NYC day 3

A quick trip on the subway took us to the Natural History Museum.   (Sorry for the thumb in the photo.)

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Earlier this spring we watch the movie “Night at the Museum” to prepare for the trip.  Jack was excited to see some of the sights from the movie.  The museum wasn’t exactly like in the movie.  Either they have made major changes to the layout in the last few years, or the movie set designers didn’t feel the need to replicate it very precisely.  Despite that, Jack had fun hunting for things he recognized.

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Jack had a lot of anxiety on the trip.  He was sure we would be hit by a hurricane or flood or the buildings would fall over (he doesn’t yet know about any real terror attacks that have occurred in the city – I skipped that part of NYC history).  He was convinced this whale model would fall down.  Now that he has “survived” I hope he enjoys looking at the pictures of it.

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His favorite part of the museum was the Tiger displays.  He did a school report on Bengal Tigers and has been in love with them ever since.

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We walked out of the museum into torrential downpour. Instead of exploring Central Park as planned, we scurried to a nearby Shake Shack for lunch, then took the subway back to midtown to meet-up with the rest of the family.

This was my theater day.  Dad volunteered to rest at the hotel with Jack while I went with the rest to see In and Of Itself.  But first, there’s always time for snacks!  The rain had stopped enough to sit outside in Union Square.

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The show was a one-man-show about identity told in a series of stories and magic tricks, more like an essay than a narrative performance.  I was underwhelmed by the written part, but he had an amazing memory and great slight-of-hand tricks.

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Dinner at a BBQ place in Times Square.  Delicious, copious amounts of food!  Jack enjoyed his root beer float, then took a snooze as the meal ended.

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After dinner I got to see ANOTHER show!  This was Anastasia, based on the animated movie from 1997. They (wisely) took out the villain Rasputin and all the mystical parts of the story, and also beefed up the historical context.  The music and costumes were gorgeous.  I absolutely loved it.

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Another late night – I couldn’t believe Jack and my parents were still awake when we got back to the hotel!

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(Bonus picture from the second day I forgot to post.  Thanks, whichever sibling took it!)

NYC Day 1 and 2

Jack and I have returned from his first trip to New York City!

Striker the tiger and Jack got their first view of Manhattan as we landed.

Our hotel room had a beautiful view of the Empire State Building.  It was beautiful to see lit up at night, even in the fog.

After checking in to the hotel we took to the streets for food.  Pizza, Kati Rolls, and Wafels and Dingels.  We took the food to nearby Bryant Park and met up with Andy and Jenn.

The next morning we went shopping in Rockefeller Center.  I loved the Koons installation.  Jack loved the Lego displays.

Next we went south to Battery Park.  Jack got a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and decided he didn’t want to take the Ferry for a closer look.  Instead we explored the Clinton Castle and had street vendor snacks.

More shopping in Soho.  This display at the Scholastic Company office caught his eye.  Although there is no longer a store at that location, the front desk staff asked him to wait while they brought down a pile of free books for him to take home!  Mom found good things at Gudrun and took Jack to the Evolution store.  I tried out some Uniqlo clothes and made my usual pilgrimage to Purl Soho for their lovely, soft yarn.

We all gathered a delicious Italian dinner.  Jack only showed enthusiasm for the tower of profiteroles.  While the others went to see the musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” Jack and I went to Times Square.  We saw the Naked Cowboy, the usual skungy character buskers, and Living Statues of Liberty – who distracted him from the topless body paint ladies to my amusement.  Jack marveled at the giant Disney store and found a new Spider-Man jacket.  Sadly it seems the giant Toys R Us has closed; no ferris wheel for us this time.  After a long day I forced him to close his book and turn lights out at 11 pm.

American Cake: Boston Cream Pie

I’ve always wanted to bake one of these.  I was surprised to learn the recipe is very old: 1856!  I also learned that for a brief time “pie” and “cake” were interchangeably used because they used the same baking pan.  Hence the name.


Easy recipe, I was surprised how quickly this came together.  I made the cake and filling last night, then the ganache this afternoon.


