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October 31, 2015 - Life Lately

I know!  I got a post up the first of the month. . .and now it's the last day of the month. . .believe it or not, I haven't even been able to keep up with Picture of the Day lately either. . .but it's a GOOD kind of busy. . .lots going on, lots to do, but not crazy-exhausted-I-need-to-get-off insaneness.  At least that's my opinion.  I'm not one for sitting around :)
 I was trying to find that "one" picture that defined the month. . .this girl turning 15 and soccer mainly sums it up.  I love this girl so, so, so much.  She is strong, smart, responsible and funny.  She is one of those kids that *everyone* is drawn to (adults, little kids, and her peers) and she is completely comfortable with who she is.  Yesterday she got her temps!!!  Of course, it would have been my picture of the day, but I was not getting cooperation on that part.  Super-dad took her out of school early to go wait in line for her to take her test (she passed) -- so proud of her.  I was told she drove home from the gas station (about 1.5 miles away) and that was about it.  I don't think she's going to be a "natural" behind the wheel like her brother was -- so glad our state gives these kids an entire year to get comfortable behind the wheel.  She'll get it, no worries.  She's the one who's already saving for a car -- good girl!!!

Speaking of driving and vehicles. . .we're in the market for a replacement:

Thomas took Marie to practice on Monday. . .as he and the dog were heading home, his back-end slipped out away from him. . .a car hit him as he over-corrected into the other lane.  Luckily everyone walked away. . .the dog was the only one with a visible scratch -- right above her eye from the glass.  I imagine she probably had a pretty big headache too :(
The axle was bent and really, we have been contemplating whether to put any additional money into the truck anyway. . .so. . .Tom put it on Craigslist and within hours it was gone.
I don't think the neighbors will mind not seeing it parked out there anymore.  Thomas loved the truck, that's for sure.  So did his dad -- that's why we even still had it!!  A couple of years ago Tom bought a new one and within a year sold it, keeping this one.  We are currently on the hunt for something for Thomas and Marie to drive.  I have been leaving the house at 6:15 every morning to get Thomas to school at 6:30 (his first class is at 7 a.m.) and then get myself to school by 7:08 (my drive in the morning is about 35 minutes). . .he either takes the bus home or Tom takes a late lunch to pick him up and get him to work. . .then we're back out at 10 p.m. to get Thomas from work. . .or we drop a car off. . .just a glimpse of life lately :)

Speaking of work, this was Red Ribbon Week and also RIF (the kids each get to get a book of their choosing for free!) so school was sort of crazy.  Thursday, when the kids made their book selections, we had "We write our own drug-free stories". . .aka: dress up as your favorite storybook character day.  In my new school teams of teachers get together and do this.  I am NOT a dress-up person (we are a non-Halloween family so we don't have stashes of costumes either). . .and I was assigned the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland.
This was Thomas's "I don't really want to take your picture" picture at 6:15 a.m.

I tried a selfie so I could get Margaret's great ears in.  Tom said I looked "terrible".  Oh well.  At least I was a team player :)
I see I wasn't smiling. . .I don't really know why?!?  Margaret was my go-to person for this costume. . .she went shopping to find the orange "jacket" and "yellow bow-tie" and made those ears for me!! 

This was my entire team at school (nurse, art, PE teachers, music, librarian, behavior coaches). . .I had that unbirthday sign hanging outside my classroom all day and offered all the kids an "unbirthday" treat -- it was a fun day! 










The first grade teachers did Alice in Wonderland too. . .lots of characters walking around the school Thursday!
I had two other favorites though. . .
2nd & 3rd grade as Peter Pan

The pre-K team



































I am in an awesome school -- so lucky to have been hired here and hopefully will get to continue to grow with them. 

Last weekend we had a tournament out of town and were able to stay with our cousins.  They were so awesome and celebrated Marie's birthday with a great cake and 15 candles!
 The girl cousins. . .

This soccer weekend was for Frederick - #10


They were wearing pink this tournament for Breast Cancer Awareness month. . .normally they are blue and orange.
These two teams out on the field together looked like Easter eggs!
Frederick throwing in

I haven't been great about taking pictures this season (BAD mom). . .and now the few I took on the "better" camera, I can't get them to download right now. 
This was a rainy weekend. . .it is the only time we have played 8-v-8 this season (Frederick's team is U12 but will move to U13 which is 11-v-11 next season -- the coach moved them up this year but they haven't had much success. . .). We didn't do as well as we wanted/expected, but by this last game the boys really had their groove and were playing well. 
My mom's new house is coming along well!!!  I got to go up and see her during our mid-month 4-day weekend. . .she should be in the week before Thanksgiving.  So excited to see it all come together.

Great room area

Kitchen

Another shot of the great room in relation to the kitchen and the sliding back doors.  That's my sister and mom backlit in the photo.

I really, really want to decorate this space!!

I think she is hiring someone to help her out -- will love to see how it all comes together.










This will be a nice-size kitchen for her -- the bar will have an overhang to sit at -- the sink and dishwasher are in it.  The door in the background is a pantry.



























My photos are certainly sparse this month. . .
While I was at my mom's we did some major purging and packing. . .and came across more than a few gems.  Here are some favorites that I snapped photos of:
My senior/my sister & Tom's junior prom with my mother. . .Jodi and I went together with Tom and his best friend
 This was Tom's and my first dance together -- Homecoming 1989.  He is the same age in this picture as Thomas is now (almost - Tom had just turned 17 here; Thomas will be 17 in a couple of weeks)

My high school graduation -- we ate at Max & Erma's and Jodi & Tom had an eating contest (the are both fast eaters).  I forget who won???


And a recent picture of us:
Wow!!  That's what 25 years does to you I guess :)

I think this was Tom's birthday (in September). . .

Marie and I seem to have the same tired eyes in both pictures. 

So that is October for us.  Nana and Grandpa visited, but I wasn't here so no one was taking pictures. 

My beautiful niece, AVJ, had her homecoming and I did receive a picture from my sister:
 Man, I love this girl so much too.  Talk about smart and talented and athletic -- can't wait to see how she, too, impacts this world!  (She and Marie are 3 months apart in age.)

So. . .that's October 2015 for the Bells.  Soccer is over for Thomas -- over for good, he's decided to not play any longer -- Frederick has one more tournament coming up, Marie's school season just ended with a trip to State (for varsity -- they lost the first round) and now her travel should begin any day. . .her first games are next weekend!  Margaret's cheer season is about to start. . .they have been practicing since June so it's a long time coming.  Frederick and I are hoping to pick up tennis this winter -- I have to look around and see what our new town has to offer.  The house is STILL not unpacked -- I think we have counted 3 weekends that we have been home since we moved in the first week of August. . .
Looking forward to this season of Thankfulness as we head into November. . .and celebration of our Savior's birth as December follows. . .onward and forward!
Love,
Jenni

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