Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time Flies...

when you're busy.  And it's been busy around here.  James finished 2nd year and got his white coat.  We had a week together with no school and then we were right back into it.  

A couple of days after the White Coat Ceremony we went to Roseburg for dental appointments.  It was the first time the kids had ever been to the dentist.    

Logan was anxious, but he was super brave.  He not only had a cleaning, but he had x-rays and sealants too.  He did awesome.  I'm so proud of him.   

Taylor was her usual brave self.  She had x-rays.  She was great.  She just did everything that was asked of her.  

I totally spaced taking any pictures though.  You'll just have imagine the kids laying back in those big dental chairs with a paper bib around their necks, spitting into those small straw suctions.  Then again, maybe it's okay that I didn't get pictures.  

The next day we went to Bandon with James' dad, to spend the day there.  

It was a gorgeous day at the coast.  This is Face Rock, out there on the left.  It was really windy, so we bought a kite. 

Taylor got tired of the wind and went back to watch from the safety of the car.

Logan enjoyed climbing rocks and running in the wind.

While James and his dad tried to get the kite to cooperate.

The next day James made dinner for us all, an early Mother's Day gift.  He made Chicken Cordon Blu.  It was delicious.

The kids came home from church on Mother's Day with cards for me, telling me how much they love me.  

 Logan's card says: 
"Mom, you are the best at: teaching.
My favorite thing to do with you is: play Sorry.
I love when you: play games with me.
If I could give you anything in the world it would be: love.
You are more beautiful than: me.
I promise to: love you forever.
I'll always remember: that you love me.
I love you more than: toys."

Taylor's card says:
"Mom, you are the best at: washing the dishes.
My favorite thing to do with you is: play games.
I love when you: give me flowers.
If I could give you anything in the world it would be: flowers.
You are more beautiful than: flowers.
I promise to: unload the dishwasher.
I'll always remember: to help her.
I love you more than: toys!"

I'm glad to know that they love me so much.  I love them more than anything, more than words can express.  I'm grateful my kids are still young enough that they like to snuggle and hug and kiss and tell me that they love me.  I never want that to end, but I know it will someday.  Teenagers just don't snuggle with their parents much.  

And of course, I also got a flower at church.  Taylor asked me why I got a flower.  I told her it was for Mother's Day.  She then asked, "Why did they give you a dead flower for Mother's Day?"   I looked down at the tiny, wilted flower in the dry soil and wondered the same thing.  A little water revived it though. 

The Saturday after Mother's Day was graduation for all the Pacific University students.  All the guys who were 3rd years when we were 1st years, were now graduating.  It was the first time we actually knew several of the optometry graduates.  It was great to see it and remind myself that we'll get there someday too.  I tried not to be jealous that they were done and we still have two years left.   It's going to be a great two years though, full of learning and adventure, so I don't really want to skip them.  

It was also graduation day for James' sister, Sarah.  She's worked long and hard and was also graduating from Pacific University.  She's a teacher now!  What was nice was that the graduation was in Forest Grove and we were able to make a big family day of it.  It was wonderful.  I'm so excited for Sarah!   

Congratulations, Sarah!  Way to go!

For Memorial Day, James got Monday off, so he came up with a brilliant idea; to go visit my parents!  He was out of school Friday at noon, so we took off.  I don't think I'd seen my parents since New Year's Day.  

It's a long, but beautiful drive.  We love hanging out with my parents.  The kids play and make a mess.  We try to get them to clean it up.  It's barely controlled chaos, but it's fun.  James and I get to play poker with my parents.  They're the only ones we ever play it with, so we all stink at it, but it's still enjoyable.  It's laid back and all in good fun.  Not competitive or anything.  We just laugh a ton.  

I wanted to do something special to teach the kids about Memorial Day.  I was thinking about going to a cemetery and doing a scavenger hunt, looking for dates that were during wars and such.  But I didn't end up doing that.  Hopefully next year.  

We did go to the Memorial Day parade in Klamath Falls though.  It was very small, but the kids enjoyed it.  It was short enough that the kids didn't even get a chance to complain about being bored.  

 Taylor at a tiny, little cabin that now sits next to the Klamath County Museum.  This is where we waited until the parade started.

On the other side of the museum there were some old vehicles and equipment, such as this train caboose.  There was also an old horse drawn wagon (horse-less now, of course) and an old firetruck. 

A military truck in the parade.

Another vehicle from the parade.  

The parade last about 10 mins.  So we stopped at a park on the way back to my parents house to let the kids run out some energy, since they'd be in the car for about 5 or 6 hours later that day.

Now we're back home and trying to get into a routine again.  James will be in school all summer, so I'm going to try to keep up some schooling with the kids.  It's proving to be hard, with errands and exercising and the nice weather.  

It just makes for busy days.  And soon Logan & Taylor will have friends who are out of school for the summer and want to play at all hours of the day.  I can see already this is going to be a challenge.  But life is full of challenges as they say and this is one challenge I'll willingly take.




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

White Coat Ceremony

The "White Coat Ceremony" is another milestone, a rite of passage, and a reason to celebrate.   James is a 3rd year student in optometry school now.  This means he's in clinic, with real patients, doing eye exams.  Part of being in clinic is dressing professionally, in shirt and tie and wearing his white coat.  

Getting the white coat is a big deal for us.  The school makes a whole evening of the event.  

 The white coats, awaiting their owners.

James approaching Dr. Smythe, the Dean of the College of Optometry, to receive his white coat.

 Putting his white coat on for the first time.

"The White Coat Ceremony is a 'rite of passage' for students beginning the study of medicine that encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine.  

"The authority of dress is serious and purposeful, not social, casual, or random.  The uniform should convey to even the most anxious patient a sense of seriousness and purpose that helps provide reassurance and confidence.

"The white coat is the cloak of compassion."  

James' parents came up for the event.  The kids went to a babysitter.  I wanted to take Logan to the ceremony.  He would have loved seeing James get his white coat, but I don't think he would have enjoyed all the talking and waiting before and after his dad's 15 seconds of fame.

 Congratulations James, on earning your White Coat!!!

Some Hawaiian classmates made yarn leis for all the students, so that's what that red & black thing around his neck is.  

"Leis are symbols of love, of a spiritual meaning or connection, of healing, and of respect."  So that's a pretty neat thing to receive also. 

I made a cake for the occasion, a white cake with white frosting and white ice cream.