Friday, May 23, 2014

Spelling Bee Finalist……Ahren!

  Earlier this year Levi made it into the 3rd-5th grade spelling bee finals. He ended up in fourth place, which was fine by him. He did NOT want to have to participate at the county and state levels. I have a sneaking suspicion he threw the competition in order to avoid those.
  The second grade does their own spelling bee. Second graders are not included at the higher competition levels, but the school holds their own competition to introduce the concept. Jon is a fantastic speller and I was hopeful he might make it into the finals. Nope, in usual Jon fashion, he did not listen as they gave him his first word and he spelled something completely different. We were not surprised. Ahren is a good reader but spelling didn't seem to be his thing. He didn't care whether he ever spelled anything correctly. He is just so laid back! This time he really surprised us! he took the whole spelling bee business very seriously. He knew that Levi won the bee two years ago when he was in second grade. He had a fire in his belly and a determination we had never seen before. He studied, he talked about it, and he made it to the finals!!!
  The finals were yesterday afternoon and Chris and I both went. There were fifteen finalists, three from each class. There are a total of about 120 second graders in all, so being a finalist was a big honor! We were so proud of him. He stood up tall, spoke clearly and loudly, asked for the word in a sentence politely and was amazing. Unfortunately he didn't win. He took 8th place. The word that tripped him up was 'different'. He missed the middle e. He had already spelled some really tough words and made it through many rounds. In fact, he lasted almost an hour. Wow!!!
  So proud of this boy. And to think english is not even his first language!!!!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Magna Cum Laude

This morning my first child, Kaytee, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology. I didn't cry. I did mist up a little but you will see why in a moment. I have come to terms with losing my baby and gaining an adult daughter. 

Here she is 2 hours into the ceremony. Believe me honey when I say we know how you felt! There were 1300 graduates in the college of liberal arts and they called every single name and listed their honors. Every. Single. One.

 Here is most of the gang sitting in the audience to support her. From left to right, Chris my husband, me, Kaytee, Chris her dad, Ashley and Uncle Greg her dad's brother. Taking the photo was Matt, Kaytee's awesome boyfriend.
 Here is Matt and Kaytee. Kaytee is tall and wearing heels and still Matt is quite a bit taller. They are quite the photogenic couple!

Here is me and Chris with our special girl. I am  not short! She is just tall!!! LOL!!!
 They have many, many traditions at A&M. One is that they can get special sashes for graduation that they then give to people who were the most instrumental in supporting them through their college career. Kaytee got two, one for her Dad and  one for my Chris, her step-Dad. That is when I got very teary. Having a good relationship between them has been a huge blessing. Having her acknowledge her step-dad was amazing. I think Chris got a little misty-eyed, too.
 Here are the two Dads with their special sashes. What an amazing sight! What an amazing girl.
 These three girls have known each other since second grade. All three graduated today. One day they were skinny little pigtailed squirts and the next grown women. Unbelievable!
 Just as crazy as ever!
 Uncle Greg giving Kaytee a gift. He may be my ex-brother-in-law but I will always love him. He is one of the best, kindest, most thoughtful men I have ever known. He is the one thing I lost in the divorce that I truly regret!!!

A view of Reed Arena with all the graduates and attendees. It is the same arena Kaytee had her high school graduation in but this was much more impressive.
 The celebrity couple giving the thumbs up sign and showing off their Aggie rings. (Matt graduated in December)
And to update everyone on Ashley, she did NOT have meningitis but most likely a viral encephalitis. That is just a virus that causes inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. She has bounced back very quickly like only the young can do.

Saturday, May 03, 2014


  This has been a rough week for my "A" kiddos. Ahren got sick last Sunday and by Tuesday was struggling to breathe. Took him to the doctor and got new meds. He stayed home Wednesday but by Thursday was sounding really good so off he went. Then Friday he woke up coughing a little. By 11 am the nurse had called me twice and reported he was rapidly getting worse and two breathing treatments had not helped. So off we went back to the doctors office. His blood oxygen level was 92 and close to the level where he would have been admitted to the hospital. Another treatment and he came up to 96%. Better, but not normal. We decided to have him get a bonus of steroids and see if that helped. If not then he would be headed to the hospital for admission. Luckily the big shot in his derrière helped and he began to breathe easier within the hour. Now he is on oral steroids for 9 days. It really helps him breathe but it turns him into a mood-swinging monster.
  Today Ashley is in the hospital. She had been sick last week with a cold/infected throat but had been feeling better. Then today she woke up really feeling lousy with a massive headache and a really stiff neck. Off to the doc-in-a-box  to see what was up. They sent her straight to the medical center to have tests to check for meningitis, among other things. She has had all the usual blood and urine tests, plus a CT scan of head and neck. They attempted a spinal tap but couldn't get the needle in so right now they have her in radiology using x-Ray to guide the needle. I am sitting here staring at her blood on the sheets and my heart aches. The doctor thinks she may have viral meningitis, not bacterial, which is good. Much less dangerous. There is not treatment, just time to recover. It means several weeks of headaches, possibly, but not life threatening apparently. I am very impressed with this hospital and how fast they are moving. They took her back immediately when she arrived and within an hour had most of the tests complete. I barely got here (I am 70 min away) before they had whisked her to radiology. I will update later when we have all the results.
What a week........