Duane H. Howard

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 Duane Howard Hardy
1947 ~ 2013

Duane Howard Hardy, age 66, born 14 May 1947, passed away Oct. 29, 2013 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He wanted to live with all his heart and was willing to take the toughest of treatment if it would give him another day on earth with his family and friends.

He was born in Salt Lake City to Howard and Eunice Hardy. After graduating from Granite High School in 1965, he served an LDS mission to England. Upon return home, he attended the University of Utah for one year prior to enlisting in the US Air Force in May of 1969. He met his wife Shirley Ann Wallace while she was attending BYU. They were sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple 29 June 1970.

He served in Vietnam from Oct. 1970 to Oct. 1971. He was very patriotic throughout his life. Upon discharge from the Air Force he attended BYU, graduating in 1977 with a degree in journalism. He re-enlisted in the Air National Guard and served until retirement at age 60. He retired from the State of Utah May 30th of 2013.

He was passionate about family, traveling, sports, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley; sons, Kenneth (Wendy), Gregory, Eric (Shilo) and 7 grandchildren. He is also survived by siblings, Ron (Marilyn), Laraine (Larry), Brent (Lynette), and Grant (Connie).

This obit ran in the Saturday Deseret News, which included a BYU add directly underneath!  The Hardy boys got a big kick out of that!

Mickey's Halloween Party Birthday Suprise

Monday, October 21, 2013

After throwing Awsumb a decoy Totally Awsumb Nerf Birthday Bash it was finally time to reveal the surprise...   Kenneth checked Awsumb out of school, telling him we had dentist appointments.  When Awsumb came in the door he found a pile of packed luggage and an invitation I customized from a mailer Disney sent out last month advertising Mickey's Halloween.

We flew out Thursday and after check in visited Downtown Disney to pick up our Annual Passes.  After dinner at Storytellers it was time for bed.
Here are some iphone shots. I'll have to come back and update with photopass stuff later

Disneyland - Friday Day 1
Because we planned to stay out late for Mickey's Halloween Party we took our time and had breakfast in the room arriving at the park at 10:30.  It's always fun to walk in and find the park all decked out for the season!
Awsumb pulled Space Mountain FP's and we headed to Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, Pulled Indy FP and used our Space Mountain or as it is called at Halloween Ghost Galaxy Fast passes. I really don't like this ride. I don't know if it's because it's darker or the creepy skinless ghost or what.  It kinda makes me sick.  But Awsumb thinks it's fantastic!  Then we went on Star Tours, The Matterhorn and caught the Parade.

When you buy tickets to Mickey's Halloween Party you can enter the park 3 hours before start time.  Or if you are already in the park pick up your bracelets and trick or treat bags at that time over in Frontierland. Then we went on Indy and The Jungle Cruise.

 Awsumb knew we were going to the Halloween Party, but didn't know what he was wearing as a costume. We teased him all night that he was going to be one of the 7 dwarves, which he wasn't too happy about. So when he woke up to a Captain Jack Sparrow Costume he was excited to play pirate for the day!  You can see that it was very busy this weekend. (Utah Schools were out for UEA, an educators conference or as we call it - Utah Escapes to Anaheim).  The park was pretty packed.  And the Friday night Halloween Party was sold out.

Lunch at Blue Bayou
Monte Cristo split plate.  Did you know you can do a split plate and they will also include a side and soup or salad?  Awsumb loves this because he can start with jambalaya!  I was sad to learn the  latest revised menu no longer serves veggies and cheesy potatoes with the Monte Cristo.
Kenneth has been Indiana Jones every year for over a decade.
Maybe not such a good idea to wear a leather jacket when it was 80 degrees!  We got a special backstage encounter on our trip through Indiana Jones Adventure this time.  But I dare not publish it here!

