Well, it's been over a year since I lasted updated. At the encouragement of my wife, I'm going to start updating again. That seems more feasible now that the summer is coming around and my workload is lightening up a bit. So here's a quick re-cap of what's happened since June of 2011!!!
Last summer, we sold our house in TX and moved out to California. I accepted a job offer at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. We moved in late July 2011. We have really enjoyed living here so far: great weather, great schools, beautiful scenery, always something fun to do, and an infinite amount of hiking trails to explore. We're about a 25 minute drive from the beaches in Malibu and < 5 minutes away from mountain hikes. Both Melanie and I have good commutes. So far, so good. The only downside to living out here: it is an extremely expensive place to live!
My first year as a faculty member has been pretty hectic. I wouldn't say overwhelming--because I had anticipated it to be this suffocating--but it's been challenging. The hardest part has been prepping new courses from scratch. Now that I've got a handful of classes under my belt, future preps won't seem such a daunting task. Mostly tweaking and improving.
Brady has really excelled in first grade. His reading is great, his math is excellent (even complex numbers in his head), his writing has improved a lot, and his spelling is very good. He had 2 months in a row of perfect spelling test scores and won a Sensational Science award that was presented to him at his school's assembly.
Alex has been coming along well, too. He has an interest in reading, is starting to get some basic math, and his writing is becoming more legible. Alex goes to the Early Childhood Center here at CLU, but starting next year, he'll join Brady at the same school when he starts kindergarten.
Sports-wise, it's been mostly Brady. Brady ran Cross Country with the Newbury Park Track Club (NPTC) in the fall. He absolutely fell in love with it! Loved running up and down all the hills around here. In the winter he played football (and did really well at it). He tried to squeeze in some winter soccer, too, but it was hard to fit that in with football since they overlapped. This spring he has started track with NPTC and he has had so much fun. He's also really developed into a great little runner! His mile time is now down to 6:50 and he does really well in the 800, 400, and 200 meters as well. I'm really proud of how well he balances having fun and working hard. Not an easy thing for a 7 year old to grasp!
Alex decided he wanted to give soccer a try again this year. In his previous 2 seasons, he has been mostly uninterested and aloof. We said he didn't have to play if he didn't want to, but he said he did. This year has really been great for him: he's paying attention, seems more into it, is playing well, and is having more fun than he's had in the past. Really proud of him.
That's about as brief of a recap as I can give of the last year or so. I'm going to now try to be a bit more diligent now that my first year as a faculty member is over. That still doesn't seem real to me that it's been a year already!