Zev Family Newsletter: January 2000

The first week in January, Jonathanís best friend decided to try a "free" Taekwondo lesson at a place just a mile from the house and ask Jonathan if he wanted to try it too. Jonathan went to the free lesson and fell in love. He begged us to let him enroll in Taekwondo, and was willing to give up both soccer and bowling to do so. We said yes, not realizing what we were in for! Taekwondo is run like a gym, i.e. you pay per month, regardless of how often you come, and it requires a year contract. You can come as often as they have classes (there are classes for kids every weekday). Taekwondo is pricey, and if Jonathan wanted to quit after a few months, it would be VERY pricey. However, so far he has gone to class every day, and he loves it. It has had the secondary benefit of forcing him to do his homework quickly, so that he has time for Taekwondo. Last week we learned just how pricey it is. In addition to the monthly cost, if Jonathan wants to move up in belt levels, each "test" for the next level belt is $50.

Jonathan also started piano in January. After only a month, he can play a few simple songs. Heís learning to read music, too. Heís not crazy about the practicing, but he does it (15 minutes every other day) without complaint. Jackie encourages him to play duets with her. However, theyíve run into a problem. Whenever they do this, Benjamin wants to join in the fun. So they find it much easier to play together when Marcís around to run interference with Benjamin.

Unfortunately, Marc has had to put in some long hours at work, and his ability to "run interference" has dropped considerably. Viva is scheduled to debut its website for renters in mid-February, which means that January has been a little crazy at Marcís work. He did make time to take the boys to "Disney On Ice," to take Jonathan to "Fantasia 2000" and to take Jackie to see the Bobs (a singing group that we are big fans of.)

Jackieís work has also been a little hectic. The analysts in charge of writing the Radar algorithm document (which tells her team what code to write) could not make up their minds on what should be in it. Consequently, more than a month after this document should have been cast in concrete, they were still making major changes to it. Six weeks before the scheduled end of the project, Jackie estimated that her team of programmers would need 12 weeks to do it all. Did this convince them to freeze the algorithm document? No, but the scope of the changes did drop considerably

Benjaminís favorite words are "Donít know!" In his pre-school class the teachers interviewed each child, asking him or her questions like "Whatís your favorite color?" and "Who lives with you?" The other kids gave detailed responses, which the teachers wrote down. Benjamin gave the same response to every question Ė "Donít know!"

Benjamin continues to adore babies. We have friends with a 7 month old baby, and every time we see them, Benjamin wants to hold the baby. He has far more patience for holding the baby than the baby has for being held! Jonathan also loves babies and wants to hold them. We donít know how we got such sweet kids, but we sure are grateful for them.

ĎTill next month

Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin