Sunday, October 04, 2009

I am such a slacker

I am way too late in keeping this up to date. Life has been very busy, just like everyone. I read my nieces blogs and they shamed me into making the time.

The kids have started school. That is going OK but not spectacular. Ian was in a class that was sort of on hold because it was over the state size limit so they knew they were going to hire a new teacher and split the class. As a result he came home every day complaining that they were giving him "baby" work to do. I had to agree. All of his teachers agree that he needs to be in a gifted or other accelerated program but the bureaucracy of the county gets in the way. Last week his soccer coach told me he was on the field talking about polarity. First we had to wait for the class re-org to finish, then they told us he can have a preliminary test in late October, then the real test in 120 days. I blew up. Half the year is over by then. We are having him tested by an outside psychologist next week. The $500 will be worth every penny if he can get into a better program.

While I am on Ian. We had his 8th birthday party. We had a beach party at our favorite beach which is locally known as "picnic tables". It was a relatively easy party so we let him invite everyone he knew. With families we had about 70 people. The day was perfect. It was warm, sunny, and the waves were little 1 to 2 footers. Perfect for little kids with boogie boards. Everyone had a blast. It was a perfect Florida party. Ian also just got his yellow belt in junior karate and he is joining the cub scouts. He is a busy guy.

Chenna is beginning to branch into new things. She still goes to dance and Girl Scouts but she has added the volleyball team at her school. She has entered middle school which is proving to be a steep hill for her. She has a lot of difficulty organizing to get to the right class with the right books, assignments, etc. She had to spend last weekend at home catching up on overdue work but she did it. She has come a long way in her reactions to being told to do things she doesn't want to do.

Last night her and Cherie went to the "mall madness". That is a Girl Scout event where the girls go to the mall at closing time and they lock them into the mall until 6:30 AM. Many of the stores stay open (mostly Starbucks) all night. They watch movies, play games, socialize, etc. It sounds like pure hell to me but they had a great time.

We did not get to d0 our usual long vacation this summer due to my work commitments. We did get away for a week to the keys. The kids had never been there. Cherie and I were avid scuba divers pre-kids so we have been looking foreword to the day the kids would take to the reefs. We stayed at Sugarloaf Key which is about 20 minutes up from Key West. The weather was hot but with the AC in the camper and our campsite right on the beach we were fine.

The highlight was a couple of snorkel trips to the reef. As we expected Chenna took to the water with no problem. Ian was very tentative. He wanted to stay next to the boat for a while. Once he looked down he saw a school of about 100 yellow snapper under us. That was all it took for him to be hooked. At one point he saw a 6 foot nurse shark. I thought he would be terrified. He thought it was the coolest thing he had ever seen.

We did a lot of touristy stuff in Key West like hang out at Mallory Square at sunset and go to the pirate museums. It was one of our best trips ever. We will be doing that again, hopefully on a regular basis.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As promised.  Here are some pictures of the new addition.  Still no name but the kids are leaning towards Falcor.  I think Falcor is an ancient Chinese luck dragon.  She is a cute thing and feeding her is a lot of fun.  She attacks the crickets with a vengeance.  We found that her habitat was about 10 degrees cooler than it should have been so we added a ceramic heater.  Now the hot end of her terrarium gets up to about 100 F and the cool end up to about 85 in the day.  At night when the heat light goes off the whole habitat is about 80 F.

Ian and I went to a cub scout troop meeting tonight to check out a den we are thinking of joining.  It seems like a great group with good kids and a very active bunch of adults.  We will probably end up joining them but Ian wants to think about it.  All of the kids go to another school so he was a little intimidated.  His school doesn't have a cub scout program so we had to go looking.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A lot has happened since the last blog.  Both of the kids has science fairs, Christmas, the Disney Marathon, and visits from relatives.  The latest big news is the arrival of another member of the family.  Ian is now the proud owner of a Bearded Dragon.  We spent the last couple of weeks building her habitat in a 55 gallon aquarium we bought at a garage sell.  We studied about them, and finally after making a couple of trips to the pet store we selected one and brought her home (the girl at the store says she thinks it is a girl but it's too early to tell for certain).

Chenna and Ian are in the process of naming her.  She is a lot of fun.  She eats live crickets and fruits and vegetables.  It's pretty exciting when she eats the crickets.  I am certain that will be a
favorite of Ian and his buddies.  I'll post some images as soon as we get some good ones.  This is a big step for Ian.  It was just like Christmas for him last night.  He couldn't sleep and got up at 5:30 to see when we could go to the pet store.

Going back to older news.  Christmas was fun as usual.  We went to Disney for our annual time wtih Mickey for the holidays.  We stayed at the campground and really relaxed.

