Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another Summer Gone, Another School Year Begun

The kids and Hallie started another school year this week. We also managed to have some fun, including an overnight camp and plenty of outdoor play.

Monday - The last day of summer vacation. Landon was not happy in the least bit that summer was ending, and it was a battle of wills to get him to go and meet his new teacher in the afternoon. The kids practices times finally sink up. Hallie babysits Lily on Mondays and Wednesdays, and both kids have practice. On Monday, August 26, Eliza will find out if she officially moves to Level 3 or stays on Level 2. For a cutie who said she didn’t want to do gymnastics anymore, she is a bit nervous. The kids officially met their new teachers in the afternoon, and it was a lot of fun to be back in the school with all of the fun new year energy about us. Mike and Hallie signed up for all that they could and know that they will be used throughout the year.

Tuesday - Hallie and the kids all headed off to school today.

Mike came to school to volunteer at recess for the lower grades. Eliza was happy to see her dad out at recess and to hang out with her for a bit. Hallie ran to Orem to get her nails done, including one with a little red apple to start the school year off. Landon’s favorite cookie is oatmeal raisin, and in Hallie’s attempt to be a mom she decided to make him cookies in what little time she had left before pick up. The bottom line is there wasn’t enough time to make cookies, but she tried anyway. Mike finished up with the cookies, and although Hallie’s efforts made her late to pick up Landon (who has to get out early now everyday to get to gym on time), Landon did get some yummy cookies. Landon missed Hallie and by the end of it all Landon was late to gymnastics by 15 minutes. However, on the way to gym Hallie got a phone call from a neighbor mom wondering if she had Eliza. No, Hallie did not have Eliza, and at this point Hallie’s frustration had hit the point of tears. Where was Eliza? And all of the other concerning questions came quickly to the surface. Thank heavens a few minutes later Hallie got a text saying Eliza had been found. Mike had gone up to school just to make sure everything went OK, and he got her home fine. Communication with Eliza is trying to be improved each day.

Wednesday - Day two is in front of us. The day was good for Hallie at work, and the kids seemed to like school. Landon was out front of the school at the right time, now a bit hypersensitive to what time he should be out front. Eliza was supposed to meet up with neighbor girls and walk home. However, it started raining shortly after Hallie got to the gym with Landon; Mike was home, and we were hopping Eliza would make it home on her own. After a bit of a search, we did find her. Two days in a row of not being where she is supposed to be makes Hallie a bit nervous with how the coming school year is going to end up. When Hallie pulled up to gymnastics, she saw the Office Manager get out of her car with her kids. The staff forgot to call and tell Hallie that she would be babysitting three extra kids tonight. They are good kids, but Hallie has been really tired with her sleep apnea and had hoped to take Lily home so she could get some stuff around the house done -- no such luck. Mike was kind and came home from campus to pick up Eliza when she was done. Landon waited until Hallie was done babysitting and Hallie could pass off Lily (who had fallen asleep on Hallie’s lap) to him.

Thursday - At the school we have not started seeing any students yet in the Special Ed Department, so Hallie has been doing a lot of prep work to get ready for the big day on Tuesday. Hallie is enjoying starting the school year out with everyone and getting to know her classroom better. Starting in the middle of the year last year was good, but Hallie always felt like she didn’t know enough. Now things are looking up, and she is getting excited to see the students. Landon was right out front again for gymnastics, and Eliza met Mike and the neighbors by the big tree, and everyone made it home safely. At gymnastics today Landon learned how to do a double back on the trampoline, and he was so proud of himself and asked Mom to film him. Hallie loves it when he asks her to film him because she knows then he is happy and loving what he is doing.

Mike and Eliza spent a nice bit of time together as they went to the Tiny Home Ventures at University Place.

Friday - Seems to be a bit of a blur. Work for the three, and gymnastics for the three as well. Landon had practice, Eliza had practice, and Mom had to do a little presentation at the Boys Yearly Team Meeting and took samples of an item we will be selling in the spring. After Landon’s practice, Mike picked up Landon, and the two boys headed off to a father-and-son campout with our church congregation. Mike basically didn't see Landon from when they arrived until Landon crawled into the tent sometime after 10:00 pm.

Eliza and Hallie went to Cafe Rio for some yummy dinner and finally got home close to 8:30. The girls watched Frozen, and Hallie fell asleep and woke up to Eliza still wide awake watching another show around 11:15 pm. The girls dragged themselves upstairs and went to sleep. 

