Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hanging Around at Home

Some days just seemed to melt into others this week. The weather was cooler as the week started, but by Sunday summer had come back to visit—just in time for the pool to close on Labor Day. We soaked up the sun and hung out. Literally.

Monday, August 12 – Hallie headed off to work. Shortly after check-out time, Hallie shuttled Eliza to the dentist. This was a follow-up visit to make sure a dark looking tooth was doing okay. Now that she has two set of x-rays to compare, the dentist thinks the tooth is just bruised and may lighten up in time. Eliza’s next appointment is not until her 6 month checkup in October.  

Landon started his last week of Safety Town and seems to have had fun while learning. All the kids in his class get along great, and after each session they would play forever on the playground if they could. We had rain this afternoon and a bit of a scare when the fir trucks roared down the block only to stop on the next block over. Turns out a neighbor's house had a garage fire. 
Landon giving the play-by-play

In the evening the sister missionaries, and four young ladies from the branch attended a single adult family home evening we put on at home. Brittany was Hallie’s helper, and they made a great blueberry cake that was devoured by all.

Tuesday, August 13 – Today was International Left-Handers Day for that segment of the population like Mike who are in their right minds. This morning Landon and Hallie picked up Brittany and we headed to see the movie Planes. We got free popcorn and a pretty cheap ticket, which made the road trip out to the theater worth it. Plus the movie wasn’t half bad either. Landon went straight to Safety Town and then Hallie took Brittany home. 

The organizers of Safety Town suggested that parents could accompany their children for the fire safety information the public safety officers presented the kids today, so Mike went up to see what there was to see. 

By 4:00 PM it was time for Hallie to take Landon to gymnastics. Landon did well at gymnastics until it came to the conditioning part. He cried while doing the splits. His mom cried too, and then Landon said after it was all over, “Mom I just had to work through the pain.” We suspect that there was a little more than having to “work through the pain” going on.

Wednesday, August 14 – After work, Hallie took Eliza and Landon to Eliza’s speech class and Landon’s Safety Town class. 
Mike worked from home and then went up to the temple for branch temple night, where he got to see the updated presentation, which is slower paced (and thus longer) due to pauses required for foreign language translation from English to other languages.

Thursday, August 15 – Mike had pondered shaving his goatee for the last few weeks, and today he went through with it. Judging by the children’s reactions (Landon said, “Dad, you look weird,” and Eliza just keeps staring), this was a mistake. 

He took the kids to gymnastics and Landon to Safety Town before continuing to get things ready for his fall courses. 

We debated taking Landon to his afternoon gymnastics class before finally deciding that maybe it was a little too early for him to be moving from gymnastics as something fun to gymnastics as athletic training. The boys in his class at American Gymnastics were all at least a couple of years older than him, and while he seems to have similar skills, it also seems like he would benefit from more opportunities to just enjoy playing before he gets into competing, which will come soon enough, knowing our boy as we do.   

Friday, August 16 – While Hallie worked, Mike and the kids also got out the door early to take Princess to Wayne State so she could take her TOEFL exam as part of her application to BYU. Princess is originally from Liberia, and we have enjoyed getting to know her and learning some more about her culture. Landon had Safety Town graduation today, and now he can teach the rest of us all about various issues relating to safety (e.g., the yellow light means “wait,” NOT “go faster”!). 

Hallie and Brittany went visiting teaching, and Mike took the kids on a bike ride. Hallie took a second shift while Mike and the kids had movie night at home.  

Saturday, August 17 – Today was a perfect summer day built for sitting out on the porch and watching the world go by. Hallie took the kids to their last session of this round of swimming lessons while Mike did some work around the house. 
Look closely: There's a rabbit in the bushes.

Later, Brittany came over and helped Hallie organize Eliza’s room. The sister missionaries came by in the afternoon to make YSA flyers. Sister Decker had a fit about Mike’s missing goatee. This reaction only confirmed Mike’s opinion on the goatee: it must return. Hallie and Brittany went visiting teaching a little later. We really appreciate Brittany’s enthusiasm and hard work. Speaking of hard work, in her weekly letter from her mission, Diamond shared some of the adjustments she has had to make with her new mission assignment and new mission president. Hallie and Sister Decker chatted about what we might do to support Diamond as she struggles through this. Ultimately, it’s an issue of letting time do its work while she focuses on doing hers too. We know she can do it! The children spent most of the day outside either tumbling or digging in the yard or riding around, while Fergus pined away from behind the screen door.

Even the spiders know how to chill out on the porch chairs.

Sunday, August 18 – After church in the morning, we spent most of the day hanging out in the house, but not before Landon showed off a new skill he acquired: tree climbing. 

Hallie has missed having time to just be with the rest of us. Of course, in our family, the kids take hanging around literally, which meant that they spent time on the indoor swing, which Landon has now learned (as part of his door-frame climbing skills) to hang by himself.

In the evening, Mike went to an open house for The Smith family, who is leaving the branch to go to Texas. We constantly have new faces coming and going in the branch between med students, new converts, and other families in transition. The Smiths recently got baptized and almost simultaneously found new opportunities down south. They’ll be missed!

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