Monday, August 31, 2009

Annabel in band and Dad's birthday party!

This afternoon Annabel came running up to the car and instructed me to roll up the windows, shut the doors, as she had something to tell me!

By the time Grace finally got in the car I thought that Annabel was going to bust to tell me what happened at school!

It came down to this - a yellow haired boy in band, who wanted to show her his instrument, today, handed her a note as class let out.

Then during gym she started thinking about what was on the note and thought she remembered something out .com, so instead of just throwing it away, she decided to keep it.

She handed me a piece of paper that said emake or something like that. She had rewritten his note to show me what it said, but got it all wrong, since it should have said, email, then his address. She kept saying she wasn't sure, but thought he might like her. BUT she does not like him, as she likes Drew, whom Grace described as another blondie! Grace thinks he is ugly but Annabel insists if you get right up into his face, he is VERY good looking! Maybe at least they won't ever like the same boy!

Sunday was a day that everyone needs once in a while, a very quiet, slow day. Grace slept most of the day and was fighting a high temperature and congestion.

We were all still recovering from the party of the year - Dad's birthday party.

If any one person had a 1/10 of the friends Dad has, you would know you had been successful as being a friend. I'm glad we had it in the auditorium so there was plenty of room for the 120+ crowd! Every time you thought that was surely all the people that Dad could know, in came another group. It seemed like everyone had a good time, especially Dad!

It was a well deserved celebration for him! We tried to share special thoughts and most got through it very well! Marcie had scanned a bunch of old pictures that were fun to see and my friend at work had prepared us a GREAT playlist of songs that Dad had specially chosen. The food was fantastic and we were all so glad to have someone else responsible for it!

On the way from Austin, Lisa had called and said that Gillian wasn't feeling too well and seemed fairly congested. She called again to let me know they had stopped for Motrin as her fever had spiked to over 100! By the time they got here and the excitement of the party, she insisted that she felt like going to the party. While she was more subdued she seemed OK until we got home and then her fever spiked again before bed.

Sunday morning she woke up with a high temperature but insisted she was OK. She just had a LOT of school work to do and needed to get home.

Shortly after they left, then Grace started having the same symptoms. I thought they were sympathy pains for Gillian, but when she slept through the afternoon, I knew she was sick. I was quite relieved that she did not seem to have a temperature this morning.

Marcie and Lisa took great pictures at the party and I will get some to post.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting ready for the big party!

This morning, I am sitting here stressing out about final details for Dad's party this afternoon while Grace is laying on the couch wondering why she can only move her toes starting with her big toe and not her little toe.

Mom has gone to the beauty shop and Dad is at the church having breakfast. Lisa, Katie, Gillian, and Darcey are on their way while Marcie is shopping for Dad's birthday present.

I feel immobilized trying to remember what I am sure I have forgotten and at the end of the party will say, "what happened to ...."

Preparing for this party has been great fun while we reviewed pictures and music, memories, and more.

Someone asked me the other day if I can look at pictures of Jana yet. I hated to admit that I cannot, but have been forced to while going through our families' history.

BUT to completely get anything sad off my mind, I have found the perfect website that makes me laugh so hard! Every single picture could come from our family. There are so many that I found that I want to send! Please take a minute and look at this blog Any one of those, just change the names and they are us!

We have had some fun adventures!

It makes me wish for a camera in my hand to capture even the most insignificant details because later they really mean a lot. When I was in China I got an email from a friend saying to take pictures of EVERYTHING and she was so right. The ones of the food, the surroundings, the buildings, people, all help make the whole story, not just the pictures of us.

Music has been another adventure.

A wonderful man at work, who also happens to be one of our attorneys, LOVES music and has helped out in the past with being a DJ for our Christmas parties. I asked him if he could put together some music for the party.

If he hadn't said yes, then this wouldn't be included, so of course, he said , yes! He wanted to know what to include. I had emailed Dad but he didn't answer, so I told him just to pick popular things from the mid 30's to the mid 50's. As soon as I did this, Dad hands me a 3 page list of his favorites and they kept coming! What a fantastic gift this has become! All his favorites in one place!

We are expecting a big crowd and glad for this chance to wish Pops a happy birthday! It's not until 9/11, but since they will be in Alaska that day, we have to do it now!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The priceless monkey

This stuffed monkey had to be in lots of pictures based on the cost!
They had these great panda bears at one of those games that advertised that EVERYONE won a prize.
Learned the hard way that everyone wins one of these monkeys and not a panda!

