Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

My kids were looking over my shoulder while I was pulling up some blogs from my sidebar and they were like, "Mom!  Why do you have those OLD pictures on there?!?"  I thought it was funny that they noticed -- and it *is* sad that I haven't made the time in two months to sit down and record our blessings.  Sigh.

We moved at the end of July. . .the week I went back to school!!!  Oh, did I ever record the fact that I got a job. . .??  Hmmmmm. . .

So. . .in an attempt to put something new up, here are some unedited phone pictures -- even my Facebook "Picture of the Day" hasn't been kept up :(  Life, y'all.  Life.  A full, happy, sometimes stress-filled, busy, wonderful life.

We went to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend for soccer.  Originally we were going for Thomas's team (he still plays for Cookeville, although we now live 1.5 hours away) but then Frederick's new club needed a few guest players for one of their teams so they both ended up playing.  This was Sunday, after they both lost their morning matches so wouldn't advance any further.  We went to the iconic Varsity to eat, although not the one downtown.  From there we headed to The World of Coke, but no one wanted to stand in the enormous line. . .we walked around a bit, thought about going on the CNN tour like we did years ago with Margaret. . .but, in the end, ended up at the Body Exhibit.  I really, really liked it, but it wasn't worth the money for the kids to go through.

Grandpa Foster has been down to visit twice since we moved. . .I think we had just taken the dog to one of our many wonderful dog parks and stopped for a treat on the way back.  We *love* having guests -- we always have, of course -- but even more so here because they have their own room and bathroom!!!  That part is really super great for everyone :)

Speaking of jobs, Thomas is now gainfully employed at Chick-fil-A!  Frederick was sneaky and got a picture of him one Wednesday night that the younger two and I went up there for dinner.  He seems to like it, but wordy kid that he is. . .you just never know.  It seems like a good place to work.

Margaret's school team cheered at our local fair.  They came in second place, but won a spirit award which they were *very* proud of.  She has a really great coach that wants the girls to do more than just cheer at the basketball games, but be leaders in other ways also.  They are "sponsoring" a 6th grader in their school who is fighting a rare form of cancer.  .they are "Ethan Strong", putting his number on their muscles while cheering to remind everyone that it's not just about the competition or the cheers, but they also support their school and classmates all the time.

Last weekend a few of Marie's friends came to watch her play in a tournament that her school was participating in.  That was really neat for her!  She played downtown at 8 and 10:30 then we took them to one of our favorite places to eat.  She talked them both into fish & chips :)

Speaking of guests, we have gotten to host our good friends and old neighbors twice here in our new city. . .once for a Sunday cookout and then one night they came over after a soccer Saturday -- the kids are all old enough now that they stayed home and WE went out -- ha!
How is it that we get pictures of the kids but forget to get one of the four of us???

Oh!  Here's a picture of my love and me. . .probably the only one taken the last 6 months - ha!  This was his birthday dinner, a few nights late.  We tried a new Italian restaurant that was recommended by some of my coworkers -- it was just "ok".  They did put us in a tiny private booth, though. . .that was kind of special :)
A picture into my day. . .I think these are 2nd graders. . .I teach 6 classes a day, 5-K and on Wednesdays I also have Pre-K in.  We are on a 4-day rotation so I see each class K-5 for 40 minutes once every four days.  My October plan book (I don't even have my TWO weekly Wednesday meetings on here!)
My wonderful mother gave me a "back to school" and "happy new job" gift -- this awesome Erin Condren planner.  Yes, it is worth every penny -- I *love* it!!!

Well, this doesn't even begin to encompass everything on our plates these days. . .but glad that the kids shamed me into getting some new material up.  I left the house at 6:32 this morning (normal) because my day starts at 7:08, 35 minutes away.  Yes, I have it down to the minute :)  We had our first Parent Engagement night tonight and I was asked to present some technology so I didn't sign out until 7:30. . .home at 8:05.  That is unusual though. . .I can be home as early as four on days that we don't have meetings after school.  I'll try to find time to blog more about my job another time. . .it really is the perfect fit for me and the "dream" job that I begged my old school for many, many times (they still don't have a technology teacher).  My grant from the state of TN last year really opened up some great doors for me!

