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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kub Kar 2012

Jackson is not big on the whole "designing" aspect of Kub Kar building.  This year he wanted to go as simple as possible.  Here's the finished product.  He won the "Best Named Car" award.

Funny twist of the night.......and people, this was NOT planned or coordinated.  Here you see it.  A paper kar, an eraser kar, and a pencil kar.  How cool is that?

The paper kar won the whole show.  

Next year is our last Kub Kar year.  I think I'll have to light a fire under Jackson.  We'll need to go out big.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Found Things

I'm not naming names. I promised.

So the on going saga of the Totoro puzzle has come to its conclusion. Some folks related to me, one of whom will remain anonymous and it's not my dad, returned this week from an extended stay with my sister in Tokyo.

One of the items brought back were these two puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces, you ask?  Yup. The original replacements to our first puzzle last spring.  Apparently they were left behind in a drawer.

SO, if any one you know needs spare Totoro puzzle pieces......have them get in touch with me.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

4000 Little Pieces

You may recall in the spring of this year, Sean and I were tackling the ongoing drama of the lost and so difficult to replace puzzle pieces to our first 1000 piece Totoro puzzle.  In the end, neither earthquake nor sudden disappearance could thwart us and the replacements to the replacements exchanged hands in New York and brought safe and sound to our home.  

Another delivery I picked up was to be a second 1000 piece Totoro puzzle, but Diane bought all three of my options and I came home from New York with a suit case full of puzzles.  We finally got around to doing them over the Christmas holidays.
3000 pieces.......well 2999 pieces (yes, we once again find ourselves in the replacement saga) in 8 days.  They are now framed and on our basement wall, some color in our underground cellar.

It was a fun activity for Sean and I.  The boys were doing their own things, but we were all together - every night for 8 days.  They weren't too concerned about our project, except for the odd occasion when Jackson would come by and pick up a random piece.

"Oh, this one goes here!!" and pop the puzzle piece in the right spot.

Way to go kid, your dad and I just spent 20 minutes staring and finding nothing.

  Now we are back to life and finding those moments to all be together in the same room is getting difficult again. But I am happy we had 8.  I loved being together.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another New Year

The trees are coming down today.....the Christmas ones.....not the ugly ones in my front yard....darn.  No appliances died this year.  Christmas was REALLY quiet.  We have almost completed our third 1000 piece puzzle in a week.  That is how the year ended and began.

We did a lot of things this past year.  The boys are growing, Sean did some building, my professional life took left turns......just your normal day to day stuff.

James went to Cuba, he got his driver's licence, and he just keeps motoring through school.  He's been on a date 75% of weekends since he turned 16 and never with the same girl twice in a row (my rule).

Jordan is growing taller and has learned that he does have some athleticism in him.  He plays basketball and he likes to run (though he's not doing much of it at the moment).  His piano is improving and if we can unglue his itouch from his hand, I would call that a minor miracle.

Jared keeps showing us that he's a trooper and is working hard at school.  My fear is that he'll do too well and will lose the help he gets when it's due to that extra support that he succeeds more than we ever imagined.  He's showing more humor this year and is showing his musical talents through choir and band.  He's in a play which will be performed early this year.  Jared was so excited to get a speaking part.  It's given him the chance for extra curricular activities after school.  He spoke in front of thousands and was just as excited to speak in church right before Christmas...only a couple of hundred then.  Small beans.

Jackson is so much fun.  He is laid back and easy going.  He rarely gets into a fuss.  Sounds like I am talking about someone really young......he's almost 10.  I can't get over how practical he is.  Christmas this year was so hard when buying him gifts because he couldn't see the need to buy something that his brothers already owned just so he could have one of his very own.  He loves gr. 4 and gr. 4 loves him.  His biggest stress in life?  What instrument is Mom going to make him play in middle school?  Umm.....saxophone.

Sean built his workshop in a small garage at the back of our property.  We used it for storage, but this year the conversion began.  There's electrical and windows (old ones from the house - Sean is changing out our windows slowly).  I almost feel bad about having to leave it behind one day, but he deserves an even nicer shop.  He's putting it to good use.

At the beginning of this year I thought I would leave the bank behind and start fresh working as a student support worker in the school district, but funny things happen along the way.  Budget cuts, followed by uncertainty of when I would get another contract, the needs of the family, and a new manager at the bank who was relentless......I went back to the bank the day after school was out.  I took a term contract to cover a maternity leave for a teller.  My only demand....if I am coming back and you want me to stay, then you have to move me up the ladder and make it worth my while.  They did.  In less than 6 months I was pulled from the term contract and put into a permanent position.  The training is long and hard, but at the end I will have my lending credentials and licence to sell investments.  It's a higher level job than when I was first married, but much of it is familiar.  Full time again after almost 14 years.  Four kids now.  Let the juggling get more complicated.

It was a good year overall.  We learned some things.  We built some things.  We continue to succeed at times and fail at others, but we always get back up and try again.

What do I think this next year will bring?  Probably more of the same, but for me personally, I think I have big lessons to learn this year.  Don't know what they are yet, but I can feel them coming.