Sunday, April 15, 2018

April – Half Gone Already?

Last week we were on the road heading back from Landon’s meet, so we have two weeks’ worth of news to report.

The kids had spring break the first week of the month. They spent a lot of it at the gym, Landon going mostly in the mornings and Eliza at her usual times. Otherwise, they spent most of the week taking advantage of the warmer spring weather.
Eliza came up to work with Mike Wednesday morning for a few hours. He had a busy week learning new research techniques. Hallie babysat Lily and took Lily and Eliza with her to Dr. Phelps the chiropractor. Lily was not so fond of the noise the table made, and Eliza received her first adjustment.

In the afternoon Landon had his biannual appointment with his ADHD doctor. Everything is well, and Landon will see him again in another six months.

On Thursday, both kids went to the dentist for an overdue cleaning. Fortunately, they had generally clean teeth. Landon received sealant on his molars, and Eliza found out that she has a small cavity due to some crazy little whole in a tooth. Brusha, brusha, brusha, kiddos! We watched Lily again, and she came to the dentist with us, which was a lot more fun than going to the chiropractor. We won’t bore you will all of the rest of the crazy running around we did the rest of the day, most of it in preparation to be gone for the meets over the weekend.

Friday morning of spring break week Eliza had a meet in West Jordan at Academy West. Eliza performed well and had fun, taking a gold medal for her efforts. We're proud of all the hard work she has put in, and we look forward to a couple of meets yet before her season is over.

Hallie made cute little handouts for each of the girls with nail polish, and after the meet most of the team went to lunch at In-N-Out. Love a place that is open for burgers at 10:30 am, and with the rain the kids all got free hot chocolate.

After lunch we hit the road for Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Landon competed in the Region 9 Meet for his level. We hit snowy weather outside Cheyenne, but otherwise had an uneventful trip. By the time we got to the hotel, everything was covered in snow and ice. Brr! The thermometer said it was 19 degrees with a real feel of 0. “Kids, if you left anything in the car it won’t come in until morning.” Landon and Eliza topped off the long drive to Wyoming with some pool time at the hotel.

Saturday was mostly spent at or near the hotel. Mike did a bit of work, and the kids got some more pool time (both billiards and swimming). Hallie ran a few errands during the middle of the day when the temps rose a bit. We also met up with Landon’s teammates and their dads for dinner in town that evening. It is great fun getting to know the boys outside of the gym and a joy getting to know the parents as well.

Sunday morning, Landon competed bright and early. He placed eighth in Still Rings and Floor and got 12th place all around out of thirty-seven. Not too shabby! We look forward to seeing continued improvement next year. It may not sound like a big deal, but when his coach reminds us that last season he was competing two levels lower and that the beginning of the season meets were pretty rough for Landon, we are very proud of him! Landon has worked really hard this season and has shown much improvement.
(This is how the boys' sisters keep themselves occupied during competition -- gymnastics 'dos!)

After the meet, we headed home. We got a variety of weather on our trip, and like most of Landon’s other teammates we had to stop at Little America and most importantly get a soft serve ice cream cone for 75 cents.

Monday morning dawned too early for everyone, but we made it through that too.  Mike started participating in a study on stress reduction techniques today. He’ll walk on a treadmill three days a week and get paid (a very small amount) for it. This plus a three-part series in mindfulness meditation should help him find his mellow place. Speaking of mellow places, while Hallie got an iron infusion, she had a serene view of the mountains from the hospital.

Landon will now start training to compete at Level 7 later this year, and he also got accepted into Future Stars. Summer will not be much of a vacation for him with practices Monday through Friday 9:00 – 1:00. Eliza is not far behind with gym three days a week, and the two will only overlap by 30 minutes. The gym will be our new summer home. Can someone build Hallie a bedroom at AirTime?

Hallie got involved in helping Mothers without Borders by labeling a bunch of return envelopes. Eliza helped out too by giving Mom the labels to affix to the envelopes. Hallie’s friend Sarena from gym also helped out a bit. We did close to 3,000 envelopes in about three afternoons – quite a feat!

