Oops! Another whole season has drifted into the realm of memories now, and I've obviously neglected updating our family weblog here. The Summer is winding down, and we're already starting to schedule activities for the upcoming year and organizing ourselves for another adventurous year of homeschooling!
We finished off the Spring season, celebrating our 18th anniversary at the end of April, and going to camp for three days with our homeschooling group in mid-May. Then, we continued the regular pace of things into June, with regular lessons and activities, though we got a little break from the hockey routine. Flo did a number in the Spring Skate Show at our local ice rink in early June, performing a routine to the "Crowning Glory" song from the Princess Diaries 2 Soundtrack. That's on our YouTube channel (PetiteWeb), if anyone would like to check it out. Very cute!
July began with the annual July 4th Mile Long Yard Sale in our community. This is truly an event, with hundreds of yard sales going on all day within the mile or so around our home. This year, we decided not to have a sale of our own, and to just enjoy walking around. Flo and Joe had a lemonade stands with their friends, and enjoyed hanging out for the day. We managed to go the entire day without finding any "great deals," to clutter up our house. But, we did enjoy walking around, checking out some of the interesting bargains!
Early July found us heading to Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for our fourth year. Flo went for the full five day conference with our friend, and we joined her for the weekend portion. We decided to leave Zofia home with Grandma for the weekend, and this really was the first time Darren and I got a chance to relax in quite awhile. We got a lot of sleep, rode our bikes all over campus (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown), chatted with veg-friendly folk from all over the world, attended a few lectures, and enjoyed a few meals. All in all, I think that few days was the highlight of our summer. We had hoped to go to the first Woodstock Fruit Festival in New York in August, but with an expensive and long trip to Canada for a family reunion, we ended up crossing that off the agenda, but definitely hope to attend that next year!
At the end of July, our niece Samantha, flew down from Ontario to join me in a few day drive up to Eastern Canada for Darren's parent's 50th wedding anniversary celebration and family reunion. I left two weeks prior to the actual event, to take Joe up to a hockey camp in the area, hoping to enjoy some time in the area and visiting with my in-laws. Darren would be flying up a few days before the reunion, and driving home with me and the kids.
The trip up to New Brunswick was nice. We took our time, staying with friends a couple nights, dining at Whole Foods Market along the way, and staying in a couple hotels, where the kids got a chance to swim. We arrived a couple days before Joe's hockey camp started, and went to the registration meeting and got him all ready to start that Monday.
Well, Sunday night, I was startled awake by Joe, who said he fell out of bed and his chin hurt. I told him to "rub it up," and go back to sleep. He did for a few minutes, but then came back, saying it really hurt. So, in the dark, I reach up to rub it for him and it was wet and I felt a big hole in his chin. "Oh no!" So, I jumped out of bed and turned on the lights, only to confirm that he, indeed, had a huge gash in his chin. We still don't know what in the heck he did. Nonetheless, at 3am, I woke up my in-laws, who confirmed the definite need for stitches, and off Joe and I went to the emergency room. Thankfully, the waiting area was sparsely populated at 3am that day, and we got right in. Joe was stitched up by a pleasant doctor, who also homeschools his kids, and put Joe at ease. He was very brave. The worst part was the needle for the numbing stuff.
By the time we finished at the emergency room, it was close to 5am, and camp started at 7am just around the corner. With less than three hours sleep, and a big bandage on his chin that was likely to interfere with his goalie helmet, I let Joe know that it was okay if he decided he didn't want to attend the camp, as I'm sure they would have refunded us due to injury. But, ever the trooper, Joe insisted on going. Thankfully, his dad had packed a spare helmet, which just happen to fit without disturbing his bandage. But, I still don't know how he made it through the day. When I picked him up that afternoon, he was so tired, he barely made it to the car before he fell asleep. Nonetheless, his week-long goalie camp experience was worth the trip alone, as Joe had a great time, got some excellent instruction, and got a chance to hang out in his dad's hometown.
