Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sometimes It's All About Location

We love our little house for what it gives us, but this week we also appreciated how where we live allows us to help out with friends from church in often unexpected ways and how our location also makes getting to and from church very convenient (a big deal with our active kidlets). 

Monday, September 30 – It took us a bit to remember what happened on Monday. Then Hallie looked at the calendar, whereupon it dawned on her. How on earth did we forget what happened? Today was the day that Hallie was supposed to babysit Laurel’s kids, but that was pushed to Tuesday. As the day unfolded we saw why that was to be. Marshadae moved into a new apartment and needed to get new beds. We were supposed to leave from our house at 10:30 AM, but after Marshadae ran out of gas on the way to our house, it was nearly noon before heading out. Once Hallie and Marshadae did get started—boy, was it an adventure! Highlights included: The Salvation Army did not have the stuff they charged the girls for, the apartment we were moving stuff into had a 1 ft by 2 ft hole in the ceiling, the starter for the truck we borrowed from our branch president overheated on us, the hood flew up on us while driving, the truck’s windows had been left open the night before so the girls bums were wet everywhere they went from sitting on the wet seats, and we walked a mattress and bed frames through a strip mall. During all of the shenanigans, the girls experienced the kindness of strangers that left an indelible impression on them. Many things would not have been able to happen if it was not for these great men who came to their aid. When Hallie arrived home at 8:30 PM, she was exhausted, but we are glad to be able to help Marshadae.

Tuesday, October 1 – Mike went up on campus to take care of work in the morning after taking Landon to school. Landon rode Eliza’s pink scooter to school so he could show off some tricks. To him, the color doesn’t matter, just so long as it rides well. Hallie ran several errands in the morning after dropping Eliza off at school. Along her travels, she discovered Eastern Market’s version of poutine. She approves. 
The secret is the chorizo gravy

She looked after both Nadia (in the morning) and Laurel’s kids (in the afternoon/evening). Mike helped out in Landon’s class in the afternoon doing number recognition on ten frames. Once there, he dropped into teacher mode, evaluating what each child knew and needed to know. It’s like riding a bike. 

Speaking of bike riding, he had ridden over, so he let Landon sit in the kangaroo seat for the walk home. We’re still amused at the looks that seat gets when we pass people by. Then Mike took Landon to Laurel’s. The way the kids reacted to seeing him, you’d think he was a celebrity! Mike held his evening class in the basement with the laptop sitting on the washing machine. Humble surroundings, but the outcome remained the same. We had some really interesting discussions there among the laundry and boxes of food.

Wednesday, October 2 – Landon took his bike to school today. As we passed some of his classmates along the way, he showed off his mad skillz. The girls were seriously impressed. Oh, boy. Hallie looked after Nadia again today after taking Eliza to speech, where she continues to make good progress. 
Searching for Fergus in the bushes. He got out five separate times on Wednesday alone.

After school, Mike rode down with Eliza in the kangaroo seat to pick Landon up, and they all rode home in between doing tricks. 

The missionaries and Otto had stopped by, so we took advantage of their willingness to volunteer to have them help clear the garage floor. Didn’t take much, but now it looks good again. 

Eliza had her last swimming class today, and she has completed her Level 1.

Mike helped move some furniture at the giant warehouse owned by the family of a recently deceased member of the branch, the same member whose residence Mike had helped at last March. Spooky place late at night, but always interesting. Mike spent much of his time looking for the circuit panels to get the lights to work. That was pretty fun, actually.
One of the last remaining vehicles in storage: A Packard 180 just waiting to be restored

Nate running the forklift while Dave takes a rest

Thursday, October 3 – Hallie thought she would get a permanent replacement crown this morning, but it didn’t fit right. Plus her new glasses were ground wrong and need to be reordered. Plus, Landon had a hard time at school today and had his color changed to red. He got sent home with a note and everything. Mike was at work when Hallie went to get Landon, and he heard about it over the phone. Good day for Dad to be at the office. Bad day for Landon to be a rambunctious five-year-old boy. So, in the same week he got rewarded for good behavior,

he saw the opposite.

We're confident that, red card aside, he'll get to go to the next PBS party. . . .

Friday, October 4 – Mike helped out again at Landon’s school with a math center project in the morning. Mrs. Humphrey said Landon was behaving much better today. 
Giant spider just hanging in the air between the tree and the house. Imagine jogging into that one (cringe).

He still lost out on any screen time. Good thing we had a Primary Activity Days activity in the evening so we could at least have pizza. We got a phone call from Cynthia, a member of the branch, who told us that her grandkids needed to be picked up from the local charter school a couple of blocks down the road. Mike and Eliza walked down to pick up Kayla and Robert, and then Hallie took Robert home and Kayla to Activity Days. Activity Days was very successful. Hallie had 10 of her 15 kids there, and fun was had by all as she helped the kids get ready for General Conference.

Here are samples of the kids' work for the week, starting with Eliza's work on fine motor skills:

Landon's story of him fighting a bully. He said someone hit him earlier this week, and we're still trying to figure it all out. We know it didn't relate to his red card.

 A month's worth of math journaling:

More work with numbers:

Firefighting and public safety seemed to be a theme for the week (perhaps in preparation for the field trip to the fire station next week?):

Saturday, October 5 – Hallie got up bright and early to take Landon to get the CSA at Eastern Market and his gymnastics class. We attended General Conference this weekend. We must be gluttons for punishment, because we keep taking the kids to church to watch, and they keep being kids trying to sit through a two-hour meeting. Generally, because no one but the missionaries and we attend the first Saturday session, it’s not too much of an issue. We’ll bring something to eat in the cultural hall for lunch and sit on the floor or in some folding chairs while the kids play with toys or draw. This year Hallie brought popcorn and we brought the kids’ beanbag chairs. Other than some enthusiastic door opening and occasional venturing into the halls, the kids did fine. Between the two of us, we managed to watch the full session. We appreciated Elder Hales’ talk both for its content and for its timing.
"My happy family"

All the names of our family members.
Between sessions, Elders Shaeffermeyer and Fox, Dave from the branch presidency, and Mike helped move a recliner couch that came from the warehouse Mike had been to Wednesday and that was now in our branch president’s truck up to Marshadae’s third floor apartment a couple of blocks from our house. It almost fit into the elevator – almost. We watched the afternoon session online at home between doing chores and keeping the kids occupied. Interestingly, Landon up and decided he wanted to join Mike for the priesthood session, which meant he would be staying up way past his bedtime. We figured, why not? He actually did quite well at the little priesthood get-together we had prior to the meeting and the session (Angry Birds helped).
The setup for streaming conference at home

Fooling with the camera
Sunday, October 6 – Hallie whipped up some egg soufflé and monkey bread, and we took it over to church to feed to the missionaries and some friends who accidentally arrived to church early before conference. Later, the sisters stopped by with a thank you from our "magnificent seven" elders and sisters.

Mike took Eliza home for a nap and watched from home while Hallie and Landon watched with branch members. We really have been blessed to live so relatively close to church, particularly since we hadn’t realized the new building would be as close as it is when we bought our house. Sure makes attending meetings with little ones convenient. We opted to watch the afternoon session at home, especially after Eliza took a shorter nap than we anticipated. We had a fun dinner and visit with Dave and Analee and their kids in the evening. All in all, we ended the day having feasted both physically and spiritually.

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