Monday, August 10, 2015

Surprise! Bet you thought I was never coming back, didn't you? It's been 2 years since I said I was going to try to be more consistent. That's ridiculous. So, no promises this time, okay?

Rereading that update post (below the 10 on Tuesday) was so much fun! I'm going to do another one.

Zachary is almost 8, and he's slowly morphing in an amazing young man. He's doing better about jumping up when we ask him to, taking care of his own things, helping out without being asked... He started second grade last week and so far seems to enjoy it. It's hard to get much out of him. He loves tabletop games, and is thoroughly enjoying playing Civilization on the computer. He's not as enamored with reading as I would like to see, but he's been enjoying Magic Treehouse, and can't get enough Harry Potter (though I have to read that one to him. We're almost done with the first book and he can't wait to see the movie). As for extra-curricular, he's got: piano lessons, baseball, dance (two classes this year), AWANA, RAs (Royal Ambassadors), and Cub Scouts. The second dance class is at the same time as the church choir, so he had to make a choice on that one.

Daniel will be 6 in November and is...unique. He marches to his own beat. His favorite color is purple, and he loves cats. Over the weekend he wanted to dress up like a bunny, so found a shirt as close to white as he could (it said "Nashville Country Music" across the front, but that didn't matter), a pair of shorts with the tag on the outside, so that was his tail, and white socks with his purple flipflops. And of course the bunny ears that I'm forbidden from putting up with the rest of the Easter stuff because they play with them all.the.time. So we wore this outfit when we went out to lunch for Curtis' birthday. He looked ridiculous and adorable all at once. He has this knack of working his way into the hearts of everyone who gets to know him, and it's amazing to watch. He's probably the most introverted of our three, yet everyone knows him. This year he started Kindergarten, and I still can't believe he's old enough. He had the most wonderful year in PreK with Mrs. Martha, and he's totally ready for Kindergarten. He's not sure about his teacher though. Daniel is also in AWANA (starting Sparks this year), and his last year of Mission Friends; baseball, but we couldn't talk him into dance classes; he wants to take piano lessons (yay!), and we told him he needs to be able to read better (which is true). He'll get to join Cub Scouts next year, but in the meantime our entire family goes on most of the outings so the only difference is that he's not earning ranks yet.

Eli will be 4 next month, and he continues to be the sweetest little cuddle-bug ever. He has a heart of gold and would absolutely give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it. He's okay saying no to his brothers though (ha!). In the last couple months he's starting experimenting with defiance, but he shapes up pretty quickly with a little "encouragement". Eli is my little extrovert, following me around all day and talking all.the.time. He'll greet anyone who makes eye contact. (This introverted mother may not survive raising this chatty little thing to adult-hood.) He's almost the same size as Daniel, and the two are frequently confused for twins. People are astonished when I explain that they are actually two years apart. Eli is now in the 3's class at MMO, which is upstairs. He vacillates between being upset that his brothers are going to school and he's not, and being upset he IS going to school instead of staying home with me. It's a little wearisome. He's not quite old enough for piano or baseball or Cub Scouts, but this year he's excited to start AWANA (Cubbies!), and he's taking a dance class; and of course he's in Mission Friends.

Last year I agreed to take over the director position for Mission Friends, and am doing it again this year. I find it suits me much, much better than teaching little ones every week. I haven't taught Sunday School the last two years, and that suits me too. I'm glad to be back in adult SS, especially since I can't me in a Zgroup (discipleship class) on Sunday nights due to AWANA and Wednesday nights due to Mission Friends. In addition, last spring I agreed to be the secretary for the Cub Scout Pack, so once a month we get a sitter for 4 hours on a Thursday evening and have a little date night and then go to the leader meeting (did I mention that Curtis is the den leader for Z's den? He is, and that means he goes to the leader meetings too. He's been going to them for a year before I joined the committee, so this sitter once a month is new for us this year.) What else do I have going on...Oh! I resigned from AuPairCare at the end of last year. I held the position for 5 years, and it was time to hand it over to someone else. I don't miss it. Thought I would, at least a little, but I don't, so I know I made the right choice. I'm now working on Curtis' pet project, TedChef. I'll have to tell you more about it another time. I'm also working as a freelance translator, translating software manuals from English to French. It's new to me this week, so I don't have much to say about it at the moment.

Other updates....Last fall, Curtis' brother and family moved from Boise, Idaho to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is less than 2 hours from here. It's been amazing to be so close to family! I've never experienced this before (except in Nashville, when those two were also going to Vanderbilt, but no one had any money, or time, and things didn't go so well). It's been so much fun to get together on weekends and seeing the cousins get to know each other. Titus is 10 weeks younger than Daniel and his brother Luke will be 3 at the end of this month. Titus gets along with Zachary and/or Daniel just great (the and/or is because it depends on the activity and whether certain introverts need time alone). Eli and Zachary enjoy doting on Luke since he's the youngest, and Luke loves Thomas the Train. This summer we tried out "Cousins Camp" and it was a smashing success (my kids spent a week in Chattanooga with their cousins, and the following week I had the whole brood here, minus the 2-year-old who wasn't ready to be away for that long). As of earlier this year there are now six cousins, as Curtis' sister had her little boy, Casimer, on February 2nd. She's looking at using some frequent flier miles to come visit for Labor Day, and we're really hoping it works out (her hubby will be traveling for work, so we're disappointed to miss seeing him, but any excuse to see her and that sweet baby will work for us!) ("We" refers not only to Curtis and me, but to Ben and Meaghan in Chattanooga as well, as we were already planning on spending Labor Day with them and celebrating Luke's 3rd birthday.)

I'm supposed to mow the lawn today (Curtis found out earlier this year that he's allergic to grass pollen. Great), and I have mountains of laundry, so I better wrap this up. Sorry for the lack of pictures. Two things work against me there: I'm working on the desktop that for some reason cannot access the shared harddrive (where all the pictures are), and I cannot remember my Shutterfly password. Sorry.

Oh, and we lost our cat. Beau disappeared in early June and we found no trace of him. There are tales of a coyote in the area - one neighbor actually saw it with a cat in its mouth - so we realize we'll never see him again. I miss him. The other one is sick and has turned disgusting: she poops all over the house (though she tinkles in the box just fine) and won't clean her fur. Curtis and I disagree on the best way to go forward (let's just say that his solutions usually leave us cat-less).

Okay, I think that's all for now. Maybe I'll see you again soon!


fiveboysmom said...

Welcome back. I don't know when you would find time to post. I barely find time myself. So sorry about the cats. I wonder if the one cat just misses Beau or witnessed his disappearance and is shell-shocked?

Jennifer said...

She might be a little traumatized. The mighty Internets have suggested that she may be marking her territory, especially since she tinkles in the box just fine. It's getting old though.