Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11, 2009

Good morning everyone!





I know that it's been forever since I last posted, but it seemed that I always wanted to wait because more exciting things were going to happen. Well, I'm done waiting and am ready to write!





Let's start with Duke. He is almost 1. I cannot even believe it. He has been a wonderful addition to our family. We are definitely going to throw him a party on his birthday! We all love him so much. He can sit, shake, high 5, speak, and crawl. He's so smart. However, on Jim's birthday, while he was out of town, Duke bit into a battery and got acid on his tongue. Aaron and I spent a few hours at th vet with him. He had burns on his tongue all the way to the back of his throat. It was crazy. His tongue has just now finally healed. I bought him Frosty Paws, which is doggie ice cream and he LOVES it. When we have a special dessert, he gets to eat his peanut butter flavored Frosty Paws!





Aaron starts his senior year in a couple of months. How nuts is that? I still remember him as a 5-year old going to school at Wee Love. He took the SAT and ACT and did well on both of them. Although, he will take the SAT again in November. He has already looked at Seattle Pacific University. We also have plans to go to Gonzaga in October. Also, WSU is having a "Meet the Cougars" day in September at Quest Field. He liked SPU a whole bunch. He's definitely on the college train. So, that's good. He's got all of his classes ready to go for senior year and he's all on track. We still need to get his pictures done. Let's just pray and keep our fingers crossed that he gets his grades up next year. He starts driver's ed on the 20th. He's a little scared, but I know he'll do great. His driver's ed is taught by police officers, so that should be interesting. Jim and I are very proud of him and are excited to see the great things he does this upcoming year.





Kyle will also start his senior year. He has just grown leaps and bounds since he moved in with us three years ago. Jim and I are just so proud of him. Kyle also went to SPU and adored it. He's also going to Gonzaga to visit the campus. In August, him and I are going to PLU for a campus visit. He's very excited about going to college and will go and see just about any campus. He also took the SAT and ACT and did great. He is going to retake the SAT in November. Most colleges recommend that you take the SAT twice. Kyle has finished driver's ed and will be eligible to get his license next month, so watch out! Kyle finished the last quarter with a 3.9 GPA and has a 3.2 cumulative GPA. WOW!! He was also selected as"Student of the Month" in May. As most of you know, he was handpicked to go on a trip to DC in September. He also spent a week in DC with his aunt, uncle, and grandma. When he came home he had tons of stories to tell, he had a phenomenal time. He did cross country last year and will be doing it agin this upcoming year. He will be a busy little beaver.





Can you even believe that Mike will be a freshman? It's just crazy! He did football last year and will do it again this year. Football is so good for him, he always comes home exhausted and sleeps wonderfully. He is excited to be going into highschool. He was in choir again last year and will be doing choir again this upcoming school year. He's also been pretty happy to be ungrounded. We're hoping too, that his grades improve this next year. Not too much has been going on with him. He's becoming such a wonderful young man.



Kahlan will be at the middle school all by herself. I think she'll be happy about that. She'll be a 7th grader. She loves school. She gets good grades and is never in trouble. She is, however, into all the drama that goes with being in middle school. She played the trumpet in the band last year and had a blast. It was amazing to hear how much better she got from September to June. She will not be doing band this upcoming year, but will follow in her older brothers' footsteps and do choir. She's also talking about doing volleyball this year too. She too is enjoying her summer. I just wish she had more girl friends to play with. It's so hard for her to be the only girl.

Adam will be a big bad 3rd grader. Yikes! He had the best teacher in 2nd grade. Her name was Mrs. Prey and she has been Adam's favorite teacher so far. She actually made him like school. He will be doing soccer starting in August. He's so excited he can barely contain himself. We had Adam's cousin for about 10 days. They had a blast. It was so good for both of them to have another little boy to play with. He has also found the telephone. Him and his friend Ryan talk to each other quite often. They are very chatty. It's pretty funny. He's spent the night at Ryan's house. It was his very first non-family sleepover. I was a wreck, but he did great. He didn't miss us at all. He's a great kid and growing up way too fast.

