Sunday, July 24, 2016

Scout Camp and Cousins Visit

This week, Landon spent most of his daytime hours in a giant field of dead grass at his first Cub Scout day camp. Plus, Aunt Elise brought the kids’ cousins down from Alaska for some more fun in the sun!

Monday was a busy day for both boys with Landon starting scout camp and Mike acting as a program leader. Collecting and returning all those cans and bottles made it possible, and we are grateful for all those who donated their recyclables to the cause. While Landon participated in a variety of island-themed activities like making boomerangs, dancing the haka, and archery, Mike stayed in one area teaching kids foot fishing (catching marbles with their toes in a kiddie pool with about six inches of water). By the end of the day, the pool was looking kinda gross. 

By the time he left, Mike was feeling more than kinda sick (possibly from the sun or lack of water). Oh, well! He had a dissertation defense to chair to a successful conclusion. Congrats, now-Dr. Mark!

Eliza, Hallie, and our friend Carrie made sure to stay cool in the morning by getting pedicures. Carrie needs a pedicure as she is due any day now with baby #4, and Hallie and Eliza had to go along for sympathy pampering. We love the ladies at this spa we go to in Moorpark.

In the afternoon, Grandma M. texted Hallie to let her know that Elise and the kids had arrived safe and sound. Grandma, Carly, Cru, Sawyer, Elise, Lily, Emerson, Chance, and Penelope all joined Hallie to watch Landon and Eliza at gymnastics. What fun everyone had, and Landon made sure to wave lots to all of his cousins. We think he was secretly proud they were there to watch him. The crowd left after about an hour, and Hallie and the kids said they would meet up with everyone when gymnastics was over.

After Mark’s defense, Mike went to Gma. and Gpa. M.’s to visit with Elise and her kids before Hallie, Landon, and Eliza came over from gymnastics. Not long before he got there, Penelope fell off a little scooter and hurt her leg. Later on, we found out she had broken her femur. Poor girl!

Tuesday meant another day at scout camp for Landon and another day volunteering for Mike. This time, among other activities, Landon learned how to hula, make glitter lava, and put together a mini-first aid kit. Mike taught kids how to tie knots and in the process relearned himself how to tie two half-hitches and the bowline. After taking Landon home from camp, Mike headed off to the CLU Oxnard Center to teach class. Long day.

While the boys were at camp, the girls went with the cousins (minus Sawyer and Penelope), Aunt Carly, and Grandma to the beach. They got a lot of (too much?) sun. The cousins all play so well together, and Eliza loved that Lily was willing to hang out with her when the boys weren’t too fond of playing with her.  
Chance was very into digging in the soft sand. 

On Wednesday, the girls got an early start to their day, driving out to Knott’s Berry Farm with the cousins, Aunt Elise, and Aunt Carly. All of the kids wanted to ride together, and being that our car holds 7 that means Hallie was the Queen Chauffeur for the day. The kids sang along to Kidz Bop 31, and never a word of complaint was uttered during the whole two-hour trip. Summer (Elise’s sister) and her 3 cute kids met the girls at the amusement park. Hallie thinks the women deserve a metal for taking 10 kids to Knotts Berry Farm in 97 degree temps and with two of the kids having broken bones. Everyone was rather well behaved and good to each other. All the heat from the day before and the temps of today almost caught up to Hallie, but thank heavens she was able to stave off being sick, and the kids all had fun.

Mike took Landon to scout camp and then spent the rest of the day grading papers. His eyes burned after so much screen time. Ugh. He got a little break when he took Landon to gymnastics. Once the boys got home, Landon watched a movie while Mike hit the papers again. The girls got home after 11:00 p.m.

Mike had an early start at work Thursday, so Hallie took Landon to camp. After getting home from work, he and Landon put together a contraption for an egg drop competition Friday. They found a video on YouTube that discussed some techniques for building winning projects. Mom brought home some straws after she and the kids came home from the Maygren’s where the kids played with cousins and ate yummy spaghetti for dinner. Once Landon got home, Mike and he built a protective cage for his egg.

On Friday morning, Mike and Eliza were able to go to Landon’s last day of scout camp long enough to watch his contraption successfully protect his egg. Woo hoo! Then Mike spent the rest of the day up at work. This is his long weekend of the month, with both a Friday night and a Saturday class.

"It's safe!"
Haka at the closing ceremonies

Eliza and Hallie stopped by Mian’s baking fundraiser and of course had to buy some yummy treats. Scout camp got out by 1:30, and the girls picked up Landon and ran into a few friends from church who hadn’t seen Hallie recently. It is very fun to see reactions from people when they notice her weight loss and the short blonde hair. The trio went on lots of errands from Camarillo to Ventura and back. We got everything done, and the kids made it without killing each other.

Hallie took both kids to a super-hero-themed Victory Night down at the gym, leaving her free to relax at home. Mike picked them up at 9:00. Then he and the kids had Hallie going for a minute thinking that he had forgotten them. It helped that the lights were out, otherwise Hallie would have been able to read the joke on his face. All fun and games.

On Saturday, Hallie and the kids helped clean the church while Mike spent the day teaching. The kids and Hallie watched quite a few cartoons and started melting in the house with the heat. So, they headed to Shave It! Nothing better on a hot day. Carly, Elise, and the cousins came over to a sultry hot house in the afternoon. Good thing it was cool for playing outside!

The kids had a fun Pioneer Day in Primary on Sunday, reenacting some experiences of the pioneers of yore. 

Mike learned some more details about his pioneer ancestors, some of whom were stone masons on some of the temples in Utah and did some of the window arches on the west side of the Salt Lake Temple and others of whom built communities along the Mormon Corridor. Pretty cool stuff! Their travels and travails put our own to shame.
Makes us look at the temple in a whole new light! 

We paid Elise and our cousins one last brief visit to surprise Grandma M. with an early birthday present and to say our last goodbyes to everyone before they make their way back to Alaska this week. We loved having them here and wish they were closer. Maybe, one day we will make it to Alaska. 

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