Sunday, September 11, 2011

Living in a Changed America- Thoughts on 9-11


 I remember that morning- we woke up to the news of the 2nd plane hitting the Tower. It still seems surreal, we had gone to bed the night before listening to Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor and in that half waking state when the radio first came on I couldn't figure out why the plot had changed. It was horrifying to fully wake up and realize that it was all too real. This week it seems like every news story and everyone's focus has been on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11. Ryan watched 102 Minutes that Changed America and a Nova DVD, Why the Towers Fell with the boys. We didn't have TV at the time and only dial-up internet so we had the radio and still images and didn't have the TV news on all day so I'm not sure the boys were really aware of what had happened- they didn't see it. Nathan was 12 so I'm sure we talked to him about it but the other boys were 6, 5, 3, and not quite 2. They got some of it when Nathan went to Afghanistan for a year

I think everyone is now more fully aware that bad things can happen. Terrorism isn't just something that happens on the news "over there" somewhere but its something that can happen to people we know and love. But the terrorists weren't able to damage what makes us Americans: our optimism and our independence. We're thankful for the people who sacrifice their lives for our freedom.

Last night I was camping with our Boy Scout Troop. Most of the boys were only toddlers and don't remember when it happened. This morning we talked to them about what happened. I asked the older boys if any of them remembered being able to go out to the gate at the airport to meet a plane? No, but one of the 18 year olds could remember when you could take more than 4 oz. of fluid on a plan. (And some hadn't ever been on a plane- this is Lewis County afterall.)

These boys were only a year old on 9-11-01

Sights such as this flag ceremony yesterday bring me to tears. These boys are our future and they make me proud.

"Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God in the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder,...that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ' What do these stones mean to you?' These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever." Joshua 4: 5, 7

I listened to this interview with Tami Michaels and her husband on the radio Saturday morning. It's as close an eyewitness account as you can get. They were across the street in the Millenium Hilton.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Football Game: The Beginning of a New Era


Friday night we went to our first football game as a family. It was the inaugural game in the new Pirate Stadium (I guess they are calling it The Brig, at least they did on the Seattle news I saw later that night). It supposedly has 4 times the seating of the old wooden stadium on the hill and every seat was taken Friday night. Lots of people didn't even try to get in the stands and just stood on the track. The bathrooms and concession stands aren't finished but the lights, stands, and field were ready for the game (thanks to the late nights all week they worked over there). It was pretty exciting to come home one afternoon and see that the lights were on.

Tovah had soccer practice so we missed all the pre-game activities. We arrived just as the game ball arrived by parachute. I don't have any pictures of the first quarter because by the time we found my folks and the kids and got the camera out I discovered my card was in the laptop and not in my camera. I have a second card now but it was in my camera bag in the car so I had to wait until the end of the first quarter to run back out to the van and get it.

Rush is in the pep band, his job seems to be to hold his cymbals so the drummer can use them as a high hat. He's the one with his back to me, talking to his friend Jesse. This is the best picture I could get from the nosebleed section. Next game I'll stay out of the stands so I can get some better pictures.

The Pirates got 3 touchdowns the first quarter.

The view of Mt. Rainier from the stands. The sky is pretty hazy from the heat and lack of rain. Some days the mountain is so clear you can almost see hikers on it.

Final score 39 to 14- it was a good game. The Wahkiakum Mules were a pretty good team. TransAlta matched a lot of the contributions for the stadium and made the project possible. They also paid for a fireworks show after the game. Our local State Legislator works for TransAlta and his wife teaches at Adna. They were sitting behind me at the game and his wife and I were giving him a hard time- the TransAlta part of the sign is lit and the Pirate Stadium isn't, something's just not right about that...

After the fireworks Tovah and I had to drive home in Adna traffic (only on game nights) while everyone else decided it would be quicker to just walk. We had a good time. The boys all have ASB cards and my folks got Senior Sports passes so we'll probably go to all the games. The next home game is against a big school from up north and is a non-league game on a Saturday night that Ryan is off so it will be a true family affair.



