Friday, July 15, 2011

So much has happened!

Wow!  It has been ages since I posted a report for you.  I am very sorry for that...

It was an extremely busy summer last year; between the weddings my husband either performed or helped with, the normal summer activities, and working around having one vehicle when he has to be gone so much for work... it was rather hectic.  William made it safely through Basic Training, and we went to Fort Knox to watch him graduate... returned home and he pretty much promptly spent all the money he had earned all summer.  I'm not exactly sure (nor is he) how he managed to do that...

School started up again, full swing.  I was a bit concerned because the 1st grade teachers had to do some "reorganizing" which meant there were now 2 First Grade classrooms as opposed to 3.  Each teacher had around 30 kids in her room, with a high school student part of the time as a helper.  (Not cool, at least not to me.)  The third 1st grade teacher is there for anyone that needs that little "extra" bit of help, she takes the kids and gives them more one-on-one attention.  I am very disappointed in the State of Michigan that so much of the school budget had to be trimmed.  I understand the idea of living within your means, and I don't even pretend to know what was cut back and what wasn't, but the fact that our school system has already been making deep cuts for the last several years - and is still making those deep cuts in employees - really bothers me.  So far, my kids have done okay (Michael is pulling in straight A's) but I don't feel they are getting the one-on-one teacher time that they deserve.  The bad thing is it looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better, so the idea of homeschooling has once again been crossing my mind for the next school year.  I'll just have to wait and see how it is in the fall, I suppose...

My mom bought a house here in town in July of 2010, and then sold the house she had been living in for the last 25 or so years in August of 2010.  Her "new" house was getting some work done to it by my brothers (and a little tiny bit by me) and we were all looking forward to when she would be moved in and settled.  She had planned on being moved by the first of November... unfortunately, it was taking longer than expected to get the "new" house ready for her to move in...  Luckily, the people she sold her house to were in no big hurry for her to leave, so she was able to stay until her new place was ready.  And then, all of the sudden, she was gone.  She died on January 6th, 2011.  Needless to say, life has been in quite the uproar since!  Lucky for me, my 3 siblings and I get along very well, so there hasn't been too much in the way of sibling rivalry or anything between us.  We've gotten closer, I think, which is awesome.  I miss Mom - and I'm sure she's smiling down on all of us from a much better place.  It would have been nice to have coffee with her in her new house, but I'll just have to be patient and enjoy some with her when I go to the next plane of existence!  And THAT new house will be even more awesome!!!

I'd also like to mention here, that on January 5th, 2011, a good friend and classmate of my eldest son, William, took his own life.  Brandon Lamb left behind a stunned Senior class, and he will be greatly missed.  I'm sure January was very rough for William, as he lost a good friend and his Mimi so close together...

I shouldn't let so much time elapse between posts; I feel like I'm bouncing back and forth from last year to this year and I hope you're not getting lost...  From here on out, I'm talking about this year (2011).

Things on the home front have been staying on a pretty even keel.  William graduated from High School the end of May 2011 and left for Advanced Infantry Training yesterday (usually, soldiers do that immediately following Basic Training, but William did his Basic over summer "vacation" between his Junior and Senior year, came back to finish high school, and has now set out to finish his initial Army training...)  He's going to Fort Jackson in South Carolina, which I've heard is absolutely beautiful, and I hope he enjoys the change of scenery and the training he's going to be receiving... I'm quite proud of his decision to go into the Armed Services!  I hope he learns a lot from them, and takes advantage of the benefits he's being offered.  I also hope he matures and grows into a fine young man - I believe he's on his way, but there is always some tweaking that can take place in all of us, right??

Michael has been spending most of his summer with his Dad.  He doesn't get to spend much time over there during the school year, because he keeps himself very busy with school activities.  This past school year, he was in Color Guard with the Marching Band, he's in Orchestral Band anyway, and he was in the Quiz Bowl, the Arena (a gaming club after school), the Chess Club, Drama Club, he went to Regional Solo & Ensemble and got a "1" rating on both his clarinet solo and his duet, then went on to State Solo & Ensemble and received a "2" rating on both - plus he managed to get straight A's on his report card.  (He wasn't taking the "easy" classes, either... Algebra II, Chemistry, Spanish, English 10, Band, World History, and the seventh class was split between Multi Media the first half and Grammar the second half of the school year.  He wears me out just THINKING of all the stuff he does!!

Arielle and Dmitri are in the Summer Reading Program at the library.  They seem to really enjoy that!  We also seem to always have something going on, whether it's getting together with friends or just getting the grocery shopping out of the way!  I do plan to get a zoo membership so we can start visiting some area zoos, and at some point in time I'd like to take them to a picnic at a beach... just have to wait for my hubby to get his vehicle here so I can have full-access to mine!  Otherwise, he's gone to work and then when he's home I'm gone running errands and taking the kids to stuff, and we rarely see each other!

Some of the fun crochet projects I've been working on lately... I made a purse ...

Dirndl Bag
AND LINED IT!  First time ever, and it turned out better than I could have expected... The pattern came from the Crochet 2011 Calendar - May 30th & 31st... it's called a Dirndl Bag.

Lining of Dirndl Bag

I also made a big beach bag type tote,

Inga's Crocheted Bag

tested a trio of dishcloth patterns,

Basketweave Beauty

Concentric Squares
Waffle Cloth

made a pinwheel sweater for my daughter,

pinwheel sweater front

pinwheel sweater back

button closure
and a Stash Buster Tote.  Those are the "big" projects that I've done lately.

Stash Buster Tote - flattened

Stash Buster Tote - filled

Thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you good health and much happiness!!!