his excitement! They all loved it...and so did Dad. I took a lot of videos. This one below is probably the coolest of them all. It's the human cannonball. Enjoy the show!

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Great to be Eight

March 30, 2003 - 03/30/03

Wouldn't that be a great day for a birthday?!? Well, it is for James. He turned 8 this year. There is something special about 8 year old kids.

Eight years of age is a special day for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's the age of "accountability" and children can choose to be baptized. Even though James has a severe fear of going under water, he chose to be baptized.
His favorite color this year has been white. How cute is that?

Have you ever been to Cracker Barrel? A year or so ago, we got Mark that game they have on every table. That was the inspiration for James' cake this year. He wanted a cake just like that game. So that's what Karen made!
James has some of the best expressions when he is opening gifts. We captured one of them as he was opening his new Lego set.
Another gift he got was an RC Hummer. The box was big enough that the kids were crawling inside of it. Here's Luke:
James is so good. On his birthday, he was folding everyone's laundry. He made his brother's and sister's bed. He wanted to make sure everyone else was happy. He's thoughtful like that.

He's also very emotional. Over the years, he has learned to better control his emotions. But when he was baptized on April 16, 2011, his emotions got the better of him. And not in a good way! He has a real fear of going under the water. He was scared. And every eye was focused on him. So it was a lot for him to take in. After he was baptized, the emotions were overwhelming for him. And he wasn't happy about it.

Karen and I have learned to remain calm as we talk with him and try to help him in those moments. Fortunately, James kept his composure and allowed me to confirm him a member of the church after he was baptized. Part of me wonders if we should have waited till the next day. But everything turned out fine. After the service was over, James broke down and cried. He was scared and was being brave for everyone else.

He's thoughtful like that.
And we love him immensely! We are so happy for the choices he has made. Happy birthday, James!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Worth Recording

I stayed late at work studying for my next exam. As I talked with Karen on my drive home, she mentioned that Anya was finishing up the dishes. I walked into the house and noticed Anya reading a book while standing in the middle of the kitchen. Dishes covered the table and filled the sink.

I smiled at her as we said our hello's. Then I asked, "Aren't you supposed to be doing the dishes?"

Anya said as well as any bothered teenage girl, "I KNOW."

I looked at her, surprised by her attitude. Then she muttered, "You can be so annoying." I asked, "what?" and she repeated her comment.

I looked at her again with disappointment and bewilderment.

Then she sighed as only Anya can. And she confessed, "it's been such a hard night."

I gave her a big hug as she tried to keep her composure. It was so sweet. She is such a good girl...and even when she wants to be rude and defiant, her tender spirit knows that's not right. It's an internal struggle. But her spirit always prevails.

I love our Anya!