It's been forever since I've posted. This is mostly due to my being very busy at work (which is when I find I post updates because it's when I'm on a computer) and partly due to the same old same old with my life--we are all healthy (thank God), jobs are going well, kids are doing well, nothing really new going on.
But just to prove I'm alive, I'll take a few minutes and share some details.
I think I wrote last time that Luke was going to start taking ukulele lessons (did I?) and I bought both the kids & myself a ukulele. He's had 3 lessons and is enjoying playing, although practicing every night is sometimes a challenge to get him to do after a long day of school and homework. His first song is the SpongeBob FUN song, which has motivated him to play.
Sophie, being left handed, went back and forth on whether she was going to have us buy her a special left handed uke or just learn to play right handed (which I didn't of when I bought her pretty green right-handed ukulele from Amazon). She has now played around with the uke, and learned chords and songs that she's decided just to be a right handed player, adaptable leftie that she is, which will make things easier for her in the long run. There are a lot of resources out there for left handed players, but if she plays right handed she can just use the regular songs and chords that I have.
I LOVE the ukulele. I taught myself by watching some youtube videos and then by printing songs from the internet, which have chords listed with the songs. I also bought some music books. I've been playing over a month now and am getting pretty good. I can play quite a few songs pretty smoothly. My favorite is Chim Chim Cheree from Mary Poppins--it has some complicated chords which I've been working hard on. And I can play a mean Rainbow Connection.
The only thing is my fingertips went pretty much permanently numb after the first couple of days of 1 or 2 hour practice sessions. They aren't just calloused. I think I did some nerve damage. This isn't uncommon, according to my google searches of people who play stringed instruments. Even if I take a night off (which I don't often do), they stay numb. I just deal. It's worth it. I love this little instrument! I play at least an hour a night, sometimes more. It's a major stress reliever. I just get lost in the thing. The music is a puzzle I am solving. And it's pretty and I like to imagine what it would be like to perform on stage (which has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.... but will likely never happen, but I can dream).
Speaking of puzzles, I've finished watching BBC America's Sherlock. Best. Show. Ever. If you haven't watched it, please do. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Mark was watching Sherlock this summer while Sophie & I were watching Dr Who. Then Sophie started watching it, then I finally caught on. Now I am re-watching episodes because there are only 9 of them and there's nothing else I want to watch that even compares. The next new episode won't be out until late next year.
Luke turned 9 yesterday! Slumber party at our house tonight (Harry Potter themed--just three boys coming over). Sophie is in a play that opens November 21--Peter Pan. She's got tons of homework every night but she's getting As and hanging in there. We go to St Louis 11/17 for her 1 year check up--I'll post pics of her X-rays when I have them. Mark is doing well; he's handling work just fine, he's got his chronic back issues under control for the most part with quarterly back injections and regular physical therapy. My job is good; I go to Indy next week for our company's appreciation day. Our campus is probably going to get Campus of the Year (based on the numbers, our campus Pres thinks we are going to win, which is pretty cool).
We will go to Indy for Thanksgiving this year with Mark's family. I get Wed, Thurs, & Fri off work, company paid days off--all three--which is sweet. It's hard to believe we are already almost to that time of year.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Compared to what was going on a year ago, my family life is a giant leap forward easier, calmer, simpler, happier, healthier and more secure. I'm going to do my best to remember that this Thanksgiving!