4 More Weeks of 1st Grade

Ian's.Sentences0003It is amazing to me to think that there is only one more month of 1st grade.  This year has flown by! It has been a great one with many changes for Ian.  He has developed into an amazing student who I am really and truly proud of.

He has learned to work hard on his studies and do his homework.  He does well on his weekly spelling quizzes, enjoys math, and reads to us each night. I feel very blessed that our child enjoys learning and realize how rare that really is.

And, for the times that he doesn’t feel like doing his homework, which do happen, we remind him that he doesn’t have a choice.  It is his job to learn and do his best.  That usually works, or the threat of no computer time or toys being put away for a while.  We have to find what works, don’t we?!

Ian wrote the above sentences using spelling words, which are underlined.  I have to agree with his teacher who said they are great sentences.  I continue to be amazed at all he is learning and doing.  Some of the words are written phonetically since he doesn’t know how to spell all of them.

There is still much to do in the last month of school — a walk to raise money for our PTO and our programs, many Cub Scout activities as he finishes his Tiger cub year, a cookout at school, the holiday, receiving his yearbook, and finally the last day of school.

I have mixed emotions but am looking forward to summer and the next chapter and the next grade.  There will be many transitions of a new PTO board, new teachers, a new Cub Scout rank, new friends to be made, and much more.  As with anything in life, we will have some old and new and some good and bad.

I wonder how this next month will go?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one and that things will go well for us.  Hope it will for you too!

Monday Musings – Changes

DSC00725Hi and Happy Monday!  Today is the last Monday of kindergarten for Ian.  He has 8 more days left of school and is very excited for the summer.  I on the other hand am having a hard time realizing that his first full year of school is nearly finished.

It went so fast.  How is it the end already?  It seems like he just started.  But, there are huge differences.  Now he can read!  He has learned to be more independent.  And, he is learning math and so many other things.

He has loved his teachers, making new friends, and the entire experience.  We will soon have a rising 1st grader.

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Today is also a celebration for my niece who just finished 8th grade.  She starts high school in the fall – 9th grade.  Amazing!  I remember when she was born and when she was Ian’s age.  And, now she is a teenager ready for a new chapter.  Time has flown!

Sadly we won’t be at this party to celebrate this milestone but wish we could be.  We love you Gussie and hope you have a great time!  Can’t wait to see the photos!

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Today is also my dear friend’s son’s birthday.  Kendrick is 19 years old today and graduating from high school.  I remember when he was a little guy too.  He has grown up into such a nice young man.

Happy Birthday to you Kendrick!  May you enjoy this amazing year coming up.  May you have fun at school and enjoying the experience and all the amazing things that you will learn.

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Life is so full of changes and these are great ones.  Yet, I have happy tears as I realize these are major milestones for three dear young people.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Celebrations with family
  • Singing Happy Birthday
  • Life-long friends
  • Years of fond memories
  • Photos of loved ones from many years ago
  • Listening to Ian read
  • Buying end-of-year gifts for Ian’s teachers
  • Writing thank you notes to those who have helped Ian grow so much this year
  • Hugging a boy before school starts
  • Picking him up at the end of the day and a nice walk home

I wonder how these three young people will enjoy these changes in their life.  May they enjoy the journey!

An Ode To SRP

SRP.5They say all good things must come to an end.  Sadly for SRP, that time is now.

For residents of two of the homes on this small street, major changes are coming since they have to move out for renovations to be done.  New tenants will then move in when that is finished.

One house has been full of amazing and handsome guys.  These are some of the best looking men I have ever seen and they are also some of the nicest, funniest, and most loyal to their friends.  This is an amazing fraternity.

The other house is full of gals – including three sisters and other friends as well.  These amazing Christian gals are fun and love to learn, be at the beach, and make new friends, as well as sing and play guitar.  This sisterhood has been a pleasure to see.

In addition to these two homes are a few that are full of families – parents and their kids who have decided to make this beach community their home.  That is what my grandparents also did for several years with their family. Despite these changes, these people will stay and continue to raise their families here.  There are also several apartments of friends who will remain.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOne piece of jewelry that I wear often is a necklace that says SRP LUV.  I made it at the beach bead store the last time I was there.  It celebrates my love for this place and these people.  SRP is full of love and laughter, friendship, hugs, kisses, tears, dances, parties, and marriages and families – all the great and amazing things of life.   These are the things in life that truly matter.

