Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hail to the Victors

We’re getting into a regular daytime schedule with the kids. Landon goes to his play-and-say class a couple of days a week, and Eliza goes to story time at the library.

On Tuesday after his class, Landon, Eliza, and Hallie went over to Sara’s to play with Chase and enjoy the sunny afternoon.

Thursday was a crazy busy day. Landon and Hallie went to the Mom’s club, then Hallie took the kids to Ghesquiere Park. Sara taught Hallie about couponing, and Mike discovered Pinterest. Uh oh. 

Our friend Jenny from California sent Eliza a beautiful blue sweater her mom crocheted. Just in time for winter! Photo to come soon. 

The grownups had a bit of a big kid play date on Saturday. After leaving the babies in the care of Jen and Sean and their kids, Hallie and Mike went with Sara and Jason first for a big breakfast at the Original Pancake House and then out to the “Big House” (Michigan Stadium) in Ann Arbor to watch U of Michigan play San Diego State. There were 110,707 of us attending, and this was the 234th consecutive game with over 100,000 attending. Crowded into our 12 inches of seat space apiece, we sang and cheered and booed and jeered as the Wolverines pummeled the Aztecs 28-7.

Mike wore the wrong colored jacket. Good thing he had on a Michigan shirt underneath! 
Mike has seen games at the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl, and watching Michigan play at home in front of such a big crowd was tremendous. We’ve attended BYU-Utah rivalry games, and based on what we saw for just an ordinary game here, the rivalry games at the Big House would put that small tiff to shame (sorry friends living in Utah, but it’s true). We sat in a sea of blue and maize dotted with wee red islands here and there. Every time Michigan did something (not just scoring), the band struck up Hail to the Victors (classic!), and the whole stadium joined in cheering on their team with fists raised high. When San Diego made a mistake, the band struck up Temptation, and at the end the Michigan fans in one voice yelled, “You Suck!” Tacky? Maybe. Effective and funny? For sure! All that said, Mike grew up watching Michigan occasionally come into Trojan Country to play the Rose Bowl, and under those circumstances he was more than happy to see Michigan lose and lose hard. Moreover, as a part-time Utah fan, Mike would have loved to see the stadium silent three years ago when another team in red kept the raucous home team fans in check.

"Hail, Hail to Michigan" 
QB Denard Robinson runs it in for a TD.

We couldn’t ask for better weather. While rain had threatened in the morning, all we got at game time was a mix of sun and cloud with temps in the 60s. After the game, we walked over to Hallie’s friend Renee’s tailgate party. These folks don’t mess around. They had three TVs hooked up to a generator and a satellite feed to watch the game, and they had prepared a Mexican food-themed lunch/dinner (Renee bases the menu for each game on the region or mascot of the rival team). We didn’t stick around to indulge too much, and instead we went to the Mexican Town Restaurant in southwest Detroit to do our themed dining. Quesadillas y un burrito mojado. ¡Qué ricos!
Tailgating, complete with blue margaritas and a satellite dish
Why go to the game when you can watch it with commentary? 
We got back to our kids just in time to put them to bed (well, almost). Landon told us all about his day at Bryan’s soccer game and Jen’s company party at CJ Barrymore’s, where he played laser tag and drove a go kart. Meanwhile, Eliza crawled around and charmed everyone with her cuteness. We don’t think they missed us a bit. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Readin’, ‘Ritin’, & ‘Rithmatic

While the temperatures have continued to cool down, we have continued to enjoy the sun. For Macy’s 2nd Monday at Greenfield Village, our friend Anna and her daughters Emmy and Maggie joined us and the kiddos as we learned all about how school used to be in the olden days. Landon was excited to show off to the teachers there all he has learned at home.

Totally spontaneous! 

The learning continued when the kids went to story time at the Southfield Public Library. Later in the week, Eliza went to her own first story time at the local library.

In other learning news, Landon started preschool again. Go, big man! 

We even had P.E. this week, as Landon started playing soccer Saturday.

