Sunday, July 26, 2020

Unstoppable Knights!

It's happened. Our break from school has now gone on long enough that some of us are reversing evolution.  Clearly we need some structure in our lives soon so that Sammy can stop swinging from the light fixtures by his prehensile feet. 
 Arizona coronavirus cases jumped up in June and July, so people started to be more cautious.  Eloise, Ryan, and Jared were separated from the rest of their swim team group into a strokes class so that we could comply with new regulations at the larger swim team swimming pool on the number of people allowed in the water at once.  They missed the big group, but they made a lot of progress with the closer instruction, so this ended up being a good thing. 
 The change in swim team time did mean that Eloise had swim team right before socially distant gymnastics (which is a workout and a half by itself).  Monday nights are a very tired time for Eloise.
 This is especially true when she forgets that she has a massive exercise afternoon ahead and runs four miles before lunch.  And she can't figure out why she has started having muscle cramps.  This girl never stops!
 Monsoon cloud cover has come to stay in the afternoons and evenings.  This has not been conducive to seeing comet NEOWISE in the night sky, but it has made good conditions for being outside in the afternoons. The boys draw elaborate systems of roads and railroad tracks to bring their toys out to play on.  If it wasn't still hot enough to drive them inside within an hour, they would probably be bringing the blocks out to build structures next to their roads, too.
 B got a hole in his face.  His teeth had been creeping forward as the grown up teeth behind them pushed them out.  You can see in this picture that his remaining front baby tooth is not at quite the right angle.  He is very pleased to be a jack-o-lantern.
 My kids got some letters from their Georgia cousins.  B got right to work writing back.  I think second grade pen pals are about the cutest thing ever.
 Eloise and Annie love to bake together.  My ministering sisters brought me some friendship bread sourdough starter.  We decided to be unfriendly with it and just make lots of sourdough cakes for ourselves.  Annie and Eloise were happy to help.  Annie loves treats.  We shared with each other and with Grandma and Grandpa. 
 Sammy keeps a box of his lego creations under his bed.  He brought them all out to be documented.  I love to see his imagination providing all of the things he has made with histories and abilities.   
 B made the Tucson temple, complete with a blue fountain on the left and a car in the parking lot.  We miss our regular temple days. 
 We made some wobble robots from our Astro Camp box.  Eloise figured it out in about ten seconds while the rest of us struggled. 
 Success!
 We all got them working eventually.  Jared came in and started when the rest of us were done, slapped it together, and got it working on his first try.  Apparently the littles were just struggling because their engineering inept mom was helping them.  We all have our talents.
 And the other tooth came out.  B was elated. I think this grin came from adrenaline because he was so worked up before we pulled it.  Eating and talking are getting more complicated for this guy.  The grown up teeth have erupted already, though, so he won't be toothless for months and months like Eloise was. 
 Jared loves his independence.  Freedom to explore on his own is his great joy these days.  Last week he announced that our Friday night movie should be "Spies in Disguise." I was up to my elbows in pizza dough, so I said that we could watch it if he went to the redbox and got it himself.  He took Dad's credit card, with permission, and biked to Walgreens to get the movie himself.  When our cousins couldn't come over and watch it with us because Megan had a sore throat, he biked the movie over for them to enjoy after we had finished it.  Jared is responsible to walk Shadow most mornings so that I can hide from the sun and get my exercise indoors.  He stayed in our neighborhood for a few days, but Jared knows his way all over Rita Ranch, so he asked permission to go a little farther afield.  This week he walked Shadow to the dog park over a mile and a half away, sometimes taking a circuitous route.  Shadow is an old lady, and has never really cared about other dogs, but it's a treat for Jared to be so far from home on his own.  Sometimes, if I'm free, I will go pick them up (which Shadow likes a lot- she rides home on Jared's lap), but Jared doesn't mind walking both ways. 
 Friday was Pioneer Day in Utah, where I grew up.  Pioneer day is the anniversary of the day that the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, ushering in the era of my ancestors arriving in Utah and escaping persecution in the East.  When I was growing up, Pioneer Day celebrations were bigger than the 4th of July.  Independence Day is the warm up for Pioneer Day, when there are better parades, better fireworks, and more fun traditions.  I know it won't be the same for my kids, who have never lived in Utah, but I still like to mark the day.  We celebrated on Saturday, because that is when all of the cousins could be there.  We did some pioneer games in Grandma's back yard.  Leg wrestling,
 stick pull,
 (I love Rachel's warrior face)
 three legged races, missionary tag,
 "Button button," a family history game that Eloise adapted from an idea in the Friend magazine,
 and taffy pulling.  I may not have let the taffy cook quite long enough. 
Some of the kids had moderate success, but eventually the taffy got very, very syrupy.  We made a massive mess, and everyone had a great time. 
Later that afternoon the kids had their last swim meet of the season.  Eloise won her breaststroke race!  All of her exercise is turning her into a powerhouse.  Summer is winding down, but the Knights are unstoppable.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is so great! Love your pioneer games and that you celebrate even though you aren't in Utah! It's more than we did and we live here. So many things were cancelled and my kids are getting older so we just went to the pool!