Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Megan and Joshua played with some old Star Wars figures that Keith had from many years ago. This kept them quiet and out of their bedrooms so that I could organize and clean in there.
The kids are getting really excited about the trip. Joshua is very excited that we will be landing in Orlando on Grandma's birthday.
Even though we were bummed out about the snow, it still make everything look pretty one last time.
While I was cleaning and sorting through the craft supplies, I came across our favorite bubbles. These bubbles rock - they are not the usual drippy, sticky, messy bubbles. They don't pop right away, so the kids can actually enjoy them.
In fact, hours after we had played with the bubbles, I found some lingering on the kids table and chair set. We've gone to bed many times only to wake up and still see the bubbles clinging to the couch. I've been busted at the grocery store on more than one occaision for sporting bubbles in my hair.
Even Meow-meow plays when we are dancing with the bubbles. She was chasing them, until one fell on her tail. Then she sat there patiently until Daniel came along and popped it.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's good to be home. Now to jump into getting things ready for our busy week next week.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
My very kind friends Danny, Julie and Sam. Danny is pretty funny. He's never seen me in person before so when I introduced myself to him on Friday, he looked at me funny and said, "I thought you would be blonde". It was pretty funny that we have this image of what we think each other is going to look like based on their internet personality over the past 2 years. Danny thought I was blonde because he's seen pictures of the kids from our Florida vacation last year when Megan's hair was really light colored.
My dear friend, Kathi, and I. Kathi and I have had quite a few classes together and we've both had a rough year this past year with personal things in our life. We've gotten very close and I'm going to be sad that we won't be in class together anymore, but we have each other's email. I will say that she was the one person out of everyone that I was looking forward to meeting.
We pulled the group together for a big picture of all of us. Right after this picture was taken, our close little group huddled into a prayer to remember Joyce, one of our students that was supposed to graduate with us, but died unexpectedly last year. It was a very tender moment.
The ceremony was great. When Dr. Greenlaw (the president of the college) handed me my diploma cover, he told me he was impressed with me and that he hopes to see me back again at the college in a few years when they start their BSN-to-DNP program.
This is my friend, Patricia. Patricia sent me the absolute sweetest and most encouraging email to me a few weeks ago when I was considering not making the trip to graduation because of being overwhelmed with the move. I was so glad I made the trip. Everyone seemed to genuinely happy to see each other. When we were all huddled in a group, everyone told me how happy they were that I had made the trip. I somehow earned the reputation of being the class cheerleader. They told me that if our class had to elect a president, they would have chosen me.
So to clarify the graduation attire - the super-man looking cape thing is blue and silver on the back (the school colors), with an apricot colored lining - apricot signifies that my major is Nursing. The blue and grey cords signify that I graduated Summa Cum Laude and with Nursing Honors.
I got a chance to put more names and faces together meeting more of the students that had just made it into town for comencement this evening. I took a tour of the campus and it brought back a lot of great memories from my previous time at the college. I graduated from the same school 10 years ago with my Associate Degree, but at that time, I lived on-campus in the dorm - which no longer exists. It was really neat to see the changes that have taken place over the past 10 years.
Here's a shot of Joe taking a rest.
One of my favorite places in the gardens is the rose garden. There are so many different types of roses, but my favorite are the ones in this picture.
Here's a shot of Sandi, Joe and me in a corner of the rose garden.
Across the lake from Leu Gardens is the main campus of Florida Hospital. The college is on-campus there beside the hospital. When I was working towards my Associate Degree ten years ago, Keith and I would rent the canoes from the college and paddle across the lake to get to the gardens.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
We were lined up to walk in to begin the ceremony when the Nursing Department Chair came over to our little group. We immediately thought we were in trouble for being too loud, as we had become quite the rowdy little posse, since we just now finally got to see what each other really looked like having only exchanged emails and chatted on-line for the past two years. So in the middle of hugs and laughing, Dr. Preston came over and sheepishly admitted to forgetting to ask a BSN student to be prepared to speak on behalf of the BSN students. My friend Farina volunteered me to represent the class. I was very nervous, but very flattered. However, I had nothing prepared.
