starting with the most recent updates first…
Matthew is as happy as happy can be. Since the age of five, Matthew has known that he wants to go into some sort of military service. Never in my life have a known a kid who has such laser focus and drive. He bases all of his decisions on what will best help him achieve his goal. At the beginning of January, he got one step closer to his dream when he enrolled in the Navy Sea Cadets program.
Once a month, he has a Drill Weekend held at the Coast Guard Base. He spends eight hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday receiving military-type training. He has a 700 page Basic Military Requirements book that he takes 15 tests on (he’s already completed nine since January). The tests must all be finished before he attends RT (Recruit Training – as in BOOT CAMP!!!) this summer. Yes, my baby – my 14 year old once-a-five-pound-peanut – will be going to Boot Camp this summer! It’s crazy. But we couldn’t be prouder and he couldn’t be happier.
Just two days ago, he and I embarked on another big step – attending incoming freshmen night at the high school. There, he’ll be able to also do JROTC (also Navy affiliated). The kid seriously glows when in his element. It’s really ridiculously amazing to watch your kid embrace their calling and live his passion.
As we’ve always said, our two boys couldn’t possibly be more different (and equally awesome in their totally unique ways). Zachary – while Matthew was in Navy uniform attended Drill – was dressed in this ‘uniform’. He was an Oompa Loompa in the school’s production of Willy Wonka.
He’s also recently joined the Dungeons and Dragons club at school (a group we all lovingly refer to as the “D’nD Nerd Herd”) and is excited to make more fun-nerd friends there.
He’s been adjusting to the massive load of middle school homework and is still attempting to make peace with math (as am I) and the fact that it’ll be a forced required part of his life for quite some time.
The girl has finally lost some teeth! She felt like the last one in her class (though she did lose her first this summer on August 4th). She bit into an apple – shouted with excitement, “My tooth came out!” But then a moment later shouted with total horror, “BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!” In the end, she chose not to leave it for Tooth Fairy, instead left a note with a picture explaining that she’d like to keep her first one. She recently lost her first to one and looks like such a goofball. I crack up every time she gives me a big grin.
My kindergarten class will be putting on their musical – Goldilocks and the Three Bears – in a couple of weeks. I wrote the script for it and am pretty darn excited with how they’re doing! I think it’ll be great. The best part (in my opinion) is when they put on funky shutter-shade sunglasses and sing ‘Porridge Funk’ – the Goldilocks-ified version of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk – cuz, you know, the porridge was too hot! Burned tongue…’
The last few months I’ve been feeling more and more like I’m ready to graduate from preschool music. It’s time for me to move on to working with bigger kids. I’d been feeling like this when – ask and you shall receive! – I got an email from Kayli’s elementary school music teacher asking if I might be interested in a potential position. Um, YEAH! But, here’s the catch…I’ll have to go back to school and finally, at long last, fulfill my dad’s dream of me getting my certificate and Masters. So, I’m in the process of spending every spare moment relearning everything about everything and the stuff about all the stuff so I can take the state required teacher exams next Spring and enter a program next Summer. I can still get hired for this coming fall with a conditional certificate. Once I have my foot in the district’s door (fingers crossed), then my paid teaching position can count as my student teaching too.
I’ve never wanted to play by the rules. I just wanted to teach, so I jumped in right out of undergrad and taught 3-8th grade music. Then we got busy having the babies, adopting the baby and raising the babies, and I was able to continue teaching through starting my business and working in private schools and preschools. Dad always wanted me to get certified and Masterified, and I always resisted. Just a few months before he died, we had discussed me going back to school and I had (begrudgingly agreed) to start getting ready. Well, then we know what happened and his whole plan for me got put on hold. Now, finally, I know and feel that my plan is actually His plan (which was his plan). You follow? It just feels so right. I have NO idea how I’ll manage to balance teaching, becoming a full-time student again (all while supposedly still raising three kids)! It sure feels like it’s The Plan, so if it’s meant to be, it’ll work. Super overwhelming but super exciting too!
We got to see Hamilton with one of my high school besties, Brianna. It WAS as amazing as everyone says it is!
Christmas 2017 & New Year’s 2018
Well, it was an interesting one. First of all, it was a WHITE CHRISTMAS which was pretty magical! But unfortunately, Christmas was a little overshadowed by the fact that we discovered that Kayliana had brought home a very unwelcome souvenir from school – LICE. Yes, it was as nasty as I had always feared. We went into lice-lockdown-quarantine for much of the holiday break. We still managed to celebrate our annual Camp Christmas/New Year’s Staycation with the besties though (although some of it was spent with us double-triple-quadruple nit-picking everyone’s heads like a bunch of mama monkeys and vacuuming and black-bagging every possible thing in the house). Thankfully, Licemaggedon 2017 wrapped up before we rang in the New Year.
Our New Year got off to a very sad start though, on New Year’s Day Kayliana’s incredibly beloved Kindergarten teacher from last year passed away. Michelle Robinson was one of those people (and teachers) who absolutely impacts everyone’s life with whom she came in contact. She was a bright light and such a beautiful person. She ‘got’ Kayli so quickly and at our first conference together told me that she already knew the perfect first grade teacher she would recommend for her (because – this person ‘wouldn’t make Kayli think inside the box.’ And sure enough, Kayli’s first grade teacher – one of Mrs. Robinson’s closest friends – is, indeed, a perfect fit for Kayli). Kayli was devastated on the last day of school. Just saying goodbye to Mrs. Robinson for the summer was hard. She even drew a picture of her to have on our fridge so she could still see Mrs. Robinson every day.
Michelle had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and was already planning on taking this school year off for a health sabbatical as she waited for a double-lung transplant. Sadly, her lungs and body weren’t able to wait any longer and she got ill before Christmas, passing away on New Year’s Day. She left behind her husband and a sweet ten year old daughter who goes to our school as well.
So loved and so missed.