Sunday, February 02, 2014

January 2014

One of my NYRs was to write one blog post each month.  I'm already three days behind schedule.  But we shall carry on.

(My other resolutions, in case you're interested, were as follows:  (1) Save ALL coins -- so far I've cheated only once to buy coke at the vending machine at work; (2) Look at my calendar every now and then to avoid missing parties and/or showing up on the wrong night -- this is going well thanks for my nifty new phone; (3) Not let coffee be the first thing down my throat every day -- this is mostly just about remembering ... I haven't found it difficult to do this.)

So, here I am three days into February doing my January 2014 update, which shall be divided into parts:

Part 1: New Years

We traveled to Austin for New Years (by car, not that it matters), and I was able to finish two entire novels on the way there and back.  Texas shouldn't be allowed to be that big; however, I guess chopping it up would still keep Austin 12 hours away from Nashville.  Here are some pics from the trip (taken by MiL, OFP (Official Family Photographer).

John's Big Project

We took the kids and grandparents to a dangerous hiking area.

11 months apart and both are something.else.

I love this one so much!

The Lucy/Kimmy tradition of mani/pedis.

Bruce got a new hat.

Sorta normal.


Part 2:  School Begins Again

Brian and I quite enjoyed the return to normalcy.

The boys weren't exactly thrilled about it.

I began taking karate.

Part 3: Other Random Good Stuff

John got to attend a reading of Jeff Kinney's newest Wimpy Kid book and meet the author.  This was a thrilling literary event for him, and now we have a signed copy.

I have turned 37, and since it's now the 3rd day of February, Brian has turned 42.  I had BBQ and carrot cake.  He chose Indian buffet and "punkin" pie, as Sam calls it.  On the morning of Brian's birthday, we ate 1.5 punkin pies with our breakfast burritos.  The second half was polished off during half time of the Super Bowl.

My work has changed big time.  The coordinator of our ESL program has gone on maternity leave and left me in charge.  I have already done lots of ridiculous things such as hiring an instructor to replace her without checking his references first.  It all worked out well in the end, but still.  Lesson learned.

John is working very hard in 3rd grade and making all As.  He'll take the state test this year, and he's been practicing at home using a website.  His pre-test math/science scores are through the roof (and might I point out that he learns all of that first in Spanish, then takes the tests in English).  He's still working on the English/reading/writing piece.  He's such a crazy hard worker.  He's playing basketball right now and rocking the court.  Baseball will start soon.  He's also still doing piano and has now decided to also take karate.  So, every Tuesday night he and I treck down to Smyrna, Tennessee, which is where my sensei at school has always practiced.  Her sensei was trained by one of the original four marines who brought Isshin-Ryu karate to the U.S.  Yes, I am worried about all of these extra curriculars, so please do not ask if it's too much.  It probably is.  There are worse things in the world than quitting karate, however.

Sam is trying not to spit on people or poke them in the eyes.  He is also working hard not to call people a "mama head," which is way better than "fart gas."  He's taken to calling himself my "baby cat" and rubbing his head on my legs or shoulders like a cat, making a noise that simulates purring (or blowing one's nose).  Inevitably there is something disgusting on his mouth/nose while this is going on, which then gets transferred to my professional attire.  He will also start baseball next month, and is more than excited about shopping for a new glove, bat, and cleats.  He is really into beyblades and has learned how to take them apart and put them back together with other parts such that they change from "stamina type," for example, to "attach" or "defense" type.  He just spent an entire week (minus last Monday) with good reports sent home from school, so he got a new beyblade this past weekend named Pirate Orochi.  He's a balance type.

Brian is trucking along this semester riding on a cloud of his students' great practice test scores.  They were so improved that he won a half day off, which of course he won't take because, according to him, "If I want a day off, I'll take a day off -- no need for awards."  He is planning spring break trips of hunting and camping and summer trips of kayaking in Colorado.  I'm just trying to remember when the kids have birthday parties, practices, and school, so I'm grateful for his event planning skills.

I think that's all the news around these parts.  Hopefully I can crank another one of these puppies out before March.


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