Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Making Progress

I know it seems kind of boring, but Tyler coded this entire thing - for the line to appear and to move and twist and turn. I couldn't do it.  Seems to be the best use of class time so far. (His program isn't choppy. My video is.) This is just a portion of it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Way to Go!

Today my brother Ron ran in his first half marathon. My mom and I rolled out of bed before sunrise to cheer him and another friend on.

In my opinion, there's no way to watch one of these races up close without being moved. Everyone out there has a story, a struggle, a challenge to overcome, and a goal to obtain. You can see it on their faces, especially in that last stretch when they have to really dig deep, and it is very inspiring.

We stationed ourselves at a spot where they would pass twice - at miles 2 & 11. We made signs specifically for Ron and my friend, but Ron's poop sign garnered a lot of laughs. Some people even stopped to take pictures with it. We had a good time clapping and cheering for every person that ran or walked by.
Waiting for the runners to get to us.

My friend Amy

In the homestretch, passing all those folks from the A corral.

I am so proud of my friend, and so proud of my brother. Not only did Ron run, he ran fast! He finished the 13.1+ miles in 1:42! He was 141st out of 1522 runners. I think that is amazing! Way to go, Ron!

Friday, August 22, 2014


We made it to Friday. The first few days of school always make for some ugly evenings, and these were no exception.

I think Danielle had a pretty good week. When she has had a little more sleep, it will be easier to talk to her about it. Yikes!

Tyler has decided he hates school once again. We had a bit of a reprieve last year, and I was hopeful it would continue but it appears it was not to be. He likes his first 3 periods. That gets him to about 10am. That leaves 4 1/2 hours of misery (less 30 minutes for lunch).
He amuses himself.
I enjoyed my week. I have been filling in for my boss for the past year and a few months while she's been battling cancer. This year they finally made it as official as they could and gave me a one year contract for the position. That means I will actually get paid for my full hours on snow days, sick days, and personal days, and it included a raise. It also means I am officially responsible for managing the kitchen & the kitchen staff. There were some things I wanted to improve and have worked to start those new routines this week.

I have enjoyed getting to see Tyler during the school day. He is in the lunchroom for his independent study work in the morning and again at lunch. It's not like I'm hugging on him or he's hanging out with me in the kitchen, but there's something special about seeing someone who knows and loves you in the middle of your work day.  Hopefully some little part of him feels the same way about seeing me.

Mostly this week I really enjoyed getting to welcome back familiar faces and smile at the nervous ones. My personal prayer this school year is that God will help me be mindful that there is so much more to my job than collecting money & making food. There are so many hurting, lonely kids that just need to be loved. Only 3 days into the school year, and I've already been given opportunities to do that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our First Day

Today was the second best day of the school year. The very best is the last day, of course. The first day is always exciting and new. It's all down hill from there. ;)
It was difficult to get pictures this morning because the sun wasn't up yet and it was overcast. I think there should be a rule about school not being allowed to start until after the sun is up. I think I could get some folks to sign that petition.

Overall the kids had good days. Danielle really likes her teacher, thinks her art teacher is funny and the bus is crowded, officially signed up to be in band, and is excited about going back tomorrow.
Danielle & her friend Maggie on the second day of kindergarten.
Danielle and her friend Maggie. I love the friendship these girls share. No girl drama. Hope that continues! 

Tyler enjoyed his first 3 periods and that's about it. He had homework on the first day, thinks this year might be a little difficult and the new principal is rather strict (I agree), and stopped in to see his mom a couple different times despite acting as though he wanted to avoid her.

Working on his programming course (& tolerating his mother's presence).

My day was long. I'm there an hour longer this year, my substitute helper didn't show up, I knocked a container of cookies on the floor, and hopefully I made some nervous 7th graders feel a little more comfortable in their new school.

I am not crazy about this year's back to school cake, but I knew I wouldn't have much time to work on it so I needed to keep it simple. The kids still looked forward to it and were happy to have it. They were even more happy to eat it.

183 days to go...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So Long Summer

School starts tomorrow. Both kids will go to new schools this year. Both kids will have new schedules, classmates, and teachers. Both kids are probably still wide awake worrying about what tomorrow will bring.

I remember how they feel. These verses came to my mind tonight:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be afraid—I am with you!
    I am your God—let nothing terrify you!
I will make you strong and help you;
    I will protect you and save you.  Isaiah 41:10

We had a nice summer together. It was a little different because Tyler is definitely a teenager, despite not officially earning the title for a little over a month yet. He did not want to hang out with mom as much as he has in years past. We still did things together and had a nice summer. It was just different.

Tyler will be in my building this year, and I am really looking forward to getting to see him every day. He acts as though it will be horrible to have to see me, but I think it is just an act. We were given permission today for him to drop a generic "tech" class and continue with his homeschool programming course. It helped that I'm a school employee and offered to "supervise" him during that period. He is pretty excited. My coworker offered to make him warm cookies during that timeframe, so that is certainly a bonus.

Danielle is nervous about starting middle school. Of all things, I think she is worried about accidentally breaking a rule and getting in trouble. This from my Mary Poppins daughter. ("Practically perfect in every way", according to every teacher at every conference.) She is an overthinker, though, and there's nothing I can do about it other than talk through her concerns and help her work through every possible scenario. ;) This is also what makes her so compassionate for others, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

I had to go back today. I left myself a note at the end of last year. :) Yep, I'm a geek but it did make me smile.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Birthday!

While we were on vacation, we celebrated Danielle's 11th birthday. As far as vacations go, this was not our best. If it could go wrong, it did. We all tried our hardest to be sure Danielle's birthday was a happy one, though, and it did turn out to be our best day of the week.

The kids humored me with a couple pictures between rain showers in the morning.


Since it rained, we went in town to do a little souvenir shopping. That worked out well. By the time we were done shopping, the rain had moved out and it was time for the boats to start bringing their catches in. Danielle wanted fresh crab for her birthday dinner.


Dinner itself was pretty good but we discovered all too late that the rental house did not have crab crusher thingys, so the crabs were a lot more work than they should have been. Also, right as we sat down to enjoy Danielle's birthday dinner, the exterminator walked in to spray for cockroaches (a second time) and the owner of the rental company came barging in with our freshly fumigated suitcases. Seriously. They both showed up within minutes of each other and they both barged in. Danielle looked like she might cry until I joked that we should ask them both to pose for birthday pictures with us. 

After dinner and presents we spent the rest of the day on the beach.

This was our fishing buddy.

Like Ron's rubber glove? The urgent care doctor took a lot of precautions to be sure he didn't get any of the flesh-eating bacteria in his cut.

God blessed us with a peaceful evening and a beautiful sunset. It really was as perfect an evening as possible. After the sunset, we came back in the house to enjoy birthday cake and to pack for the trip home. I think it was a pretty happy 11th birthday.