Monday, September 11, 2006

Getting ready to fly away

Well, we're busy putting the finishing touches on the prep work required to go to Belgium next weekend. Hello, chocolate paradise! T is speaking at a social justice conference. His theme: How to maintain gentleness during those tough days when work is violent and people with extreme challenges are pushing you past what you thought you could handle. As promoter for the following year's conference, I'm bringing saskatoon berry syrups and jams to give out and a few other incentives as well (20 poundsof stressballs in the shape of a globe stamped with, bookmarks) and I produced a pretty fine promo video if I do say so myself. (If we forget any of this at home I shall scream.) Then we're off to Paris for a little fun. They say that Paris is the dirtiest city in the world, full of urine and doggie doodie. I have a sneaking suspicion that there might be some stinky truth to it, but I'm on my way to Paris - I ain't gonna complain! The kids will be staying at the House of Jones with grandma, who no doubt will stuff them with ice cream and have them struggling to remember our names by the time we're home.... when we get home we have a presentation to give on structuring gentleness into classroom environments - teachers and parents will be present, some of whom are already gearing up to challenge and question. Seeking is healthy - let the fun begin!

We just bought a fresh van. I'd call it new, but it's 2 years old. The extended warranty is better than what a new vehicle would give, and the DVD player has the kids tickled pink, so we're all happy.

C's magazine drops second week in October. It's been a real challenge to find talented writers - that had more to do with ad placement than the talent pool. Saskatchewan is a goldmine when it comes to the creative. I'll officially get excited about this product once I see it and review feedback, but the December issue is really packed with articles that we are very proud of, and the lineup of Saskatchewan 'celebs' being interviewed is really quite impressive. A launch is planned for McNally sometime in November, so at this point, we've moved beyond theory and into reality. I'm in it with both feet now, Lord have mercy. I thought this would finally be my slow-down year to finish that novel and take up painting. Instead, I'm coordinating an international conference and managing a Western Canadian magazine! Good gravy!

Update on the little Joneses:

JJ is on the junior football team, playing d-line. That means his job is all meathead: find guy with ball, splat guy with ball. It's so touching to watch our baby out there spilling blood. Good times. His coach might move him onto the o-line, which adds a little brain to the brawn as you need to keep track of the play to a greater extent.

MJ is in a new school program - only 24 kids in the city got in - which has a strong science theme and is primarily out-of-class. This week they biked to a nearby regional park to study something ecological and outdoorsy. Better him than me - it's freezing out there. He loves it and the kids in his class are really great. He'll also have his Grade 9 science credit by June.

CJ is in a segregated program for braniacs and is loving every minute of it. She even combs her hair every morning now, and if I'm not mistaken, might even be going for color coordination with the ol' wardrobe. Apparently braniacs have an elevated hygiene requirement as well - who knew? She is over the MOON about FINALLY being in band, and she is proudly squeaking her clarinet at every available opportunity. I wonder if, some day far, far from now, we will miss listening to renditions ad nauseum of 'Hot Cross Buns'...