Dear Sam – very happy birthday to you! We can’t believe you are 7 already, but then again, we certainly can. We have seen you grow and mature so much each year, and have so many happy memories it is equally hard to believe it’s been a mere 7 years. Haven’t you been a part of our lives from the start? We hope you had a really fun time with all those guys over today. They seemed to enjoy themselves and we had a lot of fun with them. I’m exhausted now. I had no idea just how much physical work it is to keep up with 11 guys. I really loved playing kick the football with them, and soccer. We hope you have a wonderful seventh year, and we look forward to seeing what you do next. Just for the record – in case you ever want to know what you were up to when you turned 7 – you are soooo excited about marble runs, you play your electric guitar really well and even have a portable amp to go with it now, you are a great student in school and reportedly only get the “sillies” every now and then but quiet right down when you do, and have fun at recess. You are a mature, loving and intelligent boy. We couldn’t be luckier parents – we respect you and admire you, and love you so very much. Happy birthday!
Instead of sneaking into the boys’ room and waking them up this morning, which seems to take forever, I decided to crow in the kitchen while I sliced their bagel and got it toasting. This made me laugh – so they heard crowing and laughing in the kitchen as they roused themselves from sleep. When I got into their room, Ben was sitting up and rubbing his eyes and Sam was lounging, I think with a smile on based on his tone when he did finally speak. I think that’s a good alarm clock – mom crowing! I lit their candles at their places and served up some blueberry kefir along with bagels and strawberries. Not a bad way to start a Friday. I even managed to send Dave away with a lunch bag, and Sam has a delicious lunch of huge Oli-Ednamode hard boiled egg, carrots and hummus, Greek honey yogurt and …something else…in that fourth Bento box. Not sure… Anyway – it was a lunch to be proud of. I always feel better when I feed my family well. Dave will be laughing as he reads this. Sometimes I do actually get the day off to a good start! That kefir was pretty good. It is made from fermented live microbes…Ben was burping a lot later. Hmmm…cold here – hoping for snow!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankfully the repair was fairly easily accomplished with a run to ACE (thanks Mom and Richard!), a piece of glass cut, glazing tacks and glaze. I learned how to do it. The glazing job is not pretty – kind-of “rough hewn” you could say. But it works. They chickens were very interested in all my tools. I had to rush in there quickly to ensure they would not eat the shiny glass. They love shiny objects. One of them grabbed a piece of glazing, though – the Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) are VERY piggy hens. They are not very sharp but very attuned to finding food. All four of our brown-egg layers laid eggs today – Jersey included! All in the same nesting box. There is a lot of clucking and talking down there when they are all feeling like laying. They all like the same box. Funny to watch them wait for another hen to be done. Like the line in a women’s bathroom – very tightly packed, poking beak into nesting box, clucking a “hurry up” every now and then.
We are planning a snowshoeing outing in the next couple weeks with another family, and Sam is back in school and doing well. He works on extra math or reading at home most days of the week, is attending PREP class at church (to prepare for first communion) and is taking guitar lessons with his dad on Thursday evenings. Over break he passed two swimming levels and is ready to pick up again when we enroll in class. He’ll be a sting ray in case anyone cares or knows the Red Cross swim levels! Cousin Leslie knows 🙂
I am really missing family – cousins, brother, sister-in-law, brothers-in-law, Dave’s parents. Now that my space-a days are over and Sam is in school it is a bit of a rough adjustment. I think over the summer I will pack the truck and go on “deployments” with the boys to see who we can visit. Family – please know we love you and think of you all the time, trying to figure out how to dig up enough money to build a bunkhouse or something so you can come and stay as long as you please and be comfortable. In the meantime, we have plenty of Hawaiian-style futons we can throw down in front of the fire in the large living room, and we have a guest room/office. Please make plans to come visit. I am also thinking about a kayak/camping trip in the San Juan Islands in the summer. That would be so much fun!
I am mystified by how heat pumps work. I figured out the septic system to my satisfaction, but heat pumps have defied my understanding for some months now. A cursory review only confused me more – “the heat pump extracts heat from air – even cold air – and pumps it throughout the house; the process is reversed when it is warm outside and you want the house cool” – or something to that effect. Ok – I get that but how exactly, at a molecular level, does that happen? I understand ion channels and NaK pumps, or at least I did and still basically get it (concentration gradients) so can I apply that knowledge to heat pumps? Is there a wizard in the pump with a wand? Dave tried to explain the thermoelectric principles behind it – that you can create an artificial thermal gradient – and the Peltier-Seebeck effect which has something to do with different metals in proximity creating a thermal gradient (and even a magnetic gradient). Anyway – can someone explain it in plain English to me? Oh – the touch lamp is another mystery. Thermostatic effect there Dave says…
From L to R: John Groves, me, Dave, John’s wife Christine (we’ve known them since NR-1 days in CT 10 years ago – they were at our wedding!), then in front, Melodie, Mom, Richard, Matt, and in back new friends and neighbors Jeremie and Beth. We were at Sound Brewery in Poulsbo enjoying a beer sampler then dinner at Campana’s across the street. I think that is a wonderful new tradition! We had so much fun catching up with friends and having a celebration before the night gets crazy with all the impaired drivers. We were home by 7pm! As I was doing year-end reporting for my business and posting pictures to the web, I was enjoying the happy sounds of Sam and Ben building Legos in their room, playing the electric guitar, and now reciting Twas the Night Before Christmas from memory! They are taking turns switching back and forth filling in the lines! How amazing they are together. A beautiful start to the New Year – reminders that a star was the sign long ago of good things to come and a promise fulfilled. May your New Year be full of promise as well. We remember those in prayer who could use a big bolus of good in 2012. God Bless!