THE CURIOUS WILL WIN!

FIRST–MY FAILED GOAL

Before I begin the actual content of what I wanted to write, I must apologize to myself for failing to maintain one of my goals. My husband is always telling me, ‘Take time for yourself; do something for yourself.” Well, with two very active children, that is far easier said than done. With a husband–who is wonderful–but who does take time for himself, again–easier said than done. If we both take time for ourselves, who drives our girls to everything in which they are involved?  I struggle quite a bit with taking “me” time. I suffer from anxiety, and I worry all the time. However, in an attempt to help myself, I promised myself I would write at least once a day and post my writing here. I have not been very successful. However, thank you, Twitter, for the inspiration. I just caught the picture below, which sparked an idea in my mind.

NEXT–CURIOUS:

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From June 18-June 22, 2017, my husband and I took our two daughters to Canada. We spent time in Niagra Falls, Canada, as well as in Toronto, Canada. I am a very inquisitive person, almost to the point of driving my husband and my family insane. So, when I discovered the image above on Twitter, it inspired me to write about our trip and my never-ending ability to question and wonder. See, when I go on family vacations, sure they are fun and exciting, but, I also love to learn. My curiosity gets the best of me, and I have no clue what I would do without Google! I had no idea just how much influence England, especially Queen Elizabeth II, had on Canada. Of course my inquiring mind had to look up everything that I did not know. I learned so much about Canada’s history and even a great deal about England and the role of the royal family.

I never want to stop learning. I love to read and research. I  have often said the perfect job for me would be to have someone pay me to read or research. As an English major in college, I never minded writing research papers. In fact–and this is a fact that annoyed most of my friends and classmates–I rather enjoyed researching and writing essays and papers about my findings. I think my husband too is glad Google exists. Well, yes and no. He’s happy that I have somewhere to go for my non-stop questioning, but he’s not always so thrilled when I read all of my new found facts aloud to him. I just am so excited about new discoveries. I had visited Niagra Falls on the United States side when I was in college, but crossing the border was a whole new experience for me.

Last summer we received our passports in order to travel to Mexico. Our younger daughter now wants to collect stamps in her passport; however, we need to remind her that doing so is not cheap! Thus, a trip to Canada worked out well since it is about a 7-hour trip that could be made in our car. I recommend Canada to anyone. The falls are absolutely amazing, and the sights are astounding. We just happened to be visiting right before Canada’s 150 year celebration. So, everyone and everything in the country was in full swing. Visiting Toronto was also quite the experience. My girls loved the show Flashpoint, so seeing and especially entering the CN Tower just made their day. In addition, right beside the CN Tower is the new Ripley’s Aquarium and the Toronto Blue Jays Stadium. We did not enter the baseball stadium, but the aquarium was phenomenal! I am not a huge fan of sharks; in fact, growing up in the age of Jaws has pretty much scarred me for life. But, since my husband felt he was too large and my oldest daughter too scared, I crawled through the shark tunnel with my younger daughter. It was quite the experience having actual sharks swimming above and by you. I was scared, but thankfully, the tunnel was not very long.

The girls also had the opportunity to touch sand sharks and other sea creatures. The jellyfish displays were out of this world. Being an avid shoe lover and buyer, I could not leave Toronto without stopping by the Bata Shoe Museum. And, one of my favorite stops on the trip….Casa Loma. Wow–what an amazing venture the castle proved to be. Plus, I learned that many movies filmed various scenes within the castle. Of course, I did use Google to discover the ins and outs of how Sir Henry Pellatt came to have the money needed for building such an amazing structure. That search led to many others concerning the castle and its surroundings, but the knowledge was well worth it. Speaking of movies, we took the girls to TIFF, the building used or The Toronto Film Festival. Now, when I receive my People Magazine following the festival, I am hoping to recognize some of the streets and scenery when I see pictures of the stars arriving at various locations.

Before I end, I want to thank Twitter again for supplying the inspiration and motivation I needed for returning to one of the goals I set for myself. I will forever be curious; thus, I will forever drive my husband insane. But, that is okay. I am trying to teach my girls that they should be lifelong learners always thirsty for knowledge. As an educator, I believe this is a perfect motto for me. Thanks for reading.

If you have any questions about Canada–at least the parts I visited–I would be happy to share. Simply reach out to me. There are so many more experiences that I did not write about, for I could be writing for hours. However, I would be happy to answer questions. Curious minds like mine love other curious minds!

