More days to come, new places to go

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted family news here mostly because I do that on Twitter several times a day. For more on that, you can read this and then join here. It’s free and easy and you’ll like it. I promise.

And now, the news:

  • Since the end of October, we’ve been mad for Guitar Hero III. Although playing the game is a blast, equally cool is watching my boys groove and sing to some of my favorite bands. Right now they both like “Even Flow” and “Holiday in Cambodia“. Thomas is the house champion in career mode, but we still only have one guitar so we haven’t settled on a true champion.
  • Thomas’ video game time has been limited, though, due to poor scholastic performance in the first half of this semester. He has been having problems getting his homework done and is easily distracted when he’s supposed to be doing homework. We suspended gaming privileges until he got his grades back up and his computer has been disconnected from the internet. With Tina’s help he’s been able to get his grades up closer to where they should be but he’s still got a lot to learn about managing his time.
  • Graham had a chess tournament yesterday in which he recorded two draws and a win for his team. He’s also become a pretty good Medium-level Guitar Hero player. He’s so fun to watch play because the guitar is a better size for him than the rest of us. He really looks like a rockin’ dude when he plays! He and Rory, our little girl kitten, have become good buddies and she sleeps by his head at night.
  • The kittens are doing great and Ming has grown used to their eager presence. Tina took them to the vet to get them neutered last week. The boys were as rambunctious as ever that night but poor little Rory has been sluggish until today. Because she has stitches, she has to wear one of those funnel collars to keep her from ripping the stitches out. She spent much of the weekend on my lap trying to lick through that damn collar. Funny but sad. We’ll take it off Tuesday morning.
  • Yesterday morning we received our Oregon kicker check in the mail. The kicker law says that the government has to give back money when their income is more than they estimated. This results in a “surprise” tax refund every few years. The average kicker check this year was supposed to be around $600 and we did a little better than average.
  • The boys’ last day of school is on December 21st. Sometime soon after that, we’re hitting the road for Phoenix, Arizona, by way of San Francisco and Moreno Valley. We’re looking forward to the trip since the boys haven’t seen their cousins Wil and Xander in so long. The drive shouldn’t be bad since we’ve broken it up into three days with visits of friends and family on the way.