It's now 10:05 and my alarm will ring at 5:30.  The dog has an appointment at a new vet tomorrow afternoon.  I just realized she isn't in any of my recent pictures. . .you can tell I'm not an at-home mom anymore. . .she and I spent a lot of time together March-July!!  She's so spoiled. . .we brought "her" sofa with us from the apartment and put it in our room -- yes, the DOG has her own sofa in our bedroom!!!  Ridiculous.  
Yes, I just snapped that picture.  Yes, we still have LOTS to unpack.  Remember, the movers packed and moved us THE WEEK I BEGAN SCHOOL.  It will all get done. . .hopefully before the holidays.  We shall see.  
This is the only piece of furniture she is allowed on and we're not even really sure how that happened.  Oh well.  She's happy. . .we're happy. . .life is GOOD.
It's now 10:18.  Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Checking In - mid-July 2015

So much is going on, yet this is one of the *most* relaxing summers we have ever had.
Maybe I feel like it's been relaxing because Thomas hasn't been home (at the apartment) all summer and there is usually another one gone too.  Both Thomas and Marie spent 4 weeks serving at Cedar Lake Camp - Thomas as a Jr. Counselor and Marie as a CIT (Counselor-in-training).  Marie went the first four weeks (it's a 5-wk long season at CLC) and Thomas the last 4 weeks.  I was finally able to get them together last weekend to get their annual picture.  We picked up Margaret yesterday and she was not nearly as happy to get her annual picture (she was a camper last week).
Ugh.  It was a great day, though, because we all ate lunch together -- all 6 of us!!  Frederick had gone to a place in Cookeville a couple of times with a friend and convinced us to try it -- it was definitely worth it, and we'll go back since it's convenient to our trip coming home.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, IDK), I didn't get pictures of our house/moving process this weekend.  As frustrating as it is, we still have not been able to sell our Cookeville home.  Our new realtor took pictures last week before we packed and packed this weekend. . .we still have LOTS to go but needed to get back to our new city too since Marie leaves for high school soccer camp early this morning.
Here is our new listing.

We have bought a home here and hope to close (I say "hope" because the loan process has been quite difficult -- I don't think it's us as much as the bank we have gone with) this Friday!!  Yahoo!!  We had a walk-through on Thursday -- this is only the second time Frederick and Marie have seen the house.
We are excited and hope all works out so we can spend NEXT weekend in our new digs :)  We plan to move the apartment Friday-Saturday and then move the Cookeville house (with the help of movers) the following week.  

It is a little more crucial now than it was this time last week to rush and get this all done. . .because. . .last Monday I went on an interview. . 
Took a picture to let Tom know I made it there!
. . .for a job I didn't even apply for!  I've applied for probably 50-60 jobs in this county, filled out many questionnaires, gone on an interview at a private school for 6th grade social studies (it was something I would have really liked to have tried -- especially because I could have transferred any of my kids there), and an interview at a public Title I school for 6th grade ELA (not as excited about that one but I really liked the principal and the support that seems to be in that community), and was invited to participate in a Vice Principal Leadership Assessment that lasted all day last Friday.  Then, another principal called and said my resume had been passed on to her by THE tech leader in this county -- wow!  She described the job to me and it was a job description I would write if I could make up my dream position in any school!!!  She invited me to interview on Monday, hence the picture above.  The downfall to this particular school, though, is that it couldn't be further away from where we live unless it was in another county!!  Oh well.  I went, met many people on her leadership team, and walked away thinking that it would be wonderful to be offered this chance.  I truly didn't expect to hear anything before this week but. . .Wednesday I got the call!!  I was sooooo excited -- it just really seems perfect. . .well. . .except for the drive.  And except that I'm a middle school teacher -- elementary will be new territory for me!  Very excited for the challenge. . .this is a new, created position in her school so it will definitely be a year of "firsts" for all of us.  Yea!  So. . .with that all said. . .summer is going to end a bit earlier for me but all for a good reason :)

Twenty minutes after I received THAT phone call from our county HR department, I received a call from Cedar Lake Camp.  The nurse was calling to say that Thomas had sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his legs and that they were going to take him in to a local hospital for treatment.  Luckily we were at home at the time and Marie and I could leave within ten minutes (it's an hour and a half drive from here to the hospital).  I called ahead to the emergency room so they would know they had permission to treat and when I would be there.  Marie went with me but Frederick decided to stay home with the dog (and Margaret was already at camp -- found out later she knew nothing about it -- ha!).  We called Nana and Grandma on the way so they would know what was going on and made it without incidents.  

