Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy 33 to Me!

Oh Happy Day! Adele came to visit for a couple days between her trip to Taiwan and her trip to Utah! This amazing niece of mine brings fun and happiness wherever she goes (don't let Jade's focused face distract you, she really is having fun!). 

She read stories to Jade while Larry was in class--this one was a library book about Claire the glass-wing butterfly.  I can't help but remember that we named Jade Claire very first after she was born... and then Leanora, and then Jade... random bit of Koberstein family trivia there... anyway, back to Adele...

 Dawna and Adele still share a very special bond as sister-cousins who lived together for two years. Nothing is too embarrassing for them to try together--for example, Adele is trying to get her humming to register on the ukulele tuner clipped to her nose... no luck. So...
 ... Dawna has to try it. Also no luck... but lots of giggles..

The last day Adele was with us, she and Dawna took on the very grown-up job of babysitting all of their younger siblings (7 in all) while all of us parents went out to dinner and then to an escape room in Santa Clara! We were gone about five hours and they had all the kids fed, read, and put to bed when we all got home. 

I called this my "birthday party" even though it wasn't really planned as such, and came a week early. But really, a good steak dinner, an escape room, and lots of friends is the best fun any 33-year old girl can ask for! I had the good company of Becca and Isaac Snow, Angela and Andrew Ringlein, Emily and Jake Biesinger, and Paul and Becca and Aaron and Emily Severson for our attempt to escape detention. 
It was a pretty good escape room. The progression was very dependent on interactions from the staff (who were all very nice, but not excellent actors), which is a different style than the others I've done.  I think I prefer the stand-alone type where there are mechanisms that are more independent of interaction or interference by escape room staff... 

We finished the scenario in 64 minutes! Not quite fast enough to make the wall of honor, but still a good time... especially when I discovered the cool reflecting ceiling picture I could take! (Sorry Becca Snow! You were on the bar...)

Well, friends, thanks for coming to my party! I'm ready to turn 33 next week!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Dad's Book Club: The Glass Castle

Time for me to read a grown-up book. My friend Angela R. suggested this as a good read, plus there was a movie coming out and we've been feeling jealous of Dawna's book/movie club. So I borrowed a copy from Sis. Garrett, who impressively remembered to bring it to the first day of school and give it to me when I was picking up the girls!

This is a fun and moving book to read. At some points, you laugh, at others, you are aghast with disbelief and anger, and still others you are moved to tears.  Rex, the father of the Walls family, is filled with ambition and ideas, but lacks the qualities necessary to bring his visions to life. Unable to keep a job long, his family is pushed from place to place. Sometimes, the kids thrive, other times, they are victims of terrible circumstances. I loved the experience of pulling a piano through the house.  I loved Jeanette's creativity and resourcefulness in making her own braces. I loved the way the Walls children had to bond together to overcome and rise beyond what their parents offered them. 

I came away with a feeling of gratitude for Jon and my own dad as they are excellent provider for my family (past and present) and also both are super fun dads. They have all the positive qualities that Rex exhibits in the book without the frightening and sometimes sickening experiences that he exposes his children to. 

We went with the Ringleins to see the movie after Jon and I sped read the book in a week. I think the movie was just OK. It painted Rex in a much kinder light than I felt he deserved based on the book.  Still, I couldn't help but picture Haymitch Abernathy most of the time... (actor crossover from Hunger Games...) 

Bottom line: I would definitely recommend the book, but feel more ambivalent about the movie.