I can not believe that it is March already! 2017 has proven to be fast and furious. It is so crazy to think that before I am ready, the school year will be over and summer will be here.
November and December proved to be emotional and tiring months. It has been hard to not see the grandkiddos and Josh at the same time. We went to Janie and Steve's for Thanksgiving Day and Black Pie Day. Rick's pie won again this year. Kari entered a pumpkin pie she made completely from scratch - crust and all and it was delicious. We had 2nd Thanksgiving at our house, but were not able to have the kiddos over this year. Praying next year is different. God would have to move mountains, but thankfully, He is in the mountain moving business.
Christmas was different this year as well. Noah was sick and my parents when to Nicole's, so we did not host our annual Christmas Eve Brunch. It was a very quiet holiday and break, but what we needed. We weren't able to see the kiddos until the end of January due to sicknesses and schedules. We FaceTimed with TX family, although we were not allowed to see Hayden or Dakota. Dakota is grandkiddo number 4 and arrived on December 1. Thankfully, we receive pictures from Rick's sister, Krista.
January seemed like a bit of a blur. We celebrated Christmas with the kiddos at the end of the month, but were not able to have the spend the night until their visit in February. Unfortunately, Josh was incarcerated on February 12. Fortunately, we were able to spend the following weekend with Kaysen and Kiyah. Prayerfully, this summer things will be completed for Josh's legal woes and he will be able to start visitation with the kiddos. Once that happens, we will see them more as well. I know it will be hard for him to wait until the summer, but by then he should be in a better place to be able to see them. I know they want to spend time with him and it has been hard on all of them. It has been over a year since they have seen each other. I am hoping to get pictures taken of them since the ones on the wall are several years old. I can not believe that they will be 7 and 5 in May.
We also celebrated Jack's 9th birthday. We got him a bacon bone topped with whipped cream and a candle. We sang "Happy Birthday" and he enjoyed a new ball. We are so thankful he is part of our family.
One of Rick's 8th grade STEM groups had their group project, BEE a Hero chosen as a top ten finalist for the state of MD in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. They won the state competition - earning 25,000 in technology equipment - and then went on to be entered into the national competition. They created a website and fundraising page, presented their project to Senator Sarbanes and to Chinese diplomats visiting MD and visited a local apiary to learn about the beehive/honey making process.. Their contest video was innovative and informative, but unfortunately they did not make the top ten in the nation. They will continue their research and hope to see a bill presented to Congress this year to stop using pesticides in the nation that are killing the bees. Here is the link to their website - BEE a Hero
Kari and her best friend, Kaitlyn are raising money to go to Peru with her graduating class in the Summer of 2017. So far she has raised over $1000! Thankfully, she was given a scholarship, too, for being among the first five students to enroll for the trip. She is very excited about the trip and is babysitting as often as she can and planning to get a summer job to save money for lunches and souvenirs. Rick took her to a Peruvian restaurant the other night to try some of the cuisine. She is not too excited about trying the guinea pig that is delicacy in Peru. Here is the link to her fundraising page - Kari's trip to Peru!
Rick is still waiting for things to fall into place for his certification. Doors have opened recently that have then slammed shut. I know he is growing weary, but is ready for whatever he needs to do to get certified and stay with Lindale's STEM program. We are attending a graduate studies open house at Towson State University tomorrow to see if they will allow me to enroll in their graduate program under their exceptions policy. If not, I will not continue to pursue certification. I do enjoy being a TA, I will continue to do that and maybe work on my writing more seriously. I am looking into attending a writer's retreat in July in Kansas City, MO. It may be a long shot, but I may get that speaking career after all.
I am really looking forward to spring break in a few weeks, to take a few day trips, spend time with the grandkiddos and maybe get a new car or two. Both of our vehicles need to be serviced or replaced. It may be cheaper to replace them than service them. I cannot wait to have working AC and power steering 😊