and what a lovely weekend it was! The weather couldn't have been better, we accomplished many of our planned goals, and we even made sure we kept on schedule for homework etc.! We spent a good part of Saturday at the bowling alley as a family; Aurora bowled 5 games trying out for travel league, Rei got a new-to-him 14 lb. bowling ball (used from the pro shop) that he did amazing with (the child has grown at least 6" this summer and his hands are bigger too so he needed something bigger than Aurora's old 11 pounder). They all bowled (in general) for the first time since the spring and man have I heard subtle complaints about sore arms as they got back into the swing of things. Then we went and got school clothes--new jeans, new shirts, new shoes (for Patrick)... They are quite happy with their purchases and are now ready to face the school year without embarassment (Rei had holes in his jeans, and holes are NOT allowed in any shape or form!). Happily, the school relaxed it's rule on skulls this year so they can again wear things that are not too graphic or disturbing (almost all male clothing has a skull on it somewhere!) and that expands their wardrobes considerably from last year...
We also had an assortment of friends here off and on all weekend. Rei had a friend spend the night Friday night, Aurora had one over on Saturday night. And yesterday Eric and I ran to St. Louis to check out a yarn shop I had heard rave reviews of. It lived up to it's hype and I came home with some lovely yarns to make Christmas gifts with. Quite a satisfying outing! I was pleased, and I really met some nice people there. In fact, I had to laugh because Eric spent some time explaining to one of the older women we met how wonderful it is that his mom and I get along so well and how much he enjoys seeing us sitting in the living room doing our projects together (this was in reference to her sharing how she and her mother in law used to do similar projects and how much they learned from each other). We still need to get groceries bought (didn't get around to it yesterday), and I need to do Eric and my laundry, but in general it was a fantastically productive weekend! Eric and I had family time, we had us time, and we even got some EQ playing in together! Couldn't have asked for better!
This morning I am enjoying a quiet house. I have all the windows open, I have my cup of coffee, and I am basking like the cats in the sunshine and breezes. I have a list of things I need to get done while Eric and the kids are all in school, but it 's nothing too onerous. Eric has to do an oral presentation today so he got dressed up for it, and I have to admit I think it's kinda funny: his class is on transportation and cargo security (something he is militarily an expert at), and he has to discuss potential terrorist attacks/targets in an area local to us--how it could be carried out, how it could be averted. Scary stuff when you come right down to it. We have been talking about it for weeks now (he and I) because I did a lot of the research for it for him. He should do fine.
Brianne continues to report that things are going well at AIT. She is learning to drive trucks, and while she is at the large size at the moment, semi's are coming up next. Scary stuff! We were looking into getting a pay-as-you-go air card for her laptop--apparently there are so many people trying to utilize the ports they have, even wirelessly, that as soon as you think you are situated you get bumped off by someone else. It's really expensive though, and for many you need to sign a 2 year commitment... Not in our budget at the moment! The payg one is a bit more affordable, until you look at usage (mbs used vs just minutes) and given what she wants it for, it could quickly become a fiscal burden to her. We will give her the details and let her decide. She said she had a pass this weekend and was going off base with three other girls; haven't talked to her since then, so my assumption is she had fun.
The rest of the kids are doing well. No word yet on when Alexis' surger is scheduled for, but my guess is it will be mid-September to mid-October sometime. Liisa baby sat them yesterday and called me last night with numerous wonderful anecdotes. Really makes me miss them! Alexis was focused on carrying around "Uncle Rei's" picture on Liisa's cell phone, and when the pic blacked out she would get all upset and ask for where he had gone. As soon as Liisa restored it she was happy again. She was also insisting she had bunnies in her ears. And Justin was playing "video games" now on his leapfrog learning system. Liis says he is really good at them. The best part of her night though was after their baths, when they cuddled up next to her like the puppies do and they watched Peter Pan ("you're not a lady; you're just a sister!"). Tony is preparing for another 2 week training expedition, this time to Wisconsin, leaving the end of the week (still Army Reserve), and Andrea starts a class tomorrow at the local junior college.
I guess I should go find myself more coffee and some breakfast; it's getting to be that time. And I really want to get our bedroom cleaned before Eric gets home and needs to lay down for a couple hours (he works his long week starting tonight). I think this is going to be a good week for us--it's started out quite nicely!