There have been a few changes in routine over here lately in the Tormanen household. The kids are growing and things evolve.
One major change is that the boys are no longer doing karate.The photo above is from what was their last class on the 24th of January. We'd been going to the dojo twice a week for four years (rarely missing a class) and both boys have earned their black belts. The decision didn't come easily, but it was time. Both Brian and Mark are starting to explore other interests, and the weekly calendar only allows for so many extracurricular activities.
I had hoped to get a photo of the both of them with Sensei on this evening, but he was wrapped up in new student meetings so that didn't happen. I did drag Sensei into the cafeteria at school a week or so later so he could say a proper good-bye and good luck to Mark before he (Sensei) headed up to mentor the Reaching Higher program.
Brian is really enjoying archery and is in two bands. He's playing Tenor Sax this semester for regular band and Alto Sax for jazz band. He and Mark are both interested in pursuing fencing. I've signed them up for the May session. We could have done sooner, but decided to wait it out a bit - getting through archery and most of spring soccer first.
Mark has already stated that he does not plan to join archery, but of the two boys he is the most eager about fencing.
He is also signed up for spring soccer.
Mark: I'm not sure I want to continue playing soccer, though, when I'm in middle school.
Me: Why is that?
Mark: Because it gets more aggressive.
Me: You do know that you've been playing in the middle school league for two seasons now, right?
Mark (who coaches have told us is one of the most aggressive defense they've seen): I HAVE???
Wendy is not currently planning to play soccer this spring. I'll allow that that could change, but right now she sounds pretty adamant. She's working between 16-20 hours a week right now and keeping up on her studies while enjoying an active social life. She's got a pretty good balance going on.
Even Greg's routine has been different lately. Instead of working at the shop lately, he's been teaching. As I type this, he is at the library preparing for tomorrow's class. This should go on for at least another month, and will probably be a more common part of his work routine. What it means at home is that he leaves for work an hour earlier than he did before, and he has been beating Mark and I home, which is nice.
Spring break - I think, for the first year in a long time - we are not going anywhere for spring break. Partly because I waited too long - but I waited too long due to all those unplanned bills coming in. And it's okay. I'm rather looking forward to a week of being home to get some projects done.
Summer is shorter this year with our district now beginning school before Labor Day. By my count, and with the hope that we don't have any more snow days, we have 74 days of summer vacation this year. That's 10-25 less summer than we've had in past years.
I did get one summer getaway planned yesterday with the hopes that it works out. I always feel like I'm throwing darts at the calendar when I'm picking dates. I squeezed this one in between orientations and open houses. If it pans out, we'll enjoy five nights in Gatlinburg. If it doesn't work out - I'll be offering someone a deal on five nights in Gatlinburg. grin We haven't been there since the big kids were little. We find that we are repeating some of our favorite places so the younger half gets to enjoy them as well.
Greg is planning to go hunting this year for the first time since he was a kid. That's a change.
I am hoping to go backpacking again.
One of these days we'll get away together on the same adventure.
As for me - I switched up my work routine two weeks ago.
I'm still working the same amount of hours - but I traded in my lunch/recess shift for a temporary [sub] two hour clerk position in the office (covering the lunch shift) I do miss the kids on recess, but I also love being in the office - even for the puke shift. If it's not a position next year, chances are that there will still be a job open in the lunch room that I can re-apply for. While subbing is a pay cut (minimum wage) I made the decision that the experience has value. I then sat down with the budget notebook that I mentioned a few posts ago and made a few tweaks.
It's all good.
And - speaking of jobs, if anyone is interested in starting in the schools, the lunch room is a great way to start and a great way to get on the email lists. You can find a list of all the externally posted non-teaching vacancies in our district here.
As for me, today - I need to get out and take a walk. I overslept this morning - which is pretty much unheard of - and I've been a slug ever since. We did enjoy some company last night, the kids have friends over today and Uncle George came for lunch, but I'm still under 1,500 steps at nearly 4pm and according to the forecast - we've got rain for the next three days.
Time for me to get moving.