Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve

It's late; I've done my Christmas-Eve duty, and am about to go to sleep, but probably not for too many hours before kids are up.

Holly is asleep on a futon in my office. She wanted to go to sleep where I was. Earlier we had made her a bed on the couch in the front room, next to the kitchen, because I was working up there. This is Christmas-related, because usually she's up late alone, online, listening to music, drawing, watching TV and such.

She's tired. She went with me, Keith and four of our friends on a carolling trip. I'm glad she went. She sang some, too, when they were songs she knew at all. Some of the things we did were madrigaloid, complex things. Sometimes we did The Holly and the Ivy (she knows that), King Wenceslas (she's getting it), and The First Noel (ditto).

Kirby was playing World of Warcraft online with friends (who were also online, but not here). Marty was at work, most of the time we were gone. He was super tired, after his first four days of work, all at least eight hours, and today was the most hectic of all. He went to sleep quickly and peacefully.

Kirby's still awake, I think, but playing quietly.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning, and I'm looking forward to sleeping too. That's cool--I don't dread either one. Everyone has chosen a time and place to sleep, and I think everyone will be happy to wake up. Good.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Very large children

...or: Young Adults at Christmas

I have no more shopping to do. There's a 25-year-old piece of wrapping paper I intended to have laminated for Holly, but I can do it later. I got it in England in the late 70's and it's a photo of antique keys laid out all parallel to one edge or another, and lots of them. I've pulled it out to look at it many times, and once it was up on a wall. Now it's in a tube.

The gifts... music and movies, mostly. Some clothes. A couple of books. Everything is something at least two people would like (not counting the clothes, I mean--not interchangeable for sizes). There's nothing there that the recipient won't be willing to share with others, so we'll all be rich in music and movies. There are a few toys, but not many. We're getting to that point now.

We were all going to go to some friends' open house tomorrow (Christmas Eve), but Marty got a new job and said "sure" to everything, including "Can you work Saturday?" So it will be all but Marty. At 3:00 Keith and I are going carolling with three other friends we've sung with on and off for a long time. We're going to run through a few things and organize ourselves, and then go look at lights and go to a few homes of friends and relatives. I didn't pick any places. I don't care and want it to be as low-key a deal as possible. I tried to persuade Holly to come with us, but she'd rather stay home.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com That's not a tree. It looks pretty good in the dark (not as good with a flash); it's just lights and tinsel run back and forth between a semi-circular hanging candle holder and some eye-screws put into the plywood platform that once had tile, before an indoor fountain malfunctioned some years back... I had planned to get a real tree, but a couple of the kids liked this thing I'd done for the past couple of years. It is easier, less expensive, and ecologically holier-than-I-am, but I don't get to use my very-many tree decorations and the house doesn't smell piney.

I'm enjoying having older kids. I do miss the excitement and toy-stuff, but each of the kids thought of something very sweet for at least one of the others. Marty has two things for Holly and nothing for Kirby, but he'll probably take him to a movie or something before long. Holly has two things for Kirby. What Kirby ordered for Marty might not be here before Christmas, but it's altogether a peaceful, generous, patient year as this stuff goes.

There is my Christmas info-dump and souvenir report.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Three in armor

Though I'm missing it (by choice), today for the first time Keith, Kirby and Marty are all in armor at the same time, off at a "war practice" in preparation for the Estrella War which is near Phoenix in February. I sent the camera with Marty and will try to link to some photos soon or eventually.

When they're armored up they're not Keith/Kirby/Marty, they're Jarl Gunwaldt, Lord Magnus and Bardolf. For most of my adult life I really cared, and now that I'm not doing SCA myself but just being the supply officer back at the barracks, as it were, I still know a landmark moment when it comes, and today is one of those.

There's a photo of Kirby in his armor which can be seen by those with myspace accounts
http://myspace.com/kirbydodd
(click "view more photos" under his main photo)
and there are photos of both of them in costume, when they were much younger, here:
http://sandradodd.com/duckford/children

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Fifteen years ago

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis week

(Larger images are at flickr.com/photos/sandradodd)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Teenagers

Marty applied for some jobs using online forms at the beginning of December. One was for the grocery store that's out our back gate and a few hundred yards up the alley.

I wrote a letter for the manager, saying he's homeschooled so flexibly that any 180 days can be schooldays, per the state, and so he could work any kinds of days. That's to the store's advantage because of child labor laws. If there IS "a schoolday" they can't schedule him past a certain time the night before, or before a certain time on the day. So real years being what they are, that leaves 185 days that aren't school days.

So Marty went in with this mom-letter to introduce himself to the manager and see what he would need to do to get an interview. He had waited a few days after we learned that the manager was off for a week. So Tuesday the 6th he went in and was informed by someone in the office that in order to be considered he needed "a green" on each section, and he had one red and one yellow. She advised him to do the online application again, but instead of agreeing, to always STRONGly agree. (Sometimes that was going to be "strongly disagree.")

How frustrating. But he came home and did it right away, and then went back up to say he had done so.

He came back about twenty minutes later saying "I got my interview!"

"When?"

"Just now." They were done. He starts next Wednesday or maybe sooner. He said they were already looking at the online report on him as he walked into the office.

The sooner had to do with a drug test and physical (not much of a physical). We did that Wednesday, got him the right pants and some new black boots and he's ready when they are. They're talking about 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weekdays. It will be the first time (not counting the one week of junior police academy) that he will live on something resembling a school schedule. Also, you might note that it's a fulltime job. He had applied for parttime. But in the swirl of it all, he didn't object and we'll see how it goes.

Holly, meanwhile, is in a more quiet phase than she's been for a while. She's doing a lot of drawing with a big set of gel pens she got for her fourteenth birthday in November. She's fourteen now, and already has reminded me a few times that she can start driver's ed just before she's fifteen but that she'll probably want to wait until she's fifteen. She's ready to drive.

Kirby is working five days a week at Dion's pizza, and learned yesterday that they are going to start training him in pies, meaning he'll be making pizzas, probably, before long. I asked if it paid more, and he said no but it's more prestigious. So in the culture of large-crew pizzerias, he's moving up a notch.

They all three saw Chronicles of Narnia last night at the midnight showing, but didn't all go together. Marty left here about 8:00 for the pre-movie hanging around. Holly went with Kirby and his group an hour or so later. They found each other there, and several other friends. Marty says it was good, three hours, everything was fine.

Meanwhile, back at home, Keith and I had gone in the hot tub with the air outside below freezing, but it was still and the hot tub builds its own steam room. We had heated it from 42 degrees to 106, over four or five hours. We got two cords of firewood yesterday too, and were tired from moving that around. We're wood-rich and happy-kid rich. When they were little we paid tons of attention to them, and now that they're older they're able to pay attention to one another sometimes while we have the night off.

Very nice.