Life has been a whirlwind since I last wrote. I attended the rodeo two nights in a row, or a school night....crazy if you know how early I go to bed. I had spring break, where Apollonio [my precious yard guy] made my yard beautiful, and installed sprinklers to keep it beautiful! During spring break, my precious nephew turned 1!! Then it was my daddy's birthday, and then Easter. It has been hard to celebrate so many holidays and special occasions without the hubs, but God has provided me with the greatest support network. As the end of April was approaching, I began to get in a funk again, for as many of you know, Russell and I have the same [exact] birthday. We were turning 25 on the 25th. I, knowing Russell would not have family in Iraq to surround him with love, wanted to show him how loved he was from afar. I had 25 individuals/groups of family/friends each sign up for a day of April, with me signing up for the 25th. On their assigned day, these friends/family members prayed for Russell. This blessed Russell because many sent him cards/emails of encouragement. What I didn't expect, is how it would bless me. I had many of these same friends sending me notes of encouragement, and letting me know how Russell was special to them. It was amazing. Then a week before my birthday, since my roomie Linds would be gone the next weekend, She and Mandy [with the help of Mandy and my families] threw me a surprise birthday party. I was in total shock, and when I got over my fear of [why are there so many legs in my living room...yes legs, and not people], I had so much fun. Fast-forward 6 days, and Mandy turned 25 on the 23rd. We decorated the bathroom to surprise her when she woke up, and then I accompanied her family to Chuy's that night to continue the festivities. Saturday I had my usual skype date with Russell [where he told me he would be unable to call me on my birthday]. It was a great conversation, though I was a little sad knowing that I have talked to him on every birthday that I have known him [since our19th]. Sunday morning, I am getting read for church and my phone rings amid text messages. I was currently putting hot rollers [literally from the 70's in my hair] when my phone rings. I assume it is a family member confirming birthday lunch plans. It is a family member, RUSSELL who lied and knew he would be calling the next morning. I just love that man. I had a yummy hibachi grilled lunch with the fam and a couple of my bffs, and then laid out with Mandy at mom and dad's. The past month has been a whirl-wind of finishing up school [which is so hard to do when the 5th graders you teach are so over it and you want to be as well, but as the adult, you have no choice.] I was very proud of my kids when their TAKS scores came in, and then when they took benchmarks. The day after their final benchmark, we had field day. It was STINKING hot, but praise the Lord the 5th grade got a morning slot, and we got popsicles at the end. Mrs. Lambert's Looney Tunes won a few events, got third place over-all, but our proudest feat was winning the Spirit Award. I constantly drill into my students that they need to be nice to everyone, cheer for the kid you really don't like as well as your best friend, show character, etc. It was very exciting when one of the coaches, who is a christian man talked about how having spirit involves having a good character. I was thrilled for my [mostly] sweet, sweaty Looney Tunes. School ended with many fun events for the 'seniors' of the school. Their fifth grade dinner/graduation/awards night was particularly sweet. The hugs, and words of what you meant to them melted my heart. My partner and I read them the Dr Seuss book 'Oh the Places You'll Go" We were crying from the get go, and so were they. I cannot lie and say I loved everything about my first year of teaching, but I have learned and grown so much. On the last day, when nearly all of my 47 students were crying, I was bittersweet. Happy to have a year under my belt, and happy they had finished, but sad knowing those kiddos split to 3 middle schools, and knowing I will be teaching at a different school next year [I was on the excess list]. Wednesday night we went to dinner for Lindsee's 25th, and bless our waiter's heart, but the way to a girl is not by shoving whipped cream into her face. Unfortunately the night's festivities were cut a little short for me. Russell called and said his leave [that was scheduled for 10 days from then] had been canceled. His unit is returning 1.5 months early, YAY, but therefore no more soldiers were getting to go home on leave, BOO! I was crushed. My sweet roomies hugged and loved on me, as well as stopped on the way home to get me some goodies. Friday, my first official day of summer, I spent cleaning. I have grown to enjoy cleaning, or at least the result of cleaning. Friday night we had a birthday party for Lindsee. Jenny and Jenn came to our house where we noshed on some snacks. We then met Lindsee and Jenny's friend Heather for some bowling, then went to B.J.'s for some YUMMY food and met Linds' and Jen's parents, and a couple more girlfriends. The night ended back at Grove Brook Lane for some cake [funfetti, no less for our girl ;)] and drinks. By this weekend, I was sad that I would still have to wait 2.5 months to see Russell, and that I would already be back in school and not off when he was. Saturday morning I went to Chimelewski Farms in Hocklyish [a mere 10 minutes from my house] with Adriana [oldest sister] and Lindsee. We met Bonnie, Russ, and Noah. We then had ourselves a blast picking blueberries and sweating....we enjoyed only the former. I also am super excited about the honey I purchased for Russell. It is made at the farm [he loves local honey] and has a slight blueberry taste to it! I then went to lunch with my fun bunco girls as we were saying farewell to Lindsay. She is a jr high friend who I was able to reconnect with this year at Postma. She is currently driving to Colorado. After a quick dip in my parents pool to cool off from our lunch on the patio, I went to Mary Haddad's graduation party. She is one of the Senior girls in the youth group. She is in Lindsee's 242 group, and has hung out with the Roomies and me on several occasions. It was great to celebrate her and to see so many friends from church, as well as have some delish homemade Mediterranean food. Russell calls Saturday nights, and did not tell me that he would be calling at a different time, even though he works the night shift now to avoid some of the heat. Around 8:30 I noticed he'd tried to call 4 times in the past hour. A few minutes later he called again as Mandy and I were leaving. He says he has more bad news, which I just can not take right now. The bad news he proceeds to tell me is 'you will have to drive to the airport sometime next weekend'. That's right, his leave is BACK ON!!!! I am just thrilled, though slightly guarded knowing there is a slim chance it could get canceled again.
Wow...I realize I just posted a book...with no apparent organization or pictures [which I might remedy later]. I am now off to the gym to get out some of this giddy energy I have :)