Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Get By With a Little Help from Our Kids

Monday June 24
Not too much happened today.  Landon and Eliza started another session of swim lessons after some time off. A lot of kids swim here in the Grosse Pointes. Landon is learning about these things and knows that if he wants to try new things he needs to learn how to swim. Pool safety is also important being that our park has a pool. So it is positive all around that the kids take swimming lessons. They both loved class and can’t wait to go back again.

Tuesday June 25
A couple of weeks ago we joined the YMCA and Hallie loves the Drums Alive class. She has talked Mike into joining her. It is a great way to get exercise while having fun. Hallie wanted to have a yard sale, but our street is not good to have one. So she put out a request to see if someone else would be willing to host the yard sale to the Moms Club, and sure enough in a matter of no time someone responded! By the time it all happened there were six moms selling their stuff. There was a lot of stuff to get ready, and the Sister Missionaries were willing to come help price stuff. In the evening Hallie took Landon to Junior Tumbling which he likes but says is hard. Finally he has a challenge before him. When Hallie asked him about what we do when things get hard, he said we do them anyway. What a great kid!!!!
Landon loves his mom!

Wednesday June 26
Today we divided and conquered a bit. Hallie worked in the morning and then we all met at the YMCA. Mike and Eliza left and went to speech in Bloomfield Hills while Landon continued to play and Hallie worked out. Afterwards, Hallie took Landon with her to an appointment. He was quite well behaved while being entertained by technology. In the late afternoon we met the new companion of Sister Decker’s, Sister Marshall from Florida. Sister Marshall is waiting for a visa to head to Brazil. We will love her while she is here. 

In the evening Landon played his last baseball game for the season. He really enjoyed playing baseball and wishes it was longer.

Time for a better view of the action! 

Thursday June 27
Landon and Eliza had gymnastics today. Landon loves that he is in the “big boy” class. It was Hallie’s turn to hang out with Eliza during parent/tot gymnastics class. Other moms are amazed at both of the kids’ strengths. It is fun to watch what they can do with their bodies.  

Mike took Landon down to a new pop-up coffee shop a few blocks away called Coffee and (_______) we heard about from a friend on Facebook. 

Hanging out in the courtyard

We were fortunate to help the sister missionaries teach a young man named Otto a lesson on the Word of Wisdom in our home. Otto really seems interested, and it is great to have the spirit of missionary work in our home. Hallie held her first Activity Day meeting in the late afternoon at church, and out of 15 children invited we had 3 come. But be not dismayed. There will be more next time, and Hallie feels so blessed that the missionaries were willing to help her with the activity. In the evening, Hallie went to the house where the yard sale was going to be held to stash stuff in the garage. Meanwhile it rained like crazy, but it sure was helpful to have been able to stash things ahead of time.

Friday June 28
Hallie worked and went straight from there to the yard sale. In the brief moments between leaving the front desk and arriving at the yard sale, Hallie was paid a wonderful compliment that then will in turn help Eliza. For as much as working at 4:45 a.m. has been hard on everyone in the family, several blessings have come from it. We are so grateful for what Heavenly Father has done for us. 
June means fish flies. Eww.

The yard sale was fun with all of the other women, and Hallie got rid of a few things this day. Mike dropped the kids off with Hallie while he went to a doctor’s appointment, and it went better than expected on Hallie’s end. Landon was amazingly helpful cleaning up, and it went so much quicker than expected! We ended the day with LOTS of rain that came right after we put everything in the garage for the next day, and the kids were so good they got pizza and a movie night!

Saturday June 29
Landon and Hallie headed out in the early morning to start the second day of the yard sale. Setting up was a breeze as Landon used all of his muscles to help Hallie set up everything. He made time go by so fast. There were kids to play with the whole time, and Landon was so well behaved. Mom was so impressed and happy with his good behavior! While Landon and Hallie were earning money, Mike and Eliza went on down to the Farmers Market down the street. We haven’t been there much this year yet, but maybe as our Saturdays start opening up we will be able to head down there more. In the later afternoon we headed to look at glasses to replace Hallie’s. 

We decided in the end even with insurance the price was too steep, so we will keep looking. Hallie had volunteered to bring a family whose mom had just had their fourth boy some dinner, and with all that went on for us during the day we opted to take them pizza and a salad from Buddy’s Pizza. The kids were happy to receive a pizza for dinner. After all, what boy doesn’t love pepperoni pizza?

After dropping off the pizza, we went to Lou's Pet Shop to see if they had any good toys for Fergus. Eliza was fascinated by the caged birds. This store has a resident turtle and lemur too. 

We also got ice cream at the Chocolate Bar Cafe. Eliza saw the bars in the seating area and decided it was gymnastics time. Up she went! 

Sunday June 30
Today was branch conference at church. It is fun having so many visitors at church and seeing familiar faces we don’t get to see so often. Our branch president gave a great talk! 
Our patriotic cowgirl ballerina all ready for church. Yee haw! 

Hallie was falling asleep sitting up after she got home from church, so she headed upstairs to take a nap. We couldn’t get Eliza to take a nap, but somehow she fell asleep in all kinds of crazy positions on the couch. Fergus snuggled right up to her and it was so cute to see. Eliza doesn’t quite understand how to carry the kitten, but Fergus has been more than patient with Eliza. 

Here are some other highlights of the last week with Fergus: 
He does enjoy having a perch from which to survey his world.

Laptop equals heat source.

