Getting Ready To Roll
Carver trying out Lily's favorite birthday present. Is it just me, or is he reeaeeaaaaalllly starting to look like a teenager?
We leave for Washington, D.C., in three days. David is still up to his neck in end of the year hoopla, and I confess I have not thought about our trip for more than three seconds. David is the master planner around here when it comes to travel. I seriously scored big time when I married that man, because he can make taking a trip to the gas station feel special. He knows how to plan. However, he's been so busy that this trip more or less snuck up on us, and the main goal at this point is to just make it to the airport. To be honest, it's D.C. You go to museums and memorials while you're there. We know what we're doing. We have our list of top 10 must-sees for our family, and I have no doubt we will make it to all of them in one way or another.

Carver is all about getting to the spy museum. Lily wants to see horses in any medium--the museum of transportation or postal service should fit the bill. Zinabu is looking forward to seeing money being printed. David and I are eager to do it all! I'm looking forward to making some new memories there with my kids. We finished reading Jimmy Carter's biography and we're halfway through a biography on Abraham Lincoln. We are all still coming off our high of seeing President Obama last week, so I feel like we're in a good frame of mind to get this history par-tay started.

But first, get through the next three days.


 Last Days of School
My super tactile child getting some shaving cream on his desk to "clean" it. 

One super, happy, fascinated kid.

Last day of elementary school... forever and ever.

Ok, here's the story. When Carver was in 1st grade he had Mr. Watson (above in the safety vest) as his teacher. At the end of the year Carver wanted to buy him a squirt gun for an end of the year gift. Being the cool mom that I am, I said sure. Well, Mr. Watson made sure to squirt my kids with it often. In fact, when we still lived across the street from the school, Carver and Lily and later Z would fill up water guns, sneak down to his classroom at the end of the year, and ambush him. It has become a tradition. Always on the last day of school, too. Well, Mr. Watson was Lily's 5th grade teacher this year, and even though Carver doesn't attend elementary school anymore he was determined to keep the tradition alive. He waited behind the tree while poor Mr. Watson thought I was taking pictures of Lily. 
You can see Carver got him square in the face! A pretty big water fight ensued, and I love Mr. Watson so much for playing with my kids and not caring at all that he had soaking wet clothes for the better part of his morning.

I am still in denial about school being done for the year because we have a lot of change coming our way in August. That's another post entirely... one for a day when I don't mind using an entire box of tissues. Needless to say, though, we ended the school year on a high note!


The President
Months ago when we learned that President Obama would be the commencement speaker at the Air Force Academy graduation, David and I vowed to do whatever we could to get tickets. We were SO blessed because a former student of David's was graduating from the Academy and his family got us 6 tickets, so even my mom was able to attend.
We left the house a little after 8 am. Carver missed a math final today but this was way, way, way more important. We don't live far from the Academy, but we were prepared for a lot of waiting. When we got on base we were surprised to see little to no traffic. They were so organized and waved us all in. David was coming from work, and just as he got to the intersection where he turns onto the highway, a sherrif's car pulled up and blocked the entrance. David begged to get on the highway and the sherriff waved him on. He just made it before they closed the highway for the president's motorcade.
Once we parked and found David, we got in the enormous security line. Can you see how many people were in the stands?
This is just after all the graduating cadets marched in. Man can they march.
After they announced the arrival of a few important people, the band began to play Hail To The Chief and the president walked out onto the field. Here he is just after exiting the tunnel. He's that little man down there. Sorry, I don't have a super duper expensive zoom lense.
I put a little yellow dot next to all the secret service men. There are 10 in this picture. Can you find them all? The secret service were everywhere. Up in the stands, all over the field, standing around the uppermost bleachers...

President Obama behind the podium giving the commencement address.

They had him on the big screen too.

As the cadets' names were called, they walked across the stage, saluted, and shook the president's hand. He did that over 1,000 times.


The event ended with the Blue Angels flyover.

I was so proud of my kids. They sat in full sun for almost three hours and never complained. They were super excited to see the president, but they also had to sit through other speeches and listen to all the graduates' names being read.

I don't think I can put into words how exciting this was for our family. Whether you like the president or not, you can't take away from the experience of seeing the formality and pageantry and awesomeness of such an event. He gave an amazing speech, too.

Perfect day!


Last night was Lily's 5th grade "recognition." I'm not a big fan of graduations from preschool or kindergarten or second grade. But as it's the last year in elementary school for Lily and her friends, it was nice that there was a formal celebration to acknowledge their moving up to middle school. I was completely taken aback, though, by the flood of tears and emotion that literally overwhelmed me. I know I haven't been specific about Lily's struggles... and some day I hope I can elaborate on them. I know some of you are frustrated by my secrecy and wonder what the heck is really up with us. But I just can't in good conscious spill Lily's issues on the www. It's not fair to her.

