We still have kids. Thirteen year old Tommy now looks us straight in the face and he's stolen some man's voice. He would never admit how much like his father he's becoming. Yes, it's that "please save me" sense of humor. And, yes, we need at least two computers. Stephen, now 12, still lives for sports and is usually residing at the home of one of his numerous friends. He's everybody's son and brother. We just pay his bills.
Aaron wants train tickets for Christmas. In addition to our fantastic Amtrak trip to New York in August, he traveled to NYC, Washington DC and Boston on the new high speed Acela train with his Uncle Jim. He is still sporting his summer haircut because he is afraid everyone will stop calling him "Hawk". Andrew wants to be Tommy and is most content when Tommy's in the mood to play with him. He likes the same TV shows, Nintendo and computer games and Legos and Gundam action figures. Andrew wants you to know he still likes candy. He and Aaron chose to be in separate second grade classrooms this year but they have the same reading teacher.
Tommy, the clarinet player has now been joined this fall by a trumpeter (Stephen) and two little piano players. We are looking forward to those Christmas concerts.
Stephen is greatly relieved that basketball season has finally arrived. (And so are we!) He plays on a team that travels to tournaments. This generally involves a motel (with pool) and shopping (another of Stephen's favorite pasttimes). The other three have made a last minute decision to join the Mat (wrestling) Club. Aaron and Andrew are quite impressed (and intimidated) by the muscle size of their wrestler classmates. The coach was quite excited by Tommy's build and enthusiasm, but Tommy's parents are nervous because the child thinks it necessary to practice his holds on us. You would not believe how fast Dennis can move when Tommy says, "Let me show you the new move I learned last night"! After just two practices, all three of them are moaning with body aches, but sleeping quite well. This also involves weekend tournaments (possibly in an opposite direction from the basketball team). Don't ask us how we're going to do all this because, frankly, we don't have a clue. Tommy and Stephen want to take a dance class and go to youth group too. Neither Aaron or Andrew or Bert will be dancing. Phew!
Neither Dennis nor Bert currently have interests of their own. They wave to each other when passing on the highway. Bert stopped subbing (how did she ever find time for that?!); the main reason she started was to have a break from the boys. Now that everyone's in school, she gets the same benefit by staying home.
Dennis got lots of overtime this summer dispatching for fires. In August he had a two week assisignment to Portland, Oregon building maps of the forest fires around the country. These were put on the web so private and military pilots could avoid flying into the fire fighting aircraft. This assignment finished just as Bert and boys were coming back from New York. Since they changed trains in Portland, Dennis got to travel part of their trip with them.
And now, for our latest adoption. Andrew, with the full support of his brothers, was convinced that our family just was not complete without a canine component. How do you think the Griffins would find a dog? Why, on the internet, of course! We researched breeds on AKC.com, choose the American Eskimo and found Kobi at a pound in Northern California on Petfinders.com. He's a twenty pound ball of lapdog fluff and seems to be fitting in just fine. Andrew now thinks we should get a Great Dane. Or two! HA!
It appears that Santa will have no trouble getting to Lakeview this year. The snow is already piling up and we're expecting another BIG storm to hit tonight. We will not be here for Christmas though because we are going to Waikiki, Hawaii. Bert says we are doing our civic duty and supporting their tourist economy (there goes the overtime money!). Actually, Dennis' Southern California blood just needs a break from winter. Anyone want to dogsit?
(Click on the photos above to see larger versions.)
Boy washing up in Pioneer Square
Aaron polluting the Willamette River
Griffin Family Page