Zev Family Newsletter: Dec. 2001 - Feb. 2002

Performances

December means holidays, and holidays means holiday performances, and this year was no exception!†Jonathanís school put on a performance, Jonathanís class put on a performance, Benjaminís school put on a performance, Benjaminís class put on a performance Ė Whew!† Then, just to make sure that we had our fill of the performance diet, Jonathanís class put on performances for Black History Month and Presidentís day.

Shoes with red, white and blue laces

In December, Jonathan got new shoes.† Although he has been able to tie his shoes since Kindergarten, he doesnít like to do it, so we bought him curly laces.† He was pleased that his Daddy found him laces that are red, white and blue.

Jonathanís class quilt

One of the things that Jonathanís teacher does is to have the children make individual quilts representing what the class did.† This year she had the class make an additional quilt for the New York firefighters.† Each child decorated a square of cloth, and once they were sewed together the children did the quilting themselves.† This created some community interest, and the story made the newspaper, and the class got a field trip to the new Los Angeles fire fightersí museum.

Lost another tooth

Jonathan lost another tooth.† Now both adult top front teeth are in, and the ones on either side of them are missing.† This gives him somewhat of a beaver look. Jonathan is losing his teeth somewhat later than average, and we were hoping that this would help him avoid braces (giving his mouth time to grow before the adult teeth came in.)† But we are convinced that the only chance he has to avoid braces is if he continues to lose the tooth next to the one coming in.† And then the very last adult tooth has to not come in at all!

Soccer

This year we discovered the joy of playoffs and tournament play.† In the lower divisions, they donít keep win loss records, and when the season ends in December, then you are done with soccer.† They start keeping win/loss standings in Division 5 (8 & 9 year olds.)† As we have mentioned, Jonathanís team did very well this year, and finished the season undefeated (with 2 ties.)† In December, he had playoffs, and the team won its four playoff games as well.† (Including two games on one day that was so windy that Jackie, Benjamin, Grammy Blanche and Grandma all watched the game from inside the car!)†

The three best teams from each of four Valley soccer leagues then play each other in tournament play.† They formed the 12 teams into 3 pools of 4 teams each. After 3 games, Jonathanís team had beaten each of the other teams in their pool.† Next, the first-place team from each of the three pools, and the best second-place team went on to tournament playoffs.† Here a little controversy came into play.† Normally, the team with the best first-place record (which was Jonathanís team) would have played the second-place team (which turned out to be another team from our league.)† However, the powers-that-be did not want teams from the same league to play each other in the tournament.†† So, normally, the second-best first-place team would have played the second-place team.† However, these two teams had played each other already in the tournament, and the powers-that-be did not want this either.† So the third-best team played the fourth-best team, and Jonathanís team played the second-best team.†

This is significant, because the top two teams from tournament play go on to play in Bakersfield.†If you have the two top teams play each other in the second-to-last round, then you donít send your best teams to Bakersfield.† Jonathanís team lost the game against the second-place team, and with that, the season was over for them.† It was a lesson to the kids on losing, one they hadnít had yet this season, and a lesson to the parents on the capriciousness of youth soccer.† Marc and Jackie tried to focus on the silver lining Ė they really werenít all that interested in spending a day in Bakersfield!

Agriculture story

When writing contests come along, Jonathanís teacher frequently has her students write essays for the contest.† If she thinks that any of the essays have a chance to win the contest, she submits those essays. One of the contests she had her students write stories for was California Foundation For Agricultural In The Classroom Imagine this... Story Writing Contest.† Jonathanís story was selected as the Regional Winner!† His story was titled ďFrom Silly Wheat to Smart Chalah.Ē† You can read it at http://www.jmzconsulting.com/jonathan/3rdgrade-story.html

Benjamin's new carseat

January brought a new carseat law, stating that kids had to be in carseats until they are 6 years or 60 pounds.† This wasnít so much of an issue for us (Jonathan still uses a booster, even though he is 8!) But it did inspire us to spend the extra money on a high back booster.† Benjamin was so excited about his new car seat, you would have thought we bought him his own car!

Benjamin's new desk

Jackieís mom offered us Jackieís desk from when she was growing up, and never being one to look a gift desk in the drawers, we accepted.† It was a white desk with light blue drawers, and Marc turned it into a white desk with bright red, yellow and blue drawers.† We wanted to put it in Benjaminís room, but first we had to take out the sofa bed.† This turned out to be quite a challenge, requiring us to remove the door from the hinges to get the sofa out!† Having the desk inspired Marc to turn the wall over the desk into a combination white board/cork board/magnet board. Removing the sofa inspired Jackie to move the changing table (which we still use to store clothes) in front of the window and replace the shelves that used to be where the changing table was.† So the addition of a desk also gave Benjamin shelves for books, and a place to put up artwork!

Jonathan benefited from Benjaminís new desk as well.† As long as he was putting up combination white board/cork board/magnet boards, Marc put one up in Jonathanís room as well (although finding the wall space was challenging.) He also took Benjaminís old bookshelf, repainted it, and turned it into a shoe rack for Jonathan.

Planned Parenthood

Working at home is working out well for Marc. Now that he has steady work, he decided to return to some volunteer work that he did last time he worked part-time: speaking for Planned Parenthood.† In January, Marc completed the training, and in February he started speaking.

Gymnastics

When soccer season ended, both boys expressed and interest in gymnastics.† So in January, we enrolled them in gymnastics classes at our local park. The classes are a nice introduction to gymnastics, featuring tumbling and balance beam work.† Both boys are one of the top students in their class.

Hoping you are healthy and happy,

Jackie, Marc, Jonathan, and Benjamin