Sunday, February 22, 2015

These Are the Days

All days are good, but some good days have to be made. Adequate sleep seems to help make the difference as far as days starting and ending well. Cupcakes help too.

We spent a quiet Sunday evening reading some favorite books. Eliza is following in her brother’s footsteps.

On Monday, the kids had the day off for President’s Day. Hallie and some of the other moms in the neighborhood trekked the kids over to Shave-It for some ice-cold treats. Let’s just say all those little kids in a confined space became a bit overwhelming.

In the evening, we spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa O.’s house before dropping Mike off at Grandma and Grandpa M.’s house so he could stay overnight.

On Tuesday, Mike and a work colleague left TO at 4 AM to drive to San Diego to give a presentation. After the presentation, they came back home. Fortunately, they missed major traffic in both directions. This meant cooling their heels in San Diego for a bit, but better that than being late.   

Mike having to travel meant that he missed the funeral for our friend Clarke. Hallie attended and helped other ward members with the after-funeral luncheon.

In the late afternoon, Hallie helped out at a school fundraiser.

Oh, and it was Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

After helping out at Landon’s school Wednesday, Mike took the car to work. Eliza ended up missing school, but she and Hallie managed to make a busy afternoon for themselves.

Landon showed off his emotional range today.

Mike had two opportunities to help out at Landon’s school this week. He assisted in the computer lab and brought home information on a couple of websites Landon and Eliza can use to learn about science and social studies.

Our next door neighbors are getting ready to move (boo!), and this week that meant that Hillary had to remove all the wood from her Asian-themed bedroom. Out the window it all went.

Landon had the chance to hone his woodcutting skills by cutting the long pieces down to size for the dumpster.

Hallie took the kids on a bike ride around the neighborhood. She also picked up a movie: Alexander and the [Long Title] Day.

Before movie night (The Boxtrolls) on Friday, Eliza and Landon broke out the electricity and magnetism kit. Mom played the role of scientific advisor to the intrepid investigators.

The kids decided to play musical beds Friday into Saturday, and this led to the parents playing musical beds. While we tried to start the day on a good note with pancakes, the children were ill-mannered, and the parents were cranky. It happens.

Mike took the kids to the Chinese New Year celebration at the Camarillo Library.

The “get off my lawn” set decided to send a letter to homeowners in our neighborhood banning children from, get this, PLAYING OUT IN THE STREET. Looks like the honeymoon is over. This will not end well for the people who came up with this policy, which includes that all playing by children shall take place at the dinky park with the two swings. Said park sits right at the front entrance to the community, and many neighborhood homes (and their windows) back right up to the park. Between the potential car/pedestrian accidents and the increased number of balls flying over fences, many people will not be happy. Clearly someone on the board didn’t think this one through. Ever hear of the Fair Housing Amendments Act? How about "protected class" and the fact that what they're doing is illegal? We figure it this way: When those who want the kids to stop playing in the street will actually obey the posted speed limit, we can talk about modifying the kids’ play. Until then, our kids will play (as always, supervised by grown-ups) merrily in the streets with the expectation that, if push comes to shove, adults in cars will have to yield. Anyone up for a game of Chicken?

This leads us into Sunday. The missionaries and Mike gave the sharing time lesson in Primary. Hallie gave her Relief Society lesson on Elder Uchtdorf’s conference talk Lord, Is It I? She baked maple brown sugar cupcakes.

The drizzle we had last night evolved into storm clouds that promised some more rain after church. We’ll take every drop we can get! Before then, Mom managed to get the kids to sit still long enough for a picture in their Sunday best. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Too Much of a Good Thing . . .

. . . can be wonderful! Or so said Mae West, adding to Shakespeare’s bawdy pun. When we refer to the good things in our lives of late, we’re thinking about the wonderful excesses life has afforded us. Whatever the excesses we’ve had this week, though, we’ve enjoyed them all.

We celebrated Eliza’s birthday on Monday with balloons covering her bedroom floor. 

Then, while Mike and Landon were out at work and school, Hallie and Hillary took Eliza out for some girl time before school, which included getting Eliza dressed up as a princess, getting her ears pierced, taking her to the Disney Store, and going out to lunch. Too much!

The celebrations continued with presents and the rest of the cake from Sunday.

We’ve had a warm spell this February. We did get some heavy dew early in the week to water the wildflowers. Mike’s ride to work looked a bit like something out of the English countryside, what with the wildflower-covered fields and the low clouds clinging to the emerald hills. Too much!

To our friends up north and back east: We send you these photos to warm your hearts until the winter chill subsides. The conditions we’re experiencing are fleeting. These hills will return to their drab dryness by April or May, just in time for spring where you’re at. Send us pictures of your colorful spring when it comes, will you?

Our ward’s Primary presidency dropped off a surprise for Landon on Wednesday. He’ll be getting baptized this November, and now he has some material to help him get prepared.

Eliza put together her present of a Hello Kitty-themed Mega Blox set with the generous help of . . . her mom. That's right: Hallie and the girl bonded over construction blocks, cuz that's how we do things around here.

Of course, they also played dolls, crab walked, swung on the indoor swing, painted by numbers, and played with transfer tattoos. In all, a fine way to spend a girls' morning in.

Eliza had a Valentine's Day party at school, and she brought us home a little something.

By Thursday, the weather had warmed up enough that Hallie decided to take the kids to the pool – The Pool! – after Landon got home from school. OK, so they went to the hot tub because the actual pool was still too cold, but still. Too much!

On Thursday while Mike went up to work, Hallie and Eliza looked after baby Sawyer until Shad got home from work.

Landon made Eliza a gift in class. Such a thoughtful kid. 

On Friday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a party at Landon’s school. The kids did a valentine exchange, which meant too much candy – maybe not quite such a good thing. Still, the kids had fun.

Hillary had the kids do a “secret” project after Landon got home from school.
(Valentines for Mom and Dad)

The weather continued to heat up into the weekend, which (again), is a wonderful thing. Well, maybe too much. A little wet or chilly weather wouldn’t be the end of the world, now would it? Then again, we couldn’t justify launching water balloons if we didn’t have this weather. Our regrets to those digging out from the ice and snow.

Mike, our resident friggatriskaidekaphile (lover of Fridays the 13th and the number 13 generally), took note of the day and date with pleasure. Here is a link to some facts about the number 13 for your entertainment, unless it’s all too much for you to take in.   

Valentine’s Day Saturday started off pretty mundane with morning cartoons and cleaning, a little too much of the former for the parents’ taste and of the latter for the kids’.

Things livened up in the afternoon and evening, when we went to Grandma and Grandpa M.’s for dinner. We played a dice game called Toss Up. Between the game and a rollicking chat about #hashtags, we had too much fun for our own good.

On Sunday, Mike taught Landon’s class a lesson about the temptations of Christ, and Eliza gave her first talk in Primary. 

To quote from the Bard again, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Too, too much.