Sunday, August 17, 2014


At some point, you might think we begin to take for granted the hair-raising things these kids can do, but no. It never gets old, and they keep finding ways to surprise us with new-found skills. 

Monday, August 11 – Daredevil acts came in a set of three today. Part 1: As Hallie helped Landon and Eliza unpack items in their rooms, she found the box that held the plastic bracket for the kids’ indoor swing. Hooray! We thought maybe they’d gotten left behind or thrown out. Mike installed the swing, and the kids set about defying gravity again.

Part 2: Eliza decided to follow Landon's lead again and take on the horizontal ladder on the community park's jungle gym.

Part 3: After showing her new pool skills at the end of last week, Eliza decided to learn how to ride her big girl bike today. She asked Dad to take the last training wheel off her bike, and she took to the street.

Tuesday, August 12 – Mike took the kids to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman at the dollar movie theater while Hallie and her mom did some shopping and ran errands. After the movie, Landon wanted to show off some of his own new bike skills. 

Pray no one comes careening around the corner. 

Later on, we all went down to the pool. Some other kids were there with toys to share, including water pistols. What a cool idea! Mike got into the fun with the kids while the other grown-ups lounged and chatted in the water.

Wednesday, August 13 – Happy International Left Handers Day! We met Grandma M., Aunt Carly, Cru, and Sawyer at Marina Park in Ventura for a beach day.

In the afternoon, Hallie and Landon ran some errands and brought home some water guns of our own. They worked really well to help us cool down after the heat of the day. Both kids seem to have avoided sunburns (they both have genes that let them tan to shades of beautiful bronze), but Mom and Dad got burned where they didn’t cover with clothes or ample amounts of sunscreen, so the cool water felt quite refreshing.

Thursday, August 14 – Mike had meetings on campus, so Hallie and the kids took him up, ran some errands, and went over to visit with family in TO. The kids were playing in the backyard, and then Landon came in to say Eliza had climbed onto the roof of the shed. 
Yup. Pretty much.
Later in the day, Cameron Mortensen (who had served as a missionary in Belle Isle) and his girlfriend came over. They were out to visit his birthmom, who is from the area. While they were visiting, the missionaries came over for dinner, and then Hallie had to hit the road for a luau-themed Relief Society dinner. Busy times!

Friday, August 15 – Grandma and Grandpa O. and Alie came over for a hearty late breakfast. Hallie had found an orange roll recipe, and Mike made it. He got a little overzealous on the amount of juice required for the glaze, misreading two tablespoons of fresh orange juice for the juice of one whole orange. Grandpa suggested boiling down the liquid into a syrup (almost a marmalade) that we poured over the rolls, so they came out amazingly well.

Fergus found a perch above the cabinets to watch the men at work.

The kids played together and showed off their skills.

Dancing to Alie's favorite song, Pharell's "Happy"

In the afternoon, we went down to the pool. Some kids who a couple of weeks earlier had caused hundreds of dollars in damage to the pool area tried to get in again, asking people in the pool area to let them in. The last time, Mike had been the adult foolish enough to let them in, assuming that the kids wouldn’t cause problems. This time, he was “that guy”: the crotchety old guy running off the rabble. He didn’t want to be that guy, but he had to set things right after the last time.

Once the rabble had been run off, Mike and Landon had a battle royale with some other kids who had brought their own water guns to the pool. Being able to refill right in the water makes for some pretty intense fighting that just would not let up (even when Mike wanted it to). 

Saturday, August 16 – Mike and the kids made paper airplanes and then raced them.  At first, Landon got frustrated that he couldn't fold straight lines, but after some practice, he had several planes of different shapes and was teaching Mom the finer points. 

Surprisingly, while it looks cool, it doesn't fly well. 

Having a balcony has its advantages.

Mike found a website that takes photos and tilt shifts them so they look like miniature scenes. He tried his hand with some shots from trips we’ve made to Atlantic Canada, and they didn’t turn out too badly (click on the pictures for a closer look). They remind Hallie of the opening scenes of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
The Battery, St. John's, NL
Town of Trinity, Newfoundland
House on the Nuddick, Trinity, Newfoundland

Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

It took him a while, but Fergus has finally got back to being his old cuddly self (at least with Mike) this week.
Happiness is a warm lap. 
Mike took the kids on a bike ride while Hallie visited with Hillary from next door. The kids saw that no one was at the pool, so they went over for a relaxing end of the day swim.

Sunday, August 17 – Landon and Mike got into a gnarly dog fight with the dozen or so paper airplanes he folded yesterday. Casualties were light, although all noses required extensive repairs and retrofitting to ensure continued airworthiness. 

Mike took both kids on their big kid bikes to and from church. The days of the kangaroo seat and balance bikes may finally be over (sniff).

Hallie subbed as Primary Chorister again, and it seemed that tic-tac-toe was not such a big hit this time. They both have received new callings. Details to follow next week!  


K said...

Eliza on the roof! Haha! And ! What site was it that Mike made those awesome pics with? How cool! Sounds like y'all are settling in and enjoying sunny CA!

Michael Owens said...

K, the site is Now I want to find more old pics to miniaturize! Yup, definitely getting settled in. We miss Michigan like we missed the 11th Ward when we left SLC, but we're making new friends and having fun.