Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haley's Bridal Shower at the Lake

Haley had a bridal shower on Sunday. Yes, I am aware that she is already married, but we are doing things a little bit backwards! Things are working out well, and Haley is still getting to do all of the things she missed out on before the wedding. Her wonderful friend, Michelle, whom I call Magnificent Michelle, hosted a shower for Haley and invited all of their college friends. So, it was basically a Macon State shower!

Michelle's family owns a big farm, and they have a lake house that they use just for entertaining. (How nice!) Well, the road to the lake house washed out, so we all had to drive through the cow pasture to get there! It was so fun! Hadrian loves cows, so she was thrilled with the whole situation. And, I was busy dodging gigantic cow patties while driving through the pasture! : )

We came to the end of the pasture, and there was a sign telling us where to park. And, then, we had a golf cart to take us down through the woods and to the lake house. What an adventure! It was actually really cool, and it is a beautiful place!!

Driving through the cow pasture!

There were obviously cows everywhere!

This was the end of the pasture where we left our cars.

A load of guests coming in to the shower!

Haley and Hadrian

The other sister couldn't make it because she had other plans - in Argentina!

Haley received a lot of wonderful gifts for her new married life!

And, the food was scrumptious!!

And, after it was over, we all golf-carted back up the hill!

Michelle is driving Haley back to her car.

The shower was a huge success! Magnificent Michelle did her normal "magnificent" job! And, it was a whole lot of fun. I am glad Hadrian and I got to be there. Earlier on Sunday, we met Haley at church for graduate recognition. It was a very special day for Haley, and it was great to share the day with her!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hannah to Argentina!

Thursday night I dropped Hannah off at the airport to fly to Argentina! Our world traveler is at it again! She is the only one in the family with a passport, and she uses it often! This is her longest trip yet with her being gone for a month.

She was really tired after two tough finals on the same day, and then she had to start packing and getting everything done before she left. She was running around like a maniac for two days, but she was finally ready to go! We zoomed straight to the airport with no traffic (yay!) and I dropped her off with her luggage. She was worried her suitcase was too heavy (over 50 pounds), but she called me as soon as she weighed in, and it was 49 pounds! (yay, again!) She had no trouble getting through security, and made it to the gate an hour before takeoff. Perfect. Hannah was flying with a buddy pass, so you never even know if you will get on the plane. She and I could tell you horrid stories about sleeping in airports, but that is a whole different blog. But, she called when she boarded the plane and told me she got a first class seat! (Another yay!) She slept a lot through the night, and the next morning, she woke up in Argentina! : )

I have talked to her more than I talk to her when she is home! We have learned the beauty of skype! Hannah is studying abroad so she will be taking a class studying about Argentina's government for three weeks. She will be staying in a dorm/hotel with other students while she is officially taking her class. But, Hannah loves to submerge herself in other cultures, so she wanted to stay with a family and get a genuine feel for what it is like to live in Argentina. So, she thought of a soccer friend who is going to college here, but he is from Argentina. So, she contacted Marcos, and he hooked Hannah up with his family, and they invited her to stay with them for as long as she wants! Cool!!

This nice family met Hannah at the airport holding up their little sign with Hannah's name on it! (I've always wanted to do that)! So, she found them, and they took her home with them! They live right in the city in a victorian apartment, and when I talk to Hannah on Skype, I can even hear the horns honking and the sound of traffic. She said it kept her awake the first night because it was so loud all night!

It is fall season (winter next month) in Argentina, so she had to pack warm clothing. She has gone sightseeing, and the first night, she ate dinner at the pool hall connected to the apartment building. She said it looked like a typical American bar with pool tables. But, the twist is they all speak Spanish. Hannah said they were speaking spanish but they were playing American music! And, no, they do not understand the words! Apparently, they like the "Black Eyed Peas" in Argentina the same as Americans do!

