Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother Mayhem

The great thing about being married and having both your family and your spouse's family live in the same town as you, is that it's easy to get together with them. This is also, as you can imagine, the worst thing about it. "Holiday" weekends become an around-the-town visiting spree, and instead of getting two days to relax, you get zero. But it's usually fun stuff, nonetheless.

Friday night we actually spent with friends at the Aquarium for "Jazz Journeys". The Aquarium was open until 10, and there were very few people there, so we got some great views of tanks that are otherwise pretty crowded. We spent way more time looking at the fishes than actually listening to the jazz (fine with me ;). The water in the "big tank" was remarkably clear, and we got to see all four of the wobbegongs! One of them was even swimming around (I've never seen that). One of the volunteers showed us a video of the arawana (that's how they spell it at the Aquarium) in the River Scout section jumping about 10 feet in the air! The downside was that most of the mammals were asleep, and I didn't get to see my favorites, the leafy sea dragons. We peered through the fence at the new World of Coke (DH was drawn by the giant glowing Coke bottle, as he always is). I'm kind of excited about the coffee shop (or, for me, tea shop) on property...I just hope they have the cocoas like in Toronto.

Saturday DH had a Session meeting early, then we grabbed sandwiches (and cookies) from our local Italian grocery store and drove out to see his parents for Mother's Day. After touring their backyard garden, we drove out to the State Botanical Garden in Athens. It's really gorgeous! Very different from the Atlanta Botanical's mostly outdoor stuff, and I found the outdoor plants very well labeled (a weakness of the ATL garden's outdoor areas, IMO). Also, it's free. =) Too bad it's so close to U(sic)GA. Unfortunately, it started raining about 45 minutes after we got there, so we didn't get to walk any of the trails. That was probably just as well, because I was already starting to suffer from my lack of sleep and the stress of riding in the car with DH's dad at the wheel.... We rounded out the evening with a few rousing hands of Big Two.

Sunday was an early day for us, as DH was running sound for worship and I was singing. I did get to play the djembe again, but Julia was on shaker duty, so it was an easy week. After the service and bidding adieu to our lovely church administrator (*sniff!*), we grabbed some flowers (a lovely pink and white hydrangea; wish I'd thought to take a picture...I've never seen that color before) and rushed off to my parents'. My dad was supposedly cooking lunch for my mom and all the other mothers (my three sisters...I only count as a godmother =). What this really meant was that Dad cooked a couple pork loins (and there was some pork and sauerkraut...I'm not sure if he was responsible for that or not) and heated some green beans, while my three sisters brought side dishes, bread and dessert. Because I'm the baby, I can still get away with showing up and assembling the salads at the last minute. =) I really do like to cook! But I don't think my dad thinks I can cook...that's another story for another day. The best was the dessert my oldest sister created. It had a thin layer of chocolate cake, covered with Moose Tracks ice cream, then a layer of chocolate Cool Whip mixed with peanut butter, topped with chopped Oreo cookies and mini peanut butter cups. YUM!!!! I had a great time gabbing with my nieces and nephews and playing "Countdown" (best I can tell, we play a weird variant of Seven Up, Seven Down, with knocking, but the bids don't have to "work"). I actually came in second in the second game, which is astonishing for me. It's one of the few games I enjoy that I'm not that great at.

When we finally got home, we collapsed on the couch and watched "Zathura", which I highly recommend. I was a little ambivalent towards it at the beginning, because it seemed like a sad rehash of "Jumanji" (which, to be honest, I've never seen). However, I didn't realize that they are both taken from books by Chris VanAlsburg. The interview with him on the DVD is great...basically, at the end of Jumanji they give the game to two kids, Walter and Danny, who "are always starting puzzles and never finishing them". Jumanji was an old, double-sided game board, and on the back is Zathura. In the movie, the game board is this really cool "tin toy" type of board, and they don't address the tie-in to Jumanji. But I love the game board design so much, I don't care at all. The two boy actors are just great. And, as a bonus, MOST of the effects are practical rather than digital. PLUS, Frank Oz as a robot!! It doesn't get much better than that. =)

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