Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alas, Summer is Almost Over......

and still, I haven't been able to post! It seems that not blogging has left this big hole in my life. And yet, there seems to always be something that is taking my time away. I always thought not working full-time would mean I had MORE time to blog. Just doesn't seem to be the case. Ever since we moved the kids back to our house full-time, I have been non-stop on the go. When Mike and I both worked 3rd shift, the kids spent a majority of nights with my in-laws. It was the only thing we could do. They were too young to be alone at night. I missed them like crazy, even though I saw them every day. It just wasn't enough. Losing my job was hard, but not being with my kids was harder. It seems we are closer than ever. All that time apart really helped build some special bonds with those little rats....who are not so little anymore. Although sometimes I feel more like a chauffeur than a mom, I count my blessings every day.

So....what has been going on since I have been away?? Here, it's more of the same. The summer was spent attending numerous softball practices/games. Both girls played, only this year it was 2 separate teams. Both girls also spent 2 weeks at Kid's College. What an amazing experience for them!! They were both enrolled in a class called "Broadway Bound". Their instructor was a really talented lady. At then end of the session, the class put on a vaudeville style show with singing, dancing, poetry and skits. It was really good. Bella also took an art class. She loves art, and they did some sculpting, Batik and sketching. Ana, the little scholar, took a Chinese Language & Culture class. As the youngest there, she was still tops in her class. She wanted to learn a foreign language, and has now started with Mandarin Chinese. She's scary sometimes.

Me? Other than running them around all summer, I worked at the restaurant. I was going to take a class, but figured I needed the summer to decompress. Last semester was hard, being my first one back. I ended up on the Dean's List with a 3.8 GPA though. So I must have done something right! Fall semester starts in a week, so I'm working almost every day until then. Books aren't cheap folks! Damn. I'm in the hole almost $600 for the Fall's books. Financial aid is a strange thing too. As financially strapped as I am, I don't qualify for any type of aid yet. It's my last semester at the Junior College before I transfer. Since I already have a bachelor's degree, I have too many credit hours to qualify for aid. And that includes student loans too. Which sucks. I'm hoping once I'm enrolled at ISU, that will change. It has too, otherwise, I don't think there is any way I can finish without help. After taking to the registrar's office at ISU, I'm hopeful though.

My class load is even bigger this fall. 6 classes: Children's Lit, Shakespeare, Educational Technology, Education Psychology, Nature of Theater (need that extra Fine Arts Credit), and Early Western Civ (for my History minor). I wrangled my schedule to only have classes Tues/Thursday this time, so I will have more time to work (and study of course!) The kids are as excited to get back to school as I am. Chad will be a sophomore this year. I already got the letter about his "Behind the Wheel" Class. Driver's Ed!!!! I can NOT believe my baby is going to be driving. I'm still a little nauseous about it! Bella starts Jr. High this year. She got her schedule last week and it's packed full. Only 1 study hall on Friday afternoon! All the other free time goes to band, chorus and mixed chorus. Ana will be in 4th. She is almost as tall I am now!! Time has a way of speeding up the older you get. I may be a college student, but I feel so old sometimes. Especially when I look at my kids. It seems like just yesterday they were all in diapers. Now, I have one that is going to be driving soon!

Reading?? How I done any? This has been a good summer for books. I haven't really been blown away by anything lately, but I have read a lot. Mostly YA books. I reread both Hunger Games and Catching Fire, so I could finish the series with Mockingjay. As much as I loved the first two books, I found the end of the trilogy a little wanting. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale was an ok read. Although I liked the premise, the book was a little on the blah side for me. Fire by Kristine Cashore was a really good book. I liked it even better than Graceling. I read the second book in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book. I am constantly blown away by Jasper Fforde. His use of literary characters and word play is just so much fun. I read the first book in the 39 Clues series: A Maze of Bones. This one was written by Rick Riordan. The series itself is written by a number of authors. The premise is a hunt across the world for 39 clues that will lead the winners to something that will make them the most powerful people in the world. There are 7 teams of people, all members of the Cahill family. FUN series, though targets a younger audience than I usually read. What else? hmmmm....I started rereading The Dark Towers series by Stephen King. I read the first 4 books years ago, and I finally decided I needed to finish the series. So far, I've just read The Gunslinger, but will definitely pick up The Drawing of the Three soon. I just finished The Summoning (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong. Another good book, and another series I seem to have gotten stuck in. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison was also a great beginning to the Rachel Morgan series. That's all I can think of now, off the top of my head.

Since school is starting in another week, and my for fun reading is going to be cut to a bare minimum, I have a stack of books I'm going to try to get through before I get back into all that homework. They include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead by Scott Kenemore; Enna Burning by Shannon Hale; A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett; Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Good, the Bad, and The Undead by Kim Harrison; The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong; and finally Fearless Girls, Wise Women, & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World by Kathleen Ragan. Let's see what I can get done in such a short time!!

On a sad note, we had to have my beloved St. Bernard, Rocco, put to sleep a few weeks ago. In all my years as a dog owner I've never had to make that decision before. And it SUCKED! But he was getting old and in constant pain from arthritis, lost most of his hearing...then started having neurological problems. By the end, he couldn't walk. He was way too big for us to have to carry outside anymore. It was heartbreaking for all of us, but the kids especially. Still breaks my heart to think about it.

Now...I want to hear from all of you! What is happening in your lives??? I've missed you all terribly and want to know.