Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What an end to the school year!!!

I can't say that I've had quite the end to the school year as we have this year.
School was finally out last Tuesday at 11am.  We said goodbye to our walkers then all the teachers head out to the busses and wave goodbye to their little heads sticking out the windows.  It's fun.  When they're out of sight down the street a couple of us even do ugly-looking cartwheels in their "honor".
School this May was a weird event for us though this year.  Mike's dad continued to go downhill this spring.  Mike was very fortunate to go up there the first weekend in May and got to see him one more time.  They talked on the phone just about every day.  Finally, Sunday, May 13 he was admitted to Hospice care.  We were heartbroken by the announcement but also grateful that his mother wouldn't have to try to care for him by herself anymore.
Friday morning, the 18th, the kids were all called home.  They didn't expect him to make the day.  We were actually packed and ready to go up that night.  Mike called me that morning and said he was leaving straight from work.  My heart was in my throat all morning as I was just praying that he would make it in time.  It's a 4-5 hour trip and I wasn't sure how much time he had.  I finally texted him and he said he had made it.  That night at 7:30pm he was gone.  No more pain, no more labored breathing, just peace.
On the home-front the girls had their Track & Field day that afternoon.  They did very well in their "shoe-kicking", "limbo" and "bear-crawl" events respectively.  They each came home with a first place ribbon and Rachel came home with an additional third place.  That evening I unpacked/repacked waiting to hear when arrangements would be.
Since Mike had left straight from work, he had nothing with him.  Sunday, the kids and I drove up and met him in Albert Lea, MN where we brought him a suitcase of clothes and bathroom supplies.  He was sleeping on his mom's couch and was still in the same clothes.  He was quite scruffy.  We had a hasty lunch together then headed back home.  The plans came out that the visitation and funeral would be on Wednesday.  This was a welcome answer as this way the girls got to have the last two days of school which are a nice way to end the year.
Tuesday, after school got out at 11, we piled in the van and started the 5-hour trip.  I was very nervous traveling alone without Mike along.  We usually have to do combat duty with fights erupting in the back seats.  However, the kids did amazing and we had a very uneventful trip, albeit a very windy one.
We stayed with amazing friends in Edgerton who give us their entire basement to spread out, and even got to see several of my former co-workers Wednesday morning.  The visitation and funeral were very nice.  The minister had an excellent message and was very comforting to the family.
Our trip home on Thursday was just as uneventful, albeit for the heavy downpours of rain wiping out vision.
In a nutshell, it was a rough end of the school year, but there is quite a bit of peace now within the family.
On a lighter note, we're back into t-ball and softball with the girls.  Swimming lessons start next week along with a 2-day class for me in Ames.  I also wanted to share some pics from my classroom from the end of the school year.  We have a custodian in our school who is wicked-talented.  He comes up with amazing animals/characters with different found objects.  He has created several characters for my room with different musical objects.  Here they are:
This first one is the cutest fly made out of one of my 45's.

This is a happy catterpillar made out of my 45's.

This is my favorite.  I'm not sure what to call him exactly.  He's going to kind of be the music room mascot.  His name is t-bone as he's made out of an old trombone.  The arms and legs were the slide of it and were cut apart to make it stand.

This guy is t-bone's friend and sits at the base of his "feet" which are old pieces of a clarinet.  The friend is a harmonica.

And here's a closer view of t-bone's face and arms.  The "hands" are the keys to the clarinet which were removed and attached to the slide pieces.  He's holding a broken recorder who also is quite a character.
There has also been one more addition, but he showed up on the Tuesday we ended school and didn't make the picture cut just yet.  He'll have to be added later.  I love these guys and they add so much character to my room.

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