January 2010

Music is BIG in our home. About a year ago (maybe a year and a half), Tyson became very interested in music. Not that he hadn’t been before, but his interest ramped up to a completely new level. He had fooled around with smaller instruments, such as the recorder and the penny whistle. Then, after a visit with an accomplished violinist, he decided to try fiddling. Armed with a rented violin and a You Can Teach Yourself Fiddling book, he quickly mastered the basics.

Now, Tyson has added quitar to the list. And, he has added his dad. Yes, Lyndon has also taken up playing guitar. Weekends, when Dad is home, have become hours long jam sessions. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to see them practicing together. for them to have this in common, Most recently, they have been working on Ghost Rider. Yep, the Man in Black is THE MAN in these here parts.

I am actually quite astonished at the way Tyson has taken to playing music. Neither Lyndon nor I played an instrument. We aren’t great singers, even. And the church we attend is acapella. Not a lot of instrumental inspiration in our backgrounds. Yet music, for Tyson, is his way of expressing himself. He is not a guy who likes to get up and speak in front of people, yet he would play for you at the drop of a hat. The other day he was working on Here I am to Worship on his acoustic guitar. I was doing the dishes and, when I realized what song he was playing, I stopped and went into his room and for the next half hour I sang as he played one song after another.

One of the coolest thing about Tyson’s musical interests has been the people we have met. Last summer, Tyson attended a music camp and has since stayed in touch with Larry, one of his camp instructors. Larry has offered to teach Tyson guitar lessons … by phone. So every Wednesday morning, around 10:00, the phone rings and for the next half hour, Tyson and Larry play and talk. It has been great. Soon, they are also going to begin violin lessons using the same format. Hey, you can’t let a few hundred miles stand in your way!

And just this past week, Tyson convinced Colton to try the violin. He taught him Mary Had a Little Lamb, and then accompanied him on the guitar. Now, Colton is hooked, but he thinks the cello would be really cool to try.

Whew. Okay, no extended apologies for the 2 1/2 month break. Let me tell you what I have been doing…

Just before Hallowe’en, Pip and Squeak (not Bubble and Squeak – I think that is a British term for sausage?!) came into our home and, basically, turned all of our lives inside out.

One-year-old Pip and his three-year-old brother Squeak are two little foster boys that we have been caring for. They are, to put it mildly, very busy children. They come from a home where alcohol abuse and domestic violence have been huge problems and it shows in the behaviours of these two munchkins. So, things have been a little crazy around here. We are in the process of “working the children home” – social worker speak for the transition between my home and their mom’s home – and so I am toddler-free for the next few days. It looks like Mom is doing very well, and the children will likely go home for good soon.

As a result of this fostering experience, my family has made a request. “No more babies, please!” Don’t get me wrong. We have grown to love these little guys but it truly has been hard on our family in terms, mainly, of the amount of my time and attention they have required. It has made home schooling a challenge. Frankly, it has made having a shower or getting the dishes done a challenge!

In other news, we have experienced Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s since I last wrote. Four major holidays that you missed hearing about! I won’t bore you with the details of our turkey dinners. Rest assured, the holidays were all great and we all ate too much.

So, onward and upward. We are now at year 2010. I haven’t decided whether to say twenty-ten or two thousand and ten, but I’m leaning toward twenty-ten. I think. We’ll see.

Lyndon and I non-celebrated our seventeenth wedding anniversary on January 2nd. A word of advice to anyone thinking of getting married around the holidays. Be prepared to never celebrate your anniversary. There is just way too much going on. Plus, you are broke and sick of eating.

Now, we are struggling to try to get back into our routines. Thumbelina, of course, is back at school. The boys and I are kinda back at “school”. We’re getting there. I am looking forward to the upcoming Saskatchewan Homeschool Convention which is being held this year in Regina at the University. Sadly, I will not be able to attend the Sister Triangle Ladies Retreat, which is being held that same weekend.

There you go. A taste of what has been going on in the Ross home. And hey, thanks for not giving up on me. Happy New Year, everyone!