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Six Flags and Annabel's Birthday

The start of our afternoon at Six Flags on Annabel's birthday!

My girls hanging out with the wrong kind of crowd! Actually we were at Six Flags and I am late getting them posted!

Looking at pictures of us after riding one of the rides! They take pictures of you on the scarier rides and then try to sell them to you!
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Every one else in the area just started school this week.

By now we are well into second full week and tonight I realized why I no longer have time to post anything on my blog - HOMEWORK!

The one thing that everyone told us about the new school was the volume of homework. They did not exaggerate!

Of course it takes us even longer because Annabel usually cannot read the text, assignment, and needs help spelling everything she writes!

Last Friday they both mentioned a "math project" that would be due tomorrow. I loudly proclaimed that we would NOT be working on that assignment on Tuesday night.

I guess with kids you are constantly eating your words, because tonight we finally finished the math projects at 9:30!

Grace wanted to do hers on PowerPoint. I don't have a lot of experience on it, but more than she does, so she was very impressed that I could add in pictures and make a few be animated.

What impressed me was that I knew how to burn it to a disk!

But we got through with it and hopefully the teacher will be impressed!

We picked up the repaired flute last week and Annabel is thrilled to have it. When we got home that day, she immediately started to try to play it. She works and works on it, blowing and blowing.

One night I heard almost a melody! I was so impressed! But then I found out that it was Grace trying to play it. Grace seems to have a gift with music! She did the same thing with the violin! But Grace chose Theater over any type of music class!

They also brought home a release form to go on a field trip next week. They were giggling that the teachers had told them how much fun it was going to be, but also there was a risk of injury even death at this event! I asked if it was a trick to see if I was willing to let them go to something that dangerous!

More details later on that!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It is a good life

The first full week of school passed very quickly.

It was not uneventful, unfortunately, but we made it through it!

We are planning a big birthday party for Dad on Saturday. His birthday is not until 9/11, but Mom is taking him away to Alaska on his birthday, so we are celebrating early.

Trying to invite all of Dad's friends really would require a professional party planner. I've tried to find all his friends through the internet, email addresses, Facebook, and Mom's address book. It has been great to reconnect with old friends in the process.

One night my phone rang and it was Lettie, who grew up two blocks from us. She was between Mark and me in age, but our families were connected not only through the neighborhood, but school, and church. It was great to catch up.

Our phone does not ring often and I think even my nieces don't know our number, just my cell phone, so it is rare for me to sit and talk on the phone.

The night Lettie called, Annabel had just shown me her math homework, which was all word problems and had my little pea brain spinning, trying to decide how far a ball traveled if it bounced to half its height each time it dropped.

These are not easy problems to solve and pretty difficult to explain to someone still mastering English. So Annabel was waiting on me to finish my conversation and stood with her paper and pencil staring at me most of the time I was on the phone! I'm not sure if we ever got all of it completed, but I realized then she was not willing to tell her teachers that she cannot read English.

Thank goodness this school has already done testing, the Woodcock Munoz, which shows your acquisition of English, through reading, writing, and verbally. The ESL teacher is planning to meet with all her teachers to make an amended schedule and homework assignments.

On Friday morning as I was brushing my teeth, Annabel came in and asked me not to be mad at her but she had lost her gym clothes.

Early morning proclamations take longer to sink in and I realized that about $100 worth of stuff was gone! We tore this house up looking for her "gym bag" and then she ran to Mom and Dad's, quite tearfullly by then, to see if she had left it there.

She ran into their house crying, "Momma, momma" and Mom and Dad had a quick spike in blood pressure until she could finally get out that I had sent her there to find her gym clothes.

So we decided the clothes were lost and when I finally calmed down and thankfully, we have our nice long time together in the car, I took time to make sure she understood something that I think is basic, but occurred to me, was not to her.

I have so become my mother.

I explained that her losing her gym clothes made me mad, but it did not stop my love for her. That if I did not love her, I would not care if she had her things. It would mean nothing to me. That she can never make me mad enough to NOT love her. There is nothing she can do to change our relationship either, she will ALWAYS be my daughter.

Abandonment can play tricks on your self worth and if I had a magic eraser, would take all those fears and concerns out of my daughters' lives. They do not speak of it, but from what I have read, it is probably still a HUGE concern for them.