Flo, on the other hand, wasn't able to get signed up for any camps during the time we were there, and by the end, was really craving some peer interaction. But, she did get a chance to spend some quality time with her grandparents, and got to celebrate her twelfth birthday in scenic Saint John, walking around uptown, going to the city market and visiting with my mom, who had driven up for a week visit. Towards the tail end of the trip, Darren's siblings arrived, too, so Flo got to spend a couple days visiting with her cousins, which was nice. Her favorite thing about the visit was Nanny and Poppy's yard, which was right on a river, and full of trees and wildlife. She got a chance to feed the local deer residents, collect rocks and shells, and hang out in the hammock, enjoying the mild summer temperatures and pleasant breezes.
Zofia enjoyed the visit with Nanny and Poppy, too, but kept me quite busy. She was most excited about visiting with her cousin, Ella, who is just two months younger and arrived a few days before the reunion. They were so cute to watch together, and I'm glad they got to connect.
Darren arrived mid-week, just in time for all the pre-reunion prep work before the event on Saturday. I think, by then, we had exhausted my in-laws with the general chaos that is our routine, and I was becoming a weary traveler. But, Darren was happy to reconnect with his family, and though brief, the reunion was a nice opportunity to see some old familiar faces and meet some new ones. I'm sure many good memories were made, and I'm happy we make the trek up for the event.
On Sunday, we bid farewell to all the relatives, and commenced our trip home, detouring through Quebec to extend the vacation a bit, and do a little sightseeing. We stopped in Quebec City and Montreal, before heading back to the States, staying one night in upstate New York in a rather shady hotel, and then our final night at our friend's house in New Jersey, before making our way home on August 18th, just in time to celebrate Zofia's fourth birthday the next day.
A couple days after getting home, I hurt my back, and have not been feeling too great since. I think the lack of sleep, and emotional ups and downs, during the almost month-long trip finally caught up with me. So, I've been spending the past week just trying to get on track with housework, scheduling the kids activities for the Fall, and resting up as much as possible Today, I spent the day in my pajamas, sorting the kids old clothes and toys for Goodwill. Of course, while I was doing this, Zofia was dismantling other areas of the house. But, at least I feel like I'm making progress! And, we're looking forward to the new "school" year and some fun activities with friends.
So, that's where we find ourselves at the end of August; reflecting on a summer already gone by. It seems like we planned for the Canada trip for so long, it's hard to believe it has come and gone already. It reminds me how quickly life goes by, and brings to mind an inspiration card we read during our family meeting yesterday, which said, "I will love where I am right now!"
My last entry here had us heading into the holiday season. You'll be happy to know we survived the onslaught of commercialism, tempered by community activities and general holiday cheer.
Then began the New Year. 2011! We started off on the fiscally ambitious note of getting our taxes compiled and ready to send in as soon as possible. Darren is always motivated to get this task done early in the New Year. I think it's the suspense of whether or not we'll see any sizeable return that keeps him inspired. Thankfully, we didn't have to pay any taxes this year, so that was a good way to start things off!
Into February we went, attending meetings, co-op classes, basketball and hockey practices, swimming and music lessons, and various appointments. All this interspersed amongst social engagements errands, housework, Darren's job, parenting, and the general routines of life made for a tiring start to the year, and was underscored by gloomy cold weather. Nonetheless, Valentine's Day is in February, and, after all, "All You Need is Love!" So, we kept our spirits high and energy up (well, the kids anyway), and forged on into the Winter.
Fortunately, as we headed into March, the winter weather didn't interfere with too many plans, nor did it dampen anyone's spirits too greatly. After all, we all had a lot to be looking forward to. My birthday came first, which I suppose is not something everyone looks forward to, but I don't mind. It's just a marker of time, celebrating my arrival on the planet. I had a nice day, hanging out with the family and going to see a movie with Darren, while Grandma babysat.
Next on the list of highly anticipated events came Darren's trip to Italy, which he had been planning and saving for all year. He had the luxury of spending ten days with his good friend, Alex, just relaxing, doing some hiking and visiting old friends.
That same week, Joe was excited to be going (along with his support crew of me, his siblings and Grandma) to a hockey tournament in Richmond, Virginia. This was an adventure! Having a toddler in tow made for some challenging and stress-filled moments, but we made it through, supporting Joe during his four games over the weekend, and enjoying watching the kids have such a good time staying at a hotel with a pool with all their friend. The change of scenery was welcomed, and spending a little time with Grandma was nice. So, overall, it was a good experience.
