Sunday, February 08, 2015

Springtime in February

Roughly a year ago, we lamented about how winter felt like prison. Not so this year! After 13 years of real winters, Mike and Hallie find ourselves a bit surprised to see that spring is in the air. Sure enough, though. While our friends in Michigan received record snowfall to blanket their trees in white, many trees in our area have erupted with their own white blankets of flowers. Popcorn trees can be found throughout the county. 

In addition, the meadows and hillsides have developed their own rainbow blankets, adding to the rich green we have had since December. This is Mike’s favorite time of year since we’ve moved back, one he almost forgot about but sorely missed somewhere deep while we lived out of state. February, so bleak in many northern regions, may be Southern California’s most glorious month. 
The meadows at the McCrea Ranch on Mike's way to work look something like this.

Or maybe more like this. 

This could be the look of things to come. 

On Monday, Mike and Hallie had business up in Santa Barbara, and the kids had the day off from school, so we all took a trip together. We spent a little time at the playground at Alameda Park before crossing the street to the aptly nicknamed “turtle park” (the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens).

Can't a duck take a nap in peace?


This little turtle kept on climbing and falling and climbing back up again to get his perch in the sun. 

This guy and his granddaughter shared some bread so we could feed the ducks. 

On Tuesday while Mike worked, Hallie and the kids played at the park with the cousins in TO.

As with most of the last month, we spent much of the rest of the week doing our normal routines. Mike has new work responsibilities, and Eliza stayed home sick on Wednesday with either a cold or allergy. She and Mike both have terrible coughs and accompanying nastiness, but otherwise they feel fine.

After much eager anticipation, Hallie finally received an updated replacement phone on Friday. Mike, who was fine with what he had, is nonetheless happy for an upgrade too. Now that Mama has a brand new phone, we’ll see a return to more photos on the blog!

We got rain on Saturday. We woke up to a brilliant red sky to the east that faded to gray clouds and drizzle developing into actual rain by midday. At about that time, we received word that our friend Clarke from church passed away after a brief and surprising bout of illness. We mourn his passing with his wife and extended family and are grateful to have known him, however briefly.

The children and Hallie attended a roller skating birthday party for our neighbors across the street.

After a tentative start, . . . 

at it like pros! 

After Mike got done with work, we had a birthday celebration of our own: Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa O. When Hallie asked Eliza what her favorite food was, she said, “Marshanellows.” So, she asked for Eliza’s second favorite food: She said, “Soup!” So we went to Souplantation. Yumm-o!

Oh, and here's where ALDI will be coming to town. So excited! Well, as excited as is appropriate for the arrival of a discount grocer. . . .

Sunday was pretty busy at church, with Eliza getting a birthday song and gift, Landon giving a talk in Primary, and Mike giving a lesson to the Young Women on member missionary work.

After church, we had company over to continue celebrating Eliza’s birthday. 
"Hey! How's it hangin'?"

"Happy Birthday to You!"

Teaching yo-yo skills

Miles, our next door neighbor from Michigan, sent the kids packages. Fergus seemed extremely attracted to the Angry Bird-themed coloring book. Cats and birds: figures. Or does he smell something that reminds him of former haunts?

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