Monday, June 29, 2020

June in quarantine

June didn't start quite like I had expected.  Arizona was starting to open up, but public pools were still closed.  Fortunately, Colette's neighbor, Manny, who had his pool resurfaced last year, wants to make sure he gets his money's worth out of the pool restoration, so he gave Colette permission to bring the kids over to swim anytime on weekdays, since his family only uses the pool on Fridays and weekends.  Manny has a really nice pool.  Yards are small on Colette's street, but Manny's pool takes up the whole yard, so the kids are not too squished.  
 All of the kids are getting stronger and braver in the water.  Sammy's confidence still exceeds his skills, so he has to be watched, but he doesn't have to be rescued very often. 
 From Manny's poolside I can access Colette's wifi, so I can get some work done while the kids swim, if it isn't too hot.  When it's 104 degrees it's too miserable to sit by the pool, so I jump in.  Ryan is teaching me how to do flips off the side of the pool. 
 Another neighbor, Miss Sue, has also given us permission to use her pool.  She only uses hers in the early morning before the sun is high, so we are free to use it the rest of the day, as long as we call ahead.  Her pool is a little smaller, so the kids don't prefer it to Manny's, but it's bigger and deeper than Grandma's.  We are set for swimming every day this summer, thanks to Grandma and our generous neighbors. 
Eloise started gymnastics in June.  She has wanted to do it for a long time, so I finally got around to calling when the gymnastics center opened up again.  Annie's class was full, which is just as well since it runs during swim team, but Eloise is loving it.  Eloise has to have her temperature taken at the door, and then she has to wash her hands before going into the gym, and use hand sanitizer once or twice while they play.  Masks are required in the lobby.  Gymnastics is a very intense hour, and we often go straight from swimming to gymnastics, so Eloise is starting to see the value in having her hair done.  Our deal is that she will let me do her hair if I let her do mine.  That seems fair. 
 Sammy and Eloise got creative.  Eloise made her sign, and Sammy wanted the one that was hanging in our old house up with Eloise's. 
 The kids' school librarian is a close friend of Grandma Knight's.  She invited Grandma over to relax in her newly resurfaced pool, and Grandma dropped hints that her grandchildren would like to come swim.  Mrs. Spear even has a diving board, so this is probably the favorite pool in the neighborhood. 
 Eloise is into things with unnaturally large eyes.  She even made some for herself.  Cute?
 Todd likes to go biking with our big boys.  Eloise doesn't love biking as much as she likes running, swimming, and being incredibly strong in gymnastics, and Sammy gets tired trying to keep up on his little bike, but B and Jared can bike for a long time.  This photo was taken in the middle of a 13.5 mile bike ride.  They don't seem to mind the heat.  The following Saturday, Todd, Jared, and B biked to the Hoefferles' house (12ish miles) and jumped in the pool.  I drove over with the other kids to swim and drive them home. 
 B and Sammy are still loving their hatchimals, and all toys, really.  Everything in the house becomes part of their elaborate games. 
 Although school is out, we still go to Colette's twice a week for Spanish class. 
 One day Sammy got on his bike to go to Spanish and wiped out badly at the end of our driveway because he hadn't noticed that one of his tires was flat. He did NOT want to walk the quarter mile to Colette's, so he got on his skates.  Walking might have been faster, since he's a little out of practice, but he was happy. 
 The mountains north of Tucson started on fire in a lightning strike.  This fire is called the bighorn fire, and we have been able to see smoke and flame in Tucson since the fire started on June 5.  Some parts of Tucson have had to be evacuated at different points in the life of the fire.  As of now, the fire is around 40% contained.  This picture is of back burn about two miles from the temple.  Although the picture looks very dramatic, the temple was never even in the evacuation area. 
 This summer I'm giving out an ice cream for every book report the kids bring me, up to two per week.  The cousins have been appearing at our door dutifully twice a week to deliver book reports.  I'm accepting them in all sorts of creative formats.  Here is an arena Sammy built out of blocks after he read "The Smurf Olympics." 
 This is Jared's lego book report of his favorite scene in "Land of Stories."  The library was closed at the beginning of summer, so we didn't have a summer reading program to sign up for.  This book report system has been amazing.  I love seeing what the kids are reading. 
The library has opened, but it's open for picking up holds only (no browsing).  We put our books on hold, and, when they are available, we go to the library in masks, slide our library card under a plastic sheet, and they slide the books out to us.  We have been going so often that the librarians recognize us and pull out all of our books while we are waiting in line. 
I must say, if this is how we are going to have to spend the foreseeable future, we have a pretty good setup for isolation. 

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