I just totally realized that I never updated the blog when Cody and Brianne had the baby. And the baby - Hayden Michelle - will be 3 months in a few short days. Sigh.
So, since the new year here are a few updates......
Josh still remains incarcerated. He seems to have a go public attorney this time, but has not yet been released. He has another status conference in a few weeks and will hopefully, prayfully be released then, but may still be facing some time due to a probation violation. One county has the violation pending while the city has a warrant issued. As long as the charges are dropped there should not be an issue, but he may still have to be transferred to the city and wait for a court date to have the violation dropped. It is a shame to think he may miss his children's birthdays again, but hopefully once all of this is cleared up, he will not have any other legal issues. That is my prayer. I went to visit him for the first time this Saturday. He looks good, healthy even, which he hasn't been for a while. He is clean right now and has even stopped smoking. I hope he is able to continue that once he is home. I know it is harder for him when is home. Too many temptations and pull of old ways and old friends. He said he is done with that way of life, but time will tell. He also said he has been attending Thursday night Bible study and will be meeting with the pastor this week. I pray that he is able to mentor Josh now and once he is released. And I am praying he is able to find a job quickly this time. I know if he is able to work and take pride in something it will help with his recovery.
Devin had a car accident in the beginning of December. She broke her ankle and required surgery and physical therapy. She is back to work, but is still waiting for the insurance company to pay her settlement, so she can get a new car. She had just purchased a new to her vehicle the day before the accident. She is looking into the possibility of art school. She would do brilliantly if she was able to attend. I think she dreams of being a tattoo artist one day. She recently moved into a new apartment. We need to make time to go visit and spend some time in Lancaster. Devin is planning to attend Kari's Phantom of the Opera PVA trip in a few weeks. Kari is really looking forward to it.
Cody and Brianne got engaged on January 1 and Hayden Michelle made her debut on January 11. She is such a joy and I can not believe that she will be 3 months old already. Cody has taken on the role of Daddy magnificently. It is evident how much he loves Hayden. He is working for a concrete/asphalt/snow removal company and has been working hard since we had a lot of snow during February and March. He is looking forward to rebuilding an older Mustang from the ground up and has been looking for parts. Cody hung out with Noah the other day when we had a date night with some friends. Noah really enjoyed him being there and we made sure there was plenty of pizza.
Kari continues to do well in school and currently has straight A's. Math is her challenging subject, but she takes the time to see her teacher at lunch to be able to make up work or correct tests and quizzes. She really strives to keep straight A's all year long and we are so proud of her. She has one more year of PVA and then will have to decide what she wants to do for high school. We would like to see her audition for vocal, photography or theater, but are waiting to see what she wants to do. The high school she would attend if not attending a PVA HS is right up the street, so she could walk and would be reunited with some of her elementary school friends. I would like to see her attend PVA throughout HS, but would appreciate not having to get her to the bus stop by 6 AM.
She is also working hard to get healthy. We started taking Zumba classes together and she is eating breakfast now and making better food choices. I know she wants to see some positive changes, so I am really trying to encourage her. But, I have not been good about being active and have enjoyed the sedentary lifestyle for too long. Kari and Noah are both more artistic than athletic, so I have not encouraged them to be active. Now, we are having to make some changes.
Noah just finished PARCC testing and seemed to do well. He was a bit anxious about it, but didn't need to be. He continues to practice the saxophone and is currently working on music for the spring concert. I can not believe this will be his last concert in elementary school. He tried out for a solo for chorus, but has not heard back yet whether he got it or not. He is attending the Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend and Rick is chaperoning. He is very excited that they will be on national television. Noah auditioned for PVA Art and the middle school STEM program, but did not make either program. He was very disappointed, but is glad he will still be at the same middle school as Rick. And he continues to draw and research engineering videos and blogs. He is also extremely educated in Japanese culture. He said he would love to study abroad there for high school or college. Our nephew is currently stationed there in the Air Force and Noah hopes that we can visit before his tour is over in a few years. Every time we talk about taking a family vacation, he suggests Japan. Hopefully, we will make it there before Alex's tour is done.
Rick is still enjoying teaching and is a local star among his students. We see his students frequently when we are out and about and he always looks so happy when we run into them. I love seeing him interact with them outside of school. He is also back to playing WTP once a week. He is hoping to win top seat in one of the local bars and is looking forward to Nationals since it will be in Delaware this year versus New Jersey. WSOP is one his bucket list, so it would be awesome if he was able to win a seat to Vegas. And I have never been to Vegas......
I really do enjoy working at MES and with the third grade team and the other staff members I work with right now. Continuing my education seems to be an ongoing saga and I need to make some hard decisions soon. I am just not sure if I am being prideful or what, but I hate that I may have to go back and get the exact same degree that I have now, a degree that allowed me to teach for six years. Like if I go back I am saying it wasn't worth it, those years of teaching were for naught. I guess I may be over dramatizing the whole situation, but I am really struggling with this. I don't want to wait too long though because the longer I wait the longer it will take to get any degree, undergrad or master's.
And just because they are adorable, here are some pictures of the grandkiddos......