Kenneth and I on the Jungle Cruise
Because I didn't know what the weather or the party would be like I choose a simple Minnie Mouse Apron. It was fun and easy and I received lots of comments from other moms.
After lunch we wet to Frontierland and Saw Goofy, Minnie and Mickey and played some games.  We were among first in line for the Toon Town pre- party and it was totally worth it.  They couldn't send us through everything fast enough!  There was lots of trick or treat trails, rides and characters.  We saw Carabelle and Goofy and went on Gadget Go-Coast and ended up missing Roger Rabbit (should have done that in backwards order)  We had more candy than we could ever eat over the weekend before the party officially began! 
Trick or Treating in Minnie's House
 There are so many fun things to see.  Don't miss walking through the path behind Big Thunder Mountain from the Ranch to Frontierland, at night it becomes a really cool spooky trail! 
Our best tip is to avoid the main hub and stay in the back or corners of the park as much as you can.  The parties can be very crowded and overwhelming. Especially as the regular park goers are being escorted out and the Halloween Party guests are trying to enter Disneyland.
We saw Peter Pan and Wendy, went through all the Trick or Treat Trails in the area, and saw Donald and Chip and Dale.

 During Halloween the Dapper Dans turn into the Cadaver Dans and float on a raft in the middle of the foggy Rivers of America. It was amazing and their singing filled the whole area with a spooky atmosphere.
Time to Meet Jack Sparrow!
I should have video taped this encounter as Jack didn't really hold still for a picture until the end and played around with Awsumb and his costume and hat for a while...  Lots of fun!
Jack wasn't too keep on this Indiana Jones Guy!
We caught the Costume Cavalcade. I don't know why they don't just call it the Halloween Parade!  The Halloween Fireworks were AMAZING and we got a last minute front row joe seat directly in front of the castle.
We made our way to Tomorrowland to find Darth Vader was not appearing, although he was a usual character at the Halloween parties this year.  but the storm troopers were in front of a cool back drop.
Then we went through the innovation trick or treat trail to see Phineas and Ferb.  After riding single rider through both sides of the Matterhorn we caught the Costume Cavalcade again and trick or treated through fantasyland to the ranch to see the spooky trail again.
Just before the end of the night we made the line to see Minnie and Mickey.  It shouldn't have been a long wait, but these two took their sweet time with each party.  At that point I just wanted to get off my feet!  Minnie was very cute about my costume and kept giving Indy BIG kisses!

It was so much fun to see what the Halloween Parties at Disneyland were all about.  I kept telling the boys we didn't care about candy. In the end you end up with a lot of candy because a lot of the special characters are in candy trails.

They did have "healthy" choices.  Apples, Carrots, Craisens, Cheeze-its, Graham Crackers, Goldfish, etc.  The candy was all chocolate. No hard candy, suckers or gum.
Sleep Tight Birthday Boy!

I wanted Awsumb to have a few small things to open on his birthday.  So I arranged to have Mickey and the Gang deliver a surprise. (i.e. I snuck all this into our luggage) Each card included a  joke and a small gift from each character:
Mickey - iPhone Cover
Minnie - Handmade Pillowcase
Donald - Mickey Duct Tape
Goofy - Mickey Bandaids
Pluto - pirate shoelaces
Saturday - California Adventure Day 2

Happy 12th Birthday Awsumb!

I knew Awsumb would choose to spend some of his birthday monies on this hand knitted Oswald The Lucky Rabbit he has been wanting for a long time now...
A slow day in California Adventure as we were just so tired from the day before.  Kenneth took Awsumb through the Grizzly River Rapids TWICE and got him SOAKING WET including his shoes. I had flip flops and told them to put them in the bag if we planned on riding that day... they both insisted they wouldn't and then well... So Awsumb got a new pair of Mickey crocs.
Dinner at Napa Rose with Auntie and Uncle
Awsumb choose the sea bass with blood orange sauce and couscous.  And to start a seasonal soup with apples and duck confit.  He ate every bite.
Auntie and Uncle presented him with a leather bound Mickey Mouse journal.
Thank you Auntie and Uncle!


