No More Teenagers in This House

I knew this day was coming, but I tried to convince myself that it would be just another ordinary day.Dlimah Teapot Unfortunately, it isn’t just like any other ordinary day. It’s the day our youngest left her teenage years behind and turned 20. Yes, the big 2-0. WOW!!! Isn’t she lovely!? She’s posing here for a photo with a wonderful little teapot that I won from teadog.com I figured she’d look better in their blog than I would. One thing among many that I do miss is having her here for tea every day.

I remember when I was a teenager thinking that I wouldn’t even live to see 20. It seemed like such an old age to me for some reason. Of course I did make it to 20, and far beyond, but when I look at Victoria she doesn’t seem old at all. Rick still calls her “little girl” and I tend to still think of her as such. Is that the norm for parents? Your children have birthdays and get older, but you get stuck at a certain age in your mind for them to be and even though you know they’re no longer that age you still treat them as if they are.

I’ve had a very difficult time the past four years coping with my semi-empty nest. With Victoria and Nathanael both going off to college at the same time I went from having two children standing in front of me aggravating each other while I was trying to concentrate on something to being totally alone in this big old house for hours on end. No, I’ve not coped well at all, although I have gotten a little bit better now that it’s Victoria’s senior year in college. I wouldn’t say that I’ve arrived though.

Can you believe it?! Victoria is a senior and in about four more weeks she’ll only have the spring semester to go before she graduates. Yes, she’s already started the countdown. I’m sure these past four years haven’t flown by for her, but they sure have for me. She’s not been impressed with college I’m afraid and will be more than happy to put it behind her. I think it would be a good idea for her to get a little more education since she’s still pretty young and unattached, but she says enough is enough.

So, what has been going on in her life since her last birthday? Mostly more of the same really. For someone who said they never wanted to be a teacher, she sure does a lot of teaching. In fact, she seems to enjoy teaching quite a lot and from all accounts does a good job. She still has her two harp students, she still coaches gymnastics, and she still teaches ballroom dance lessons. At the beginning of this month she tested to become a certified ballroom instructor at the bronze level which means she’ll make a bit more money per hour…always a good thing. She’s done a couple of ballroom competitions with her students and thoroughly enjoyed them. This video is of a piece that she and her student, Will, did at the summer showcase. It was a tribute to his wife who passed away suddenly at the beginning of the year. They also did this at his first competition.

Since Victoria has always been competitive, going to ballroom competitions are right up her alley. She’s gone as the “pro” part of the couple so has not been the one being judged at either competition but hopes one day, after she graduates, to find a dance partner to work with and compete. Competing is an expensive thing to do with all the costumes you have to have. It’s a good thing that she knows which end of the needle to use because I get the feeling that she’s going to have to figure out how to sew some of these costumes given that they can cost $4,500 each, or more, depending on how much bling they have. Yes, she tried on one of those pricey dresses, orange of course, and has been looking for just the right pattern ever since. That stretchy fabric will be a challenge though so this new sewing venture should be interesting. Happy Harpist

She’s still playing for weddings and occasionally at Bridge Street. She took second place in a competition in the UAH music department back in the spring which gave her $4,000 towards her tuition this school year. Rick was glad of that and is also glad that come January he’ll make her last tuition payment. I think he has plans on buying himself a new car after that.

On the down side Victoria did have to give up being a Chargerette this year. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to cover all the bases she had to cover so reluctantly she dropped that from her to-do list early in the semester.

Her spring semester should be fairly easy class wise, but then again, she has to work up all the music for her senior recital. She’s going to need all the practice time she can get because this recital has to be an hour long and has to have even more impressive pieces than her junior recital had. I think she has that scheduled for April 19, 2015 so if you’re in the area and want to join us please feel free to do so. I’ll be sure to have it posted on the blog calendar once I know the date is absolutely set in stone.

Thankfully, she was able to step in at the beginning of this year and take over Miss Martha’s M&M Club kits and samples. She’s done a very good job and has already told me to be looking for something to do for next year. I gave her a pattern tonight and she’ll look it over to see what she thinks. It will be all handwork of course because she can’t take her machine to school with her nor can she watch her TV guys with a sewing machine making noise.