The recipe said to chill until serving.  The chocolate looked better fresh and glossy when freshly applied.  No one seemed to mind.  I made double the ganache too.  Unnecessary, I wouldn’t bother next time.


Sam couldn’t stand waiting 24 hours to eat the cake.  We were feeding the missionaries tonight. It’s a great excuse to make a cake, and leftovers are minimal.

Bonus!  I made s’mores cookies earlier this week and had an excuse to bust out my blowtorch.

Sock Puppet Theater

Inspired by Gravity Falls (like everything they do) the boys insisted on making sock puppets this morning.

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Summer movies

We took the boys to see Captain Undepants at the new Sloans Lake Alamo.  The book series is a favorite of Jack’s: he was AMPED for the movie.  As the credits rolled he started nerding hard to Ben, explaining all the allusions and differences from the source material. I tried to tape him but he got shy.


We prefer the Littleton Alamo theater.  This one is smaller, no lobby for hanging out before and after the movie.  The servers had to use the same hallways as guests to deliver food.  Also, the neighborhood has that weed stink becoming synonymous with Denver.  The drive is a bit shorter than to Littleton, but less pleasant (dense stop-and-go the whole way). But it’s great to have another option!  The food and service and film quality were great, as expected.

Not ten minutes after bedtime we had a special visit from two Captain Underpantses.


Tra la laaaaaaaa!

School’s Out for Summer!

We started the summer right by biking to a nearby playground.

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Long lunches are back too.  Indulgent, but they eat their fruits and vegetables this way!

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Jack’s 7th Birthday Party

Saturday we celebrated Jack’s Birthday!  Because it usually falls on Memorial Day weekend, and this time it was on Sunday, I bumped the party up a week so we could have it before school ends.  After planning a Star Wars party all year, he changed to Gravity Falls theme about three months ago.  There’s a lot less Gravity Falls merchandise than Star Wars (nothing at all versus millions) so this party took a strong DIY attitude.

Mummy Wrap race was a good starter while we waited for everyone to arrive.

The kids snacked on “Mabel Juice” “Chipackers” “Gnome barf” and eyeballs.

They also bedazzled their faces and drew their own Waddles the Pig Balloons.  

The main event was a treasure hunt. I offered a Team Dipper and Team Mabel trail – what a surprise that they split themselves by gender, right?  I’m quite proud of the hunt.  It took them around the house and yard with simple puzzles that needed only a little adult prodding to figure out.  They had to get creative a few times to find the clue.  I’m glad they were a little stumped at first, and it gave the groups time to each try ideas.  At the end they had to bring their pieces together to solve a decoded message.  But they solved the whole thing in about ten minutes.  The final message told them to look in the basement for Bill Cipher (the show’s villain) that I had made into a piñata.

This was the sweetest moment for me.  Jack came back from the piñata frenzy near tears, saying he didn’t get very much stuff. Four of his friends immediately grabbed fistfuls from their own bags and put it in his.  What great kids!

Cake, presents, and some water balloons and mummy racing finished the party.  We put on the show to let the kids watch while waiting for parents to pick them up.  

It was a rousing, great success that I’m sure Jack will remember well.  Shout out to my parents for being GREAT help running the party, and to Ben for jumping in to help out in games or clean up after the ruckus.

Mother’s Day 

Another tooth bites the dust

In this case, the dust is an apple 😉


Sam demanded a picture too.

What a good way to start the week!  Now Jack is regaling me with all the tooth fairy lore he has picked up from classmates.  Dylan wrote a letter and got to keep his tooth AND the money AND a bag of skittles.  Blakey says there is a different fairy for each kid.  If you leave a glass of water out she will dip her wand into and change it to her color and you will know what color your fairy is.  I wonder what new fairy tale he will bring home after sharing his news at school today.

7 Habits Assembly

Jack was asked to participate in a school assembly about their Seven Healthy Habits Program.  It was an honor to be chosen to be a part of the program, they singled him out for his responsible nature and exemplary use of the Seven Habits.  Ben and I got to attend and see him speak in front of the K-2nd grade audience.  He was very nervous in the weeks leading up to it.  We are so proud of him for speaking in front of so many kids!

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