Finn Turns 7

Finn turned 7 a couple of Saturdays ago and we had our traditional morning present-opening extravaganza.

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And waffles at his request.

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He spent the day playing with his new stuff and building Lego sets.

That evening we were scheduled to meet up with some of Bruce’s high school friends. Finn had okayed the outing and we brought cupcakes along to celebrate. He had insisted on cupcakes so that I had to struggle to put seven candles on one. Those were his words exactly. We worked it out.

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It took a few tries but he managed to blow them all out.

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And then he dug in to his s’mores cupcake.

Shorn

Just two days after Ezra’s shearing, Finn decided he also was ready for a new ‘do. He’d talked about it a bit in the last month but wasn’t ready to take the plunge. Someone at school had apparently told him he needed a haircut, so we had the obligatory discussion about how it’s his hair and he can wear it however he wants. He confirmed that he wanted to cut it. I think the few really warm days we had played a part in his decision. All that hair was hot!

He was looking a bit shaggy.

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Having no idea where to take him for the cut, I decided to make an appointment at a local place right next to the ice cream store he likes. That way at least I knew he’d have some solace if he hated the haircut.

The old guy at the shop started right in with the clippers after briefly discussing how short Finn wanted to go.

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Eek!

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Once he got rid of the bulk, things started looking up.

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There was so much hair on the floor. This is only one of the piles.

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It took quite a while for the shaping and finishing. Finn was pretty patient. And so was Ezra, who made himself at home.

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Finally it was all done, Finn was all smiles and we headed to the ice cream store!

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After ice cream we rode directly home to get itchy Finn in the shower.

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No tears that day and seemingly no regrets, though he says he’s growing it out again. Starting now.

Mohawk, Briefly

Ezra, the boy who asked us to shave his head last year, has been growing his hair out for a few months now. I think the last time he cut it was some time in the Fall, and when it came up again to cut it a couple of months ago, he said he wanted a reverse mohawk. I said no with the excuse that it would be much too distracting at school. So he said, “Fine, then I’m going to grow it out.” Out is really the operative word here — his hair doesn’t get long so much as big. And big it had gotten.

I figured once the weather changed and it was hot I’d have another chance to get him to cut it. This week’s 80 degree temps worked in my favor and Monday night was haircut night. I took a couple of [goofy] before pics.

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Apparently he and Bruce made a deal that he could have his mohawk (regular, not reverse) for pictures.

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We actually thought it looked pretty cute. But as agreed, the rest came off next.

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He reported that many of the kids at school asked if they could rub his head the next day. And one girl told him she thought he looked better with this haircut. Then he said maybe he’d keep it like this all the time. We’ll see.

Library Reinstall

This weekend we finished a task I’ve been looking forward to — reinstalling our Little Free Library at our new house. Last weekend we found our plaque which we thought might have been lost in the move since it wasn’t with the library when it came off the truck. I may be a little irrationally emotional about this library; finding the plaque brought me to tears.

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We spent much of Saturday morning running around getting supplies — wood for the new post, gravel for the hole, etc. When we finally had everything, we split into skilled and unskilled labor. I [unskilled] dug the hole. My first experience with the post-hole digger.

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Bruce [skilled, of course] MacGyvered a solar garden light into its parts to fit in the library. Let’s just say there was soldering¬†and hot glue involved, not to mention a recycled peanut butter jar lid.

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And he built a new post.

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Eventually (hours later than we had imagined … where are the kids anyway?) we were ready to install.

And fill with books!

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And the light works!

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So fun to be back in the library business. I’m picking up where I left off taking regular (daily-ish) pictures of the books inside and posting them on Instagram here. Follow if you’re interested!

Miracles

I spent much of Friday cleaning and de-cluttering because we were having a guest for dinner (Bruce’s former colleague from Bell Labs, Emina). The boys’ room was a Disaster, with a capital D.

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But I had neither the time nor energy to fix it, so I enlisted their help. Much to my surprise, it actually worked.

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Considering their room is about half the size of the room they used to have with much less closet space, I would say this qualifies as a miracle. I guess the offered reward of extra screen time can be very effective.

On a totally unrelated note, Bruce got his new business cards Friday. Not unexpectedly, Google[x] cards are pretty cool.

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Aveson Camping 2014

The Outdoor Ed team at Aveson was planning the signups for the 2014 camping trip right as we were winding down our time at school, so I nudged my friend Kathy to see if we could crash the party and her answer was, thankfully, an enthusiastic yes. So, last weekend we packed up as much camping gear as we could find in our as yet unpacked garage and headed south 4+ hours to El Capitan State Beach. We set up camp here with the Bannings, Pintos, Bondsmiths and many other friends. Not too shabby!

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We had a great time of bike rides, beach trips, shared meals, s’mores and a wee bit of wine. Cari and I even got a walk in … just like old times.

Here’s Finn’s giant s’more the first night.

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Ezra is not so much interested in eating the marshmallows but he couldn’t wait to do “marshmallow sculptures” like he did last year. Here’s one of his best.

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He says, “They’re harder to make than you think.” I bet they are.

We also had several obligatory trips to the camp store for treats. I can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of all the chocolatey faces, but here’s one of Finn, pretty chocolatey, and getting ready to have a taste of Chapin’s snow cone.

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If there’s one thing that remains constant at El Capitan it’s the tar, and true to form the kids came back from the beach covered. I think Ruby got the worst of it; apparently, she (and Finn, I think) were making a nest. It took Rob about an hour and an entire bottle of Goo Gone to clean it all off.

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Somehow I escaped most of the tar clean up because Finn’s was handled by Reiner. I have no idea why but I wasn’t going to get in the way — I just took a picture and disappeared!

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On Sunday we spent a good amount of time at the tide pools.

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Bren brought Charlie and Henry up for the day and those two and Finn ran around like crazy people for a while.

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Ezra stayed busy building some rock formations.

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He and Chapin later worked together to make Big Rock Battle.

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The grownups found ways to entertain as well. Bruce, Rob and Ian formed a trio to make music with blades of grass.

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Here’s their debut video.

After the concert and some kite flying, Bruce and our boys went to the other beach for more tar and sand. Finn had loaned his bike to Amelia and so he caught a ride from Bruce.

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After a few hours, they came back soaked, sandy and tired — all signs of a good day at the beach. Here’s Finn and Henry.

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Unfortunately, it was time for us to go as we had to be back at school and work the next morning. We had planned to leave about mid-day but really just couldn’t tear ourselves away. We finally got on the road about 5:00pm and pulled into the driveway a little after 10:00. We were all exhausted but our buckets were full from the much needed time with such great friends.

Here are a couple of pictures of me with two of said great friends, Cari and Kelly.

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I have a few more photos here.