I had all these plans- write-ups about the girls birthdays and how we spent various holidays and weekends. But, ah, no. I think that ship has sailed.
So, I will write about the past few weeks which have flown by so quickly, I cannot believe our summer is half over.
Vi and Ave have both been swimming, when they are here, almost daily(sometimes twice a day), between swim team and the neighborhood pool. Ave has been doing very well on swim team (that's her diving in while Dean kicks up a big splash under her to get her to dive fuirther out) and has been invited to represent her team at the championships(not a big deal since the team sends 10 kids from each age group- but she is excited for it). Between Vi being injured earlier in the season (stitches right over the kneecap can kind put a kink in your style) and her being gone so long at camp, she's not going this year. I just have to add that swim team is a huge committment but it has been so good for the girls to get in so much swimming. Dean has applied himself to it with his usual hyperfocus and is swimming quite a bit himself. Me? I dive in on occasion to race the girls but I'm pretty anemic right now so I get really cold really easily.
Vi just got back from 10 days of Girl Scout camp. Her program was called Gilligan's Island and they were 'shipwrecked' in the middle of the woods for ten days where they built their own tree-beds that they had to sleep on. This involved using special knots to tie together a couple of thick support logs between two branches and then creating a sort of net out of rope- kind of like macrame. Apparently, it was actually pretty comfortable. They had to sleep on the ground for the first couple of nights until they had constructed their beds and shelter. Sounds pretty rugged, huh?
They did lots of hiking, apparently, and when she came home today she couldn't bring half her stuff in the house because everything was so muddy. Awesome! (No, really!) She had fun but she's not sure at this point if she'd want to be a Gillie again next year. This is Vi doing her I'm-so-happy-to-be-going-to-camp dance on launch day.
I have to say, I was a little excited because I get alot of books for Vi and she doesn't always pick them up and read them. I'm an avid reader and I so, so, so want to share that with my kids. Anyhow, I totally scored one finally because I sent her "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins at camp and she was dying to get back to it tonight and is already halfway through.
Ave went to Camp Bothin again this year, up in Marin at the old sanitorium. Seems fitting. She actually left the day before Vi did but was only gone about 5 days. This is one of her 'launch day' photos. She did a program called "Pastry Puffs" where they did a whole lotta baking! She was very proud to have earned another patch for doing the polar bear swim and won the archery award. So proud is this mama!
Since her program was shorter(only fair since she has chorus camp this summer, as well), we had several days to spend one-on-one time. Pretty much all she wanted to do was bake and cook! So that's what we did. I don't think I've ever spent so many consecutive hours in the kitchen except maybe on Thanksgiving.
Thus far this week we made cupcakes, including buttercream frosting, from scratch. We then decorated those with cake decorating tools- I taught her to make stars, ribbons and a few other things and then we dusted them with sprinkles. We made coq au vin for dinner one night, which, as always, turned out superbly. We made a Carribean Fudge Pie which involves copious quantities of finicky melted chocolate, chopped pecans and a pie crust and then strawberry sauce to go over the top. We made a blueberry cheesecake. Then Ave had her friend Olivia over and they made the giant, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies from Cook's illustrated.
Oh yes, and we also concocted a baked pasta dish in which we used rotelle in a bolognese sauce topped with a tapenade of peppers, green and kalamata olives, artichokes, etc.. On top of that we layered more rotelle tossed in a cheesy white sauce with chunks of chicken. We covered that with shredded parmigiano reggiano and baked it till it was crispy on top and it turned out beautifully. Ave is showing off her Carribean Fudge Pie here(which is remarkably good and she made it all on her own- I only kept an eye out for arms being ripped off by the KitchenAid mixer paddle. Ave has become quite the adept cook!
Last night we started on Vi's room finally. We are going to give it a little overhaul- some paint, maybe refinish the wood floor under her carpet. Yesterday's big project was sanding the varnish off her mission style queen-sized bed so it can be painted along with the nightstand. The dust was everywhere. I had to wash my hair three times to get it out. Glad that part is out of the way.
On the docket for the weekend? Swim meet tomorrow, Girl Scout garage sale fundraiser tomorrow afternoon and then... probably more work on Viola's room so she'll have her bed back to sleep on asap!