Thomas was working as a CIT instead of a counselor this week (the difference is counselors work with the kids and CITs do all of the work around camp -- kitchen, bathroom, maintenance,  keep up the grounds, etc.).  Apparently, he and a couple of other younger guys -- he's the oldest, but certainly not wisest -- were burning boxes in a 4-ft metal can.  Being boys, they decided to make it "fun" by jumping over the burning barrel.  Adding lighter fluid to the fire made the ground slippery -- Thomas slipped and fell IN the fire.  Their supervisor was driving by and saw the barrel fall on Thomas, came over and asked if he was alright.  He said, "yes" (of course).  A few minutes later he got a little smarter (or the pain got to him) and decided to tell the nurse that he hurt.  The following are the pictures I took when I got to the hospital:

Yuck.  He said it didn't hurt. . .we just don't see how that's possible!
Here is was getting bandaged up. . .
And still all smiles with his counselor and Marie:
Marie was lamenting about her height. . .these 2 are exceptionally tall!
We left, I took the boys to eat since they had missed lunch and sent them on their way with bandages for the nurse so she could keep him covered the next couple of days.  Thomas would NOT consider coming home (although we thought he should) and since his counselor was there to get all the directions -- no water, keep covered, etc -- I let him go back.  He *swears* he wasn't in pain.

Friday when I meet him in Cookeville for another doctor's appt this is what his injury looked like:

The doctor (his dermatologist) nor I were happy with the healing progress. . .she changed up his treatment and told him he couldn't go to camp this week.  He was supposed to help out at Lighthouse Christian Camp with my dad -- they served together last year and were hoping to make it something that they did together annually.  I know he was bummed about that but he needs to heal!!!  She is most concerned about those middle two pictures -- the back of his knee.  Depending on how it scars, it could impair his movement since the burn is over a joint.  


Time to wrap this post up!  Things got away from me Sunday night and yesterday (Monday) seemed to be run, run, run.  With the new job, I have lots of inservice days before school begins for the kids August 10th -- which means I have very little time here to prepare for the move.  When it rains, it pours -- that's o.k., I enjoy a full, busy life.  

Frederick's video for you:



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 2015 - Life

This post brought to you from here :)

It has been a *beautiful* day to sit in the sun. . .read. . .enjoy watching some of the people who have come by. . .a little nap. . .now no one is here except me and someone else a couple of chairs down on my right on his laptop.  Tom came down for a little bit after work but then headed back up to the apartment to watch M*A*S*H with Margaret.  It has been "their" thing these weeks that the others have been out of town.

Frederick is here:
I am sure he is having a great time.  Both of his older siblings are there with him this week. . .Thomas is helping out with grounds work and such since they were low on workers (14-15 yr olds, also known as CIT's -- Counselors-in-Training), and, of course, Marie has been there all summer as a CIT.  This is her last week, to her dismay (there is one more week left this summer). . .she has soccer conditioning for the high school next week in preparation of camp the following week.  I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M TYPING THESE WORDS. . ."in preparation of HS". . .let's look back a bit:

This is one of my oldest digital pictures. . .and one of my *favorites* of Miss Marie.  This picture just captures so much of her little personality -- and she's still this confident in who she is!!!

And the beginning of her soccer career. . .
Who would have ever thought, in our brand-new move to Tennessee, that the sport we enrolled the kids in to help them make friends would begin to define who she would become as a teenager?

Here she was a few years later, still keeping up with the boys:
 And, while I was looking through my Facebook photos, here is one from 2014:
(I have wonderful friends with good cameras and great photographic skills who take these pictures and post them for me.)

And here she is, this past spring, as runners-up in their last tournament.  She is standing between two of her very best friends on her Cookeville team -- how she will miss playing with them in high school!

What a fun trip through the years. . .

Other things from this past week (courtesy of my phone):
Pre-pool today, Margaret and I went to lunch together. . .her choice was Mellow Mushroom:

The lighting wasn't the best (so bright!) but time with my daughter is priceless and worth remembering in any exposure :)

Sunday night the girls and I stayed in Cookeville for this! The Upper Cumberland United Soccer Club opens the doors of our Performing Arts Center and plays the game on the big screen.  We went for the men's games last year too -- it is sad to me that the turnout for women is a little less then for the men, but a good excuse, regardless, to get together with our community and watch some SOCCER!

What an incredible game -- what an incredible WIN!!!  I think Marie was very happy to have gotten to see this World Cup final game and Carli Lloyd score that hattrick -- a fellow mid-fielder!!

