Well, after fighting it since last weekend, I finally succumbed to the crud that's been going around. I'm back at work today, but really wishing I weren't.
Feeling the way I have been, I haven't had a chance to do either birding or SkyWatch photography this week. Heck, I've barely been able to keep up with what's going on at home, for that matter. But seeing how it's been a while since I've posted a family update, I figured it was about time to let everyone else catch up on what's been happening in our neck of the woods lately.
We had a somewhat nontraditional Valentine's Day last Saturday. Instead of trying to battle the masses dragging tired kids to a packed restaurant that evening, we opted to meet one of Tiffany's friends from work for a fun breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, then spent the rest of the morning running errands and such. To really celebrate the day, we then surprised the kids with homemade Valentine pizzas at home that night. Okay, so I'm no Papa John, but at least they looked good!
I also spent half the day Saturday with Mom, catching up on a little paperwork and just spending some time visiting.
Mom is doing pretty well physically. The weeks since the holidays have seemed to be filled with more confusion (and the frustration that comes with it) than was the normal last fall, but the depression that has flared up over the past few winters has still not been evident this year. I am finding that I have to write out for her more and more instructions for using once-routine things like the microwave, TV remote, and the washer and dryer.
Mom went to the doctor yesterday for a regular check-up and prescription review, and the doctor seemed to be pleased with both her awareness and her physical state. She has actually gained some weight for a change, for which I have to thank her current caregiver. Annette (or Joanne or Rebecca, depending on what Mom decides to call her on any given day) has made it a point to take Mom out to eat at least once per week, sometimes twice. I believe their normal hangout is Luby's, although they also hit McDonald's or Wendy's for a cheeseburger from time to time.
This week has been a fun one for the kids. Cat's class has been studying the Middle Ages, and she spent part of last weekend researching medieval education and collecting toilet paper rolls, small boxes and other items for the construction of a castle. She discovered there are a handful of modern universities that were originally founded back in the Middle Ages, something that I never knew. Her class also took a history field trip this week to the Texas History museums at the Taste of Texas (where they also got to have lunch, the lucky dogs!) and the San Jacinto Monument and Battlegrounds.
Cowboy is hard at work learning a poem for a speech meet, acing his weekly spelling tests and reading up a storm. He met his second grade class's monthly goal of reading 180 minutes in the first week of February, and quickly decided to try to double or even triple that goal for the month. His big sister has gotten him interested in a line of "classics for kids" books that we got for them a few years back, and he has just recently finished King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, among others.
Tiffany is, as always, the one that holds us together and keeps us going. I still can't believe she ever agreed to marry me and has put up with all of my shenanigans for all this time. Last Saturday was the twenty-first Valentine's Day we have celebrated together, and while I regretfully must admit that I don't spoil or romance her nearly as much as I once did (or as much as she deserves), she is still in every way the love of my life. I pray that some day (not any time soon, though!) both of our kids will find the perfect someone to love and cherish like I did.
That's what's going on in our lives this week. Drop me a line and let me know how life is in your part of the country.
Have a great weekend, all!