It's the fifteenth annual Nowak Family Christmas Letter. 2010 shall here forth be know as The Year We Moved A Lot (YWMAL). Not to be confused with The Year We Moved Three Times (YWMTT) nor The Four Years We Got To Live In One Place (Yippee-4). We moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island this June so that Curtis could be an Army guy at the Naval War College for the year. (ILE by Army terminology.) He is earning a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. This coming June we will be moving again to a yet to be disclosed location.
Here is a typical weekday in the life of the Nowak Family:
5:50 -- Curtis magically wakes up before the alarm goes off and hops into the shower. Jennifer lays in bed wishing it was Saturday until about 6:15. Katie starts to stir and Meeko begins to whimper for her to take him out. Katie stumbles in and takes Meeko to "go potty". She feeds Meeko and takes him out yet again. Usually, all of this commotion wakes up Holly. Since Holly drew afternoon Kindergarten, she could sleep in if she wanted to, but she doesn't. Thus three of the Nowaks wish they were in bed and one gets up unnecessarily.
7:00 -- Curtis is out the door and on his way to school. No uniform for him this year -- it's business dress at the Naval War College.
7:20 -- Katie, Jennifer, and Meeko are off to stand at the bus stop. Fifth grade is in the middle school here in RI, so Katie gets a pretty early start. Her morning bus is usually prompt. As the bus stop is only one house over, and Holly hates getting dressed, she stays in the house and ponders what she would maybe, possibly like for breakfast. She reserves the right to change her mind. If it is cold, or rainy, Meeko stays in the house with Holly because he's a wimp.
7:30-11:00 -- Jennifer and Holly have "quality time". Sometimes we read and do homework, sometimes we use the computer, sometimes we take Meeko for a walk, and sometimes we wish we were still in bed. One day a week Holly has swim lessons.
11:00 -- Holly eats lunch. She'd usually rather be playing. Jennifer packs up Holly's school bag, takes the dog out, and ponders a second cup of coffee.
11:40 -- Off to Holly's bus stop to wait from 5 to 25 minutes for the bus to arrive. Holly does her best to get muddy, Jennifer tells Holly not to get muddy, and Meeko barks at squirrels.
12:00-12:15 -- Except Wednesdays, when he has an afternoon class, Curtis get home from school. He gets to read 100-200 pages of "stuff" or maybe write a paper. Once or twice a week Curtis and Jennifer go to lunch. This school schedule is kind of nice. Meeko and Sabrina fight over who gets to lay in the afternoon rays of sunlight on the floor.
3:00ish -- Katie's bus rolls in. On Mondays Katie and Jennifer get ready to head to Girl Scouts. On Tuesdays Katie has a piano lesson. On Wednesdays Katie and Jennifer hop in the van to make a mad run to pick Holly up at school. Then we all dash off to the YMCA where Holly takes a level 1 gymnastics class and Katie practices with the level 3 team. Katie has another team work out from 8:00-10:00 on Saturday mornings, and Holly is currently the only girl in YMCA Pee-Wee floor hockey. Thursday and Friday we have nowhere to run, unless we do.
3:40-4:10 -- Jennifer or Curtis and Meeko go out and wait for Holly's bus. The bus most frequently comes at 4:00, but if an adult isn't out there, they won't let her off. Holly got a bonus tour of the rest of the bus route once because the bus was on the early side and her parents weren't out there, so we wait.
4:10 -- On Mondays Katie and Jennifer are at Girls Scouts from 4:00-5:00. Every other Tuesday Holly and Jennifer are at Girl Scouts from 6:00-7:15. On Wednesdays Katie, Holly, and Jennifer are at the YMCA from 4:00-5:30. At some point Jennifer makes some semblance of dinner. Occasionally, the children eat it without complaining. Katie works on her homework, takes out the garbage, and practices the piano. Holly is usually too tired for homework, and does hers in the four-hour period of time between when Katie and Holly get on the bus in the morning.
7:30 -- Bed time for Holly. Every night she insists she "isn't tired" and "never runs out of energy". The parental units disagree. Katie reads and sometimes watches Alton Brown, Psyche, or Doctor Who with Curtis.
8:30 -- Katie takes Meeko out yet again and is off to bed. Curtis reads some more or writes some more and watches some TV and Jennifer reads her Kindle until they both pass out to do it all again tomorrow.
It's been quite a year, and next year promises to be more of the same. You can find us at our web site http://thenowaks.typepad.com/my_weblog/ , on Facebook C.w. Nowak and Jennifer Shoemaker Nowak, or at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org .
Curtis, Jennifer, Katie, Holly, Meeko, and Sabrina Nowak