And for some more Marie news. . . she had her wisdom teeth taken out last week -- ALL FOUR!  She is such a trouper.  This has been scheduled since January so no surprise or emergency. . .just something that needed to be done.
Minutes after "coming to"

We like this sign!

I felt weird ordering a sundae at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning!

Relaxing poolside before Daddy got home

She did really well with her recovery. . .and felt well enough on Tuesday to make a trip to Ohio.  We had talked about "maybe" going but wanted to see how the first 24 hours went before making a final decision.  Tuesday morning Marie said, "Mom, I can sit in the car or I can sit here on the couch -- it's no different.  And Nana will feed me lots of jello and ice cream too!"  SOLD!  I had some work I wanted to do for my mom anyway so she, Margaret, Frederick and I loaded up and headed out.  We made it to this corner in Richmond, KY:
I'm standing in the car lot -- the corner I'm referring to is the one across the street.  My van (2014 Sienna) just stopped.  Quit.  Wouldn't budge.  It was beginning to rain. . .the kids and I crossed the street to the Toyota dealership that we had *almost* made it to and a very nice serviceman came over to try to help us.  He couldn't get it started either so he helped me to get it off the road (it was in the right turn lane) and I had to call a tow truck to get it across the street.  That was a week ago and the van is still there.  CRAZY. 
Margaret snapped this for Tom about an hour into our wait. . .who knew we would leave without our vehicle?
 The cruise went out when I was on the highway and I happened to be talking to Tom on the phone.  I mentioned that I thought the van was "acting funny" and he asked where I was.  I was just south of Richmond and he said there was a dealership there and that I should take it in.  We made it to the exit and then the two miles down the road before it completely stopped.  Over three hours later the service department *still* couldn't figure out what was wrong (bad gas was their first (incorrect) thought and through the credit card I had used earlier we were able to pin down where I got the gas and how much).  At 5:45 the totally awesome service department at Toyota South was able to secure a rental car for me so I could continue on to Ohio.  When I left they thought maybe it had something to do with the oil filter or something but needed more time with it. . .we eventually, a day or two later, found out it was a valve spring.  Whew.  With only 28,020 miles on the vehicle it was still under warranty and, as of this writing, is still up there in Richmond.  I cannot say enough about how happy we have been with Toyota the last two years that we have purchased and driven their vehicles -- the service is absolutely outstanding across the board!

Ohio was a quick trip -- I didn't get any pictures of the work I did (my friend Jill came over one day to help) nor pictures of the kids with their grandparents -- boo!  I did, however, get some pics of the model that my mom's new home is based on:
 She is going with darker cabinets and a lighter granite but this is the layout -- I really like how open it is to the dining and living areas!

I wonder how she will like having the sink in the island?  We have looked at several houses like that. . .when the kids were younger and there were *always* sippy cups around the sink I don't think I would have liked it but that shouldn't be a problem for her ;)

The door on the right next to the fridge is the pantry (believe it or not, down here in TN -- or at least the area we are looking -- many kitchens do not have one!!!) and the door next to where my mom is standing is her master (I think).  The ledge hides the stairs going to the basement.  Her fireplace will not be stone, but will be on the corner like that with the television mounted above it.  I really like the openness of it all!!

 I really like the shower layout and all the tile features my sister, brother-in-law and mother picked out.  This is just the model, of course, but gave me an idea of how everything would work together.  The picture on the right shows the WC straight ahead (the shower is at my left elbow), the double vanity to the right (again, dark cabinets -- ebony or something like that) and the open door leads to a walk-in/walk-THROUGH closet -- walks through to the laundry room!!!  I love that feature the MOST. 

I think she'll paint the master bedroom/bathroom a sage green, the main living area a grey hue, and the other rooms more the color on these walls.  She will have another bedroom, bathroom, and office in addition to a sunroom off the greatroom and dining area that this model did not have.  I'm so excited for her and her future in this new home and new city (she is moving to the back of my sister's neighborhood)!

Lastly (for now),

I got this book out of the library then decided it was worth owning.  My copy came today.  I'm very excited to learn more about how food/diet affects our health and energy and mood.  I *know* it does, of course, but how to change what we eat to help us feel better about our bodies.  We need this right now, in this season of life!  The forwards are written by these women's husbands so I consider this a "we" book since those men have so fully embraced their wives research and lifestyle. 

Much love,