May 22, 2013

Jake's graduation...

Here it is!!!!!!!!!
The one where I post pictures from Jake's graduation.

I think we may have tried to stuff a few too many things into our weekend, but oh well....

On Friday we cleaned and mowed and basically worked our tails off. In the evening, when we would have normally been putting the kids in bed, we went to Jake's College of Education Teacher Education Program Convocation. And yes, I cried, especially when they read his name out loud as he (finally) walked across the stage to receive his certificate.

On Saturday morning we ran errands and then rushed home to get the house ready for an "after party party" before leaving for the church to set up for Jake's graduation party. His graduation party was fabulous! He had a wonderful assortment of friends and family and neighbors and co-workers there to help him celebrate. And a quick side note... we could not have pulled off such a great party without the help of our families. THANK YOU to everyone.

After Jake's party we all (his family and mine) went back to our place for a good old-fashioned birthday party to celebrate Jake's birthday. The house was full of people. The backyard was full of people. We even lit off some fireworks because no family spring/summer party would be complete without them.

On Sunday morning we cleaned up from the parties, packed our bags and headed off on our first family vacation. The trip took us to the banks of the Mississippi where we stayed at a water park and resort. The kids had tons of fun playing in the water but by evening they had had just about enough partying for one weekend and turned into little bears when we tried to go for a walk on the river front.

Before heading for home on Monday we stopped at a museum and aquarium so the kids could see turtles and fish and kindergartners...tons and tons of kindergartners. They kind of got in the way but we still managed to have fun and redeemed ourselves by allowing the kids to each pick out one toy from the gift shop. They each decided on a stuffed turtle.

And then we headed for home.
And thanked the Lord for a wonderful weekend.

Waiting for Convocation to begin.

You can't see it very well, but he has the certificate in his hand!

The table of "college" stuff.

The decorations. I successfully got the school colors,
Physics & teaching all included in the decor. Yea me. 

The brownies. Yum!

The happy couple, waiting to greet the guests.

Rachel and her balloons.

"Hey mom, take a picture!"

The Mississippi river front

One of like two pictures you'll see this year of
me with the kids.

Their favorite part of the room was this spot.

Here's what they were looking out at.

Ready to watch the 3-D movie that we eventually had to leave
because the other kids' screams were so loud they made
Rachel and Ryan cry.

Making it rain.

Her favorite part of the museum...playing in the water.
Go figure.

Taking a moment to ride a bird.
Kind of random, I guess.

What are you doing...

It has been a crazy busy last few weeks for us. Aside from Jake's graduation, we have also managed to squeeze in a few other things...just because we, apparently, need something to do.

Getting a science lesson from THE Neil deGrasse Tyson

Jake and his favorite astrophysicist

Riding in the pickup truck with the grandparents

Rachel meeting the newest baby miniature calf

Hey, what is this?

It is a COW! A Really big cow!

Holy cow! What was that?

Going for a wagon ride with daddy.

Ready to enjoy the sun.

Heading back home

Introducing Ryan to bubbles

My first flowers of the season.

Mother's Day brunch.

Such a big boy!

May 10, 2013

The rest of our lives...

This morning I heard a song with these words...

"It is the first day of the rest of your life!"

Yes, yes it is.

And, today is also the last day of school for Jake.

Can you even believe that I just typed those words?!
Me neither.

Yes, he will still have to take a few more classes to finish getting his certifications but I'm not going to count them because, well, they don't count.



He called me at work yesterday to let me know that he has been offered a position teaching physics and chemistry and earth science at a school about 40 minutes from our house.

I cried.
A lot.

And, then when I got home I cried some more. I ran out to meet him and hugged him and cried. Right there in the driveway I had a meltdown.

And sweet little Rachel just stroked my cheek and tried to assure me that everything would be okay. It was really hard to explain to her that mommy was crying tears of joy. She'll learn all about those someday.

And Ryan?
Well, he just sat in the car and looked at us like we were nuts.
Probably because we are nuts.

Thank you Jesus! You brought us through the last seven years and you will continue to carry us for the rest of our lives.

May 8, 2013

Another update...

This morning I had to order an extra shot in my iced vanilla latte.

It was just one of those mornings.

In fact, it has kind of been a whole week of "those mornings" except that the mornings don't end... and I find myself exhausted all day long.

I'm tired of being tired all of the time.

But, that really isn't anything new.
Surely, with all that is going on right now, I must have something new and exciting to report.

Here's a quick rundown for you:

1. Jake attended his "last" class last night. I say "last" because he will have to take some chemistry classes this summer and next and, of course, there will always be continuing education requirements. But, for now... he's done. (and FYI- I hit the period really hard when I typed that).

2. Ryan turned 9-months-old the other day. He's getting big, is sleeping a bit better, LOVES to be outside and worships the ground that his big sister walks runs on.

3. Rachel is finally potty trained. We started this process last July, folks.

4. If we lived in town the city could legally fine us for allowing our lawn to get taller than 12 inches. Not kidding.

5. We have most of our garden planted but can't seem to find time to get the rest done.

6. I booked a hotel for our first ever family vacation the other day. We are taking the kids to an indoor water park and aquarium on an upcoming weeknight. And P.S., we got a great deal. The entire vacation will cost less than $200.

7. Jake is job searching. So, that's that.

8. I am starting to PANIC. My PHR test is about 3 weeks away and I am only half-way through my study guide.

9. Last week I ordered a new Lia Sophia necklace. I'm pretty sure the world would have stopped spinning had I not placed my order. It is purple.

10. Jake's graduation party is only 10 days away. 10 DAYS!!!!!! Not 10 years or 10 months or 10 weeks... 10 days.

May 1, 2013

May day...

Today is May 1, 2013.

For most people, May 1 is just another May Day.

For our family, today has a bit more meaning.

May 1 is the first day of May 2013.
May 2013 is the last month in academic year 2012-13.

The LAST MONTH of this academic year.

Have you any idea how amazing that is?!
May 2013...

Graduation month for my husband.

For over 7 years he has spent his weekends at the library- fighting snow storms, football traffic and schedule conflicts.
For over 7 years he has sacrificed his weeknights to attend classes, study, or finish homework.
For over 7 years he has been working towards his goal of becoming a high school physics teacher.

Seven years? Why so long, you ask?

When he started school in January 2006 he planned to get a degree in Accounting.

In late fall of 2008 we bought him a brand new suit, printed off 100 resumes (on very impressive paper), and sent him off to find a paid summer internship.

I still remember the day he called me at work and said that he needed to talk to me about something very important. He came into my office with a stern look and sat down across from me at our conference table. Then, he looked at me, looked out the window and said, "Honey, I don't want to be an accountant. I need to switch my major." I knew he wasn't really the coffee drinking, golf playing accountant type so I said, "Okay, what do you want to switch it to? Finance? Business Administration?" "No," he said, "I need to switch it to Physics."

And then I was shocked.

Physics?! Really? ugh.

But, I have to admit, I was a bit jealous of him. He knew what he wanted and went for it. Perhaps I could learn from that. Don't just settle with life. Go out and get what you want.

And then came the next decision.... to go onto graduate school and earn his certification to teach high school physics.

So, that is why the seven years.
And now, it is finally May 2013.

May 2013.
Honey, you made it.
I'm so proud of you.

Jake and Neil deGrasse Tyson.