Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summertime is Dad Time

Last year, Mike had two Father's Days: One in Japan, and the other in the Good Ol' USA! This year we kept things close to home.

ALDI opened in Simi, and we were there for the soft opening. In fact, Hallie, Eliza, and Grandma O. made it into a news story on the topic!

After our ALDI adventure, we went to Grandma and Grandpa O’s for a visit and playtime in the backyard on the tire swing Great Grandpa had made several years ago and Grandpa hung up a few weeks back. Eliza was absolutely thrilled to get flung around! It was like her own roller coaster.  

The kids were having so much fun at the grandparents that we forgot to walk Roxy! Thank heavens Mian is so understanding and let us come on the way home.

Landon’s first three-hour practice of the summer was tonight, and he was very tired afterwards. He fibbed a bit and said all three boys cried with having to do so much conditioning before and after (according to Coach Shane, none of them did. These kids are tough!). Hallie felt sorry for him, and most of the family ended up with In-N-Out and milkshakes. Nothing like that for Hallie.

On Tuesday, Landon and Eliza’s friends Ayden, Liberty, and Tyler came over to play. Their family is moving soon, we’re sad about that. We were glad to get some play time in before they head away. Hallie was able to sneak away for a bit to the gym to make sure she got in her physical activity. The gang headed to the pool for a bit and a lot of playing outside happened. What they say about play dates really is true. The kids are really not in your hair so much if they have friends to play with. A good day was had by all.

Hallie started the morning by meeting with her trainer Jessica. The 30 minutes they spend together goes by quickly, but she feels the burn for a few days after. Today was the official day Hallie could go back to the pool and take a bath. In the beginning six weeks seemed long, but looking back time sure does fly.

Eliza and Hallie walked Roxy at the normal time, and it is fun seeing Mian’s cute little Levi and her husband Chris before walks. A great friendship is forming, and we truly enjoy their family.

We headed early to gymnastics to deposit cans at the recycling center. Landon is almost all paid up for Boy Scout Day Camp, which happens in July. It is hot, sticky, and stinky when we do our job, but we are so grateful to all who have donated to Landon’s fund over the last several months.

Eliza ends gymnastics before Landon, so the girls headed to the Maygren/Hopkins home to spend a bit of quality time with the family. It is such a treat to be so near to our families. While hanging out Hallie forgot there was a gymnastics meeting until the girls ended up back at gymnastics a bit before Landon was finished. Thank heavens for good team parents who caught her up on the ins and outs of what she missed. Mike had a bit of work in the evening. Having two cars has been a blessing to us, but we don’t always see each other as much as we did over the past two years. Hallie has now been known to text Mike to find out where he is during the day.

On Thursday while Mike worked in TO and finally officially got the title for the Olds and got it registered, Carrie came over to get her nails done, and then her family and ours all went over to the pool. Hallie, Carrie, and Bruce left the pool with reminders of how much fun everyone had. We are grateful for the Taylors’ friendship. The boys’ dad, John, was so nice to Eliza throwing her numerous times into the pool. Eliza was delighted with the experience, asking to be thrown over and over again.

In the evening Hallie attended a Relief Society activity at the stake center with the theme of “Friendship and Chocolate,” not a bad combination unless you aren’t supposed to have chocolate. Mike was kind enough to make the treats Hallie was to take, chocolate-covered marshmallow pops. (In the meantime, Hallie went to the gym to decompress from the kids. Thanks Mike!) The evening was so much fun, and Hallie really enjoyed Speed Dating, Friendship-style. To fit in Hallie, brought a chocolate protein drink. It did the job. One of Hallie’s favorite things to do is laugh, and there were several sisters that helped Hallie laugh. Thanks, ladies!

Landon and Eliza have coinciding gymnastics times on Mondays and Wednesdays this month, but on Fridays Landon has gymnastics in the morning, and Eliza goes in the early afternoon. With two cars, we were able to spread the load. Eliza accompanied Mike in the morning for errands, Roxy-walking, and gymnastics, and Hallie took Landon to the gym and then on her errands. They even happened to cross paths at Victory. Not bad! It sure beats Eliza waiting around 3 ½ hours for her turn. Or going back home and driving back up the grade. Who knew having the two vehicles would actually make us more fuel efficient?

Summer heat has begun. Ugh. Mike’s car has no A/C (yet). Ugh! Mike is a trooper and hasn’t complained.  

On Saturday, Hallie helped put on a baby shower for Carrie at Laurie’s house, which has beautiful views of orange, lemon, and avocado groves (lucky!). Hallie enjoys seeing friends and spending time with them and it was a beautiful day! Carrie was spoiled by all of our friends! Thank you, Laurie and Judie, for all of your help!

Meanwhile, Mike looked after the kids while simultaneously participating in an international conference call for a course he is co-teaching this semester. Fancy!

We (well, mostly Landon and Mom) have been reading Anne of Green Gables together, and now that we’re finishing up that book, we checked out the first film of the 1980s mini-series from the library, which we watched over the weekend. Anne, Marilla, and Matthew are each amazing in their own special ways, and both the book and the film are winners in our opinion. We love how Landon recognizes he is a lot like Anne Shirley. We love that boy of ours.

Later in the afternoon on Saturday, we went to Grandma and Grandpa M.’s for slip-n-slide, hot dogs, and s’mores. The cousins had a marvelous time playing together, and Hallie got to see her favorite two-year-old, Sawyer. What will she do when #3 arrives?

Trying to get the kids to sit still for a picture is like herding monkeys. Grandpa and Grandma didn’t find it funny, but the parents did because this is what happens all the time when we take pictures. The best line was from Eliza: “I don’t know how to smile.”  
Only took two dozen pics from three different cameras. . . .

Mike gave a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday about how fathers can teach in the Savior’s way. In a nutshell: A good example is the best sermon. If you mess up, forgive yourself and keep trying. We feel grateful for the wonderful fathers and father-figures we and our children have had in our lives!  

We ended the day with the missionaries coming for dinner. It was cooler outside than inside, so we ate outside. It was Hallie’s first truly homemade dinner since surgery, and it was nice to have all of us around the dinner table once again. 

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