The homes are nothing fancy but you can’t judge a home by the way it looks, just like you can’t judge a book by its cover.  These houses have been made into homes by those who have lived there since 2006.  My grandparents knew the woman who owned them before this current landlord bought the houses.

The walls of one of the homes are covered with art by friends and family, photos of a fun group of people, a refinished wooden floor that was worked on with love and lots of sweat, a new paint job, and a deck perfect for a bonfire and late night chat.  The walls of the other home hold pictures of friends, surfboards, and there are bunkbeads and comfy seats for late-night girl talk.

SRP.2These are magical places. This entire neighborhood on this small beach street is magical and has been very special to me for years.  My family has a beach house that I have enjoyed both as a child and growing up.  And, for the last five years, I have had the pleasure to take my son and see our house and these two homes.

These two homes next to ours are filled with friends who have embraced each other and us as family. It means the world to have been included in this family of friends and neighbors.  The people of SRP truly get the concept of a great neighborhood and that friends can become your family. I have been honored to be one of them.

I wish these friends well in whatever the next chapters in their lives will be.  I hope to stay in touch with them and see them again.  But more importantly, I hope they stay in touch with each other and can still get together.  I hope that even though they may no longer physically be near each other, that they can still plan to see one another.

Over the last year, several of them have already moved away or moved to a nearby house, some have gotten married and had children and others have gone off to school.  The change had already started before the news of having to move out.  Yet now, it is only too real that big changes are coming.

SRP.4A sad and selfish part for me is the date when they have to move out – December 1 – my birthday.  My normally fun day will be full of melancholy.

But, I won’t be dealing with as much as they will —being displaced and finding other digs to live in.  On that day, I will remember them fondly and thank the Lord for bringing all of them into my life.  And celebrate our friendship.

I just wish I’d had the chance for one last laugh or bonfire, story, dance, or hug and kiss.  Alas, that wasn’t to be. I plan to keep in touch and hope to see them again when circumstances allow.  To all of you, if you are ever in the southeast or Tennessee, please let us know.  We’d love to show you our neighborhood.POD_July.30_Friendship

The song Friends Forever by Michael W. Smith certainly applies to this amazing group of students, small business owners, entrepreneurs, photographers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, actors, colorists, hairdressers, waiters, teachers, musicians, missionaries, and the list goes on.

“Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends.”

SRP.1There are few places in life that are magical.  SRP is one of those places.  It has meant so much to me over the years – first as a child, teenager, young adult, and now wife and mother.  I have had many great and amazing times with my own family and have watched many changes with them over the years.

Even though we can’t be together as often as I have liked, this neighborhood has been an amazing gathering place.  And, I am so thankful that the first 5 years of my sons’ life we have been able to spend time in the summer on SRP and get to know so many friends who are like family.

Several dear friends, including some with children will remain in the neighborhood and for that I am very thankful.  It won’t be totally different, so that is good.  I just don’t like change and this is a big change.

This is my Brigadoon – a place of magic that I am honored to be a part of for only a short time.  For those who have lived there, may you take that magic with you as you move to another home.  May you make that new place as much a home as SRP has been.

SRP.34_Mairy.Patti.Artha.1968God bless you in your new endeavors.  For those who remain, may you continue to enjoy it!! Hope to see you again soon.  SRP LUV always!!! SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Ocean waves

In Between – Five Minute Friday Word

Today’s word for Five Minute Friday is In Between.5minutefriday

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now GO …

Normally when I do these writings, I first think of song lyrics.  But, today I am at a loss for a song about In Between.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAInstead I am thinking that this summer is an in between time for me.  You see in August, my son will start kindergarten.  His early childhood at home with mommy is coming to a rapid close.  (Here I am with him a few summers ago at the beach.)

I am so blessed beyond words to have had all of this time with him.  My husband and I planned so that I could be a stay-at-home mom and that is the best thing I think I have ever done!

Prior to my son being born, I’d had a nice, long career related to my college major.  I worked as a reporter and then several different offices as a technical writer.  This was very fulfilling and meant a lot.

Then Ian was born, I had my maternity leave, and then went back to work for about a month and a half.  You know what, I decided then that I didn’t want to just see my son at the end of the day.  It was an easy decision and one that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do!

