For the second time this summer, Mark had to empty the pond this week so that he could patch a leak. The pond liner compound takes a couple of days to fully dry, and unfortunately, during that timeframe we lost 2 koi and one of our large goldfish. Since he never turned up, we think that an animal took one of the koi, but the other two fish were found dead on our patio. They could have committed suicide by jumping out of their containers. Anyway, we found ourselves in desperate need of some replacements, and luckily, Mark found a place not far from us called Aqua World that, as you can see, had a huge selection of fish. So we have two new residents in our pond. Hopefully they'll make it through the winter!
I'm also a bit late with the first day of school photo. By this writing, we're already two weeks into the year! Fourth grade is a big year of change. In our district, there are five primary schools, but once the kids get to fourth everyone goes to one elementary school. So not only is there a big new building to navigate, there's a huge number of kids to get to know. Lauren's class has 31 students, and there are seventeen fourth grade classes total! Luckily, Lauren ended up having classes (This the first year where the kids have schedules and do a little bit of switching classes during the day) with some of her friends, so that's made the transition much easier. This is also the first year that Lauren will be in the GATE program, and of course she'll be taking extra music classes so she can play trombone in the band. So far, she seems to really like everything, but by far her favorite part of elementary school is the cafeteria. She came home on the first day raving about how the chocolate milk tastes like a milkshake and how the chicken sandwiches come wrapped in colorful checked paper. So now we know what to look for when it comes time to college search - good cafeteria food!