Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back to the Track

The kids managed to get back the Freedom Park this week for BMX racing. Both completed and placed in their age group. Both participated in gymnastics too. Rolling stones gather no moss.

Eliza is learning all about the letter A this week, and she brought home lots of evidence of her learning.

We don't have a lot to show of Landon's school work right now, but we know he is loving it. His teacher is great with him, and he loves being there. Landon will tell you his favorite subject is Math, and he says that many days feels shorter than the six hours he is there. All of those comments sure makes a parent happy.

Eliza went with Mike to Oxnard on an errand, and we caught a pretty sunset. We here another fancy sky is scheduled for Sunday. We hope to catch a good view of it.

Mike has had an ongoing project in his spare time over the last few years where he has created some family symbols that represent us and our values, including a coat of arms and a flag, each one chock full of meaningful . When we first got married, we chose Doctrine and Covenants 88:118-120 as a scripture to inspire us in our personal and family goals. While we’re still a long way from it, we have striven to organize ourselves to establish our own home as a house of God.
Flag with stars for each member of the family and a silhouette of the San Diego Temple (the House of the Lord) where we were married
The shield is blazoned "Per fess Azure and Vert a beehive Or surrounded by three bees proper" and mantled with the Sol de mayo and a laurel wreath. The motto is Latin for "Organize yourselves" or "Set yourselves in order," referring to D&C 88:118. 

We had a visit from the Aulenbachs, who came to the LA area all the way from Edmonton, Alberta. Hallie met Jerry when he was a youth when she served her mission in Nova Scotia.

On Thursday, the kids went riding at Freedom Park with Uncle Shad and Cru. Landon won first place in his division, and Eliza won third place in her division. Everyone at the track is so very nice. Eliza has a hard time keep her bike up in the lane, and so a great dad and his daughter held her upright in the gate until it dropped. Eliza is so happy to be at the track and wishes we could go more. Mom loves Freedom Park because it is the one place where the kids don't always get in trouble. They get on their bikes and ride for hours.

Mike had the car on Friday, so the girls took advantage of the Camarillo Trolley as they ran some errands around town, first for Mom’s haircut at Moxie, then to Rocket Fizz, and finally home. The heat has not let up. By the time Hallie and Eliza made it to the trolley stop, Eliza said her hair was burning and her legs were tired. Little did she know they still would have to walk to pick Landon up from school and then home. Eliza was a good trooper, and as long as she had her sour candies with her that she kept calling salty, she did very little complaining.

Eliza got her creative juices flowing and built a dragon.

Landon got invited to join the Boys Pre-Team at Victory Gymnastics. Landon has decided to accept this challenge. He will now be practicing three days a week, two hours a day. He doubles his practices at this rate. Mom thinks she needs to find some good books for her and Eliza. Eliza is a very good sport to sit and watch Landon so often.
Almost like reading a mission call!

The kids had their pictures taken with Grandma and Grandpa M. early Saturday afternoon. Later in the day, we all had our photos taken in Ventura. We got there early, and Eliza had fallen asleep on the way, so we had gelato at Palermo. The gelato was super yummy, and they had some fun flavors. Landon always surprises us with his choices. It was fun going up and down Main Street. We definitely want to go back and peek around the shops when we are not dressed in our finest and have more time to poke our heads into the eclectic looking shops. 
The thrill of it all
Saturday night ended with the kids watching Labryinth for the first time. They weren't quite sure what to make of it, but they did sit through the whole thing. Eliza wasn't sure about some of the Muppets, but Hallie reassured her that more often than not the good guys win. She seemed to perk up and not be quite as scared after that.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Talking Like Pirates, Singing Like Angels

The kids participated in the Primary sacrament meeting program at church. They also did a lot of gymnastics. They missed BMX for the second week, but the kids did get donuts for dressing and talking like pirates. That’s about the same, right?

These kids are always on the go go go, rockin' cheeky attitudes most of the time! 

They do settle down on occasion. Here's the proof. 

Here are some gymnastics highlights from Monday and Saturday.

We also got some more art from school.

She's learning to color between the lines so well! 

Plus some art from her class with Carrie. Good job!

Eliza has developed her big sister's sense of style, at least as far as socks go. And it's practical too! Any of her socks match now. 

Landon had pictures taken for his baptism invitations on Tuesday evening. No sneak peaks! 

We attended Landon’s Back to School Night on Wednesday. Landon has enjoyed his first several days of school, and we look forward to great things from both our little scholars. 

Mike had work in Malibu on Saturday, and while he was doing his thing, Hallie and the kids went to Krispy Kreme to get donuts for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Avast! X marks the spot where the golden treasure be stored. Y'arrr!

