Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gardening, Civil War Remembrance, and (not so) Nice New Neighbors

Eliza can both pull her head up and pull up her legs like she’s doing sit ups. Her lower two front teeth have almost poked through, so she has been a little irritable this week. She, Landon, and Mike have also had a bit of a cold. Maybe it’s just Mike and Eliza, and maybe Landon just has allergies. Whatever the cause, the snot is flowing like a gross river of mucous from at least two noses (Eliza’s too much of a lady for that sort of thing).
Can we sneek a peek at those pearly whites between sit-ups? 
We took advantage of the good weather early in the week to do some work in the garden. Landon helped prepare the beds and Eliza supervised. Afterwards, we played ball.

We went to Greenfield Village for the annual Memorial Day Weekend Civil War Remembrance. Each year we have gone, Landon has been able to last a little longer and participate in more activities. We went with the Ann K. and her kids and Ivan and Amberly and their kids and spent a few hours, and we only took in a small chunk of all the activities to be had there. Lots of people (but not too many) came out to share the fun, and the rain stayed at bay, so we had a grand ol' time. Who knew history could be so popular?
Look! There's mayhem we can get into just over the fence!
Landon thought rolling down the hillside with Rock was the best part of the day. 
The kids received a $100 signing bonus for enlisting. Mike took a 50% finders fee. 
Time to muster in and start our drills! I'm not sure if Zeke (on the right) looks quite ready. . . .
Forming ranks
Drilling the troops
Well deserved liberty after a hard day on the field
Someone (finally!) bought the house next door. A crew has been replacing the roof, which is bad enough in itself. However, in our case things get a bit more dicey: Our house is only five feet or so from the house next door, and our roofs are closer still. As soon as the first bit of roof debris started falling into our wall and bouncing off our windows and onto our A/C unit, Mike was out the door and the roofers were bringing plywood to protect things and offering their apologies. Why is it that it takes someone telling them to be responsible for them to do what they should be doing in the first place? Not the best way for the new neighbors (flippers, probably) to make nice. 
Tight squeeze. Believe it or not, there's a tarp under all that mess.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthday Fun for Mom and the Gang

We had a fairly eventful week. Mike is hunkering down for spring semester and its attendant intensity (16 weeks’ worth of class in 8 weeks. Remember summer school?). Hallie had her birthday, so we celebrated with a couple of events over the course of two nights. We went out to eat and did a little birthday shopping on one night. She bought a lighthouse LEGO set with some of her gift money. Mike and Landon were jealous, but Hallie was nice enough to let them and Diamond help.

The next night we went bowling at Ford Lanes in Dearborn Heights (a Groupon find), followed by Cupcake Station cupcakes with the missionaries. The bowling alley had weirdly warped lanes. The balls would meander down the lane and take these odd turns on their way down to the pins. Good thing we had the bumpers up (for Landon, of course ;) ). 

On Friday night, Hallie, Diamond, and Amberly went to see the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie at the Henry Ford Museum’s IMAX big screen. Arr!

On Saturday, Mike worked and looked after Eliza while Hallie, Diamond, and Landon went to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum with Vivi’s Friends and then to the Briarwood Mall. A while back we discovered an amazing bungee jumping activity for Landon there, and once again he had an incredible time defying gravity! 

Eliza got her own bit of activity with a new exer-saucer. We have a couple of budding athletes in the making! 
Look at that smile!
Landon totally wanted in on the action.
We received our photos of the kids back from Alexis. WOW! We can't get enough of how she captured our kiddies' personalities. Thanks so much! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's a Good Week to Live in GPP

Our hearts are full of gratitude for those in our community. This past week Hallie spent time at a local park with some of the ladies from church. While everyone trickled in one of the ladies invited someone (Christine) that I know through the Mom’s Club. She is a nice lady and serves on the board. I got to telling her about some desires we had, and she put our request on the Chat Loop. I had been hesitant about posting our need before on the Chat Loop because I have posted a question a time or two and had no answer. After Christine posted on the Chat Loop not only did we get several emails but then the word leaked to a Facebook group I belong to and they have offered to help as well. We are so grateful for the Mom’s Club and Park Girls’ generosity.

On Wednesday, Hallie spent time with a friend from church at the temple. It was a really nice that Hallie was invited to go to the temple, and they had a great time. They stopped at Noodles & Co. for lunch afterwards and enjoyed themselves.

On Thursday, Hallie, Diamond, and Landon headed out on some errands. Their favorite spot to stop was the warehouse sale at Morley’s Candy Store. Of course they brought home some sweet treats, and we're sure the missionaries won’t be disappointed with the chocolate topping we bought them for the times when they get transferred. They ended their errand running at the park where Landon had so much fun with his friends from church. Landon talks often about his friends and loves playing with others.

We went down to the West Park Farmers Market on Saturday. Mike took Landon over to the Honeybee Market to stock up on some Argentine staples (Anyone have a good empanada recipe to share? We have tapas).

