Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Be Our Guest" Times Three

It's been a couple of years since I've spent any time listening country music on a daily basis. But for about 15 years our local country station was the first button on my car radio. I still like it but just don't listen to it that much anymore. 

When I was an avid listener to country, I noticed that one of the keys to having a hit that got air play was a song with a "3 in 1" theme. 

These types of songs take a premise, often the song title, and use it in 3 different contexts, one verse for each. Here are links to some of these types of songs on You Tube:

"Don't Take The Girl" by Tim Mcgraw

I'm Already Taken By Steve Warnier 

Good As I Once Was By Toby Keith


Although a lot of the 3 for 1 songs are decent I always thought they were a bit of a creative hack; an easy formula, if you will.  

But sometimes a "hack" makes sense. In this case the "3 in 1" works for this post. 

It is based on the phrase, "Be Our Guest".

Over the last month there have been 3 ways this theme has come into play for me. 

Now I've already written about being a guest for an evening at Bowling Green ballpark courtesy of my sister-in-law. So that doesn't figure in this post. Here are the details of 3 other recent "Be Our Guest" experiences. 

The first one involves Walt Disney World but not for me directly. Back in the middle of June, my niece, Teejai, made her first trip to Orlando to visit WDW, with her friend, Melanie and her family. 

During her last 2 visits to Kentucky I have encouraged my niece to take a trip to WDW as soon as she can. She's a big fan of Disney, especially Stitch. It was her dream to go to the Magic Kingdom and meet him. 

When the opportunity came up for her to go in June. I did everything I could to help her make that dream come true. 

Now a trip to Walt Disney World is a big investment for anyone; be it an entire family or just an individual. Because I encouraged her to make the decision to go so strongly I kind of felt "responsible" for her having a good time. I was telling her to "go for it". So I felt like I was inviting her to "Be My Guest" at the place where dreams come true.   

Being an experienced WDW visitor, I offered Teejai and "Mel" assistance with their plans before they left and while they were there. 

I gave them access to some of the Disney based websites and apps I have subscriptions to so they could use them. I gave them Fast Pass strategies as well.  

I wanted to share with them all my knowledge and "insider tips" to help their time in the parks be the best it could be.   

Although I tried not to be too pushy or intrusive in their vacation, there were probably times that I gave them more info than they wanted to know.  

I'm sure my daily communications through phone calls and text messages (a lot of them initiated by me) seemed rather excessive at times. But the reality that she was actually there made me want to be there right by her side. Keeping in contact with her through our phones was the closest I could get.  

Her text telling me that the Magic Kingdom fireworks made her cry means along with me she's now a fan of "The World" for life. 

Unfortunately, she missed her chance to meet Stitch by 5 minutes. But the pictures she sent me, proves she had a great time. 





And in a way she did have an encounter with Stitch. 

My 2nd recent "Be Our Guest" experience was an invitation from our kids during the the July 4th holiday week. 

On the night of July 3rd James and Brandi invited us to their first backyard cookout and fireworks display. 

The unique thing about this occasion is that it is the first "party" type event that James & Brandi hosted at their new house. 

Without going into great details, hosting this type of event is only natural for both of them. They are both family oriented and very social. It's practically in their DNA. 

There were quite a few guests there too. There were members both sides of their families, some friends, and neighbors. it's always fun to meet new people and watch the kids running around having a good time. 

They had a couple of canopies set up in their backyard with a table under one of them. Everyone was asked to bring their own chairs. We took our rocking lawn chairs.  

I took a bag of Lay's "Sausage & Gravy" flavored potato chips. I had mentioned to James a week or so earlier that I thought he might like them; so I took a bag for him to try. They caught the attention of a few other people at the picnic and soon they were just about gone. I also took a batch of my double fudge dark chocolate brownies. They were very well received and nearly all of them were devoured too.  

The hit of the day (other than the fireworks show) was the burgers and hot dogs cooked on James' new grill. It is double sided. One side is for charcoal or wood chips and the other uses propane. 

A small team of helpers assisted him in making the perfect cheeseburger. But it was my son who was very proud of is first big venture using his new cooking appliance. 


Once a bit of darkness set in it was time to start the fireworks show. Here are a couple of videos to share some of the highlights of the backyard show. If you notice some fireworks off to the right, it's another display that was going off in the distance. A bit of a bonus for us. 
video

Here's another fireworks video that's too long to display on this blog. The link will take you to my You Tube Channel. 

The Conner's Backyard Fireworks

The evening ended with the release of about a dozen flaming lanterns one-by-one into the sky. This was mainly for the enjoyment of the kids. 

I couldn't help but bring up the video of the song "I See The Light" from Disney's Tangled on my phone so it accompanied my granddaughter's lantern release. 

Paula and I had a good time at the first Conner family picnic. I thank James & Brandi for inviting us to be their guest. I look forward to the July 4th picnic and fireworks becoming a tradition in the years to come.

The 3rd event that fits the "Be Our Guest" happened at our house on Sunday July 9. It was the conclusion of Paula's birthday celebration combined with a favorite family meal. 

We invited our kids, grandkids and my sister- in-law, Theresa to our house for a late Sunday afternoon get together. Our dinner included: the steaks on the grill (marinated in my special mixture for a couple of days and grilled on the copper grill sheets you see advertised on TV),Paula's homemade mashed potatoes, Southern style green beans, Velveeta Mac & cheese (only kind some of my family members will eat) and Mrs. Shubert's dinner rolls.

For dessert we had a triple chocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter icing in the middle and dark chocolate on the top. It was good but a little too rich for me. I probably won't make something with that much chocolate in the future. 

I must tell you this kind of gathering at our house is one of the joys of my life. I just love having everyone around and seeing their interaction. I know that no family is perfect; but for the most part my family really gets along. 

After we enjoyed our dinner it was time for the other reason that we were all together. It was time to give Paula her birthday gift. 

This year we all went in on one gift that is a really good fit for her at this time in her life. 

Here is a link to my You Tube video of her opening the gift. The banter in the background is family members talking about also recording the scene and my daughter-in-law and son playing a game of Monopoly together on their phones.   

Paula Opens Her Birthday Present

Here is a close up of the Family Heart pendant we gave her. 
The jewels on the right are the birthstones in order of the chronological birthdays of all our immediate family members: Aria, Michael, Brandi, Paula, Theresa, Heather, Me, James and Gabriel. The big stone in the upper left is December, for our wedding anniversary. 

So there you have my trio of "Be Our Guest" themed events. I enjoyed them all and just had to share them with you. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I will invite you back again soon. When I do I will be introducing you to the newest pet member of the family along with his story of how he twist of fate brought him to us. Also I will be sending out notification on Facebook of a special video version of the "Latest In Lego". Til then...See Ya! 


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