Sunday, June 10, 2012

Routines, Neighbors, Teething, and Temple Blessings

We’ve settled back into more of a routine this week. Landon started individual gymnastics on Monday. The class gives him a chance to reach a bit more than he has in his group class. He watched a pre-Olympics track meet, and we hope he gets inspired by the athletes in all the different sports he sees to find something he really enjoys. We can’t wait for London 2012!

Speaking of things we can't wait for . . . .

Mike, Landon, and Eliza (in the kangaroo seat) rode down to the park and back (about a three mile round trip) with play time at the park in between. Landon even made some new friends (students from a local elementary school on an end-of-year picnic). The round trip is a bit too far for Landon’s little legs, so we look forward to when school will be out so we can ride to the school’s playground instead. He’s a trooper to try. After his long ride, Hallie, Sara, a couple of friends from the branch, and all the kids went down to Detroit’s Riverwalk.

We received word from Sunny Days Preschool that Landon will start attending in the fall. We’ll hold off on full-day kindergarten until next year unless we finally guts up and do half-day online.

On Wednesday and Thursday people from Lowe’s came over and built a privacy fence surrounding our new next-door neighbors’ property. Mike was concerned that it would rob his garden of sunlight, but it looks like that for now it will not. From the time the neighbors mentioned they would be building the fence, Mike has kept hearing lines from Frost’s “Mending Wall” in his head: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Oh, well. “‘Good fences make good neighbors,’” right? Hmm. Mike watched the builders nearly run roughshod over his garden before stepping outside and letting them know the people living on our side of the fence were watching. It’s amazing how much more careful and polite people will be when they know they have witnesses.

Mike read that wet shredded newspapers retard weed growth. They also make the garden look ugly. In the background can be seen the start of the vertical portion that was completed on the garden side on Thursday morning. 

Speaking of neighbors, our downstairs neighbors from the other next-door let us know they will be moving. This is sad. We can't begrudge them the choice to do what they feel is best for their family (many flats around here, theirs included, have prehistoric plumbing and interiors), and we wish them well. 

We got passport applications sent off so the kids can travel with us internationally. Once we get the passports, we’ll have to get some trips under their belts!

Eliza discovered peanut butter and Nutella. We think she approves.

Hallie pulled over to the side of the freeway on the way home from Landon’s Wednesday gymnastics class to catch this double rainbow: 

Eliza has started showing us that she is learning the English language. For instance, she knows the word for prayer:

She also now says Dada and Mama with increasing frequency. She can tell us when she wants a bottle, and she gets excited when she sees doggies and the water by the Lake St. Clair as we drive by. Eliza has had a fever for the last couple of days. Her back teeth are coming in, and her gums are swollen and tender. It got bad enough for her Thursday night into Friday that we considered taking her to the doctor. During the day however, in spite of her fever and mouth pain, she generally keeps chugging along. She’s more crabby and clingy. Poor little girl!

Landon has asked Hallie repeatedly to come riding with the rest of us, and she finally relented on Thursday. We went on a nice little tour of the neighborhood! Can we hope this is a sign of more two-wheeled family excursions to come?

Sara and Hallie spent Friday morning celebrating their birthdays by going to out to breakfast, to Sam’s Club, and to a garden nursery for hanging plants. After getting some writing done, Mike entertained the kids outside in the afternoon.

Eliza also showed us another new word she has learned:

We then went with Janel and Rylee to Montieth Elementary’s Ice Cream Social to close out Rylee’s school year.
Maybe the frozen custard soothes her swollen gums!
Saturday began with the second straight week of hearty pancakes and real maple syrup. Our new family tradition was inspired by Recess Monkey’s song “Flapjacks” on Kids Place Live that reminded Mike of the many Saturday mornings his mom fixed pancakes, waffles, and occasionally even crepes (ooh, lah, lah!). With the pancakes, we finally have an excuse to break out and use up that Vermont maple syrup we bought last Christmas on our road trip to Nova Scotia.

Mike looked after grumpy Eliza while Hallie took Landon to Lowe’s to get a monkey-powered airplane inspired by the Madagascar movies (can’t do anything without a promotional tie-in anymore, it seems). Landon joined Mike later. Mike spent the time Eliza was asleep installing mini-blinds, getting help looking after Landon from Katelyn. Thanks, Katelyn!

Meanwhile, Hallie and Priscilia went to the temple for Priscilia to receive her own endowment. Several members from the branch came out to support her. We’re happy and proud of her for the preparation she has made to be a source of spiritual and emotional strength for her children. Her fondest wish is to be able to be with them in Montreal, and she knows that she needs to have that sacred power that comes from attending the temple in order to help her children move forward in their lives. 

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