Friday, April 30, 2010

Sadly there will be no victory

I am sad and a bit disgusted to say that Nathaniel was eliminated from running for senior class president. The reasons for elimination were never disclosed with the application packet or at the mandatory meeting that each candidate and parent had to attend.

Nathan had received an email over the weekend notifying him that he was not a ballot candidate based on a teacher recommendation and because he had an in school suspension early in his sophomore year (he went across the street and bought a doughnut).

Now I do not debate my sons disciplinary action (lame) and I can even suck it up that a teacher gave him a lower than perfect score. I can not nicely accept that these categories of disclosure were not made known in the beginning. Having said this, Nathan had a meeting with the leadership teacher and one of the principles. Thank goodness that mom went (even though I am told that I embarrassed him). These women were brutal! After we realized that there was no changing their minds, Nathan changed the focus on the importance of having this information out there for students to obtain....along with one extra paper (containing disclosures) attached to the application.

Now after the hour long meeting the administration thought that this was an unreasonable request. They did not see the importance of it as "we have never had anyone with a disciplinary citation before want to run for office". Seriously....this was their reasoning for not wanting to publish this information. Now common sense would say that had this been made aware early on that Nate would have not tried to run for he would have known that he could not. We left the meeting with the principle stating that Nathaniel  "is a persistent and feisty one". Compliment? I am not thinking so. In the end, they agreed that students should know these bylaws in the constitution and claim it will be on the Central website front page.

Now I can continue my rant with every detail, but it does not change that there was no common sense in that room. For every point we had, there was a pathetic excuse for what happened. I know that I called their personal character in the teacher yelled at me and the principle allowed it...all I could do was politely say that I was not trying to. I was only questioning many statements that were previously made at the meeting as they were perceived. And if making the request for change and asking how I will be able to track the changes that were promised are made....well so be it...I questioned their character.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Game Nite

Tonight I hosted our game nite with the clan....well....minus Oscar, Diego and Steve.However, Hunters friend Katie joined us. Nate made it home from work just as we were starting. Game of choice was pictionary. I had been wanting to play something that would be fair game for the younger guys....too bad they ditched out to spend time with dad. We chowed on some great mexican appetizers (compliments of moms freezer), chocolate chip cookies and got down to visit.

Outcome, we were loud....most of us can not draw....and were pretty decent at guessing a majority of the time. It must have been a long day for many in the family as my house was quiet and cleaned before 9:30. Next month the rotation starts over again at Sally's and hopefully we will all be there again

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Things We Do For Love

This book by Kristen Hannah caught my attention one day at the local Costco and I finally had time to read it. I found this story to be a quick and enjoyable read. I could hardly put it down. I was grateful that I was unable to work and spent most of yesterday with my nose in the book. So one might wonder what I found so intriguing about the words I read...

It has been a long time since I felt as if I could relate on a deep level to someone or something. And in this instance, it was a someone in a fictional story. So much of what I feel or have experienced was in print before my eyes. The words and the topic so eloquently made into a story that portrayed the scenarios that unfortunately too many women and couples have experienced.

For years, tears and sadness flooded my life, marriage and family. Those around me often walked on pins and needles when certain topics came up. The love that was once in abundance between two people bacame heavily strained. I changed, my husband changed and the life we always predicted we would have took a serious beating. Unfortunately, somewhere along this journey, I failed to see that my partner might not handle these setbacks the way I would. We have been left scarred...once a team with a common each trying to find their own path in the life that was created together.

I have grown and have worked towards healing/understanding in my own way. I focus on forgiveness for the harsh topics that became a curve ball in my once imagined life. I try to forget about those that failed my dreams. I have boggled my mind searching for what the future holds. And most of all, I have tried to renew the once so obvious love that Steve and I had.

I connected so well with the story and often dream of having a happy ending (not necessarily like the one in this book). Becoming a confident woman. Being part of a  love that was able to overcome such sorrow. A realization of what is trully important before it is really too late. I dream of this often. This happy ending has not yet presented itself to me nor has this journey of love and life yet come to an end. When I reflect on where Steve and I are at this time, I can not see a new/old beginning in sight.....and yet I continue to hope and fight for me and us. Hoping one day that I will no longer be seen as broken or bitter and that there may be forgiveness towards me for all my errors along this way.

