The first thing that happened in December was that we got the carpets and windows cleaned. This may not seem significant to you, but since Benjamin had left his mark in one way or another on pretty much every carpet in every room of the house (including closets), it was exciting for us. The plumber also (finally!) took care of the last few things he needed to do in order to get paid, and we closed the book on that chapter of our lives.
Jonathan's last soccer game of the fall season had the same outcome as all the others. Jonathan's team completely dominated the other team. Jonathan's team finished the season undefeated, which was fun, but we're wondering how Jonathan will react to losing. We'll probably find out in the spring, because he wants to play spring soccer.
We went to Jonathan's first elementary school holiday program. Our "little angel" performed admirably, even when his halo fell off. Each grade level did a performance involving two or three songs, usually one Christmas-related and one Chanuka-related. We were impressed by the choices of songs and the caliber of the performances.
Oh course, the main event in December was Chanuka! You'd think that 8 nights of Chanuka would give you more than enough days to visit with everyone, and it was, but it was close. We did miss one night because Benjamin was running a fever. The fever broke, but then a few days later, he had a cold (which he promptly gave to Jackie!) But the cold didn't last long, and Marc and Jonathan managed to escape it. All in all, it was a wonderful Chanuka, filled with special family get-togethers, out-of-town relatives, and (of course!) great presents! We're lucky to have such good family on both sides.
Marc's work closes down between Christmas and New Years, and we used the time to take care of some chores that needed to be done around the house. Marc had to crawl around under house far more than he would have liked (which is to say, more than not at all), but we're really happy with the results.
Speaking of Marc's work, Marc has been performing "above and beyond the call of duty," performing many tasks that are not in his job description. ISX recognized his work with a promotion, a raise and a nice bonus. This is on top of the raise and bonus he received last June. Plus, he has a good chance of another promotion in 6 months. It's nice to be appreciated.
We saw a number of movies. Marc took Jonathan to see "Prince of Egypt" and to the IMAX to see 60 foot elephants. And Jackie saw Roger and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" at the Museum of Music and Radio. If you've never been to this museum, it's interesting. They've got a huge database of TV shows, and if they have a show, you can watch it. Each day they pick a few shows to play on their big screens, which is how Jackie saw "Cinderella."
Mostly, December was a month for counting our blessings, enjoying our families, and relaxing. One of our blessings is that, in just a month, Jonathan's speech class has made a measurable difference in his ability to pronounce "l"s. We are pleased with and proud of his efforts to pronounce words correctly.
Benjamin's ability to pronounce words is also increasing. Currently, his favorite word is "read." He's developing an attention span to rival his brother's. Every so often, Jackie tries to read to him until he gets bored. So far, he's always outlasted her. He's also looking like he might be left-handed.
We close with a Jonathan story to amuse you. Jonathan wrote some thank you notes by dictating to Jackie who wrote down what he wanted to say. Then Jonathan copied the words. Jackie explained punctuation, saying that commas represent a short pause, and periods represent a long pause. In the middle of copying, Jonathan stopped and left the table. Jackie asked what he was doing. "I'm taking my long pause," he replied.
We hope that 1999 brings only good things for all of you.
Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin
Last updated 4/12/99.