Now, he is about to start the adventure of school.  He is so excited and ready to be there all day.  I have to admit that I am less so.

I am in between total happiness in this next phase of his life and his growing up, and sadness that my baby is no longer a baby.

I don’t want him to see that I am sad since it will upset him.  Instead I quietly think about it and look forward to a fun-filled summer with him and my husband.

To all of you with kids starting kindergarten, I know that we’ll make it and our kids will be fine.  It’s just the next phase of life.

Scripture says there is a time to every purpose under Heaven.  The time is now for a sweet young boy to start his school adventure.

To all of you who have been through this, I’d love some words of advice!!

STOP!!!

I wonder how much fun we can cram into the summer before school starts?!  I sure plan to do a lot of fun things with my son.  I want to make memories with him during this last summer before school.

It is the end of an era and the start of the new one.  He is ready and beyond excited and that is awesome!!!

To read other postings on In Between, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2013/06/five-minute-friday-in-between/

Cutting My Rings

ringsOn Friday afternoon of last week, I had to do something that I never thought I would.  I had to have my engagement ring and wedding band cut off my finger at a jeweler.

Thankfully the jeweler was very nice so I didn’t feel too bad while I was there.  That wasn’t until afterwards.

He said, “We’ve seen worse than this.   Give your finger about three weeks to a month to return to normal and the swelling to go down.  Then we can resize your rings for you.”

“Thank you,” I said.  “I will be in touch.”  I left with a sore and naked finger, and wanted to cry.  I couldn’t help but think, how did it come to this?

My finger had swollen quite a bit and since the rings together go almost to the first knuckle, it all was becoming way too tight and starting to be bad for my finger.

Now my ring finger is bare and healing again.   It looks very strange without a ring since I have been wearing one or both of them for 15 years.  This fall will be our 15th anniversary.

The only other time that I couldn’t wear my rings was when I was pregnant and when Ian was first born.  Clearly now, it’s because of my weight and that is upsetting.

I am trying to look at this as the sign that I needed that yes, it is time for some major changes.  And, since I haven’t liked how I look in recent pictures, I want to and am ready to change and finally lose this weight.

After all my son is 5 years old so I can no longer can blame it on the baby weight.   It is a lack of exercise, too much stress, and the need for a better diet.  I need to be eating more fruits and veggies, and a healthier overall diet, and being active each day.

When I was active each day, I felt better and was better able to deal with life’s stressors.  But as I can attest, it is so easy to get into bad habits and stay there.  Time to bring on the good habits again.

I have had success before with losing weight.  Weight Watchers has worked for me as well as 45 minutes per day of cardio activity.  I will be incorporating both of those again.

When I was a senior in college, it was much easier to lose weight than it is now.  Back then I lived on the third floor of the dorm with no stairs, walked all over campus for classes, and took a weight class three times a week.

I was in the best shape of my life.  I looked great and never thought twice about what I ate or what I was doing.  I was just living and since I was so active, my body could more easily process what was going in.

I probably won’t be back to that size again, but I can certainly make some major changes.  I want to get into the size I was when I got pregnant with Ian.  I will be happy with that!

My goal is to make one change each week and try to incorporate that into the overall plan.  I am realistic enough to understand that it took time to get to where I am, so I need time to make the changes.

This week is to work on cutting out the late-night unhealthy snacks which are often a result of stress eating.  It is calming but not the best idea.  Part of my problem is that I love food and love to eat.  I will be working on what I eat and how much.  As a friend of mine mentioned, it is a lifestyle change, not a diet.

I wonder if I can truly make one of these changes each week?  I think that since I am motivated that I will be able to do so.  One week at a time and one day at a time!

With Spring Comes Change

springWith spring, comes new life and changes for me as well.

I have pain in my lower back, am overweight and stressed out and am getting no exercise or activity.  I realize that it is time for some major changes.

My diet needs to change, I need to exercise each day for both my heart and to lose weight, and I need to get away from the stressors and stressful people in my life.

I wanted to put this out there so I would in fact make these changes.

I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and support.   Who is with me?

I will keep you posted through blogs and the 90 Days of Exercise Page.

I wonder if I can truly make these changes and have them stick this time.  I am going to do my best to do just that!!