Now we're into April, and Spring is in the air! Darren's birthday started the month. Our April Fool was still in Italy, enjoying a couple last days of solitude. That weekend, the kids and I attended our church fundraising auction, and enjoyed seeing all the interesting donations. We donated a "Greens N Goodness" basket of healthy inspirations. It was a fun evening with friends, though by the time we got home, I barely had the energy to get the kids to bed and crawl in myself! Thankfully, I had one more day to rest up before Darren's return that Monday. He arrived back from his European retreat refreshed and ready to continue the tasks at hand with renewed energy and enthusiasm. That lasted about four days, and then the kids wore him out and he needed a nap! Ha!
Our eighteenth wedding (or should I say, elopement) anniversary is next week, so maybe we'll get a brief respite, to reflect on this life we've created together, and blow some air on the smoldering flame of our love! Ha ha... no gagging please! All corniness aside, we are really thankful for where we are, despite occasional bumps and turns in the road. We've collected volumes of wisdom, of which I'm sure we'll continue to reference as we continue on our path. But, we are excited about the possibilities for what is to come!
Today was one of the first few really warm days of the season, and to celebrate, Flo, Zofia and I dusted off the jogging stroller and headed out for a good long walk, stopping to say hi to a friend, and doing some errands along the way. I signed Zofia up for a kid's yoga class at the YMCA while we were out. It will be her first real class. By this age, we had Flo and Joe in all sorts of dance, gymnastics, Little Gym, etc. I guess the plight of the third child is to tag along with her siblings more and learn by association! She's three and a half now, and keeping us alert! We always felt the threes was harder than the "terrible" twos, and she's proving no exception. But, I'll try to keep myself in good shape mentally and physically, so I am up to the challenge of keeping up with her, because I know that in the blink of an eye, she'll be more self-sufficient and less interested in her boring mom!
So, I'll try to be back before the change of seasons, but I make no promises. Scheduling time for such luxuries as writing or fiddling around on the computer with photographs and such, is more of a challenge these days. But, that's okay, too... That wisdom I mentioned before has taught me to prioritize... and I'm slowly heading to that intuitive advice. I hope everyone enjoys the coming of the warmer weather, and is looking forward to some fun Spring and Summer activities. Drop us a note, and let us know what you're up to!
That said, I'm looking forward to upcoming holiday get-togethers. And, the kids are already well-prepared with their lists for Santa and eagerness to set up the Christmas tree this weekend. Flo started months ago with a very detailed and organized list for "Santa." She is now privy to Santa's identity, but still enjoys the fun, and may be a little reluctant to let go of the illusion. The fact that she has two siblings looking forward to Santa's return, makes it easy for her to savor the fantasy a bit longer.
Since my last post at the end of the summer, we've all been busy with the activities of this new homeschool year. Flo has a full schedule with guitar, skating, art, and tutoring and a learning co-op. And, Joe is still busy several days a week with hockey practices and games, as well as, various other homeschool activities. His eighth birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, and he is excited about that. And finally, Zofia is now three and giving us a run for our money. She's so much fun, but the kids have lovingly nicknamed her "Destructo Baby." Joe had just gotten through that "dump everything on the floor" stage, and now Zofia is next in line. We spend a lot of time picking up stuff off the floor, but I love her creativity and watching her entertain herself with my pots and pans, or all of the books from the lower shelves of our bookcase. Someday, I'll stand in my tidy, organized home, missing the chaos and dishevelment. I remind myself of that daily.
Darren is still happily working at home. In January, he has to reapply for the work at home program, so hopefully, it will continue. There's always that fear that he'll have to return to the miserable daily commute, but we'll remain optimistic, and enjoy having so much time together right now.
As for me, I'm feeling busy as ever, and trying to balance all the parts of my life. Between parenting, homeschooling, being on the board at our church, helping organize a produce co-op, and trying to keep myself in good health, there doesn't often seem to be much time left to breathe. But, I'm working on that... just breathing... it does wonders!
So, I hope this season finds everyone doing well and looking forward to time with friends and family. As corny as it sounds, it is a magical time of year; especially if we focus on the spirit of the season, fostering friendships and family connections, and knowing that the greatest gift we can give is our own energy, focus and love. Happy Holidays!
