Marc started work at HomeStore.com and the first thing that happened was that they sent him to San Francisco. This wasnít awful or unexpected. However, it was rather annoying when his flight home was cancelled, and initially, he could not get a replacement flight to Burbank (where his car was). However, all turned out fine in the end, and no one had to drive to LAX to pick him up. Work is going well, and every morning that Marc hears about an accident on the 405, he smiles as he zooms along to work.
Jackieís work is also going well. A major phase of her project ended in early October and work on the next phase has begun. She expects her current project to be extended for another year. Right now sheís in the middle of defining and scheduling the work to be done, which is really the most challenging stage of a project. Itís fun and frustrating at the same time. Thirty hours a week are not enough!
Jonathan enjoys school, and is doing well. After 9 months of avid Tae Kwon Do participation, he has decided that he doesnít want to do that anymore. Since he participated daily for almost 9 months we feel we got our moneyís worth. Next he wants to do gymnastics. Thereís a kidís gymnastics center opening about a mile from the house in December or January, and we will probably enroll both kids.
Soccer is going well, or poorly, depending on the criteria you use. Jonathan is good at passing, and is turning into a decent goalie. He still needs to work on his dribbling and he needs to learn to drop kick the ball under pressure, but weíre pleased at his progress. Unfortunately, his improvement has not meant that the team is winning, but we try to de-emphasize small details like that. Jonathan had two years on top-notch teams, so itís good for him to see how the people on the other side of the tracks live.
Benjamin reached a major milestone this month. On October 15th, Jackie just put Benjamin in underwear. That day he had several accidents (one of which necessitated laundering Marcís shirt) and Jackie wanted to put him back in diapers. Marc was insistent that we needed to "stick with the program." Jackie agreed to try it for a few days, or until she had to clean the carpets. Miraculously, Benjamin has been dry every day since then. His track record on pooping hasnít been quite as good, but heís definitely getting there. As an added bonus, he has been dry every night, except the one time he fell asleep in Marc and Jackieís bed. Oops. Jackie says, "Well at least he slept on Marcís side of the bed." Marc just crawled into bed on Jackieís side.
October was, of course, filled with Jewish Holidays: Rosh Hashanah (well, OK, that was the tail end of September,) Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah. This year, we actually put up a sukkah. We didnít "live" in our sukkah, but maybe next year. The boys enjoyed decorating it with construction paper fruit. Over the last year, weíve become more involved with the Temple and Jewish activities, partly because of our Havourah, partly because Benjamin is going to preschool, and partly because itís fun and enhances our lives.
One Temple event that we were involved in for the first time was the Trike-a-thon, a fundraiser for the preschool. Several of the pre-school board members (including Jackie) volunteered their husbands for the Trike-a-thon planning committee, so Marc was very involved in the event. Despite weeks of good weather prior to the event (and after it, for that matter) on the critical morning it was misting, with rain predicted for the afternoon. The Trike-a-thon was more than preschoolers riding around a course to their hearts content. There were vendors selling wares, food to buy, raffles, and a silent auction. The Temple had ordered pizza to sell and, because of the expected rain, they tried to cancel the order. The pizza place wouldnít allow them to cancel, which was a good thing, because they sold every slice! We arrived at 10 just as they were setting out the course for the preschoolers to follow. For the next hour, Benjamin was in heaven, tricycling round and round the course, completely oblivious to the weather. The drizzle got better, then worse, and by 11, it was too heavy to stay outdoors. The vendors, food, raffles and auction were moved inside. The triking had to be abandoned for lack of space. Despite the weather, the preschool made over $1800! Imagine what we could have done on a nice day!
The month ended, as always, with Halloween. Jonathan went as his current passion, Harry Potter. Benjamin went as a tiger cat. This year, Benjamin was invited to three Halloween parties, so he got good use out of his costume. Jonathan wore his costume in his schoolís Halloween parade, in which he was one of many Harry Potters. Both boys had a blast Trick-or-Treating, and Benjamin was majorly bummed when we told him that he couldnít go Trick-or-Treating the next day. They donít even care about the candy, they just want to go up to the houses, ring the doorbell, say "Trick-or-Treat", and get something from the residents.
ĎTil next month,
Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin