Thursday, April 7, 2011

stanley strikes again: another guest post

Faithful readers will remember that Flat Stanley graced us with a guest post here back in February.  Since that time he's traveled to other blogs and made some cameos on various facebook profiles, and today he's back again (well, not physically) to make a report on some of his other travels.  The blog is yours, Stanley:

So after I spent a fun and relaxing time visiting Nana and the Popster, Aunt Ellen, Uncle Shane, and Hailey, I was ready for some kid interaction again. That’s what led to what may have been the most dangerous adventure of my illustrious career‐‐spending a lot of time around . . . The Sandlins.

Things started off pretty calm. We ate lunch at Mac‐Mac’s house on a Sunday which is what her bunch of Sandlins usually do. They all had big people food, but Elijah was nice enough share with me a plate of smallish morsels which were more suitable to my unique digestive needs. After lunch we retired to the deck for dessert and a visit. I mostly watched Elijah eat. I think that he must have learned about the Last Supper at church that day, because he was practicing reclining at the table.  Rob‐Bob wasn’t reclining, but she was wearing clothes that looked suspiciously like pajamas so it was basically the same thing.

[Blogging failure's note:  There's a picture of this--Stanley in a chair, Elijah lying down eating, and Robyn wearing Razorback pajama pants--but technical difficulties prevent it from appearing here.  Sorry, Stanley--and Mac.]

Next, I went home with Mac and Jenni and their kids. Things were okay there to begin with, but then Jenni made me help cook supper. I even had to cut up the onions!! I was so afraid that I’d start crying and smear my face that I could barely keep the knife straight. Lucky for me, Jenni kept a close eye on me and made sure
that I was safe.

After that, I just sat around being bored for a couple of days. There was a lot of big talk about cool things that I might get to do, but you know how Mac is – long on talk and short on follow‐through. Eventually, we decided that I’d get to play Vikings with Elijah, and boy was I excited about that. It took about three or four days of shopping online for us to find just the right equipment for me. We got the helmet and battle ax right pretty easily, but Elijah was VERY picky about what my shield and armor ought to look like. Eventually, we settled on a round wooden shield with an authentic dragon design on it. Elijah says that the horns on my helmet are cow horns and that the brown part is made of leather with metal bands just like the toy one
that he has.
 [Random historical note: Did you know that Vikings didn’t really wear horns on their helmets? A painter invented that particular bit of fashion for them several hundred years later. Thanks Wikipedia!!]

Once I had all of my Viking gear on, Elijah tried to show me how to make a warrior face. Apparently Vikings did a great deal of growling and snarling and more than their fair share of screaming. I sort of wonder if Elijah and the rest of the Sandlins might be descended from the Vikings…

As usual, one friend or playmate was not enough for Elijah. He wasn’t really happy until his dad got in on the action too. Luckily, Mac’s basically a big kid, and he was more than happy to don his Viking helmet and take up his weapons for a rousing Nordic battle.

 After all of that violent rough‐housing, I decided that I needed a little break. I thought that playing house with Josie would be a nice change of pace. She let me cook a little in her singing kitchen, and we all sang along, “I like to eat red apples and yellow bananas, orange oranges and purple grapes, I like some colorful fruit, every
day, then I’m off to play!” Jenni told me that I was a welcome guest in her home but that she heard that silly song about six thousand times a day and was sick to death of it. I stopped singing immediately as I was afraid that she might make me chop the onions again.
 Luckily though, she had a better idea. She showed me a place where I felt right at
Josie really liked playing house with me. We opened and closed the door and turned the porch light on and off. We looked through the windows and rang the bell. Jenni did a good job of making sure that Josie didn’t tear my arms off too. I was so grateful that I didn’t even sing any of the songs that the musical door liked to play.
Later on, the Sandlin crew was invited to a picnic at the Wisdoms’ house. I decided that I wanted to come along to meet Elijah’s friend Gabe and his parents, Mr. Jeff and Mrs. Nancy. Mr. Jeff is Mac’s best friend and he’s friends with Aunt Ellen and Uncle Shane too. He and Aunt Ellen used to eat lunch together in college and the days when Mr. Jeff and Aunt Ellen were both at the table were always especially hilarious.  At least that’s what they tell me. I also wanted to visit their house since it was the house that your mom and dad used to live in before you were born. Mac told me stories about going to Katelyn’s birthday party over there and watching her eat the cake when she was a baby. Elijah even took me back to her old room where Gabe lives now. I said that it was a nice place but that I would have liked it better if you had lived there.

[Technology fails again:  imagine you're seeing a really sweet picture of Elijah and Gabe and Stanley holding hands.]

Josie was playing on a toy piano, and Jenni told me that she’d love to hear me sing along with her. It turns out that she really loves my singing so long as I’m not doing cover songs off of the playschool toys greatest hits album. Between the bright colors of Mrs. Nancy’s kitchen and dining room and the way that Josie kept trying
wad me up, it was hard to concentrate on getting all the notes right and remembering all the words, but I managed. I even got a standing ovation!
Well, the picnic was great fun, but I wanted to see some more of what all went on at the Sandlin house from day to day. Since tax season was going on, Jenni spent a lot of her time filing returns. I got to help a little. We’ve made sure to remove any relevant information that might show up on the tax forms. We wouldn’t want Jenni to lose her job.

I was going to go to Harding to see Mac’s work, but things there got kind of crazy. It turns out that they’ve offered him an interview for a permanent teaching position in the Bible department, so he’s having to act extra professional right now. He said that he’d make it up to me, but I didn’t know what he had in mind.

At first, I was a little nervous when he said that I’d need my Viking helmet and ax. I wasn’t sure if I was up for all the yelling and snarling again so soon (though Elijah never seems to get tired of it). Luckily, this time I wasn’t doing anything as dangerous as playing with Elijah. I was only battling a host of vicious dragons.

I figured that I’d better attack the most dangerous dragon first, but the Night Fury was so fast that I couldn’t get to him in time. Instead, I smacked the Monstrous Nightmare across his nose with my ax. He fell to the ground with a howl of pain. I dodged the darts that the Deadly Nader shot from its tail and quickly tied the
Hideous Zippleback’s two heads together in a knot. Just then, the Night Fury flew back down. Being the nimble fellow that I am, and knowing that Night Furies can actually be quite friendly when treated right, I sprang onto his back and began flying through the air.
It was a pretty spectacular end to a long and exciting stay with the Sandlins.  As much fun as it was hanging out with the Sandlins, I’ve been sort of anxious to get home. I bet that you are missing me just as much as I’m missing you. So I’m climbing into my big envelope and coming home via the good ole’ USPS. I’ve got lots of souvenirs from my travels and lots of great memories. I can’t wait to see you and tell you all the details about my trip.
Your Pal,
Flat Stanley


  1. Love it Love it!! Looks like Stanley had a fabulous time! Rachel is very pleased with Stanley's adventures and is excited to be getting him back!! Thanks to you all for playing!!

  2. Possibly the best post you've ever written! Great job, Ellen!


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