No pictures in this edition. Sorry. Also, not much of a year wrap-up, as we've done nothing of any note this year. Like every other year. So, dig up one of the old letters and read that if you want.
Stinks has entered the high-profile-exec-who-was-caught-doing-wrong phase: "No pictures. No Comments." He's in the 8th grade and is convinced that everyone is watching him, but no one gives a crap about him. Ah, the delusions of adolescence. Much to Dad's chagrin, Stinky has 0 hobbies except boy scouts, camping, and video games. We did send him to computer programming camp this summer, which he liked and continues to fiddle with. Maybe he'll be a little nerd like his mom? Doubtful. But he is now as tall as his dad and loves to point that out.
He's still mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalks, now to save toward a crazy-big camping excursion: Philmont scout camp. He wants to go in 2016. Mom is a little scared about sending him way out there. He might get lost, and then there'd be paperwork to fill out.
Unlike Tim, who really did get lost this year. (see october 12 blog). Fortunately, we found him before we called the fuzz.
Moth is in middle school. He likes to push the envelope. Hell, he likes to push the entire mailbox full of envelopes. If I say, "be home at 5," he's all ready to negotiate, "how about 5:30?"
To which I reply, "how about 5?"
Rinse, lather, repeat, and then he concedes, grudgingly. And he gets home at 5:00:01.
The boys both like to take trips to the library. This pleases their father greatly, as he believes they are reading many books of an academic bent. In this he could not be more wrong. They go to the library only to play video games, as we have never allowed them in the house. And when I say we, I mean John. I'm a bad parent at best who likes to keep the kids quiet by whatever means necessary. Video games are a relatively quiet way of keeping them out of my hair while I read fanfic. John thinks we can do better. Right.
John purchased them both notebooks (computers that only allow internet access) and blocks every website except google, wikipedia and an educational (math and grammar) program. He assigns work on Monday for every night of the coming week. Every week of the year.
Except Christmas. He did give them Christmas off. See, here are Moth's assignments for the week.
The boys did not find this humorous. They have taken to singing "you're a mean one Mr. Grinch" whenever he's in the room, as he's given them HOURS of school work over the break.
Speaking of Grinch, we had no idea what to give the lads for Christmas. Two years ago, I broke the video game ban by purchasing DS's (think gameboy if you're my age, and if you're older? meh, google it). (Dad's okay with them as he can confiscate them, and does, until the extra work for the week is done.) Last year, we got them sunscreen, beach balls, travel kits, and to round it off, tickets to Curacao. It was the big family trip of the century. Seriously. We will be eating beans and weenies for approximately 2 more years, then we'll be done paying the loan shark off.
But we didn't just present these presents. No siree. Two years ago, they opened socks and underwear first, and some other ridiculous gifts, then the DS's. Stunned joy.
Last year, it was all of the silly presents. They really started to get suspicious when Aunt Mary sent them swimsuits and towels. The final present was a diving map of the place and pictures of the plane tickets. Stunned joy.
This year, we had NO idea what to get. So I got a bunch of silly stuff, and, after JOHN suggested it, an XBOX. But how do you present this?
I wrote up a letter which entitled each of the boys to a new, extra-long twin bed and one set of sheets. They've been complaining that their twin beds are too short, see. Really, it's an entree to "we need bigger beds in our own rooms!" Which will happen 2 minutes after never. I have 1 vermin-infested room. I will not have 2. But I figured they'd see the bed coupon and be like, "great."
They opened everything, including the flying monkey slingshots. Seeing all the presents were silly (except the socks, which were useful), they were looking for "the Gift." Last, with building excitement (cause they're on to me) they got to the letter. They opened it, read it. They were like, "cool!!" All smiles and joy.
They were actually excited about the fake present. Had I outfoxed myself?
Hours later, well after lunch, and after Tim had crashed 3 of his Styrofoam gliders and Sean had terrified Loki by chasing him around with the car Aunt Mary and Uncle Kim got him, I "found" a present for Dad. He opened it to find three distinctive green cases containing Madden whatever, some driving game, and some call of duty-type killer game. He was very excited.
The boys were very confused.
"Why does dad get them?"
And out came the Xbox.
Sean still doesn't believe we got it. "Mom, how did you get Dad to agree?"
"It was his idea." And it was. See, our only TV is plugged into something called a VoltBolt. They will still not be able to play games, unless the emperor puts the thumbs up (and the key in). As soon as the boys keyed in to that (ha), they lost some of the video-game induced high. But they haven't started whistling Mr. Grinch, yet.
I give it til Monday.
That's my Christmas story, and I'm sticking to it.
Wishing you a wonderful Holy-day season and a whacky new year, from bird land to your land (this land is, after all, your land. this land is my land... did I get it stuck in your head? Did I?).