I don't really plan on taking off from writing posts, but life happens and I usually have to pick something to put on the back burner and blogging is usually it. Then like most things you put off, the longer you put it off, the harder it is to get around to doing it. That is where I am.
Then I tell myself that it's not like it matters anyway. I see some of the homes we look at every day in Blogland and my humble abode does not stack up. That's not a pity party. That is just reality.
In the meantime, Life (yes, I meant it as a proper noun) has been changing around here. Some by choice, some notsomuch. To begin with, two of our sons graduated from college on the same day with the same degree (Industrial Safety). When you're the parents of five children and those are the last two to get through college, it is a BIG DEAL. Oh happy day. One of my daughters will complete her MBA by the end of the year. That will be another BIG DEAL.
We are going to be grandparents again. This will be the third one in 2 1/2 years. Again, Oh Happy DAY!! We have so much fun with Leightyn and Behr. Baby #3 will be the little brother or sister of Leightyn. We will find out in August whether we get another girl or boy. Not that it matters to anyone, but it just makes pre-shopping easier!! Leightyn and Behr were both born on March 12, a year apart. This baby is due on January 14. MAYbe he/she can make it here January 12th and we can keep those 12's up (That is also the birthday of the Hubs late grandfather). OR maybe it will be born on January 13th, which is my birthday (and my son-in-law's)! Or maybe it will be born January 10th, which is my son's birthday (and the father of the baby). Or maybe it will be born on January 3rd, and it can be born on my daughter's birthday (Behr's mom). Or on the 4th, 6th or 15th, and on one of my nieces or nephew's special day! Get the picture? We have LOTS of January birthdays to celebrate. Maybe, just maybe he or she will want to arrive on their very own day!
While I was doing the non-blog-writing-thing, I WAS giving end of the year state assessments. Unless you are a teacher, especially one that has to give the tests, you have NO IDEA how stressful that is....For the teacher and the students!! All of my students have to take them. In fact they have to take a literature/reading/grammar test as well as a separate writing test. I have about 100 students taking the tests. The writing tests have to be sent off to be graded and then added into the other test. But we do get a raw score on the lit/reading/grammar test. When the students are getting ready to push that last button to see their raw score there are a lot of anxious moments. I teach sophomore and junior English In Oklahoma, if they do not pass their 10th grade English test, they do not get to graduate from high school. They do get to retake it in December....or the next year (and the junior English test as well), but let me say, that is a LOT of pressure! Thankfully, my tests went well and my students excelled.
Speaking of work, my Hubs and I both have changed jobs. Really. At our age. Well I have written about it before, but for 12 years I commuted more than 100 miles per day. For the past six years, my Hubs and I have commuted together to the same school. He was the I.T. Director at the school. The six years before that, we still lived in Kansas. The Hubs commuted one way and I commuted another direction. What a deal (in all that bad Kansas weather too!!) But the Hubs has a new job completely out of the computer and education field. And it is close to home. And he has a company truck. My new job is at the high school in the town we live. It is 1 minute and 30 seconds from my home. The other day I went up to the school to get a book and it took me an entire 2 minutes!!!! You have no idea how good that sounds to me. It is ALWAYS hard to leave a school though. Bonds are made with other faculty and so many students, but the idea of gaining two extra hours in my day of non-commute time was something I could not pass up. So come August, I'll have a new classroom.
We have also entertained lots of family and friends this spring. In March we had a double-birthday party for the babies with 55 people in attendance. It was a carnival theme, so we served carnival food with all the trimmings. We even rented a bounce house for the kiddos to use. There were plenty of adults in it as well! In April we hosted Easter with 30+ people. In May we had a big party for our college grads with 30 or 40 people. We love to open the house to our guests, feed them and sit around and visit. Family and friends are important to us, and that is the reason we moved back from Kansas six years ago. We knew we would never get "do-over" years.
My Hubs mother has Alzheimer's. What a horrible, horrible disease. In her career as an oil company exec, she had to do all sorts of calculating and complex number problems. Now even the slightest bit of (coin) change gets her mixed up. It is a disease that strips away a person's dignity....and does so quickly. The Hubs and I spend a lot of time fixing meals to take to her, and going to visit her. She is still in her home with her husband, but we worry that things could change any day on that front. I try to make her meals nutritious, but easy to warm up. I try to make sure I include things I know she loved to eat. My sister-in-law lives right down the street from my MIL, so she gets the brunt of the duty of checking on her. We do try to relieve her as often as possible. It's another one of those things, that unless you have had to live or take care of someone with Alzheimer's you really can't understand how even the smallest thing becomes the biggest obstacle. Thank goodness for the good days!
I also have not sat around twiddling my thumbs on my "free" time. I have painted three rooms in my home...including all the woodwork. We put up the antique fence in the front of our house. We planted lots of new plants. We are working on the backyard and also painting two more rooms. I have also painted a couple of pieces of furniture and have several pieces in my summer to-do list. This week I am working on sewing curtains for one of the rooms I painted.
And since this is officially "flag week", I would be remiss if I had not included pics of the outside of our house. Each year I put up our flags, swags and garland a day or two before Memorial Day(when these pics were taken) and take it down about two weeks after the 4th of July. I know, I know. That's a long time to keep it up. But honestly, I love it. I have always lived in homes that had big front porches and the lent themselves to beautiful red/white and blue swags. This home even has the upper story and two side balconies, so I just go crazy, wild with all my patriotic decor. I even swag up the wooden fence and the antique fence we just put up out front! Personally, I think it makes an old (seen better days) house, look a little proud. I've said before that we live in the historic area of our little city and we are on the Trolley Tour. We have trolley's come by all day long each day. If I am sitting out front enjoying my front porch (and yes, I LOVE to do that) and the trolley comes by, I wave at everyone. If I have one of the grands with me the trolley operator will ring the bell. I see people in the trolley taking pics of the house, so I'll continue with my over-the-top-patriotic-spectacle! I like to think the house had to look something like this 90 years ago as well.
I have taken pics of the many projects I have worked on, so I will try to be better about posting some of them. I am not promising anything, but I hope to be better. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy Life.