Tuesday, May 29, 2007

8th Grade Recognition

Wow....I'm amazed, awed, humbled and blessed...and really don't know how to describe my emotions.

Tonight was 8th Grade Recognition at the middle school. Son1 - being in 8th grade - got to go. The place was packed - and very hot. I don't think I've ever seen the gym that crowded - and am very glad I wasn't able to get a seat in the bleachers. Being on the "floor" in the handicapped seating (only seats available when I got there) was plenty hot enough! Anyway...Son1 was recognized for several things - he received the D.A.R. Award for excellence in American History. He received a Presidential Award certificate for receiving all A's this past year - along with a plaque. However the biggest award he received was the Nathan Frank Memorial Award. Nathan Frank was a 1995 graduate who was recognized for citizenship, scholarship, character, leadership, community and church involvement, as well as attendance and involvement in extracurricular activities. Nathan died in Sept. 1997 as a result of a sleep walking accident while at university where he was studying to become a teacher. This award is given to a student who demonstrates those same qualities. Son1 was chosen from among a group of 12 truly deserving nominees to be given this award.

Ok...I thought I lost this post...it's way past bedtime for me. Maybe tomorrow things will make more sense and I'll be able to process stuff better.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Weekly Recap - Long

Well it's been almost a week since I've taken time to catch up on this. (Actually I haven't journalled privately at all either - usually I do at least one if not both almost daily). It's been a rather crazy week to say the least - just alot of running and not accomplishing much at all. I really don't even know where to start.

This morning I ran an Amish run - just local doing grocery shopping. It was a little longer and usually makes less income. However I'm thankful for it - it will add abit of gas to the car until I can fill it properly. While I was gone the boys were supposed to be doing their weekend chores and not fighting. They accomplished the not fighting and part of the weekend chores. However I'm soon going to have to give them lunch and then get them moving on what else I want done. Since last week was so crazy we are behind and need to begin to get caught up.

I'm still dealing with poison ivy - the doctor's office says that it's been taking 2-3 weeks to clear up. Thankfully it's not as nasty as it was - looks more like I burned myself than anything else. But it does still itch and I'm still seeing spots breaking out. In the future when I'm done pulling weeds or whatever outside I will be taking extra precautions to wash any oils off my skin! I will also be making sure to use insect repellent so I don't have to deal with as many bug bites.

The field trip I drove on Tuesday was fun. Technically I didn't have to stay at the location - could leave and come back to pick the students up again. However since I needed to work on assignments for my course I opted to stay to try to get some pictures done - it was a beautiful area - very peaceful. I saw a deer while I was out walking - it was too far away to get a good picture but I did take one that does show it. The most exciting thing for me was that while I was sitting on a bench reading I had a butterfly land - first beside me, then right on my hand. I probably sat there for 15-20 min. taking pictures - using both cameras. I really feel like I got some good shots and sure enjoyed myself. I also was able to get a shot of a flower that I think (hope) will fulfill the redo of the one photo from my first unit. Eventually I'll hope to post pictures here - right now I haven't taken time to try to figure out how yet.

Wednesday was Son2's birthday - and just an emotionally difficult day for me. There's no particular reason for the emotions - was just a combination of stuff. Unfortunately we didn't get to do anything really special to celebrate his birthday - he went to TaeKwonDo class then came home and I made his favorite casserole for dinner. He had taken cookies to share with his class during the day - that was pretty much it. He is saving his birthday money to get an IPod.

Thursday...I can't remember what was going on - except for Grief Group in the evening. Son1 has decided that he is ready to close - stop going to Group and will do that next time. I have mixed emotions - I can see that he's doing really well and does seem to be ready. But it's another sign that he's growing up and that is kind of sad. He's almost finished with middle school and will be a high school student - seems like just yesterday he was a toddler. Yet he's experienced so much. He had his last middle school choir concert Tuesday night - and his first solo performance in choir. (He's done solos at church before but not school). He did a great job singing "Summer Loving" from "Grease" - as a duet with another girl. I know he was really really nervous but did very well.

Friday I was actually able to begin catching up on stuff around the house. I also learned that a friend of mine - "Pete" from church has been put on hospice care and treatment for her cancer has been stopped. She's married, has a son just a little younger than Son2 and a couple of grandchildren....it makes me sad. I don't know how to feel or even really how to pray. I want to spend time with her - just being there and hope to have that opportunity but just don't know. I know prayers would be appreciated for her and her family.

Lunch is ready so I'd better go and start getting stuff done.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Ok...tonight I'm done - feel like the last straw has hit the camel's back and broke it. I spilled my nice glass of delicious homemade root beer all over my driver's side compartment in the car. So the car is a mess (tho I've attempted to clean it), the house is a mess because Saturday chores didnt' get done, Sunday and today I wasn't home to do anything - not even tonight. I'm frantically trying to get laundry done because it needs done and the dishwasher is loaded but not run. Tomorrow I have another trip and then I have two for next week. However the way I feel right now I'm going to turn in the one to the water park simply because I have too much on my plate - it probably would be fun but I'm just overwhelmed at the moment. Of course part of that is because I have poison ivy/poison oak on my arm - first time this year and thankfully it's only on my arm. But it's really itchy and nothing seems to help take the itch out - at least not for more than a few minutes. What makes it worse is that the area is right where my arm rests on the desk when I'm on the computer - that aggravates it.

