Tag: pat boone family theater

day 8: time together


After we’d been married about 3 years, Rod and I were leading our then-church’s youth group, which our kids were in.

We went through the book The Five Love Languages For Teens and discovered that for both Josh and Paige, their primary love language was quality time.

Quality time itself is kind of one of those yuppy, new-agey, Gen-x, guilt trip terms that wasn’t necessary back in the day because we didn’t have the terms multi-task and social media, and the only people with schedules and agendas wore suits and carried briefcases. Being together as a family shouldn’t require a term or a plan, but that’s the world we live in and to which we must adjust.

So we have made quality time a family value. Our ‘new kids’ have no idea, yet, what that is, but they want it, and we give it. It used to be much easier during those almost-2-years when Mommy and Daddy were both work-at-home parents, and we traveled together most of the time. Now it takes a little more coordination on our part, but they don’t see it. We eat breakfast together in the morning. We eat dinner together at night. We spend Fridays with the older siblings. We attend school functions and church several times a week. Daddy walks them to the school door every day and I volunteer at school whenever I can. One of us meets the bus and does homework with them. We like to go see movies, enjoy the beach and pool, go visiting, hit the Sonic happy hour.

Lately, these great blogs about forgoing Christmas gifts have been popping up. Yes, I say great. During the past few years, for reasons philisophical, financial, and spiritual, we have been parring down on Christmas giving. I admit, there is still some guilt involved for me, as I used to be a champion gift-giver and card-sender. But it gets out of hand, we already have more than we need, and the best gift, really/truly/deeply is experiencing life together. This year, we have our son’s wedding 4 days before Christmas, and when our almost-daughter-in-law said we’d all be getting hugs for Christmas, I was actually relieved. Who needs another DVD or gift card? Let’s make dinner together and revisit one of those family favorite films. That’s a treasure!

Last night, Randa sat on the kitchen floor while Rod and I cleaned up dishes (quality time, y’all!) and declared she was going to make her Christmas list. She did so without asking how to spell anything (also a gift to me!) The photo is above. The interpretation is here:

1. Easy Bake oven
2. To go shoe shopping with Mommy
3. To see a movie with my family
4. To get a trip to Hawaii (she said this is for her honeymoon, so we agreed that can be postponed)
5. To go dress shopping with Mommy

6. To sip hot chocolate on Christmas morning
7. I want a new Belle dress.

The idea that most of her desired presents involve time spent with us? Priceless.


the one where they go to Beverly Hills

Last week was a whirlwind.

I mean, we tend to live in one, but last week was more of one than usual.

Due to extenuating work circumstances, we’ve been scouting magicians. Yeah. Six months ago I was scouting homeschool curriculum, now magicians. Anyway, an act at the top of our list happened to have a show in Los Angeles, where Pat Boone also happens to live (in the Hills, that is), so it made perfect sense for Rod to go.

When he started looking at flights, the airline we typically use to fly out of the Myrtle Beach airport only had flights to L.A. that stopped over in Chicago.


Well, it then made perfect sense for both of us to go (we work better together, after all) (and we haven’t had a night alone that didn’t involve packing or unpacking boxes in m o n t h s) (and, Chicago!). We flew to Chicago on Wednesday evening, leaving the girls to suffer with my parents…

We flew to L.A. Thursday morning, by way of Vegas

(it was 45 degrees in Chicago, that morning, by the way).

(it hurt my heart a little not to stop there. I heart Las Vegas)

and spent our rental-carless evening ordering pizza and watching utter crap on the TV before passing out at 9:30 pm, Pacific Time.

(and I am sad to say, due to our lack of a car and forethought, we had to pass up the opportunity to go here):

The next morning I woke up at 5 – 5AM! – which was ok, because it was already 8 on that other coast, where we live now.