Landon is learning how to repeatedly use the phrase “I don’t want to!” to slowly drive his parents insane. He has been a great help in the garden, however. Who can resist a little boy who actually wants to work in the backyard and dig up weeds? Mike can’t wait until he’s old enough to use the lawn mower. Anyone see a Tom Sawyer whitewash moment coming on? Mom made him some wild pasta, hot dog, and cheese concoction (Hot dog and spaghetti spiders? Ew. . . .) that looked really weird but tasted yummy!
Hallie added cheese sauce from Kraft Mac & Cheese. Landon gobbled it up! 
This week Eliza has really started to show her strength and we believe she is in the process of teething. More than once from our arms she has sat full upright. We got out the play mat, a jumper, and new toys for her. Eliza has started to show interest in all of those things. Lately Eliza loves to put her hands, your fingers, or whatever else she can in her mouth. She loves to just lie down and chew on the bottle as opposed to drinking it right away. She drools a lot when she is awake, and we remember Zoraida saying that her son (Eliza's biological half-brother) teethed early, so the signs are right. So we are now keeping an eye out to see when the first little bugger decides to show up. When Eliza smiles it just melts your heart. It really lights up the room and makes you smile as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Random Question

While changing Eliza's diaper, I was looking at her belly button (so cute!). Eliza has an innie, and Landon has an outie. I got to wondering: Why do we call it a belly button when for most of us it's actally a belly hole? I'm just sayin'. . . .

Friday, May 13, 2011

Apparently it's Friday the 13th at Blogger

So I opened our blog to find that the post we made about Alexis's photos of L and El had disappeared. I did some looking and found that everything people had posted from May 11 on through this morning in Blogger disappeared. Blogger apparently suffered a service disruption, but now they're back. Having been born on a Friday the 13th, I usually look at the day as a good thing. I suspect Google does not, at least today. Carly wondered a little while back whether anyone blogs anymore. In light of the glitch, perhaps we should switch to another blog or social media platform?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Get a Load of These Kids!

I can't claim any credit, but look at these beautiful kids of ours! Alexis, you took some amazing pics. Thanks so much!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts

The first week of May has turned out quite nice. We spent as much time as we could on the sunny days soaking in the spring sunshine. This is total “Popcorn Popping” season; all the flowering trees are in glorious bloom like great pom poms of white and pink and lavender. Daffodils and tulips (oh, yeah, and dandelions. Hmph.) abound. We’re experiencing springtime in earnest.
"I looked out my window, and what did I see?"
"Popcorn popping on just 'bout every tree!"
Zoraida, we could not have these moments without you. Thank you so much, and Happy Birthmother's Day!

On Saturday we went to “A Day Out with Thomas 2011” with Thomas the Tank Engine down at Greenfield Village as a gift for Mom.
Natalie, thank you so much for the gift of this precious little man. Happy Birthmother's Day!

Memories of his trip on the Mother Road
This guy was shamelessly flirting with the girl here. Hilarious to watch! Maybe Landon learned some tips. 
Keep your eyes on the train, boy!

Happy Mother's Day to one hot momma! Hallie is the fairest in all the land!
A grand day out in the sun for the little one
So the boy up and disappears on us. Grr. Good thing Dad had a good guess as to where he might be. He loves that carousel! 
Hallie sent herself flowers. Or rather, she sent her mom flowers, but to our address. Oops! The next day the flowers Mike got for Hallie showed up, so Hallie received double flowers for her big day. What more could a mom ask for? Well. . . .

How about golf clubs? Landon bought Hallie an awesome set of golf clubs so the two of them could get into the swing of the great outdoors. 
(Apparently they're already broken. Those two play hard!)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

May?!? Where’d April Go?

Another week gone by. The kids are continuing to surprise us with their unique ways. Landon has taken to making interesting observations about the world around him. His thumb has healed up nicely. The human body has amazing healing powers! Both kids show amazing physical strength for their age. Landon has decided to get into photography. Here’s the house from his perspective. 

Mike has been working to get the ends of some papers he has been working on tied up as Winter Semester winds to a close and before Spring Term gets started. If only the editors who have sent rejections would say why his articles aren’t a good fit for their journals. . . . Of course, the simple rejects are better than the two-year sagas that, after revisions have been submitted, still end up with a “Thanks, but no thanks.” Not much to do but keep on writing. He has a goal to complete 12 papers in the next 12 months. There. The goal is written down. Two went out in April, and another is in the hopper for May. 

We tried to get some pictures of the kiddies, with limited success:

Hallie's nickname for her is Bubbles, as in they are something Eliza likes to make.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa O for the cute teddy bears!

The highlight of our week was when we went to Rochester Play yesterday with Vivi’s Friends, the same adoption friends group with which we went to gymnastics a little while back. Landon burned off some serious steam with Dad while Mom showed Eliza off to the other families. We love Zoraida so much for giving us the opportunity to raise little Eliza!  

More of the world through Landon’s perspective: 

Diamond moved in yesterday and will be going back to school soon here in Michigan until she heads over to BYU-Idaho in January. We’ve gone from a family of three to one of five. Yowza!