Now that I've completely whined...I will list some things I am thankful for - these are not necessarily in any particular order - just as they come to mind. I know that I'm hugely blessed and need to remember those blessings rather than the struggles & challenges of daily life.

1) I'm thankful for a house in the country where deer, birds and other wildlife are around to see - where you can hear the wind blowing through the trees & the birds singing.

2) I'm thankful for two healthy gifted boys who are growing into men of God.

3) I'm thankful that I live in a country where there is freedom to worship God.

4) I'm thankful for my salvation - for the death of Jesus on the cross so that my sins can be forgiven.

5) I'm thankful for food.

6) I'm thankful for a job that I really enjoy.

7) I'm thankful for friends.

On that note...I'm off to take some Benadryl and hopefully head towards bed. (Benadryl is the only thing that relieves the itch for any length of time - but it's not a good thing to take as a bus driver)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I truly don't feel motivated or inspired tonight - don't feel like I accomplished much today at all. I did an Amish run this morning - going grocery shopping. I rarely see my car filled - unless we are travelling but these ladies managed to completely fill it. We were gone about 3 hours - I did manage to get a chicken in the crockpot for dinner, and get something mailed that should have gone out a couple of weeks ago. That last made me feel like I accomplished something today - but that feeling is long gone. I guess it's one tiny baby step at a time - accomplishing stuff is helped very much by my staying home.

Son1 stayed home today - he's fighting a cold/major allergy attack. Since he's been running low-grade fever I will likely have him stay home tomorrow. If he does go - it will be when he wakes up rather than him getting up by alarm clock. Son2 on the other hand went to school - thankfully is healthy - and is eager to go to TaeKwonDo class. He actually wants to go more often and for longer periods than we can right now. He will go Tuesday next week to sparring class - immediately after I get off the bus. After that we will have Son1's end of school year concert. Monday night is Son2's concert. The following Tuesday is Son1's 8th Grade Recognition Night. Things for the next couple of weeks will be crazy to say the least.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't Stop Mom

"Don't stop at the flowers Mom - I took some pictures on my camera." "So I wouldn't have to stop?" "Yea" with big smile, happy eyes! I love that boy! The background to the story is that I tend to really slow down/stop on the way up the driveway to check out the irises and other flowers I have growing up the side. The boys tend to say "just go Mom" as my slowing down really gets them.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend Recap

We got home around 11:00 pm last night - the drive back was one of the best we've had in a very long time - at least as far as making good time was concerned. It really seems best to just take 30 all the way - we didn't have major traffic or construction. The only headache was the red lights and they weren't too bad.

I'm really glad we went - the boys enjoyed each other. It was such a treat to have Ty run up and greet us all by name - he's grown so much. And really he seems to be doing much better with his diet. It breaks my heart that he has these food allergies but he seems to be coping well overall. JC is getting taller - he's grown but the changes weren't as obvious. I so much enjoyed spending time with La - trying to catch up on months of news in just a few short hours. We didn't nearly get all our talking done but again...I'm glad we went. And I ended up taking two rolls of pictures - plus a few on the digital. Hopefully some will come out nicely. I've labelled the tops of the cases with date, time of day, weather and location - some of my photography stuff is sticking I guess.

Since we got home...I've done some much needed grocery shopping and shovelled 2.25 tons of gravel out into the hole the bus has dug in the driveway. Thankfully the gravel was dumped right there so I didn't have much to do except spread it out but we are still talking 2.25 tons! And we still need more - it will likely come tomorrow or the next day. The hope is that the gravel will pack down into the hole providing a more solid surface for the bus (and any cars that come to visit). It sure didn't seem like that much.

And thankfully Son2 did not have a bad reaction to the sunburn he got on Saturday. For the most part, he's actually faded back to his normal color. Son1 on the other hand, still has a reddish brick tint to his skin. My face is still more colorful than normal but hopefully won't peel.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

We are safely in Chicago tonight - I'm watching 4 boys and 2 dogs! So far all has gone well. I'm exhausted - actually we are all exhausted and sunburned. Son1 had his last middle school track meet (ever) today. This was the first year he has gone to the NELSMC conference meet so it was a new experience for all of us. Most of the sprints had time trials so the meet itself didn't actually start until well after 11:00 am and Son1's events weren't until after 1:00 pm. Since Son2 and I arrived at the meet around 10:00 am and we didn't leave until after 4:00 it was a very long day. However all that said....Son1 did get another PR in the 400m race - he ran it in 1:09:4 and his form looked good. Coach McK was there and he said Son1 looked really good also - that the shorter distances were helping his form and speed - they were forcing him to improve. So I'm really excited for him. Overall I think the team took second place. Better stop for now - it sounds like I've got to go rescue a plastic bottle from a dog.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dense Fog

Driving was definitely interesting this morning! The fog was so thick and dense in places that I was thinking "I know I have a stop (or turn) coming up soon.....hope I haven't missed it" as I slowed down with signals on. Thankfully we made it safely through - with no missed turns or stops. Most of my students rode - and we weren't even very late. Frankly I'm surprised - and thankful. Several local school districts were cancelled today. I'm rather glad that we weren't because then we would have had to add a day on to the end of the year. We didn't see any deer this morning either - though I'm sure that there were some around. You just couldn't see far enough to see them.

