Sunday, August 25, 2013

Peachy Keen

We have enjoyed the bounties of summer, but we now sense its impending close. School days are coming, so we are getting our last full measure of summer sun and summer fruits in before we send the little ones off and start hunkering back down to the old grind.

Monday, August 19 – Hallie went to work in the morning a little later than normal since she slept through her alarm, woops! Once she got home, she took Mike up to work. We’re experimenting with ways to save money. Mike’s commute keeps rising in price. Once upon a time, he could go round trip to school for under $3 on the bus, but the bus stopped running at the time he needed to come home on teaching nights (after 8 PM), so then he had to drive and that meant a second car, insurance, gas etc. Parking has steadily risen from a reasonable $3.25 per day in 2007 to $6.50 this semester. We don’t necessarily object to the amount in itself. Rather, it’s the increases that add up over days and weeks. Anyway, Hallie took Mike to school on her way out to Westview Orchards, and he took the bus home. The kids like to wait outside for the bus to bring Mike home, and they are so excited to see him.
One good turn . . .

. . . deserves another (sort of). 

At Westview Orchards, Hallie and the kids played at the activity area and bought peaches. Lots of peaches. They would not let her pick a bushel, but they would let her buy one. They even had some with a bit of hail damage for more than 50% off. Great deal! We have spent the rest of the week freezing, cooking, eating, and otherwise putting them to use.

Full moons in the middle of the day

Tuesday, August 20 – We stayed home doing chores. Laundry. Lots of laundry.

Wednesday, August 21 – Hallie worked in the morning. Mike wrote and otherwise worked. Hallie took Eliza to speech. Here’s what she typically does when she gets tired and angry during the long trip home. Joy!

In the afternoon the kids and Hallie met Sara and Chase at our splash pad, and they had so much fun for nearly 2 hours. It was good for Hallie to visit with Sara. It has been a while.

Mike had Elders Quorum presidency meeting in the evening, which meant he left Hallie at home to put the minions to bed. She successfully got Eliza to sleep and got to spend some mother-son time with Landon.

Thursday, August 22 – In the morning on our way to gymnastics, we ran over to Landon’s school to get him registered for kindergarten. His teacher is Mrs. Humphrey, and his classroom is a picturesque room that used to be the school’s library (Defer Elementary was built in 1924 and has undergone several internal changes while maintaining its beautiful exterior). There is a fireplace in the room with Pewabic tiles laid in, and there’s even a playhouse. We thought it was going to be busier when we got there, but it wasn’t and Ms. Sullivan the principal was nice enough to show Landon where his class was. We are excited for Landon, and we know that he will enjoy having Mrs. Humphrey for a teacher and going to elementary school. We’re the ones going through the trauma.  

After registration and gymnastics, we took care of a few more things around the house. Mike took the missionaries and a couple of other members of the branch to the monthly missionary fireside. The kids did not want to go down that night and they were still awake at nearly 10:00 PM when he got home.

Friday, August 23 – After work, Hallie was going to have Brittany come over, but Brittany was feeling under the weather. Unfortunately, Hallie left her phone at home and did not get the message. When she arrived at Brittany’s, they visited for a little bit and then she saw the yard that Brittany’s mom has been fixing up. One thing we admire about Detroiters is their tenacious ability to create beauty from neglected spaces. Every day we see the best and the worst human beings can be in this town. Mike went over to the Smith’s house in the afternoon to help them pack for their departure to Texas. Another aspect of the city is the harsh reality that even tenacity sometimes isn’t enough, and you have to grab opportunities where you find them. We hope the best of everything for the Smiths and that they find their new ward ready to greet them with open arms.
Our little brunette Merida. Or Rapunzel. Take your pick. Every day we get to brush out these gorgeous locks. 

A shot by Landon of the girl with pigtails and personality to spare! 

Saturday, August 24 – Hallie had the chance to take a shift this morning, so Mike took the kids down to Eastern Market to get our CSA. We have received some veggies that we have rarely, if ever, bought for ourselves along with standbys and favorites. This week’s rare food: Chinese cabbage. The standbys: Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and corn. Time to cook!

Landon offered to carry Eliza while Mike lugged the produce bags back to the car. Such a strong and helpful big brother! 

Eliza has decided that grabbing the window sill at the bottom of the stairs is something worthwhile to do. Today she grabbed hold and expected Daddy to come rescue her, which he did, but not before getting a picture to remember it by:
She is more than a match for Landon as far as physical daring is concerned. Good thing they're both budding gymnasts!

Mike took peaches that we have not frozen or eaten and made a peach crisp with maple cream sauce tonight. We liked it pretty well, but Mike wants to make a cobbler now too. We can use the crisp topping with apples when they come into season.  
Image courtesy Food Network. Ours looked pretty much the same!

Sunday, August 25 – We had a full house at church this morning! In fact, lately our branch has more people attending than some wards in our stake. We have relatively few Melchizedek Priesthood holders, though, so it still feels like we’re flying by the seats of our pants. Such is branch life! Brittany came over after church to continue working on her BYU-I application. We had yummy cappellini pomodoro and maple peach crisp for lunch, and then we had crock pot fajitas for dinner.  The family likes it when people come over because Hallie gets in the cooking mood and nearly always makes something delicious. Landon doesn’t like onions, so he had lots to say about the fajitas. Oh, well! There is always breakfast tomorrow.
Building bridges over the backyard mud pit is much more fun than eating onions. 

Hallie has this next week off of work, and we have some fun things planned since the week leads into Labor Day. There will be also time for rest and getting the house and the family ready for school to start on September 3rd. 

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