Well, the summer season is drawing to an end. We've had an eventful few months, though. The kids have gotten in lots of fun in the sun, and plenty of swimming. We started off July with our mini-vacation to Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, PA. It was five days of fun and community and the kids had a great time. Zofia was a bit of a handful, so I didn't get to attend as many lectures as I'd hoped, but I still had a good time hanging out, chatting with people and enjoying the vegan and raw food cuisine.
We had a couple houseguests this summer, too. Our niece, Samantha, came down from Ontario to join us on our trip to Summerfest. This is her third year in a row visiting. She always makes an easy houseguest, as she pretty much entertains herself and she eats whatever we make or does her own thing. She stayed for two weeks, during which time our community had its huge "mile-long" yard sale. We didn't sell much this year, but it was fun just hanging out and watching all the people.
Shortly after Samantha's departure, Darren's sister's family came down from Canada for about five days. It was great to everyone and catch up. Zofia and her cousin, Ella, are only two months apart, so it was cute to see them interact. And Joe had a great time playing indoor hockey and kicking around a soccer ball with his older cousins.
Right after the Canadian Cousins departed, we took a little trip to the Saugerties, New York area, to visit an old friend of mine. We went the day before Flo's birthday, so we celebrated her day by walking around Woodstock and taking her to a few fun shops and out to lunch. It was great to reconnect with my friend, Laura, and do something special with Flo.
Most recently, we headed up near Philadelphia on August 21st for the Vibrant Living Festival, which was a eco-conscious, raw food, health type festival. We stayed at a nearby hotel for two nights, and we enjoyed swimming in the pool and checking out the local area.
This weekend, we're wrapping up the summer with a potluck with our vegetarian group, and Darren is taking a coaching clinic for hockey on Sunday. So, one more official week of summer before Labor Day, but we're already thinking of the upcoming homeschooling year, and trying to schedule all the kids activities without being too busy. We're looking forward more fun and adventures as we head into the Fall!
I'm astounded by the fact that it has been four months since I've updated our family blog. It's always on my to-do list, but tends to get pushed to the bottom by other, more pressing, tasks. Keeping up with three kids and a house is way more time-consuming than I ever anticipated. I think my mother ill-prepared me for the likelihood that when I had children, I could literally go days without getting a quiet moment to myself or feeling like I've accomplished more than just keeping my head above water. But, I can't blame her, really. I was an only child, and by the time I reached adulthood, she'd surely forgotten the demands she and her brother placed on their parents. So, I'm left to forge my way, reliant on the advice and support of my peers, and of course, the Internet!
However, I don't waste much energy lamenting the lack of time for personal endeavors at the moment. I know it is just a season in life, and just like today's beautiful early summer evening, with its mild temperature and gentle breezes, I will savor it, knowing that there will always be a few storms to weather, but plenty of pleasant sunny days.
In the past few months, there have been, both, birthdays and anniversaries. I celebrated my 37th birthday in March, and Darren followed right behind on April 1st, welcoming in his 40th year! Mid-April was my parent's anniversary, and even though my dad has been gone for years, it always gets me reflecting on my own marriage and parenting experiences. It is a perfect segue into our anniversary in the third week of April. This year, we celebrated 17 years. So, lots of milestones.
We have already launched into summer, with the winding down of some of our homeschooling activities, as well as, Joe's Spring hockey season. We have a busy summer ahead with lots of social outings, a huge neighborhood yard sale, visits from Darren's niece and sister, our much awaited vacation to Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnston, Pennsylvania, several day trips for various events, and a long weekend up to Philadelphia and New York to celebrate Flo's 11th birthday.
The kids are all doing great. Flo is turning the corner to those pre-teen years, along with all the wonderment and drama that entails. Joe is becoming more of himself each day, still really enjoying hockey and, pretty much, any sporty activity. He's also working on a collection of matchbox cars and tiny Legos that is soon to overtake our home. Finally, there's Zofia, who will be three at the end of this summer. Everyone always talks about the "terrible-twos," but for me, three has been more of a challenge, and it seems as though Zofia is going to solidify my opinion on that. She loves her big brother and sister, and wants to be included in all their activities with their friends. She takes every opportunity, when her parents are distracted, to dig through the junk drawer, write on walls or herself, cut things up with scissors, dump all the toys we've just spent hours sorting and putting away, pester the dog, pull things out of the fridge and pantry, empty the ice machine onto the kitchen floor, and numerous other mischievous endeavors. Nonetheless, watching her learn and discover new things is an experience we're savoring, knowing it will be our last round of toddlerhood.
