Saturday, June 29, 2013

Random June happenings

First, let's have a moment of silence for the fact that it is June 29 and a month of summer has departed.

Thank you.

School year goes fast, but dang! Summer goes faster. Sigh.

The first week of June was at Disney.  See prior post.  We got home and I'm constantly amazed at how I work a full time (+!!!) job and get anything done the rest of the year!  We made a list of "extra" house jobs to do that we never have energy and time for during the school year.  Completed so far are:  cleaning out the garage, organizing the junk drawers, organizing and cleaning out bathroom drawers, organizing Kendra's desk in her room, etc.  There are a few things left to do before our annual trek north, but we'll get them done (unless I keep adding to it, which I keep doing!)
Here's a regular activity in our summer...drink stops at QT!!!  Coke Zero with vanilla for me, Freezonis for Kendra!
Kendra had to get 11 year old booster shots this year (she's almost 12---we waited until the last possible moment!)  The problem with booster shots is that the kids don't remember how shots feel from the last time---and that they really aren't that bad.  Poor Kendra was totally stressed about it the whole morning and through the appointment.
Yep, that's a worried face!

But then after the shots the first thing she said was, "That wasn't bad at all!"  They never believe the mama....

Ahhh...glad that's done.  (She had to stay laying down for a while after because she held her breath!!)
We celebrated my birthday in Florida at Disney, but also got to have a lovely dinner with our friends the Ballards who made my favorite--yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  My mom also sent me these cute shoes.
We spent time at our neighborhood pool, but not nearly as much as we have in the past years.  Our pool buddies (the Rodgers') moved away, darn them.  But we did hang out with some church friends occasionally---Kendra is a big help because they have five kids under age 9!!!

E loves Kendra!
One of my parents from my class this year owns an art studio where they host mom-and me painting classes.  She gifted me with an evening to paint with Kendra---we had a great time!

We started Kendra's bedroom makeover during Spring Break, but didn't get the vinyl decor stars up and finished until now!  It's all done and she loves it!

 A rather big-deal thing happened for me early June.  I have been itching to change teaching assignments for a couple years now.  I put in a transfer for a spot at the middle school where Kendra attends.  I really like the principal and the staff there is awesome, plus the bonus of being where Kendra is again is great.  The principal called me to interview for a Reading Interventionist spot---and I immediately got so excited because it would be a PERFECT fit for me.  I would be doing intense interventions for struggling readers.  I really prepared for this interview and walked in with a bunch of great ideas.  The interview went pretty well---there are always questions you wish you had answered a little differently, though.  I interviewed on Monday, and he said he'd let me know by Friday.  Friday came, and I didn't get the job.   I was devastated.  I honestly couldn't think of a better fit for me.  He told me, though, that he really saw me as a classroom teacher, impacting more kids.  He said I was on his "short list" and that sometimes it takes a while for his short list people to get over to him in a perfect fit spot.  Even though he said it wasn't a major factor in his decision, I think part of it was that at my school I was the last person standing on my fourth grade team.  The other five people left this year---one moved down to 2nd grade, two are moving out of state, one retired, and one wasn't invited back.  So I was the only person left with experience teaching fourth, and I think he felt like he'd be leaving my current principal in a bind if he took me (not to mention the fact that my principal is new this year too!)  :-(  I know my current school needs me.  I KNOW the Lord has a plan and I'm where I am supposed to be.  I just wish sometimes His plan and my wishes would be more in sync.  I know I'll look back and be glad it went the way it did, but right now it is still a bitter taste, I'll be honest.  But, at least I got myself a snazzy new outfit for the interview!  :-)

 There is a new drive-in movie theater in downtown Fort Worth so we went on opening night for Monsters University.  On advisement from several people, we got there super early---TOO early.  But we brought some games and books and just hung out together.  The movie was cute, and it wasn't too hot--we had all the windows down, the sun roof open, and the back hatch window up so had a decent breeze.  Can't imagine doing it in July or August in Texas, though!!!

We played view of downtown, especially after dark

We also were smart and brought pillows!!  :-)
This last week Kendra participated in an acting camp through the community theater we love, the Artisan.  It was an improv camp and she went for three hours each afternoon.  She had a blast and I received some nice compliments about her from the teacher.  She said Kendra was "very talented, very mature, and very smart."  She urged her to try out for some shows at Artisan.  Kendra hopes to audition for the production of Little Women the Musical if there is a part age-appropriate for her---she's hoping there is a Young Amy part.  :-)  We'll see....

We're off to Michigan next week in search of cooler weather.  Last year when we were there the temps rivaled and even beat Texas heat....we DO NOT want a repeat, please!!!

Disney 2013

The very day after school was done we headed to Orlando, Florida to the Happiest Place on Earth!  Yes, I was VERY tired from the school year, but our district is one of the few that finish at the end of May so we try to take advantage of the lesser crowds by going right away. 

