The last couple of years have been rushed at the last minute, but this year I am taking it back to its roots.
For the first time in three years I am including a small homage to a classic Star Wars scene.
James is playing a cheeky looking Darth Vader, I was going to let him wear the mask, but decided people might want to see what he looks like now. Liam is playing a “serves you right“ Grand Moff Tarkin. Lucas displays an Oscar winning performance as Conan Antonio Motti; but of course you all recognised the scene immediately, so no further explaination was required.
Off camera Liam is wearing fluffy rabbit slippers, but they got cropped out, but keeping true to the original scene no subtle detail was left unnoticed!
So how has life been for The Reads? As you would expect the life of the parents has been the same routine repeated over 350times. But each and every days brings its own uniquenesses. Sure, we have the things we do each week.
On Mondays I have been taking part in a bible study and I have just completed a fascinating study of the gospel according to Matthew. I had never studied a book in the New Testament to such an extreme so that was exciting. Spoiler Alert: He dies and rises in the end!
On Tuesdays and Thursdays Chris’ mum comes over the play with the boys for a couple of hours, this gives Chris the chance to decompress and take care of shopping and other chores. On Sundays we kind of return the favour and take the kids to grandma’s house, then Chris and I can have lunch together and do some grown up activites. Those are the milestones of the average week.
As reported last year, I am back again at AVL after a four year hiatus and recently completed my first and tenth years, I’m not sure if I get something made of paper or tin, or a combination of the two… a tetra-pak perhaps! Since September I have been spending some time travelling out of state to be on-site at the customer, only for one or two days at a time. It’s hard to comment on work for a couple of reasons. Firstly it is hardly an exciting topic for a newsletter and secondly if I maintain a level of secrecy and confidentiality people can dream up their own scenarios of what I actually do.
“Oh, when he said he was out of state, I didn’t realise he was on a secret mission to destroy SPECTRE from the inside.”
“Why, yes, I was Mish Moneypenny”.
The truth is, from my point of view I don’t do interesting things, but I get to see Chris and the boys do all sorts of cool stuff….
This year Chris has been working on some raised beds in the garden, and has spent most of spring pining for some warmer weather so she can sow the seeds. Please do not expect me to give you a full run down of what it being grown, because Iain and garden duties never mix. Getting dirt on my hands is not high on my agenda. Last year we had a superb yield of corn, 12 cobs were all ready within a few days of each other and needed to be harvested before the local squirrels realised there was a feast hanging a few feet above their sinister heads. For the winter Chris planted some garlic, because we all know garlic only develops its root system and pungent flavor once it has experienced a severe frost, and this year we had one hell of a frost. I am hoping the garlic will be strong enough to keep the fangy Nosferatic squirrels in check.
James was enrolled to start school in August last year, but the church which was being converted into classrooms faced a number of delays and so they arranged for him and the class to go to some other school “south of 8 mile”, yes, *that* south of 8 mile. After one of the boys took his backpack and locked it in a locker he decided that home schooling was more his style, so we agreed to take him out. He might try again this year, but of course he will need to understand he cannot chop and change as the fancy takes him. Homeschooling is fairly easy nowadays with all the online resources available. An hour of reading and an hour of math is normally enough to keep on top of things. He’s become excellent at three things and writing and math be both if them. James also enjoys designing computer game levels for the various games he plays. Of course the software comes with a level editor, he’s not coding from scratch, but each of the ones he comes up with are tricky yet possible. He has also dabbled with some stop motion animation and I recently bought a green screen so this year his syllabus might include a YouTube based audio-visual section. He does also do the things five year olds do!
Liam is vying for the title of puzzle solver in the family. He likes nothing more than a tense game of checkers or backgammon or Gobblet or Quarto or any other of the myriad of board games we have collected. I would never admit to him beating me all the time, that’s such a finite statement, but I am forty and we play a game of something most nights before bed and I by no means have a 100% record either. Admittedly I probably barely scrape a 50% winning record at this point. I could blame the stresses of my own life, but to be honest, he beats me fair and square quite often. Chess is probably the only board game we play where I actually play reservedly to allow the game to continue, but I certainly never throw the game and he never lays his king down quietly. Chess is a battle to be taken seriously, the death and destruction of your wife, advisors, noblemen, castle walls and eight peasants is no laughing matter… or maybe you’ve never read/seen Game of Thrones!
Liam also likes to read. We set up a reading light for him recently and now he often falls asleep surrounded by 5 or 6 books which he has reading. He does not skim the books, he reads them. A couple of times I have passed his door and I hear Gregorian chanting in the eerie light from the room beyond. When I sneak a peek he is reciting Fox in Socks or Green Eggs and Ham. “In Nomine Seussti, Amen”. He’s a true nerd in the making….
…. Fortunately, Lucas is the no messing, brick sheisse hausen of the family. Each family of geeks and nerds needs one brother who will roll up his sleeves and kick the living crap out of his brother for being a smart-ass! Balance will be restored and maintained, and Lucas is Draconian law in the making. I guess it is somewhat inevitable that the youngest brother of three would be the toughest, that’s just the natural pecking order. Actually, the boys rarely fight, so I don’t want to do Lucas a disservice by painting a barbaric picture of him in your minds, but he can hold his own when it comes to “sharing” the ways brothers do. James and Liam are not able to dominate the computer or remote control or choice of game.
Lucas’ big thing at the moment is Public Service Announcements. Anything from crash test dummy videos to David Prowse (Darth Vader) as the Green Cross Man. Lucas is certainly a child of the YouTube era and loves to search for videos of people doing stunts or jumping into pools or riding bikes and skateboards. I think he loves the instantaneousness and repeatability of his search requests. They can sometimes be a little specific. “OK, I want to see a kid, a boy kid, fall into a pool, after slipping on a skateboard, while carrying drinks” – boom! 17 results. I have to admit, he finds some gems. I somehow justify him watching these sorts of videos in the same vein they were originally intended as they have taught him how to carry drinks across the road or near a swimming pool. Safety Education Level One achieved!
The boys are growing up nicely and actually enjoyed making the picture for the newsletter this year. I had planned for Lucas to be the one who just sits there and have James choking and Liam pointing, but after they watched the scene a few times, on YouTube of course, they all chose their own roles and I have to admit each of them did a superb job. Perhaps next year my email will simply contain a link to a three minute video and you can all just sit back and enjoy!
Please keep safe for the next year and please forward to people who might mention to you, “Hey, what happened to Iain’s May the 4th thing this year?” My Email address book is getting horribly out of date, I think there is one or two @AOLs in there!