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.  

IT IS NOW TUESDAY MORNING - SUCH IS LIFE AROUND HERE!!

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:

video


Love,
Jenni

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. . .
Kickoff!
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,
Jenni






Monday, June 22, 2015

And So Now It's June. . .

The question is, will this be published before the end of the month?!?

So far, it's been a crazy month. . .we haven't had all four kids under one roof yet this month.  Frederick went to "Camp Van Jura" (his aunt and uncle's) then ended up with Nana & Grandpa for another week. . .now Margaret is having her turn (but only one week total b/c cheerleading calls. . .).

Thomas and Margaret went to Fuge with our Cookeville church. . .and now Marie and Thomas are both at Cedar Lake Camp as a Counselor-in-Training and a Jr. Counselor.  Quiet weeks around here.

Margaret had cheer camp with her middle school last week.

We put an offer in on a house in our new city last weekend. . .and it was accepted. . .had our inspection last week. . .things are moving along.  Anything could happen at this point be we are hoping not. . .it's been a long 4 months in our 1400 sq. ft. apt.  We really like it here. . .but it's time for our own space.  It has never really seemed "too small" but when all people are here and in school and in sports, well, there's not much room for all the "stuff".

I had a teaching job interview a few weeks ago but sadly, they never called back.  Even to say "sorry, but you're not the right fit".  I would have loved it -- middle school social studies in a Christian school!!!  I have another interview Tuesday for one of our county middle schools -- I'm not exactly sure where it is, but it's a large county and the first bite I've gotten in the 60-some jobs I've applied for!  Whether I end up back in the classroom or not. . .it's the Lord's Will. . .school around here starts August 10th so there's still some time to figure it all out.

That's the "news". . .here are some glimpses of life:


 Unfortunately, I never posted about Margaret's 13th birthday.  This is the bag that the kids and I got her. . .she carries it everywhere!  I love when a gift is loved and used like that :)  Marie had the idea, but everyone thought Margaret should pick it out herself. . .and it was an excuse to go to River Sports -- ha!



 We have all begun to enjoy our time at the various dog parks in our area.  There are two that we frequent 4-5 times a week -- sometimes both in one day!!  It sure wears the doggie out and gives her time to run a bit since she doesn't currently have a backyard. . .
A picture of the day that I, for some reason, did not have to cajole out of the kiddos!  This was our first trip to the lake (I think) this season.  There used to be a rope swing there and they were disappointed that it was gone.  Still plenty of trees to hang their Enos in though. . .

 There's a girl in her Eno :)


I doubt I ever got off the boat -- a perfect day for me!







How our doggie spends her days.  Really.  (This is the only piece of furniture she's allowed on.)
Sometimes she gets even more comfortable:
She is a crazy dog!

Lunch with AVJ and my mom -- any time with them is a good time!
Another birthday girl!  AVJ's sister, Susan. . .Frederick, Margaret, and I were all there to celebrate with her too (that was just one night. . .then she had her "real" birthday at a safari in Columbus. . .then a family birthday party the following week. . .it's hard turning 11!)


These two. . .they are great pals!  The kids decided that Margaret could not be the only one with a Kavu bag. . .

















Frederick's speciality:  omelets.  On this day there were all made-to-order. . .we were a lucky audience!!

A shopping score - Krogers - I saved 50% on my total bill this day!!!


Still looking for houses. . .driving around (as I do/did most days) I snapped this picture trying to convince Tom that maybe *this* was the "one". . .














A weekend project:  powerwashing the driveway.  I've been begging to do this for about two years.









It turned out SO good!
We also painted the deck. . .it looks a lot better too. . .and to give Tom the credit he deserves. . .he repaired the stairs, replaced some boards, and helped Marie and I paint. . .
If only someone would like to make this house their home. . .



Ummmmmm. . .my phone was hijacked. . . .



















There's nothing better then sitting in the sun reading for pleasure!!!

Margaret got her hair cut -- it looks fabulous!

And yesterday was Father's Day.  Only Frederick was around for present-opening (although we had managed, throughout the last week, to have everyone sign the card -- ha!)
My heart and my love and the four children he gave me. . .what a great June 2015 so far!!!