In the early evening two youth who used to attend the branch, Josh and Brandon, came over and it is always fun hearing their stories and seeing what they are up to. We've lived in the area for nearly six years now, and watching these former youth grow into young adults sure makes us realize how fast the time has flown by!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summertime Superheroes

We started the week on Monday with some hijinks at home to keep the kids occupied while first Mom then Dad worked. 

Sis. Beaty received a transfer notification, so in the evening Hallie took her and Sis. Decker to Sander’s in the Village for cream puff sundaes. We’ll miss you, and we wish you all the best in your new area. We are so glad that Katelyn was willing to play with the crazy kids so Hallie could go.

Earlier in the day, Eliza gave us all a scare when she ran across the street. Now she is timid near the street. Eliza was scared when she fell. Hallie was scared because of every thought that runs through a mother’s mind when something like this happens.
Hallie took an extra shift on Tuesday morning, so Mike took the kids first to the Y while he worked out and next to Storytime at the Woods Library. The library system has started off a summer reading program, and we got started right with a few read-aloud stories and songs.

Eliza decided to use the dry erase marker that comes with her chore chart to draw some temporary tattoos all over her body when she decided not to take a nap. Yes, it was put up in her closet, and yes, our tornado figured out how to get it down.

Hallie took Landon to get a haircut at the new Great Clips in the Village. We opted for the summer Mohawk. Look how great $5.99 looks!!!!!

Fergus seems to be settling in nicely. He and the kids get along very well. It was so endearing this week when Hallie was holding Fergus and both kids could not give Fergus enough kisses. Fergus sleeps we think in his bed on top of Landon’s bed or at least near Landon at night. Fergus thus far has been a great addition. Many times you will see Fergus curled up between Mike’s leg and the arm of the couch. So cute!

The roses are out, and the raspberry buds are shaping into tiny fruit. Mike’s hoping for a bumper crop in July. So are the birds (Dang birds. Maybe we’ll have to teach Fergus about them).  

We met Sister Decker’s new companion, Sister Kinikini, on Wednesday. She is Tongan from West Valley, Utah. Sister Kinikini is a new missionary and wants to do her best.  Looking forward to more fun!

After a week and a half, Fergus discovered that the things the kids have been trying to get him to play with are toys. Now we have both content kiddies and a content kitty.
His look says, "If you were food, you'd be in my belly!"

After our Thursday morning workout, we took the kids to their gymnastics classes. Eliza’s is in a parent-tot class, so Mike got to chase her around the gym. She loves to climb and roll and bounce but doesn’t seem too interested in what the teacher has to say. That’s what Dad’s for! Hallie was a spectator with her friend Jen whose seven-year-old daughter does quite well. They spend close to 12 hours a week at the gym.

We all went to Greenfield Village later in the day with Bianca. She looked after the kids while Mike took Hallie to have afternoon tea at Cotswold Cottage before going to see Man of Steel. We ended up not getting to have the tea experience (rain check) because, although we spent a long time in line, we realized we’d miss the movie if we stayed, and we had already bought the movie tickets. We don’t know whether this was an unusually busy day, but that was a disappointment. We enjoyed the movie, and the kids enjoyed an afternoon free to ride the carousel and other rides at the village with Bianca.

After a crazy start to our Friday morning, we finally got out the door to go up to Westview Orchards with the Moms Club for strawberry picking and other frolics outside. Landon was a great strawberry picker and he seemed to really enjoy it and picked some amazing strawberries.

Mike took one of the new elders, who are a trio for this transfer, on visits to a couple of member families in the branch in the afternoon.

In the evening, Hallie took Landon to the Detroit Tigers game. The Tigers lost but Hallie enjoyed seeing Miguel Cabrerra hit a three-run home run. Landon went more for the fireworks and cotton candy than anything else. His patience finally paid off. He and Mom didn’t get home until close to midnight. None of us are sure how Hallie held out the whole day being she had been up since 3:15.

Hallie worked Saturday morning while Mike took the kids to Lowe’s for the second Monster’s University-themed project of the month, a storage chest, or treasure chest as Landon put it.

Once Mom got home, we drove up to meet Dee, Jim, and Elizabeth at the Meadow Brook Music Festival for the Recess! Family Music Festival with The Laurie Berkner BandDan Zanes & Friends, Ralph's World, Candy Band, The Verve Pipe, and the School of Rock. Shortly before we left, Tricia (another mom from the club) came over to drop off shoes that Hallie had bought for Eliza (Such a deal!). Eliza wore her first pair to the concert. Someone mentioned she looked like she was out of a fashion magazine. As for the concert itself, we did not see all the acts, and at times the kids seemed less interested than the grown-ups, but everyone had fun in their own way.

Scaling Everest after rolling down again and again. Good thing he wore long pants! 

After we got home, Hallie kept the party going by attending a going-away bash for a friend from the Moms Club and Landon’s preschool moms who is moving away. Get a few "Stephabulous" signature drinks (or glasses of grapefruit Perrier in Hallie’s case) and some karaoke going, and let the good times roll! Plus you never miss a party at the Jakubowski bar. Hallie sampled some AMAZING food, and she even ate a skewer of marinated shrimp.  
For church Eliza wore a second pair of shoes from Tricia. It had a heel, and she wore them too well. 

By the time church ended, everyone was feeling a bit burned out. We tried to keep things more low key and indoors. Hallie had left church a bit early today for a two hour nap (which does not usually happen), but after this week her body has told her to take a break. After church, the rest of us attended a baptism for one of the children in the branch. Later in the afternoon, we had a visit from our home teacher and spent a bit coloring super hero capes. Tomorrow will be a good day to put them to use!