All week I’ve wanted to write a post here, but got busy and forgot or else didn’t have pictures ready. So today I’m just going to play a little “catch up” game and write about several different events.
On Thursday, June 11, some of my sisters and I went to This is the Place heritage pioneer park. I’d found out at the last minute that it was free that day, courtesy of John Huntsman Sr., and even though the girls had their ballet recital that night, we really wanted to go.
We prayed for good weather (rain/storms were forecast!) and off we went. We had so much fun! I’m sure we didn’t even see half the houses/pioneer things, but what we saw was great. The kids and I have never been before, though my sisters Kaatia and Kimia had. We rode the train around the village, went inside some tiny pioneer cabins (one tiny thing the size of my living room supposedly housed nine people! And I have a small living room), visited the baby animal petting area, had pony rides, enjoyed free ice cream cones, bought toys and fresh popcorn at the general store, marveled at a blacksmith at work making an intricate iron leaf in front of our eyes, and camped out in a tipi when it started to pour.
Old wooden bathtub Bran and cousins Bran and cow skull
Zombie Ciara Nia and cousin enjoying popcorn Ciara and baby goat
Nia and lamb In front of a mill Nia in a tipi
Beautiful crocheted shawl Kid train Nia “driving” a wagon
The rain never stopped, so we had to run/walk all the way down the long hill (the train was completely full) to try to find some shelter in a very leaky twig-roofed pavilion. We ate lunch in the driest corner, only getting dripped on a few times a minute, then drove across the street to the zoo. (Apparently they let you in for a half-hour guest pass for free if you want to visit the store.)
After stopping at the zoo gift shop to get some top-secret things (new Hogwarts pets for the kids), we drove home—starved, soaked, muddy, and looking like drowned rats.
Nia had fallen so much in love with a tiny barn owl she saw at the gift shop that she cried almost all the way home at having to leave him. I told her, “Nia, you asked Hagrid to send you a cat for your new pet.” She sobbed, “But Mama, I love that tiny owl!” I told her that if she wrote Hagrid a letter as soon as she got home, maybe it wouldn’t be too late and he would get her letter in time to send her an owl instead.
The second we got home she ran into the house, grabbed paper and pencil, and wrote a new letter to Hagrid, complete with a quickly-drawn owl picture:
I chaed my mind i wond a owel
Even though we were limited for time, I boxed up the three owls I bought at the zoo (Bran decided he wanted an owl at the shop also), attached letters from Hagrid, and left the packages on the doorstep. I also got my own little stuffed owl wet and sat him on top of the pile (since, you know, it had been quite a storm that afternoon as he battled his way to our house with the packages).
Brown paper packages tied up with string
When John came home from work, I asked him to ring the doorbell. The kids ran to the door, shrieking and screaming. When they saw the packages they screamed even more and ripped them open. All three kids were in rapture, hugging their owls, but Nia’s joy was hilarious to behold. She fell on the floor, she was so thrilled to be reunited with her tiny little friend:
Bran was very happy with his great horned owl, and Ciara loved her absolutely perfect snowy owl.
“Bark” “Frosting” “Scribbles”
After a quick dinner it was time to put the girls’ hair in buns and leave for the ballet recital!
Ciara in her “military” costume
Nia as a forest fairy
We had a bit of a mishap with Ciara forgetting her red belt, but she bravely carried on and did a wonderful job dancing with her class to “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Nia was adorable, of course, and remembered her steps perfectly to “Entrance of the fairy king” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I had to sit in the balcony with the tumbling class and guide them to the stage in time for their number, but in between I was hanging over the railing, watching every step of my girls with more-than-misty eyes.
On Saturday morning Owl Post delivered the kids’ first Care of Magical Creatures lessons—the first of 4 lessons about owls. It was grand to see their excitement as they pored over non-fiction books about owls, looking for the answers to their homework. This Hogwarts school thing is working out very well!