Onto me. As most of you know, I was Adam's classrooms' art docent. I am hoping to do it again this upcoming school year. I had a blast and Adam was pleased as punch to see me in his classroom. I also became Vice-President and Volunteer Coordinator of the Poulsbo Middle School PTA. The real work hasn't started yet, but it will be a great learning experience. As some of you know, I'm also working to start my own non-profit. It's a pretty long and arduous process (there is so much paperwork), but I know it will be worth it in the long run . What I'm looking to do is cover certain school costs (like graphing calculators & other school supplies, the cost of breakfasts and lunches until they can get on the free/reduced plan, the SAT/ACT fees and field trips) and sports costs (like the cost of physicals, cleats, and the enrollment fee to join the sport). I will only work with the principals of the schools. They seem to know what it is going on most of the time. In the beginning, I will only work in the North Kitsap School District. If it goes well, than I can branch out to other school districts. It will require a lot of time, energy, and patience, but I'm so excited to do this. I have also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Which explains why I've gained all the weight I have. I've been on the medicine for about 4 weeks. I go back next week for more bloodwork and then back the following week to see my doc and find out what's going on. Other than that I'm just enjoying the summer with the kids.

Jim Jim Jim. He's been working a lot of overtime lately. His boss was in town for two weeks a little while back and, of course, threw a monkey wrench into everything. It was nuts. Jim has been having ringing in ears since he took the flight to Chesapeake in October. He recently went to the doctor and found out he has lost quite a bit of hearing. He's been to his regular doctor, a hearing doctor, and an ENT. He will be having an MRI and if that comes back normal, he will have more bloodwork. If that comes back normal, he will just have to live with it. Ugh! Over the 4th of July weekend, we went and visited his brother and sister-in-law. It was a lot of fun. They have a ton of land and the kids and Duke could just roam and be kids. When we came back on Sunday, we were all exhausted. But, it was worth it.

I think that's about it. Please forgine any typos or grammatical errors, I just want to get this posted. I will ty my hardest not to go so long without giving you guys any updates. Just know that ALL of us miss and love you all so very much. I hope that we can see everyone real soon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25

Hello again everyone! We are gearing up for Thanksgiving and the kids are soooo excited.

Aaron is doing well. He's been practicing for his winter concert. He's also back to selling candy bars for choir. Part of the proceeds go toward the trip to Canada in May, which is nice...less money we have to pay. His grades fluctuate. I was really hoping that he would have a handle on them by now. Oh well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. He was talkng about how he needed to bring up his GPA to get into UW. However, he also said that CWU had a much higher acceptance rate. So, who knows where his head is at. I'm just thankful he's planning on going to college.

Kyle's grades continue to be fantastic, we really couldn't be more proud of him. He has joined swimming and likes it. (I think) He was sick last week and had to stay home one day. Unfortunately, he missed his XC banquet. He still has a little bit of a cold. I don't think he should be in the pool, but he tells me it's okay. He feels fine. He is currently taking Culinary Arts. His teacher said that he has real talent and is a hard worker. When is he going to cook for us? He is talking about joining the military after he graduates. I'm not feeling real good about that. It is a noble career choice....but...

Mike....Mike is Mike. His grades are also fluctuating. It's so frustrating as parents to watch that. He is so smart. He was taken out of Math 8 and put into Algebra I which is soooo good for him. He was suspended from the bus for three days last week. I said it in the last blog and I'll say it again....football needs to be year round. He has so much pent up energy and does not know how to handle it. He was also accidentally hit in the face last week and actually got a fat lip. The fist hit him right below the lip and then the inside of his lip hit his braces. Ouch! He is also getting ready for his winter choir concert. I can't wait!

Kahlan is also doing fantastically grade wise. We are so proud of her. She has made the transition from elementary school to middle school seamlessly. That makes me so happy. She has made a really good friend named Kaevenny. From what I hear, they seem to be inseparable. She has a birthday coming up on the 12th. I can't believe that she'll be 12. Holy smokes, where does the time go? She, too, is preparing for her winter band concert. That is going to be a very busy week for us.

Adam is great. He has lost his two front teeth and looks like a vampire. It's so cute. Last night, he went to hug me and my shoulder hit his mouth....and the tooth came out. We can't find it! Anywhere!! Last Friday his class went to the Seattle aquarium. He had a ton of fun. I wish I could have chaperoned that trip. He's currently learning about sea stars in class. He's becoming very knowledgeable on the subject.

I am on my third course of antibiotics for this stupid sinus infection. If it doesn't get better, then I'll have to get a sinus CT to show where the infection is and go on long-term antibiotics. I can tell you that this is my 5th day on them....and I feel no better. It's so frustrating. I am excited to have the all the kids this year for Thanksgiving. Adam and I are going to make name cards out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper. Last weekend, I let my sister know how much I love her. Yes, I went to the New Kids On The Block concert in Tacoma. You would not believe all the screaming women. In fact, one of Kahlan's teachers took her daughter to the concert. The week before, my friend Wendi and I went to Forks. I sort of dragged her out there. I needed to see where Twilight took place. It was a blast. The week before Forks, Kahlan and I went to the ballet. It was so awesome. I'm so glad we have season tickets. It's nice bonding time with her. I am still smoke free!