On Friday, Mike celebrated his birthday with some wild weather. We got snow in the morning which melted by the afternoon. Mike spent the morning volunteering at school before spending some time with Hallie after her work and then watching the kids at the gym for a bit before running up to a car dealership to look at cars. While we have appreciated having the Oldsmobile, it’s time for a newer-to-us car. After spending some time researching options, Hallie found a minivan she thought would work for us, so we took a look. We ended the day with cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, ice cream, and The Greatest Showman. In all, it was a great day for Mike to be with family.
(Nice hat hair, dude!)

Saturday morning, Hallie took Eliza to the car dealership while Landon stayed home with Mike while he did some work. We made getting the car a bit of a surprise for the two of them.

Later, the boys joined the girls, and we completed the buying process before going to La Brioche for a day-after-birthday lunch of Argentine cuisine. Yumm-o! Mike enjoyed seeing the wide variety of South American sundries there but lamented at how much more the yerba mate costs relative to what he has paid in California and Michigan.

With the car buying process taking slightly longer than we figured (which is not unheard of), Eliza was a bit late to a birthday party of a teammate from gym. While Eliza was at the birthday party, the boys went and saw Ready Player One and both seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. Having leftover birthday cake sure is a treat.

For the next few days, we’ll be a three-car family until the Utah Humane Society takes the Olds into the loving care of owner number three. We wish them well.

In an unusual turn of events, our schedule for church changed, and we now go starting at 1:00 pm. The later time is a mixed blessing. We get a more casual start to the day, which we like, and with the days getting longer it doesn’t quite feel like the day is gone by the time we get home. Hallie has a new calling as Relief Society chorister, a perfect calling for Hallie at this time, especially with the traveling we have done this year.  Eliza and Hallie went to choir after church, and it is not something Eliza will be joining Hallie in the future.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

No Foolin’ – Happy Easter!

We had a bit of company this week to go along with the early spring weather. That with Easter and General Conference made for a busy and meaningful week. 

Eliza and Hallie spent some time during the week shopping for Easter goodies for the upcoming weekend. Eliza is so dang cute that anytime she tries something on Hallie has to take a picture.

On Friday we met with the Hopkins family, who had come up for a sealing in the Salt Lake City Temple, and Hallie volunteered to watch the kids. Mike actually ended up taking the "older" kids to the Church History Museum while Hallie went to pick up Marilyn from the airport. Looks like the kids had a lot of fun at the museum.

During the week when we arrived at gymnastics we saw this great sign that the gym put up to congratulate all who excelled at the State Meets this last month. Landon's name is in tiny writing toward the bottom. We are excited for all of our friends who made it to Regionals.

Friday night Hallie had the fun job of reading to the girls their bedtime story. Sawyer picked out Mine-O-Saur, and Eliza picked out another chapter from The Mouse and the Motorcycle. It was fun for the kids to have a sleepover with their cousins.

Saturday after Hallie finished up the Krispy Kreme fundraiser for gymnastics the whole family geared up and went to the Young Living Farm Easter Eggsravaganza in Mona. It was a great event except for the really long lines to do the activities once we got into the farm. The kids never complained, and it was amazing weather for a day out.

Finnley on her first horse ride

Sawyer just might be a pro. Eating a sucker and riding a horse with that big smile is priceless.

To pass the time while waiting for the paddle boats Mike stood in line and the kids climbed trees.

As Easter Sunday coincided with April Fool's Day, the boys decided to have some fun. Landon pulled a couple of pranks on Eliza that Mike ended up experiencing instead (gum on a light switch, anyone?), and Mike got him and Cru back by telling them early Easter morning that he had already put out eggs for the egg hunt. The boys bought it and ended up getting locked out in the cold.

Later on after breakfast and before conference, the gang went out for the real egg hunt. Then it was time for the Hopkins and Grandma M. to head for home.

This morning Fergus was not happy he did not get to participate in the egg hunt. However, he had many opportunities to go outside as he escaped through little and big legs alike when people would go outside. Fergus does not let an opportunity pass him by to escape. All of the neighborhood kids know he is not supposed to be outside and so they all chase him once he escapes. It can be comical at times trying to get this beast back inside.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Field Trip, Class Performance, and Winter Reprise

On this first week of spring, Landon had a field trip to Camp Floyd, and Eliza’s grade had a performance. We got productive on the weekend, and snow came back to remind us that winter is not quite over yet, despite what the calendar may say.

