A short time ago I heard from a dear friend, our next door neighbor in our married-student-housing days at BYU. She expressed happiness to have found my blog, and I thought, oh, dear. I am not a very good blogger these days. Most of my thoughts go directly to facebook, posted in drive-by style, without too much thought. Also, that leaves out any broad view of what's happening in our family. So for my dear friend Patricia, and anybody else reading, here is the skinny.
Dr. G is in his second semester as a professor. He is working hard but not as busy as the first semester. His department intentionally gave him a lighter load to allow him to work on course development and research. This was very kind. It also allows him a little more family time, and we're all grateful for that. The first semester was really hard on everyone. He has won four small grants so far this year, as I posted earlier, and is working on a new research project on Georgetown Lake, Montana. That's where he is all week this week. At least it's in the 40s outside, not any colder. Maybe we're starting to feel just the edge of the aura of spring.
I am always finding myself with more brilliant ideas than I have capacity to follow through on. I'm trying hard to focus on what's really essential: caring for myself in mind, body and spirit; supporting the kids' education; helping others when I can. Then comes freelance work. Not saying I always succeed at making these my priorities - facebook wins way too often, and some days I feel like I'm failing at everything. But, I get back up again and usually things click along ok. I am enjoying a new church job, organizing activities for the Relief Society every other month and serving in the presidency of that organization. I miss the Primary kids but also love getting to know the adult women a lot better.
S is homeschooling still - it's hard to stay motivated at this time of year, but we keep going on the essentials and try to grab the occasional extracurricular educational experience when we can. Recently we loved an anti-tobacco presentation by Victor DeNoble. Great speaker with a very important message! He even showed monkey brains, real ones, which S termed "disgusting, but interesting." Yes, that about sums up monkey brains. S has been working with a new doctor and undergoing neurofeedback training to strengthen some of his challenging areas and prepare for seventh grade in public school this fall. It's a big commitment for us financially and time-wise, but G and I have felt really good about it as well as very grateful that we actually have the resources to do this for S. We think of it like braces for the brain! Of course he will probably need braces for his teeth sometime in the next few years, as well ... but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it! He is huge (5'4", 120 pounds) and still loves Legos, video games, and Scouts.
A is so close to finishing fourth grade, he can almost taste it! He has had a wonderful and supportive teacher this year (I love it when my kids get the more experienced teachers - they may not love them the most but I can tell there's a benefit to having done your job for a while!) and really enjoys being with his classmates and friends. All the little girls love him; he's so handsome and charming. He has an eye for one in particular, and fortunately is open with me about it; I constantly remind him that they should just be friends and not worry about "love stuff" right now! I am getting my big stick ready for the teen years. He is learning (from his mistakes) about homework habits and organization. Thank goodness we still have a couple months before the end of the year for him to prove himself and get ready for the next grade. Fourth is really a change and a challenge - that has been true for both my kids who have been there so far. A is taking guitar lessons, which he really enjoys, and loves to play sports and read novels. He's also active in Cub Scouts.
K has made a great breakthrough this year on reading. It's one of my favorite stages - when the kid is so excited to read that they read everything. Super cute. And then they realize that once they know how to put the pieces together, they can read anything - even big chapter books! So he's working on that, now. I have to give a little credit to Concerta. It has made a great difference for my bouncy little boy and let us see his true potential. He has a good little group of school friends with whom he plays after school. Darling little boys. K remains my skinny, scrawny one - still in a size 6. He's the only one of my kids to wear his age (as a clothing size) consistently. Will we get to size 7 by this summer? Seems unlikely at the moment. His favorite things are playing with his friends (Legos, action figures, you name it) video games, and dawdling in the mornings. Sorry, I just could not resist that. It's a bit of a crazy-maker for me. Love my little K. One of my favorite things is his habit of sitting on my lap at church. He used to have to do that or he could not sit. Now he is just used to it and I like it. It keeps me warm when the heat in the chapel is wonky (which is a lot).
Z is my joy and my challenge - such a wonderful snuggler, clever comedienne, cute little mommy to her dolls and the dog, and basically bored out of her mind with only two days of preschool a week. It is hard to keep up with how much input she needs, and she is pretty nasty about it when she's not getting what she needs! We try to have friends over frequently to help take the pressure off me, and get to the YMCA as much as possible so she can play with her friends in the daycare there. Her hair is finally growing out from her self-inflicted pixie cut last summer. She is so cute. Really. This fall she will go to 4-day-a-week preschool. Is it evil to say I can't wait?
That leaves the dog. Well, she is a love mooch, and that is alternately cute and annoying. She is also a cheese mooch, literally obsessed with cheese, and that's only annoying. I still love taking her for walks, and I'm glad I can do it again after that kidney stone debacle. She stinks like dog, sheds like a maniac and needs her claws clipped. I feel like I don't know how to do the bathing or clipping, and G doesn't have time. I am thinking maybe next month I will take her to a groomer and watch how they do things. (I always think I am going to have spare money next month. Hahahaha.) She is a good doggie. We love her.
There you have it, a snapshot of our family as of today. Now I feel a little less guilty.