So, we're looking forward to a fun summer, and will try to enjoy the intended leisurely pace of the season, rather than getting caught up in our usual busy schedule. We hope everyone is well and excited about their own summer adventures! I'm sure we'll hear about them on Facebook!
Seven years ago today, Joe was born in the tiny bathroom of our home in Connecticut. He had a rough start in his first year with some major health issues, but he rebounded beautifully and continues to thrive. We are so happy to have him in our lives and look forward to watching and participating as his life unfolds.
Joe is very excited to be turning seven. We're celebrating simply this year with a homemade allergy-safe lemon ginger cake, a couple nice gifts from us and Grandma, lunch out at his favorite eating spot (Chipotle) and hockey practice in the evening. He'll continue his birthday weekend fun by going to Reston, Virginia on Saturday for a hockey game, and hanging out with friends on Sunday at a vegan potluck we're hosting.
Happy Birthday Joe! We love you!
Almost two months have passed since my last entry, and Florence keeps sending me emails, reminding me to update our website, so I figured I’d finally oblige. I’ve been sick for over a week now. I think I’m starting to emerge from it, but it really knocked me out. It started out as a sort of flu, then progressed into a nasty sinus infection and respiratory thing. It has not been pleasant. Darren has had to take a couple days off of work, and despite his best efforts to help out with the kids and meals and such, a lot of the housework like basic cleaning and laundry have fallen way behind. If I don’t get better soon, I’m going to have to call in support services. But, I’m hopeful the next few days will see me regaining my strength and feeling better. My birthday is on Monday, and I certainly would like to feel better before then!
Everyone’s doing well. The kids are keeping us busy. Zofia is into everything, and getting a lot more expressive. Flo is into Club Penguin and enjoys getting computer time whenever possible. Joe is rather computer savvy, too! We’ve really had to set limits on it, though, or I swear they’d sit there all day. Thankfully, we have plenty of other things to keep us busy. Flo and I have been working on writing a lot, and she and Darren have been working on a Geography/History curriculum for the United States. Joe is still progressing through some basic reading stuff, and most of the time is easy to work with. His main focus, though, is always hockey! He loves hockey!
Darren is heading to Italy next week for a short vacation to visit his good friend, Alex. He’s excited to get away for a bit and have a change of pace. We briefly pondered all going, but the cost would be way too expensive, and 2009 is our year of no credit card debt! And besides, even if we could afford for us all to go, I’m thinking that toting three young kids around Italy might not be the relaxing experience we’d be aiming for. We’d be better to try that in five or six years. We’re going to try to find something local we can do this summer for an overnight as a family that will be fun, affordable, and as relaxing as possible.
So, off to find the box of tissue and head back to bed, hopeful that Zofia is tired enough to join me. Good night!
October went by in an over-scheduled blur. In fact, it is now November, and I’m reflecting back on October, wondering where the time went.
Academically, we’re pretty much on the same path as usual. Flo does lots of independent reading, and we also read together a lot. Flo is one of those people that likes to have three or four books going at once, so she has books all over the place; in the car, in her backpack, next to her bed… Come to think of it, that sounds just like me! I have stacks of books everywhere and tend to read in spurts.
Joe had a dentist appointment this month to fill his little cavity that we’ve been taking good care of for the past two years, because every dentist appointment up until recently ended in a complete meltdown on his part. Thankfully, some maturity seems to have come to Joe as he rounds out his fifth year, and this appointment was remarkably quick and painless. They didn’t even have to numb him. They just got in there, quickly got out the “sugar monster” and were done. Yeah!
We continued with our Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op this month. It’s the first and third Fridays of the month, and though I’m always glad to be there once we get there, it’s so hard getting going with three kids, that I often question the benefits of the whole experience. Nonetheless, we try to contribute what we can, and Flo really loves the social aspect. Joe is pretty much only interested in sports and games, but is a lot easier to manage than he was even just last year. Now Zofia has stepped up to fill his shoes, and keeps me busy chasing her around and getting into stuff.