We took 2 days at Ocean Shores for our vacation this summer. We couldn't get down there at all last year with the school schedule. Ryan took a night off and we had to be back in time for Back To School Night. We packed light to fit in the Pilot, but took the essentials: swim suits, electronics, books, snacks, food for lunches and 1 dinner. We ate dinner the first night at the restaurant at the hotel and the hotel had a continental breakfast with waffles each morning. I finished 2 books and got caught up on my Bible in 90 Days reading. Ryan got about a third of the way through the Tom Clancy we got at Christmastime.

"Hurry up, Mom!" The walk to the beach gets longer each year | Playing tag with the waves

When we drove down on Sunday we drove out of sunshine and temperatures pushing 90-degrees into a wall of clouds and chilly temps. Monday we woke up to glorious sunshine and the wind wasn't even very bad. We headed to the beach in the morning in case the clouds were coming back in the afternoon. The hotel has an indoor pool so we weren't worried about swimming in bad weather.

The waves were filthy looking. Ryan said thatit's expected that we'd start seeing junk from the tsunami this fall | Rush was Here | Red Shirts have a low life expectancy... | How can I expect the kids to be mature when this is what I get from their dad?

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Days of School


School started on Wednesday. We came home from the beach on Tuesday in time to unload, unpack, and get to the High School for Back to School Night. It's very efficient: schedules, lockers, ASB cards, pictures, buy logo wear, and even free dinner for the family all in a 2-hour window. The cheerleaders were having a Root Beer Float fundraiser and towards the end of the evening and our energy I gave each of the kids a dollar to get one, but they ran out of root beer when they got to the front of the line. Not a problem, we'll grab a 2 liter at the little store on our way home and still get home in time for baths and an early bedtime. NO root beer at the little store. No big deal, there's another store 3 miles from home, we'll run there. NO root beer. At this point Ryan just wants to run into Walmart to grab the root beer and get home. I make him stop at the 3rd store on the way to town because really, it'll make a better facebook status this way. The third story didn't have root beer so we ended up at Walmart.

Tovah was fretting about not having an alarm clock to wake her up and would I get her up in time.... I figured she'd be up at the crack of dawn. We prepped her lunch (we've been looking at bento sites all summer) and made sure their bags were packed before a 9 o'clock bedtime.

Ready to go to their first day of public school. We dropped Rush off first and didn't even make it out of the parking lot before he called to say he forgot his gym clothes.

Tovah's friends from fastpitch came and found her on the playground (and their mom's came and found me). She was off and already having a great time.

She's off to Mrs. Johnson's third grade class!

We went home a bit shell-shocked to think we'd actually done it and sent her to public school. When we got home we jumped into homeschooling mode and finally ordered Jonah's curriculum (I think of it as waiting for the summer rush to end). We met with Arin & Isaac's supervising teacher and finalized their subject choices. Then we went to the library and out to a Not-Back-To-School lunch at Burger King.

Waiting for the bus to bring them home at 3:10.

I'm still getting looks and one-syllable grunts from Rush when I ask about how its going, but Tovah's having a great time. Today she's trying out hot lunch for the first time and when I broached the subject of dropping her off at school in the mornings when my school starts, she wants to ride the bus.

The boys started in their books yesterday, we're still waiting for several subjects to arrive but this eases us into the schedule. We finally went through the Scout books and merit badge blue cards to see what they need to work on, this has been on my To Do list all summer (or at least since Isaac and Jonah came home from camp). This morning I thought it was going well and everyone was on task until I went in to take a picture of Arin studying in his room and found him in his pajamas, needing a shower, watching a movie on the personal DVD player so obviously we need some reminders of school day expectations.

We had to rearrange the school room for Isaac to have some work area. He and I can share the table now that its turned sideways. I thought I had a leaf for this table, but evidently, I don't. One big change for him, we decided he wouldn't take Biology (he's only in 8th grade so it wouldn't count as his lab science requirement) from Mrs. Witt so he'll be doing A Beka Science of the Physical Creation

Jonah got everything finished and is playing quietly on the DS. Note: all the books on the couch are either going into our yard sale or getting sold online- we're done with them and I needed wanted some more space on the bookshelves. I need to be outside sorting stuff for tomorrow but I'm waiting for Arin to finish.

Rush is playing percussion in the pep band, so tonight we'll all be going to the very first football game in the brand new Adna stadium. They've been working on it every night this week and it's still not finished, but they have to play in it- I'm thinking it'll be a Sani-can event.