February

The month of February always seems to fly by so quickly (either that or I am just going along with the usual cliche about the shortest month of the year) and I am racking my brain trying to remember what we have been up to all month! We recently found out that we will be moving to Eielson Air Force Base (near Fairbanks, Alaska) and are waiting for official orders for our move date.

Isaac – He has been working simple arithmetic problems (1+1, 2+2, 5+5, etc…) and got 100% on his first little math test today. Math seems to be a strong point for him and he loves playing a board game called “Sum Swamp” with anyone who will take the time. When it is your turn, you roll the dice – including two numbered dice and an operation (+ or -) die. The sum tells you how many spaces to go. I have to admit, I get very caught up in it because I have a competitive streak…

This morning Isaac read a level 2 Spider-man book all by himself. Hearing my children read and reading out loud to them are some of my favorite things about parenthood!

The “Green Machine” basketball team had their last game last Friday and Isaac received a trophy for being a super hustler on the court (well, at this age everyone gets a trophy even though no one did anything all that spectacular to earn one) and he has had fun showing it to his friends.

Sydney – Jump roping is going well. Sydney has increased her number of jumps without stopping to 51! Going to her class is very entertaining – they are working on having two kids jump inside one jump rope, getting in and out of the long rope and lots of fancy footwork to do as a single jumper.

Sydney has finished learning her first Mozart piece and is currently working on memorizing it. I don’t know if I will be doing a spring recital for my few students because we’re still waiting for our orders to Alaska and don’t know exactly when we will be leaving. We’ll have to make sure and record the kids piano pieces onto a CD so we can enjoy their songs for years to come.

Liz – I finished Peter’s grey knitted scarf (which I am not completely happy with because when I went to shape it with the iron I had the setting too high and I think I melted some of the nylon fibers) and now I am working on a red, white and blue scarf for Isaac. I chose to do a 4×4 ribbed pattern (knit 4, purl 4). This afternoon I learned how to change to a new color on a row and also figured out how to fix a couple of mistakes. I had a very exciting afternoon knitting while sitting outside in the beautiful 65 degree Florida winter weather (boy, are our systems in for a shock when we get to Alaska)!

Knitting has been a very useful craft as it is very portable and it is easy to sit and chat with friends while I am doing it (I can also play the unsociable card by sitting in a corner knitting while listening to music on my iTouch – I have decided I don’t like to visit with the moms at Syd’s jump rope class – our interests are vastly different). And now I think I am just comfortable enough with my new-found skill to start teaching Sydney how to knit!

I think I am even more excited about moving to Alaska than I ever was about going to England. Almost every book in our county’s library system about the north pole, Arctic peoples, Alaska, snow, polar bears, whaling scientists, etc… has been checked out on my card. This week we found some books about glaciers and a book titled The Story of Snow. I’ve already found some good coats for the kids on eBay (amazingly I could not find any coats here in Florida that will cut it – I wonder why?) and now I need to secure one for me.

Next month I am coming to Utah for my sister Megan’s wedding. Peter had enough frequent flyer miles for one ticket and was very gracious in surprising me with a trip to Utah. The only ticket available was for a trip that lasts 2 1/2 weeks so Peter will be here in Florida taking on the role of home maker and home school teacher while I am gone! I am very anxious about being away from my kids for so long but I am very excited to make it to my baby sister’s wedding!

Peter – He is kind of excited/kind of nervous for his job in Alaska – taking command of a small detachment of AFTAC (the division he works for now) with a host of new responsibilities. As part of his job he will be able to ride snow machines (apparently you cannot call them snowmobiles in Alaksa) and helicopters to remote parts of the state including Burnt Mountain and Attu Island. Thankfully, we know a few families who have been stationed in Alaska (my visiting teaching companion just came from Eielson AFB) including my cousin Perry (I had fun talking to his wife Jessie on the phone last month and getting lots of great tips for getting ready for the move).

Peter is excited to do some hunting and fishing while we live there and is going to take a hunting safety course tomorrow so he can get a hunting license when we get there.

Sydney has had lots of fun doing a new physics experiment with Peter every other week or so. I have to admit that science is not my favorite subject to teach; but then, it’s not fun to sound stupid when you’re trying to explain the various phenomenon of our physical world to a nine-year-old who can tell that you don’t really know what you’re talking about. This is where Peter saves the day! Now the nine-year-old AND the thirty-year-old are learning (and re-learning – somewhat awkwardly) physics.

Isaac is so ADORABLE!

The other day Isaac said, “Mom, when we move to Alaska we’ll have to check our blood pressure all the time to make sure our blood is not freezing!”

Isaac just finished learning a very simple arrangement of “Beethoven’s Ninth” on the piano. Now he is constantly requesting to listen to Beethoven on the CD player! Right now he is jumping off of the couch while listening to a sonata in C minor and having the time of his life. I’ll just enjoy this classical music phase while it lasts…