Monday, August 17, 2015

School Starts This Week!!!

This mama is looking forward to the return of school days. The summer has been a whirlwind and aside from rushing to tackle a few projects before the painters get here Thursday (and because they were making my head hurt), I haven't gotten much done except sign myself up for a few projects I will shortly have time for.

We started the summer with three weeks of swimming lessons. It was a hellish way to start. We got virtually nothing done in the month of June. But, Ellie can now confidently tool around the pool with a noodle, so it wasn't a waste. Next summer, perhaps we'll get past the noodle. Really looking forward to two years from now when I can enroll Cali. But, maybe I can sweet-talk her in next year. We'll see.

We also enrolled Ellie in a group piano class for 4-5 year olds. There were 4 kids enrolled and I love the way the teacher introduced the concepts. She uses a book called "Keyboard Town" and an accompanying book that is out of print. It's very easy for the kids to grasp. We start our first solo lesson on Wednesday. Ellie has really been enjoying the lessons. She's kind of the head of the class, but you wouldn't know it when it comes time to practice. Curious if the lack of competition will impact her progress.

Cali took a master class on potty training. The jury is still out on how successful we've been. She did really well and then suddenly stopped telling us when she had to go and not caring whether or not she soiled herself. Yesterday and today she took pity on me and we had no accidents. But, tomorrow is another day. I think school and it's rigid schedule will really help.

P has been working on furniture all summer. He got his desk finished and then a coffee table. Now he's working on a couch and two chairs. In between, he "cobbled" together a stand for a largish glass tank and gussied it up to make it cozy for a couple of yellow and black tree frogs (non-poisonous in captivity).

I have been keeping up with my yoga pretty well. I've managed to do a head stand away from the wall, and I'm gaining better control over going up and down in inversions. Pretty soon, I'll be progressing to more center of the room inversions. Otherwise, I have been investigating more career options. With the girls old enough for school (and preferring it most days), I'm looking to find something outside the home. It may be volunteer work, design work, or going a more artistic or entrepreneurial route. Trying to get my house in order and create a routine for working on projects and further learning.

There is so much to say. The girls caught (My Little) Pony Fever real bad this summer. Cali may have a terminal case. Thus far, we have resisted most of the merchandising. But, Christmas and birthdays will probably ruin that. My grandmother passed away. My mom came to visit for two weeks. Isis is getting old. And deaf. But, since last writing, she has avoided the vet. We have wasp nests in two locations. I've heard boric acid is nice for sneaky poisoning (one nest is under the porch) and avoiding attack. I got a random sting earlier this summer and Ellie got one Saturday. It's becoming a bit of a problem. We're eying a fifth wheel in lieu of our current trailer. My Model X just might actually come out this year.... I think I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
Dad and E actually tried to sleep out here one night. Once the temps hit 50, they headed in.

Our beautiful soggy campsite at Spring Mill State Park.

P is a master s'more maker.

Sisterly bonding over gooey treats.

C showing off the goods.

P's desk en situ.

A crazy sunset with cool bubble clouds.

Look ma! No instructor.

A day in Chi-town, just Dad and the girls.

An artistic collection Cali made at the park.

Father's Day gift. Back says, "Daddy of Dragons"

My favorite pic of the summer. I hope they hold onto this.

P at the 4th of July Carmel parade.

Cali is a burrower.

Storms didn't hunt much this summer. This one made up for that. She played with it for 30 minutes.

Goof Ball.

This guy (or his siblings) found me about 4 times this summer.

Leg lamp junior edition.

Summer of pies. Seriously. One to three every week. And they never stay home.

One of my more fruitful harvests.

One of our best raspberry hauls. And then the rain stopped :(

That is not rain, y'all. There were a few REALLY hot days.

New favorite sandwich: Nutty Monkey on rainbow bread at Valpo Velvet.

Grandma reading to Ellie at lunch while the grownups waited for their food.

Miss Alexa built the first pony castle of the season.

Don't ask.

One or two nights with the fire pit.

And, the AC froze up.... While Grandma and Mushy were in residence.

Aaahh, the County Fair.

Loved it!

Beach with Mom and Grandma.

Found a nice little inlet for wading.

Ellie and Ellie in St. Joe's

Ellie wanted to take a picture of this chalk drawing for Cali because Cali likes dogs. Seriously.

One of our new favorites. Greek yogurt (sour cream) peach pancakes from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. 

Future home of Shine and Spark. ETA November 2015.

Last time we took this photo, there were only two.

Ellie got up this morning and wanted to make her own breakfast.

P giving the short version of his speech for the grand opening of the Urschel Pavilion.

A rare casual family shot.

Ribbon cutting.

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