Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to the Business of Everyday Life

It's that time of year: when the lazy days of summer, the swimming lessons, the summer camps, the vacation memories still fresh in our minds, are all nudged out of the way by that looming singular day -- for us it's Aug. 11 -- that signals the start of routine, discipline, crazy busy evenings with two boys playing soccer, and everything else that goes with the start of the school year.

Here in Phoenix the kids are back to school when it's still ridiculously hot -- at least 105 for another month or so. They'll be wearing shorts for at least another three months, probably closer to four. It still just seems so early. When I was a kid the first day of school was always right after Labor Day. Still, I think I'm the boys are more than ready.

After a couple of busy weeks, we're having a mellow last week of summer vacation.

From where I last left off, here are the highlights:
  • Blake survived his first overnight camp. His soccer camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff was a success. When we picked him up, he had a hoarse voice, a sunburned nose and a suitcase full of muddy, musty athletic clothes. And, no, he never called home. Says he lost the calling card. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever ...
  • Oh ... and how can I forget? No story involving vehicle travel would be complete unless a carsick child was involved. Again. I know it's getting old. Anyway, the ride up there was about two hours. After we got Blake we stopped for a late breakfast/early lunch. Sitting at the table -- thank goodness it was tucked away in a corner -- Zachy, you guessed it, got sick. I'll spare the details, but it was pretty embarrassing. And is it bad to be glad it didn't happen in the minivan???
  • So two days after that, we flew to Minnesota, where we spent a week with Brett's mom and her husband. The kids were angels on the plane ride. Our little adventurer Allie LOVED taking off and landing. When the plane zoomed down the runway for take-off, she let out huge uncontrollable laughs and woo-hoos. It was great fun for her.
  • One of the first days we went to a local water park. The weather this day was perfect -- about 80 degrees. But it's funny how 80 degrees draws a HUGE Minnesota crowd to an outdoor water attraction. The place was packed. More than I had ever seen at an Arizona or California water park. Most water parks in Arizona aren't even open at Christmas time
    in 80-degree weather.
  • Another day we went to the amusement park inside the Mall of America. Zach and Allie loved the log ride -- a big one with a long downward plunge.
  • We spent three days "up north" at Brett's mom's lakeside cabin. I've made three trips out to Minnesota now in the years Brett and I have been married. I've always loved spending time at the cabin because it's so calming and peaceful. You can walk outside and not hear a sound. If you're lucky you'll spot a loon or two, as we did. Even better is hearing their haunting cries from across the lake.
  • I haven't downloaded the photos yet -- I know, very slow for me, the crazed picture fanatic. But some will be clogging your inbox appearing soon.
  • Upon our return I immediately came down with a case of strep throat. I'm finally starting to feel normal. Now I'm just hoping none of the kids get it. And just like that, I'm going to shut up or no one will want to keep reading end for now ...
"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."
~Sam Keen

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