Monday, July 10, 2017

Craziness Makes For a Bit of Fun

We celebrated America's birthday with family and friends, Eliza lost not one but two teeth, and the great mess that is a house only partially packed continues to overwhelm us. Of course, that meant a trip to the beach! 

Monday Mike started out the day working with his doctoral students. While Mike was working, Hallie went to the Hopkins/Maygren house to pick up Landon from his first sleepover with Uncle Shad and Cru. It sounds like the kids had a lot of fun, and we are grateful to Uncle Shad for being willing to hang out with the kids and all of the craziness that they brought. Landon and Hallie went shoe shopping for Diamond’s wedding but were unsuccessful when it came to finding black dress shoes.

Hallie had her regular Monday therapy appointment, and she will be a bit sad leaving her therapist. This setup was meant to be, and Hallie is grateful that Jody made it possible in her schedule to work with Hallie.

We slowly began to pack the master bathroom and kids’ bedrooms. We know it will look better soon, but, man, it sure looks crazy right now.

Independence Day was a well-deserved day off. We attended the combined ward pancake breakfast held at the stake center, where there was a flag raising and a nice talk by Brother T. (who is an immigrant to the United States). He was followed up by a lady who sang America the Beautiful—it was beautiful. Hallie even recorded a bit.

We also got to marvel at an American original, a "rat rod" owned by the Sullivans.  

A bit later Grandpa and Grandma O. and Alie came over to hang with us for a bit. Alie loves the kids, and they love Alie. This is one bond we will definitely miss when we move.  The kids rode bikes, played for a long time together, and had a blast! Right at about noon, our great friend Jenny Bruner showed up to spend the afternoon with us. We love it when Jenny comes to visit! When we move to Utah, Jenny will need to make sure she visits us there as well.  We all enjoyed yummy pizza from Toppers (because pizza is what makes America great!) for the last time before we move. There are a lot of “lasts” happening, and we hope to remember them and cherish these memories.

We read about a fire that was happening just off of the 101 in the direction Jenny had to go home. We are grateful to the Ventura County Fire Department, who kept the fire to 50 acres and were able to put it out before Jenny headed home. Shortly after Jenny left, all the Owens headed over to the Growing Grounds Nursery palm tree field to have dinner, socialize, play, and watch the fireworks. This year did not disappoint: Great food, amazing friends, kids who played hard and got dirty, and amazing fireworks that more than made up for last year’s disappointment!

Wednesday we were back to the grind. In the morning, Hallie drove all the way to the Simi Valley Costco to meet a mom to buy Landon another one of the Diary of Wimpy Kid books. Landon LOVES to read and even is known to fall asleep with the books in his bed. Afterward Hallie stopped by Grandma and Grandpa O’s and then went on to the Maygren’s house. Hallie finally returned home near 1:00 and started packing Landon’s clothes. Gymnastics followed in the late afternoon for both kids, and this mom was glad to have the kids back in their routine. The kids had Slurpees in the evening, thanks to a mom who earned a discount on her 7-Eleven app. 

We tried throwing out garbage and slowly packing in the extreme heat on Thursday morning. Then Hallie took Landon to get his hair cut for the wedding. Snazzy 'do, Dude! 

Later, Landon and Hallie went to watch Alie at her gymnastics class at the YMCA in Simi Valley. Alie did a great job, and it was so fun seeing her show off her skills. What a fun class she is in! It brings back fond memories of Landon and Eliza being in Pipsqueak P.E. and Recreation Gymnastics. Who knows? We may have more than two gymnasts in the family.

The two had to dart to Landon’s gymnastics in Newbury Park, where we made it about two minutes late. Hallie loves going to Landon’s practice, because in the summer Maura has brought all of the kids to drop off and pick up Moe from practice, and Hallie gets to play with cute little Eli and hold three-month-old Jonah. Older brother Will is a good conversationalist and fun big brother.

At 5 o'clock, Hallie met up with her long-time friend Janet Schaub in Westlake at Sharky’s, and what a great time the two ladies had. The two women ate yummy food and talked non-stop for nearly 2½ hours before Hallie had to be back to pick up Landon.

While they were out, Eliza and Dad hung out at home. While watching a TV show, Eliza kept fiddling with her very loose bottom tooth, and (surprise!) out it popped!

Friday Hallie celebrated 6 weeks since her 2nd surgery. Where has the time gone?! The weather has been brutal here this week, and so we decided a last last-minute trip to the beach was in order. The whole family went, and even Carly, Cru, Sawyer, Finnley, and their friend Debbie joined us at Zuma Beach. We arrived a bit before 10:00 a.m. and stayed until 2:00 p.m. We are glad we got there early because the rest of Southern California decided a beach day was in order as well, and as the day wore on the beach became more crowded.  The kids had so much fun and of course were disappointed when it was time to go home. Mom brought red skin home as a souvenir. Dad always seems to avoid getting too much sun (too many sunburns as a kid taught him a thing or two), and Eliza looks like we baked the perfect chocolate brownies; even with sunscreen she managed a tan. Landon just got sunkissed. In the evening, Mike taught class at Cal Lutheran while the rest of the gang watched a movie. 

Eliza decided that her other loose tooth needed to come out tonight. This one wasn't quite so ready, but she didn't that fact stop her. 

It was an early start for all of us Saturday with little sleep for Hallie. Mike taught at Cal Lutheran at 9:00 a.m., and Eliza had gymnastics at 9:00 a.m.  Landon and Mom dropped off Dad then Eliza, and then we headed to the Maygren/Hopkins house to either drop off or pick up something. We chatted for a while with everyone, and then it was soon time to go return something to Sears and then back to pick up Eliza from gymnastics. The trio headed to home to eat lunch and rest.

Diamond had her wedding shower in Detroit, and we sent our love! 

The kids were great while Hallie took a much needed nap, and before we knew it, Mike called for us to come and pick him up. One of the teachers at school gave us a gift card to SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt, where we stopped on the way home for a cold treat. Thank you, Ms. B! We sure enjoyed our cool and refreshing sweet treat. Hallie and Mike did some more packing in Eliza’s room. Now she and are both living out of a suitcase until we get to Utah. Hallie sure hopes all of this preparation works out, but if it doesn’t, oh well.

The kids watched Zootopia in the evening as we all tried to cool down.

Sunday we had church. Mike was released as Sunday School President, and Hallie taught her last class with her very talkative six-year-old Primary class. We enjoyed the company of friends.

In the afternoon, we ate a lunch of toaster pastries and sausage (as we are trying to eat from our freezer and pantry). A bit more packing in the kitchen took place, and a yummy dinner of homemade spaghetti and zucchini was had by all, even thought Landon did not like the zucchini. Hopefully he will in the future. Landon and Hallie ended the evening playing Mario Bros., where Landon keeps kicking Hallie’s rear end in this newfangled version of a game Hallie used to do very well in. 

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