Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Papaw!

My, what a family I have! We met in Texarkana last weekend for Daddy's 70th birthday party. It was just a small gathering - only 20 of us this time. Daddy has 5 great-grandsons under the age of 10 who enjoyed playing with each other all night. Jamie's boys are 9, 8, and 6; Ethan is 19 months; and Gavin is 13 months. What a houseful! Ethan had a great time. He was running and playing as soon as he got out of the car, and he didn't let up even to eat supper. Gavin has only been walking for a couple of months, so he was a little intimidated by the bigger boys. By Christmastime, though, he'll be in the thick of things with the others.

There's nothing like a little family time to set the world in order.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Batter Up!

We met Nick, Angela, and Ethan at The Ballpark for the Rangers-Devil Rays game on Saturday night. We had a great time. Ethan was cute as ever and was all decked out in his Rangers outfit. He didn't have a clue about the game, but he enjoyed dancing with the music and clapping and yelling "Go!" I don't know if he got more nacho cheese in his mouth or on his face, but ne enjoyed them. Chris did his best to engage him in the game, but we were too far away for him to follow anything. We stayed for the fireworks after the game which he seemed to enjoy as well. It was HOT - near 100 when the game started but only cooled to 90 by 10:00 - but Ethan didn't seem to be too bothered by the heat. We're planning to pick him up this weekend to go to his great-grandfather's 70th birthday party in Texarkana.

Chris has band again this week, and I have several school things this week as well. You'd think I would be on contract with all the stuff I have to do. On Monday, I'm meeting with all of the new teachers in the district to introduce them to our library resources and to train them in setting up their Web Presence. On Tuesday I'm going to a district technology meeting, and Wednesday I'm going to a videoconference. Sometime this week Crystal and I have to get together to work on our Technology Integration Day presentation. Like I said, I might as well be on contract! I'm still hoping to get a few more projects done around the house before school starts, but we'll see.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

All is well

Just so you don't think I've totally gone off the deep end, life is good. Nat has called at least three times since I left Marshall, so we're communicating just fine. She's working hard and staying busy...and so am I. I had a nice, lazy morning, got a little housework done, and went to a meeting at school. So, you see, all is well in Kornegayland.

I think part of the problem last night was that Chris wasn't with me, and he wasn't home when I got in from Marshall. That's the toughest part...coming home alone. But, I watched some TV, played around on the computer, and kept myself busy until he got home.

We did a trial run with connecting the laptop to the TV for tomorrow night's DCI Semi-Finals Webcast. We're still drum corps geeks, but we only attended one competition this year. I've followed Phantom Regiment and the other corps on the DCI website and on a drum corps forum. I think that once your kid marches with a drum corps, parents become drum corps supporters for life. Actually, Chris took me to my first drum corps competition in Little Rock back in our college days, and we went to the World Championships in Dallas way back in 1991. I guess we've had the bug for a while!

Here's a pic of Nick and the Contra (Tuba) section after finals in 2004. We'll be glued to the TV/computer tomorrow night to see how Phantom Regiment does during the semi-finals. No webcast for finals, so we'll just have to check scores on the DCI website. Good luck Phantom Regiment!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It doesn't get any easier

For all of my big talk about easy transition with Nat moving back to school, leaving her in Marshall was no piece of cake today. We had a disagreement before we left home, and neither of us was very happy with the other, so it was probably a good thing that we were in separate cars. Anyway, we had lunch in Marshall and then went to the dorm. The only people in the dorm were the RAs, so we're talking about 3 or 4 people who will be spending the night in the dorm until sometime next week. She'll be busy during the day with training and cleaning and all kinds of RA duties and getting to know the other RAs better. She didn't seem to be too nervous about being there almost alone, so I put on a smile and said a prayer.

Saying goodbye in the Wal-Mart parking lot was tough. I had already teared up when Chris left us to go to Texarkana for quintet rehearsal, so I was certain I'd probably be a mess when I left. I don't remember being so emotional when we took Nick to UTA the second year. I guess there's something about leaving the youngest child and coming home to an empty house.

I'm reminded of a poem I taught in freshman English years ago - "Empty House" by Stephen Spender:

Then, when the child was gone,
I was alone
In the house, suddenly grown huge.
Each noise
Explained itself away
As bird, or creaking board, or mouse,
Element or animal.
But mostly there was quiet as after battle
Where round the room still lay
The soldiers and the paintbox and the toys.
But when I went to tidy these away,
I felt my mind swerve:
My body was the house,
And everything he’d touched, an exposed nerve.

The New Yorker Book of Poems, p.192
The Viking Press, The New Yorker Magazine, Inc. 1969

That's really how it feels. I'll close her bedroom door for a week or so before I venture in to clean and set things in order. It's weird...and sad...but only for Chris and me and only for a while. No, things are not the same and will never be the same again.

Natalie is happy and she's doing exactly what she should be doing. She's in the center of God's will for her life, and I can't wait to see how He leads her. We'll continue to love her, trust her, and always pray for her. She'll always be our Nattie Poo-Poo wherever she is.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Back to school...for Natalie

Natalie moves back to Marshall tomorrow, so I guess that's officially the end of summer. We've enjoyed having her home, and I think she has had a pretty good summer. She worked at the church as our Children's Intern, so she participated in and helped organize all children's activities. She started with VBS and ended with SMAK and did quite a bit in between. She was even named Counselor of the Year at Pre-Teen Camp last month. She'll be an RA this year, so she'll have lots of new responsibilities. She's ready to get back to school and with all of her friends. She had a great freshman year, and I'm sure that this year will be just as good. She's still in band and she's involved in as much as she can on campus. Of course, Brandon is still very much in the picture, so we'll see where that goes. He's a great guy, and they're totally smitten with each other.

I remember my college days and how much I loved it. Being home for the summers was a little difficult because what I was used to was not how it was at home. And, I missed my friends and the things we did together. I was always ready to get back to school, and I know that Natalie is too.

So, Chris and I will be back to empty nesters soon. We survived the transition last fall, so this transition shouldn't be too hard. I'm sure we'll be busy as usual. Chris is already hard at work with band rehearsals, and I'll report for work on the 20th. Between now and then, I have some meetings to attend and training to conduct. The kids start school on the 27th, and I start classes on the 29th. Ready or not...summer's over!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

New purpose

Our district technology director has set us up with Word Press blogs, so I'm using that one for my reading blog and things that are school related. I'm changing this blog to a more personal blog. So...if you're linking to this blog to see what I'm reading, you'll want to change your link to the other blog - A book is good company.

I finally have some time off, so I plan to catch up on all kinds of things in the next few days. We report to work on Aug. 20, so I have almost three weeks to clean house and get things organized and ready for school to start. Nat leaves on the 8th for ETBU, so I'll have plenty to do to help her get ready to go.

My final project for Summer 2 was submitted Friday afternoon. YAY!!! It's been quite a while since I've had to write an 8-10 page paper, but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. We're taking School Law and Data Analysis this fall starting on Aug. 29. I'm weird, I know, but I'm looking forward to those classes. They'll be interesting and probably pretty challenging as well.

More to come later...