Start of Fall

We’re well into September now, which in Phoenix means that the temperature is no longer above 100 degrees every day. We’ve had some really nice nights lately. Nice for us means about mid 60s at night. Sure beats 90 or whatever it is during the height of summer. Of course it also means that the swimming season is coming to a close. With our thinned-out blood, anything below 75 degrees is too cool. Really. And it’s amazing how quickly the blood thins.

I received some news last week that literally took my breath away. The man who interviewed and hired me at Mercer, Art Wright, passed away last week. He had liver cancer. He’s been out since April, but this was certainly not expected. My last conversation with him in April was interesting. I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was doing OK. He then said that if I believed that, he had a bridge to sell me. I had no idea how sick he was then. I had no idea how this would affect me. Art took a chance on me back in the day, and I’ll always appreciate that. Who knows where/what I’d be without him doing that.

We celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday last week with a surprise party at Catherine’s. My mom was genuinely surprised. My birthday is next week. I’m a year older. Woot! The girls are doing well. I’ll have some more pictures in the next week or so.

Lake Pleasant

We spent a good amount of time yesterday at the lake. My dad has been trying to get us to go for a while, and we’ve always had one lame excuse or another. Actually, it was always something legitimate, but we wanted to make sure that we really got out this time. It was a nice morning, surprisingly uncrowded for a Labor Day weekend. Gwenyth didn’t really dig the life jacket too much, but she ended up managing.

Abigail tried to ski for the first time, and got up on her first try. My dad has these nifty skis that basically lift you out of the water, so she was able to use those. Grace, Lucy, Julie, Abby, and I all got on the tube at one time or another. We all had a really good time. Abigail and I are a bit sunburned, Gwen got a little bit too much wind and now has a  cold, but we’ll survive. The potty situation was something else, which I won’t publish. If you really want details, email me privately. Let’s just say that it invovled a trash can, wipes, paper towels, and a big black garbage bag. Fun!

I need to teach my Sunday School class today on very short notice, so I must be going. The lesson is on Job, a good message. I’ll be spending much of tomorrow fixing up the rental house. We’ll see how I am at doing recessed lighting and installing a microwave. The guy at Home Depot insisted it was no problem. More later. Oh yeah, new pictures to the right.

Settling In

The girls are settling in to their new school year just fine. Abigail can’t believe how quiet her class is, especially after last year’s somewhat rowdy bunch. She really likes her teacher and is excited for anything related to art. Marley Park offers an after school program called Young Rembrandts, which she’ll probably end up taking.

Grace loves her teacher as well. She has the same teacher that Abby had, so that has helped her in the transition. She gets excited to do homework and anything else that will help her feel a bit older. It’s amazing how much she’s grown in just the week since she started. Overall everything’s a smashing success.

There is the issue of a lack of recess time that has Julie particularly concerned. It seems that they only get 10 minutes or so after lunch for recess, which isn’t nearly enough. Abby says that it’s not even enough time to “get the wiggles out.” Hopefully that will change. We’re thinking that maybe when the temperature gets to be below 100 during the day they’d probably go outside a little more. For all of our sakes, let’s hope that’s sometime relatively soon.

Lucy spent the first 3 days rotating between “Where’s Abigail?” and “Where’s Gracie.” I think she’s probably figured it out by now. She’s finding a whole new world of *really* being in charge at home. I hear that she, Julie, and Gwenyth are going to the museum this week, which should be quite the adventure.

More later.

The first day of school

Today was the first day of 2nd grade for Abigail and the first day of kindergarten for Grace. They were more than a little bit excited. The morning started off interesting enough. Actually the interesting part of it started last night when neither Julie nor I were able to sleep. Our schedules have been so out of whack — staying up so late — that we weren’t able to go to bed. So that was a little rough. Then, at about 6:30, I got a call from concerning an emergency with one of our databases. So in between trying to quell that fire and trying to get everyone ready, it was a little hectic.

In the end, though, everyone got off OK and everything went well. The girls looked cute and excited. I posted some pictures out on Flickr:

Yesterday we were able to see Grandma Kay and Aunt Susi. Grandma looked great and it’s always exciting to see Susi. Maybe Uncle Mikey will make it down one of these days as well, grumpy old man that he is. Or maybe we’ll even make it up to Moab. He says he wants people to visit, but I’m afraid he’d only be good for a day or so before he’d want us to leave. Maybe we’ll test him out.