Summer Fun

It seems like kindergarten just ended last week, but summer is half way over and I go back to work in 5 weeks. Summer is full of activity for our family. As much as we love to relax at home, we also love to get out and play. This summer we’ve seen some ‘firsts’ for Ava. In June we took the training wheels off of her bike for the last time. For the past year, we would take them off, put them on, take them off, put them on, but she never had enough confidence to actually pedal. She could coast down the street and balance perfectly, but she would never pedal. Last night she rode a mile to our friends’ house weaving in and out of people on the trail.  I can’t wait to try jogging with her on her bike and Evan in the stroller.

Ava is also reading now and loves to read to us at night. In her play-based kindergarten they didn’t do a lot of reading instruction, but she picked it up and seems motivated to practice on her own (I wish she felt the same way about writing).

Ava started swimming last summer, but this year she went down the big, twisty water slides and loved it! I couldn’t believe it. Those slides scare me sometimes and I thought it would be years before Ava would want to try them. Next year will be the diving board, I’m sure.

We went to the Chinese Heritage Camp in June with our friends from NE and some friends we know here. The girls and moms had a great time again. The counselors at this camp are all Asian (mostly Chinese) and they are amazing with the kids. I’m so thankful for this camp and I hope we can get more and more friends to join us in the future. There were about 70 families there this year and all of the kids were born in China or Taiwan. On the second day Ava said, “Mom, have you noticed there are so many American grown-ups here and almost all of the kids are Chinese?” I had to laugh at this obvious statement because this is exactly who the camps are for. Evan didn’t go to Chinese camp this year, but he will when he’s 4 or 5.

Evan has been with our family now for 9 months. He is 2 years and 4 months old, but he thinks he is 6. He wants to do everything Ava does. Since he can’t ride a bike yet, he’s been working on his skateboarding skills. While it scares me to death to watch him, he hasn’t fallen yet and he can flip one side of the board up while he balances on the other side.

At the pool Evan is hesitant, but he’s not afraid. He finally figured out how to hold on to his floaty and he likes kicking to make himself move. I’m continually amazed by Evan’s physical abilities which are quite normal, but not what I’m used to. Ava was slightly delayed physically, plus she was timid and cautious for her first few years with us. With Evan I find myself thinking, ‘Is this the day we go to the emergency room?’ So far we’ve had zero trips to the emergency room.

Evan already has a vivid imagination and he loves to pretend he’s a dog, Cookie Monster, a baby, a tractor driver, or a stunt man. He rarely asks me to hold him anymore and he wants to do everything “Evan self.” We took the kids to watch fireworks on the 4th of July and Evan couldn’t contain his excitement. He was bouncing all over the place pretending to be a firework and he’s added an exploding noise to his repertoire of sound effects. Yes, he is our little firecracker.

Soon we’ll be heading to the east coast to visit with some families we met in China 5 years ago and then we’ll hang out on the beach for a few days. Nathan and I have been running a lot this summer and in August we’ll run the Georgetown Half Marathon. Once again I didn’t get to many of the house projects I intended to finish this summer, but we never fail to have fun which is always at the top of my to do list.

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