Our flight out was a bit crazy.  We were late leaving DFW because of a scheduled repair on the plane that somehow didn't get done while it waited on the tarmac for 2  1/2 hours before our flight.  :-/  Our connecting flight layover was tight--only 50 minutes.  And of course, the gates between the two flights were the absolute farthest possible distance apart---seriously.  We arrived at gate 2 and had to board the next flight at gate 28.  Ugh.  Luckily the flight crew on our first flight asked anyone who didn't have a close connection to stay seated to let the ones who did get off quickly.  I told Kendra we had to run, and knowing that she can run faster than me I sent her ahead.  She's 11, fit, and runs a mile every week in PE.  I'm not 11, not so fit, and was carrying a 20 pound backpack.  You do the math!  So she got to the gate and told them I was coming (I was only about a minute behind her, so I was proud if not very winded!!).  We made it! 
Here we are before our first flight leg

Here we are after running to our connection!
To add insult to injury, we then arrived over Florida to a massive storm which kept us in the air for an additional hour before being able to land.  We finally landed and waded through the parking lot rivers to our rental car and headed to the condo.  Neither of us had eaten since breakfast and it was after 9 at night, so we stopped to eat of course.  It continued to rain....not a good sign, I later realized.

We are grateful to friends who let us use one of their timeshare weeks---we stayed in a very nice condo for about $400 for the whole week!  It had a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and all the comforts of home.  We stayed there the last time we went, too, so we were familiar with the area for shopping and restaurants, and I knew how to get to all the parks via the "back way" from our place. 

This time we got tickets for both Disney and Universal for the week.  I'm just going to do a photo purge now, sharing our week in pictures.  Sadly, we arrived just when a tropical storm decided to come, too.  We dealt with a LOT of rain.  You expect afternoon gully-washers in Florida but they usually stop after a short bit.  This time they rarely stopped, so we probably didn't use our tickets to the maximum capacity we could have (after a while we just didn't feel like staying wet), but we still had a great time.

She's got the whole Epcot her hand!

This is my beloved Napoleon pastry from the French patisserie in Epcot.  I got this TWICE.  Sigh....

Gotta love the poncho!

We lucked on this photo op---we tend not to wait forever for character pics.  This is Kendra's favorite princess!

View of the castle from the Swiss Family tree

Hard to get pics of the castle without three million photo bombers!  :-)

Maybe someday???

It was my birthday!

Being silly and bored waiting for an evening show.  Gotta get your seats hours ahead of time.

The beautiful castle in one of our favorite shades

Enjoying a butterbeer at Harry Potter world, Universal
Probably the most disappointing day was the last day.  It was my birthday, and we planned to go to Universal for our most anticipated part of the trip===Harry Potter world!  We'd been watching the crowd and wait times via an app on my phone all week, and we discovered that the Harry Potter ride wait time was always enormous in the morning but almost nothing in the mid afternoon.  So we decided to take it easy, sleep in a bit, and headed out around 1:00.  We went straight to the HP main ride in the castle.  It had a 40 minute wait but you wait as you tour the castle.  We jumped into the queue.  The castle was very neat.  We got to the very end of the wait and there was a video of what the ride itself looked like---lots of tossing around, turning, etc.  There were warnings all through the line about motion sickness, etc.  Kendra was really going to be a trooper, but that last video did her in.  We bailed at the last minute.  Kendra felt terrible, but I told her it was more important to me that she enjoy the rest of the day and not be nauseous, and we got to see the castle so it was fine!  We then explored the rest of Diagon Alley, first getting a yummy frozen butterbeer.  Then we went into the Ollivanders Wand Shop, where Kendra was chosen from our group to be the "wand chooser".  It was really neat.  It was so dark in there that I couldn't take any pics, though.  She ended up purchasing Ginny Weasley's wand. 

There were many other neat places we wanted to see and do in Universal, but unfortunately another HUGE storm came through just after we finished in Harry Potter.  We took shelter in a big top restaurant place and had to stay there for almost an hour before it was possible to walk through the park without drowning.  We didn't bring our ponchos with us---just had a small umbrella---so we got soaked even after waiting.   Sadly, Universal is very different from Disney in that almost all their rides are outside, so everything was basically shut down, and my weather app on my phone indicated that the storm wasn't ending anytime soon.  So we decided to just leave and it ended up raining the entire rest of the day and into the night.  It was a bummer way to end our trip, but what can you do???

We realized that this might be our last Disney trip together!  We take a major trip about every three years, and there are two destinations we want to do yet.  We want to go to NYC to see a Broadway show or two, and then do something tropical like the Bahamas or maybe even Hawaii (thinking senior trip).   Then Kendra will be off to college---ugh!!!  We didn't do everything we wanted this trip, thanks to Mother Nature, but we still had a fabulous time.  I love vacationing with just my girl and me!!!