Saturday - Hallie woke the next morning with a pulled muscle in her neck. The boys got home not too long after the girls made it downstairs. Eliza and Hallie left to meet Grandma M. so they could do a little shopping in Lindon. Landon and Mike headed to Springville High School to pick up some yummy food we bought from a girl on Springville High School Volleyball team as part of a fundraiser. In the late afternoon we all walked over to see some new townhomes that are being built near us. As we got there and peeked in the windows we noticed the floorplan looked exactly like the one we live in, and it was kind of fun to see the subtle differences in the ducts and elevations. Hallie and Eliza headed to Costco to pick up some groceries and then to Smith’s to pick up a few more odds and ends. After the girls got home, a lot of the neighbors ended up pulling into the driveway at the same time, and Hallie spent some time out chatting with everyone. We have a great neighborhood!

Sunday - Eliza woke up super late, so we did not go to Stake Conference. We had a low key day around the house. In the afternoon we went to relatives home for dinner celebrating a birthday. It is fun getting to know extended family that we did not know before and who we see at church and at school on a regular basis.

Eliza decided Fergus, who after killing two voles overnight was resting quite happily, needed a crown.

In the evening we watched the movie Secretariat as a family.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Summer’s Last Hurrahs

We had to suck the juice out of this last full week before school starts again! We did it with camp, bowling, and a trip to the fair. (Read more at the link.)

Monday - This was Eliza’s week for gymnastics camp at AirTime. Camp meant practicing with the girls on upper levels (which all lower level girls find to be really exciting) and then getting to do extra fun activities outside of the gym with her fellow teammates. We did not have Eliza participate in all of the activities, but she did enjoy the week. Today practice was to start at 8:30, but we could not get Eliza to wake up, so we actually chose to keep Eliza home from practice.

Around 10:00 we met up with our friends the Chirollas (we knew the Chirollas when we lived in Michigan). The Chirollas moved to South Carolina before we moved to California, and so it had been several years since we had seen them. Everyone met at the Springville Splash Pad. The kids had a blast, and the parents had a nice time talking together.

After we parted ways, Hallie went to get her hair done, and the kids and Mike headed home as Landon started afternoon practices this week at 3:15. Hallie got home close to 4:00, and shortly after she arrived home Hallie and Eliza decided to use some zucchinis that were given to us in a cake. Landon does not like zucchini, so we decided we needed to trick him into eating this yummy vegetable. Right before we got started, Lincoln came over looking for someone to play with, so we invited him into to cook with us, and he said, “Yes!” Both of the kids did great at making Chocolate Zucchini Brownies, and Landon never knew there was zucchini in the dessert until Eliza told him the next day. Before we knew it, it was time to go and pick up Landon from gymnastics and to end the day.

Tuesday - Eliza was able to wake up in time for gymnastics today, and Hallie dropped her off at 8:30 and then headed to her parents house to pick up her mom for a little jaunt to Salt Lake City. Mike attended meetings, and Landon went with him to BYU while the ladies were gone. Marilyn and Hallie did a little window shopping at City Creek in downtown before they headed to the dentist to pick up Hallie’s new sleep apnea device. On their way home, the ladies went to lunch at the Village Baker in Sandy. Both ladies enjoyed their lunch very much and thank Riley Maygren for the recommendation!

Hallie got home in the nick of time for Mike to meet her with the kids at Grandpa and Grandma’s house to drop off Landon and Grandma and then to pick up Landon and take him to a doctor’s appointment. The doctors appointment was to meet a new pediatrician and to get a refill on his ADHD medication. By the time we left, the doctor had taken 2 vials of blood, and we have a referral to a cardiologist. Hallie was able to get Landon to gymnastics on time, and he made sure his coach wrapped his band aid tightly to his arm. After getting his blood “stolen,” Landon decided he may not want to be an Olympic gymnast because they will have to “steal” more blood before the Olympics to make sure he is healthy.

Wednesday - Eliza went to gym at 8:30 again and afterwards for their camp week all the girls on Levels 2 & 3 went bowling at Fat Cats in Provo. Hallie had lunch and a meeting at work at the same time as everything that was happening with gymnastics, so Mike and Landon stepped in and drove some of the girls and even bowled with everyone, and it seems like there was a lot of fun had by everyone!

