A Place to Play

Behind the couch in the living room, we used to have a table with the boys’ computers on it, but their feet touching the wall made it very dirty and the table scraped off some paint, so we moved their computers. This left a pretty big (about 6’x6′) open space.

Really, I’d like to put a nice ceiling to floor waterfall there, but since that’s not really practical, we decided Cameron’s idea of play mat (since the floor is concrete) and building toys was perfect.

Before the boys even had a chance to test it out, Lola let us know she definitely approved.

The boys like it. It’s comfortable to sit on and gives nice borders for where to keep their toys (sometimes those Magna-Tiles spread pretty far).

Adrian really likes the leftover edge pieces so those are sticking around for a while.

So far we’re all very happy with this use of that space!

August is Next WEEK?

Seriously, how did that happen? How is it possible August starts next week? We go back to school the end of August. I’m not ready!

When Jamie and I booked our tickets to Ireland, it seemed like August was forever away. Now we leave in just under two weeks.

It’s been a nice summer and I know once I go school supply shopping I’ll be pretty excited about getting back into the swing of things with school.

But before then… Ireland!

Summer Adderall

The last couple years we only gave Adrian Adderall during the summer on Sundays and days he went to taekwondo. This summer we’ve decided to give it to him most days and it’s making such a difference. It helps him control himself and so he feels better and it makes life just generally more pleasant for everyone. It’s really quite amazing what a difference Adderall makes for him.

Fritz is 12!

Last Wednesday Fritz turned 12. This means he get to go to Young Men and on Sunday he was ordained a Deacon so next Sunday he’ll get to pass the Sacrament.

As is our tradition, Jamie took off work and the birthday kid got to pick whatever he wanted for the three meals that day. Fritz chose hash browns for breakfast, potato cheese and chili soup for lunch, and a Chinese/seafood buffet for dinner.

He really wanted a programmable robot, but the one we found that seemed the best for him was kind of expensive so we told him he could choose that one and just get one gift or he could get a bunch of smaller gifts. He thought long and hard about it and decided to go with the one big one so he got Cue from Wonder Workshop. From his grandparents he got the sketch kit to go with his robot.

He did an hour of drop-in programmable working toward his yellow (second) belt at Code Ninjas. That’s his happy place. He got two challenge games done (basically his end of white belt test) leaving three left before he gets his next belt.

When our boys turn 12 they get new fancy church clothes to wear. We found Fritz’s outfit at Dillard’s. He really liked getting a vest and bow tie because that’s what his big brother wears to church.

The Chinese/seafood buffet had a game room attached. Fritz had fun playing Whack-a-Mole, uh, Shark after dinner. It all added up to a pretty awesome twelfth birthday.

So much planning

I’ve been working like crazy on lesson plans for next school year. I’ve got almost everything printed. My parents brought an awesome GBC binder with them so the workbooks are nicely bound and waiting in the utility carts I got for the boys (red for Cameron, blue for Fritz, and sand for Adrian).

I’ve got ten of the twenty year three Layers of Learning units all planned and I’m working on the last book that I need to pre-read for unit 10. The printables for the first ten units all ready in the filing cabinet. I’ve got lists of supplies I need to get/assemble still.

I’m on a bit of a time crunch, though. In a month Jamie and I will arrive in Ireland to visit his mum. We’ll get back the weekend before school starts so I want to have everything for school as ready as possible before we leave.

Another Swim Season Is Over

Fritz completed his fourth summer swim season this week. It’s a crazy, busy seven weeks every May and June. He loves it. He doesn’t love the meets, but being in the water nearly every day makes him so happy. He’s one of the slowest boys in his age group. He always has been. But that’s okay. He just competes against himself.

In the last dual meet of the season, Fritz earned a point for his team (in backstroke) so that was pretty awesome. He’s never earned a point for his team before. Once again, the team he’s on went undefeated all season. The first year they weren’t so good, but the coaches they’ve had have been excellent and the kids work hard and it shows.

Over the course of the season, Fritz shaved 2.66 seconds from his best time in freestyle last season and 4.72 seconds from last year’s best backstroke time.


YouTube can be very useful

Jamie has been changing the oil in all our cars for a while now. He learned how to do it from YouTube. Ani’s car needed a new alternator. Again, YouTube to the rescue. A couple weeks ago he replaced the rear struts on Ani’s car (ah, the joys of an older used car). YouTube taught him how to do it. He’s done the brakes on two of our cars with YouTube as a guide. The amount of money we’ve saved on paying other people to fix our cars is huge at this point.

Side note: One of Ani’s front tires was bulging so Jamie checked her spare tire to see if it was a regular tire and he could just switch the one going bad for the spare. Nope. Her spare tire was completely blown out. Who put a blown out tire in their car’s spare spot? The people who sold her car to the dealership, apparently. (We got two new tires and the good old front tire is now in the spare tire compartment in case she should ever need a useful spare.)