3 Mar 2014

Winter Tales

Posted by Sam

February 17, 2014

Dear friends,

This is How We Be number 133; time flies. Can’t imagine how these latter day blogs can be too interesting to most of you. We won’t be hurt if you ask to be taken off the list!

We had a wonderful holiday season. Didn’t do anything special, just enjoyed family and friends. The winter weather slowed us a bit, but we kegged up and rode it out just fine. The ice was very unusual for the DFW area and I’ve noticed that a lot of plantings died, big cacti and some roses. The yucca I planted in front didn’t make it, and the sweet crape myrtle Jamie brought from North Carolina doesn’t look like it will take root. I’m currently trying to figure out how to put in a raised bed so I can put down some decent soil. The spot gets full sun from noon on, so my choices are somewhat limited. The little Japanese Maple I’d like will not do well there.

I am still subbing in the Mansfield School District. Still happy doing it, and have just taken a long term sub assignment. They called me from one of my favorite classes and asked if I would like to work full time from March 17th for a minimum of six weeks. One of the paras is having surgery. It will probably be a stretch, but I want to do it. It is a small class with a teacher and 5 paraprofessionals for 8 students. They are all physically just fine, but have a variety of severe behavior problems. Mainly, we endeavor to teach them how to deal with their frustrations, how to handle “No.” They are 5th and 6th graders, working below grade level, most having the attention span of a gnat. Melt downs are common, often violent and always very loud. I haven’t had the training to restrain a child, so I am usually not required to haul a kid into the cool-down room. I work hard to keep them from melting down! But this class is one of the least challenging, physically and emotionally, of the classes I sub in, so it’s a good job to try long term.

Yesterday I came out into the kitchen at 8 am, and found Dave on the patio with his coffee and the newspaper. Ahhhhhh, Texas!  The days are getting longer and the wind is dying down … great weather, in the 70s. We leave the doors open and turn the heat off … just great!

The kids are all doing fine. Jason still enjoys his job; Jamie is also subbing, mostly with little kids. Susie has been accepted at Utah State University (in their old home town of Logan) with a 2 year full scholarship. She can’t wait. Becca is playing softball and has sort of cooled in her love of cheering. Seems like she enjoys the physicality of it, but cheerleaders, not so much. Susie and Becca both were in a recent performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Susie played Bun Ho, the Chinese mama to perfection, singing in Mandarin and getting many laughs. Becca was in the song and dance ensemble and was a surprise in a comedic bit in the last act, playing to the audience with perfect timing. Katie is in rehearsal for the spring play, just started and  I can’t remember what she is playing. A good part, she says. She is blossoming and when we see her in her choir performances, it makes me cry, she is so pretty. Xander got into making rubber band bracelets over the holidays and parlayed it into about 100 bucks that we know of. He is still getting better at archery and just started baseball practice. Basketball, this year, was a real breeze, thanks to Michael Jordan’s grandson (he must be) who played on Xander’s team and averaged 50 points every game that went to 56.  Jason and Jamie bought a barely used 2013 VW Passat, so feel they finally have some reliable wheels, but Susie’s car is still not passing go, so Grandpa’s Taxi is in use most days when Jamie works. Davey does Taxi duty without ever complaining and really helps out. Both of us feel good about it, because it connects us with the family; makes us feel a part of the clan.

Warm wishes to you and yours,

Sam and Dave

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