Vote for Nate!

"Vote for me, Nate Wadkins, for you senior class president. I have something the others don't have: a plan for CHANGE! Fight the Status-Quo, follow me to a resounding VICTORY!"

"Friends, we shall be victorious in this glorious struggle against the tyrrany of the student council only if we work together! Every vote counts! Together, we can make our senoir something people speak of for years to come. Remember: A vote for Nate, is a vote for Great!"

"What would you like changed? I intend to make the Student Council what it actually is meant to be: a political school entity, not a service organization like it exists as right now. Easier said than done, I know, but I believe that with enough support, it could easily change."

These are some exerpts from his facebook page. The words, I believe, say it all. They are a start to his political journey that lies ahead. They represent a young man who wants change and yet is not willing to fully compromise who he is and is not afraid to say it aloud in his words (even when they do not please the the teacher who is in charge).

At this moment he is at his interview, which is part of the process to winning the election. May the force of good karma be with him! It is not a secret in his crowd that Mrs Gantz (teacher that heads up council) is not happy that Nathan is running. Nathan is voicetrous and very open about his desire for change and to let the common student have a say. But, Mrs Gantz has the system set up so her favorites can win the positions that she feels best. In fact, this teacher, has created a system to where only 35% of the student vote actually counts. Then the interview, grades, teacher recommendations, ballot statement and speech all have a percentage attached. She then adds up the points and awards the student with the highest points the position of his/her choice (even if the students vote did not say this). This teacher has also developed a "constitution" that allows her to change their positions as she sees fit prior to the school year starting.

Now at this meeting we attended this past Monday evening, there was less than 20 students in attendance for all the class positions and associated student body. A sad turn out if you ask me....and this teacher had the audacity to say aloud that "I am not sure why we always have this low of a turn out". Hmmm...I wonder. Nathan will drive this teacher crazy if he should win. This teacher will drive me crazy if Nathan should win.

Go Nate!!! is all this proud mom can say.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Central Swim Banquet 2009-10

Today I put on my second end of year banquet for Nate's (as they refer to him) swim team. I must say that I can not take all the credit as events like this are definately not one man show. I am so lucky to have my partner in crime more than willing to help. And this year Becky had the challenge of putting together the slide show on her own. It was great, with way more variety in pictures than last year. Besides a few lonesoles not understanding the word dealine....everything else fell together pretty easy. I am just bummed that I did not get any pictures of the room before the guests all arrived. As a matter of fact, I did not get too many pictures at all. So here are the highlights: 78 guests attended, some tasty steak and chicken dinners and yummy cheese cake for dessert, traditional paper plate awards (by captain),  a handful of awards and new varsity jackets given out (coach), some 20+ awesome door prizes for the swimmers (donations Becky and I seeked out), and four new captains announced for next swim season....with Nathaniel being voted as one of them.

Becky and Pam checking all the guests in

Nate's paper plate award "Pokedex"

The team captains with coaches for 2010-11 season
Tyler Elzey, Pam Coyle, Nate and Dani Linde
with Coach Wang and Coach Marshall

Random table picture to at least show some of the decor

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seasons of Life

Seasons.....a word that will not leave my head. As I worked in my yard today, the phrase "a time for different seasons" kept having me reflect on where I am now and what season/s I am currently in. I discovered that I am in a combination of many seasons. A mixture of times all attempting to mesh together .

I am in the horrible season of life where weight gain is happening. So sad.....I used to be able to eat anything and as much as I wanted. And if I did need to drop a pound or two, it was not a big deal. Then something this past year happened and I can not pinpoint the exact cause. Is it that I am approaching the big 40? Is it from my hysterectomy and the changes that have occurred from that? Or can it be from the stress my body has endured from years of working night shift? And, lets not forget that I like to eat. Food and I are real good friends.....sigh.

