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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stream of conciousness....

The kids are back in school, Dan is in Seattle, so things are back to normal I guess.  It feels weird getting used to having my kids in two schools.  And the fact that Peter's school is 30 minutes away makes it feel weirder.

I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the car this year.  Thankfully the carpool to high school will only mean one day of the week I have to drive there twice in one day.

I am confident I will get used to it and in no time it will feel like old hat. When my kids went to public school, it was literally 2 minutes from our house AND they rode the bus!  I definitely enjoyed having zero morning/afternoon commute.

When they started at Our Lady of Mercy, the drive to school took about  17 or 18 minutes.  Some days I could do it in 15 if the stop lights cooperated.  The first couple of weeks driving that felt like I was never going to get to school and we were never going to get home.  But in no time, it felt like the quickest most natural drive in the world and I was wondering why it ever bothered me to begin with. Hoping that I feel the same in a couple of weeks about my drive to Bishop!

The people of Texas have been on my heart the last several days and I continue to pray for them.  This morning on our way to school there was a big electronic billboard that rotates different ads and one of them said "Pray for Texas" and had the outline of the state and a heart over Houston. 

Don't worry billboard - I have been! 

Yesterday Peter's school had a big summer reading event.  This year's theme was "Homegrown".  They had to choose a book from a list of about 15 that were either written by someone from North Carolina or was about North Carolina. While they were reading the book they had to find at least 20 quotes that spoke to characterization, plot, theme, etc. and tell how they thought the quote represented that. 

Yesterday they broke off into groups by book and discussed the book.  The upperclassmen led the discussion and teachers were taking note of who participated.  They also had two of the authors come to speak to the kids.  A BBQ lunch was provided and there was a small blue-grass band playing music in the background.

After lunch they broke up into groups and worked together to make 12 Free Libraries that will be placed around the area so that people can take a book and/or leave a book. 

Sounds like a fun day and a great summer reading project!

It's been unseasonably cool around here since this weekend.  Not ready for it to feel like fall yet.  Today in addition to being cool it is also cloudy with a little rain..  It will barely make it to the low 70s by 3:00 pm.  A little too cool for August if you ask me! 

Yesterday at Walmart, I found these little beauties!  After tulips, I would probably say that sunflowers are my next favorite flower.

The blooms are smaller than they appear in this picture and that makes them even cuter!  They had them at 4 for $3.97 but one of the blooms broke off in the car.  :(

And since Sarah can't resist taking a selfie - here's one from Sunday morning before we headed out to church!

Have a great Tuesday y'all!

Friday, August 25, 2017

First day of high school and 8th grade. Oh my!

The kids started back to school on Wednesday. Neither the,kids or I were ready for summer vacation to be over but what can you do?

 Peter is a 9th grader (my baby is a freshman!) at Bishop McGuinness High School and Sarah is an 8th grader at Our Lady of Mercy.

 Every year, the kids make me take a silly shot.  This year, they did not.  So, I did what any good mother would do and I requested that we do a silly shot.  (I'm a little sad that they feel too grown up for this tradition but they started it, so I'm going to finish it!)

Don't worry - those are shorts.  Sarah never wears a skirt without a pair of shorts underneath it! 

Since Peter's high school is 30 minutes away and in another town, we are doing a carpool with 4 other families.  The carpool leaves from Sarah's school so it is perfect for us since we will be going there anyway.

Here is the carpool crew!

This is a fine looking group of Our Lady of Mercy graduates if I do say so myself!

The first day for these guys was for 9th graders only.  It was a day long orientation.

When they got out of the car a large group of upper classmen where waiting on them with horns and bells and were cheering for them.  Peter said it was "awkward" but I think it sounds pretty cute.  The mom that was driving carpool on Wednesday said the looks on their faces were priceless. 

They started the day with a prayer service.  After that they met Big Brothers/Big Sisters (upper classmen) who showed them where all their classes were.  And they had games/icebreakers/getting to know you type activiteis in the gym.  They went briefly to each of their classes and basically got a feel for the school without the rest of the school being there.

Peter said he had a good first day but still seemed a little hesitant.  BUT - yesterday which was more of a normal day since all the students were there - he said was a really good day.

Sarah, who is a seasoned 8th grader, said her first two days were fine.  Nothing too exciting because, yawn, she's ready to go high school.  No surprise there because she's been saying she wishes she could skip 8th grade and go right to high school. 

Um - NO! 

So, that's our first day of school in a nutshell and now we are on to day 3.  I am hoping and praying for a great year for my kiddos!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cape Cod!!

When we last met here, Peter had finished up the written portion of driver's ed and I had taken Sarah shoe shopping for school and we were heading up to Cape Cod for vacation.

Dan got home at a reasonable time on Friday evening.  I had already packed and loaded up the car and off we went.

We drove to Chambersburg, PA and spent the night and were up bright and early to make the rest of the drive on Saturday morning.  We left around 7:15 AM and we hit no traffic and no road construction anywhere and it was lovely!  We made it to Yarmouth around 4:30.

On Sunday, Dan's brother and his family came to visit.  We spent the afternoon on the beach and then we played a round of mini-golf and then had pizza and ice cream!

Monday was cloudy and a bit rainy so we went off the Cape to visit the house Dan grew up in one last time.  It will hopefully be on the market in the near future.  The kids didn't think they were going to get to go into again so they were both excited and saddened to do it one more time.  They have a lot of sweet Christmas memories in that house.

Peter wanted to go to a record shop in Cambridge so we headed that way, walked around the campus of Harvard and got lunch at Tasty Burger.  It was as the name promised. Tasty!

Tuesday was also cloudy so we drove to Plymouth to see the rock and the replica of the Mayflower which was unfortunately in Mystic, CT where it is being repaired.  So we headed to Plimoth Plantation which is a living history museum.  They have built the Plymouth settlement exactly as it is described by William Bradford in his writings.  And they have people dressed in period costumes and they interact with you as if you were in their homes in the mid-1600's.  It was fascinating!

We spent time a lot of time on the beach on Wednesday and had a delicious lunch at Captain Parker's.  If you are ever in West Yarmouth (or anywhere on the Cape really) you should head to Captain Parker's.  They have THE BEST clam chowder anywhere in New England.

On Thursday we got up early and drove to Onset to take a three hour tour by boat of the Cape Cod canal but when we arrived we found out the captain had called in sick and the tour had been cancelled.  They gave us our money back and free vouchers for a 1 hour tour of Hyannis.  We had done that one in previous years but it was free and the kids wanted to do it again so we did.

On Friday we headed to Falmouth and parked and got on our bikes and biked 3.5 miles to Woods Hole where we had a nice lunch and then biked back to Falmouth.  There are many bike trails on the Cape Cod and they are all so nice because they are flat!  They follow the old railway lines and a portion of this one runs right by the ocean.  It makes biking (exercising) so much better when you have a beautiful view!

And might I also add that we ate ice cream out EVERY NIGHT!  That's SEVEN nights of ice cream.  I was very excited that when I returned home I had only gained 4 1/2 pounds.

Here are other random shots taken throughout the week:

It was a great vacation - very relaxing and peaceful.  Now we are enjoying our last week and half of freedom before school starts.