Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

We just keep rolling along as the first hints of fall faintly appear. The week never seems eventful until we start writing it all down. On Monday, Hallie, Ann, and their kids went to the Toledo Zoo. They got tons of walking in, and they really enjoyed many of the great features the zoo had to offer. The kids’ favorite part was when they saw Lucas the baby elephant.

Diamond started the fall semester on Tuesday. She’s taking chemistry, sociology, and astronomy. Sounds like a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. She earned two A’s last semester, so we know she will be successful. Sara and Chase dropped by, and we had lunch and talked about all things Disney. Sara is convinced that Oprah and Walt Disney each stand on either side of the Good Lord Almighty Himself, and she had a wealth of information drawn from her frequent travels to the Florida Disney resorts. Her excitement is so contagious that we have decided to take the kiddos to Disneyland when we go down to California for Eliza’s sealing in November and to make a goal to get to Disney World in 2012.

On Tuesday night, Landon surprised us by reading his first words. As we were getting ready for bed, he looked at a word printed on a toy he got from Grandpa Merle and said, “Hey, Dad! S-T-O-P. That says ‘stop’!” Seeing his little mind make those connections puts us into orbit. Go, Big Man!

On Thursday morning, Hallie and the kids went over to Janel’s while Mike went to what he thought would be a simple doctor’s appointment. Turns out he needed a minor surgical procedure which resulted in a delay on his return trip. Janel and Derek’s items have finally made the move from out west, so they’re getting settled in. Landon really enjoys hanging out with their Rylee, so Mike’s delay meant more play time for Landon and more visiting time for Hallie and Janel.

Eliza continues to make strides in her crawling and communication skills. She can now crawl wherever she feels like, and she stands herself up and scoots along on her feet supported by whatever chair or table she manages to find. Wait! You are supposed to stay a wee baby for a while longer! She tells us when she wants to eat with a series of ma-ma-mas and when she is happy with a set of laughs and da-da-das. Pretty soon we’ll start in with the baby sign language again, like we did with Landon.

Oh, please. Please! Get me out of this chair!
On Friday, Mike and Landon went with their friends from church on a family campout up at Camp Dearborn. This was Landon’s first overnight camping trip. Meanwhile, Hallie, Diamond, and Eliza had their own excursions, including stops at car dealerships to see minivans up close. Hallie has been on a crusade to find the minivan that’s just right, and she’s narrowed her search down to either the Chrysler Town and Country or the Toyota Sienna. While the girls scouted out minivans, the boys set up their tents, took a swim, and played at the camp playground. By the time we got back to camp, more families had arrived and had started a campfire. The kids all ran around free and happy like little wild animals. Landon did his best to try to hang with the big kids, and he succeeded, for the most part. We roasted marshmallows and heard stories around the campfire after eating too much (Sean’s spicy Italian sausage sandwiches, Zane’s peach cobbler, s’mores, sugary sodas, and even fruit were all on the menu), and Landon stayed up way past his bed time. He and Dad were so tired that they didn’t miss not having ground pads, although an air mattress would be nice their next time out.  


Saturday morning the families all got together to have a breakfast of Amberly’s amazing oatmeal buttermilk pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fruit. Landon showed off his mad razor scooter riding skills as the kids took turns riding down a hill that was too steep for Mike’s comfort. Not that he really needed to worry. They boy took to the scooter like a duck to water, even after he took a gnarly dive that Bailey caught on her camera phone to share with Mike (after the fact). That boy! Judging by the footage, he knows how to fall, and he only end up with a few scrapes.

After they broke down camp, Landon, Brian, Sean, and Mike went on the paddle boats. Landon was even able to help pedal and steer as we rode out on the lake. Alas, we eventually had to return to civilization with its warm baths and cozy beds.

After Landon’s bath, Mike noticed that Landon had a red mark on his hand. Upon closer inspection, it turned out he had a splinter. Mike asked Landon if it hurt, to which the boy replied no. However, the place where the splinter had lodged didn’t look good, so Mike decided that they needed to get the splinter out. Remember that this was after a late night camping and relatively less sleep than normal on both the boys’ parts. Drama ensued as Man and Boy embarked on a battle of wills. Landon wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Dreaded Tweezers. Mom became involved, and the two of us first tried to persuade, then tried to bribe, then tried to cajole, then tried to console the boy as he moved from reluctant to scared to hysterical over the course of the next half hour. After negotiating with him to soak his hand in water, Mike tried again and again was met with hysterical tears. The boy said he needed to go potty, so Mike let him go, but it was more a ruse than not. Responding to his repeated calls, Hallie once again got involved. Then a miracle occurred! Hallie, approaching the brink herself (at this point Mike had given himself a timeout and was watching “This Old House” in the den), told Landon that her hands were shaky, so she needed Diamond to use the tweezers while Hallie held his hand. Diamond gently told Landon about how she had helped her nephews when they had splinters, and with her steady hand, she removed the splinter from Landon’s hand to great shouts of rejoicing! Diamond is planning to go into the medical field, and she definitely has a great bedside manner. Thanks, Diamond! Landon ended the day by falling asleep in Mike’s arms, tuckered out from the whole experience.  

Tonight we celebrated Diamond’s upcoming 21st birthday with Derek and Janel, their girls, and members of Diamond’s family. She and Hallie made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing from scratch. Yumm-o! Happy Birthday, Diamond! 

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