Thank goodness for honest people at the new school!

Her gym clothes were in the lost and found and her brand new pair of New Balance sneakers was too! We made sure we thanked God for that blessing!

The other interesting part of planning Dad's birthday has been going through old pictures.

Yesterday we were doing our bi monthly trip to Costco and started talking about how fashion has changed. I wish I could do a montage of just Dad's hair changes!!!

But the people who had influenced Dad's fashion sense, also brought back some great memories. Dad was regretting not having a leisure suit, but I remembered the lovely leisure suits my brother in law, Ken, had. Which just brought lots more memories.

I had to stop, not physically, as I was driving, but make the statement that we have had a good life. There have been so many fantastic people and still are. I hope that a lot of them can come Saturday.

This afternoon was spent looking for Spanish/English dictionaries and the sequel to Grace's summer reading assignment. I cannot believe we can spend 3 hours in 2 book stores. I am thrilled that Grace LOVES to read and I hope that Annabel will soon.

My problem is that I have just recently discovered this LOVE!

All I really wanted to do this weekend was finish the great book I recently started. The book is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is one of those books that you see but just don't bother to pick up. It did not look interesting, but it was the choice for the RECPTA book club for August. As soon as I started, I was hooked. It is a series of letters written about the people of Guernsey at the end of World War II and their 5 years of control under the German army. It brings the time to life as people came out of the darkness and began having life again. It has given me a new view of those who I serve through my job, who have served our country during that time. No wonder they do not want to talk about it.

Book bags are packed and lunches are ready. I have a couple of things prepared to make for easier dinners. I have a feeling this week will fly since I still need to do quite a few things before Dad's party.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New year, new changes

This school year is SO DIFFERENT!

For one thing, Annabel came bouncing out of school yesterday saying one of her teachers was GREAT!! That's a wonderful change.

Last year, Dad walked the girls to and from school each day.

By the time I got home from work, homework was done, and the usual evening type things could happen, like meals being prepared, laundry, showers, etc.

This year, I am driving the girls to and from school.

Most of the teachers provide tutoring, which Annabel really needs. Yesterday she stayed with the English teacher for additional help. I am thrilled for her to have the help, but it makes their day and mine, much longer.

But one of the unexpected benefits is the time together in the car and for once I know a little about what happened during the day at school. Last year by the time I got home, school and the day had been forgotten!

So it is more work on my part, but it is long overdue for us to have this "bonding" time! Wonder how long until I would rather bond somewhere other than the car?

When we get home, Mom and Dad are anxious to hear about the day and bless Mom's heart, she has had meals prepared most nights! It is good to be a sandwich!

This has left me helping with the homework!

Grace gets all of hers done during the last period of the day, Advisory Class, and has learned to get the teacher to help with any questions she has.

Annabel though, has not mentioned to any of her teachers that she cannot read English. She has brought home some really difficult homework too. Tonight we were working on the axis of the earth and if it was not on a tilt, how would it affect the environment. My best guess, I don't know! How did Dad do this?

Math is ok unless it is a word problem.

Not being able to read makes all of these subjects very difficult. I heard from the ESL teacher and she has done testing on Annabel. Plans should be made pretty quickly to help.

In the meantime, I bought a preschool reading workbook.

We sat together tonight and worked on about 30 pages.

I decided we had to start from the beginning and I was afraid kindergarten might be too difficult. I don't want her discouraged.

In some ways I feel very guilty that I have not been on top of this better, but then I realize we were still doing a lot of adjusting, for her to the US and us and for me, well, being the mom of a second 11 year old who could not speak English!

This workbook has us practicing making letters.

Annabel says she was never shown how to write last year, so I hope this will help her scrawl be more legible. My task right now is to change the pronunciation of the word from duh to THE. That will be new!

Tomorrow is early release day, as is every Wednesday.

We tried to trick Dad into wanting to pick them up, but finally just appealed to his kind nature and he agreed.

While helping Annabel with her homework, I have also been going through old photo albums. We are trying to get a lot of pictures of Dad through the years for his birthday party. I should scan some and post just because they are so funny!

Thankfully it is getting darker earlier and I can convince my girls again that 8:30 is a reasonable bedtime. Since it is in only 2 minutes, I better hurry!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bathing beauties!

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Enjoying some more meals!

