Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Out with the Old

Out with the old. In with the new!

(A scene from our neighborhood a few weeks ago.)

Hope everyone had a great New Year's! As requested, here is our Family Letter from 2007. I expect faithful readers to find it a bit repetitive. (All except for the paragraph that Warren penned. See if you can guess which one it is!)

December 31, 2007

Dearest Friends & Family,

Another year bites the dust! With our big move—about a mile away—it seemed to zip by. Now that we are all settled in, we are looking forward to a year of taking it easy. (With an extremely active three and five-year-old, it’s much easier said that done!) For those of you that we may have failed to stay in touch with last year, here’s a little update on Team Oster.

In the world of Archaeology, Warren led two pretty cool projects this year. He returned to Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest to field-direct an archaeological survey, where he managed to not get a recurrence of Lyme’s disease nor lose any of his crew in the densest most parasite-infested brush west of the Mississippi. In October and November he was in charge of the archaeological testing of three pre-historic Indian sites along the Buffalo River in Perry County, Tennessee. The excavation uncovered the remains of houses (post-holes, hearths, and storage pits), some of which are over 8,000 years old, as well as a burial, and hundreds of cool artifacts including a Paleoindian spearhead. He will be back there as early as next spring for the complete excavation of these sites, which will otherwise be destroyed by highway construction.

When he isn’t busy working in the field or crafting maps and reports in the office, Warren amazes us with his incredible cooking, his uncanny ability to fix all things broken, and his penchant for making extravagant costumes for the boys to wear in school plays. If the boys manage to learn even a half of what Warren knows, I’ll be happy!

Satchel and Jiro are extremely fascinated by all things outdoors and seem destined to follow in their dad’s footsteps. Warren took them to the University of Memphis’ archaeology field school at the nearby Ames Plantation for a day trip, and later they got to spend a couple of days digging with Warren’s crew in Perry County, where within five minutes of arriving they had both taken a dunk into the Buffalo River.

Satchel and Jiro started a new school last January—Evergreen Montessori, just a few blocks from our house. They are both doing extremely well there and seem to thrive in the Montessori atmosphere. At age 5, I am most impressed with Satchel’s math skills and the fact that he can almost read a beginner’s book all by himself. He’s also quite athletic and loves digging in the dirt. When I pick him up from school I fully expect to see his knees dirty from soccer and his fingernails dirty from bug hunting. Jiro, age 3, is the toughest kid in town. He loves his big brother and can more than hold his own with the “big boys.” Jiro likes playing outside too, but his true passion is for electronics. He knows more about operating our remote control than I do!

This year the boys went on their first camping trip, first canoe trip, and first beach vacation (which resulted in Satchel’s first pet turtle, frog, and hermit crab). They also got to ride their bikes and hike through several nearby forests, trails, and mountains. One of our favorite things to do when it is nice outside is to skateboard (Warren), ride bikes (Satch & Jiro), and roller skate (me) along the river front. We are quite a sight!

Speaking of roller skating, after breaking my tibia and fibula playing roller derby last year, I wasn’t sure I’d ever make it back on the track. However, after a good bit of healing, a stint at coaching, and lots of hard work, I made it back on the track December 1st! (And when the bout was over, I wheeled out on my skates rather than on a stretcher!) In addition to roller derby, I keep myself busy writing. I’m getting a good reputation as a food writer thanks to my frequent “Recommended Dishes” for The Memphis Flyer. I was even asked to judge a Kosher BBQ cooking contest! More than anything, I like writing about the boys and our family life on my blogs.

We’re looking forward to new adventures in the new year. Follow along with us at www.fertilegroundzine.blogspot.com.

Wishing you the best for 2008,
Warren, Stacey, Satchel & Jiro

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