I'll start with Larry. I can't state what he does for a living in a public place like this blog. I guess I can say this much: he's still in law enforcement and works for a government entity. Hmm....kinda sounds like I'm hiding that he's a secret spy or something doesn't it? ha ha! We'll just go with that. :)
My spy husband just built us a little outdoor patio sort of area. My parents did a big project with a bunch of flagstone & had a bunch of it leftover that they gave to us. We decided to build a porch/patio/outdoor sit & rest sort of space with it. We spent a couple of nights laying down the rocks & deciding on the shape of the area. After working to get it level, we finally gave up on ever getting it totally 100% flat & just poured the mortar! It's not perfect, but it's ours. And we love it. We've spent at least an hour for the past 2 nights just sitting out there, listening to the leaves rustle on the trees, enjoying the breeze in the evening air. Way to go, SpyDaddy!
Here's what it looked like after we just layed the stones out (no mortar):
Shockingly, the school year is almost over, which means I am about to have a JUNIOR. Good grief. It continually amazes me how fast she's growing up. It seems like just last week I was battling to get her potty trained and now she's looking at her grown up future, just around the corner. She has her Driver's Permit now, but until she finishes a little more of her (online) classroom part of driver's ed, we're not ready to let her start driving. I suspect she will finish it all over the summer.
At the moment, she is taking part in an advanced reader program for her favorite author--Jenny L. Cote. One particular series of Ms. Cote's drew her attention a year or so ago. She's plowed through all the books in the series & friended her on Facebook a while back. She's written her so many fan messages that Ms. Cote asked her to read the upcoming book (from this same series) and give her a review of it. Her comments will be published in the real book when it's released! Savannah is sooo excited about it & delights in carrying around this huge 700 page manuscript!
We recently ordered Savannah's letter jacket. She is actually triple-lettering! She could get her jacket through Band, Newspaper or UIL. She was offered the chance to go ahead & get it this year with UIL, so we went for it. Knowing how expensive things get during a high schooler's junior & senior years, we decided to go ahead & bite the bullet and get her jacket now.
We get new college letters for her every day. She smiles & laughs when she looks at them and tells us that she has NO IDEA how to pick a college or how to know if a school *really* wants her to be there or if she's just getting the same letter & brochure that every other kid in America got. Honestly, she will probably start off at one of the 2 colleges here in our town while living at home and then see if she wants to transfer elsewhere later on. At the moment, she is completely clueless about what she wants to get a degree in or what she wants to do "when she grows up", so I figure it's a good idea for her to stick around here, close to home, until she gets that all figured out. (And that's a plus for this mama who would love to get to keep her baby at home a little bit longer!)
Sam is just about done with 6th grade. He'll be starting Junior High next year. He plans to be in Athletics & join the football team & do as many sports as he can. I'm not sure where he gets all this athletic ambition since neither Larry or I have it, but he has high hopes of being on the football field next Fall. I can't wait to see how that goes. I'm a little bit (ok, a LOT) scared for him. He's only played instructional sports at the YMCA and whatever he's done in PE class at school over the years. I'm not sure he realizes just how BIG some of those 7th & 8th grade boys are....or that he'll have to run (from) into them on the field & be tackled over and over. Ouch. Doesn't sound like fun to me at all. God, please protect my baby!
He got his upper braces in March & will get his lower ones in May. He looks so cute with brackets & wires in his mouth. If he can just keep them clean, life will be great. He's definitely all boy in that regard.
He continues to be our family's comic relief much of the time. The best part is, he does it without trying. He says some of the craziest & funniest things every day. He is quite a comedian. However, if he doesn't kill the 12 year old attitude very soon, he's gonna be laughing himself right into a very long summer of extra chores and groundings. (Lord help us!)
Sarah is my baby. And she's in 5th grade. Which means my last baby is finishing elementary school next month. Oh heavens, bring on the Kleenex. Her teacher emailed me this week about planning our end of the year class party. She wants it to be graduation-themed. If she plays Pomp & Circumstance, they may have to carry me to the car when I leave. That music does me in every time! Something about the hopefulness, the unlimited future it represents, the dreams & excitement it stirs...oh my goodness, it makes me cry every time. (It used to kill me when they'd practice Pre-K graduation at the preschool & the kids would march past my classroom door to get to the practice area. Watching them file in to that music turned me teary-eyed every single time!)
Sarah is looking forward with a little nervous anticipation to joining the ranks of Middle Schoolers next year. She's already told me that she's worried about walking into school on the first day by herself (I told her this would be a good year to do it on her own, without me by her side.) She is excited about joining the band, but a little nervous about whether she'll do well on whatever instrument she's assigned. She is happy about the idea of switching classes throughout the day & getting a locker, but she is concerned she will forget her schedule & her locker combination. So it's a mixed bag of bittersweet emotions. I remember feeling all of those same fears when I started middle school all those years ago. Pray for her, ok?
Sarah is looking forward to a trip with my parents this summer. Since Sam goes to Scout camp, my parents are going to take the girls on a short trip to Colorado. All three kids love to travel, so they're really looking forward to it.
As the school year draws to an end, I am looking forward to a break from the "big kids" I work with. Don't get me wrong, I love them & they are so very sweet and fun to watch succeed. But oh how I miss my preschool babies! I am giddy about getting to teach them again this summer. I will return to my old preschool 2 days a week this summer to spend my days with all the sweet kiddos! I can't wait! Playdough & painting & storytime & art center & playground time & silly conversations with all of the kids are just around the corner!
I just finished my first Jodi Piccoult book yesterday. If you like her books & haven't read "Nineteen Minutes" I highly recommend it. It is about a school shooting case. It's not based on a true story, but it's loosely based on details from many of the shootings we've all heard about. In this book, you get a picture of what life was like for the shooter as he grew up and all the people closest to him. It's a very compelling story that pushes you forward, to finish the book. The only thing I should let you know, however, is that it's definitely rated R. There are a couple of pretty graphic sex scenes in the book. They are all date rape sort of scenes, but the author is pretty detailed in what she describes, so this book is not for the faint of heart or a teenager. (I am not letting Savannah read it for this reason---she would like the story otherwise.)
Tomorrow is going to be a very long day, so I'm going to head to bed now. I have to get Sam to the school in the very early hours of the day to go on a trip with the choir. They will be competing & visiting an amusement park. He will have a blast & eat junk food all day, then return super late tomorrow night. In between, we have a funeral to go to and I am already looking forward to a nap!
Until next time............