DEIDEI

 

I LOVE Being a Mother; I LOATHE Girl Drama

So, I said I would make a solid attempt to write daily no matter what. Since insomnia seems to be stealing my nights, I had to wait until after a long day of work. Considering that I fell asleep at 2:30 a.m. and awoke at 5:00 a.m. in order to prepare for work, I certainly could not keep my promise this morning. Anyway, my topic for today is girl drama; no one can escape it. Neither the pre-teen, the teen, nor the mother in this household is immune to girl drama. Girls are really mean today. I cannot remember if we were so mean to one another when I was a kid. I wrack my brain over the issue and wonder: Did I block it out? Did it really occur? Is it worse now than it was then? I really do not know, but I do know these two facts: Social media fuels girl drama, and….girl drama just might be the proverbial death of this mama.

I have two very different daughters. The older one is not too bothered by anything that happens to her. She’s been excluded, used, lied to, etc. She just rolls with the punches and lives on. My younger daughter allows the drama to plague her. My husband feels that the younger daughter overshares with me, but I would rather have that than no communication at all. Here’s the problem: I am a fierce mama bear, and my claws come out each time I hear of one of the abuses she suffers at school. Girls today have no limits, no boundaries, and they travel in mean-spirited gangs. I am convinced that my child is a target as a result of jealously. My husband do not look at our world through rose-colored glasses. We always try to view all incidents from the purposive that our daughter is probably not completely innocent. However, we do have proof that she is not the ring-leader, nor does she do anything more than defend herself.

Both of our girls have cell phones, phones that were bought and are maintained by my husband and myself. Therefore, there is an understanding in this home: the phones belong to the parents, and at any given moment, we have the right to ask for the phone and to search the phone. We do not do this often, and goal is not privacy invasion. However, the language used by some of our 7th grade daughter’s friends is absolutely filthy! In addition, the pictures they post of themselves are just downright demoralizing.

Without going into too much detail, I will share some of the posts written to my daughter. One girl called my daughter an obscene name because she refused to take pictures of her homework and send it to the girl. Both my husband and I were proud to see that our daughter responded, “Do your own work; I did mine by myself.” Another girl, in response to a shopping trip my daughter and I made, asked her, “Did you buy any clothing that is cuter than the clothing you usually wear to school?”

I guess I am amazed at the audacity of some of this young girls. In today’s society, it is so difficult to form close bonds and friendships because everyone seems to be so mean. I literally cry myself to sleep some nights after reading comments written to my daughter. Thank God I believe she is strong enough to handle them. My husband and I discuss the issues with her and make sure she is handling them appropriately. It is our hope that she keeps her self-esteem high no matter what. But, it is difficult in our technological society. My blood boils, and my husband tells me I need to relax. As a protective mother, I sometimes seethe when I think about the actions and comments my child must endure. Tim McGraw’s song states it best: :Stay humble and kind. We try to keep this as a family motto, but some days are harder than others. I think of the four of us, I struggle with this motto the most! I know it sounds crazy, but I just want to go loco on those girls who are cruel to my child.

I know that I cannot protect my children forever; I just wish girls today were kinder and gentler with one another. In addition to having two girls of my own, I teach middle school. So, I guess that does not help my cause any. All I can do is pray for God to give each one of us the strength we need on a daily basis to deal with those who take the low road. However, finding the high road is not at all easy. I know I am the adult and should find the high road more often than I do, but, regretfully, I must admit that I need work!

Oh how I am dreaming of the days when girl drama exits this home. Will they ever arrive? Please, share your stories so that I know I am not alone!

Dei

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?

Well, I am trying to hold true to my word by attempting to write at least once a day. Today’s topic concerns my journey to clear my house of clutter once and for all while also attempting to make a few bucks while doing so. My younger daughter is a soccer player, and her team is planning a trip to Europe–France, Belgium, and the Netherlands specifically–in two years. After attending the meeting a few nights ago, that means our family must come up with $14,000 in two years, approximately $3,500 per person. We’re not talking pocket change! So, I decided to purge the house of all unnecessary and unwanted items. Now, my task is to list those items on eBay and hope that at least some of them sell and bring me a bit of profit.

