Busy Week

This week has turned out to be a busy one. Yesterday saw me walking, then home to do laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Cleaning out the chicken coop and taking care of the cats we brought home Sunday evening. They are in the shop but they won’t come out when we are in there. Hopefully they will be a little braver today. Then Dad and Mom came over with some apples to share and to see the cats. They stayed and chatted until dark.

Today I’m up early – no earlier than usual but I’m heading to Kalona to meet Abby. I’m going with her to a doctor’s appointment in Iowa City. Jeremy couldn’t take time off work so I volunteered to tag along. Nothing is wrong, just checking for gestational diabetes. I had it with my second two pregnancies and am hoping she doesn’t but since she didn’t pass the first test I won’t be surprised if this one comes out positive. So, I get to spend some quality time with her today which will be nice.

Tomorrow should be pretty normal. Nothing specific planned anyway. Just normal routine. Although I do need to do something with the apples Mom brought over. And I finished stitching my Fancey Blackett I working on so I need to decide on a finish for her. I love those days! Then Thursday and Friday I’m subbing at the elementary school. Friday is homecoming so that should be fun – the kids will be all excited to go see the parade. Not sure I know what I’m getting myself into! It’s nice to visit the school now and again to see how things are run and to get to know the teachers. Especially with Drew there. And he likes having me there. There will come a time when having his mom working at the school once in awhile won’t be so fun but for now he thinks it’s awesome!

And best of all – it’s supposed to be ten degrees cooler today than yesterday and then it’s supposed to drop down into the 60s. Yeah – hopefully fall is here!

Monday

Drew and I made this to view the eclipse but it was too cloudy and overcast today. Oh well, if we get rain out this we can’t complain!

We start the busyness back up this week. School starts on Wednesday for Drew. Tonight Drew has flag football practice. Tuesday night is the open house at school. Wednesday night is the first flag football game of the season. Friday night Joe runs the chains at the high school football game. And so it begins. It won’t be quite as hectic this year though. For the past six years we were filling up our schedule with cross country meets in between everything else. I’m going to miss those meets and watching Eric run but to be honest, I’m not going to miss the running involved. The older I get, the more I prefer to just stay home – unless camping is involved of course!

August Is Here

It’s time to bring out the sunflowers!

Wow, July went fast. It always seems to me that once we hit the 4th of July the summer just flies by. We are getting closer and closer to fall – yeah! Although August means school starts back up too which this year means watching Eric leave the nest. He’s ready and we’re ready too. The only one not ready for this big change is Drew. He’s going to miss having big brother around.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I turned off the air and opened up all the windows. I love having the windows open! If we could just get some rain now. I spent the day getting ready to sell shave ice and washing up the bedding and tablecloths in the camper and then took Drew school shopping. We picked a good time to go – the stores were nice and quiet and Drew was no nonsense about it. He had no trouble picking things out – he just wanted to get it done so he could get home and spend the evening outside with Daddy!

Today looks like another nice summer day. I’ll finish getting everything together to sell tonight. It’s National Night Out and there will be kids galore up on the square with games for them to play, handouts and freebies, free entertainment and I think even a bouncy house or two. It’s a great way to celebrate our City Police and Sheriff’s Department and for kids to get to know them. Our Police Department does such a good job putting this on every year for the kids in the community and we are thankful they ask us to participate.

Next Stop Everywhere

A lot of the kids decorated their caps. Eric did a great job on his!

Eric is now officially a high school graduate! His graduation ceremony was held last night at the high school. It was a short ceremony – only about a half an hour – but it was very nice. This class of 40 was one of the smartest classes to go through the system. They are also a group of extremely talented kids – sports, drama, music, art – they were all involved! I managed to not get too emotional last night but I’m sure going to miss these kids! Eric’s next step in his journey is to attend the University of Iowa this fall and study Psychology. He originally was going to Iowa State, then the University of Northern Iowa before finally deciding on Iowa. It’s a big decision – what college to go to and he was accepted at all three of his top choices. He weighed all his options and looked at his overall goals in getting a degree and decided Iowa was the best choice. His mama was glad – only 45 minutes from home. His brother-in-law is in Iowa City every day for work. Even closer to his older sister and brother than he is from us if they’re needed. A little piece of mind for a mamma who isn’t ready to let her baby go yet!

Dinosaurs always help pass the time.
The last time this band will play together.

Eric and Aunt Beth

Eric and Grandpa and Grandma Ward

 

So Incredibly Thankful

 

Last night was Class Night. I held it together through the whole ceremony! Such a great group of young adults. Smart, talented, fun. There were lots of awards given out, laughs, a few tears. They will all go far in their pursuits from this point on I’m sure. I’m thankful for Eric’s teachers, his friends, the community for helping to shape him into the wonderful young man he has become. Graduation Saturday  night and then life as he knows it will have changed forever. And he can’t wait!

I am also thankful to God for being with my oldest son Aaron and keeping him safe while were at Class Night. We had a pretty good storm hit our area right before Class Night and were thankful it was over before everyone had to head into the school. Halfway through the program Joe got a phone call from Aaron, which is a rare occurrence at best. He said everything was fine and asked his dad to call him when the program was over. The storm that was not so bad here had traveled onto his community. He was working at the convenience store when a tornado hit. It blew out all the windows and did some other damage. No one was hurt. He watched a customer go to leave right when the tornado hit and it ripped at the door and the customer had to hold onto the door to keep from being sucked out of the store. I can’t begin to imagine how scared everyone was. We are all so very thankful no one was hurt. I hope we never receive a phone call like that again.

