Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer of reading

This summer we have been focusing on reading with both kids. Connor is going to the Sylvan Learning Center to do their reading program Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on Saturdays if we can fit it in. Paige ended last year ahead of her grade level on reading and we have been reading with her this summer to keep her sharp.

I took a short video of the kids eating their "yummy snack" ice cream one evening recently while Paige was reading a Fancy Nancy book. Connor is always cute about helping her, but sometimes gets overeager and distracts a bit. The Fancy Nancy book is pretty hard, but it's good practice for Paige to sound out the words.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. I slept in, and when I woke up the kids and Andrea brought me some cards and presents. We ate lunch at Cantina Laredo and then went to a Japanese Restaurant for dinner. I had a nice relaxing day with my family.

12 year anniversary

Yesterday was our 12 year wedding anniversary. We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch and spent the day with the kids. Connor took a nice picture of Andrea and me in our family room, which is actually still pretty bare.

Paige at Infinity All Star Cheerleading camp

Paige attended a cheerleading camp this past week at the Infinity All Star facility. They had a couple activities during the week that we were a little worried about sending Paige to, so she only went three of the five days. We weren't sure how much she was liking it, but on the last day they had a little show for the parents to show off the moves and a routine they'd learned. Paige was front and center at the beginning showing off her sassy attitude. Even though she missed two of the days, she knew the routine well, and performed her little booty off.

Connor at UNF Tennis Camp

Connor attended the UNF tennis camp this past week. It was blazing hot all week and we were actually quite worried about him at times, but he did fine and said it was his favorite week so far. They played quite a bit of tennis and did some other activities as well. On the last day, they were doing a zipline and obstacle course, but some lightning nearby made them cut it short. We weren't sure if Connor would, but he did go across the zipline. So brave!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pond drained and other weird events

This past week had its fair share of weird events. A flying squirrel got in to the attic, our gas tank floated out of the lawn, our lawn guy quit, and our pond got drained by accident. Tropical storm Colin came through on Tuesday, which caused our newly placed but empty gas tank to float. They eventually came back a couple days later and anchored it down and filled it up.

The weirdest event though, had to be the pond draining. On Wednesday, after the tropical storm, we were going to bed and Andrea mentioned to me that the pond seemed pretty low. I had actually been researching flood zones and thinking about storms and flooding after the storm had come through, so I was a little bit pleased at the news. I figured they were draining the pond a little since it had gotten pretty high after all the rain.

The next morning, I got up and was stunned to see that almost all of the water was completely gone. I went out and took a few pictures and a video of all the fish flopping around and birds gobbling them up. In the video, you could see many ovals in the water, which are the backs of the fish out of the water. The larger fish couldn't even submerge completely.

As I stood there, a worker in a golf cart started to drive past and he did a double take when he saw the pond and immediately came over. He hurried to a switch box, flipped off the pump, and called his boss. I went around the pond and listened to his call and then talked to him. Apparently a timer hadn't shut off on the pump and it ran all night long and drained the pond almost completely. I asked if they could just pump the water back, and unfortunately that's not an option in our pond. They set up a small garden hose, and let it run. I went around the pond and took a few more pictures. I figure we'll likely never see the pond empty again.

There were dozens of bowl shaped areas around the bank. Apparently they were all fish homes and at the bottom of each were dead baby fish.

I took one more picture a few days later as the water was starting to fill back up. That day, most of the remaining fish had gone belly up. I am not so sure that hose water was the best thing for them. I counted over 30 big floating fish and there were dozens of birds. The pond had started to stink, but the vultures did a great job cleaning everything up.

The whole thing was terribly sad. It had to be a nightmare for all those fish to die that way. We are heartbroken because the pond was always a beautiful sight and filled with wildlife. I hope it comes back to life soon. On the positive side, it was a good opportunity to meet some neighbors. Everyone around us heard about it and saw what happened. A few neighbors came by to see the pond and to ask what had happened. Two of the gentlemen who live nearby are on the HOA and are in charge of the ponds in this area of the neighborhood. We were happy to hear that they were aware of the issue and were trying to help get it fixed. The manager for the golf course also tracked down Andrea's number and yesterday gave her a call to apologize and to let her know they would try to make it right.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kids playing together - Minecraft

The kids have been playing together quite a bit after our move. I was talking to Andrea about it last night and we don't think the kids have ever been as close as they are right now. They have been going to a summer sports camp during the day, and when they get home they have been playing Minecraft together. It's not uncommon to hear them shrieking and laughing upstairs as they are playing

Originally, they were just playing Minecraft on their iPads, but recently they also have been playing on the Xbox. At bedtime, we work on Connor's reading for a little while and then I go in to their worlds to see their creations and play with them.

They were showing me their house the other day and I had to stop them because the room they'd made for their dogs was so cute. They had multiple dogs sitting in the room and they had colored collars for each one and then signs that identified each dog. I had both kids go in to the room so I could grab a screenshot of them with their puppies.

I hope my kids are always so close, they are so creative and so cute!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend at the new house + the neighborhood park

This past weekend, we did a lot of work around the house. It seems unending. We worked on the garage door keypad, toilet paper roll holders, air conditioning issues, unpacking, garage door buttons on the car, wiring in office, doors and hardware, carbon monoxide detectors, and probably a bunch of other things I can't currently recall. The kids were thrilled to have Kavi, a daughter of one of Andrea's new tennis buddies, come to babysit on Saturday. Kavi and the kids had a wonderful time and they were begging us on Sunday to have her babysit again.

On Sunday, we ran some errands, did more work around the house, and on the way back to the neighborhood, we stopped at the park. It was more fun than we expected, especially the zipline sliding thing. Both kids loved it. I challenged Connor to transition to the pull up bar and he did it. Paige decided she wanted to try that too, and surprisingly she was able to do it too, for a minute though I thought she was going to fall back on her head!