A Vacation from the Vacation Posts

Happy Monday, RMT’ers! AKA Three-Day Weekend Monday for some of you; it is for us anyway! With that, I’m taking a small vacation from the vacation posts to check in with a few ordinary updates from home.

My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.

My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.

First, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! T is off school today, as is C, so we’re hanging together as a family. But just like with Veterans Day, T realizes today is about much more than a day off school. He came home on Friday from school chock full of info for us. “Martin Luther King said everyone should be treated the same. And we all can play and do things together no matter the color of our skins.” Very well said, T! Last year I got T this book from Scholastic, which he and I read together on the 15th (MLK’s actual birthday), and we will re-read it again tonight. I highly recommend it for the preschool-to-early elementary-aged set; it contains very basic information about equality that younger children can understand fairly easily.

Happy 94th Birthday, Great-Grandma Hazel!

Happy 94th Birthday, Great-Grandma Hazel!

T, baby Cousin Ella, and Great-Grandma Hazel

T, baby Cousin Ella, and Great-Grandma Hazel

Next, earlier this month we celebrated Great-Grandma Hazel’s 94th birthday! While it wasn’t as super-festive as last year’s gathering, it was a very lovely lunch out at a small, quiet restaurant near her home. It was held in a semi-private room so we all could visit together very easily (we could all hear one another, too!). We lasted just under two hours, long enough to be celebratory yet short enough so Hazel didn’t get too worn out. Perfect!

New train table C built for T's new Lionel train set, freshly painted!

New train table C built for T’s new Lionel train set, freshly painted!

This month C’s also been busy in the garage with a new project. As you know from this post, T got a new-to-him Lionel train set. While in past years a train set of this size might have been assembled and run during the holiday season only, this set is just too special for a limited run.

C installs the transformer onto the side of the newly constructed train table. He even ran an outlet directly to the table for it to plug into. Good thing C is handsome AND handy!

C installs the Lionel electrical transformer onto the side of the newly constructed train table. He even ran an outlet directly to the table for it to plug into. Good thing C is handsome AND handy!

C adjusting the concentric train sets, LEGO inside, Lionel outside.

C adjusting the concentric train sets, LEGO inside, Lionel outside.

C testing the two sets to be sure they won't collide. He will then secure both to the table with screws.

C testing the two sets to be sure they won’t collide. He will then secure both to the table with screws.

With that, enter C’s newest home improvement project. Much thinking has gone into just how to set up the train table, including power sources and train layouts, and the photos herein are the results so far anyway. I think I especially appreciate the fact that the other “train table” (that has been used more as a LEGO table in recent months) slides right underneath the new train table, which has opened up our living room immensely. Now our next question to ponder: Do we enjoy the new-found space, or fill it with an actual ottoman or coffee table?

The American Gymnastics Academy (AGA) in Signal Hill (CA).

The American Gymnastics Academy (AGA) in Signal Hill (CA).

A free trial class ticket we received Halloween 2011. Turns out anyone can get a free trial at AGA; all you have to do is give them a call to schedule it!

An AGA free trial class ticket we received from a friend at Halloween 2011. Turns out I didn’t even need this, as anyone can get a free trial at AGA; all you have to do is give them a call to schedule it.

T gets a little help with his "superman" move during his trial class at AGA.

T gets a little help with his “superman” move during his trial class at AGA.

Finally, T starts a couple of new activities this month. He will continue with swim on Mondays (because he loves swim THAT MUCH), but it looks like we’ll be adding soccer on Friday afternoons for a couple of months (a step up from his last class level) and then gymnastics on Thursday afternoons. Yep, gymnastics. T has missed Power Play Kids’ Gym from his preschool a lot, and the American Gymnastics Academy (AGA) Gymnasium in Signal Hill is right up the street from us (about 5-10 min. straight-shot). A  friend of his recommended the AGA eons ago; in fact we received a free class for Halloween from that friend… back in 2011. Yeah, so gymnastics is something we’d always considered trying and we’re now just getting around to it.

Nice somersault form, T! Even the instructors said that T did great during his first class. Thank goodness for all that Power Play Kids' Gym we did in preschool!

Nice somersault form, T! Even the instructors said that T did great during his first class. Thank goodness for all that Power Play Kids’ Gym we did in preschool!

During the second pass, T's "Superman" was unassisted!

During the second pass, T’s “Superman” was unassisted!

T jumped down the trampoline mat during his first class at AGA. He loved it!

T jumped down the trampoline mat during his first class at AGA. He loved it!

T really loved the gymnastics trial class! I was concerned because it’s co-ed (with him being the co part of that ed, AKA, only boy), but since it doesn’t bother him, we’re going to go for it. If he ever wants to change to an all-boy class later on, we’re welcome to switch (love that flexibility!). Since the all-boy classes are in the evenings though, it’s co-ed in the afternoons for the time being. I’m just not ready to start evening activities for T at age five, KWIM (there’s plenty of time for all that craziness).

That pretty much sums up what’s happened so far into the New Year here at the RMT household. What new projects, activities, or routines have you started?

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