Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Surprise Call

Sometimes one receives unexpected calls right when it is needed. While at the airport this morning, I was talking with a young girl about her name and how I had a daughter with a very similar name. Well the day progressed and the conversation had faded....until my phone rang later that day with a number I did not recognize. To my surprise, the voice on the other end of the phone was my Miss Kalista. We chatted for about 20 minutes getting caught up (I do not think the call was mother approved). Kalista assured me that her and mom were doing good, that her grades were good and about some of her plans. She had to go but told me she would send me a recent picture and asked if we still had our foster care license. I proceeded to reassure her that we do, told her that we loved her and said goodbye.

Not long after the call, she sent me a picture. It is crazy the timing, as our license is about to expire and I was not going to renew. I do not know if she will ever be placed back with the state..but who would we be to let her down if she needed us. I guess we will torture ourselves with renewing it at least one more time.

Thank you Miss K for the call!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break = College Search

Nathaniel is coming up to the end of his junior year and the topic of colleges has been a focus to our family the past couple of months. To my complete sadness, we have raised a very independent minded kid, who wants to venture quite a bit away. Nathan has decided that he wants to attend a small liberal arts college to study polical science. His main college of choice is Cornell Colleged located in Mt Vernon, Iowa. He was also been interested in Augusta College in Rock Island, Illinios. So for spring break this year we decided to travel through five states in five days while staying in five different hotels.

After a 14 hour drive over a day and a half, it was time for the first school meeting. Nate attended his first political science class and jumped right into the discussion. While he was learning, Steve and I met for a reality check, with financial aid. A meeting with his recruiter that we met at the his initial interview. Followed by a campus tour and lunch in the main eatery. The campus is a historical site and is beautiful. The physical structures of all the buildings are original and can not be altered since being on the registery. Cornell has approximately 1150 students a year and on average gets 1000 applications a year and accepts around 300. Cornell is unique as the school system is one class at a time. One class every 3 1/2 weeks. As of now, this is his number one pick, and he has a good chance of getting accepted. This would be my first choice (if my one and only is going to leave) for many reasons.
This same day, we toured Coe College (Cornell's rival). This campus is located about 20 minutes away in Cedar Rapids. The physical appearance of the school appeared a tad more traditional. It is intermixed with old and new buildings. Definately has more of a city feel, with a selection of services close by. Again, Coe had around the same number of students, applications and acceptance.

Augustana College, located in the Quad Cities, lies in the forest. This was the biggest of the three schools, around 3000 students this year. They had buildings listed with the historic society, but many old buildings that they were converting with modern technology. The campus was sprawled all over the place. Augustana was completely into the green movement. Between the trees and being very green...Nathaniel was turned off. At least they were nice and we did get a free lunch.

After the college tours were done for the time...and we were in a part of the country that was new to was time for some site seeing. So off to Carthadge, Illinois we went to tour some church sites.  First stop was Carthedge, Illinois to tour the jail where  Joseph Smith was martyred. We awoke the next day to snow which put a damper on our day planned in Nauvoo. We were able to drive by all of the buildings, but due to the weather, many of the homes and activities were closed. However, we toured the bakery, the craft building, brick and gun makers. We also drove up to the temple and then drove back along the road leading out while watching the river rise.

This was in front of the temple and a funeral home

We enjoyed driving through most of the states...well not so much in Oklahoma or Kansas. Had a few laughs along the way, toured some beautiful campuses and church historical sites, ate far too much fast food and hopefully helped Nathaniel with his college choices that will soon have to be made.