Not much new here, but I couldn't leave you for an entire week after devoting an entire post to complaining about money. The van came home Thursday, by the way. It came home for five minutes before Ryan noticed they hadn't filled the transmission fluid up and had to take it back for more. But then it was really really back and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief for the boys' corneas and my blood pressure.
The only casualty to the whole mess (besides 2.5 G's) was James's blanket, Waffle. He got lost in the shuffle and I've checked lost and founds everywhere from church to the rental car place with no luck. Fortunately, they still sell them on Amazon! It comes tomorrow. Not sure how I will recreate the soft, faded, comfy, urine-scented thing that made Waffle so unique, but I have some ideas.
The last known time they were together, Sunday in the rental car. Thank goodness he has two loveys.
We went on a quick trip to see Ryan's parents and go to the State Fair Saturday. They planned a great fair trip with a picnic and jumping dog trick show and we had a fabulous time. It was the weekend of the UT-OU football game, which meant lots of cuh-razy people milling around the stadium (which is inside the fairgrounds), but they were all happy and (largely) calm, so it really only added to the fun. (We were not there at the end of the game. Probably the Longhorns were not so happy and calm at the end of the game)
Charlie wanted to see Big Tex so bad. He took about five hours of video of him talking to the crowd. "Howdy folks! Welcome to the State Fair of Texas!"
We spent a lot of time climbing on this huge tractor too.
That night, Ryan's parents had a spaghetti dinner birthday party for Charlie and Wes, complete with cousins and Ryan's sister and brother in law. The kids' table was wild and crazy and James even held his own in the conversation. And then there were presents and cake! Charlie has not put his telescope down since we got home and asks to go look at stars about fourteen times a day, even when the sun is up. This morning it took some doing to get him to come in and eat breakfast. He was right back at it after school (which, again, it was LIGHT OUT) (And also the sun. Stern warnings about aiming the telescope at the sun) (So now Charlie tells people he can't look at the sun with his telescope because telescopes are used to look at things far away and the sun is actually really close. My baby thinks in astronomical distance.).
The semester is halfway over for me. We do lab six (out of nine!) this week and then there are only three left plus the final. It's so hard to believe and I'm glad that I didn't set any semester goals this time except for possibly SURVIVE KINDERGARTEN. I am presenting a paper at a conference in Miami next week and am so nervous and excited that I am coping by ignoring it completely, much like my grading pile. Hopefully I will remember to go to the airport. I'm also starting a new project that I'm excited about. It's super intimidating because it's in a new field, but I have a lots of good people to ask questions and it feels so good to be learning and doing again. Makes me sort of remember how I used to work until two AM every night. Sort of.
Between the new project and the old project the one-hundred-twenty assignments a week that need to be graded (but, sadly, do not get graded until the following week, without fail) have become their own lifeform. My office looks like I remember my professors' offices looking, which is to say, a fire hazard. But three more labs? Will not be a problem. I will think about next semester's labs some other time (but soon, though, one of them's a prep, GAH).
So, in conclusion, it's mid-semester hunker down time and we are all very, very sleepy (I'm falling asleep typing this!). I'll leave you a picture of James after he fell asleep eating a sandwich.