Monthly Archives: July 2017

Progress in Learning to Swim

As I posted previously, one of my summer projects is to get Sydney to learn to swim. I booked a series of six private swim lessons, at the end of which Sydney went underwater and held her breath for six seconds. I then booked another six private lessons but progress was slow .. for the first five.

On July 19th my brother and sister-in-law, Dave and Sharon, came to town and were able to watch Sydney during her final 30-minute lesson. It was amazing the difference it made in Sydney’s motivation having someone (other than me) watch.

Previously, Sydney would grudgingly do the things her instructor, Mia, asked: floating on her back, practicing the elementary back stroke, going underwater to get rings that were on the bottom, crawl stroking, and kicking. Mia mentioned to me at one point “she just needs to try to put everything together”. With the encouragement of an audience, she certainly did that on July 19th!

Below are four very short videos that show Sydney’s progress on that one day:

  • Floating on her back: You can actually see Sydney starting to sink and then kicking her legs to try to keep herself afloat
  • Elementary back stroke: She has a very nice stroke, although held up by a floatee
  • Diving underwater for rings
  • Putting it all together by actually swimming a few yards for a few seconds!

Summer Stays in Evergreen With Aunt Sally and Uncle Dick

We are very lucky to have my Aunt Sally and Uncle Dick living here in Colorado with us, only 1:15 away in the hills above Evergreen.

Sally and Dick led an adventurous life and for much of my childhood lived in Africa or Europe. So it wasn’t until my first trip to Europe, in 1987 after my junior year of college, that I established a true relationship with them. I remember spending a week with them at their house in Germany and a week at their summer house in France, both excellent experiences.

Sydney and I have spent several nights at their house recently, have hosted Sydney’s friend Martha and her dad Sean for a Saturday visit, and traveled there with my brother Dave and sister-in-law Sharon when they were visiting Colorado. Sally and Dick live in a nice house on 105 acres (!) with forests, a mile of mountain stream front, hay fields, and an old house from the 1800s they are restoring.

While Sydney is a bit young for some of the adventure their place offers, there are many other fun things to do, such as cook with Sally, play games, and feed the neighbor’s horses. I look forward to Sydney (and me) having many more experiences there to come. I can just imagine a girls sleepover in tents in the meadow!

Here is a nice video followed by a few photos:

Playing music with Sally and Dick

Riding the ATV to the picnic table in the woods

Riding the ATV to the picnic table in the woods

Licking the beater while cooking with Aunt Sally

Licking the beater while cooking with Aunt Sally

Riding the tractor

Riding the tractor

Hanging out on a bench with Sydney's friend Martha

Hanging out on a bench with Sydney’s friend Martha

Sydney’s First Sleepover

One of Sydney’s best friends is Evie Fleetwood. Because her family lives 45 – 60 minutes away (depending on traffic), we don’t get to see them as often as we would like.

So on July 14th Sydney and I drove to visit Evie in the late afternoon with an invitation to spend the night – Sydney’s first sleepover. Actually, it was a modified sleepover because Sydney and I slept in their guest “cottage” above the garage. It was super fun, both for Sydney and Evie who ran around non-stop and for Michael, Sarah, and I who got to hang out a bit once the girls had gone to bed.

Getting Ready to Play Dressup

Getting Ready to Play Dress Up

Feeding the Chickens

Feeding the Chickens

Roasting Marshmellows

Roasting Marshmellows

Taking a break while on a hike the next day

Taking a break while on a hike the next day

Fourth of July 2017

After our two-night camping trip, we all went back to my parent’s house for some fun. My parents have a small house wonderfully located on Lake Morton, which is a no-wake lake that is tons of fun in the summer. Here are a bunch of photos from the Fourth of July weekend at Lake Morton.

Blowing Bubbles With Uncle Dave and Aunt Sharon

Blowing Bubbles With Uncle Dave and Aunt Sharon

Sydney Showing Off Her Somersault

Sydney Showing Off Her Somersault

Uncle Jim Showing Off His Somersault

Uncle Jim Showing Off His Somersault

Grandma Reading to Sydney

Grandma Reading to Sydney

Family Photo

First Camping Trip!

I grew up with most of our vacations centered abound camping. We always took our Airstream trailer and the kids usually slept in a tent, visiting regional national and state parks. I remember those trips as super fun, with some of the best memories being running (or biking) around the campground.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Sydney and I flew to Seattle for what was Sydney’s first camping trip. We traveled to very nearby Kanaskat-Palmer State Park in their motorhome. Sydney and I slept in a tent and we spent the time walking on park trails, kicking a soccer ball in a field, playing hide and seek in the bushes near our campsite, eating meals, roasting marshmallows, and telling stories or singing songs around the fire.

My family members (Dave, Sharon, Eric, Jim, and Sandy) all visited at various times and Jim and Sandy even spent the night in a tent next to ours. We even experienced a rainy morning, which is always fun when in a tent!

In all, Sydney did absolutely wonderfully, with zero fear of sleeping in a tent and great enthusiasm for all aspects of camping.

Picnic Lunch with Grandma and Grandpa

Picnic Lunch with Grandma and Grandpa

With Uncle Jim, Aunt Sandy, and Grandma

With Uncle Jim, Aunt Sandy, and Grandma

Hanging Out with Dad a Grandma's Dog Jack

Hanging Out with Dad a Grandma’s Dog Jack

Classic Sitting Around a Campfire With Uncle Dave, Aunt Sharon, Cousin Erica, Grandma, and Grandpa

Classic Sitting Around a Campfire With Uncle Dave, Aunt Sharon, Cousin Erica, Grandma, and Grandpa

Showing Off S'more Fixings

Showing Off S’more Fixings

Eating a S'More

Eating a S’More

First Night Sleeping in a Tent!

First Night Sleeping in a Tent!