We are at a time of transition as summer whirls around us like a feisty twister.
Keith has taken a lead position at work, the first step into management. This means that he gets a little increase in pay and a lot of extra hours. It also means that he's not stuck at the phone but can learn management skills in a big company. It's a good opportunity. He's saying good-bye to his four 10-hour days each week, though, and saying hello to working occasional weekend days. We're hoping that this will give him an opportunity to move up in the company and retain his seniority. If he had moved on to Delta Technology, as he was so very close to doing a few months ago, he would have lost his seniority and might not even have a job right now with the fluctuating air line industry.
I have just applied for a job at Delta myself as a reservations agent (like Keith), but working part-time from home. They are taking applications now. This may be something I can do in conjunction to substitute teaching. And something may open up at the beginning of the school year that will trump all of that, but I want to be prepared if it doesn't. In fact, having talked to some people in the know, it may be better for me to get my teacher's credential through a school rather than through an internship program (as I was planning) in order to get a continued higher rate of pay. Do I make everyone's head spin with all of my flapping-in-the-breeze job talk?
Keri Lynn and Kristofer are back from an 8-day choir tour through Georgia and the Carolinas. (I like saying "the Carolinas" -- It sounds familiar and homey.) They went to churches, juvenile detention centers and even a psychiatric ward to sing. I think they felt right at home at each of those places! They even spent one night at a monastery, getting up at 4:00 in the morning for vespers. What was so amazing about the monastery visit is that no one could talk or text or listen to I-pods for 10 straight hours! I can't imagine doing that myself, let alone see a group of high school kids accomplish that feat. They are exhausted from their trip, but it sure is nice to have the whole family back under one roof again.
Right before they left for tour, someone asked me if our house would be kind of quiet after they left.
I looked at him for several moments, "You do know I have five other children, right? And that the ones left are the noisy ones, right?"
Nevertheless, he proved to be right. The house WAS quieter with the big kids gone. Kathleen became The One in Charge, which she learned quickly isn't always all it's cracked up to be! One night, we all played card games together. It was fun to see the change in family dynamics with the younger kids moving up the ranks. We played until nearly 11:00 pm. Konner fell asleep on the recliner and the rest of us were a little punch silly.
Overall, summer vacation has had an interesting start. Since I am as yet jobless, I've been doing essentially two things:
1) I hang out with just Keva during the day while the rest of the kids do what they do during these beautiful summer days. They go off to play at friends' houses, swim in pools, go on their Slip-N-Slide, play in their sprinklers, eat their food, sleep over, and generally make themselves COMPLETELY at home. I get out my latest Netflix movie, maybe a crochet project, a book and make myself comfortable on the couch. And every 56 minutes or so, I go to the laundry room to put in a new load of laundry in a desperate attempt to get that back under control.
2) If I'm not at the couch, I am in front of the computer. But why, do you ask, don't you see any email from me or blog posts or any other form of communication? It is because I've discovered something very dangerous. It has taken over my life. I'd rather do this than do other exciting things like, say, laundry or dishes or meals. It's Pogo.com. Where I play Hearts. For hours. I've tried to reign it in, but I've not exactly shown good discipline.
The weather in Georgia has been very warm and mostly dry. It's been mostly 90 degree temps and an occasional thunderstorm in the afternoons to keep the humidity up. Kade has already had several bad sunburns. As a result, I'm getting better at reminding him to put on sunscreen when he goes off with a friend. Even Konner who usually just tans has gotten sunburned. I can't believe that we're already into our third week of summer vacation.
I've been trying to start a new habit with these warm long days of getting out on my walks a little before the sun goes down. The temperatures go down pretty fast and the sun isn't beating down mercilessly, and it's so pretty to walk in the twilight. I usually have the younger kids with me. Lately they've been collecting the little frogs that are everywhere. Kylie had fifteen of the poor things in an old discarded bottle. Keith brought in a much bigger one that had found a home in the garage -- and I can see with certainty that the small frogs are much cuter than the big ones. (Shudder.)
Speaking of walks, I will now attempt to get dinner done so that I can go on one tonight.
Fruit for a Teenager
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