I’m arriving at my point. So, I’ve been working on listing and selling items now for a week or so, and I am so surprised by what sells and what does not. The items that I think will sell for a large sum of money often go for a few bucks or are left unsold. The items that I place on eBay simply as a crap shoot sell for way more than I ever would have imagined. I have been listing on eBay for a long time. I go on a streak; then I take a break. Over those years, I have read numerous articles about what to sell, what to look for at thrift shops and yard sales, etc. But, I think I have come to the conclusion that it’s really just a roll of the dice. Who’s on eBay this particular week? What are those people looking to purchase or collect? Right now, my highest selling item, the item that’s received more bids than any other is a Strawberry Shortcake Raspberry Tart monkey pet figurine that was once paired up with a Danbury Mint porcelain doll. I donated the doll herself to charity because the dolls were not profitable on eBay. However, I found the monkey figure lurking on a shelf in my room, so I thought, “Why not?”

Well, it’s a good thing I threw that item out there. I guess there is merit to the articles we read about making money online with eBay. I just wonder how well we can actually plan for what people are going to want and when. My journey will continue, for the amount of money to be raised is quite high! So, if you have any tips you would like to throw my way, I’ll grab my glove!

Dei

WOW, and THANK YOU SO MUCH!

WOW! I want to say THANK YOU to my new followers and to those of who have stayed with me, even though I myself have not remained consistent. I LOVE to write, but I must admit, my life has consumed me, and I have not touched this blog in such a long time. However, while checking my emails, I noticed that I had at least THREE new followers, and YOU motivated me to revisit this blog. That is why I am thanking you. I am grateful to you for awakening a passion in me, one that has gone dormant. As a mother, a wife, and full-time educator, I really do not have any time for myself. I suffer from anxiety, depression, and extreme perfectionism. So, I guess I feel obligated to put everyone else’s needs first. And let me tell you—it is exhausting!

I love my two children with all of my heart, but they are involved in everything, and when I say everything, I literally mean it. I used to laugh when I would see those “Mom’s Taxi” bumper stickers or magnets, but now I know they are not a joke! I am literally the driver to my two children whose activities dictate my life. Don’t get me wrong; I would rather they be active and involved than not, but some days I just want to breathe or go to the bathroom. Yes, it sounds silly, but as an educator, I am not permitted to ;eave my students alone in the classroom, not even to go to the bathroom. Back to my own children, though, they are ideal. Neither child earns anything less than A’s on the report card–one in HS and one in MS– and both take full advantage of all opportunities offered to them. People always tell me to take at least an hour for myself. My friends will say: Go get a massage; do something for you; go shopping, etc. Well, guess what? All of those activities require money, and mine is tied up in my children’s extracurriculars. I sometimes feel as though I ma drowning, and I sink farther and farther as the days pass. It is one thing to have two children of your own, but when you add 100 students who are not your own children, the days can be quite overwhelming. I teach MS, and some of those students are starving for attention. I have students who call me “Mom.” I love kids, but as I said, some days I just want to be me.

For this reason, I am again thanking those of you who followed this blog, despite my neglect of it. And, because of you, I am going to make a goal for myself: I am going to post to this blog at least once a day. I don’t care if I have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. or stay up until 2:00 a.m. This blog is going to serve as “me time.” I would really love to hear from those of you who might feel the same. In addition, I am going to read the blogs of others and begin to follow other blogs as well. This might just be the outlet I need to release some of my inner stress. The need to find and feel inner peace has been bogging me down for sometime now. My husband thinks I need therapy, but I have tried therapy to no avail. Perhaps using this blog as my personal journal and space to unwind will help me. So, please, join me in my venture to find the inner peace and harmony I so desperately seek!

Thank you again to those of you who have helped me see and understand what I have been missing. You have brought me back to this important place. God bless, and may I stick to my goal!

Dei

HOW CAN IT BE?

     It's a frightening world in which we live, a world that I will not 
even pretend to understand. For example, I will never comprehend how the taking of innocent lives by one individual or more makes the person or 
people involved heroes according to a religion or any other group
affiliation. I will never comprehend how any human being can be hard-
hearted enough to say that a two-year-old's life is not that big of a 
deal, especially since his father is "wealthy" and "privileged." I will
never know why children are so cruel to one another, so cruel that many 
teens take their own lives as a result. So many happenings in today's
world are unexplainable through my eyes.  The only words I have form the
question, "How can it be?"
     Here's what I do know:
*I am a mother to two precious children.
*The lives of my kids mean EVERYTHING to me.
*I would give anything for the happiness of my children, and by this I
do not mean resort to violence or spread any of the uncertainty to which I have alluded above.
*I would make great personal sacrifices to know that my children 
could freely travel and experience the world without fear.
*I pray that God--and that means whichever God one wants to worship if he
or she even chooses to do so--that God will keep my children safe, even
if they choose to venture beyond their own comfort zones.
     All I as a parent can do is educate my children about the different
beliefs that exist in this world. I am not a miracle worker; therefore, I cannot change the minds of others.  I can only hope that God follows my children wherever they choose to journey. I can only hope that my 
children WILL accept the differences of others and respect those 
differences. I never imagined that in the year 2016 so much human 
intolerance would be present in our lives and in our world.
     When I was pregnant with my first child, the Twin Towers were 
attacked in New York City, attacked, destroyed, decimated.  I cried and 
cried, wondering why I was bringing an innocent child into such an 
unstable world. At the time, I had no clue that the Twin Towers were 
only the beginning of what we as humans would endure at the hands of one
another.  Now, as my children grow older, I realize that they MUST live
their lives, despite the growing fears that face us not only as a society but as a world.
     It is still my belief that no one else has any right to steal the 
joy and happiness of others, no matter what their opinions and beliefs 
may be. We live in America; thus, we are free to live our own lives and 
make our own choices. But, under no circumstances should any one of those
choices involve stealing innocent lives untimely. I cannot even fathom
where the notion originated that such a practice is acceptable. Life is
short and precious. We all should be entitled to live our lives and be
as happy as we choose to be, regardless of our religions or beliefs. I 
will say it again: No human has any right to steal joy, happiness, or 
breath from any other human being. I can only hope as a mother who
loves her children more than anything in this world that they will never
be harmed by the hatred that is rapidly breeding and spreading in our own country and in the world. I will be praying each and every day for not
only the safety of my own children but for the safety of every human life in the world. My greatest desire is to see my children happy and safe, 
for they are the greatest gifts God has bestowed upon me, and what God 
has created and shared with me and others, no one else should feel he or she has the right to steal or destroy.

God Bless our world and everyone in it.

~A mother's hopes and prayers for a broken world

WHY NOT CREATE THE ONE-SEASON SHOW?

My husband, daughters, and I have become Netflix addicts this summer.  However, even before my husband and I began our journey with the show Revenge, we pondered this question:  Why don’t networks allow some shows to just run for one season?  Our thought started back with the show The Slap.  Actually, I guess you could say our beef began with the two cancelled shows that we started but never were able to finish:  Skin (I think that was the title) and Reunion.  Skin was a Romeo-Juliet themed show, and Reunion was about a murdered friend.  Anyway, I digress slightly.  Back to my point:  Some shows would be great if they just lasted for one season.  Is there anything so wrong with that?  I suppose it’s an issue of money perhaps.  However, as a viewer, I believe quality is better than quantity.

I will begin with the show The Slap.  In the beginning, my husband and I were intrigued by the concept but not quite sure we bought in to a show about one single incident.  We did, however, overcome our doubts and ended up enjoying the show–well, I never did quite get over my annoyance pertaining to the narrator’s voice, but that’s beside the point.  No offense to the narrator; I just did not think his voice fit the part.  So, as we watched the show, we became even more involved, loving every twist and turn that was well executed.  We were not overly thrilled with the babysitter affair, but hey, as Hollywood proves, that’s life!  At the end of the show, my husband and I both agreed that it was indeed a terrific program; however, we would be just fine if it ended after one season.

What more could the writers possibly create about one slap?  Trust me, as a mother, I would be just as angry as Rosy; however, I just do not see how the show could continue and still be as fascinating as it was the first season.  To be honest, I do not even know the show’s fate, but I do know that I wish some programs could be written for just one season.  As I said, my husband and I are engrossed in Revenge right now.  The writing is amazing; I love the plot twists.  I especially enjoy Emily VanCamp’s ability to be sugary sweet on the outside yet so cleverly conniving and ruthless underneath it all.  She is truly an amazing actress, and the writers are brilliant.  But, again, we looked at the episode list and noticed 20 plus episode titles, just for season 1.  Now, even though we are still hanging on to the edge of our seats until the next episode, we are starting to wonder how this show can pull out three more seasons that will be equally as exciting as the first.  Without giving too much away in case some readers have this show on their Netflix, Roku, etc. list of to-watch shows, we are beginning to say to one another,”I think this show could have ended successfully shortly after the “Fire and Ice” episode.  Quick side note–I just adore Nolan’s character; something about him cracks me up yet cause me to feel sympathy for him at the same time!

Even though we feel this way, that the show could be wrapped up and we would be satisfied, we still plan to watch every episode of every season.  But, we are wondering if this show will turn into a 24 for us.  Keifer is fabulous, and his show entertained us greatly.  But, after a LONG while, we watched just because we started and wanted to see the show through to the end.  So, back to the essential question:  Would it be so awful if writers merely planned some shows to last for just one season?

As stated in the beginning of the article, just as we wish some shows would finish after one season, we also wish some shows would be forced to at least finish one season.  Allow me to explain.  One of our biggest viewing pet peeves is when we start watching a show, and it is cancelled after just a few episodes or halfway through the season.  One ironic part of this concept:  Red Band Society was another one of those shows that ended way before I was ready.  The main doctor in that show, Dave Annable, was in two cancelled shows that really upset me–Red Band Society, obviously, and Reunion.  Could they not at least have revealed the killer and the victim on Reunion?  I think the unknowing is what upset me the most.  Goes with the overused saying, “Inquiring minds wan to know…”    So, while I would love to see some shows written for just one season, I also wish others would at least make it for a season.  I realize some shows are just awful, and I suppose I am biased toward the shows I particularly enjoy.

Anyone else feel the same?  Disagree?  I would love feedback and interaction with others.  Hope you enjoyed my thoughts.

DEIDEI

NEVER WOULD I HAVE IMAGINED…HAVING KIDS CHANGES EVERYTHING

Growing up, my family was somewhat poor.  Both of my parents worked, but their incomes were meager.  As a family of four, we survived on one car, one car!  I can remember my mom, my brother, and I walked everywhere.  My dad needed the car more than we did most of the time.  So, it is difficult for my children to understand what life was like for me.  They have so many more opportunities than I ever had, and my husband and I made that a goal of ours.  Although their experiences often leave me fatigued and questioning myself, in the end, I am glad that I can offer my children experiences I never had as a child or teen.

We owned one television set in our home, and it was one of those bulky floor models that did not come with a remote control.  One literally had to rise out of a chair to change the channel.  And, guess what?  Usually, my dad relied upon my brother or myself for this task.  He worked all day and was tired.  Watching sports was his reward.  As a young girl, I watched hockey, baseball, basketball, and football.  However, anything we watched revolved around all Philly teams.  My husband, though, was grateful to my father for raising a daughter who understood all aspects of the sports he too enjoyed.  As an athlete myself, my experiences were limited.  I was very involved, but the sports choices were not as numerous as they are today.  For example, my school did not even have girls’ soccer.  We did have field hockey, but you could only try out for a team in high school.  That did not offer much of an opportunity to build the skills necessary to be highly successful.  My younger brother ended up being the natural athlete, so I ran track and cross country.  I also joined the cheerleading squad.  My  dad was a bit old-schooled in the sense that certain sports were male sports.  Plus, I really was not as talented as my brother in basketball or softball.  I accepted my abilities and fared well in the sports in which I engaged.

I am happy to say that today young girls have so many more choices.  I’m not sure I agree with starting girls on soccer at the age of three, but my husband and I did just that.  We did not want either girl to fall behind the others.  So, both girls began their athletic journeys in soccer, gymnastics, and dance.  Our girls are two-and-a-half years apart, so their involvement did include–and still does– some juggling of time on our part.  We would never survive as a one-car family!  As time progressed, each girl formed her own personality and decided which activities she wanted to continue and which she wanted to surrender.  The older daughter no longer enjoyed either soccer or dance/gymnastics.  The younger daughter stuck with both for a bit but eventually kept soccer while discarding dance/gymnastics.  These decisions left our older daughter with a dilemma.  Our family rule is two-fold:  1.  Neither child may quit in the midst of an activity and 2.  Each child must participate in at least ONE activity, just to maintain some sort of exercise and team unity.

So, our oldest thought about the situation and came to us one night and said, “I want to try swimming.”  Swimming is a great sport but one that posed a problem for us.  Our rural school does not have a pool.  Neither my husband nor myself attended a school with a pool, so our knowledge of swimming was quite limited.  We started investigating and found an aquatic club she could join 40 minutes from our home.  Yes, it was quite a hike, especially when practices are three nights a week and meets are every Saturday and sometimes Sunday.  However, we decided to make the sacrifice.  Our daughter was nine at the time.  She is now thirteen and entering high school.  So, even though her school has neither a pool nor a swim team, she is able to attend meets at the school 40 minutes away in order to swim for time and try to qualify for league and state meets.  Our youngest also decided to try swimming and is still participating.  My husband and I learned the sport quickly and have become very active in swimming.  Swimming is a lifetime sport that our girls can incorporate into their lives, even if they never take their participation beyond the high school level.  We have taken them to meet numerous Olympic swimmers, including Michael Phelps.  I never imagined I would become such an avid fan of swimming, but  both my husband and I have added swimming to our list of favorites.

Just as we have added swimming, we have also thrown in soccer.  My husband played soccer as a kid and for two years in high school.  As I mentioned previously, my school had a boys’ soccer team back in the early 90’s but not a girls’ soccer team.  So, yet again, I was introduced to another new sport.  I embraced soccer but did not quite grasp all of the rules and plays.  Thus, at games, my husband would yell at me, stand away from me, send me texts, and shoot me evil looks when I yelled at our daughter.  He told me, “If you want to yell, at least know what you’re yelling.  You sound foolish.”  He was right–please do not tell him I admitted that one.  Anyone, this year, I watched every single World Cup women’s soccer game.  I can name every player on the U.S. team and have really come to enjoy watching women’s soccer.  I think I watched more games than anyone else in my family.  I learned about offsides–which I never understood–and I picked up the term “set pieces.”  I think that is the correct term.  Anyway, I told my husband that I am ready to cheer this season, now that I am equipped with knowledge and terminology!  I became a very loyal fan of Hope Solo and Julie Johnston.  In fact, my little one has her very own replica Solo jersey and said she hopes she can play like Julie Johnston this year.  Don’t get me wrong–I love the entire team, but these two women play positions similar to those of my daughter.  Through my daughters, I am learning so much!

That leads me to another new sport for me.  In middle school my oldest daughter joined the field hockey team.  I again had to learn a new sport and new rules.  She enjoyed the sport for two years, but she’s not the most aggressive child.  So, this year, as she approaches high school, we have moved on to golf.  As a 13-year-old, she has a mighty swing.  Her professional golf trainer informed us that she can hit the ball 200 yards no problem.  I was super impressed.  I won’t lie; I have always deemed golf to be boring.  Yet again, through my kids, I was proven wrong.  My husband took my daughter to two days of the Woman’s PGA Golf Tour in Lancaster, PA, and she loved it.  She came home with about ten autographs, including big swingers such as Michelle Wie, Inbee Park, and others.  Her excitement caused me to tune in to the rest of the tournament, and now I’m following golf!  I found myself researching the players and learning all about the sport!  NEVER would I have pictured myself as one to become involved in the sport of golf.  Children change one’s perspective on so many aspects of life.  I love becoming excited with my girls, and I will learn whatever I must to be just as enthusiastic about whatever it is that they enjoy.  High School golf has already begun, and the first match is just weeks away.  I am really pumped to see what my daughter can do.  She is the only girl on her school’s team, and one of only a handful in our entire league.

Before I finish, I cannot forget to mention what the girls have taught me musically.  As a child, I tried the violin, but I was not adept at reading music.  To me, reading music is difficult.  Somehow, both of my girls picked up the knack for it.  My oldest played the flute for four years but is giving it up as she enters high school.  Although her choice saddens me, I support her.  My youngest plays the clarinet, the snare drums, the ukulele, and the guitar.  Their talents amaze me greatly.  Both girls sing in the chorus program at their schools.  My husband and I divide and conquer quite a bit so that they are able to pursue their dreams, talents, desires.  And, as I said, Yes, there are times when I feel absolutely drained.  But, I would not give up the experiences and opportunities they have gained through the various sports, music, and other endeavors they have attempted.  I myself have grown through them and feel that I will continue to do so.

I think one of the funniest aspects of all of this is the transformation that has occurred in my father, the girls’ grandfather.  I can guarantee that during my childhood years, he would never have 1.  taken me to so many activities and 2. would never have come to swim meets, golf outings, musical performances, etc.  My 9th grade year of high school, I performed in the high school’s musical which ran for four nights.  My dad showed up to one and informed me that he would not attend another.  Both of my girls performed in their fifth grades musicals, and he attended EVERY show.  It is indeed amazing what our children are able to accomplish but even more astounding what their accomplishments are able to bring out in the adults around them.  I am so proud of my girls and will continue to support their endeavors, no matter how exhausted I may feel.  I just hope they never give up their desire to constantly try and learn something new.  I truly believe learning is a lifelong process, and I want them engaged in that process always.

DEIDEI