16 June, 2017

Life's been a bit topsy-turvy this week

Feeding the family continues. I made these brownies from
scratch yesterday and some are already gone. That's a
good sign! It's the first time I've made brownies from scratch.
Probably they're healthier than the packet-mix ones, they're
certainly lighter in texture.
It's time for a "what's been going on in our neck of the woods" type post.

This has been a topsy-turvy type week, as is usual in our house, the first week that students are on summer holidays, with the usual schedules all out the window.

Monday to Wednesday David was at school full-time participating/leading various compulsory meetings and finishing off his responsibilities for the school year. The boys were "full-time" at home.

Well, that's not quite true. Our eldest went off on a two-night hiking/camping trip in the mountains west of here with more than a dozen of his friends. You might think it is crazy to let a bunch of teenagers do that, but it's safe in Japan and looking at the character of this group of kids, we had no concerns at all. Oh, and one of them was a scout while another has exceptional orienteering skills. So our son was gone from Sunday lunch time till late on Tuesday, then Wednesday was a recovery day.

Our youngest son hung out most of the time with a classmate who lives nearby and has both parents as teachers. The boys spent most mornings outside and afternoons upstairs in his bedroom here.

Our middle son was home almost full-time. The most extreme introvert of the family, he's enjoyed being a homebody and having few people to interact with.

Thursday and Friday David's been at school part-time, doing preparation for next week (summer school) and next year (handing over some of his classes).

Our youngest and middle sons continued a similar schedule to the above. 

Our eldest son had training at school yesterday for the two weeks he's left for today as a summer camp "leader" (Americans call it "counselor"). During those two weeks they have three camps coming through, first one is grades 1 and 2! Then 3–5 and finally from next Saturday is 6–8. They're going to be busy and have a lot of fun. But it also is a paid gig!

There's no doubt about it, having older boys is definitely a different parenting lifestyle. But I like it.

My week?
And through all the above? Aside from Monday morning, I've mostly been at home trying to catch up on what has been put on the back-burner over the last month as I dealt with a senior graduating and parents visiting. I'm finally feeling a little more on top of things again. 

Oh, as well as mopping up the final things from the events that I helped coordinate for the seniors over the last ten months. I'm so glad that that is almost completely done. I don't think I'll be volunteering to such an extent for our younger two sons classes!

I also went out with a couple of friends for dinner on Wednesday night and that was a lot of fun.

This morning I did one of my least favourite chores: a starving blood test as part of an annual check-up provided by the Japanese medical system. 

I'm a little peeved, though. From my experience trying to get a blood test for an OMF medical last year, I knew that in Japan you can't get health maintenance checks at the "wrong" time of the year. But I'm due (according to Australian recommendations) for a couple of female-health tests. However it seems that I'm the wrong age. You can only have these two particular tests at a certain time of the year and only if you're 41, 43, or 45 (you get the idea, an "odd" age). But next year, when I'll be the "right" age, the tests will be in the second half of the year (as best as I understand the schedule) and by then I'll be back in Australia for a year! 

Sigh. As I'm not particularly worried about anything, I guess I'll have to wait another seven months till I'm in Australia settling out eldest son into university in February, to get those particular tests done. It's going to be a great visit to Australia (sarcasm intended!), but at least I'll be able to do it all in English.

So, in a summary, in the last twelve days we've gone from seven people in the house, to five, to four, back to five, (with an extra boy in there for several afternoons, but not for meals) and now four for the next eight days. Then, from the 24th, we'll have six days of three of us in the house, when our youngest goes away to summer camp himself. My meal planning and grocery shopping has taken a bit of a hit. Not to mention my sense of "normal". I remind myself occasionally that it's okay to feel a little off-balance.

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