We can’t wait to see BYU beat Utah next year. Too bad the Cougars didn’t come out to play the Utes this year (wink, wink). So, so sad. . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember

Mike’s sister Alison passed away four years ago during Labor Day weekend, so the traditional end-of-summer weekend is always a little bittersweet. We have made a point of getting out of the house on Labor Day, and Michigan has always delivered something fun to do. This Labor Day we went with Jen and Sean and their kids to the Renaissance Festival in Holly.
We came across the Queen's Court.
"We are not amused." Eliza did not take too kindly to the courtier's attention.
Landon and Mike respond quite differently to authority, it would appear.  To his credit, Queen Elizabeth did compliment Mike on his bow. 
"Good Queen Bess" gave our little queen a royal blessing. 
Bryan was recruited to become a pirate--er, a privateer. We told Sir Francis Drake we'd drop him off when we got done. 
Happy to be out of the car seat! 
Lately Landon has found himself going around in circles. 
Watching the Zucchini Brothers
A day at the festival would not be complete without a joust. 
"Thrust! Parry! Riposte!" 
Sharing a brew (brewski?) with the Washing Well Wenches
Eliza continues to amaze with her feats of strength and daring. She and her big brother seem cut from the same cloth. She’s almost to the point where she can pull herself up to rest her elbows on the window sill and look out the window. She constantly chatters and burbles and blows raspberries to let us know what she wants. Hard to believe she’s only seven months old.

We have had some crazy weather this week with wild thunderstorms and mild flooding. Our unfinished basement “weeps” (sobs) when we get too much rain at once. It drives Mike nuts. On Saturday, Landon and Mike built a police car at Lowe’s Build and Grow. The kid’s becoming a natural with the hammer! While we were at Lowe’s, Mike bought a few more shelving units to get items off the basement floor. Once home, he and Hallie set about taking care of some of the reorganizing they had been meaning to do for a while. The potential for water damage seemed a good incentive to actually do something. It’s amazing what three new shelving units and stacked plastic boxes can do to free up space. We also now have the items we intend to sell at a future garage sale all in one place. You have a couple of kids, and the stuff seems to multiply out of control!

Also on Saturday, we stopped by the LEGO® Store at the Somerset Collection, and the boys got some fun sets for Landon’s upcoming birthday and Christmas. Hallie was feeling generous and even let Landon have a set early! He and Mike built it as a second father-son project Sunday.
With Landon, it would of course be a Cars-themed set 
Sunday was Stake Conference, Mike’s dad’s birthday, and the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We honor the memory of those who died and those who both gave their lives and put their lives at risk during the events of that terrible day. We remember you. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sweet Taste of the Fruits of Late Summer

Fall has begun in the Owens house. Fall begins when the fall semester starts back at school again, and that was on Wednesday. Mike did not take any time off this Spring and Summer, but that is why we have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mike attended his annual work retreat on Monday, and he rode with a fellow employee. They arrived early and won a king size Hershey bar. Then his table group won another Hershey bar in a getting-to-know-you game. S’mores are on the menu in our house.

Diamond had class on the night of her birthday, so Hallie took her out Monday night to go to C. J. Barrymore’s and have some kid fun. They went on bumper boats, did the batting cages (great workout), and drove the grand prix. They had so much fun, and it had been a while since Hallie laughed that hard. Too bad we don’t turn 21 more than once in a lifetime.
Swing and a hit!
Landon and Eliza spent some time with friends Katelyn and Bryan on Tuesday while Mike and Hallie had some stuff to do. Later, we decided to afflict the kids by taking them car shopping with us. Recently we have dubbed our trusty 2002 Buick Century the clown car. Most Sundays all seats are full and the trunk is on its way there with all of the stuff we take to entertain the kids and do our work at church. So to ease some of the confinement we have decided to look into buying a minivan. We asked Landon what he wanted in a new car and he said, “A new car seat.” I think we can accomplish that for him. Eliza absolutely loved crawling around inside of the minivans.

Wednesday’s theme should be FUN! We started the morning at Morley’s Candy Shop and Factory where we were treated with Jelly Belly samples and chocolate yummies. Landon tasted a toothpaste flavored Jelly Belly. 

After we got our fill of sugar we set out back towards our neck of town. For the second year we attended the community event called Racing for Kids. A bunch of our friends also came out to play.

Riding low next to a beautiful low rider. 

Before we knew it, August was gone and September had arrived. Thursday and Friday were spent with Hallie and the kids at home or running errands while Mike worked. Eliza decided to continue her stair climbing efforts and succeeded in crawling the whole way up. Once she caught on to the idea, there was no stopping her!
Tuesday: Almost there! 
Thursday: Made it! 
After a few Saturdays hanging out at home, we decided to get out and do something we have not yet done this year: go get some fresh picked peaches. M’mmm. . . . Peaches! We drove out to Romeo for their annual Peachfest. Of course, there were farm animals, food, and face painting:  

After we picked up Diamond from work, we drove over to watch the BYU game with Damon and Ann and their family. Things looked pretty sad for the first three quarters, but BYU pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat in front of the Ole Miss crowd. Go Cougars!