Sunday, July 15, 2018

Back from Washington and into Summer's Heat

We started the week in Washington before heading back to the Utah heat. We'll take it because at least here we have a/c.

Monday was our last full day in Washington and we made the most of it. Breanne and her 3 kids and the four of us headed down to the Vancouver waterfront to take a bit of a walk. It was so beautiful, the kids road their scooters, and we picked some wild blackberries along the way. 

After our walk Breanne took the twins home and Porter joined us for lunch at Burgerville. We were a bit disappointed with our food but that is okay. The kids had fun and we enjoyed our time together. We took a quick trip into Portland to look for some shoes for Mike with no luck so we headed back to Vancouver to a great park called Marshall Park. The kids had so much fun playing and riding their scooters some more. After the park, we headed back towards the Ridgefield where we went to Bricks and Minifigs for some Lego fun then to the Birkenstock store next door for shoes for Mike. He found what he wanted but ordered them online where we found them nearly $40 cheaper. Hallie is all about a good deal, so we bought them online. Then the 5 of us traipsed to Wenzel's Farm where we picked raspberries which have since been made into yummy freezer jam thanks to Grandpa and Grandma M. (So YUMMY!) The evening was capped off with a super yummy dinner made by Breanne. She is a great cook!

The next day, Tuesday, started very early. All of the Maygren family left by 6:45 am. The four of us got up to say good bye to them, and we stayed to get ourselves packed and headed on our way home. By 8:30 am we were headed out the door towards Boise. In the several trips we have made to Washington we have always stopped at Multnomah Falls, and this trip was no different -- except for the fact we couldn't hike past the bridge. Last year just about a week after we visited the whole area caught on fire. Riley said in February you couldn't even hike as far as the bridge so we are happy to have gone that far. 

It was another beautiful day. After a bit of a stop we got back in the car and headed to Boise. We arrived at the hotel in Boise, a lot better hotel than the last, and Hallie took the kids swimming for a bit before we had dinner. Who knows where the Melatonin ended up that night, so we did not get to bed so early.

Wednesday, the last leg of the trip. Why does the last part always seem so long? The road was uneventful, which is always a good thing when you are traveling. Kids watched movies, played on their tablets, and we read another chapter in Anne of Avonlea, which we are reading as a family instead of Hallie reading giant chapter books to Landon. Everyone was happy to be home, and the kids were very willing to help put things away and clean out the car when they learned they could not play until all of that was done. Hallie is thinking this needs to be the bribe more often. Faithful Fergus was waiting for us when we got in. 

Life got back to normal quickly on Thursday with the added exception of Eliza starting swim lessons. She loved her first class. Landon was back to gymnastics in the morning, Eliza had practice in the afternoon, Mom had a chiropractor appointment, Dad taught class, and we all met up together again in the evening. Where did that vacation go we just went on?
Mike came in pretty close contact with a doe who frequents BYU campus. Pretty cool. 

Landon had gym bright and early at 8:00 am on Friday. While he was at gym, Mike, Hallie, and Eliza headed off to see a new pediatrician for the kids. When you go to someone who can give you answers it makes your heart feel a bit better. There is still so much to learn, as Dr. Bennett thinks Eliza may have dyslexia (it turns out any reading delay is technically dyslexia, not just flipping letters). We are also going to take her to have several hearing tests done. After that is all done, her 2nd grade teacher will fill out paperwork after school starts to see where we need to go from there.

Landon had the privilege to go with Grandpa M to see Ant Man and the Wasp at the movie theatre. Landon said the movie was really funny, and Grandpa said it may have been a little over his head. What was important is that he spent time with Grandpa, and we are so grateful that they could help when we needed it.

Grandma M. and Hallie ran some errands after everyone got home. When a lot of the stores you like are in Orem, you have to lump your trips together and go to as many places as you can. But when you hit Target first you don't end up going to too many more places.

In the evening Hallie got a phone call from our friend Beth saying that they are coming on July 24 on their way to their new home in New Jersey. Oh, my gosh! We are so excited for them to come, so the cleaning has begun. A great motivating tool for our family, especially so Hallie doesn't go nuts right before our guests arrive.

The weekend was a bit tough for Hallie. Let's just say she needed to sleep, a lot. The kids had the opposite need. Here we see them wrestling on the front lawn. 

We had a presentation from McGruff people that were really trying to get us to buy insurance. Oh, boy!

Sunday included church, choir, a family movie, and an evening walk for the girls.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Stadium of Fire and Baptism in Washington

This week we celebrated Independence Day at the Stadium of Fire and then headed out to Washington State for our nephew’s baptism.