After Hallie went to her meeting, she stopped by both kids’ teachers’ classrooms and introduced herself and told the teachers a bit about the kids. There will be a meet your teacher time before school starts, but it is only two hours, and they have a lot of kids and parents to meet that day. Hallie made it home in time to scoop Landon up and to take him to practice.

Grandma sent Mom home with some Coach's Oats pancake batter, and Landon had pancakes for dinner. Yumm-o!

Thursday - Mike took a little time to personalize his home office with the bulletin board that used to grace his office in Michigan and our kitchen in Camarillo. A wee bit of whimsy for the work space is welcome.

With the help of Hallie, Landon has found a new place to get his haircut. It is called the Refinery, and it is located inside of a motorcycle museum here in Springville. Steven the barber is super chill and at this last appointment Landon got a shave on the back of his neck and warm towel around his face and head. Our little boy is growing up. Gymnastics tonight was only for four of the boys. Three of the boys including Landon will have their first meet in September for something that is called Future Stars. Landon has never done Future Stars before, as our previous gym did not participate in this activity. Some feel Landon may be a little behind in doing Future Stars, but Landon’s coaches want him to try it out anyway. You only compete against yourself, and no one but your coach knows your score. Landon is having a bit of anxiety about doing Future Stars, but we hope once he tries it that he will see that it was just a good experience. After practice Hallie and Landon drove home, and everyone ate a quick dinner. Then Hallie and the kids headed to Spanish Fork Recreation Center for an AirTime Training Center Pool Party. Our gym had the whole place to ourselves, and it was so much fun! The 90 minutes we had went by fast, but in that time Hallie went down the water slide twice and off the diving board twice as well. After our fun we headed over to Culvers with another family from AirTIme and Landon’s coach for a sweet treat.

Friday - Mike attended convocation at BYU early in the morning. Hallie saved the day when he realized he had forgotten his robe, and so she drove it over to him. Thanks so much, Hallie! The kids had not burned down the house while she was gone. The sleep apnea is still going strong, and while Landon was playing with a neighbor and Eliza was watching TV, Hallie fell back to sleep until just after 11:00 a.m. Hallie woke to Landon asking if he could go to the reservoir with our awesome neighbors, and Mom said yes and he was gone before he could get a towel. Eliza was bummed that she did not get to go have fun, so when Mike got home from work he took her to the Utah County Fair, and they had a lot of fun!

Soon it was time to pick up Landon and then for Hallie to get him home and to get back to the gym to do a short presentation on the Fundraising we will be doing at AirTime this next year. After Hallie was done, she tried unsuccessfully to get a hold of Mike to see if everyone had had their pizza and a movie, so she stopped by Little Caesars and it would have been nearly 30 minutes for pizza. No way!!! Hallie remembered it was food truck night at the Library, so she drove over and got gnocchis for Mike, a taco for Hallie, and giant corn dogs for the kids. Everyone seemed happy with what was brought home.

Saturday - The family started out early to clean the church. With so many families invited, we were able to clean the church in about an hour. We stuck pretty close to home the rest of the day, which is needed every once in a while. Hallie has been trying to get laundry done and put away before school officially starts on Tuesday. Part way through the day Hallie got a text inviting the kids to Lowes Xtreme Sports Center with some of the other athletes from AirTIme and our fun neighbors met us there as well. Hallie decided to take the kids and they had so much fun during the three hours we were there. Hallie ran an errand while they were there and chatted with a few parents.

Sunday - The kids watched some VeggieTales in the morning, and Hallie took a nap. Hallie is a part of our tiny ward choir, and they sang in sacrament meeting today. While she was at choir after church, Mike made a super yummy spaghetti dinner in our instant pot. We will be making this recipe again for sure. Landon made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for dessert and he did a majority of it on his own and we are proud of him for trying. In the evening Grandpa and Grandma Maygren came over to help Mike give father’s blessings as we get ready for the new school year.

The kids also enjoyed some time playing with games sent by Grandma and Grandpa O. a bit back. Eliza is finally old enough to appreciate what she needs to do to make the patterns!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dog Days and Fire’s Haze

Here it is, another week. Where does all the time go? The kids are starting school right around the corner. The weather has been warm and very smoky outside due to a bad fire not too far from us.

Monday - While Landon had gymnastics in the morning, Hallie babysat a coach’s son. While Mom was gone, Eliza started her second week of swim lessons. When Mom got home it was time to hustle Eliza into gear and to get ready for gymnastics. While Eliza was at gymnastics Hallie babysat Lily. In the evening the kids got together to play with a set that we had never put together from our trip out to California earlier this year. They really do get along together sometimes! 

