Friday, April 2, 2010

January through April 2010

Spring is springing, birds are singing and the Peiffer home is abuzz with activity!! Punxatawny Phil may have been wrong about Winter ... we've just had a week of near perfect weather - warm sunny days, light breezes, much playground time, shorts & t-shirts, even some kite flying - hopefully a taste of more to come! We are itching to get into the garden for spring cleanup and preparation, but there is still the threat of frost for another 6 weeks! I can, however, get some seeds started indoors!

January - COLD! Not a lot of snow, but it sure was chilly with most days below zero! Matt settled into his new job as a Solar Installer and is counting the days to the end of his apprenticeship studies (April) & 8000 required hours (~September) His new safety concern is not electrocution so much as falling off someone's roof while intalling the solar panels, especially when the roof is covered in ice and snow!

Kaeden started his language class (replacing speech therapy) and is doing well in a small class setting, learning concepts. He mimics his peer group - if the environment is positive, he participates well. If there is a troublemaker, Kaeden adds to the mischief!! His fine motor/academic skills have definitely improved - though we still have some skill-building activities to focus on over the coming months as he prepares for kindergarten.

My Mum & Dad celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on January 30!  WOW! Unfortunately, it was a very low-key celebration with 3 of their 5 children half a continent and world away :( I so wished I could have been there to make a big to-do for such a special occasion. If you're in their vacinity, please stop by and give them a big hug from me!! Only 42 years until I celebrate my golden anniversary with Matt

February - Tyya decided to try her hand at hairdressing - cutting her own hair with kid scissors, using the bulbous brass lamp base as her mirror! Thankfully Tyya has a LOT of hair and I caught her before she did too much damage, but I made it very clear that she is not to do it ever again. It didn't help that one of her best friends hacked her bangs/fringe 4 times in the last couple months. She also sees me cut Matt & Kaeden's hair and my bangs regularly! Brought back memories of my childhood, though I cut my dolls' hair, not mine!

February brought 3 good snowstorms within 2 weeks, and a couple of lesser flurries, dumping a total of 41.9 inches (106cm) of snow - the snowiest month on record in our area. It wasn't the deepest snow we've seen, but the most accumulated in a month. Matt shovelled most of it this year, and the kids had a blast playing in snow that was up to their armpits!! We had a couple of "snow emergency" days, meaning we could not drive anywhere until the roads were cleared by the township. Can you say Cabin Fever?!! So glad we didn't lose power, as the DVD player was well used!

On a whim, I decided to take Kaeden & Tyya ice skating one Friday afternoon. To my surprise, Kaeden took to the ice with confidence, chasing around a tall orange traffic cone (for beginner balance) without stopping or falling for about 5 laps of the rink! As for Tyya, she was like a floppy rag doll, lacking any and all confidence, whining and crying, slipping and sliding all over the ice (despite also trying to hold a traffic cone) barely making a lap for every two of Kaeden's. Tearfully she pleaded "Why is Kaeden so good at ice skating and I'm not?" My answer, "Why are you so good at swimming and Kaeden is not? Let's celebrate that Kaeden is good at skating." She only finally cracked a smile when, while sitting on the sidelines, she saw her brother fall his one and only time whilst getting off the rink!

March - The last month has just gone by in the blink of an eye. We have all been soooooooooooo busy! In a nutshell: weekly gymnastics for K&T, weatherization (energy efficiency) improvements to our house, 2 parent-teacher conferences (Kaeden deemed ready for kindergarten, Yay enrolled in IB diploma course for next 2 years to finish high school!), increased childcare responsibilities, Yay's 16th Birthday (complete with her first taste of pavlova), family photo, women's night out for Sandii, men's weekend retreat for Matt, kindergarten registration for K&T, a day at the circus (S, K&T), "West Side Story" on Broadway in New York City (M,S &Y), Yay started playing soccer (school varsity team) for the first time, Sandii up to 2.5 hrs/30 miles a day in school drop-off/pick-up commuting, about 25 miles (for the month) on the treadmill for Sandii, SPRING sprung!! WOW!!

Matt only has about 2 weeks before finishing the 4th year of studies for his electrical apprenticeship! Still 5 months or so from completing the 8000 hours requirement for the full Journeyman's qualification. He thinks he is running a close second [from the top] in class, but he has maintained perfect attendance for the 4 years, which garners recognition and a monetary bonus at the annual awards banquet, and he is in the running for the highest grades averaged over the 4 years (having topped class 2 of the 4 years.)

Now a couple of side-bars (that is not related to much else!):

I have to share that despite my claims to the contrary for most of the past 14 years I've been abroad, Vegemite does not last forever. Now, understand it was a year past it's use by date (I was rationing it - it was my last jar!) but I opened the lid one day and alas there it was, a spot of mould ... I think I discovered a new extremophile!! If any of you Aussies are swinging by PA anytime soon, please would you bring me a fresh jar of Vegemite! I am getting by on English Marmite (found in a local grocery store) but it is an inferior substitute!

It's tax season here in the US of A. If you think you have it bad ... we pay federal income tax, state income tax, county/regional income tax, property tax, local (municipal) tax, personal tax (for being a resident in our township), a tax for being employed, and state goods & services taxes to name most of them ... and there's even tax on your estate when you die!! Only a few days to get your taxes done [USA] folks!

As I write it's Easter weekend ... it seemed so long in getting here, but indeed April is upon us bringing with it the biggest celebration of the Christian calendar. Hope your Eastertide was so much more than a new outfit, an oversized rabbit, egg hunting and chocolate overload ... as with Christmas, Jesus is the reason for this glorious season.

God bless you all. Thanks for reading!

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