I'll start with Robbie, who just finished an interesting project.
Doesn't this look nice in our living room? It'll hold music and trumpet mutes so they don't spread out all over the floor . . .
He made it in a welding class which was taught for teens at the local community college over the past 3 days. Robbie LOVED learning to weld. They did stick and wire welding. I wish I had a photo of him welding, but I don't, so here's a generic welding image.
People seemed puzzled when I said he was taking a welding class. None of his friends was the least bit interested in joining him. But Robbie's always enjoyed making things, so it was a good class for him.
Here he is spray-painting the metal part in our garage after the class was over.
Besides that class, Robbie also went to Jazz camp at Simpson College in June. He really enjoyed that and it jump-started his practicing for the summer. Actually, his teachers said "don't call it practicing. That sounds like a chore. Call it 'playing your horn.'" Since Jazz camp, he's been playing his horn frequently and I can hear him becoming a better musician. Good thing, because several really good trumpet players left the high school band last year, and the younger ones will have to step up.
He's played in church several times, and he and his buddy Nathan played a trumpet/piano duet at both their churches. Wish I'd made a movie or recording, but I didn't. Maybe next time!
For fun, Robbie's been going to the pool, about every day that it's nice. He calls friends or contacts them on Facebook, and usually gets a few guys together. Or he just goes with Eli. They ride their bikes to the pool, then come back here for snacks and video gaming.
Speaking of video gaming, he's also created several games this summer, learning some different game programming languages or techniques. Maybe I'll get him to write about that because I don't understand it.
Although I am frustrated by the amount of time both boys spend at screens each day, I have to admit that they cheerfully comply when I ask them to do a chore, practice, or help me out with something . . . so I guess it's OK.