Sunday, July 12, 2020

Summer heat is here. Ugh.

We have been having church at home (usually at Grandma and Grandpa Knight's house) going on five months now.  It started out really strange to not have regular church meetings, but it has been really nice to do church with our family.  We have sacrament meeting, usually including a couple of songs and a talk or a testimony.  Last Sunday was the first Sunday of the month, so everyone who wanted to share a testimony got a chance to do so.  Then we adjourned to the dining room for a primary lesson.  In-person church was scheduled to start up again on July 12, but the plan was for a very brief meeting, and only half of the ward would be invited to attend each week, so we have alternating weeks.  Mask wearing is strongly encouraged, people will be seated at a distance, there will be no singing, and attendance is not mandatory.  We can continue having home church, and we probably will for a while at least, since Grandma and Grandpa will be staying home (people over 65 are advised to avoid large gatherings).  It will be nice when the pandemic is over, but these home church meetings have been really wonderful.  
 We have been enjoying astro camp in a box.  This week we did Astronaut training.  The boys loved this activity where they would take turns assembling a space station with a barrier between them, and then try to describe the configuration of the pieces so that the other person could create an identical space station. 
 We learned that astronauts lose some of their sense of taste in space because of the changes in their blood flow without gravity.  We had to do taste tests of different mystery liquids from matching white powders that came in the kit. 
 That sour lemon liquid was quite the shock to the taste buds. 
 B and Sammy quickly identified sugar water and helped themselves to seconds, and thirds. "We're experimenting!" Mmmmhmmm.
 B brought his space station game to his cousins' house to share it with Ryan after Spanish class one day. 
 The kids are fascinated by the treadmill, but we don't really want them playing around on it.  Todd got the brilliant idea to let the kids watch cartoons as long as they keep the speed above five miles per hour the entire time.  They also have to run 3/4 of a mile before they can turn on the videos.  This is very motivating for B and Eloise.  One day B ran 4.25 miles before he decided he was tired!  I was watching him the rest of the day to see if he was extra worn out, and he didn't ever show signs of being more tired.  He has amazing endurance for a seven year old.  Eloise also frequently runs over 3 miles. 
 Of course no one ever seems to get tired of swimming.  We are SO grateful to nice neighbors who have let us swim in their pools almost every day this summer.
 This week we were hit with true Arizona summer.  The high temperatures have been soaring over 105 every day, and the low temperatures are hovering around 80, so there isn't really any relief from the heat when the sun goes down.  I've been getting my exercise with the kids in the pool, or on the treadmill with a fan blasting. 
 Eloise asks every day to get to do something a little different.  The endless monotony of it being too hot to do anything outside while all the museums, movie theaters, skate rinks, and bowling alleys are closed is wearing on her, so when my friend Judy invited us to volunteer loading food into trucks at a local food bank, I knew Eloise would be happy for ANYTHING to do away from home.  These kids were troopers.  They loaded boxes of chips and orange juice onto trucks for two hours in the 104 degree heat, running into the warehouse to stand in front of the fan between loads.  We were amazingly sweaty.  Especially me.  Sweating is one of my super powers.  I am an efficient self-cooling machine.  After volunteering we were excited to go to 7-11 for free slurpee day, only to find out that THEY CANCELLED 7-11 FREE SLURPEE DAY!!!  I handled school moving into the home.  I handled cancelling all of our travel plans for this summer.  I handled church closing, and having to wear masks and wash hands a lot when I get groceries.  But I have NOT been self isolating for five months so that my second favorite holiday could be cancelled!  Not cool, 7-11.  Colette bought us slurpees anyway (I hadn't brought my wallet).  She gets the title for coolest aunt.  I bequeath it to her.  Jared and Eloise were awesome.  When we got home from hard labor at the food bank, it was time for our Saturday hour of chores, and there was very little complaining from these overheated, exhausted kids. 
 While we were out, the boys did this puzzle all by themselves.  They are all about the puzzles these days. 
 We had the cousins over on Saturday night for a round of Killer Bunnies, which Annie won, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which B managed do do very well at, even though he kept coming to me and whispering, "What should I say?" 
 After the cousins left, the clouds rolled in, and we got a real Arizona monsoon, complete with wind, a few drops of rain, and a spectacular lightning storm.  The temperature dropped a few degrees. The lightning storm at sunset made the sky a really strange tornado-y color. 
 We all came outside and set up chairs to watch from the garage.  Todd has an app that tells where the lightning is striking, and it got within a mile of us. 
Today our first day of in-person church was streamed on a facebook live feed.  The audio wasn't great, and when we tuned in the meeting had already started, so we couldn't figure out why our stake president was conducting instead of our local bishop or one of his counselors.  It turns out that the first order of business for our return to church was getting a whole new bishopric.  Our church has a lay clergy, so a bishop is usually asked to serve for a term of usually 4-5 years.  This came as a surprise because our bishop had been serving for only 2 years, but we believe that these changes are inspired.  I'm glad we tuned in, even though we had already held our home church, to hear such an important announcement.  We really miss all of our church friends.  It's nice to feel connected with them in a small way.  We are looking forward to normal times returning. 

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