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This pool was huge! The girls were dressed and ready for dinner after spending most of the day in the pool!
A tropical cutie! She had her hair parted in the middle and slicked down like her great grandfather!

Another tropical cutie! This was the largest mother in law's tongue I've ever seen!
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Our lovely room in Cancun!

Grace posing on our balcony! It was just beautiful looking out at the beach from our room!
More of our balcony with the jacuzzi tub and our clothes trying to get dry to pack!
Breakfast is served! We loved having room service especially for breakfast! You can see the balcony and jacuzzi through the door.

Annabel enjoying an apetizer from the French restaurant in Cancun

I'm trying to upload some of our Cancun pictures. I've found that if I try to put too many on at once most don't publish, so this might be kind of crazy!

This was too funny! They brought us these little tiny grape tomatoes that they have cut in several pieces and put a piece of cheese between all put together with a toothpick. While Annabel looks like she is going after it, she opted not to try it!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

It's school time!

This school year has brought about a lot of changes.

Dad always walked the girls to and from school.

Now I am driving them.

Mom always treated them to some extra TLC served with a snack.

Now we get home in time for dinner!

After school today we made one more trip to Parker Uniforms for the infamous tie for formal Mondays. I thought they did not need one or would have gotten them Saturday, as Parker is a LONG way from our house.

But the trip paid off because Annabel's shoes were just too big and the man at Parker really surprised me by swapping them for the correct size, even though she had worn them. That is real customer service and a very nice gesture.

One of the benefits of me driving and the long distance, is we have lots of time to talk.

An explanation of charter schools first.

A charter school is funded with public money, except for their facilities, but they are not under a school district's rules. They are usually established by a group of parents and/or educators wanting something "better" than their district is providing.

North Hills is a charter school. The state funds a portion of the educational costs, but none of the facilities' costs, like the buildings or the grounds, which is probably why the parents are so involved. The teachers earn about 70% of what school districts pay. I know when I taught, about 100 years ago, I initially taught at a private school, Christian Academy of Oak Cliff. My salary was $8600 for the year! The next year I taught at Red Oak ISD and was earned a whopping $13,500 when I left there. So the difference is greater at a private school than a charter or a public school district. So does that help, Betty?

I'm still not sure how many 6th grade homeroom, or advisory, classes there are, but that is the only class that Grace and Annabel share. They have 2 class schedules, called A and B. They alternate their classes each day.

They like their teachers and their classes, but Grace has found some friends, while Annabel is still struggling. Annabel decided today that her "relationship" with her potential friend, whose name she never knew, was probably not going to work out.

I asked if there were any cute boys in their classes and Grace immediately and way too quickly said NO.

Annabel on the other hand has decided she would like to be a boy magnet. They decided that Gillian was a boy magnet because the boy across the street seemed more interested in her. Now Annabel thinks that might be a good thing, a boy magnet.

BUT it is not working out like she expected. She thought she would only attract the better looking, smart boys, who did not travel a lot with girls. I have no idea what traveling a lot with girls means!!

Instead, the boys that want to talk to her are just the opposite! The boy we met at the picnic has continued to try to get Annabel's attention and now a boy in band was really interested. Grace is way too shy right now to even hint that boys exist!

Annabel's stories are pretty long and involved and I get lost in them usually. I remember Grace being at this point, where she really needs more English, but it just isn't there yet, so any story takes forever to tell, while scrambling for the correct words. I just hope that my "uh huhs" are in the appropriate places.

One of the other benefits of the long drive is we pass a LOT of interesting things coming home.

Like "running" by Parker on the way home. It really was not on the way, but it was much closer than starting from home. From there we took a spin through Hobby Lobby while I looked for decorations for Dad's birthday party.

Then just over the bridge was a HUGE Asian market.

Now I know that for Annabel, Chinese food is still her comfort food, so we went there looking for some good eats. They have an extensive produce section and Annabel was thrilled that I would let her buy some lychees. We also stocked up on ramen noodles, the spicey kind, and their favorites.

They actually chose a Korean restaurant, but each got what they wanted: Annabel had something with tofu and Grace had octopus! My stomach has been too messed up to even think about eating either!

By the time we got home it was 8:00.

Mom came over and after a relatively quiet day for her, was shattered with dogs barking, girls yelling, and just an overall sense of confusion. I think they are really glad we never moved into one big house together!