One of Mike's heraldry co-enthusiasts drew up a suitable-for-framing version of his arms that now has a place in his office. Pretty snazzy!  

Tuesday - Hallie took Landon to gymnastics and then came back home after a bit and met Eliza at swimming lessons so she could show Mom all of her amazing skills she has learned.

Again, it was time for Eliza to do a quick change, eat lunch, and then off to gymnastics.

Wednesday - Hallie and the kids had a super long day. When we look back on the calendar, it doesn’t seem crazy, but the day was filled with lots of activities. The day included going to the grocery store, the hair store, babysitting, Trader Joe’s, the Lego Store, treats for everyone, a great visit with our friends the Anderson’s. Earlier in the day, we even got photos of the kids with Cosmo the Cougar! 

Mike took the rock Eliza found in Spanish fork and added it to his small collection of painted stones, including one he got way back when he was in Primary with a house on a rock (he has completely forgot what the lesson was supposed to be about -- maybe the wise man built his house upon the rock?), one from Dildo, NL, and now this fiery sunset stone.

He went out to dinner with several of his students as it was the end of the semester, and then we all met up at the end of the evening. With a missed mommy cue – Landon was tired at the end of the day and wasn’t treating his friend nicely. When Landon came home and we talked about what happened he cried; it is hard being 10 and going into 5th grade. Good thing he has Fergus as a pal.

Thursday - Today was Eliza’s last day of swimming for the summer, so Mike went with her so he could see all of her great skills she learned over her two sessions. 

Both kids had their usual gymnastics practices today. While they were doing their stuff, Hallie ran to Costco to grab a few photos she had ordered. It only took 7 months to get photos put in the kids medal hangers for their rooms, oops! During parts of gymnastics, Hallie worked on fundraising items on her new computer. It is nice to have a lighter and more reliable computer to be able to take places and get things done for fundraising. In the afternoon Hallie had a meeting with her co-chair Serena.

While walking to his car from his last day of class for the term, Mike noticed that there are a couple of apple (or maybe crabapple?) trees on campus. In and among the ripening fruit, it smelled delicious! 

Friday - Landon had early gymnastics practice. Mike looked after Eliza and some of our neighbors in the morning and then got a haircut. Hallie and the kids ran a couple of errands (including 99 cent smoothies, yum!) and brought home pizza for movie night. Mike has set about migrating photos from old computers onto his cloud drive, a tedious task.

Saturday - Hallie and Eliza dropped off Landon at the Clyde Rec Center on their way to pick up Grandma M. The girls headed over to the Mall in Provo to exchange a pair of shoes. When all was said and done, Hallie got the shoes she needed, Eliza got a new pair of shoes for church, and Hallie only had to pay an additional $2.12. Thanks Grandma for the coupon! Landon and Lincoln swam for a bit and then played at Lincoln’s until it was time for us to head north to Salt Lake. Once we got into Salt Lake we stopped at Craft Lake City DIY Fair at the Gallivan Center downtown. Our friends the Lockharts that we know through adoption/Michigan had a booth there selling Courtney’s pottery. It has been a long time since we have seen them, and they now live near St. George. It was fun getting to spend a few minutes with them. We quickly walked around a few more booth before it was time to head to Howdy’s SLC for dinner/dessert.

After each of us got a yummy ice cream, we then headed to This is the Place to see the Lower Lights in concert. The venue was great, we saw an awesome show, the weather started to cool down by the time the concert started, and smoke from the fires actually cast an ethereal effect over the city. 

Like mother, . . .

. . . like daughter!

On our way home down the I-15 we saw four different firework shows, and that made for a beautiful drive home.

Sunday - Mike and Hallie were tired and neither of them woke until a bit after 8:00 am, which is not like the parents. However, Fergus was meowing a lot, and so the parents got up and noticed a Star Wars watching party had started downstairs. Everyone finished watching the The Force Awakens and the off went the TV so everyone could start getting ready for church. Landon got spotlighted in Primary, and his favorite sport is . . . gymnastics, his favorite subject in school is reading, and his favorite snack is Kit Kat bars. 

After church Hallie stayed for choir and then we all headed over to the Maygrens for a yummy pot roast dinner. We thought back, and we don’t think the kids had ever had pot roast before. They seemed to really like it. Didn’t hurt that grandma made mashed potatoes, one of Landon’s favorite foods.