Sunday -  Carsland Day 3
Traditional Picture in front of the pumps!
It's always too crowded to get a picture here, but I try anyway... 
Awsumb's shoes were soaked on Grizzly River Rapids the day before so he was stuck wearing Mickey crocs the rest of the trip. I can so black mail him with this later in life!
Popcone with nacho flavoring is our new favorite snack!
Cars, Screaming x2, Tower of Terror
Lunch at Carthay Circle
Because we had a big breakfast we weren't that hungry and decided we wanted to eat in the lounge after we canceled our reservation to go upstairs.  Everything we ordered was lovely!  I especially like the lobster spring rolls and Kenneth loves the deviled eggs.
 Ebi Shrimp Rolls and Minnie Mouse Caramel Cones!

Cars again, Tower of Terror 2 more times!

  Animation Academy x 2
Because I can't even draw a stick figure these classes are especially fun as I begin to recognize characters towards the end of the instructions. Love it!
Mad hatter Dance Party and Monsters Pictures
Then we parked hopped over to Disneyland for the rest of the evening
Dinner at Jolly Holiday where I was excited to get the warm grains and vegetable salad, which turns out to not be warm. And would be so great warm, especially on a cool night!  But it would be refreshing on a hot day!
Jungle Cruise, Pirates, caught the end of Fantasmic, Fireworks, Haunted Mansion and took the Disneyland Railroad the Main Street.

Monday - Disneyland Day 3
After a mix up at the hotel and free room service for breakfast (don't stay at the Convention Center Hilton - just don't...)  We checked out bags with the bell hop and took ART over to the park for a few more hours before our flight.
Star Tours and Buzz, saw the Ironman Armor display, Ghost Galaxy x2, Matterhorn x2
Café Orleans for lunch, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Indy and the Jungle Cruise
Then we got our hands stamped - A family tradition, so you know you can always come back and it was time to fly home.   Awsumb slept the entire plane ride home!

If you notice there was no fantasyland in this trip. Some of this is due to the fact that as a seasonal trip we had unusual plans each day.  And also because the carousal was being refurbished. The large tent covering it up was ugly and made fantasyland not so fantastic to be in. Also Awsumb seemed to have other things he was focused on this trip. We didn't really do it on purpose, we just kept putting it off, but it does say something about the way Disney experiences change are your children grow up!
 Kenneth really needed the break from work and all the other things that are going on in our lives right now.  Happy Birthday Awsumb! I hope it was a trip to remember.

A Totally Awsumb Nerf Birthday Bash!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Kenneth and I had a special surprise planned for Awsumb's birthday this year.  But it became clear we would have to throw a decoy party so Awsumb wouldn't know something was up.  I came up with most everything from things I already had.  We did buy a few more Nerf darts and the bandanas and lanyards to make License to Nerf badges.  other than that we didn't really spend any $.  Awsumb invited 24 kids with instructions to bring their own Nerf. What I didn't realize is that the kids would come with duffle bags full of Nerf weapons and ammo!  It was crazy!  But one of our best parties yet!

I set out baskets of ammo and bandanas so the kids could TEAM UP!
Then I told the kids the rules.  Basically they couldn't shoot me, even if I was armed and shooting at them. They signed the back of their ID's put a finger print on the front and filled their pockets with ammo.
Lanyards and Badge holders can be found for a good deal in bulk on Amazon.com

Let the Wild Rumpus BEGIN!
The kids managed their own Nerf game and ended up playing some sort of humans versus zombies or whatever. They roamed all over the clubhouse grounds which includes tons of trees, bushes and old fall out shelter and played until dark.

OUCH! That hurt and that blur - a hatchet!

Awsumb asked me to plan official games. So I found some ideas online.  This kept the boys busy while we set up pizza and cupcakes.
Sunkist Slingshot (Yes, I let Awsumb drink most of those! just to make this game)

Target Shoot with NERF Dart Tag (Velcro darts)

Disc Throw with some Frisbees we had laying around from last Halloween
Thanks for the cool gifts everyone!  Awsumb will never need to buy another Nerf gun again!

It's all fun and games, until you have to pick up the darts!