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Archive for August, 2008

Aug 25 2008

School Days

Posted by Mugs @ 8:05 pm in Family Print This Post Print This Post

The children started school last Thursday much to their disappointment. Josiah woke up today and asked me if a snow day was likely. With the temperature at 90f (37c), I told him he was out of luck. So, to school he went.

First Day of School

First Day of School

This is the first year they have all gone to school, now that Zeke has started 4 year old preschool. On the first day, the preschool teachers handed out survival packs to the parents: a pack of tissues, two chocolates, a comic, and an encouraging note. I was laughing about it saying I hadn’t been upset over one of my children starting school since Josiah went to preschool. Josiah was and still is a bit shy, so his first days of preschool were full of tears and worry on my part. It didn’t help that he had a group of punks in his 4 year old class who played a game where two kids held a kid while everyone else punched and kicked him. They called themselves a gang…they were 4 years old. That was the first of many incidents that set me on the path of Christian Education. When Abby went to her first day of preschool, most of the kids in her class were friends from the neighborhood. She went in smiling and laughing and hugging. No tears for her. Gabe went easily into his preschool class as well. The only thing that upset him was having to take a nap. So, I was confident that Zeke’s transition would be a breeze. He had spent the last year asking to go to school with Josiah, Abby, and Gabe. I figured he’d walk off and not look back. The first day, the entire family went with him to meet his teacher and see his room. He played in the toy kitchen with A-V-A. Ava’s name is not pronounced by Zeke, it is spelled. He was a bit of a show off on that first day: counting 40 worms, coloring neatly between the lines, and spelling his name. His Dad had to show off as well and colored such a nice picture that the teacher let Dale choose a frog sticker in his favorite color. Dale chose orange. After A-V-A chose a pink frog sticker, Zeke declared pink his favorite color too. This created a bit of a problem the next day when A-V-A chose the last pink frog sticker and Zeke had to settle for a purple frog sticker. “Purple is not my favorite color!”, he informed me. The second day of school, I had to drop him off at the playground where he would play until going inside with his teacher. I was confident that this would be easy, because he had asked me, repeatedly throughout the last year, if he could play on this playground and I had told him that he could play on it when he started preschool. As we walked towards the playground, I repeated how fun it would be to play on the slide. He entered the gate and walked toward the slide, he was then informed by his teacher that the slide was too wet to play on and he would have to wait until recess later on. His face became very solemn and he wandered around the play houses and stepping stones in a daze. I started walking back to the van, but decided to turn around and take a few pictures.

Zeke at School

Zeke at School

After the pictures, I waved goodbye and he came out of his daze and walked quickly towards the fence. “They won’t let me play the slide!”, he wailed. Tears flowed, hands rubbed eyes, he said his face hurt. After a kiss and encouraging words, one of the teachers came to walk him back towards the other students. Later, when he returned home from school, he told me all the rules: No Pushing, No Fighting, Respect, No Running, and No Crying. A-V-A had been crying, he informed me, and the teacher told her…”No Crying”. He then did a funny impression of his teacher saying “Boys and Girls!” Having made it through the second day, I figured it was all down hill. The third day, I walked him to the playground and the slide was dry. He walked through the gate and again his face became very solemn. I started to walk away but again stopped to wave. He then made a beeline for me. Once again, he started crying and rubbing his eyes. “They won’t let me play the treasure chest!” he informed me. After some comforting words, a teacher came to lead him back again. Why did he start out so sad each day? It couldn’t actually be me causing the problem? After all, I scoff at packs of tissues.

