After posting on Sunday, I passed by the hamster cage and saw that Gregor was in what looked like an uncomfortable position in his cage, but figured he was asleep like usual. Avey came to inspect and realized that he did not appear to be breathing. Indeed, he had passed on, probably during the night. He'd had a good long run, living two and a half years with us. He still ran on his wheel and everything, so he seemed to have been feeling okay up until the end. We were all a little saddened about losing him, though Apollo doesn't seem bothered.
Kira was away at meetings for most of the rest of the day on Sunday, and it was raining almost all day, so I tried to keep everyone entertained inside without video games. We played some, had a dance party, and then watched some family videos of when the kids were all much younger. That's always fun. Eventually the weather cleared up so I fixed Merritt's tire again and then took him out on a bike ride, where he got all wet riding through the puddles over and over.
Monday was the start of the nature day camp for the older two boys. Carver has done it the last two years, and Hakan finally aged in this year, so he was pumped to try it out, too. Kira and I had a rough time getting up earlier than usual to get them all ready, but it got easier as the week went on. They had tons of fun, bringing home bookmarks with real snake skin laminated inside, and their own designs on the other side. They got to see new animals each day, sometimes out in the wild, and tie-dyed shirts that they brought home on Friday. It will be tough to compete with that, though they may be happy to take it easy.
Avey was excited to try a new recipe in our cookbook: a hot fudge lava cake made in the crock pot. We needed ice cream, of course, so Hannah and I made sure to pick some up on an outing to stores that afternoon, and then came home in time for Kira to head to work. The cake turned out great, and lasted us a few days, thanks to Avey's doubling of the recipe.
Tuesday morning was another early morning to get the boys ready to go to camp, and then I worked until taking over the kids so that Kira could get a bunch of stuff done for her calling. I was trying to get inventive with stuff the kids could do that is not staring at screens, so I put up our tent in the backyard for the kids to play in.
They had a good time for a while and of course have gotten bored with it since then. I'll probably take it down in another couple of days.
Wednesday, Kira took the other kids to pick up Carver and Hakan from camp and do a little exploring around the trails while I stayed home and worked on my day job stuff. They had a good time, and I got a lot done.
Avey, still in a mood to bake, whipped up some gluten free chocolate crinkle cookies for Carver, which he has thoroughly enjoyed nearly every meal since. In the late afternoon, Kira and she were in the backyard for a good long while bleaching Avey's hair in preparation for another go at coloring it (which I'll cover in a moment).
Thursday, Kira woke up feeling pretty rotten, with a headache and everything. She took the boys to camp, and then napped while I worked from the dining room, with Merritt on the television. I didn't get a lot done, but it was better than nothing, I suppose. In the afternoon, I was feeling a need to do some home improvement something, so I finished building a swing for the backyard. It's just a piece of a 2 x 4 I had and some rope, with an old bike inner tube, but Hakan sure has enjoyed it.
Kira then took the kids to the library, as she'd promised Merritt she would take him. He was very excited to get a couple of his favorite books, including one about a little monster stuck in the book. He's had me or someone read it to him about 10 times each day since he borrowed it, often reading it twice in a row.
That night, we went over to our neighbor's across the street. They had invited us over for a small gathering with some of his church friends. We figured it would be fun to get to know them a little better, even though we knew it would be an attempt to convert us to their religion (they are baptists). Dinner and chatting were enjoyable, and the kids behaved well. The kids were ready for bed by the time they did their Bible study, so it was a little difficult trying to sit still during that, but they did well, and then we called it a night, though the kids put up a big fight before going to bed.
Friday morning was exciting as we were planning on meeting the boys at the beach to finish off their camp, and so I got a couple of hours of work in before we headed out. We were prepared for a long wait to get a spot, as we make it a practice to go in the mornings to beat the rush most times we go. Still, we found a spot right away (at a different beach than where we normally go). It was a blast, too, as the water was the perfect temperature, and the air was not too hot.
There were some waves, too, which we haven't seen this year so far, so we all had lots of fun get knocked around as they came in. I was with Hakan for the first bit, and he got knocked over by a couple of big waves in a row, and I asked him if he was okay. He shouted at the top of his lungs, "A thousand times more!" In typical Hakan fashion, he didn't want to leave when the rest of us did.
Saturday, Avey disappeared for a while and then emerged from the bathroom with her hair dyed a bright blue.
She's glad that it worked out this time, and seems ready to make a big splash at school in a few more weeks.
Kira had booked a visit to a hospitalized person in the branch that morning, so I checked in with the boys who were playing in the backyard while I worked on filling some cracks in our asphalt driveway. It had been driving me bonkers for weeks, so I finally went for it, but ran out of filler about halfway through the job. Maybe I can finish that up in a few more days.
In the afternoon, despite the horrible heat, I somehow convinced three of the kids to ride their bikes in the parking lot at the fireworks store, so we went to do that while Kira kept doing work for her calling. We got worn out quickly, so came home to cool off and veg out. That night, I noticed that Carver had a second tooth that was loose, right next to one that has been loose for months. I asked him if I could pull the very loose one, and he agreed, so we popped that sucker out, and he has a new look and sound.
Now he'll have a new look for school, too!
Hannah's had a busy week, too. She made the boys a second set of masks, which they'll need once school starts up. She's also going to be taking over some extra duties this week as a coworker will be out of town, so she's not exactly looking forward to it, but it seems likely that she'll do the job better than he could ever dream. We'll take her car back in this week to see about getting that repair done.
We'll see what this next week has in store for us!