Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sing, Choirs of Angels

This week was marked with songs of the season as Hallie and Landon participated in the Camarillo Community Christmas Concert over the weekend.

Mike spent most of the week on jury duty between hearing evidence and deliberating. The jury ultimately convicted a young woman who took a knife to a fistfight. We had to determine whether she acted in self-defense, and we determined that she had deliberately used the knife she brought to the fight to stab the victim with intent to do harm rather than to use in an act of self-preservation. There were extenuating circumstances that threatened to muddy the waters, but ultimately the fact that the defendant suffered minor wounds consistent with the victim’s story and inconsistent with her own carried the day for the prosecution.

It didn’t help that the victim herself was no angel on the day of the fight. She definitely egged the defendant on through some bad behavior of her own earlier in the day. Still, words, threats, and even mutual consent to a fight did not justify the defendant, who brought the hurt on quick and early based on the evidence and then may have realized too late that she bit off more than she could chew. In an even match, the defendant would have experienced a world of hurt at the hands of the victim (and to be honest, based on some of the background we gathered from witness testimony, the defendant may have suffered past harm, herself, that led her to believe that bringing the knife was necessary and justified, hence the protracted deliberations). Word to the wise, people: Don’t rise to the bait, don’t bring a knife to a fistfight, and above all don’t take on a mama bear even when you think you have stacked the odds in your favor. She will take you down, and pronto.

We received additional information from the prosecutor after the trial that independently corroborated our conclusions, and it appears that in the two years since the incident, the victim has made a clean break from the circumstances that led to the fight. While we of the jury felt sorry for the defendant, we also felt that justice had been done for the victim.

Eliza wrote her dad a little love note that she sent with his lunch on the last day of trial deliberations. So adorable!

Hallie received amazing chocolate delights from Canada (that of course will be shared with the family. Wink, wink).

On Friday, Landon went on a school field trip where they saw a children-acted version of the Nutcracker. In the afternoon Hallie picked up Landon from school, and they headed over to Starbucks to spend a few minutes together on a mother-son date. Landon thought their candy cane brownie bite needed its two seconds of fame.

We're getting winter-themed art from school. So funny to see art with snow in it. . . .

We had several nights of lovely sunsets due to El Niño-related cloud cover. Not a lot of rain yet, though.

Mom and Landon spent Saturday morning practicing for the concert and everyone was happy to be rewarded with Rolling Pin donuts, and the concert took place on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Landon is definitely moved by the song A Hallelujah Christmas. Every Sunday when he comes out of practice he is singing the chorus at the top of his lungs. What a great way for him to recognize and feel the Spirit, learn a new talent and experience to cultural arts.

Hallie has really enjoyed getting to spend this special time with Landon.

Hallie has enjoyed getting to know people from the Stake she has never met before. This is Debbie Morris. We even have 6 degrees of separation between us. Debbie is so much fun and Hallie loves her sense of humor and her willingness to be so friendly.

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