Aug 19 2008

When Daddy Comes Marching Home Again

Posted by Mugs @ 3:54 am in Deployment,Family Print This Post Print This Post

Dale arrived in Virginia to the accompaniment of the Manry Family Band: Josiah on Baritone, Abby on Flute, Gabe on Tambourine, and Zeke on Bongos.  They played a rousing rendition of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” with a slight variation of the wording.  It took Dale by surprise and gave him a good laugh.  Although the kids were all mortified that their mother had made them do it, they received a round of applause from everyone in baggage claim.  We celebrated with a dinner of burgers and fries at 5 Guys and ice cream sundaes at Jo Jos.  The long, long, terribly long year is finally over.  Dale is home and we are joyous!  We praise God for the safety, health, and comfort He showered upon us this year.  And we thank you all so very much for all the prayers, actions, and encouragement you offered on our behalf.  IT IS DONE!  GOD BE PRAISED!

Aug 17 2008

Ft Benning, Georgia

Posted by Mugs @ 11:35 pm in Deployment Print This Post Print This Post

Dale arrived at Fort Benning, turned in his gear, bought a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and a Coke, and is now sitting in front of a T.V. watching the Olympics.  He will arrive back in Virginia tomorrow.  They will tell him his flight time in the morning.

Aug 17 2008

New Jersey

Posted by Mugs @ 2:41 pm in Deployment Print This Post Print This Post

Dale called this morning from New Jersey.  He’s back in the U.S.  I’d drive up and get him if they’d let me.  He has a lay over of a few hours in Jersey and then he will fly down to Georgia.  We’ll wave as he flies overhead.  So far, the flight has lasted 17 hours.  He turns in his gear tomorrow morning and he should be on a flight home tomorrow afternoon or evening to Virginia.  He spent his last day in Kuwait seeing the sights.  It’s hard to believe, but we have one day to go.

Aug 15 2008

Back to School Shopping

Posted by Mugs @ 4:21 am in Family Print This Post Print This Post

With school a week away, I decided it might be a good idea to conquer a chore I greatly dislike: back to school shopping. Every year I tell myself that I will perform this task better, be more organized, I will consolidate the school supply list, I will shop when items are on sale and tax free, etc. Last year I was clueless about the tax free time and this year I thought it lasted a week not just a weekend. So, no tax free for me. We started off with haircuts. Zeke scowled so severely throughout his haircut that he sent his siblings into repeated fits of laughter which kept making Zeke turn his head. The stylist was happy to finish with him. Gabe’s hair had gotten so long, it had grown past his ears and stuck up in all directions. He was only concerned with keeping his sideburns. Gabe loves sideburns. He, Elvis, and Grandpa sure know what cool is. Josiah got his unruly mop of curls shorn to a length that forbids his hair to curl. I tell him to give up fighting his curls. It is, of course, advice I didn’t adhere to until I turned 30. Abby had gotten her hair cut the day before, and now has a left side part. All middle school girls must have haircuts where their hair hangs in their face. It’s just the way it is. Yesterday, Zeke said, “I want to go to McDonalds. I love McDonalds.” Like Father, like son. So, we went to McDonalds (Maccas) for lunch. After that the school supply search was on. I walked down the aisles, 4 separate lists in hand and told them each what they needed. Fairly often there was a “No wait, go back and get another one of those.” Josiah grabbed a locker shelf which he claimed would solve his messy locker problem. I let him buy it, but am quite certain the locker is not the problem. When he cleaned out his locker at the end of last year, he brought home the roll of paper towels that he was supposed to give to the teacher on the first day of school. Gabe’s list for third grade was endless. I’m not sure why exactly he needs so many things, but apparently he does. After we purchased all the common items, we went to the office supply store to find all things obscure: spiral bound index cards, dry erase board erasers, maps, etc. We finished off the day with shoe shopping, an event my daughter would love, if only she didn’t have to adhere to her mother’s demands that shoes be sensible and have room for growth. Gabe was finished in 2 minutes. Upon entering the store, he declared, “I want to buy the z strap sketchers.” He found them in his size, tried them on and he was done. Josiah tried on all running shoes in pursuit of the ones that would make him the fastest. If Dale can still outrun him, it won’t be for long. After we got home, my sister called. Abby informed her that we had been back to school shopping. When I got on the phone she said, “I’m surprised you didn’t wait until next week.” Oh well, I guess I can claim improvement there.