Saturday, September 16, 2023

The pool and cooler weather

Summer is waning, but we've had a few good pool days in September so far.

Benjamin has been checking the pool filters constantly, hoping to find reptiles or amphibians trapped inside, but he'll rescue anything. Here he is having rescued a wasp from the pool:

And here he is with a wolf spider (and egg sac):

He told me that when he grows up he wants to be the next Coyote Peterson (who basically just gets...bitten and stung by things for...clicks??). To be fair to Benjamin, he did ask me to identify the spider before putting it on his hand because he didn't want to hold it if it was super venomous. Wolf spiders aren't particularly harmful to humans so...onto his hand it went. 

Grandpa has a joke that he sets up by something like, "Oh, don't say entomology!"

And then when someone says, "Why not?" he answers, "It bugs me."

This joke comes up more often than you'd think because we talk about etymology a lot in our house and etymology sounds a lot like entomology. Anyway, we're trying to encourage Benjamin's interest in entomology and are...visiting with a beekeeper we can hopefully still see some bees in action before they simmer down for the season. 

I'll admit that it's nice to have some cooler weather. Though I'm always sad when pool season winds down, it's nice to be able to visit the park again. We typically don't in the summer simply because it's just so stinking hot!

Here's Phoebe trying on some of her fall clothes (she loves this kitty theory more so than in practice since she doesn't keep in on her head very long...but loves to put it on and meow for everyone):

We took to the park on Thursday and did our schoolwork there. Here are Rachel and Miriam hard at work:

Rachel is taking classes at BYU-Idaho this semester (Spanish, Geology, and Book of Mormon) and Miriam is taking classes at ASU (Psychology and English). I think in this picture Rachel is working on a Spanish assignment while Miriam is working on her math lessons (she's doing geometry right now using The Art of Problem Solving). 

The other kids were less hard at work by this point, though for Phoebe and Alexander a lot of their play is learning right now:

It was nice to be at the park and not feel like we were melting! And the kids really did get their schoolwork done, which was good because we didn't get a lot of schoolwork done today. Their friends were on a "digital learning day," which (as far as I surmise) is simply a day off school altogether. Zoë's little friend announced that she can finish all her lessons on digital learning days in under an hour. 

They literally played all day, so I believe her! 

By the time Phoebe and I rolled out of bed (it was a rough night, as per our usual), the kids were no where to be found. They'd done their morning writing and math books were out on the table, as well as flyers made up by Alexander, touting a business venture he dreamt up...implicating yours truly!

ALEXANDER AND NANCY'S TOY BUSINESS! he'd written in big blue letters on orange origami paper. WE MAKE CAT TOYS FOR 50¢! WE MAKE BABY TOYS FOR 50¢!


I found Benjamin watching beekeeping tutorials and asked him where his siblings went. 

"To deliver flyers or something like that," he said. 

I confirmed this with Rachel and Miriam, who said they specifically told them not to deliver flyers. But clearly that instruction went unheeded.

Zoë was delivering flyers about a dog walking business she's starting with her friend L—. This is an interesting choice for her, considering she's fairly well terrified of dogs, but when she came racing down the hill toward our house she was waving a thoroughly crumpled dollar bill. 

"Miss Susan let us walk her dog!" she explained. "L— walked her one way and then I walked her home and Miss Susan gave us each a dollar! And we have an appointment to walk a different dog this afternoon at 1:30!"

The girls each got $1.50 for that job, so I'm not sure I'll ever be able to not convince them to beg the neighbours to let them walk their dogs ever again. At least it's good exposure therapy for Zoë. L— isn't afraid of dogs at all (she has two dogs of her own), so she at least brings some experience to the table. 

Alexander's toy business saw a little less success, even though he ran a targeted ad campaign (personalizing flyers for neighbours he knew had cats and/or babies). He did whip up a quick colour-by-number worksheet for our neighbour John, which was pretty cute (he drew a house and then wrote numbers on various parts of the house and included a colour key and everything). I think the neighbours took it as a free sample, however (as well they should have because...I'm actually not very supportive of childhood entrepreneurship so can hardly expect others to be). I mean, if the plan is really well thought out and actually delivers a wanted and needed good or service, I'm all for it. 

But I'm generally opposed to lemonade stands and things of that nature. Call me a grinch (though perhaps hold off for a bit because you know how Andrew is about Christmas things before Thanksgiving).

Anyway, this is all to say that it was cool enough today that the kids spent the entire day outside. They walked around the block multiple times, ran up and down the street ad nauseam and jumped on the trampoline for hours and never once came inside to complain of being too hot! Happy fall, y'all!

(Though I'm sure this is just "fake fall" and we'll have sweltering weather again before autumn is really here).