Monday was normal with an added trip to the doctor for Hallie. More than likely being low on iron will be something Hallie will struggle with for the rest of her life. Her doctor drew blood and later in the week told her she needed an infusion again and to make sure she was taking her supplements. So she is back to taking them morning and night and hoping something kicks into gear to make her feel better soon.

Landon won this John Cena doll -- er, action figure (that Eliza calls a boy Barbie) -- on a dare. A kid at school did not believe he could do a back handspring. Landon is quite impressed with the action figure's physique and articulation. 

Eliza had art class in the afternoon, and Mike picked her up while Hallie did stuff with gymnastics.
Tuesday was boring with all of our regular routines happening.

Wednesday seemed to be typical as well, and you know what? That is okay. This week after Hallie has finished her shift at work, she has driven one of the teachers from school to another school since her car has been in the shop after an accident on the way to work last week. Hallie said it has been interesting getting to know her.

Thursday was interesting day for all of us. Hallie had a very slow day at work because most of the students that she works with were on a field trip that Mike was lucky enough to go on. The other set of her students were busy getting ready for their 1st grade program that they presented both during the day as an assembly and in the evening for all of their parents. Hallie will admit though that she has a great job where she can see her kids in their program or go on field trips and still get paid. Here are some field trip pics. Mike got to teach the kids how to make "dobies" (adobe bricks).  

Hallie did not need to babysit Lily in the evening, which is sometimes a blessing. Eliza had her 1st grade performance in the evening, and Mike was able to make it back from a meeting just in time to see it. Eliza was so excited to participate she thought she should put a bit of make-up on, Hallie made sure it ended up in the right places but left most of the art work alone. Oh, this seven-year-old is growing up too fast.

Friday was rainy for most of the day, which was a nice change of pace. Our winter has been a little odd this year. Hallie came home after work and took a much-needed nap. Hope this low iron thing can be resolved soon. Both kids had gymnastics this evening, and Eliza loves practicing with the Level 3’s. Eliza had told us earlier in the week that she had wanted to quit and it was time to try something new. However, when we were a few minutes late today she was not happy. Hallie said it didn’t matter if she was going to quit, and Eliza answered back that she was just being sarcastic and she does not plan on quitting gymnastics. Sigh! We watched the new version of Jumanji for pizza and a movie night, and the kids thought it was quite funny.

Hallie went to the Provo City Center Temple from 10:00 to midnight to do some cleaning. She heard ghost stories and did some light dusting. She had fun, and it was interesting to hear stories from the regular custodial staff who work there.

On Saturday, we got the garden beds ready and planted seeds. Plus, Mike put together the grill he got for Christmas. All that remains is to have a few sunny days and to buy some propane. In the morning, the kids and Hallie went to Elk Ridge to look at a rental for her parents in preparation for their move here as soon as their house in California sells. The trio drove pass the Krishna temple and saw people leaving from the Color Festival. It sure looked like a lot of fun and maybe the family will have to attend next year. Hallie and Landon got his room cleaned up in preparation for the Hopkins visit this coming week. A bit of the garage was emptied and cleaned up with our garden preparations. The kids spent most of the afternoon and into the early evening with neighbor friends. In fact, they both had dinner with friends instead of at home. Thanks to the Ingrams and the Bridges who treated the kids.

On Sunday after church, Mike took the cat for a walk, and he and Eliza flew his kite for a little bit before the wind got too strong and cold. Spring kite-flying time is not quite yet here. In fact, we got snow in the late afternoon/early evening. Hallie attended choir, and this week there was a whopping five of us in attendance compared to the three from last week. In a ward of 500, you would think we could get just a few more out. But, oh well. Sister Hallan keeps trying, and she is amazing at her calling. 

Landon wanted to take pictures in the pretty snow. 

Oh, and another thing. Help our kids on their way to Olympic glory: Buy doughnuts!