Friday, May 27, 2011

In Honor of My Father on Memorial Day


The specter of war
Hangs overhead
Unnoticed by the innocents.
To them, it is only greedy warlords
Bickering over a boundary,
And, in compliance, they laugh at such pettiness.

Not so for those who remember
Torn and battered men,
Delirious and troubled minds,
Months of loneliness,
Sinking ships,
Sleepless night and "daisy-cutters,"
Fear and hate,
Anguished hearts of mothers.

These are enduring memories.

by PNCM Millard B. Sargent USNR

This poem was written by my father in the mid-1960s when the Vietnam War was gearing up to full-tilt. He was a Navy veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He's Left The Cocoon

It's official. Our baby has left the cocoon of elementary school. This morning was his promotion ceremony and today was his last day ever at Corbett Elementary School. The promotion ceremony was very nice. All the students filed in and the principal made an introduction and read a quote by Dr. Seuss: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go." After that the children sang a great song about getting up and getting going. Then class by class the teachers handed out their promotion certificates. First was the class next door to his, then the GATE class, then his class, then the 5th graders from the ELL combo. After that they sang two songs. The one they sang right after getting their certificates was a real tear-jerker. I can't remember it though. I'm bad like that. My brain has a tendency to block the sad stuff. The last one was beautiful too, it was about goals. And then, POOF, it was over. He chose to stay the rest of the day at school though. He wanted to have one last day there rather than leaving early--which was actually a good thing since John has to sleep during the day because he works nights. When we got home and I got out of the car there was a penny waiting for me. I picked it up and it was from 2003. Nana Mack wanted to let us know that she had been at the promotion too. We both pretty much lost it at that point.

Sean had a really good time at school today and was very glad he chose to stay. He and Lawrence were chosen to run errands for the teacher and the kids who stayed had Eegee's and all sorts of snacks. He's on an up-and-down sugar high. He told me that he had thought about having one last Eegee's but that it would have been too much and he wouldn't fall asleep until 12:01. He sort of freaks if he doesn't fall asleep by midnight. When I retrieved him from school we hung around for a little while and he said good-bye to Mrs. Larson (his teacher) and the principal and his kindergarten teacher. It was kind of funny when he hugged his kindergarten teacher because he's almost as tall as her now. I think she was a little startled when he hugged her. She is one of those teachers who hugs the children in the morning when she greets them and in the afternoon when she releases them to their parents. When he was in her class he was still not hugging much and it was extremely hard for him. After about a week or so he asked her if it was okay for him to just shake hands with her instead and she said yes. So I think it really shocked her to get a hug from him. Anyway, we finally left the school about 20 minutes after dismissal.

I took him over to Toys 'R' Overpriced to poke around (no money today to buy anything) and let him play the crane machine since I had $2 for that. We also poked around the Target down the street for a little while. It was a good time to talk as well. A lot of his true feelings about the end of school came out. He's been playing the big man and all but it came out today that he doesn't really want to leave Corbett--which I knew without him saying, but he confirmed it. He told me, "Teacher said it will be a big change for us next year. This year we were the big fish in the ocean and next year we will be the small fish. Mom, I don't want to be the small fish." He is pleased that one of the boys from his class will be going to Utterback though. He found that out from his teacher after school. What makes it even better is that it's one of his friends, not a close friend but they talk sometimes. Also he has been having a big issue with not being a Corbett Cougar anymore. Utterback is the Unicorns and while he wants to go to Utterback he does NOT want to be a unicorn. He associates unicorns with girls and also with the Unicorn Song where they're all shy and scared. He told me that Lawrence told him not to think of it as a unicorn but to think of it as a horned stallion because that's more manly. (I admit I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing at that one.)

He also got his last report card today and it was EXCELLENT. He got more 4s than he's ever gotten before. What was great about them was that they were in core subjects as well as the social stuff. He only dropped in one area and that was listening and speaking. He went from a 4 to a 3. No big deal. Definitely a good way to end the day by seeing such a good report card. Of course, we already knew he'd made the honor roll since they handed out the certificates and bumper stickers on Monday. LOL

He is now on the phone with Lawrence and they are already planning what to do tomorrow. His mother has tomorrow off and she is going to take the boys somewhere. Not sure what they're doing but I'm sure he'll have a good time. He just popped in and asked me if 9:30 was too early. Nope. Works just fine. When the pool warms up a bit we'll have them over to go swimming. Also the other day when they went bowling the kids got cards to register online with the bowling alley to get free passes for 2 games each EVERY DAY. They'll send them in the mail. I'm going to sign him up for that as well and we can do it sometimes. Depending on how much it costs for shoes and games I'd even like to bowl with him sometimes if my hip will let me. At least it's my left one so it's the back leg when I'm releasing the ball rather than the weight-bearing leg. LOL

I probably should stop before I start rambling even more than I already have. It's just been a really nice day and if the evening continues this way I can say that it was a great day in our corner of the world. I hope you're all having a great day as well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


A special friend
     is hard to find.
     A friend who I can talk to.
         Someone who understands
                        my moods,
                        my silence and
                        my distance.
                              A person who accepts just me~
                                  not who they want me to be,
                                  not who I could be,
                                  but just who I am.
                                        These friends are very special.
                                                  I have a few and
                                                    I hope
                                                      to have them.................

by Wilma J. Sargent

Thursday, May 19, 2011

He Startles Me Sometimes

My son is a total chatterbox at home. He starts talking the second he wakes up and doesn't stop until he falls asleep at night and sometimes he even talks in his sleep. He doesn't talk about much but toys or video games or stuff he wants to do though. It's hard to get anything out of him of a serious nature. It's even a struggle sometimes to get out of him what happened at school that day although he has improved in that area. Anyway, today at school they cleaned out their desks since they can't take their backpacks next week as it's the last week. Tonight before he went to bed he went over all the stuff in his backpack with me--at his request, amazingly enough. I was reading some of the stuff in his journal and wanted to share it. It's not earth-shattering writing or anything but it's stuff that does a mother's heart good. I left his writing exactly as it was so there are a few spelling errors.

