Vogan Fish

July 14th, 2016

At the start of the summer, when we went to the pool, Rachel Anne spent nearly all her time in a life jacket.   I did require her to do some “swimming lessons” with Mom just about every time we went to the pool.  She liked to get those done as quickly as possible and get back into her life jacket and toodle around the pool.

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Also, at the beginning of the summer, Marie was happy to stay where she could touch the bottom and swim, catch sinkers off the bottom, do handstands, somersaults, and so on.

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She swam very well!

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Fast forward a few weeks, and Rachel spends nearly all her time in the pool without her life jacket swimming, looking around under water, and then today, she started jumping in (where she couldn’t touch the bottom) and swimming to me!

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I have not taken very many pictures because I’m right beside Rachel every moment she’s in the water doing these things.  I asked Paul to take some pictures this afternoon.

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After she swims to me, then I catch her and she then swims back to the edge of the pool.  She loves it!  We call it her “jump-ins”.  That is a step up from the “roll-ins” she started doing a couple trips to the pool ago.

P1060357 I don’t have any pictures (because I’m right beside Marie for these), but Marie has started swimming in the deep end, without a life jacket!  She jumps off the diving board, gets sinkers from the bottom, swims across, and does the ever favorite “tea parties”.  The tea parties are one of Hannah’s inventions that we all love.  We go down to the bottom and sit on the bottom of the pool for a little bit, and then come back up.  Sometimes we even make motions with our hand like we are drinking a cup of tea down there!  It is really fun.  Hannah, Marie, Paul, and I spend a lot of time hanging out in the deep end of the pool having tea parties.  (Rachel has her life jacket on when we do that.)

We are loving our time at the pool this summer, and once more we are very thankful to our neighbor for giving us unlimited access to her pool during the week.  It is an immeasurable blessing to us!  I can’t imagine our summers without near-daily swim times.  The skill of knowing how to swim, and swim well, is something our kids will have with them for the rest of their lives.

Part of the Summer Program

May 31st, 2016

A free outdoor concert by Marie, Hannah, & Paul.

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It is so nice to be on our summer break from school.  At the very beginning of our summer break, I went with Andrew to Lake Arrowhead  in CA for a business conference.  While he was in his meetings, part of the time I just relaxed and used my brain for planning our summer.  (The other part of the time I went on a monumental 12-mile hike!)  I even wrote it down in a little tablet I had with me, because I’ve heard if you write something down, you’re more likely to actually do it.  Not only did I write it down, I had it scheduled out over the 12 weeks of summer vacation!

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Let me tell you, the first week at home was a major disappointment because nothing on my list got accomplished and then I was officially one week behind.  Very soon after that week, I completely threw out the schedule.

Having friends over to play one morning.

2016-05-17 10.35.02 I know that means I will most certainly not accomplish all my goals for this summer, but not only was the schedule evidently impossible, it also would have strapped us to a must-do timeline and created stress for me.  So, no schedule, but I’m still working on the projects on my list!

It was cool and raining the day our friends came, so the
kids played indoors.  Andrew put sheets over the table
and created a playhouse for the girls.  When lunchtime
came, we just pushed the sheet back and had lunch
on the roof of the playhouse!

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I am making myself do things I hate doing, but that I know will so much improve our lives.  The kids and I spent about one day seriously cleaning and rearranging the sewing/desk/computer area.  I even washed the window and dusted the ceiling fan!  Now that that area is so nice and clean and organized, the kids are using it, enjoying being in it, and it is so refreshing to look into that area of the house, and a pleasure for me to be in it.    That is a real motivator to keep moving into other areas of the house.

We spent an afternoon wading in a creek while visiting
some friends.

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Prior to the desk area, the kids and I had almost as seriously cleaned the living room and dining room.  I didn’t wash the windows or dust the ceiling fans in those rooms (yet!).

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Today, even though it was a perfect day to work outside, I chained myself indoors and we worked on the toy closet.  I’m not sure if there is an area I dislike purging and organizing more than the toy closet (maybe the basement), but I just started assigning tasks to the kids and plugging away at it myself.  I was so surprised at how well it went!  I would hold up an item, ask if they wanted to keep it or pass it on, and then put it on an appropriate pile.  I was surprised how many items they said to pass on just because they weren’t that interested in it any more.2016-05-24 14.53.13 For the kids, I assigned them the already mostly sorted toy collections (the car box, the food box, the animal box, etc.) and had them go through each one and put in the trash the things that were broken and in a pile to send to the thrift store the items they thought weren’t important anymore.  They did an great job of thinning down the toys!  With Paul, Hannah, and Marie each working on a separate collection at the same time, and me doing piles that were in the closet, we had four cleaning/purging stations going at once.

You can tell  we aren’t packing every day with work
projects and chores.

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We aren’t quite done (the day got all before the task was completed), but we have made a giant step forward in completing the deep cleaning of the toy closet and the New Rooms in general.  As soon as the toy closet in completed, I will take a break to accomplish things outside and get some cooking done before we go any further on the indoor summer cleaning project.

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