Sunday, November 27, 2011

For Every Thing (Especially Family), We Give Thanks

We’re spending a couple of weeks in California in part to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and in part to be sealed to Eliza in the Los Angeles Temple. It is a vacation for Hallie and the kids, but poor Mike has to work (or at least make a worthy effort). We are staying at Hallie’s parents’ house, and two of Hallie’s siblings and their families have also been here. In addition to Carly and her family who live here, Riley and his family drove down from Utah. As an extra surprise, they brought with them a stomach bug that made its way through the household. Starting with little Porter, it seemed like one night after another someone came down with the pukes. We were due to go to the temple on Saturday, but Mike and Landon woke up in the middle of the night before with upset stomachs and continued that way throughout Saturday morning. It would not have been quite so bad, except that the boys had eaten Tommy's chili cheeseburgers. Needless to say, we had to reschedule our appointment. So disappointing! We’ll try again next Friday.

Illness and delay aside, we enjoyed spending time with extended relations from Hallie’s and Mike’s sides of the family, who both live in the area. The kids really benefited from their time with family. Landon, Cru, and Porter played (and fought) at full throttle. We took advantage of the sunny and warm weather to walk down to the playground at the local park.
Porter getting ready to slide
Uncle Shad building sand piles with the boys
Eliza giggling as she swings on the swing set
Eliza made real progress with her walking this week. She moved from taking a few steps to taking long walks all on her own. She also has become quite a chatterbox:

That summer Saturday when the Chrysler people came to film on our block has continued to have ripples in Landon’s life. Last week we received word from an ad agency that Landon would be in a print ad in USA Today’s weekend print edition, and on Wednesday we found out from our neighbor that he and the neighbors’ kids would be in a spot during the Lions-Packers football game. In case you missed it, here it is. He's a blip about 18 seconds in: 
Ad Week's Ad of the Day for November 22.

Here are the words to the poem "See It Through" by Edgar A. Guest that was recited in the ad: 

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through! 

We spent Thanksgiving morning and afternoon with Mike’s family and the evening at Hallie’s enjoying football and food and all the trappings of the day. We feel very grateful especially this year for our children and our family. We are blessed to have our extended family and to have the ability to share our lives with them.
A little worn out there, Grandpa?

Hallie and the ladies stayed up until midnight on Thanksgiving to shop and then took to the mall again on Black Friday. Mike and the kids spent Friday with Mike’s parents, sister, and nephews. At Grandma and Grandpa O.’s, Landon and his cousins Haydn and Lucas climbed and swing on the new rope swing and played catch with Shep, Grandpa’s Malinois, in the back yard while Eliza practiced her walking skills.

While we did not get to go to the temple on Saturday, we did get to celebrate Riley’s birthday with his favorite trifle. Eliza learned how to ride a hobby horse, and her Aunt Carly painted her toenails for the first time.

They headed back up on Sunday, but not before we got some photos of the cousins, including Eliza in her Sunday best. 

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