I checked on Sara, because checking on her has been a habit for over a year, and now that her journey has almost ended, I find myself manically checking on her. Thankfully, on Friday, there was a blog post update, and it’s been quiet since. She is resting peacefully, it seems, and though we the internet love Gitzen Girl, this time is really about her RL family and friends. And so I pray. And choose joy…

After it became a respectable hour on the Pacific coast, Rod and I foraged for food. Let me pause her to say that while there are many lovely things about L.A., the area surrounding the airport is not one of them. At least we got a good walk in, before finding a Denny’s.

…where we encountered a waiter who was almost assuredly a character actor at some point, kind of reminding me of a pivotal Buffy character, in fact:

(and might I add here that I kind of miss scouring the internet for Buffy screencaps and such…those were the days…anyway…)

Also, Rod tried his own hand at magic.

Any second now, he’ll be shoving me into a box with flaming spikes.

Awhile after that, our new friend Marc (aka Pat Boone’s manager) picked us up and took us to the place where many pivotal scenes of The Lost Boys were fillmed~

(Also known as the Santa Monica Pier).

And we ate at a lovely restaurant across the street, where I ordered not enough of this:

(butternut squash & walnut ravioli. Yeah, it was).

And for those who enjoy hearing such anecdotes, I did trip THREE times crossing the street from the restaurant to the pier. Kelly is Kelly no matter what city she’s in…

As we headed to meetings at the Pat Boone office, Marc was a super-gracious host. He pointed out every cheesy landmark he thought I would like (It might have something to do with my squeeing over the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. He offered to stop there, but we were kinda running late, so my closest brush with the place that made Julia Roberts truly famous was this)~

It is absolutely true about L.A. traffic, by the way. There is no way Jack Bauer made it to all those places to save the world just in time. I mean, he’s amazing, but Chuck Norris he’s not…

The PBE offices~

were a ton of fun! There was Pat Boone (read: mainly 50s and 60s) memorabilia EVERYWHERE… from branded bobby socks to pictures with U.S. Presidents. And the cool part was, I got to ‘go shopping’ for the Pat Boone Family Theater by strolling around with a pad of Post-It notes (which is all this girl really needs to have a little fun) and marking things I want for display in the theater.

You’re really going to have to come see it

We did meet Pat Boone for a moment when we were there, in which he mistook me for my daughter due to this practically famous Facebook post:

And we watched some fantastic vintage footage with Charles and Andrea, the PBE office gurus. (Charles pictured here):

Then we had to leave for a magic show…20 miles/2 hours away. We pretty much made it just in time. We saw awesome stuff. Rod was an audience volunteer, teehee~

We met two completely wonderful people whom I hope to tell you about soon.

Then we crashed.

Then we woke up and graced the famous Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge with our decidedly Chicagolina selves…for breakfast with Marc and Pat Boone. For the record, the coffee was wonderful, I ordered the So Cal omelet, I did not spill anything on myself (or anyone else – score!), and… I did not take pictures.

But he was really there, as evidenced by this graceful entry he wrote for my nephew’s ‘journal around the world’ school project!~

He was full of fantastic stories. When I am, ahem, conducting business, I try not to put people into roles, but it wasn’t lost on me that Mr. Boone, just taking age into account, could be my grandfather, and my own grandparents would have gotten such a big kick out of my having breakfast with him. In Beverly-stinkin-Hills. He even sang a few little things, and prayed before breakfast. It was one of those wow moments, really.

Afterwards, I did the most subtly awestruck things I could do. I emailed my friends from the very posh bathroom, and made our good-humored Marc take this photo~

After the trip back to Illinois, we had one day to spend there. We went to our Chicago home church, we hung out with my parents, and I was visited by 3 of my besties, who came with food I can’t get in Myrtle Beach and babies i don’t get to see there~

…and then we headed to my bro and sis-in-law’s, who have one of the world’s cutest babies, which I don’t say only because she is my almost-namesake:
I was sad to see the time end, but grateful for a little bonus trip, one that included this

and this!

(having all four kids together for such a brief period of time that there are no pictures…)

and coming home to this:

We go rollin’ down this highway, chasing all our crazy dreams. You go your way and I go my way, and everywhere in between. One of these days we’ll find a piece of ground, just outside some sleepy little town, and set this circus down. { Tim McGraw }