Making off with sweet booty

Prior to parting ways, we drove past Pepperdine University, where the lawn bordering Malibu Canyon Road and PCH has a massive display of American flags honoring the victims of 9/11. Tom Burnett, one of the heroes of Flight 93, was a Pepperdine alum.

Later on in the day, the missionaries came over for dinner and presented an object lesson.

Now you know how to balance three knives on three cups spaced equally far apart. Ta da!

Today, Grandmas and Grandpas M. and O. and cousins Haydn and Alie watched the kids perform their parts at the Primary program, I Know My Savior Lives. The children sang like angels and spoke well. We appreciate all the hard work of the children and all the adults who put the program together. Many thanks! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Letting It Go!

As has happened with most of our weeks lately, Saturday was our big-event day. We also attended a Labor Day birthday party, and Eliza had a couple of inches shorn from her flowing tresses. In keeping with the theme of the movie Frozen, as far as the summer and her hair are concerned, we just let it go.

On Monday, we went to the Hiji Rose Garden to celebrate Madyson’s son’s birthday. The park has a splash pad – perfect for beating the late-summer heat that invaded and stayed all week. The kids had so much fun, made new friends, and were mad when it was time to go.

On Tuesday, Hallie took Eliza for her first big girl haircut. Eliza loved every minute of being in the salon. There was bright jewelry to look at, candy to eat, and makeup to wish for. When excitement rolls through Eliza, her tongue comes out, and she could not keep it in her mouth. After her fun experience, Stacey treated her to cotton candy that was made just for Eliza. As Mom and daughter walked to the car, Eliza said, “When my hair grows long can we do this again?”

Eliza has made some new leaps in her literacy. She has been learning her letters, and now she can write her own name.  In preschool tracing circles and triangles was the name of the game the last two weeks. Hallie found a great Leap Frog dry erase system on clearance. In all of the car rides Eliza has been using this system steadily and it is fun to see her learning new skills every day.

The kids showed off other creative and academic talents as well.
Practicing their singing for next Sunday's Primary program

She's "reading" a how-to Lego manual, plus she has some classic sci-fi humor in reserve. Warms a dad's heart to see it!

We put up with another few days of heat, and then came the weekend. The girls and Grandma M. went down to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and the boys went on a little adventure of their own around town by trolley. They parted ways in the morning when the girls hit the road and the boys rode their bikes down to church to help clean the building.

Close to a month ago Hallie found tickets to see Frozen Sing Along at the El Capitan and thought it would be a perfect adventure for ladies in the family to partake in. Eliza and Hallie were happy to hear Grandma M. could come with them. The girls arrived at the theatre in plenty of time, and it was fun to watch tourists in our own backyard for a bit before the show started. The theatre is beautiful inside, and all of the employees (“cast members”) perform in true Disney fashion. We headed to our seats and were told our tickets included a keepsake Frozen bucket of popcorn and a drink. The look in Eliza’s eyes was priceless when she was told she could pick any of eight different drinks. The ladies took their seats and were treated to an organ show of Disney songs as people got settled into their seats. Before the movie officially started, Elsa treated everyone to a little performance. What fun it was to sing along and finally know what those crazy characters were actually singing. At the end of the movie Olaf came out and did a song dance and then the animated short Frozen Fever played, a first viewing for the ladies of our family. Lunch at Corner Bakery rounded out their fun adventure. Fun was had by all!

Meanwhile, after the boys got home from cleaning, they played some checkers and then, on a totally unplanned lark, walked over to Las Posas Plaza to pick up the Camarillo Trolley. We happen to live close enough to it to make using the trolley (which is free!) very convenient, even though this is actually the first time we’ve ridden. It makes a complete five-or-so mile circuit in about a half-hour. We started our trip at the Plaza and did some window shopping at a few of the stores before the trolley arrived. We then rode down to the Outlets before hopping off and playing with toys at Toys-R-Us. About a half-hour after we got to the Outlets, we hopped back on. A stop or two later, another ward member got on, and we chatted with him before deciding to hop off again at the Metrolink station so we could go to Rocket Fizz. About 30 minutes and $20 later, we were back on the trolley and headed home. Easy peasy!
Cooling his dogs while sipping some suds

On Sunday, Eliza sported a couple of Lego bows Dad had made a couple of weeks ago. 

We also had the chance to visit with Uncle Bryce, who is out in California for a few days for work, with dinner at Grandma and Grandpa M.’s. 
Hallie made this chocoflan cake for dessert. 
Marilyn laments that she can never get a straight picture out of everyone. Today was no exception.