Puberty, Brought to You by Old Spice

Henry, as part of his 5th grade curriculum, received a lot of very helpful information this past week at school. Specifically: how and why boys and girls develop into adults and the precautions one needs to take along the way. For his participation in this important unit, Henry received some deodorant, provided by Old Spice. He’s been applying it liberally. And Fry Lodge smells awesome.

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Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Guinea Pig: A Path to New Habits 

On Saturday, Ruby and I had some tense moments, which resulted in this declaration: “Tomorrow I’m taking the screens away forever.” Like many parents, Kristine and I struggle daily with the first world problem of how much screen time we allow at Fry Lodge. Are these devices hijacking our children’s minds? Are our kids being irreparably harmed by the amount of time they spend staring at screens?  Are they getting enough exercise and interactions with real people? These are among the questions that kept me up last night.

This morning, Ruby brought me coffee in bed and said she had a proposal in mind. It involved buying her a guinea pig. I saw an opportunity. After breakfast, the Fry Family Quartet took a walk. Ruby and I paired up to discuss her proposal. We decided that she will pull together a presentation outlining her case for a guinea pig. It will include: goals, strategies for achieving those goals, ways to measure whether she meets the goals, and a timeline. On the walk, we came up with some strategies to address in her plan: 1) respectful attitudes (e.g., volunteering for chores, no parroting her mom) , 2) clean house (e.g., making bed, cleaning guinea pig cage, etc.) and 3) healthy lifestyle (e.g., Sunday walks with dad, strict adherence to limits on screen time). 
As soon as we finished our walk, Ruby began her PowerPoint presentation. I caught a glimpse of her title slide:

GUINEA PIG: A Path to New Habits 

I’m looking forward to this presentation. 

Henry and Ruby hear from their Representative

Henry and Ruby received both received a letter from their Congressman, Representative Rick Larsen, this weekend. Back in June, their friend, Sam, who lives in Maine, sent the kids some postcards to send to Larsen – reminding him to keep fighting to help preserve our oceans. They were thrilled to get a response. Thanks to Sam, Henry and Ruby for reminding us how it’s supposed to work. Oh, and Patty and Maria, we’re sure your letters are in the mail. 

Comin’ down the mountain

Henry returned from Mountain School a bit more independent than when he left. As expected, he learned about how to identify different types of trees and facts about Diablo Dam, which held the title of World’s highest dam for one week. Henry also learned he’s fully capable of taking care of himself. While at Mountain School, he was expected to get himself up, make his own breakfast and lunch and bathe as he saw fit – all things that we as parents are in the habit of either doing for him or constantly nagging him to do. One of my favorite stories from Henry was about how he was the only one in his dorm room who knew how to put sheets on his bed. He also got up early one morning to shower before the day started (the only one to do so). I had to ask: “Who are you and what have you done with Henry?”

Very happy to have H-man back at Fry Lodge. Hoping some of these new habits stick.

Comin’ down the mountain

One of many children 

Hello Summer 

Another year, another school for the Fry kids. The 2016-17 academic year is a wrap, and Henry and Ruby are one summer away from 5th and 3rd grade. It seems like they both grew at an accelerated rate this year – on every level. Comparing their first and last day of school photos, it looks like each is a head taller. 

Emotionally, socially and academically, both Henry and Ruby made big strides this year in Bellingham. Henry joined the chess club and made it to the state tournament. Ruby discovered her artist self and blew all of us away with her unique perspective on the world. Both took up ice skating and soccer and made so many friends in the process. 

The week before school let out, Kristine and I had the opportunity to review the kids’ portfolios that document their units of inquiry and work over the course of the year. Among Henry’s projects was a how-to chess book, which he sweetly dedicated to me. Ruby’s art section was stunning. Both of their teachers were amazing, which is a huge reason why they both excelled as much as they did. 

The Fry kids have hit their stride in Bellingham. This weekend we start a well deserved summer vacation. In preparation for our cross country RV trip in July, we’re doing a shake down cruise with the RV this weekend. Next week Ruby begins swimming lessons. Then Henry goes to LARP camp. The adventure continues. 

Romance and Sex Life of the Date 

The headline worked on us, too. This is what the sign says in front of Shields Date Garden on Highway 111 in Indio, CA. After a four year hiatus, we’re back in the Coachella Valley to visit my mom and dad for spring break. We’d been craving a date shake ever since hearing about them, so Carl and Kaye took us to Shields today for some date education. The roadside attraction’s short film, Romance and Sex Life of the Date, taught us about this fruit’s unlikely existence. Apparently, there exist no insects to pollinate date palm trees, so date farmers must perform that process. Also, dates are of course not native to the desert, so growing them is quite a natural resource and labor intensive endeavor. Which is probably why no other place is likely to replace Coachella Valley as the date capitol of the world anytime soon. Ninety five percent of the dates grown in the U.S. come from the Valley. 

After learning about the sex life of the date, we paid $5.00 a piece to stroll through the garden behind the date souvenir shop, where the owners have constructed 14 scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.