Sunday, December 11, 2016

700th Post

This entry marks our 700th blog post. Wow. Considering we’ve been keeping track of our comings and goings here for some 12 years now, it shouldn’t be so surprising, but still. While other parts of the continent experienced real crystallized frozen water falling from the sky over the past few days, we have had to console ourselves with the autumn-like weather that has finally settled in. The trees that turn colors have finally reached their prime, and rain misted the ground on a couple of days. We may get a green Christmas with a few more days like these! In the meantime, we make approximations of snow out of paper, data bits, and sugar, and we watch shows where people dream of winter wonderlands.

Most of the week went by with the same low level of intensity that happens with all our busyness. Mike found time on Monday to get a Cal Lutheran ornament of sorts. It’s a magnet, but it has a plastic hook, it’s a lion (king of beasts) for the CLU Kingmen, and it came from the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company in Michigan! We’re sorry to find out that the store in Chelsea no longer offers factory tours. We have been there, and it was a cute little place.

Hallie and a friend from church went visiting teaching for the first time together, and the visit with their friend Susan was marvelous!  This was our first full week of our new gymnastics schedule, and the kids and Hallie are still figuring out how they will make it everywhere on time.

Tuesday morning Hallie had a follow up at her surgeon’s office, Dr. Billy and in the last month she has lost 7 more pounds, and the nurse Melissa seems to be very happy with Hallie’s progress. This week in order to try and be more consistent with her vitamins and supplements Hallie is now taking her pills in a skin patch type form that you change each day.

Landon felt ill Wednesday morning, so he ended up staying home. Hallie had a bit of a busy day with crossing guard duties in the morning and afternoon. In addition, her visiting teachers came over, Eliza had gymnastics, and Hallie met Eliza’s “twin” Ellie’s mom Marina at the Children’s Place so we could get matching outfits for Twin Day at Las Posas Elementary on Friday.

Mike hung the snowflakes he has cut so far this year on the door of his office to make things a bit more festive.

He also hung the flake ornaments we used to hang from the tree in the back window. 

On the subject of paper snowflakes, Mike found a blog written by Jill Buckley (the Quilt Rat), someone who takes them to the next level. 

Mike tried his hand at something more intricate. He's getting there. 

He and Landon played some on Make-a-Flake too. Landon's a chip off the ol' block. 

On Wednesday night, the Girl Scouts had an activity at the Roxy Cinemas, where we watched the movie Moana. We met our friends Marina, Mark, and Ellie (who is in the troop with Eliza) there, and we all sat together.

Thursday Landon stayed home again from school because of a sore throat, and in the evening Hallie attended her last support group meeting with Kaiser Permanente for her bariatric surgery. Not enough people are coming to our group, so Kaiser has decided to cancel the support meetings. It is the only time Hallie sees her friends from class, so she is a bit bummed.

On Friday morning, Mike and Landon decided that after having had a couple of days to rest that Landon should try going to school. He possibly could have stayed home for the extra day, but it’s hard to catch up if you’re out for too long. Mike volunteered in both his and Eliza’s classes, and after Landon's class, Mike took the boy home. It might have helped if Mike had remembered to give Landon his medicine going out the door. On the positive side, Landon did complete a quiz based on homework he and Mike had worked on the night before. Interestingly, after getting home, his health improved steadily over the course of the evening.

Eliza and Ellie got to wear their matching dresses for Twin Day. Mike helped them make applesauce/glue/cinnamon "gingerbread" ornaments (he drove to Ralph's on a resupply mission) and taught the kids how to play the dreidel game. 

Mike and Eliza went up to his work before the two of them drove up to Grandma and Grandpa O.’s to visit before going to the Simi 3rd Ward Christmas dinner. Part of the dinner included a nativity play, definitely something that you don’t see all the time. We could really see all the hard work and love everyone put into the production!

While Mike and Eliza were out in Simi, Hallie was busy arranging for Eliza to be a last minute helper at the Camarillo Christmas Parade. A lady on the Moms of Camarillo Facebook Page does makeup, and her Cindy Lou Who had to drop out from riding in her Grinch-themed float. Hallie volunteered Eliza’s services as the wee Who.

After a late night here at home, Saturday dawned too early for us. Our friend Tiffany did Hallie a solid and came over and used her amazing talents to design Eliza’s super cute hairdo. Mike and Landon had to run to gymnastics (making it to Newbury Park in 13 minutes – a new record. When all the lights go your way, it makes a real difference!), and Hallie and Eliza had to run to the parade.

Hallie got a lot of steps in while Eliza rode in the back of the Grinch pickup truck. They saw former LA Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda (the parade’s grand marshal) and friends from Las Posas Elementary, Church and Eliza’s Girl Scout troop.

We went shopping at the Oaks Mall in the afternoon, and we saw and visited with Santa. Both kids made the nice list. Dad thinks something is faulty with the results.

"Insanity is merely an opinion." Indeed.  

We had a special stake conference session on Sunday, where Elders Wilde and Hallstrom of the Quorums of the Seventy and Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke. We appreciated hearing from them and took home advice to help us remember the season and have a more harmonious and loving home.

While Hallie went to choir practice,  Mike made gingerbread houses. The missionaries came to visit later in the afternoon.

After savory ribeye steaks and roasted potatoes for dinner, Hallie went out to Thousand Oaks to see Papa M. sing at the TO Stake Christmas program, and Mike took the kids out to see the lights on Gemini Street. After driving around some, it appears that it’s still early for the full-blown displays. Either that, or the plywood cutouts have gone out of vogue.

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