December 27, 2009

It's been 3 months since I last posted, but it seems like longer because we've been so busy. Do check out the latest photos on our photo gallery.

Let's see... where to begin... let's talk about each of us in general.

Haley continues to do well in school, with no sign of some of the behavior issues we had last year. In addition to continuing to do well on her piano lessons, she's started music lessons through the school, learning percussion. She now has a snare drum in her room! She's also continuing her Irish dance lessons weekly. She and I recently saw Riverdance together. Check out pictures here. Also check out Haley's personal picture page for this year here.

Katelyn's major work now is preparing to become a Bat Mitzvah, which will happen on January 16th. She is learning her prayers, her Torah portion, her Haftorah, and is preparing a sermon. And all of this in addition to just getting on with life. She is getting more into her stride at middle school. She still struggles with her organizational skills, sometimes not getting her homework in. But most of her teachers enjoy having her in class, and she generally likes school. She has just completed her testing to transition from a green belt to a blue belt, and will receive her new belt on January 8th. She's really enjoying her classes at Dojo USA in San Bruno. She is also continuing her music lessons on the saxophone. She recently played in the concert band at the Taylor Winter Concert. Oh, and she turned 13 on 12/6! Check out Katelyn's personal picture page for this year here.

Val is still working at Triton, although Perot Systems, her actual employer, was recently sold to Dell, so now she's working for Dell. All very complicated, especially considering that her job is the same. And she's enjoying it more now that she has a boss she really likes, who seems to respect her and value her expertise. Val is also helping a lot with Bat Mitzvah preparation. She has attended Torah study sessions with the rabbis with Katelyn and me, helped Katelyn pick out her outfit, and is participating in other parts of the planning also. She is currently visiting her mom, who lives in Giove, in Umbria, about an hour north of Rome. Check out Val's personal picture page for this year here.

I am still working on a contract at Genentech. I've been there 20 months, longer than most contracts. And I just heard that they will try to keep me there through the end of the larger project, which means through the end of next year. I hope that happens because I'm really enjoying the work, the people, and the short commute. I'm currently home enjoying some quiet time by myself. I'm very busy with planning the Bat Mitzvah service and celebration, as well as studying my own Torah portion. Check out my personal picture page for this year here.

We all had a great family trip to Morro Bay to Susan & Joel's for Thanksgiving. Kathie accompanied us on this fun road trip. We had such a good time we're considering another such trip, perhaps next summer. You can see pictures here. It would have been even more fun had I not left my purse at Starbuck's in Soledad. Val was amazing, though, volunteering to do the 5+ hour round trip to go get it the day after we returned. I rewarded her with dinner and a romantic evening upon her return.

Val treated the family to a special Chanukah gift, Tapis Rouge (red carpet) tickets to Cirq du Soleil's "OVO" show on 12/5. You can see pictures here.

Other things we've been up to:

Overall, the end of our year is shaping up well. We've had a lot of good times, a lot of fun, a lot of quality time, and in general it's been a great ride. Looking forward to an awesome 2010!!