Tuesday, April 10, 2012

California in my most excellent Eurovan!

Jonathan returned to Qatar last week and instead of staying in Orem, Utah all by myself, with the kids, I opted to drive to California and stay with the grandparents instead. Jonathan drove us down to California in our most excellent Eurovan in record time. We spent a day running errands before we sent him off to Doha to spend a week conducting tests to use for his research topic for his TESOL thesis. Jonathan is really really exhausted lately. He comes home and basically lives on Cheeze-its or Ritz crackers or Goldfish crackers. Of course he's droopy! Anyway, I told him his topic for the thesis was awesome and I think his proposal was genius. He prepared a three section test to give the students. They didn't have to do the tests. It was all voluntary. But since he knows the Qatari's very very well, he brought a bargaining item of great worth. He purchased the latest IPad and offered it in a raffle for those students who completed all three sections of the test. You may wonder why the Qatari's would want the latest IPad if they are so rich. Well, they can't readily get everything as fast as we can. The students performed well and he was able to return home with a bulging backpack full of tests. Yay! My advice for anyone doing a thesis in anything. . ."Don't bother doing a dumb crap thesis! If that's what you're planning then just don't bother doing anything. Give up now!" I think it would be embarrassing to do less than your best and then have someone read it five years down the road and talk to you about it. Jonathan was a bit drained when thinking about going the extra mile, I mean the extra 8,077 miles to get a decent thesis done. I think he's happy about it now. Meanwhile, he was missing a lot of super charged energy in the form of four little boys. The one girl isn't super charged. She's calm and sweet.
The first day Jonathan was gone it rained. But by Monday when it cleared up, we were at the beach. My beach, aka Natural Bridges. It really is my beach though. If you don't believe me ask to see pictures. I've got some of when I was about four years old at this same beach. It is really the coolest beach ever. It's got everything. Monarch butterflies in the winter, millions of them. It's got excellent tide pools. I just love it so much that I never go anywhere else when I'm home. Maybe, just maybe, there are other cool beaches out there, but I've never had the desire to find out because I'm so happy at
my beach. The kids dug a hole with Grandma Dryg and then I buried them the best I could later on. They are trapped. Can't you just feel that harnessed energy! Especially from Atticus. Sherman and Cinci just look happy. They're thinking, "Hey, we're in the sand!"
We spent a lot of time with both sets of Grandparents. Helen hasn't really had much time with my parents though since my mom just recently had a knee replacement. This was their chance to actually meet her. She doesn't say much. She kinda just sits there. I have great hopes for her though. I hope that she was watching Hector when he hit Grandpa's big screened TV several times. I hope she noticed the way Grandpa suddenly cried out, "Don't do that you little . . . ." and then fell silent. I hope she will never commit that shocking crime that her older brother committed because I just can't take it. Can I just say how much I hate TV's? I hate them so much. I'm sure every person that looks on me and my brood probably thinks the TV is my best friend. However, they are mistaken. Very mistaken. If you look at the picture below, you will notice that our most excellent Eurovan does not have a built in DVD player. And if it did, I would rip it out. (
Well, maybe I wouldn't, but the strong part of me would.)Most of me tries to live in an era that is not my own. Heck, I grew up with TV. A lot of it. I used to get up early before elementary school just to watch some of my favorite cartoons. Some Saturdays were spend watching back to back taped movies. Two or three. I'm not proud of that. But I think I turned out okay. Okay. Not great. Okay. I'm starting to sound like I'm confessing a terrible sin. Funny. Well, what I really want to see in my children is friendship. I want them to interact with eachother and I don't mean fighting. So when I see my kids playing a card game in the back of the van, my heart warms and I start to hear the words, "There is beauty all around, when there's love at home . . ." in my head.
Of course this is a totally posed picture but I have to tell you that they did play several rounds of Go Fish without cheating or screaming at eachother. Cinci didn't even eat the cards. And the whole time they were learning the names of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. That's what the deck of cards was, titles of different nursery rhymes. Oh, it warmed the cockles of my heart! (I'm starting to sound like my Grandma.)And to clearly explain myself, I don't like TV in general because my children can't hear me when they are watching it. They also forget that they have a family or other duties in life. They become zombies. I call watching TV "Zombification". I must confess that we do not have a TV free home though. We do watch one or two movies a week and a few kids shows when needed. I don't care if they watch it sometimes. I guess I use it more as a help for me than anything else. I wait until we've done our to-do list and then they can choose a show. Then I can take a shower or cook or sit on my butt and hum. I guess TV isn't that bad after all.
Jonathan is gone again. He's off to Ohio and New York to visit schools he's considering attending. I think the TV and I are going to become friends again real soon.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I'm glad you had a good trip to California. I love the beach. :)

And I'm a little bit of a TV hater, too, and yet...the forty minutes of silence (and stillness) it brought today was priceless. And we learned all about lions, too. So...not all bad. :)