Ok...short post this morning. I don't feel like I have much to write about.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Long Day & Track Results

Ok....I really think two trips yesterday was just a bit much! I drove another big bus (84 passenger, flat nose) yesterday morning - taking preschool and kindergarden to a farm near the elementary school. The driving was not much - all of about 6 miles round trip. However! I had to back that bus up - from a very narrow, overgrown lane into a field! Avoiding a fence post, a sign and a telephone pole in the back and numerous trees in the front! Now in my own regular bus that would not have been too difficult to do - or even if yesterday morning was NOT the very FIRST time I'd driven this particular bus! But since I wasn't in my own bus and it was the very first time I'd driven this bus that back-up and turn-around was a challenge! I was sweating by the time I finished it. And of course the parents and teachers were thinking it would help me more if they got off the bus so I wouldn't have to deal with the kids chatter! (Absolutely not - then I would not only have had non-living obstacles to look for but the kids!) But outside of that turn-around the trip was a breeze - and the weather was beautiful.

The second trip was completely unscheduled - during afternoon route time a radio call came out for someone to go pick up the Varsity Golf team from a town south of here. (Actually the initial call was for someone to do it both ways - the driver who took them down couldn't bring them back). So since I already knew that I was not going to Son1's track meet due to Son2 having TaeKwonDo class I figured that if it was "late enough" - not conflicting with class I could do it. So I got home from afternoon route, took off with Son2 for TaeKwonDo class, then got home from that and 15 minutes or so later took off again for this hour long drive to find the golf course and get the team! So I did make it down there by 7:30 pm only to have to wait 30 minutes until they were finished. It was 9:15 before I made it home after dropping off the team at the high school. Talk about a long day!

Son1 got 2 more PR's at the meet - he ran the mile in 6.28 and the 400 in 1.12. His 800 m was a little slower than the last time he ran it. I really would like to go to his meet tonight but it's an hour west of here and would be another very late night. Son1 has half-jokingly decided that he runs better without me there. I struggle with that as it's so important to me to be at as many of the boys' events/activities as I possibly can. On the other hand, I can only run so much before both the son not participating and I burn out from exhaustion. So...we will likely stay home tonight unless Son1 does not meet the bus after school before he leaves.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Saturday Meet

Well...we had tears again after the meet. The meet itself went fine - it was very interesting to watch (except too cold to stay outside the entire time) as it was all relays. However they weren't the standard 4x400 m relays - they were all mixed up. For example the first two runners ran 100m each, the next one ran 200m and the 4th ran 400m or the first ran 200m, the second 400m, the third 800m and the fourth 1200m. They also had hurdle relays where they had teams divided into two parts - one ran the hurdles in one direction, the other ran the other way. Son1 got another Personal Record on his leg of the 4x400m relay - shaved another second off his time. That seems like so little typed out but it's huge for him. And he knew he was running faster as he was doing it - his body was telling him so. So I was proud of him and he was pleased I think. The tears came after we got home - when he was telling me about the teammate who has bullied him in the past - and how angry he was at this teammate at the meet. Apparently L had put ice cubes down Son1's back. That is something that generally tends to be done in fun but Son1 took it as a personal attack. So he's frustrated with the whole situation - and I truthfully don't know how to help encourage him. I did remind him that he's only got a week of track left this year and then he moves on to the high school. (this student is younger than him - and is definitely a bully but in a different grade)

This coming week will be another busy one - I drove another field trip this morning, Son1 has 3 track meets this week and Son2 has TaeKwonDo class. We also have Erin's house on Thursday night. I desparately need to be able to accomplish when I am at home this week - not sure how I will manage that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Silly Sally Dog

So earlier this evening it's thundering and lightening out - we are under a severe thunderstorm watch and warning (I get those all confused). The wind was blowing hard - trees looked almost sideways and honestly I kept waiting for branches to come down - or a close lightening strike. Thankfully that didn't happen. However we did - again - have a power outage - very short this time but enough to knock all the clocks out, the computer off, tv, etc off. And apparently enough to thoroughly scare Sally - for the next hour or so she was right where I was - and as close as she could physically get to me. She followed me to do the laundry - which she *never* does, dishes, and even tried to climb in my lap! She's so silly! And honestly - while I'm not a huge dog lover I'm very thankful we have her.