This year has been one of settling in and getting ready for new things, like schools, cars, roommates, and construction.
We took delivery of a Tesla Model S for Shannon in January. It has yet to catch fire, electocute us, or leave us stranded. It does, on occasion, ignore the key or get confused about where we're asking to go, but otherwise, it's a pretty impressive car.
In the past few months, Davis has started to become conversant. While he’s done some storytelling in his own language (with the primary word being "op-lop"), he seems to have moved on quickly to putting together two and three word phrases. This lets us get quickly past the first phase of communicating with him ("What is he asking for?") and spend more time on the all-important second phase (“No, Davis, you need to wait for college before you can have rum.”). At least he’s able to ask to wear his tutu without us saying no.
Moira’s now a certified (well, ribboned and pinned - there was no actual certificate) skier, as well as a kindergarten student. There’s a Seattle Public School District-supported program for homeschoolers that offers some classes and helps with documenting that you aren’t just letting your children run around feral, so Moira is taking a language and math class on her own, along with a pottery class with Shannon and Davis.
In addition to quilting, Shannon has started hosting cultural discovery parties monthly for kids to learn about various traditions. So far, Hawaii and the local Tulalip tribe have been big hits. We’ll see how many families keep coming after they see Gamer culture.
We were back at Disneyland this year, celebrating a graduation with two friends of the family who have moved in with us. Moira was overjoyed, got to show Shannon all her favorite parts, and didn’t want to leave. Davis was enthralled, and learned plenty of new words, like "ride" and "tea cups". He probably would have also learned "churro", but there are still ongoing gluten issues.
Throughout the summer and fall, we've been having a garage built, primarily to house and charge Shannon's new car, although given that Walker's car drew enough attention to file two insurance claims, it'll also be moving in once the floor is finally finished. The rest of the house has continued to host birthday parties and other gatherings, whether or not we're around. Given its popularity, we're a little surprised it hasn't been invited to anything without us yet, but that's probably just a matter of time.
Other than work and coordinating with contractors, Walker spent the year being complimented on Shannon’s car, and somewhat successfully demonstrating that he’s at least a competent driver when on a level playing field. That's currently due to change in early January.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014,
Walker, Shannon, Moira & Davis