Jul 5, 2012

The state of things

Well, we've reached the midpoint of summer break.  Six weeks down, six to go.  A few bits of Bartle summer randomness follow.

Lexi got her first professional haircut today.  She required my presence in the salon chair. The "after" looks remarkably like the "before," but the ends are lots more even and healthy, and most of her wispies are tamed/blended.  I'm thrilled.

We thought today might be the day that Gavin learned to ride a bike on two wheels.  He was super excited and got a promising start!  Then I decided to pump up his tires, which were amazingly flat.  That ended up being a complicated and ultimately disappointing process.  The back tire's inner tube popped just as we were getting ready to ride.  It made a crazy-loud noise, scared us half to death, and foiled our plans for big accomplishments. So we went inside.

Also on the bike theme, some friends gave Lexi her own "big girl" bike.  She's in love...and, surprisingly, can work the pedals.  I had no idea.

Contrary to years past, we are really struggling to establish a summer routine.  Zach and Tyler are much less willing to cooperate with basic daily chores, piano practice, and simple academic exercises.  My nemesis, The Television, is most certainly to blame for this development, but I am sure that sister evils named Radio and PS3 have had a hand in the mutiny.  The boys aren't too thrilled with the current electronics ban.  I totally love it.

We enjoyed a lovely Fourth of July with friends.  We started with an official unofficial ward pancake breakfast and kids bike parade and then enjoyed a few hours at Black Forest Regional Park.  While the big boys wandered into secret hide-outs and played games with their buddies, the Littles romped on the playground and the adults sat and talked.  Kate was darling the whole time, and even took a nap in the stroller.

The Waldo Canyon fire is 90% contained.  There has been so much community support for the brave and hard-working firefighters.  I love this city.

Garry is making progress on our new sectional for the basement.  He has finished the base and back of the love seat.  I have constructed part of the upholstery for the love seat, but we are waiting for some batting to come in the mail in order to assemble the rest of this piece.

This is the base of the couch.  Once the couch resembles the love seat in structure, I will make another slipcover to go on the back section.  Garry will make a corner piece to connect the couch and love seat, and make feet for the whole thing (14 in all).  It's a work in progress.

Construction progress has been delayed by things like a leaking shower faucet (fix: 3 hours, $40, and two trips to Lowes); a flat tire on the van (fix: 3 hours, $280, and a trip to Costco); lawn maintenance (fix: a zillion dollars and a zillion hours, with no reward in sight); sprinkler maintenance (ditto); and life.  I am very glad that Garry is so handy, but man, stuff is expensive.

Kate has a favorite toy.

Gavin has taken charge of his own fashion.  He is very keen on crazy spiked hair (with hair spray, please), tucked-in shirts, belts, and socks with sandals.  Every day.

Our house is always really messy, punctuated with special surprises like melted Otter Pops on my computer desk.

Next Sunday I am teaching Relief Society (topic: Doing Our Part to Share the Gospel) and speaking in Sacrament Meeting (topic: "anxiously engaged in a good cause").  I also have a new calling.  Any guesses?

The kids started swimming lessons.  Unlike last year, when Gavin pitched a giant fit and refused to participate, this year he is thrilled to have lessons.  [Insert enormous sigh of relief.]  Zach and Tyler are in the two highest levels of lessons.  Zach swam 14 laps at his first lesson and has a coach rather than a teacher.  I think it's going to be great.  Because the YMCA daycare is closed during lesson time, Kate and I chill in the hall.

One of my Mesa friends posted some sweet Nike basketball shoes on Facebook the other day and said she wanted to get rid of them.  So, for $30, she mailed both pairs to me, and Zach is outfitted with footwear for the school year.  He is ecstatic that they are purple, his favorite color.  Thanks, Sara!  [Note: they are a men's size 11, and are only a little bit big.]

That's all for now.  Over and out.
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