I am also in the Spring season. Full of energy and ready to conquer many tasks. Ready to enjoy the moment of the here and now. Making sure that I relish the beauty of life....and at the same time...trying to discover who I really am. For the first time in a couple of years, I had the desire to work in my yard. To enjoy the fresh outdoors (without worrying about my lungs) create a lovely piece of heaven on earth that surrounds me while lounging on my patio. Then there is the singing phrase that keeps popping into my head "love is in the air". Oh how I want to return to a young love.

Then there is the season of adjusting to my son becoming a man and the reality of knowing in a very short time that I will be considered an empty nester. A phrase the rings a horrible sound to my sensitive ears. Thus, leading me to overcompensate for not having any other children and throwing myself into as many of his activities to which he will allow.

Now, my seasons are not all doom and gloom, but do contain much conflict. Some of which is out of my control. For example: I believe Steve is in the season of summer....unbearbly hot, humid and quite frankly out of energy most of the time. So overwhelmed that he is not able to stop and enjoy those things that are most important in the here and now. He is caught up in the stale summer Texas heat and is unable to take a moment to smell the lovely arouma of my spring. Then there is my teen....trying to discover who he really is...and while doing this...pushing the see how much he can get away with. To test my patients...or maybe to help me realize that children are supposed to grow up and leave.

Different seasons of life are normal. I am finding that it is important to discover how to change with them and enjoy what that particular time may bring. To understand that each season may offer something new or old and normal to our life. To know that a mature love sometimes endures different seasons at one time...and to await peacefully for the seasons to once again come together (or otherwise for the storm to pass). And finally, to recognize that a good mother and son relationship will always remain strong if it was strong and loving from the start.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend in Washington

It was supposed to rain Saturday and our plans for the day was a trip to one of their local tulip festivals. We kept our fingers crossed that the rain would stay away until we were done. All I can say is rain...just a very chilly wind. But no complaining here. We were able to find a lovely Tulip farm to stroll around and take a 100+ pictures (well mostly Jenna did) and actually have a few really good ones.
Sunday brought the always AWESOME Easter Bunny for Jake and Jenna....and a text from Nathaniel that sounded oh so sad...."I didn't get a Easter Basket". OR so he thought...mommy easter bunny had it delivered to grandmas make sure her sweet son received it. But, I must say, how good it felt to see that Nathan does still want some fun traditions in his teen life. I must say though, that the holiday felt a little odd, as I had never been away from Nathaniel for a full holiday before. Sunday seemed to fly by....can not say for sure what we did, but the day seemed to be over far too fast. Jodie and I cooked up a feast for the five of us. Easter eggs were found and the mentos and diet coke experiment was repeated with far better success.

Jodie was in the mood to revamp her wardrobe, so we had shopped whenever the opportunity presented itself. Monday was my flight home and only left a couple of hours to share. So off to the mall we went. We were able to conquer a few stores, acquire a few more pieces and enjoy one last lunch together before I had to go to the airport.
My mini vacation was fun and I think we both wanted it to last a little longer. I will miss Jodie and the kids deeply. It is sad to have such a bond and live so far apart. However, my little family is here and I needed to get home to both of them (sorry time is over).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Time in Washington

This week my sister and her kids were on spring break and I was able to come and visit. This was a last minute trip that just happened to work out....well except for having to call in to work for two shifts. Oh well...well worth it. I flew in on Wednesday and will be here through Monday. This will be the first holiday that I did not spend with Nathaniel. He was okay with this one. I will be able to enjoy the traditions to which younger kids love....yay!

Wednesday we did not do much...just hung out, ate and watched some tv. Thursday, we treated ourselves to pedis and had yummy pastrami (almost as great as The Hat in California). Later, enjoyed a nice walk before the rain decided to rear its ugly head. The night ended with the kids doing pranks on George and their awesome aunt Kelly. Friday, we helped Jenna and Jake with some bath salt making and attempted to do the diet coke and mentos test. It went OK...but we are planning one more attempt. For dinner that night was teriyaki (they do not make it the same in Texas).

So in a far a lot of hanging out and eating. With another post later on the rest of my time in Seattle.