I was sure to thank God for taking us all as through the program, and I thanked the staff for their patience with each of us especially when we encountered technical difficulties. I thanked our families for their support and apologized for the many times there may have been laundry not done or no dinner cooked because we were busy with our school work. I thanked the group of Distance BSN students for supporting each other through prayers and on-line study groups. And finally I congratulated the Associate Degree Nurses and welcomed them to our world of nursing. I didn't do too bad for not knowing about this ahead of time. And not having a pen to make any notes while I was sitting there waiting to speak.
I'm the one in pink with darker hair, beside my friend from Oregon, Julie, who also is wearing pink. The new grads had to wear all whites, and the returning students were allowed to wear street clothes.
I ran into so many people that I had not seen for years. In fact, a few of my previous instructors are still at the college, and I was honored to have one of them pin me. I was so glad to run into her, we laughed about the amount of times she made me cry during clinicals. They don't call her Rambo for nothing.
All four of my flights between Kodiak and Orlando were pretty uneventful. The trip seems twice as long as usual when I don't have the kids to tend to. I did enjoy the quiet time and got to finish reading my book and take a nap or two.
Amazingly, my luggage showed up in Orlando the same time I did (very unusual for me). Ordinary people go to sleep after they have been up all night traveling, but not me. I showered and then Joe and Sandi and I hit the road for some shopping. I was in need of a black dress. I will admit that I enjoy shopping for other people, but I despise shopping for myself. After five years of living in rural Alaska, I just can't embrace the styles that are out right now. Seriously, must everything be empire waisted? Everything looks like maternity clothes. And having worn more maternity or nursing clothes than regular clothes in the past few years, I shudder when I try on something that could even hint at me being pregnant again (sorry guys, that factory is closed at our house).
Sandi took me to IKEA, and it was amazing. Their little kid section is fantastic. I can't wait to go back and get some storage pieces for the kids' rooms and the playroom.
I took a tour of Joshua and Megan's school for next year. Grandpa Joe came along with me, since Keith went to this school when he was little. I was so excited to pull up to the school and see kids outside playing soccer and kickball in the sunshine. They have art and band and gym and PE. I looked at samples of the K and 1st grade work, and Joshua looks pretty well on-target. He will take a placement test to see which grade he'll go into next year. Megan won't take any placement tests, she'll just slip right into the 4 year old pre-K program. Now I just have to decide what to do with Daniel while I go back to work.
I went to Daytona Beach and visited with my mom in the retirement community yesterday. I do have pictures, but to not embarrass Mom, I'll keep them off of here, since we were both laughing, and the pictures are pretty unflattering! I helped Bill (Mom's husband) set up his Wii and he was content to play golf and bowling for quite some time.
I'm sure I've done a dozen more things, but they will probably bore the rest of you. I've driven by a zillion houses, and gotten out to look at one or two. I took Joe and Sandi with me to tour the one right beside them that will be for sale in a month or two.
Keith and the kids are doing fantastic. They are having fun, even though the weather has been a mixture of warm and sunny then cold and windy. I get to talk to them every night. Joshua is so darling, he's such a sensitive little boy, he gets teary when he has to say goodbye on the phone. Megan asked me what I was doing last night and I told her I was helping Grandma get her new room ready for her. Then Megan told me to "hurry up, you are taking too long".
I have a busy weekend ahead of me, I'm going to go sit out back with my book for a couple of hours until I have to go to graduation practice.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
After the home appraisal was complete, the kids and I went to the Fly-by coffee shop to have coffee with some of the Coastie Chicks one last time. It sounds like a trendy high school clique (and it sometimes seems that way!), but Coastie Chicks is an on-line forum that acts as a resource for families affiliated with the Coast Guard, and it's been a life saver for helpful information with planning this move. Coastie Chicks has quite a few Kodiak members and it's great to put the faces with the names of these really helpful and very fun folks.
After the lesson and story, the kids gathered at the tables for some crafts, but there was just too much going on. Imagine about 30 kids with all of their mothers trying to give them direction speaking over each other. It was really overwhelming and the meltdowns began. The only one of my crew doing the craft was Joshua, so I helped him pack it up and we decided we'd finish it at home sometime this week.