Sunday, April 02, 2017

Engaged in Important Activities

Things got more-or-less back to normal with everyone home this week, with one notable exception: Over the weekend our lovely daughter Diamond became engaged! We are excited parents who feel lost in this new world of weddings. We can’t wait until Caleb becomes a part of our family. Congratulations, Diamond and Caleb!

Monday started with our normal routine of work, school, and gymnastics for both kids. Not too much fun or different today.

Tuesday was much the same.

On Wednesday Las Posas School had its first ever Math Festival. Hall volunteered the whole day as every grade spent about 30 minutes in the Multi Purpose Room playing math games. All the kids seem to have a lot of fun, and the students were invited to come back that evening with their families to have more fun with math.

Eliza and Mike celebrated Granny O.’s birthday with chocolate cake and ice cream and a visit with her, Grandpa, and Alie. In the evening Eliza had gymnastics as usual, so Mike took her there on his way back to work and picked her up.
Hangin' out with Grandpa

It was a treat for Hallie’s visiting teachers to come over Thursday morning. It sure is nice having other adults come visit our home. Candace and Patty even gave Hallie some chocolate, which every mom loves!

On Friday morning, Mike shared pictures and insights about New Zealand primary schools with Eliza and Landon’s classes. Main take-aways relate to how the physical environment and curriculum in NZ primary schools allows kids to be kids as they learn: Shoes in the classroom and on the playground are optional. Kids are given spaces to climb and curl up both on the playground and in class. Classrooms are more open to the outdoors and other learning spaces. Various aspects of art (e.g., visual, performing, music, etc.) play a relatively larger part of the curriculum. The Maori culture plays a significant role in language, art, and community values. Overall, Mike feels that Landon and Eliza would feel right at home in any of the New Zealand primary schools he visited! Hallie was grateful she was able to sit in on most of the presentations in between her shifts at the school.
Bare feet and soft benches: What's not to love?

After school the kids played at the park with other school friends while Hallie chatted with their moms in the sun.

The missionaries came over to have dinner in the evening. Hallie improvised another first-time dish. This time it was meat loaf, which we haven’t had very often, and homemade red velvet cake sandwich cookies. Everything turned out well, and the elders went for seconds. Eliza did a great job cleaning and setting the table for the missionaries. The only real bummer is that when it takes Hallie 30 minutes to eat meatloaf doesn’t taste so hot cold. But, hey, now she knows for next time.

Mike got Landon good on April Fools’ Day, telling him to pack his bags to get ready for his flight to Japan for ninja school. The boy went right to the garage to grab a suitcase. Later Landon perched a few cat food cans above the fridge door that landed on Mike when he opened it. Dad got the last laugh on both kids after gymnastics when he convinced the kids to pull a prank on Mom telling her by text that the Momobile had broken down and she needed to come pick us up. Hallie never got the message, so when Mike walked in the back door, she was merely surprised. Mike then locked the kiddos, who were waiting for a “hi” sign from him in the garage, out of the house. The look on their faces when they finally figured out they’d been had was priceless. Dad better watch his back in the future. . . .

General Conference weekend was marked with more than usual dependence on technology to make sure we had a chance to see or hear sessions on the road or later in the day. We are grateful for multiple formats and media! The talks seemed very relevant for our family, and we are grateful for inspired leaders who share these messages with us.

Landon’s last meet of the season took place at a YMCA in Carlsbad. The drive down was nice at 8:00 a.m. This meet was exciting for a few reasons. First, we had the most boys on our team this whole season—10! It is fun being able to cheer for so many boys and to see them succeed. Landon did the best he had all season! We were also pleasantly surprised when we heard the announcer declare that Victory had won first place at the meet! To top it all off our friend Dietrich won Mr. Handstand. 

Our ride home was not as fast as our ride down: just over three hours later we arrived home. Ugh. 

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