Over a month, eh? Time for a "Here's what we've been doing" post, i guess.
- Travis and Brooke, our friends who used to live around here and then they moved away to plant a church in New Zealand (sniff), came home for a visit! And we got to see them! We actually got to see Brooke and their kids a few times - once for an entire afternoon! - which was completely fantastic. Their kids are pretty significantly younger than our kids, but Katrina painted the girls' nails, and Zane played dress-up with them, and it was really fun to just hang out and have a chance to talk for hours.
And then, when Travis finally got to town (he came a couple of weeks after Brooke), the two of them came over in the evening, along with Beth and Keren, and we all sat around and talked and laughed and talked for several hours. It wasn't quite the late night that we used to have (back when Tuesday nights were a thing, and everyone would stay until 3 or 4:00 in the morning), and we could have spent hours more, but it was just so great to see them again!
- I had a birthday. We celebrated it on Saturday, because Sunday (the actual day) was completely booked solid. So on Saturday afternoon, Beth and i went out for lunch (fun!). Lunch with a friend is always a happy start! After lunch, we came back home, and Beth and Juanito decorated the delicious cake that Beth had made.
It was supposed to be a warm and sunny day, but instead, it was cold and rainy. Our plan to have a picnic and then walk around Meijer Gardens (a membership was my birthday present!), and we DID have a really fast picnic, shivering all the while. We almost exclusively walked around inside Meijer Gardens, though, partly because it was freezing cold and totally raining by then, but also because it was the last day that the butterflies were there! We walked around in the warmth, remembering how Katrina used to be terrified of the butterflies.
And then we came home, and Juanito made delicious steak and chicken on the grill. We ate dinner and cake, opened presents, and then Beth, Juanito, and i played a round of the game that Juanito made for me for my birthday. Yay!
- A few days later, when it was actually warm and sunny, we all went back to Meijer Gardens and got to walk around the new Japanese Gardens. It's beautiful and serene, and i'm sure we'll be back many, many times!
- We've lived in our house now for 17 years, and it's been that long since we painted the front room. Back then, we made the very questionable and terrible decision to paint the room a hideous pink color. It stayed that color, mostly because we were too lazy to repaint it...until now! We painted it golden yellow, which i'm really, really happy with. It's so bright and cheerful!
- Juanito is building giant desk/bookshelves/cabinets, which will replace my desk and the DVD rack and the table-thingy, and will hopefully look prettier in the process! He's finished the desk tops and the DVD shelves so far, and it looks amazing. I'm totally looking forward to seeing the finished product!
- The school had band concerts for 5th, 7th, and 8th grades, skipping 6th grade altogether. The reason given was "the sixth grade isn't ready." I asked Katrina if that was true, and she said, "Yes. We are totally not ready. We don't have any songs that we sound good on at all." Sad.
Less than a week before the concert, Houston came home and announced that his saxophone wasn't working because someone had broken it when it was at school. Juanito looked at it for a while, trying to figure out what was wrong with it and if he could fix it, and eventually Houston explained that there was this one button? That made it go between higher and lower notes? And that was totally what he was having trouble with? I wrapped a hair tie around it to hold the button closed unless it was actually pressed, and ... totally fixed! Woohoo!
The concert was actually quite pathetic. The seventh grade had less than half of their members there, probably because we were given exactly five days' notice that there was even going to BE a concert. I felt so sorry for the poor little seventh graders who were supposed to have a whole section and instead ended up playing a solo.
The eighth grade sounded significantly better, but they were still missing half of their band. (I've complained about this after every single concert, but the choice of music is always absolutely horrible. It's consistently tuneless and slow and boring.) Afterwards, my mom commented, "Well, on the bright side, the saxophones sounded great!"
- Katrina has lost four teeth in the past two weeks. Four. I think they're all on the top too, so her little smile has giant gaps and is all adorable.
And i think that those are the highlights. At least, those are the things that i've taken pictures of, so i remember that they happened.