I am ready for the weekend but not sure how Annabel will get her homework done. She has English and Social Studies to do. She is supposed to read the first 3 chapters of a book. Right now we can't get through Hop on Pop. I have contacted the ESL and the English teachers. They are prepared to work with her and provide tutoring to help her in learning. Grace prayed last night that Annabel would learn English quickly. Tonight Annabel took up the plea and also prayed that she would.

One of the things I love the most is the newness still of being called Mommy. Tonight at Hobby Lobby, Annabel wanted to hang right beside me. That is a first, unless of course they are playing chase, and somehow have become the base!

Annabel prays every night for God to take care of Gillian and Darcey when they are not with us. Grace prays that my stomach will fill better and that I quit throwing up! Then Annabel will add one more prayer for the dogs. I just thank God for my two wonderful daughters.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New beginnings

This week the girls started back to school.

Yes, I know it is very early to start school and the rest of the area is not starting for a few weeks.

Monday and Tuesday they had "Panther Camp" which was an introduction to the school. I'm glad they have had a chance to ease into school.

They had to wear their uniforms and their new saddle oxfords. They looked so cute! I've got to get the picture that Dad made of them to add here. They have white shirts with 3/4 sleeves and a plaid skirt with their navy/white saddle oxfords. Too cute! It should be cute for the price though!

Thank goodness a friend in the neighborhood volunteered to take them as they had to be there at 1:00.

The drive to the school is somewhere between 15 and 20 miles depending on how lost I get going there. I seem to have a mental block lately on directions! Actually there are lots of choices of ways to get there and some have a TON of traffic, so trying to find the best way has sometimes taken us to the wrong way!

Annabel was very animated about her day.

She says she clunked around in her shoes, which she thought were wooden, and had to stand in a LONG line for a LONG time to get her picture made. She almost made a friend but she couldn't remember her name. She remembered a few other details about some people she met but not much about the school. At least she had her locker number and combination!

Grace on the other hand made several friends, most whose names she could remember! She had lots of information about the school too.

They had served pizza at the end of the day and Grace had to eat outside. I'm not sure how she did it, but Annabel ate inside. She said the pizza did not have pepperoni or anything on it. I asked her if it was a cheese pizza, but she wasn't too sure.

But the drive through the car pool lane and back home took 1 1/2 hours. WAY too long!

On Tuesday we had the routine down better and they jumped in the car, after Grace found Annabel, who was eating her second ice cream! They both knew more about the school, but Annabel was still not sure of her friend's name.

While at the picnic I introduced us to a little boy in their class. He tried his best to get their attention both days, but I don't think he knows just how shy my girls can be, especially around boys.

The drive was much shorter and we even took time to take the flute by Brook Mays to get it repaired for Annabel.

Thank goodness Mom made dinner each night! It is nice to be a sandwich!

Sunday we drove Gillian and Darcey to Waco to meet their daddy.

We left early so we could stop at Target and spend their money that they earned from taking care of our dogs.

Mapquest made it look like Target was just off of the freeway, but instead must be well hidden in the city, since I could never find it.

In the meantime, their dad was waiting and we had to make a detour and go back without finding Target. It is so hard to leave them after all the fun we have had and knowing that it will be a long time until they can spend much time here again.

The drive home was excruciating as it was stop and go traffic all the way. What should have been a 3 hour drive, total, ended up being 5 1/2 hours. We did stop at Target and got the girls their Nintedo games with their money. Mom and Dad are going to mail them for us. Again, nice to have someone else take care of the plans I made!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our exciting lives!

In the past, it seemed like our family had emergencies or crises on a regular basis.

Now we live on excitement!

Not the excitement of climbing a mountain, or running a marathon, but the excitement of trying to get 4 girls up and ready for church, after they have been up way too late giggling and laughing and having a good time together. Couple that with a mom who is past her prime, trying to prepare pancakes, one of which escaped and the dog grabbed, all before Poppa is ready for church!

Now that is excitement! That is living!

Annabel, Grace, and I went on our much anticipated trip to Cancun last week. When I made the reservations, I was concerned that Gillian and Darcey would be here and we would hate to leave.

Of course that happened.

I came very close to cancelling the trip because I feel like the time for all 4 girls to be together is so important, but since it was non refundable, we went ahead. Also the fear of taking the trip was part of the thoughts involved in considering the cancellation! Yes, I will admit, it terrified me to take this trip. I used to be concerned that something would happen to my parents if I left for any length of time, but this time I was concerned that something might happen to me and what would my girls do? I don't think I am spoiling the ending, but nothing happened there or at home either!