Cherie and I ran the Disney races this year.  She did the 1/2 marathon on Saturday and I did the marathon on Sunday.  It was very nice weather and the course is great.  I rarely tunred my ipod on because they had so much entertainment along the way, and the crowds were awesome.  Both of us missed our PRs (Personal Records) by just a little.  I was ahead until both legs cramped at mile 24.5.  I ended up finishing in 3:41:30 which was about 1 minute 30 seconds behind my PR.  All in all I felt like I ran a smart race and gave it all.  I feel good about it.
  Cherie finished in 2:04 which was about a minute behind her PR.  She had a nose bleed from miles 9 through 11 but never slowed down.  Tough woman.  

The picture above is her at the finish with our neighbor Jess Trio who finished her first 1/2 marathon.  Notice the high fashion ice bags on the knees.  What a fun sport.  Below is one of me at the finish, then the three of us at the after race celebration showing off our bling.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

What a great day! It began with
Ian's Book Parade at school. Ian
went as Jango Fett, and marched in the parade with his class.Chenna went
to school as Princess Leia.

After school the kids came and helped make goblin eyes for the cul-de sac party.

Soon it was time to put out the pumpkins:

We trick or treated with the Star Wars theme: Jeff was Yoda and I was Obi Wan Kenobi. Julie came with us and the kids got a ton of candy. Grandpa joined us for the cul-de-sac party after trick of treat, and we all had a great time.
Saturday Ian had a soccer game and then
we went to the Founder's day parade: that's Chenna in the truck!
It has rained ever since the parade!

The rest of the day was quiet.

Tomorrow Chenna sings in the choir

at church and Ian has soccer pictures. Back at it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Halloween!

It's time for the annual Halloween carving. This year both Scott and Kyle are at college, but we did a few gruesome pumpkins in their honor all the same. John and Julie came, and so did Grandpa. Ian and Jeff did the cleaning out job, and we are roasting pumpkin seeds tonight.

Here is Chenna, who swears she wants to live where it's cold!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Yesterday we went to the Easter egg hunt at Chenna's school. It was a nice day with some light showers but they held off for the hunt. Chenna helped by doing some of the face painting.

We have had a nice Easter so far. We got up early and went to sunrise mass on the beach. There were several thousand people on the beach. It was a nice morning. Chenna and I watched some dolphins and pelicans feeding just off the shore.

Later, we came home and saw what the Easter Bunny left for us. It was the usual 2 minute frenzy.

Cherie has been cooking all weekend for the big feast at John and Julie Cooke's. We are doing some of the traditional favorites such as Easter bread but the main theme is Brazilian / South American. We are doing tapas, followed by soup and salad. The main course is a

Charrasqueria like they have in Brazil where the meat comes out on long spits and you carve off pieces for the guests.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ian's Room

I've been working on Ian's room. I like the way it's turning out. He wanted the theme to be space and rockets. you can see the very cool curtains my mom made for him. It's hard to see in this image but those colored spots are planets. Cherie found a bed set that I swear must be from the same manufacturer. The pattern is identical.

The paint on the walls is supposed to look like a sunset which becomes the light blue sky and then fades to a darker blue near the ceiling. I did that by painting the different colored stripes, then using my compressed air sprayer to blend them at the transitions.

I found these lights on the Internet. You can also see some of the glow in the dark planets that are hanging all over the room. Even Pluto is included.
This is another shot of the curtains and the view out the window. It's a jungle out there.

Our friend Julie found the ceiling fan at Lowes. It fits the theme perfectly.

Next is the bed. I have some of the lumber to start that. It will look like a launch pad with a Saturn V rocket. After that I plan to make a corner bookshelf that looks like and Ares V rocket.

I'm having lots of fun. I wish I had more time to spend on things like this. Ian seems to love it.


The Tail of the Lizard

Races for three weekends in a row. This weeks event was the tail of the lizard 2 mile race. It is run in conjunction with it's older brother the "eye of the dragon" which is a 10K (6.2 miles) race. The unique thing about this one is it includes a Florida mountain. It goes over the Eau Gallie Causeway and back.

All 5 of us ran the race and the guys all brought home hardware. They had some really cool plaster geckos for trophies. Ian was 3rd in his age group and Hank was 2nd in his. I won 2nd place overall, losing to a 14 year old by 1 second in 13:15. I felt a little guilty because most of the more competitive runners in my age group ran the 10K but I wanted to be at the finish when Chenna came across and there is no way I could do the 10K and make it in time.

Chenna came in a very respectable 7th in her age group in a time of about 25 minutes. Cherie ran with Ian so she was not out to place, although I believe she could have if she had run the race alone. See the complete results at Scroll down a ways, the first half are the 10K results.