Pride…

We are in the midst of the goodbye’s –   last class with my current IB seniors. Last final given to my IB juniors. Senior awards night. Baseball banquet….  Those events are now behind us, but the week ahead holds more – IB Goodbye picnic; graduation itself; and the graduation party; 8th grade transition/”graduation” for the youngest as well.

At these moments there is a tendency to not have much time to breathe – so much crammed into a small space of time. But I am trying to take a moment to savor it. I know all too well how quickly time has flown, and how it tends to just keep speeding up. I have long come round to missing the late night rocking/feeding sessions with my babies, the fun of the toddler years and storytime at the library, etc. etc. So fleeting, now long gone.

Pride can take lots of forms. For us, there are some things we could care less about, and others much more important.

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First – the middle child was honored at the Senior awards night with National Honor Society cord, International Thespian society cord, and Spanish Honor Society cord. He also gets an IB Stole and a white tassel representing the fact he in in the top 10% of his class. Valedictorian? No – could care less. But that he worked really hard? So proud that he chose to work hard and that he knew it was important to his future to make sure he had opportunities in front of him.P1250426

He was also an athlete. Three years varsity baseball. Valuable contributor to his team. And as a senior, a real leader. Someone coach could count on to run fall workouts, spring practices. And still contribute batting and pitching to the team. So I was so proud when he got the big award at the baseball banquet – Heartbeat of the team.

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He may not have had the biggest bat – and his pitching record got him an honorable mention in the conference – but the fact that he was a reliable, dependable, hard working member of the team that LEAD his team – that to me was much more important. Those are life skills he will need in every other area of his life going forward.

Last pb and j of the year, made by dad.

Last pb and j of the year, made by dad.

One very busy week ahead – to celebrate all the transitions, and the hard work, of my sons and their teachers and the village that helped us raise them – it should be fun!

College decision….

All winter long, we felt sure we knew where the middle son was headed for college. All winter long, it was all about one school. He got a couple of offers to play baseball at some close to home schools. He got other acceptances – but it was always University of Vermont.

The next likely place was Clemson. So over spring break, he decided he should at least visit. Baseball tournament conflicted with the accepted student days, so he called and made arrangements for us to go another time.

IMG_0860All the way down, it was pretty clear we were just visiting to check off that we had been there. It was the only school he had not visited last summer on his epic tour. It was however, the first school he had been excited about based on some research they were doing in his field of interest. But all winter he was all about Vermont.

The generic tour was first, and I don’t think anything really swayed him at that time. But then he had meetings with the department where he had been accepted. I watched him walk into the building ambivalent. I watched him walk out completely sold.

All the way home he was full of chatter. We got home latish, and he stayed up even later making giant pro and con lists on giant whiteboards that sat on the ping pong table for weeks. Comparisons of every fact he could find. It took him until late April to admit, he wanted to go to Clemson, but we knew it the moment he walked out of the Life Sciences building.

IMG_0861So next fall, he won’t be as far away as he had planned to go. He chose the only southern school he applied to. He is so very excited, and we are excited for him. We were all looking forward to trips to Vermont, but having him just 4 hours away is also a very nice thing. Go Tigers. We hope he will find his life’s calling there.

Part 3 – Winter wear

Both boys were anticipating a snowy winter and asked me to knit them new hats – yes – at 18 and 14, they wanted their mom to knit new hats. Of course I jumped right on that.

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The middle son picked one that was patriotic and colorful and it went together easily. Here is ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Theflock/hat-for-eli

Then the younger son wanted one. He has a love of polar bears, so I surprised him with this:

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Details at Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Theflock/polar-chullo

And just in the nick of time – the epic snow came the next day!

Part 2 – Silly stuff about snow

There were some silly things about snow as well. In an early dusting, I got lots of loving messages.

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IMG_0754This last one you may have to click on to get big enough to read the message I found at the pond…

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IMG_0728And a loving one from the man about the place while we were on a walk.

IMG_0767.JPG (2)In the south, the joke is always that when snow is forecast, whether it comes or not, regardless of amount expected, everyone rushes out to buy milk and bread and toilet paper. But at our store, there seemed to be a rush on bananas. Who knows?

IMG_0751 IMG_0752 IMG_0735 IMG_0734Then the middle son always tests the thickness of the ice – he cuts out big slabs from the pond and amazes us with these icy chunks…I always love when there are frozen bubbles – but I also love when it freezes clear.

IMG_0721And then there was the intense cold that came after the snow, creating a crusty surface where we could walk without hardly leaving footprints – no sinking into the now here, even though it was about 8 inches deep!

Part 1 – Epic Snow

Snowball candle outside dining room window...

Snowball candle outside dining room window…

For the southern United States, we had quite the winter. We had a couple of weeks where we went to school for 1/2 a day and then didn’t see students for a week. Then another 1/2 day, and another week off. We even had a Saturday make-up day that got cancelled due to “inclement weather”.

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The boys had a great deal of fun with the snow. It was easy to pack – there were snow forts and snowmen and giant hay bale style rolls of snow.

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IMG_0800This is the middle son inside the snow fort made by rolling enormous hay bale rolls of snow and then forming them into a 4 sided shape.

IMG_0794This was more fun with snow – as the middle son, soon to be college bound, used his car and his creativity and a bit of red food color to create this gruesome snowman scene…

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But the best part of these 2 weeks is that I just let go – I let go of grading papers and marking Mathematics IA’s – I stopped writing lessons – and I just enjoyed what is probably the last time Eli and Cooper will ever get snowed in together. It was great snow for playing, and that is what we all did.

IMG_0779IMG_0778IMG_0792We had time for lovely walks in the woods and by our pond – covered in ice and snow. We had time for cups of tea and days in pajamas and sleeping in past 7. It was the best time – even if we do have to go to school 20 minutes longer every day for 3 plus months to make up the time – it was worth it. Thanks 2015 snow – you were the best ever!IMG_0798

IMG_0809.JPG (2)Boosting younger brother onto snow roll…

IMG_0814.JPG (2)The man about the place on a giant snow roll….

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And of course, at some point, the rolls fall over… sooo very heavy, this snow!

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