Monday, February 1, 2016

Friday January 29, 2016
We had another busy weekend. My parents drove down from Northeast Ohio on Friday and were staying with us, so we all went out to dinner. It was a toss-up between Matt the Miller’s or J. Liu’s, but J. Liu’s won because they accept reservations (though we’ve actually managed to get in on a Friday night without one). I’m glad we did reserve ahead because it got busier and busier the longer we sat there.

After we got back to the house, mom requested I pull out some of grandpa’s old slides, which are currently somewhat disorganized. I’m not quite sure how they got that way since it’s unlike me to have things out of order (except for when it comes to papers), but nonetheless. It took mom and I a little while to put some slides in empty containers, and of course they were all upside down so we had to take them out and put them in all over again. Lesson learned. Maybe next time I’ll put a ‘T’ for top or something.

We closed out the evening with a Johnny Carson “Tonight Show” marathon starting with an episode from some time in the mid 80s when Johnny invited David Letterman on the show so they could settle their dispute (with Judge Wapner) over a broken headlight on David’s rusty pick-up truck that Johnny once “borrowed” as a practical joke. In case you’re wondering, Judge Wapner awarded Johnny damages in the amount of $24.95.

Saturday January 30, 2016
Today was a big day for Carter and Grandpa who were racing in the annual Pinewood Derby being held at a local church in Hilliard. Grandpa brought his vintage car which was engineered and raced about 30 years ago (when Jim was a boy scout) we figure.

I think there were something like 30 races maybe because each child’s car got to race in 3 heats due to any discrepancies that may occur during any one race (like the car being put on the track facing in the wrong direction, a wonky wheel, etc.).

Carter’s car and Grandpa’s car didn’t get off to a very good start as both stalled about halfway down the track not crossing the finish line. However, both improved in their second and third races, though neither took home a trophy that day. The highlight for Grandpa was when they let him press the release button to start the race.
Carter's car is the multi-colored car on the right.

Grandpa's car (on far left) crosses the finish line!

By the way, Grandpa’s car raced in a “Classic Cars” race where other parents/grandparents brought in their vintage cars. There was also a sibling race where a few sisters got in on the action. I don’t think that was an option 30 years ago, because if it was, I might have been interested in participating. After all, even though I played with dolls, I was still a bit of a tomboy who also liked cars and some other boy toys.

If nothing else, for those of us who are nonparents, it was an interesting study in what names are current among 8-10 year old boys.

We wrapped up the day with Ashley’s 15th birthday party. Unlike at most social occasions held during the last few years, the guest of honor was actually present accompanied by her friend, Gabby. In fact, that’s the most I’ve probably seen of Ashley in a long while.

Cute little kids have been replaced by pets at these parties as Jeannie and Lloyd always bring their miniature poodle, Lilly. It’s funny to watch how she behaves around Lucy, whose house it is she’s invading. However, all Lilly has to do is snap at Lucy and Lucy quickly cowers and retreats. This was particularly funny at Christmas when Lilly took possession of Lucy’s abandoned bone. All Lucy could do was watch from across the room while Lilly licked her bone gleefully.

After dinner we enjoyed cupcakes, ice cream, and rice krispie treats (thanks Karen!). After one of Ashley’s candles failed to go out, Carter was called in as the designated blower (he has a healthy pair of lungs from blowing up balloons to make animals, etc.). He blew so hard that he accidentally blew the icing right off one of the cupcakes. It was okay since Karen keeps a pretty clean counter, so we just scooped up the frosting and put it right back on the cupcake (like a man missing his toupe!).

Later in the evening Ashley opened her presents (which is a dying tradition as money seems to be the #1 gift for tweens and teens). I bought her a NYC Times Square panoramic puzzle, and a NYC coloring book (which had more lame pictures than good ones, but I didn’t really look through it much before purchasing it). Mom bought her a Disney Mickey-Mouse ear themed glasses case stuffed with cash, and one of her other grandmas bought her a beautiful bracelet. Ashley seemed grateful for the gifts, or was at least gracious about receiving them.

Sunday January 31, 2016
Today was a movie marathon day as we decided to cram two movies into one day (because of trying to keep up with the amount of movies coming out). Actually, one of the movies was a series of (Oscar nominated animated) shorts that spanned nearly two hours followed an hour later by another nearly two hour movie (“Kiki’s Delivery Service”), so all total we sat for about 3½ hrs, but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I am grateful to Andrew for braving the long line for popcorn just so he could treat me. It was my fault we were so late to get back in line after popping next door to Barnes & Noble to kill time between films. I didn’t count on there being such a long line to the concession stand (since we almost never buy food or drink at the movies), so we probably should have come back about 10-15 minutes sooner.

All in all a pretty good weekend definitely jam-packed with activity!

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