Jim is Jim. He is working hard. Last week, his boss came to town. He only stayed for three days, which was nice. He is doing well with not chewing tobacco. He's still struggling with the smoking. He doesn't smoke often, but....well, one step at a time. Him and Mike had fun at the football game in Tacoma. They won, which is nice. The score was like 52-7, or something like that. It was insane. He is off the Friday after Thanksgiving. We're happy about that.

Well, that's all going on here. I hope that all of you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I'll write more soon!

Love and hugs,
Jen

Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 6

Hi all!

For those of you that don't know, we got a new puppy from Jim's brother and his wife. He is an adorable Rottweiler. He is 12 weeks old. His name is Admiral Henry Marmaduke VonLichtenstein. Admiral is an ode to the Navy; Henry, because I liked that name for a boy dog; Marmaduke was Kahlan's choice; and VonLichtenstein is an homage to Heath Ledger in "A Knight's Tale". We call him Duke for short. Duke can sit. He is almost house-trained. Jim is currently teaching him to lay down and stay. He still bites but hopefully he'll get over that real soon.

Aaron tried out for Chamber Choir and made it. He needs to be at the school early three days a week for practice. He's also still in Concert Choir. The school had their first concert last week and it was fantastic! They'll be singing for the Veterans this week. He had a Halloween party on Friday. It went very well. We had about 10 boys here and 8 of them spent the night. His grades are much better than they have been. He's also taking 8 credits this year. He's taking two math credits. We are so proud of him.

Kyle did Cross-Country this year. He absolutely loved it and wished he had done it last year. He's also going to do swimming . It's the last year the pool will be open so it's his last chance. He is currently single. He is somewhat being stalked by his most recent ex-girlfriend and it's pissing me off. She needs to just get over it. His last three girlfriends have been a year younger than him and I told him that his next girlfriend needs to be a junior or older. His grades are great so far this year. He dropped out of Spanish 2 to retake Spanish 1. It was the second best idea he had this year. The first one was to skip Algebra 2 and go into Pre-Cal. He's doing fantastic and we're so happy.

Mike did fooball this year and loved it. I wish that it was year round. He slept so much better and was way less hyper. Their team made it to the playoffs and came in second place. On the 15th, he and Jim will be going to Tacoma to watch the last football homegame of a college. The college gave the middle school football team 77 free tickets. He's pretty excited. His grades are pretty okay. He's doing well in some areas and not so good in other areas. However, he's doing 100 % better than he was last year. We are very happy for him. He is also doing choir this year. He had his first concert two weeks ago. He will also be singing for the Veterans this week.

Kahlan is taking band. She plays the trumpet. She keeps talking about dropping band and taking other electives. Her grades are phenomenal---straight A's. She has made lots of new friends in the middle school. Her and I are going to a ballet on Saturday. She's pretty excited. As a 6th grader she is not allowed to do any sports. She is talking about doing something next year. I hope she will.

Adam is a big bad 2nd grader this year. So hard to believe. He loves and adores his teacher. He feels that she is the best teacher he has ever had. He tends to take a lot of bathroom breaks and not finish his work. We are working on that to break that habit. He learned a new song about sentences, it's so cute. "I am a sentence and I'll be your friend if you put a capital in front and a mark at the end." He had an assembly yesterday and his class sang. He was pretty excited. He is also still learning sign language that he continues to teach me. He is my biggest champion. He stands up for me all the time. He makes me feel so good.

I am teaching art once a month to Adam's class. It's really a lot of fun. He loves for me to be there and I love interacting with the kids. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do for the November project. Probably something with a Thanksgiving theme. Last month we did a maple leaf project which turned out great. Jim and I went to school conferences last week. We had absolutely no surprises this year. It was such a pleasant surprise. I had a cold a few weeks back that turned into bronchitis which also caused me to have a sinus infection. I'm taking antibiotics for it. I've been taking antibiotics for like two weeks straight. Oh yeah, and I've been smoke free for exactly 13 weeks today. Yay me!

Jim is working as much as ever. I was hoping that it would have died down by now. I hope that it will soon. What can you do when you're the boss? A few weeks back we learned he had a really bad infection and he ended up having to take 2 weeks of serious antibiotics. He's much better now, but if his stress level keeps increasing he will end up with an ulcer. Since he found out about the infection he has tried to quit smoking and is doing pretty good. He lapses every now and again due to stress, but still I don't think he's chewed tobacco at all.

Well, now you're up to date on the Crumbliss/Lathrop household. I will write more later. Take care!