Hallie met with the sleep specialist early Monday morning for the results of her sleep study. After losing weight Hallie had hoped the sleep apnea would be gone, but it is not. So now Hallie is going to try a dental appliance hoping that will help things before moving on to a CPAP machine.

Later that morning, she took our neighbors’ children to the movies while the neighbors finished packing up their house for their move.

Both kids had gymnastics in the afternoon, Hallie babysat Lily, and then the girls headed to Dr. Phelps the chiropractor.

Hallie spent quite a bit of time at the gym with the kids on Tuesday, including cheering on our friend Kenadie who is preparing for the National Trampoline and Tumbling Competition in North Carolina.
In the evening, Landon had an appointment to get his haircut at the Refinery. It is a hip joint inside of a motorcycle shop in Springville, and Landon looked very sharp afterwards.

Eliza decided Fergus needed a Cupid makeover. Poor kitty.

Wednesday we spent time around the house getting ready for our upcoming trip. Part of that time was looking for Eliza’s glasses. In the morning, she broke one pair and we could not find the second. In the afternoon, a friend called for Eliza to go swimming, and so we sent her off and did not see her again until 6:00 pm when we picked her up on our way to the Stadium of Fire!

Hallie bought us tickets for this event all the way back in January. No one in our family had ever been to Stadium of Fire, and the adults were excited because we had heard about it from other people and had even read about it, but the kids had no idea what to expect. The bottom line is that we had so much fun! Once it started, the action did not stop for 2½ hours, ending with a great fireworks show.

The next morning we headed out about 10:00 am to our first stop in Boise, Idaho. The kids did great along the way, and we made it in good time.

We stopped off for ice cream and muenster grilled cheese sandwiches at the Gossner chalet in Burnley.  

Landon had his Rubik's Cube with him, and a big kid struck up a conversation with him about it.

The hotel was not the greatest we have ever stayed in, but Landon said he had a great sleep, and, hey, as long as someone did that is all that matters.

Friday we set off in the morning for Vancouver, WA, which was our final destination. Whenever you are on the last part of your trip it seems to take the longest, and today was no different. Today we stopped off at the Pendleton store in Pendleton, OR. We have driven through and even stopped in the town in the past and had never stopped by the store. It was nice to look around and take a break from driving, but there was not a whole lot to buy in our price range.

We did eat a yummy lunch at Hal’s Hamburgers, a little drive thru that we passed on the way in to town.

About 5:45 pm we arrived at the Maygren’s, and we were so happy to finally arrive at their house. 

Later in the evening, Dwight and Hallie practiced a song that they are going to sing at Porter’s baptism many times, thanks to Hallie’s several mess-ups. Grateful to Alicia, Breanne’s sister, who came to accompany us and who spent time away from her family to help us.

Saturday everyone woke up early to attend Porter’s baptism. It was great that we were able to be here to support Porter and his family on this special day.

After the baptism, we went back to the Maygren’s for brunch and it was yummy!

We had a Nerf war Sunday morning before heading to church and then spending family time together in the afternoon. The grandparents got in on the action of the Nerf war, and everyone had a lot of fun! The kid and adult boys played corn hole, and Hallie and her parents took a drive around the area.

In the evening while the kids were playing outside, Eliza got stung (or bit – we’re not sure) by a yellow jacket that landed in her hair. She was a trooper and put up with the pain. We are grateful that Aunt Breanne is a nurse and was able to get the stinger out quickly. We got pain medication in her and an ice pack put on quickly. After a lot of crying Eliza just wanted to go to bed.

Landon and Porter went to bed and the adults watched some movies and took pictures before the grandparents head out tomorrow. Hallie needs to laugh, and her brother Riley does that to her every time.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

The Year is Half-way Gone?!

With this week, we turn the calendar to the second half of the year.

Monday was a regular day for the kids and Hallie with gymnastics and babysitting cute Lily. In the afternoon, though, Mike started his summer semester at BYU. He will be teaching four days a week until the end of August, which is a bit different for him and for Hallie and the kids.

Tuesday was Hallie's last day at Y Be Fit, for the time being. Hallie has really enjoyed working with Judy and Kirsten over 10 or so months. Since moving to Utah keeping off the weight Hallie has lost over the two years has been a struggle. We were hoping that Y Be Fit would be a good "fit" for her, but the accountability on Hallie's end just wasn't there. Hallie is looking into other options hoping to get some more of the help she needs. On Monday of this next week she will be meeting with a sleep specialist regarding the sleep apnea she still has, and we are hoping this will be a great step in the right direction.