The only two out of a class of 40 who are going to the University of Iowa. Glad they are friends – they’ll have each other to rely on!
University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa National Guard/Iowa State. They’ll miss each other! Three great kids standing there!

Love the look on Erics face!

Celebrating Graduation

Getting a picture of all four of the kids together – my favorite part of the whole day. Its really hard to get them all together at the same time anymore.

Friday and Saturday went by like a blur! Friday was spent setting up for the celebration, Saturday was cooking, party and tearing down. Poor Joe, all week in California then home Friday afternoon with no chance to relax and unwind. Just on the go doing whatever was asked of him. Abby and Aaron helped Friday evening and then back on Saturday with Jeremy too. I couldn’t have done it without them and Dad and Mom who were indespensable. It was so nice to have family to help.

Mom did all the cooking while I worked on set up and decorating. I could not have done it without her!

We had a great turn out. It was fun to see family and friends and friends we hadn’t seen for quite some time. It’s sad how everyone’s lives get so busy that it takes a special occasion to see cherished friends that we should make the time to get together with on a regular basis. There was lots of catching up and lot of laughs. So many of Eric’s classmates stopped by. There was something like 10 or 11 parties in all on Saturday and they all tried to hit all the parties. Eric was able to hit them all and still stay at his throughout the whole party. It’s nice to see the kids all be close like that. I felt bad not making it to any of the other parties but they in turn couldn’t come to ours. There are more next week though that we’ll be sure to get to. Hard to believe these kids are graduating – they just shouldn’t be this old!

Family – Joe and I with our kids, my parents and Joes dad. Grandpa Meiners is 92 years old and made the three hour ride to celebrate with Eric!

I didn’t get any pictures during the celebration. I was too busy I guess. I think we’re all glad this day is over. It was lots of work and lots of fun but now we can enjoy Class Night and Graduation knowing this is behind us!

Weekend Randomness

Lily of Valley that I transplanted from mom’s house a couple of years ago in a little vintage vase that was Grandma Ward’s. Lots of memories wrapped up in a little bouquet of flowers.
Drew’s picks from the nursery. A red geranium, a white begonia and a blue petunia. Red, white and blue – all ready for summer!

Another busy weekend in the books. Friday I got my hair cut then picked Drew up from school. From there we ran out to the new greenhouse. We have some Amish families that have moved into our community and one of the famlies opened up a greenhouse this spring. Very nice family and lots of pretty flowers. It’s so nice to have a greenhouse so close to home! After that Drew had soccer practice then we ran out to Dad and Mom’s where Joe already was to help them with a project. Supper at their house and some relaxing outside. It was a beautiful evening.

Drew found the baby kittens again. Not a very good place for them again. You would think Miss Mindy was a first time mama with the spots she is picking out for her babies. This was underneath my Bleeding Heart plant. But now that they’ve been found, shes moved them again. At least shes giving Drew something to do – hes on the hunts for kittens!

Saturday saw Drew’s soccer game then the boys and I ran to Ottumwa to get Eric some clothes to wear for Baccalaureate, Class Night and Graduation. We ate at the new Chinese restaurant and boy was it good. Then back home. Checked out Joe’s lean to to see how much him and Dad got done on it while we were gone. Later we went for a drive and got ice cream at the local ice cream shop. A summertime weekend pastime of ours. Ice cream and a quick trip out to our county park, Lake Belva Deer for a drive around the lake.

Joe and Drew working on the lean to. They are getting ready to close it in on two sides. The front will be open. A place to store firewood and trailers. Can you see Drew in the orange shirt? He is a lot of help!

Today Drew and I got all of our pretty flowers planted along with our tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Can’t wait for those to start producing – yum! Then we had the Baccalaureate Service this evening at the high school. A very nice service and cake and lemonade afterwards. I’m glad they have Baccalaureate again. They had stopped having it for a few years but they’ve held it the last few years. It was very nice and a lot of the kids attended. Then Eric went out to supper with his classmates and it was back home for us. We had a movie night with Drew. We popped popcorn and he chose to watch The Life of Pets.

Flowers and plants waiting to be planted.
I planted marigolds this year. I hadn’t planted marigold in years and I don’t know why. Ive always loved them. Looking forward to seeing how they do here. I need to put mulch down but don’t want to spend the money this year. It just blows away but it always looks so pretty when you first put it down.

Spring Concert

 

The last concert of the season and Eric’s last band concert. Sad time for mom’s and dad’s but I don’t think the kids were too sad last night. I love to see them having fun together!

The music this time was unbelievable. The first song sung by the choir started out the night and it was unbelievable. Both songs were chosen by Abby. She was able to tour Europe and these two songs were songs she learned while there and she asked that they sing them at the concert. They were beautiful. The solos and duet were wonderfully done and the band was at its finest. Mrs. Meier never chooses easy songs for these kids and they always pull through. I still have “I caught a little baby bumblebee” running through my head from Travelin’ Music. Amazing Grace was absolutely beautiful and Disney at the Movies was so fun. You can never go wrong with classic Disney songs!

Senior Bandos – a good looking group! They are so dedicated, Wednesday was Senior Skip Day and they all came back for band practice because they have State Large Group contest on Friday night. How great is that!

It was Senior Night and the seniors all were looking good and enjoying the night. I’m going to miss these kids – and I’m going to miss the sound of Eric playing the baritone. Of all the things my kids have been involved in throughout the years, music/band is one of my favorites.