Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall, where art thou?

Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.

That's what I feel like these days.

Except it's go to school.  Carpool.  Therapy.  Homework.  Repeat.

And that really sums up our days since my last post over a month ago!  Of course, Ellie and I are going to Bible study on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, too.  I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it is to study the life of Moses!  But that's a whole different post.

It's fall.  Or at least the calendar says so.  But the weather?  Not so much.  At all.  It was in the 90s all week, and it just feels like summertime.  October is one of my most favorite months.  But this picture was taken on October 1.  Need I say more?!
I'm really ready to hang up my shorts and pull out my leggings, tunics and boots.  They are lined up in my closet and calling my name.  But in the meantime, we're just pretending like it's fall and doing fall-ish activities.

Mason and Hannah Kate look for the pumpkin to make his appearance every year. 
A couple of weekends ago, Hannah Kate and I made pumpkin snicker doodles.  They really were very good!  But I was also reminded why I don't bake.  These actually turned out the way I wanted them to, which is unusual in my baking experiences.  But after the day we ate them, no one ate anymore of them.  Except me.  And I don't need to eat two dozen cookies!  None of the people in my house have my sweet tooth.
I made the first gumbo of the season.  It was hot that day so I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  And then Seth told me it was the wrong color.  I stood and stirred that roux for 20 minutes, and I was done.  Besides, I'm also certain that the "wrong color" did not affect the taste.  But that also might have been not only my first gumbo of the season but also my last!  I also perfected my baked potato and French onion soup recipes.  I don't prepare soups during the summer months so I've really enjoyed cooking lately.  If it ever gets below 90 degrees, I'm going to make my vegetable soup next.  That's always my favorite.

And football!  I can't talk about fall without talking about football!  Last Saturday was a really exciting football day.  We were Hailing State and doing the Hotty Toddy!  I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Magnolia State.  We lived there for two years.  That's where Hannah Kate was born.  And I forged some really sweet friendships there.  We LOVED our church.  We had Ole Miss friends, and we had State friends.  Those were the days when both of those teams were pretty much irrelevant.  But not anymore!  GameDay was there last week and again this week.

And today has been a fun football day, too.  I didn't get to see my Georgia Dawgs play.  Besides that hiccup at South Carolina, I'm enjoying my team this year.  And I was super excited today when it was all about the team effort and not just one.  That's all I have to say about that.  I did get to see some of the Mississippi Dawgs' game.  It made me want a cowbell!  We're watching the LSU game right now (and I'm really hoping LSU can pull this one out and beat Florida . . . and they just did!  THEY WON!), but I'm looking forward to watching the Ole Miss game in a bit.

Our school system has never given us a fall break in the years since Mason started school.  But that changed this year.  We have fall break this coming Monday and Tuesday.  And I. can't. wait.  We still have all of our extra-cirrucular activities, but I'm so very thankful for a little break from the school day grind.

Speaking of school . . . the most common question I always get asked is how Mason is doing.  Well, Mason came home with his report card yesterday, and we all did a little happy dance.  I'd been told over and over that "4th grade will be hardest year . . . if you can just get through 4th grade . . ."  Well, not only are we getting through 4th grade, but Mason is flying pretty high right now!  I am so proud of him and the effort he puts forth EVERY. DAY.  He is relentless.  And it showed on his report card.  Don't get me wrong.  It's hard.  And we spend 2-3 hours each day on homework and studying.  But he's got 4th grade!  I was hoping that this would be the year when he begins to learn how to manage his learning differences on his own and even begin to overcome them a bit.  And I see that happening.

He's been working toward the goal of graduating from private therapy in December.  It is possible that we will have a conversation next week about graduating even sooner than that.  I haven't been able to say this before, but I really think he is ready now.  I am ready, too.  But we'll just have to see.

A couple of weeks ago the kids got to dress up as a character from their favorite book.  Hannah Kate was Nancy Clancy (the growing-up Fancy Nancy), and Mason was Geronimo Stilton.  We had to improvise a lot for Geronimo.  He wears a white collar shirt, red tie, green vest and coat.  It was also 90 degrees on this day so by the time Mason got home, the tie and green "vest" were stuffed in his backpack.    
Last Saturday I took Hannah Kate out for a Mommy-Daughter Day.  This girl is so precious, so special.  She is cruising through school and currently reading on a 3rd grade level.  She is such a great sister to both Mason and Ellie.  I love this girl SO. MUCH.  It's hard sometimes because I feel like Hannah Kate gets caught between the hours I spend each day with Mason and homework and therapy and then with Ellie because she is 2 years old and requires a lot of supervision and support.  I feel like I spend so much focused time with Mason and Ellie but not necessarily with her.  So this was my day with Hannah Kate.
And Ellie?  Everyday is a new day with this girl.  I never know what she's going to say or what she's going to do.  She is definitely a mommy's girl.  But she's also beginning to show some signs of independence.  Someone told me the other day that she "has quite the personality."  Yes.  Yes, she does.  She makes me laugh all the time.  She also makes me want to pull out my hair sometimes.  Her vocabulary has exploded lately.  I find that I am probably hyper-sensitive in my attention to her language skills development.  So every new word, every sentence, every sound, every book she brings me to read is exciting.  I also have to mention that she has progressed from calling her big sister Kate to Sissy and now to Hannie.  It's the cutest thing! 
Today we did something that we haven't done in over 14 years.  I'll leave you guessing on that one.  And then we took a drive through our old neighborhood and saw the very first house that Seth and I bought, the house that we loved into a home and eventually brought Mason home to.  It's actually for sale right now.  And, of course, I'm looking forward to our "fall break" this week.  And next Saturday will be a really big, fun day as we give Mason quite a surprise.  Seth and I have been keeping a secret for a couple of months now.  And maybe, just maybe, it will also begin to FEEL like fall at some point this next week.

It's this time of year that's my favorite.  It's also this time of year that I miss my family and my friends the most.  I really miss my Mama a lot these days.  I see pictures all the time on FaceBook of my friends and their moms hanging out together and doing fun things together.  It's almost sad to me.  I want to do those things with MY mom.  She would help me sew new pillow covers and curtains for my windows.  She would help me fix the hem on three of Ellie's smocked dresses that has come apart after years of two little girls wearing them.  She might would even cook me supper one night!  My bestie reminded me the other day that next year will be 15 years since our college graduation.  That also means it's been 15 years since I left the Peach State.  15 years.

One of my favorite childhood movies is The Karate Kid.  And one of my favorite scenes is the conversation between Daniel and his mom after she sees him throw his bike away.  He'd had another run in with the Cobra Gang.  It was quite a poignant scene.  He finally tells her, "I just want to go home.  Why can't we just go home?"  That's how I feel these days.  You'd think after 15 years that I wouldn't be feeling that way.  Or that it would get better or even go away.  But it doesn't.  Sometimes it seems like it just gets even stronger.  But one of the things I've learned during these past almost 15 years is that "home" really isn't about the where.  It's about the who.  I just wish I could take all of my who's and move to the where!


Jennifer Hawkins said...

It doesn't seem like 15 years. But I agree, I still wish you were "home" sometimes. Enjoy your fall.. or lack there of! :)

Jennifer Hawkins said...
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