2009 Newsletter



Parker has had an eventful year.  Some parts were great, some parts not so much.  I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking Parker did bad stuff?  Sort of.  He wasn’t bad so much as bad stuff happened.  Here let me show you:


Yep.  That’s 8 staples you see in that noggin of his.  He decided climbing to the top of a soccer goal and having it come down on you would be an intelligent thing to do.  He discovered he was wrong.  Very wrong.  Actually, that was the only really bad thing for the year.  Yes he torments his sister.  I would be worried if he didn’t. Yes he still talks incessantly.  That’ll probably continue ad nauseum no matter what happens in the world & universe.

He is still in both gymnastics & soccer.  This summer, he went to a camp for each of them.  His gymnastics one was his first overnight camp.  Soccer has also been a lot of fun.  The whole family went with him to his first international tournament in Minneapolis in July.  We got to see the obnoxiously big mall as well as play a bunch teams he wouldn’t normally get to.

Other activities include:

  • Piano lesson, in which he is doing well
  • Creating comics for future “publication”
  • Using his camera to create intricate stop-motion animated clips
  • Convincing the girls at school that there is a door in the boys’ restroom that leads to a fantastic game room and that theirs will be built during the next summer break (it was working for awhile)
  • Has now started a non-sanctioned newspaper at school in which he is editor-in-chief and gives about 10 other kids writing assignments
  • Other stuff I probably don’t want to know about


Carmen, or “Little Miss Bossy” (LMB), is still Carmen.  She doesn’t seem to talk much.  This is mainly because Parker tends to dominate a conversation.  If he isn’t around, she can rival his loquaciousness.  Her main talking points with him are about what she thinks he should be doing.  That’s right.  She is female.

LMB is now in kindergarten and can read pretty well.  I am going to have her starting the Lord of the Rings, this summer.  OK, maybe not, but she is doing well.  She is apparently her teacher’s go-to-girl.  When we heard this during P/T conferences, Lani & just looked at each other.  I then apologized & stated we were there for Carmen Bata.  Her teacher assured us that was who she was talking about.  Wow.  I wonder how long we get to enjoy this before things go bad.

Soccer has now entered LMB’s life.  She is playing on a U6 team with 3 other players.  The only downside is her coach.  This coach is something else.  A real hard-ass.  Thinks she knows more about soccer than her husband.  Some nights I roll over and tell her to lay off her team.  Actually, Lani has done a very good job with LMB’s team and is going to keep coaching her.

LMB got her first “team leotard” for gymnastics.  I used quotes since she doesn’t actually compete yet.  I am pretty sure that is still a year or two away.  She is getting better, though.  My personal favorite is her handstand, which is very straight and getting close to being held for a length of time.  Lani likes watching her doing hand positions like she is an Olympic gymnast.

Other activities:

  • Anything her brother is doing.  She really looks up to him.  She asks me for piano lessons, tries to write comics, do stop-motion animation, etc.

Jason @ Jazz FestJason

Some things have happened for me this year.  First in my mind:  I conducted our band in Carnegie Hall in New York the day after Easter.  It was very surreal.  It was a great trip that took about a week.  We only lost one student and that was only for one stop on the subway.

I have now eaten at 3 different locations featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food.  One was in Boston and two in New York.  I didn’t even attempt the eating challenges.  I just ate there.  I think that I will try to track these places down as I go about further travels.  Yep.  Man vs. Food & shot glasses.  Those will be my travel objectives.

Let’s see, let’s see.  What else.  Oh, I know.  I got an iPhone in July and am now addicted.  I have 140 apps or so on it.  I felt dirty getting it since it is an Apple product.  No way am I moving to Mac for computing, though.

I am now working on learning some different programming languages to help with websites.  I’ll be heading to Mexico on a cruise with the band at the end of March.  Other than that, my life revolves around the kids’ activities.


To sum up 2009 in this short amount of space seems impossible, but I’ll give it my best shot.

This is my last year of the “30 Something.”  I’ll begin the “40 Something” in April.  I think I have done an excellent job of celebrating this last year.

  1. Completed my third half marathon at the Oklahoma Memorial Run.
  2. Made friends with a new group who have become walking buddies.  On a near monthly basis, we have a “girls’ night out.”
  3. Went to the lake with some dear friends from high school and college.
  4. For the first time I “inner-tubed” behind a speed boat.
  5. Enjoyed the summer as a part-time chauffeur for my children.  (They had a blast with summer school activities.)
  6. Chaperoned 3rd graders at Science City during the summer, watching them build and program lego robots.
  7. My children discovered that they were not the only ones who liked to dance at weddings.  (Thanks Beth and Jim for providing the opportunity.)
  8. As always, I’m having fun as the band director at Maple Park Middle School.
  9. Went crazy and replaced our living room furniture.
  10. Carmen has blossomed in soccer due to my coaching skills.
  11. Saved lots of money by using the public library.
  12. With the money I saved, I enlisted the help of a personal shopper on Ebay to enhance my wardrobe.
  13. Finally, because we are so busy, every night home with the family is a party.

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