Last night, Marcos' sister invited Hannah to a bachelorette party. Hannah said they got together and ate, and about 3 a.m. they all decided to go dancing. They stayed at the club until 5 a.m. and they were continuing the party, but Hannah told them she needed to go to bed. So, she went to bed, and she said the rest of the girls stayed together and continued the party all day today as well! They probably think American girls are real party poopers! ; )

Marcos is going home to Argentina for his summer college break, and they will be picking him up at the airport early in the morning. There might be a slight problem when he gets home since Hannah is sleeping in his bed! lol

She will be staying with Marcos' family for another whole week before moving on to the school for her class.

And, I have to add that Hannah made her usual straight A's at Georgia State University spring semester. She finishes her junior year with a perfect 4.0 average. And, since she is studying in Argentina, she will complete the requirement to get her international business certificate along with her sports marketing degree. I am amazed at how much she has accomplished in her 21 years! If only I had half of her drive and determination . . . . speaking of drive and determination, I hope I make it through my first day of boot camp in the morning! I have to get up at 4 a.m. so adios!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haley's College Graduation

My oldest baby girl, Haley, graduated from college Friday morning! She now has a dual degree in early childhood and special education. I am SO very proud of her!

I hope I don't embarrass Haley by saying this, but school has not always been easy for her. She has always struggled with math, and we have jokingly said that she is genetically challenged and her brain rejects anything mathematical. And, her first grade teacher called me one day and told me that she thought Haley suffered from "test anxiety." Her teacher said she would go over material with Haley and was sure Haley knew the material, but when it was presented to her as a test, Haley would get nervous and go completely blank. So, to make a long story short, Haley then started going to another room for her tests where she got to eat snacks while she was thinking, walk around the room, or do whatever she needed to do to relax herself. This made me laugh that she was allowed to do this, but it seemed to work. I was thinking she would never get over her test anxiety if she was getting this kind of treatment! (lol) And, even though testing did get better for Haley, taking tests were always a concern for her.

I fully believe that my children were created by God and were made just the way God wanted them to be! But, when Haley was growing up, I know that she felt "less than smart" sometimes. She struggled with school more than her sisters, and I know she noticed that. And, sometimes, I would wonder why she was wired this way, and what could we do to make things easier for her? But, Haley always worked very hard and did her very best. She was a smart girl but just had to work hard to get good grades. And, I knew that even in a class that was difficult for her, she was giving her best effort. That was all any parent could ever ask for!

I think Haley was a sophomore in college when she decided she wanted to become a teacher. She has worked really hard in a very difficult education program at Macon State. She received glowing reviews by her professors when she was evaluated in the classroom. One of her evaluators told her she was "born to be a teacher!" Wow. How cool is it to find out what you were truly born to do!? When Haley told me this, I thought back to her classroom struggles.

I now see that when Haley has her own student who doesn't "get" math, she will truly know that it is not lack of effort but lack of understanding. Or when a child struggles with "test anxiety," Haley will see this and be able to say "I was just like you when I was your age." Sometimes kids just need someone to make a connection and accept them just the way they are. And, Haley does this with kids! With her living in Warner Robins, she will be teaching a lot of military kids. Military kids come with challenges because they move a lot. Or, these kids have emotional issues and sadness when daddy or mommy get deployed. Haley will be a very patient, kind, and kindred soul for these kids. And, I see God's calling on her life to be used in this way.

When I watched Haley walk across the stage and receive her diploma, I felt very proud of her accomplishment. But, I also felt amazed by what she has to offer the world. God has a plan and a purpose. And, Haley was created for His plan and purpose. During the times when Haley was struggling in school, God was preparing her to teach kids who will be struggling in school. But Haley has always given her best effort, and I think she will expect her students to give their best efforts as well. She will be a magnificent teacher! And, even better, she is an amazingly sweet and wonderful person!

I am thankful that Haley's sisters and I were able to share in her special day!

Hannah, Me (Mom), Hadrian, Haley, and her husband, Austin

My Girls - Hannah, Hadrian, and Haley

Me and Haley! : )