I’m glad she still lives at home and doesn’t seem to mind commuting to Huntsville on a daily basis. Sylvester She has taken to spending the night at her harp teacher’s house on occasion when her activities or work keep her late in Huntsville and she has to be back down there early the next morning. I’ve been worried that she’ll come to like it too much and decide to move down there. I asked her about it not long ago and she said that while she enjoys being close to where she needs to be so she does not have to drive 45 minutes plus one way, she misses being home with us and her cats. I have to wonder though just which of us she misses the most sometimes. I think her friends still kid her about being an old maid cat lady on occasion, but she takes that in stride.

All in all she has a good life I think. It’s a very busy, and I’m sure somewhat stressful life, but she takes her responsibilities very seriously. Sometimes she bemoans the fact that she never got to be a teenager since she started coaching gymnastics when she was 15, but then I remind her that it was her1988 Fiero idea to take on all these responsibilities, not ours. She says she needs money and has had to fork out quite a bit this year on her little white sports car that she just HAD to have. At least I think all this work, studying, and practicing should keep her out of trouble for the most part. I know she has all the opportunities in the world to get into trouble, but I trust that she’s smart enough to know better and that with our prayers and the prayers of her friends and other family members she won’t feel the need to do things that would hurt her, us, and others who love and think highly of her. Last year I asked that you pray with us on her behalf, and I ask the same this year. She’s a special young lady, and I pray that God gives her the strength and wisdom to remain so.

Happy birthday Little Girl!

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Just Two More Months!

Sorry for being away so long, but I’ve been busy. I know, you’ve been busy too. Life seems to just zip by faster and faster with each passing day. I say that because it hadn’t occurred to me until one of my visitors today asked what the date was. When I said it was the 25th my first thought was that it was my mother-in-law’s birthday. Then the number, 25, sunk just a bit further into my brain, and I realized that in just two months time it will be Christmas Day! Can you believe it?! CA-Dec 25

Were it not for the fact that we didn’t put a tree up last year I’d probably just now be ready to take down the decorations. Yes, I can be that slow to getting around to doing things I don’t particularly enjoy doing. I enjoy putting up the tree, getting out all the decorations that have been collected over the years, and being reminded of special times and special people connected to those decorations, but I do not enjoy having to take down the tree and pack all those lovely baubles away again for a whole year. That’s why I like the fact that we celebrate Christmas for 12 days. It allows the tree to stay up until at least January 5th, if not a little longer depending on what’s going on in our lives at the time. My sister takes her tree down after lunch on Christmas Day. It’s amazing to realize that we actually came from the same family. The only answer I have is that she had to have been adopted.

So. Are you getting ready for Christmas? Have you started your gift making or do you plan on buying everything? Of course, my intentions are always to make something for everyone, but with the shop to keep up with, that hasn’t happened in over 10 years now. We will make fudge for lots of folks without a doubt. Last year we made over 30 pounds of fudge to give to friends, co-workers, and family. We use a recipe that my grandmother mom used when I was little. I’ve taught Victoria how to make “our” fudge so she does the batches for all of her little friends and co-workers. Everyone seems to look forward to getting that fudge each year. I for one just enjoy getting to sop the bowl every now and then. That was the part I enjoyed doing as a child, but once my own children came along they took over the bowl sopping, and I was lucky if I got to lick the spoon. We play Christmas music while we make our fudge so it will taste better. I’m almost convinced that part of why it tastes so good is because we play Christmas music during all the stirring that has to be done.

Now that the proximity of Christmas has been pointed out to you as it was to me today, where are you in the process? I know I have lots left to do but am pretty sure I have all the gifts I need to get for at least one person on our list. As for making things over and above fudge, I’m not sure I’ll do any better this year than in years past. I do have one of a four part gift done, except for sewing up the side opening where it was turned inside out. Maybe if I could make one part each week I could at least get that done for one of my closest friends. Then there are the 11 blocks I need to make for the block exchange of my sewing circle. How I got talked into doing that again I’ll never know. Needless to say, I’ve got to get on the ball because those blocks are due to be shared long before Christmas Day gets here. Yes sir. It’s a good thing that the light bulb popped on, and I finally realized how close we are to Christmas. I’d hate to have been caught unprepared again this year. Now if I can only figure out when we’re going to have time to put up the tree and get it decorated…

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