Last Sunday evening we eagerly waited for Lisa and Ken to arrive. They were flying out of DFW the next morning for their vacation to the Florida Keys.

They took us all to La Calle Doce. If you are not familiar with this wonderful restaurant, check it out here It was fun to enjoy some excellent Tex Mex before heading to Mexico! They have the most delicious flan even better than in Mexico!

Thankfully Dad volunteered to drive us to the airport, as I was not sure how I could juggle suitcases and girls and parking!

Without incident, we made it to our fantastic resort that our wonderful friend arranged. If you need a great travel agent look here and ask for Josh! He found us this incredible resort and flights on American Airlines for cheaper than we could have stayed here!

We were whisked to a private check in desk and treated like royalty. Our room was fantastic with a beautiful view of the ocean or is it the gulf? I didn't take a good camera, just a disposable one, because there was no way I could capture the beauty of this place. I have included the link and it really looked like this, but just imagine it with LOTS of chubby Americans wearing too small swimsuits and a few locals mixed in. So check it out Check out the prices! We flew there for less than the price of the room!

As quickly as we could we changed into swimsuits, which I left my biggie one at home, and jumped into the ocean, then the pool, and finally back to our room to get ready for dinner reservations!

It took us a while to relax and get into a rhythm of slowing down.

Our days included breakfast buffet that included everything you could imagine, including fajitas! And guacamole! Changing into swimsuits and hitting the water. Taking a break in the afternoon so I could have a nap while the girls watched Nick TV in Spanish! Sponge Bob had a much deeper voice than he does here. One afternoon they fell asleep. First time either had a nap in years!

We took advantage of the option for room service, for FREE!!! Loved it for breakfast and lunch, but dinner each day was a reservation at a different restaurant with a different cuisine each night!

The last evening we ate at the French restaurant, so the girls could have DUCK! Grace was so disappointed that the duck did not come with the tongue or the feet, but they muddled through! During the week, Annabel and I developed a taste for lobster and Grace for steak!

After dinner we visited the local vendors selling their local wares and the gift shop. To travel to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen cost so much that I could not see spending the money to go spend money, so we made do with what we could buy there. Sorry, not many souvenirs! We knew we needed something for Gillian and Darcey though!

Each night we walked back to our casa seeing the moon filling up to full before we left. Our conversation turned each night to who we had left at home. The girls decided we could stay there forever if we had Gillian and Darcey, oh and Grandmother and Poppa, and yes, and Ollie and Nina. But we could not see staying there without them.

While there, it was the one year anniversary of us arriving home from China with Annabel. She has learned so much but one of the things that touches me most are her prayers. We say the usual "now I lay me down to sleep...." but Annabel always adds, "please take care of GG and Darcey and Grandmother and Poppa while we aren't there".

There is lots more to tell about the trip, but getting home had us running.

The girls were so excited about seeing each other that I insisted they spend the night. They crashed pretty early which was good since we had to be at the new school North Hills early. I found this school thanks to our friend Holly in Colorado. She suggested I look for an International Baccalaureate school and I found it right before their open house. With over 2000 applicants and only 200 opening we were fortunate to get in. Here is a link to their new school Both will be in 6th grade. Most of the 6th graders are new to the school so they will be on an equal footing!

We had to pick up their schedules, try to find a carpool, check out used uniforms, find the band director for Annabel, etc, etc. There was lots to do and lots of people!

From there we headed to Parker Uniforms. I have always heard of buying uniforms there, none of the stories good, just about how much they cost! The stories were no exaggerations either! Last thing was to find the shoes and my poor girls had such messed up feet it was difficult to find some that fit!

We pressed on and our last stop was Brook Mayes music.

Annabel chose band even though she had never played an instrument. The band director suggested we go there to help her pick what she wanted to play. I had not realized that Annabel had no idea what any of the instruments were but she chose the flute! Just like her Mom! Thank goodness I still have ours, I hope! Save a lot there!

Of course our day was not over and made a trip to the swimming pool before consuming EVERY bite of dinner Mom prepared.

I insisted that the girls spend the night again as we have to take them to meet their dad today. It makes me so sad to take them today as it signals the end of our summer and our long visits. It is so hard to fit in visits during the school year and I worry about what the year will bring.

Prayers for all!