Sunday, July 06, 2014

Freedom, Futbol, and Fruits of the Season

More World Cup action punctuated the other activities of the week, which included celebrations for Independence Day, attempts at jailbreaking by the cat, and bottling up a year’s supply of raspberry and strawberry freezer jam.

Monday, June 30 – Mike had a meeting up on campus, so he drove up to school while Hallie and the kids played at home. We're getting settled in, but it's a bit of a process.

When he got home, Hallie traded looking after the kids to go to a chiropractor appointment. During the time she was out, the headache Mike had started feeling up at work had evolved into a small migraine. Dang! He thought that maybe the change of location would mean the end of those things. Fortunately, the neighbors had medicine, and we found ours later. After she got home, Hallie took the kids out to run some errands and then over to the park to enjoy the outdoors and blow off some steam.

Tuesday, July 1 – Happy Canada Day! 
A frequent reminder from Canadian friends graces the master bathroom vanity area. 

Mike occupied a chunk of his day watching the two World Cup games. Argentina pulled off a last-minute win against Switzerland, while the US lost a hard-fought game against Belgium. The scores in soccer can be very misleading when you consider all the other action that goes on.

Hallie took some time in the late morning/early afternoon to go with a group of ladies from the ward to Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant for lunch. She took the kids on errands in the afternoon. After they all came home, Mike took the water babies down to the pool.

Wednesday, July 2 – In the afternoon, we ran some errands in preparation for July 4th, including a trip to the farmers’ market at the Community Center Park, Smart and Final, and Ralph’s. We’re looking forward to tasty chicken and corn on the backyard grill!  Hallie is looking forward to trying the tasty treats from some of the vendors this coming Wednesday. One booth, Desserts to Die For, had her intrigued with their desserts being served from a hearse. Pretty clever.

Thursday, July 3 – In the afternoon, Hallie joined 24 Hour Fitness, which is right around the corner from our house. Hallie then headed to the chiropractor again hoping to feel as good as Monday; however, that was not to be the case. This one did not lead to quite the same positive result as the first appointment. Was it because she had a 30 min massage after the first one? Or because this time she worked out before she went? Who knows? But by the time the missionaries came for dinner Hallie was in a lot of pain. A blessing, ice, and some ibuprofen helped ease some of her misery.

Friday, July 4 – Happy Independence Day!
Howdy from our little firecracker

We celebrated bright and early when Mike and the kids rode down to a flag ceremony and pancake breakfast down at church. Right before we left, we discovered that Fergus had gotten out of the house and hopped the fence into another neighbor’s back yard. We didn’t have time to figure out how to tease him back over before the ceremony, so we left him until we could figure out our next steps. He had found his way back by the time we got back, and the first thing Mike did when Fergus got back inside was put the collar on the cat. Naturally, Fergus wanted nothing to do with the collar and spent the rest of the day pining to get back out, struggling with the collar, and sulking.

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon getting food prepped. The gas grill is really, really nice. Wow! Both the chicken and corn turned out just right. Grandma and Grandpa O. and cousin Mariah came over to share in the barbecue and get some pool time in the afternoon. After lunch, the kids and Dad took Grandpa on a walk around the neighborhood and down to the park. Mariah got tired and had to take a nap and so Hallie, Grandma, and the kids headed off to the pool before while Dad and Grandpa finished watching the second soccer game.

After Mariah woke up, she and the grandparents went back home while we got ready to go watch the fireworks down by the high school. A family in the stake owns a piece of land across the freeway from the school, and they set up a potluck barbecue that everyone could share in as we waited for night to fall and the light show to start. The evening was lovely! The weather cooled off, we had primo seats (thanks to our neighbors who had taken our chairs earlier), and we saw so many of our new ward members there.  

Landon made some new friends as they went exploring among the young palm trees.

Finally the fireworks started! Eliza had played so much throughout the day that not even the bombs bursting in air could keep the sandman away.

This what what the fireworks were like up close: 
(Just kidding. Pretty awesome, though, eh?)

Saturday, July 5 – Hallie started the day by going with Liz to the farmers’ market in Old Town. Apparently the Wednesday and Saturday farmers’ markets each run independently, but both are certified (Mike wonders whether that means they end up paying fees to some officials that end up getting passed on to the customer). Hallie picked up a flat of yummy strawberries. On her way to the car they spilled, but only one was lost. Thanks to some great people, all were picked up in short order.

After the market, the ladies stopped over at TJ’s where Hallie bought yummy peaches.

Mike and the kids stayed home while Mike watched the Argentina-Belgium and Netherlands-Costa Rica games. The second game turned into a nail-biter of extra time and penalty kicks. Hopefully the Netherlands will be so exhausted that Argentina will walk all over them in Wednesday’s semifinal.

Hallie got some help from Landon as she bottled up several jars of freezer jam from the raspberries we bought earlier in the week and strawberries she bought today at the market. She rewarded him after he went with her to buy some bottling supplies with frozen yogurt from Menchie's in Oxnard. 

There will be lots of yummy goodness eaten throughout this next year. How fun it has been to have amazing produce ready at our fingertips.

Sunday, July 6 – Sometime during the night, Fergus successfully removed his collar and hid it. We believe the cat and Eliza are related because they are both very sneaky when it comes to doing what we have asked them not to do. Church doesn’t start until 1:00, so Hallie made some more jam, the kids and Mike played Legos, and we as a family enjoyed the weather.

People in the ward seem to find Mike and the kids’ riding a bike to church thing quite novel. Mike’s surprised more people aren’t doing it, frankly.

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