Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Reading

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is great read. This historical fiction follows the experiences of a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl living in Seattle during WWII. The young girl winds up in an internment camp and the Chinese boy struggles to get his father to understand how he could love someone Japanese. While the context of the story is harsh, it is fundamentally a love story; thus the title Bitter and Sweet. I really liked this book.

While I never saw the movie, Slumdog Millionaire is a fabulous book. Both tragic and hopeful, Slumdog tells the story of an impoverished young man who wins the million dollar prize on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. In explaining how he knew each answer, Jamal tells stories from his fascinating life. It's a great, compelling read.

The structure of The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is interesting - you are reading the letters between all of the main characters. This historical fiction tells the story of a little British island that was occupied by the Germans in WWII. It's an interesting story of a small town caught in a hard time.

Battle Royale
I couldn't even finish. When I began reading it, it was because it was supposed to be the Japanese version of Huger Games, which I LOVED. And, yes, it's about a group a teens stuck on an island, forced to fight to the death. Thing is, there was SO much more gore. The human element of it all was interesting, but after reading about the sound and axe makes when being pulled out of a person's brain, I had to stop.
Super funny, but more than a tad crass, Wishful Drinking is the biography of Star Wars' Carrie Fisher. Fisher tells about her rise to fame, drug use, marriage to Paul Simon, and struggles with 'reality'. My sister thought it was too much, but I found it all very amusing. Who knew Princess Lia had such a great sense of humor? If you happened to have enjoyed Wishful Drinking, try Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress. Also a bit crass, but one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Right now I'm reading The Help and Big Stone Gap. I'll let you know what I think once I'm finished.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baptism Day

Turning eight is such a special birthday in our family because it is the age when you can be baptized.
When I was a child, about to turn eight, my parents had me take the missionary discussions from the full-time missionaries. I still remember the lessons they taught me. We wanted to do the same for our boys. BB#2 began the discussions a few weeks before his baptism. Elder Mata and Elder Daugherty were fabulous. They taught with an amazing spirit and challenged BB#2 to pray and read and learn for himself the truthfulness of the Gospel. It was a great experience for our entire family.
Diamond and Big Boy #2, right before the baptism:

One of the really cool parts of the baptism was that BB#2 was able to be the very first person baptised in the new church. He had been angling for that since he saw the new building begin to be to built. Everyone made a big deal about it, and he was thrilled! (Kinda nice for the middle child to be the very first at something.)

Here are the men who stood in the confirmation circle as BB#2 received the gift of the Holy Ghost (Elder Mata, Brother Bashaw, Grandpa Green, Diamond, Grandpa Smith, Uncle Tim, Brother Hansen/Primary teacher.) I just love the visual image of a group of men literally encircling my son for the sole purpose of blessing him. That's what the priesthood is about!

Our family:

The Green cousins:

We had only a few minutes after the baptism to get to BB#2's baseball game. Almost all of the family that was in town were able to cheer him on in his game:

BB#2 had quite the cheering section! (Grandpa Green, Grandpa Smith, Grandma Smith)

His two teenage cousins were quite the spirited cheerleaders - singing loudly and screaming "We love you BB#2!!!"
After the game everyone headed to Red Robbin for a late lunch. It was a very special day for our little guy.

Great to be Eight!

Big Boy #2 turned eight years old June 24. He celebrated his birthday by heading out to his very first Cub Scout Day Camp (Diamond even went along for the day.)

You have never seen a child quite so excited to become a Cub Scout! He earned his Bobcat even before he turned 8, and while he is still working away at the requirements to earn his Wolf, he has already completed over two arrow points.

After a hot day at camp, BB#2 picked Sweet Tomatoes for his birthday dinner. It had nothing to do with the delicious salads and everything to do with the unlimited ice-cream you get at the end of the meal. Here's my evidence:

His ice-cream creation incorporated 8 mini-cones, one for each year of his life. BB#2 creating a beautiful symbol of his life? Not a chance. He was just trying to justify a ridiculous number of cones on his ice-cream.

We were even able to invite along his cousin (in town from Michigan) and Grandpa Green. Of course the Caboose wanted in on the ice-cream too!

We have all sorts of traditions around the 8th birthday. One tradition concerns the birthday party. When you are eight, you can pick an 'event' and bring a few friends along. BB#2 opted for a Rockies game. Not in the least bit surprising!

He invited four friends and his big brother.

While we managed to miss the only run of the game, the boys seemed to enjoy the night and all of the snacks.

Overheard at the game:
*BB#2's friend: "You cut the cheese and I ate it!" (eewww!)
*Guy talking to his child who was asking for more treats:
Man: "What to you think Cracker Jack's are? A vegetable?"
Man: "Hey, has the broccoli man been by yet??? Broccoli Man!!!"
BB#1 "I don't think he'd have good business here."
*BB#2's other friend: "This is the best birthday party EVER!"

After the game: