Monday, May 31, 2010

Life's a beach

Greetings from Fort Walton Beach, Florida! We are on our way to Tallahassee to take Mike to FSU's freshman orientation, but we decided to come down a couple days early for a beach mini-vacation. I tried to post last night, but the wi-fi in our hotel room was acting wonky, so it just wasn't happening.

Last night we went to dinner at Gilligan's in Destin. We had fried cheese and steamed oysters and grouper--on sandwiches and platters. Oh, yeah, and Gilly punch and beer for the grown-ups:

Today we spent the entire day on the beach. I was worried about the weather, which was rainy this morning. It cleared off though and stayed beautiful throughout the day. Here are the kids this morning when we got to the beach:

Now they look pretty much the same, just pinker in spots. Yes, we probably overdid it, but this was our one and only beach day, and we weren't giving up a minute!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pomp, circumstance

Sorry it has taken me so long to post graduation photos. We spent the weekend basking in the luxury of not doing much in particular, and it felt great, especially after those last crazy couple of weeks.

Mike did indeed graduate Friday night, and here's the proof:

After the ceremony, Mike's friend Mark took a great photo of all of us together:

We went in with 6 other graduates and their families and hosted a post-graduation luau at the Fort Knox golf club. The food was catered by a Samoan family, and it was really amazing. I was especially touched that the principal and several teachers attended the party. This really is a special bunch of kids! Here are Mike and his fellow grads getting ready to cut the cake:

The graduation festivities didn't end there. After the luau, the seniors partied all night at Project Grad, a lock-in hosted at the youth center by the PTO. And then yesterday we were dressed up once again to attend a scholarship presentation from the Fort Knox Spouses and Community Club:

This week we will be hanging out at home, just enjoying having Fred home and being together. Next week we will go to Florida--first to Fort Walton Beach for a couple of nights and then to Tallahassee for Mike's freshman orientation. The time is going by too fast!

Speaking of time going by too fast, check this out:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Look who's here!

Fred arrived this morning from Afghanistan to begin 2 weeks of leave:

Don and Mary are in town for Mike's graduation, so we had a happy family reunion at the airport:

Graduation festivities have kicked off. Tonight was baccalaureate, which was very nice. Here is a picture of Mike with Ms. Turner, the school principal:

Graduation tomorrow!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Underclassmen awards night

Tonight was the awards ceremony for the 9th through 11th graders, and it was Annabelle's turn to shine. She got:
  • Academic letter
  • Academic certificate for all A's and B's
  • German 2 certificate and medal
  • Geometry certificate
  • AP US History certificate
  • Environmental Science certificate and medal
  • Humanities certificate and medal
  • Music theory certificate
Here she is receiving her medal and certificate for German 2:

And here she is with her 2 Advanced Placement teachers:

She has had such an amazing experience in their classes this year!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Senior awards night

FKHS held their annual ceremony recognizing the senior class tonight. Mike's buddy Mark was there with his mas macho camera and got some great pictures for us.

Here is Mike accepting his Air Force ROTC scholarship:

Sharing a moment with friends:

And with Annabelle and me after the ceremony:

Here is the one photo I took that turned out halfway decent. Rather Pattonesque, don't you think?

I tried to note all the times Mike's name got called, but I eventually lost track. When we got home, I had him make me a list of the various scholarships and awards:
  • AFROTC Scholarship
  • Torre Mallard Scholarship ($500)
  • Spouses Club Scholarship
  • Yearbook Medal
  • AP English Medal
  • Math Analysis Certificate
  • Current Events Certificate
  • Government Certificate
  • Auto CAD Certificate
  • Career Practicum Certificate
  • German III Certificate
  • KHSAA Academic All State First Team
  • Certificate of Academic Achievement (all A's)
  • President's Education Award (Obama Letter)
Probably the most memorable moment for us was when he received the Torre Mallard Scholarship. That is a school award given in memory of Captain Torre R. Mallard, a West Point graduate and former FKHS student who was killed in Iraq a couple years ago. Ms. Wahlberg choked up when she presented the award, and you could tell that she thought an awful lot of CPT Mallard. I know Mike is honored to have been selected to receive this scholarship.

Friday, May 07, 2010

What does happy look like?

Happy looks like this:

Here at FKHS students generally don't take Advanced Placement classes until their junior year. Annabelle, however, has taken 2 APs (English and US History, also called "APUSH") as a freshman. It has been scary at times, and she has worked her butt off, even pulling the occasional all-nighter, but she has done great and hung in there with the best and brightest of the junior class.

Today was the national APUSH exam, and English will be next week. She won't know her score until sometime later in the summer, but she felt really good about it when it was over. Perhaps that was the lucky socks doing their work? She had put them away a couple weeks ago to let them build up their special powers for the AP exams.

After the test, her class stopped at the food court at the mall for lunch. I filched this picture from a classmate's Facebook wall:

Now that's a whole lot of happy!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Buddy is front-page news down in Deland! The little local newspaper paid a visit to my parents' house last week to meet them, Buddy, and some of the other Buddy buddies. Check it out!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Happy birthday to Fred!

Today is Fred's birthday, but we're holding off the celebration for another couple of weeks. He is already in the process of sending stuff home as the end of the deployment starts to come into sight, so it didn't make much sense for me to send still MORE stuff in that direction.

I posted this song on his Facebook wall today, but I'll share it here as well:

I became aware of it for the first time when we were on vacation in Jamaica last year, and I always think of Fred when I hear it.

Other notable happenings of the day:

The kids had their first rehearsal for Bye Bye, Birdie and enjoyed themselves. I'm glad they get to share this experience this summer before Mike goes off to college.

While they were rehearsing, I went shopping. I absolutely SCORED on workout wear at TJMaxx--4 bottoms, 3 tops. I guess this means I have to keep going to the gym . . .

I also went to the fabric store, where I fell in love with the most amazing fabric. It's kind of a very short terry-cloth or velour knit, but it's as stable as a woven because it has an eyelet design sewn into it:

It was on sale for $3 a yard, so five yards of it followed me home, but I don't know what it wants to be. Any ideas? I see it as a skirt or sundress, but it's pretty heavy--those 5 yards weigh 5 pounds!

Vogue patterns were on sale for $4, so I grabbed this one:

Can you believe that the retail price for that pattern is $27.50? That's insane!

I also bought 2 Butterick patterns the other day:


So now I have 3 patterns with no fabric and 5 pounds/yards of fabric with no pattern.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Guten Appetit!

I am friends with Mike and Annabelle's German teacher, so she invited me to go along on the German 2 and 3 classes' recent field trip to a local German restaurant. I can't say nein to German food, so I pedaled extra hard in spin class that morning and then climbed on the big yellow bus bound for the Schnitzel Barn. I had never been before, but it was pretty good for German food in the middle of America, and I would happily go again.