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Fall Updates …

When nearly 3 months pass and I haven’t posted anything … ugh

A July & August at the Lake … sunflowers, wakeboarding, fishing (or lack thereof) + grandpa went fishing, friends, & family, no blue bird eggs, gnats, sunsets, biking, a broken trailer …

Sports … softball, dance (and then no dance), soccer, taekwondo, and now ice hockey

Starting High School & Junior High

Our garden … mostly a success

Caterpillars and Butterflies

70th Birthday


@ the Lake … the Felten’s & Price’s (so nice to see each other and for the kids to hang out), the Hancock’s, Pantojas’ and Banach’s (finally) and although we didn’t overlap much we did find a way for everyone to see each other for part of a day (and again the kids getting to hang out with each other … awesome), we finally got one Kielczynski out there plus Christian, the Duarte boys too and then the Cook family @ the end of the summer.  We went to a sunflower farm which was super cool.  Went bike riding on the Jane Addams for a second year and as is now potentially tradition got some ice cream at Union Dairy on the way home (we thankfully didn’t kill the car battery this year, but the Pantojas’ did ride with a flat trailer tire making for a slightly more difficult bike trip).  Some of the kids tried out wake boarding.  Some succeeded, some didn’t.  In mid July the fish just stopped biting.  It was a total bummer.  We went from catching a dozen in an hour to maybe one or two.  I even got Grandpa out on the boat, twice, but he didn’t catch anything.  Darn.  I on the other hand caught 3 one day with him, even a big bass trolling back to the marina.  The axle on the trailer broke mid summer, just as the depth/fish finder arrived and began working.  Thankfully our talented Grandpa came to the rescue, found a replacement part, drove out to the lake and replaced it in the matter of one day.  That was pretty awesome!  We didn’t see a ton of the Karam’s this summer because we weren’t on the same schedule but we still got to enjoy a number of days at their lakefront.  When the Pantojas, Banack & Hancock crew were all together, since there were 18 of us, the Karam’s were kind enough to let us use their lakefront and we all enjoyed the day there.  Back at our house, our blue bird homes ended up housing wrens instead of blue birds but I suppose that’s perfectly fine 🙂  We discovered that the large vine going up one of the trees is a massive poison oak vine.  It’s seriously huge…not sure what we’ll end up doing with that thing.  I bought a new firepit, with wheels, and while the first fire was burning it rolled down the driveway, tipped over, and the fire fell out … fail 🙁 The driveway has some issues.  It’s our project for 2021 I suppose.  Every year there’s something.  But it’s sinking / cracking pretty bad in a few locations so we’re on the list to get those things fixed.  What else … oh, on labor day weekend with like 30 minutes until sunset I dragged the family back to the boat.  We barely made it to sunset but we did.  The gnats were swarming, so much so that the picture I took of grandma & grandpa was really good with the sunset behind them, just that 100’s of gnat happened to be swarming in front of them.   The last day we were there on Labor Day I pulled the boat out, parked it in the driveway and cleaned it up … it probably won’t go back in the lake this year 🙁  but I think the kids really enjoyed the upgrade (I don’t plan on buying another one any time soon).

Our garden … it was a pretty solid success this year.  Maybe 50-60 cucumbers.  100’s of cherry tomatoes.  A few sunflowers.  Green beans (I need to grow more next year).  Broccoli & brussel sprouts were failures.  Jalapeno’s, habanero’s, green peppers, various other tomatoes, mint, basil, a ton of dill, romaine lettuce, and some green onions also grew this year.  That’s a lot.  Maybe no brussel sprouts or broccoli next year.  Maybe more onions, some cilantro, definitely more green beans, maybe some sugar snap peas too.  The cucumbers though were such a success.  After a failure last summer it was nice to have so many again.

E made a local travel softball team, partly as a picture as well as an outfielder.  The experience is great.  I think it will really be beneficial come HS tryouts.  She’s got games each weekend plus one practice, then some softball at school as well as weekly lessons.  With homework mixed in.  An active social life.  Some babysitting too.  She’s super busy.  We tried to include dance in there but it just didn’t work, simply not enough time.  But she is still playing piano.  I asked that she do it until the end of Sophomore year and then she can decide what to do after that.

He’s playing soccer, doing taekwondo once or twice a week and recently picked up ice hockey.  He’s in a weekly youth group.  Playing piano.  In boy scouts, and playing the Euphonium too.  All that plus practices, games, homework and some time playing with friends … he’s crazy busy too.

This year we took 12 swallowtail caterpillars inside with a ton of dill and released 11 butterflies.  I don’t know if I thought it was cooler or the kids did, probably me …

And grandpa turned 70 this year 🙂

Hopefully that’s most everything for now …