So back to my emotions. This year was so, so hard for Lily. She missed so much school and David and I both have commented on the fact that this was a lost year for her. One she will never get back. It was painfully obvious during the ceremony last night that she had missed out on a lot. And when you feel like your kiddo has gotten the crappy end of the stick in life, well... watch out for the waterworks. I just bawled. Not because she was moving on to middle school, but because she was denied so much this entire year. It just royally sucks.

I did not sleep at all last night, and while I was up this morning trying to make lunches and breakfast the tears kept coming. My kids aren't used to seeing me cry so hard and so often. They were confused by my sadness and wished they could help.

I think summer vacation has arrived at just the right time. We all need a break from life's expectations, and Lily needs a few stress free weeks of not much going on. Here's to summer and a break and hopefully a fresh start next fall.


We will resume our regular blogging schedule momentarily. The illness has almost left the building.


Not Much To Report
Sorry for the lack of blogging... and the lack of interesting blog posts. I have been sick since April 26. I know this because when I was at the doctor (again) yesterday, they told me that they first saw me for all of this on April 30, and at that point I had been sick for four or five days. I am now on my second (stronger) round of antibiotics and I am PRAYING for an end to all of this. Both Carver and Lily are home sick today, as well. It's hard to know if they're just passing the same virus around or if they're suffering from secondary infections like me. I hate to drop more moolah on co-pays if it's just a virus. I'll see what tomorrow looks like.

This week is the last full week of school for my kid-lets. They have a couple of days next week, and then that's it. Lily is finishing her last year of elementary school. Next year she will be in middle school. When Carver was at this stage in life I was a nervous wreck. With Lily it just feels normal. She has struggled hard this year and I honestly have no expectations for what next year will look like. I have my hopes and dreams for her, but I have to let go of them and just stick to what will be best for her. Again, I'll see what tomorrow looks like.

Zinabu is blazing through second grade and can. not. wait. for. summer. He is salivating like a dog at dinner time. The past few weeks his class has been studying Africa and his teacher and I both asked him if he would like to bring in some of our items from Ethiopia to share. We couldn't even finish the sentence before he gave a resounding, "NO!" He hates attention on him. I don't think it's so much that he's embarrassed about his adoption, he just hates the extra spotlight on his life. At home, he loves to talk about Ethiopia... but anywhere else he's very tight-lipped. I wish this were different. Anyone else's adopted kids do this? Maybe in the future he'll relax a little more. Once more, I'll see what tomorrow looks like.

David is running around like a crazy man. May is the toughest month for a high school principal. There are at least two events each evening he has to be at, and he's scared to death of getting sick--again. He was sick two weeks ago but I think he's nervous it's coming round to get him again. He just can't afford to be sick. He will have to wait and see what tomorrow looks like.

Here are my goals for the rest of this week:
Get my sense of smell back.
Get my sense of taste back.
That my ears would unclog and I could hear again.
Oh yeah, and not cough all day and night.

That's not too much to ask, is it?


Right now I'm watching Zinabu trying to get the dog to smell his armpits.

I'm not joking. Apparently, we're so hard up for entertainment around here that body odor is the new cable TV. I am slowly coming out of my three week quarantine. Turns out I was blessed with a sinus infection and I've got the antibiotics to prove it. Today was the first day in a looooong time that I got up and accomplished more than sucking on cough drops and watching old episodes of Glee. 

The school year is fast coming to an end. Here in Colorado we start early and get out early, which is awesome for family vacations. We can hit a busy city at the end of May before the crowds of June and July really make their appearance. But for now we are up to our necks in end of the year everything: teacher appreciation, orchestra concerts, PTA brunches, meetings, graduation planning (for David), and field trips. It feels as if it is May 65th instead of May 10th. All of us being sick for so long makes the month feel extra draining.

Still, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am keeping my eyes fixed on it. We're almost there--almost to summer. Let's par-tay.


No Voice
Literally. I have severe laryngitis and a disgusting hacking cough. It's taken up residence in my throat like a college student in a fraternity. It's getting old.

Friday night was prom, and it was the first time I'd really been out of the house in a week so I had a blast. David was "working" so I don't think he'd use the term blast to describe the evening, but he's such a good, good principal. He stands there to welcome the kids as they come in, shaking their hands and high-fiving them, telling the girls how beautiful they look. He knows their names and they love him. We watch the dancing and eat at the chocolate fountain, and I get to wear high heels and look like a lady for one day of the year. It pretty much rocks.

And this year there was only one song I didn't recognize. (Licks finger and touches hip.... tssssssssss) I'm on fire, baby.