Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blinking Cursor

A blank page with a blinking cursor is a bit intimating when you haven't posted in nine months. I didn't intend to stop posting or maybe I did. So, many things have changed in just a short amount of time. And yet it seems like forever has passed.....

Josh is currently incarcerated for a charge he was convicted of in January. He will be released soon and has a job and place to live lined up for when he returns home. He just celebrated his 25th birthday in March and is looking forward to Kaysen and Kiyah turning 6 and 4 in May. He has been drug free for a few months and hopes to be able to celebrate a year of sobriety next February.

Devin and her boyfriend, Austin will be moving to TX next week. Austin will be working with Rick's dad as a Jr construction supervisor. He plans to attend school to obtain his nursing degree as well. Devin will continue to work in the food service business, but desires to go to art school. Austin's nephew J will be moving with them as they were granted guardianship of him last week. Devin will also celebrate her 25th birthday in May!

Cody and his fiance, Brianne were married on April 1. No one knew they were eloping and no one was invited. Devin is devastated. There are extenuating circumstances that made them choose such a surprising and private ceremony. It is sad that we have not been able to celebrate with them. Rick and I have not seen Hayden in three months due in part to our reaction to some behaviors that Brianne was involved in that caused great upset to her relationship to Cody and then in turn to our relationship with Cody. Words have been spoken that can not be taken back and even though apologies on our part have been offered, they have not been accepted. It is hard to be dragged into a situation, defend your child and then have to suffer consequences at the expense of the selfish reactions of the person ultimately to blame for the destruction of several relationships. To be blamed as the reason for the inability to see our granddaughter is so upsetting. I do not understand when an olive branch is offered, but it is not accepted, especially by someone who should be the one asking for forgiveness. We are praying for a reconciliation that only God can orchestrate.

Kari is just a few months away from being a 9th grader! This year has been her hardest yet as far as drama and such goes. She has chosen to forgo the PVA program for HS and attend her feeder HS. Two girls that were her very best friends will be attending NCHS as well, but a misunderstanding that escalated into a broken friendship fueled by one mean girl's words and actions has dissolved their relationship. She is excited about the possibility of reconnecting with some friends from elementary school and being able to walk to and from school. And not having to stay after school 2-3 days a week. She will also have the opportunity to attend a vocational school and try her hand at culinary classes as well as cosmetology. I am excited that she will be making more dinners and making cutting and dyeing my hair for free =)   

Noah is just a few months away from finishing his first year of middle school! It has been an adjustment period for him that has mostly been positive. There have been a few growing pains and bumps along the way, but he is doing well in his classes. He enjoys being at the same school as Rick and being able to have lunch with him occasionally. He continues to draw anime and hone his video gaming skills. He is hoping to attend art classes again this summer. He is constantly creating with boxes, paper, clay...whatever he can.

Rick is plugging along with schoolwork. There was a delay in his classes in the fall due to a 2 day hospital stay, so he will not be doing his student teaching until the fall of 2016 now. He is hoping to be teaching full time by January 2017. He loves working in the STEM department at LMS and is looking forward to teaching a few summer bridge classes at the local HS. He is an amazing teacher - we can not go anywhere without a student or parent seeing him and stopping him to say hi or chat for a few minutes. He has a true gift and it is so evident with his students and his colleagues. 

I am working as a special education teaching assistant and thoroughly enjoying it. I started attending WGU in July 2015 to redo the classes I needed to be able to have a recognized bachelor's degree and it has been slow going. I found myself frustrated that I was retaking classes I took 20+ years ago. I was not doing well with the online concept of classes, lacking discipline in scheduling and completing assignments. I had failed my first exam ever in my educational journey and was really just struggling. I met a colleague at the beginning of the year that was having the same trouble I was obtaining her teaching certification in MD. The state would not accept her undergrad degree, either. She mentioned a program she was applying for in January, but I did not inquire much about it as I was just struggling to start my next term. She shared with me a few weeks ago that she had an interview set up and after talking to my supervisor, I sent in my application and had an interview set up the same day as hers. I found out this weekend that I got into the cohort! I will be withdrawing from WGU and attending a special education cohort this summer. It is a two year program that will allow me to get dual certification in general and special education, I will be hired as a special education teacher in the fall of 2016 and when I complete the program I will be two classes away from obtaining my master's in education. It is an amazing opportunity that I was so grateful to be given. I have secretly been drawn to special education for the last six years, but just did not see it as a possibility. God had other plans. He always knows our hearts' desires.

And the biggest change has been this new addition to our house.....

We rescued an 8 year old yellow lab in March. Jack has been a wonderfully, energetic addition to our lives. I read somewhere that dogs can do wonders for people that struggle with depression and anxiety and that has been 100% true for me and this dog. He is an old dog with the activity level and heart of a puppy. He is our protector and our goofball, barking at anyone and everyone and prancing through the house to play fetch. He sleeps with Kari and plays in the yard with Noah. After Harrison passed away in December, my parents were uncertain about getting another dog for the house, but Jack was the dog our house was missing. My parents love him as much as we do, although they are not thrilled when they hear his paws bounding on the ceiling of the basement apartment as he rouses the house awake in the mornings or wants to rough house at night.

So, life is short and moves at lightning speeds with its ups and downs and twists and turns. We have changed in the last year since the last post, but are thankful for the growing pains and lessons we have learned. And we are very excited to see what the next nine months hold. 


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