Summer May and June 2018
This is going to be a long post. That’s what I get for waiting until September to write about summer!
Summer began with mud. Lillyan and Brennan spent the day with us since their parents were working, and we had a blast. They played all over the house, we did art, and then they went outside and made mud. So much mud. I loved it, and enjoyed observing it from my nice big windows. ;)
I had a great plan for this summer, which we didn’t follow at all =) Well, we managed parts of it. I wanted the kids to have no more than an hour of electronics a day, and I wanted them to do something helpful and something good for their brain. I was not picky. Reading books, workbooks, practicing piano, it all counted. That much we managed most days. But I also had a schedule where Monday we’d leave the house to do something fun, Tuesdays were library days, Wednesday we’d eat with Eric before his shop day. Thursdays were lazy days, and Fridays we were going to have friends over. We did some of all those things but hardly ever on the day scheduled. Oh well. I just wanted to make sure we got out of the house, because the kids get into such a rut that one of them refuses to leave the house unless they just have to. And I don’t particularly like driving anywhere either so we’d end up stir crazy and cranky if we didn’t have a plan. So it worked well enough. I also had a huge list of activity ideas, with the idea that anytime they complained about being bored we’d roll the dice and do whatever we rolled. Well, the kids used the list for ideas occasionally but mostly they would just roll and re-roll and re-roll. So that didn’t work out. But they also didn’t act bored often so it turned out fine. For example, one day, Serenity just walked into the closet with a pop up tent and when I asked her what she was up to she responded “parachuting.” =) They spent a long time playing Skylanders. Both the video game, and just with the figures. Maia and Donovan especially built complicated houses for them out of Magformers. They spent hours on legos, especially after I sorted and organized and cleaned them all up. Then they were irresistible. Maia still loves dressing up, and the other two still enjoy it on occasion. So they’d pull tubs out of the closet and dress as animals, or warriors, or whatever went best with their theme of the day.
We had our usual party lineup. Serenity had a Greek Myth birthday, and DZ had a Star Wars birthday, which I wrote about in detail earlier. DZ’s party decorations were up for awhile, because we used some of them for Eric’s sendoff to Destiny Worlds. So a Vader piñata hung out on our table for weeks. Eric told me one evening that he kept trying to talk to the Vader piñata because he thought it was me sitting at the table. =) Much teasing and hilarity ensued. One night, while Eric was upstairs singing to the kids, I threw on our Vader mask and cape and sat very still waiting for him to come back down. He walked down did the most classic double take ever and then we spent the next half hour rolling on the floor laughing =)
Each of the kids had a couple of summer camps. Maia had Just for Fun, with Mrs. McBride, and Rock and Roll with Mrs. Schonberner. She loved both camps, and was definitely ready for Early Primary to get started so she could go back to her classroom. She came home with tons of fun art from her first camp, including a beautiful Wish Thumbprint Dandelion which I wanna frame. She made lots of instruments at her second camp, including a guitar, drumsticks, and a drum. So she brought them home and we had rock concerts for days.
Donovan had two camps with Mrs. Ritchie. I always like them to get a chance to meet their new teachers if they offer camps. It’s a fun way to get to know them. And Mrs. Ritchie had some fun ones planned. She did a camping camp, and Donovan came home with a sit-upon bucket that I need to make for Girl Scouts, and he got to have s’mores, and eat campfires, and lots of fun activities. His first camp was Detective camp. He got hooked on mysteries and read several A-Z mysteries for his summer reading program.
Serenity started off with a week at Girl Scout camp. She didn’t want to go to a sleep away camp this year, so she just did Day Camp. She went with several girls from her troop. We carpooled with Lillyan and Abbey, which meant I got treated to all the amazing, hilarious, and surprisingly dark Girl Scout songs they learned. Why do people die in all the Girl Scout songs?!?
At U-School, she had a week of MathAmusements with Mrs. Lindsey. She loves Mrs. Lindsey already, which makes me so happy and excited for next year! I was a little surprised that she chose math camp, but it was really fun! Her second camp was Hogwarts camp. She used a little of her birthday money to buy herself Ravenclaw robes. She is committed to that house =) She read all the way to book five but stalled halfway through that book. I re-read books 5-8 and after sobbing at the conclusion I figure she can wait a bit longer to read those =)
We went to Cali at the beginning of summer! Normally we go to Cali two times in a year, but since we were seeing most of our Cali friends in August at Fantastico, and Eric was running out of vacation, we just took one long trip at the beginning of summer. I’m so glad John is retired, as he and Ann came to visit us several times! Anyway, Ann and I wanted to take the kids somewhere new this visit, and we settled on the Monterrey Aquarium. It was beautiful! Maia wanted to see a Starfish, so we looked all over the touchpools until we finally found one. Serenity is obsessed with Otters, and she loved seeing those. Donovan loved the sharks. He chose a baseball bat and ball as his souvenir. No surprises there =)
We learned a new game at Kona Kai this visit. Pickleball! They have it set up on the basketball courts, and it is a lot of fun! Kind of a giant pong game. The kids, of course, got to swim plenty at Kona Kai too.
The kids got to have sleepover fun too. Donovan and Eric stayed at Evan’s house, and Serenity got to sleepover with Liz and Henry! She had missed them SO much. We surprised Liz at the American Girl doll store for her birthday, and they just ran into each other’s arms. I love that they are still the best of friends even though they moved to California. And Maia and Katherine get along so well! When they were born a month apart they were destined to be best friends since their sisters were best friends already =) Jennifer got them matching pajamas for them and their dolls. Perfect sleepover with great friends. Oh, and we went to this awesome bookstore in Los Altos. I want to live there. They suggested a baseball mystery series for Donovan, and nothing could be more perfect for him! Maia got Mr. Popper’s penguins, which we read aloud and she loved. When we went to the beach at Santa Cruz, we found a piece of driftwood that looked like a penguin and built a nest for Captain Cook (that’s the name of the first penguin in the book.) Serenity read the School of Good and Evil, which Raegan had recommended to me before and she flew through it. She and Liz can happily read side-by-side for hours.
Maia didn’t have sleepovers (which she is less than thrilled about) but she did get to play with Evie and Daphne often, and they have so much fun together!
Braley and Jason came to visit for a week. We had so much fun! Braley wanted to learn to sew, so we used some of Grandma’s fabric stash to make a doll quilt. We took her to the Discovery Lab and she spent the night with us. The kids definitely wanted to keep her =)