For most of the last year, J. has been extraordinarily lonely, hardly connecting with anyone his own age–but recently, a few friends from school have introduced themselves, and he also seems to be getting along better with B. and K. (Not all the time, and he doesn’t often get along with them both at the same time, but they’re often watching movies, playing computer games, trying out catch, or playing hide-and-seek.) All this seems to make J. a bit happier with his life.

B. seems to be making some new friends as well–he’s found a couple of kindred spirits at the middle school, and though that doesn’t entirely make up for not seeing his old friends as much as he’d like to, it’s making his transition to the new environment go about as well as it possibly could.  There are rough spots, but it is middle school, after all.

K.’s new friends moved right into the neighborhood.  They’re from a wonderful family a couple of houses down from ours, and though the kids are a bit younger than K., they all seem to get along.  In fact, it may even be good that they’re younger–a lot of K.’s same-age friends are beginning the craziness of the preteen/teen years, and occasionally it’s nice for K. to get away from that drama. Maybe when her new friends enter it, K. will be far enough in that she’ll be able to be the stabilizing influence. We can hope.


Backyard Shed

We’ve been planning to put up a shed in the backyard for a couple of years now–more as a sort of playhouse than anything else, but we also plan to use it to store bicycles.

We finally got our shed (in a giant kit) about a month ago, and bit by bit, we’ve been putting it up.  J. has helped with almost every step of the process, but B. & K. have also done a fair amount of the work.  We got the roof shingled just in time for it to snow last Monday.

It has been fun to work together and has helped our relationships to have a common goal.  We have the last bit of painting to do (as soon as we get a day that’s warm enough with little wind–and there are adults around to supervise).  Then we may need to think of a new family project.  Because working together seems to be good for us.

Six Weeks of School Already

I can’t quite believe it either.  Where has all the time gone?I have only one elementary school student these days.  K enjoys walking to and from the school, sometimes with our new neighbors, and she seems to enjoy school.  K recently helped me a bit with my latest novel–reading and giving comments.  She was very encouraging.  And I also loved it when she said, “Anya hates math?  How can anybody hate math?”

B seems to be enjoying his first year in middle school.  He’s making a few new friends and has joined a puzzle-game club.  (He was invited after designing a digital Rubik’s Cube.) On the whole, the transition has gone better than he feared it would.  Hopefully that will continue.

J is handling school reasonably well, also.  At last count, he had thirty-two of the pride tickets they give kids for working hard, being respectful and helping others at school.  He’s also been doing a lot of work at home to help us put up a bike shed/playhouse in our back yard. (The other kids have helped some, too, but J has been out there as often as it’s not raining, working hard.)

So, all in all, we’re doing pretty well.  In fact, we’re worlds away from where we were this time last year.  It’s refreshing.  (Or would be if we didn’t have such a long ways to go yet.)