The afternoon was a bit eventful on Tuesday. Hallie dropped off Eliza for gymnastics then ran over to her parents’ house for a bit before picking Landon up. When Hallie arrived back at the gym, Eliza’s coach came out to the lobby to tell Hallie that Eliza had been crying and that her stomach and back was hurting. Eliza came off the floor, and when Hallie picked her up, she burst into tears. A mom knows the difference in her child's cries, and this one was not a faking cry. Not sure what to do, Hallie called the chiropractor, and they were able to get Eliza in the late afternoon. By the end of Eliza's appointment Dr. Phelps told us that a rib was out of place. That now became Eliza's new favorite saying, and to let everyone know she couldn't do anything for the rest of the day, she said her “rib was out of place.” All the fun we have while Mike is at working teaching the future leaders of education.

Wednesday was a bit more relaxed. Landon had gymnastics and Eliza took life a bit easier than she normally does. Hallie spent a good chunk of time going through stuff and putting together bags to take to Deseret Industries. Glad to get it out of the house, but boy there is still more to do. We watched our neighbor, Lincoln, play baseball. So fun!

Mike taught class in the evening. Teaching about the education of diverse populations is both fascinating and challenging.

Thursday was a wildly crazy day to get stuff done. If Lily wasn't such an amazing kid, Hallie could never get it all done. Hallie dropped Landon off at gymnastics and picked up Lily. At about the same time Mike took Eliza to her last day of reading summer school. Hallie and Lily headed to the car, and their first of many stops was Grandpa and Grandma M's house. Then the two headed to more stops around town. During their adventures, thankfully at the end Lily fell asleep and slept in the car for an hour. Eliza captured some bees sipping from the flowers near the house.

Hallie picked up Eliza in time to go to gymnastics. This is an interesting side story. Eliza wants to quit gymnastics. Eliza wants to ride horses. Or so she thinks. Eliza doesn't know a ton about riding horses, and really, what little girl hasn't had some fascination with horses? Hallie contacted a few stables that she had been referred to with moderate feedback. We even drove out to one where they didn't tell us the hours, and so no one was there when we arrived. Eliza's coaches don't want her to quit as she has such potential. Eliza is strong and good at gymnastics and the adults see that, but when you are 7 you don't. We hoping that we can keep her in gymnastics a bit longer if we can do some other things on the side. Later in July she will do swim lessons for several sessions, and possibly in the fall we can then do horseback riding lessons. It is hard being a parent and to know what is right and wrong with your children.

Friday morning started early, yuck! Hallie dropped Landon off at gym at 8:00 am and headed straight over to get an oil change. What was supposed to be an hour appointment turned into three hours. Thank heavens nothing was wrong with the car, just a super busy shop with everyone getting ready for the 4th of July holiday. Hallie made it just as Landon was getting out of gymnastics. We headed home and got stuff together for our adventure to Mt. Pleasant, about an hour south of home. The trip that was supposed to start out at 11:00 ended up really starting at 1:30. We drove straight to the Sanpete County Building to get some questions answered. To back up a bit, Mike's parents have a few pieces of land in Mt. Pleasant, and we needed to go check on them and to do some investigating on their behalf. The kids were super troopers and even marked Grandpa and Grandma's territory (there were no bathrooms in the middle of nowhere). Milkshakes from Wheeler's helped.

Saturday the kids had to clean their rooms before they ventured outside. Neither was too happy about that, but it has to be done. While the kids toiled away, Hallie got her hair done – something had to be done about the grey that the kids point out so well. Meanwhile, Mike watched Argentina lose to France in a tough World Cup match to watch. After getting fancied up, Hallie picked up Eliza and took her to Lehi Round Up Days to support our friends Serena and Kenadie. Serena makes the most amazing food, and her daughter Kenadie is headed to North Carolina this week for the National Trampoline and Tumbling Championship. Eliza had so much fun playing with Serena's granddaughter and participating in fun activities.

In the evening the grownups watched the film Maudie, about the Nova Scotia artist Maud Lewis. Highly recommended.

Sunday Hallie and Dwight practiced a song they will be singing at Porter's baptism next week. The family went to church, and while there, Mike got inspired to write the lyrics to a family anthem for us based on our family values and symbols. It goes like this:

Organize yourselves, dear children.
Listen to each other; be kind.
Build a home of faith, established
On our Savior’s grace divine.

As a grafted tree, our branches
Are forever intertwined.
May our souls be knit wherever
Ties of love together bind!

After church Hallie then went to choir, and Mike and the kids talked to the Owens side of the family while Hallie had a nap. In the evening we watched the Road to El Dorado until it was time to go to bed.