I've received a few emails of inquiry wondering if all is ok with the Thomas team so, despite having any real or exciting news, I thought I'd better update this evening. All is well! I thank God for that, as always!
Since I last updated on June 29th, I finished teaching two more summer classes and I've completed a ton of grading. I love making money and teaching the courses, but the lesson planning involved still takes me a great deal of time. I keep thinking the more I teach the less time I will have to spend in preparation, yet that never seems to be the case. Thankfully, I really enjoy the planning - it just takes me too long! I've also been spending time with the new language arts content standards work I will begin on Friday of this week and I will continue that work into the next week for the State Department of Education.
Shayla has been busy enjoying the summer! Since my last update she's been to the city pool with friends, to Soak City and Cedar Point with friends, working with Skeeter nearly every day, reading a ton of books, shopping with her "Decorating Committee" for 4H, having weekly "mounted meetings" at the fair grounds (4 1/2 hour ventures involved in loading up Skeeter, trailering him in to town and back to the barn, working with the other 4Hers in the club in the arena and then having the meetings as well). Thankfully, she enjoys it all! (Shayne and I are just exhausted! But that's OK!!)
(PIC: The required sewing box she put together) She spent much of last week finishing four of her five other 4H projects: scrapbooking, sewing, interior designs and arts as an expression. It's amazing how much work is involved with each and every project. (It's not just the project, but a good sized workbook to go along with each project - yikes.) I believe she did absolutely outstanding work on all of her projects and I'm very proud of her!
Yesterday was her sewing judging. They keep the parents in a roped off section away from the judges (imagine that - involved, competitive parents in 4H? I'm shocked - hee hee!). But from where I sat I thought the 15 minute interview went very, very well. She smiled and happily chatted away the entire time. Her grading card showed a grade of an "A" with "very good" (the highest) marked in every section. There were 13 competing in her first year division (make a skirt or shorts and two additional accessories. Shayla made the white shorts and green/white polka dot bag and hair scrunchie).
The judge wrote many positive comments including: finished seams, excellent fit, great colors complements well and other things I can't remember. As soon as Shayla came back to me she said, "This judge was really, really nice. I think it went great except for one thing." When I asked, "What?" She said, "The only workbook page she opened up and turned to was page 46 - that's the only page I didn't do. My 4H advisor said it was for second year." My heart fell. In the car I opened up to the page and sure enough, we left it blank. I told her it was my fault, not her sewing teacher's, for not checking all the workbook pages. I thought she was done because on page 45 it said at the top of the paragraph, "Congratulations! You have just completed Ready? Let's Sew!" I did not read to the bottom of the paragraph (Yes, I am a reading teacher!) where it said for the last sentence, "Now turn to the next page and answer the questions."
When we got home I again told Shayla I was so sorry for not checking her book more carefully. I received the most mature response from a very happy little camper (sewer?). "Mom, let it go. It's no big deal. I'm not upset why should you be? I learned how to sew and I had fun. That's what I wanted to do. Next I get to model my outfit in the style show at the fair!" I could only respond, "Shayla, I think I will increase your pay for sewing the family's buttons back on. Instead of paying you a quarter, I may give you a dollar." She's amazing! (So, I've yet to "let it go" but I'm trying really hard and reminding myself winning ribbons isn't important - learning is!) And aren't all of those little girls' outfits they sewed darling?! I had the most wonderful time watching all of the girls come in, wearing their outfits, and meeting with their judges - really neat! I wish I could sew! (Seriously, I could NEVER have the patience required.)
Speaking of trying really hard, I've yet to order the cemetery plaque. This week I will call the computer storage back up company about my computer. It's STILL not restored. YIKES! I am getting concerned. I have THOUSANDS of pictures of Christi there and I "thought" they were all backed up. Shayne just told me today to call the company this week because he's done all he can for me. Oh, I'm praying hard this can be fixed and all of my "stuff" can be located.
For the fourth of July weekend, we bought an awesome new waverunner so we have been spending a lot of time on it in Lake Erie. The used ones we bought in 2004 because Christi loved being out on them in the lake so much, were really "junk", but the price was right back then. They never really worked well and were so old (1995, I think) and I was glad we recently sold them. Also, after Christi died and we were left just a family of three, it seemed weird to have two so this new waverunner holds all three of us comfortably. Now we can all be together and no one gets left. (Well, left on dry land that is. Shayne did manage to dump all three of us in the lake within our first two hours on them, but it was so hot it actually felt great! Getting "mom" back up on it was another funny matter, but I won't even describe that!) Another thing I love about this one is that we also bought a "floating dock" so we don't have to trailer it in and out of the lake and down to storage anymore. (What a pain!) Now we can just go out of the condo and hop right on it.
We went over to South Bass Island and enjoyed "Put in Bay" today! We can't believe how grown up Shayla is becoming. Yikes! (PIC: Shayla in the back of the "fun car" we rented calling grandpa telling him she's entering their dill pickles in the county fair judging while enjoying her mocha from "The Chocolate Factory" on the island.
(PIC: Touring the nature wildlife preserve)
(The fun car we spent much of the day in)
Shayla and her dad: kicked back outside of the candy shoppe
That's all our "news" for this update. This coming week I will be very busy teaching a class for Heidelberg University every day, but as soon as it's over I want to spend time with my mom and Joe! I've missed them soooooooooo much and my summer schedule just hasn't been leisurely enough to allow that to happen yet - but it will soon! Ahhhh! Shayla is really looking forward to spending the week with them while I'm working and I'm grateful mom will get Shayla back to town for more 4H judging this week - three more projects will be judged on Tuesday. I hope it goes as well as Saturday's 4H judging did. I hope you and yours have a lovely week! ENJOY!