We had our second Creative Journaling Club meeting this month. It was all girls this time, which was fun. I spent a couple hours doing a journaling collage project with them, while listening in on their giggly conversations. I’m enjoying the group, and it’s inspiring me to dust off my journal as well!
On the 12th, we headed to Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland. We’ve gone to their annual open house fundraiser every year for a few years now, and since it was great weather, it seemed like a good way to spend the day. We walked around a bit, visiting with the pigs, sampled some free vegan food and drinks, and then decided to head down to DC, since we were so close. Flo and I did some walking, while Joe and Darren went down to the monuments for a bit. Then, we rendezvoused at the Georgetown Whole Foods for a snack before heading home. All in all, a nice day.
The next day, Flo’s friend, Kate, celebrated her 9th birthday at the Lions Park in Smithsburg, so we headed out for a few hours. The weather was nice and the kids all enjoyed themselves. I opted to leave Joe home that day, so I could relax a bit, because he always gets carried away with the older boys, and I have to spend most of my time telling him to stay out of the woods at this particular park. So, we had a little girl time out… fun!
That same week, our friends Jen, and her son, Conner, came back down from New Jersey, to stay a few days. While they were here, I hosted a Mom’s Night Out here, so Jen could visit with some of her old friends. It was a nice evening, but everyone was tired by 10pm or so, so it wasn’t a late night. I guess motherhood really takes a toll on your energy at times!
On the 23rd, Flo and Joe were invited to Jayme and Alicia’s birthday surprise party at Marty Snook Park. We were a little late to get in on the surprise part, but we made it and the kids all had a great time. Jayme and Alicia actually came over for the evening after the party to visit, after please from Flo and Joe to have their friends over. We made spaghetti, played outside and watch some Scooby.
The following day, Flo had another social outing when she went to her friend, Callie’s, house for the afternoon. They went to see the new “High School Musical 3” movie, so Flo was very excited about that.
We rounded out the month with Halloween festivities. On the 30th, our homeschooling group (PHLiC) had a Halloween party at the Williamsport library. It was a beautiful day out, too, so the kids got to run around outside, as well as, enjoy the festivities inside. Flo went as a medieval princess, and Joe as some sort of Star Wars character.
They continued their costumed fun the next evening for Trick-or-Treating. Jayme and Alicia came over, and we all made the rounds in our neighborhood for the second year in a row. Eric and Jessica visited with us for awhile after trick-or-treating, and the kids enjoyed watching some Halloween specials and checking out all their candy. So, it was a nice evening, and a good memory.
That pretty much wraps up October. As we head into the Fall, I’m still trying to find that balance in our schedule, so that we’re home enough to have time to relax and spend quality time together, but so that we have enough activities to keep the kids stimulated and offer social opportunities. I think this will forever be the challenge, but one must keep trying!
The transition from Summer to Fall just seemed to happen overnight. We’re just days away from Halloween already! October has been another eventful month with lots of activities. The kids are enjoying the new “school year” with music lessons, homeschool co-op, yoga, hockey, photography class, art, journaling club, birthday parties, and an array of other social activities.
Florence and Joseph are looking forward to Halloween, as usual. Flo wants to be a princess this year, and I think Joe has a hand-me-down Star Wars outfit he’s planning to wear. In addition to trick-or-treating, we have a homeschool Halloween party on Thursday, too, so they will have plenty of opportunity to dress up.
Darren is still enjoying the luxury of working at home. Our schedule definitely is much more pleasant this year, than it was when he was commuting five hours a day. We certainly never become complacent about how fortunate he is to have this opportunity that allows us to spend so much more time together. He goes to DC just once a week to drop off his case load and pick up new ones, and just that one day getting up at 4am is tiring, and he’s still home by late afternoon. I don’t know how he did it every day for three years, not getting home until 8 or 9pm! Like I said, life is good!
Zofia is growing fast. She’s babbling a lot and is always on the go. Her favorite activities are digging in the Tubberware cabinet and dumping all his sister and brother’s toys out in the playroom (much to Flo and Joe’s dismay). I can’t believe how fast the time is going, and we really try to savor all the little moments of newness with her, even amongst the chaos of being a larger family and all that is going on around us.
So, that’s about all for this month’s update. Finding time for journaling has been somewhat of a challenge lately, but I try to record my thoughts every now and then, as it’s always interesting to look back on.