It's nice out today. 22 degrees (-5.5c). No wind, it's not sunny, but hey, it's not snowing. It's that time of day when, after doing school work for some hours, they are starting to get antsy. So I shooed them out the door. I don't care if you aren't finished with your letter to Sam, just go. I didn't have to tell Jon twice, he happily set aside his curriculum book and got his snowpants on. It's good for the puppies too, they like to go romp around in the snow.
Today was Report Card Day. I keep them simple, trying to satisfy the requirements of New York state, while not getting into much detail. I know my kids are growing and thriving and learning, but I have to assure the government that they are, too. Can't have them just plain enjoying childhood. Anyway, I felt a tiny bit evil, but in Jonathan's summary on Health class, I added that he has been learning about the dangers of sitting too much. Sometimes when we have been sitting here doing work, I get up and make them all join me, dancing around like idiots for a few minutes.
We went out and about yesterday. Thrift store, where we found a glow-in-the-dark solar system to hang in the girls' room, a Nerf gun, two new Star Wars books, a beautiful London Fog winter coat for Charlotte Claire, a Columbia winter coat for one of the older girls ($4.50!)....a quick stop in the store for two things we forgot in the previous day's shopping trip, and fifty dollars later, we were headed home.
Miss Cam in Target...
I made chicken for dinner, lots of it, so it would last for some lunches. Boneless chicken breast, and boneless thighs, at $1.99 a pound, much cheaper than lunch meats and more healthy. We have lots of romaine and fresh spinach, so they can eat salads with chicken. They also had tomato soup, and some grilled cheese sandwiches. I had a bowl of steamed broccoli with my chicken. I can get through the day pretty well without eating anything bad, but evenings...my resolve melts, until I am getting into bed of course, and I find myself promising that Tomorrow Will Be Better. But I have been good the last few evenings, and it shows on the scale. My basic diet is good and healthy, it's important for me to just stay away from the extras.
A hot cup of tea is always a good thing in the evening, for me, with just a splash of milk and no sugar. But oh, chocolate goes so well with tea...
And there it is.
Anyway. Samuel was in the coolest presentation/ceremony yesterday! I watched it live on www.whitehouse.gov It was the retirement ceremony for the Secretary of Defense. Prez and V. Prez were there, and stood up while the armed forces marched by in full dress uniform...my dear Sam being in the Old Guard and representing the Army. The video is on youtube....I am going to have my girls who are heading to Florida tomorrow show it to their Grandma, so she can see how handsome Samuel is all decked out.
I talked to Sam last evening. I like to brag about him. I mean, he had a hard time with Infantry boot camp, struggling with those push-ups. But he is an excellent soldier. He has been given responsibility for his group of guys (platoon) a few times, and his Sgt. frequently refers to him as an example of how to do things. It's because Sam is so focused on doing well, and enjoys what he's doing. He is being promoted next week, to Private First Class, which isn't a huge deal, but he's excited about it. He is working hard to practice for his Excellence Infantry Badge, which IS a big deal. Before this kid left for the Army, he would go on runs, and come home after only ten or fifteen minutes, huffing and worn out. He now can go on ten mile rucks with a heavy pack, no problem. He is a "sharpshooter", and...well, I am just proud of him.
The good thing about Sam though is that he is still Sam. He misses the little kids so much. He calls sometimes and talks to everyone in the house. He laughed his head off last night at Joe's story...:
When we were all gone yesterday, Joseph came out of his room and found Suri, the black lab, napping comfortably...ON TOP OF THE KITCHEN TABLE. There next to her was the pancake plate....totally empty, licked clean. Jonathan had made a huge batch of pancakes, which we forgot to put away. oops. Suri ate them ALL.
Sam misses the dogs as much as he misses us peoples.
Miss Char talking to Sam....
Aaron came to visit last evening. He is working hard, and taking classes to get his Bachelor's in nursing. After that, he wants to go to school to be an anesthesiologist, or an NA, because I can't spell Nurse An...blah blah blah.
Today is Margaret Cheryl's very last day of high school!!!!! My ninth child, graduating from high school. She is graduating early, January instead of June. She is leaving tomorrow for Florida for a little vacation with Grandma, with Emily and Mirielle.
I'll try not to be too jelly, as Kap would say.
I have no complaints though, I am going on a little get-away myself, to a hotel with some of my very best friends for the night tomorrow.
Then Saturday, the Harlem Globetrotters come to the Dome! Yes, I am working. Life is not boring, that's for sure.
And now, I have laundry to fold and floors to sweep.