At the beginning of school they had to do a "Me Bag" where they put three things in that are important to them. Then they had to write about it in their journal and share what they wrote with the class. He showed me what he put in it when he did it but when I asked him if he had shared it he just said yes and wouldn't say more. I was a little concerned about the 3rd one which was a major reason I wanted to know but I just let it go. Tonight I got to read what he shared. The first one is about a toy but the second two I thought were really special:

I will tell you about 3 things that are important to me inside the bag. Bakugan, my family and St. Jude.

The first thing is Bakugan. They are important to me because I collect them. This one is black as the night sky. When you put it on the card click it opens.

The next important thing is my family. They are important because I live with them and they feed and take care of me. I would be confused without them. I really love my family.

The third thing is St. Jude. He is important because my parents believe I would not be alive without him. I brought a prayer card of him. The prayer card I brought was made by my mom.

Overall these 3 things are important to me.

I'm not sure when this poem was done. I'm guessing Veteran's Day.

Life and death do not matter when you serve your country.
Injured yourself for us.
Battles are nothing compared to the love of your country.
Everyone appreciates you.
Respect for you.
The love for your country is important.
Your love for your country is important.

I got a kick out of this one. Again not sure when he wrote it. "I love being an only child because no one can break my collectables and fragile toys." LOL

This next one must have been written when he was hungry. The spelling errors are not typos. :)

In this story I will tell you about my favorite food, pizza. My favorite food is pizza. I prefere my parents  pizza. The toppings I like are pepporoni and sausage. sometimes I get pizza at restaurants too. Overall pizza is the best food.

I think this one was probably written around Thanksgiving time.

In this story I will tell you what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for them because they love me. I am thankful for them because they spend time with me. That is what I am thankful for them.

I am also thankful for video games because they keep me entertained. I am thankful for them because they give me something to do. They also give me something to do when I'm board. That is why I am thankful for them.

I am also thankful for computers because they help me with research. They also keep me entertained. This is why I am thankful.

Overall this is what I am thankful for.

On February 8 he wrote, "My mom is someone I admire because she takes care of me."

On February 9 he wrote, "The things that make a good friend are being nice, being friendly and being a good person.

I was a little startled to read his stuff. He doesn't like to write at all. He doesn't like the physical act of writing at all and he doesn't like having to come up with stories for writing prompts but he does pretty well with it, in my opinion. He is a little stuck on the word "overall" though. LOL

He also brought home some artwork that he did in science class that he wants to share with all my Facebook friends. He told me that he will take pictures of it on his DSi for me this weekend so I can share it with you.

So that's what's going on in our corner of the world. That and John and I celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary tomorrow. Hope everyone has had a great week and will have a great weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Playing Catch-up Yet Again

It seems like I'm always playing catch-up on here. Things haven't been dull though.

First thing is that Sean's opera was last Thursday. He had the lead for his class's section of it and he did extremely well, if I do say so myself as who shouldn't. *grin* Seriously though, he was good. He was the only lead of all three classes who didn't have to have even one line fed to him. The opera was about the industrial revolution and it focused on planes, trains and automobiles. Sean's class wrote theirs about trains. Specifically it was about the steam train and he played a man called John Sanders. Some of the music was original and some of it was borrowed with adapted words. The funniest one that his class adapted was when they sang to him, "You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, Johnny you're no good" and then he clasped his hands and dropped to his knees and said, "Please don't say it again!" and they did it again. LOL He also was really funny every time he said, "Yes, Mother" to his girlfriend who had the role of his bossy mother. At one point she had to pull his ear and according to him, "That's not a prop pull, Mom. She really pulls it and she's quite good at it." I reminded him that she's the oldest of five so she's probably practiced at home. I told her mother and she laughed and pointed to the youngest (he's in 1st grade) and said, "She's had plenty of practice on him." LOL John wasn't able to go to the performance but he went in the morning to the dress rehearsal when they performed for the 4th graders. He spoke to Ms. Kim (one of the opera teachers) and told her that he wouldn't be able to come that evening so he had come to see the morning performance. She asked him whose father he was and when he said Sean she started gushing, "Oh, you'll love his performance. He is such a natural on-stage. We have really enjoyed working with him. He takes direction so well and delivers his lines naturally." Made John feel really good. So the opera was quite a success.

John has just gone through yet ANOTHER schedule change at work. This time he's doing 6pm-4am Sat-Tues, all south patrol. The other driver who was doing south patrol on that schedule bailed so John took it rather than have the one north patrol on Tuesdays. Saves on gas since he doesn't have to drive 30 miles to get to work. The only problem is that it doesn't end at 4am because there is too much to do in 10 hours. He did just find out that he doesn't have to stay at each hit the whole time listed in the patrol book though as long as he does everything that needs to be done. That has really helped. The last couple of nights he's been home close to 5am which isn't too bad. He's feeling better about it too. It's pretty hard to feel positive about your job when they schedule you for 10 hours to do something that physically can't be done in fewer than 12. This way it can.

I had a good Mother's Day. We celebrated it on Friday since that was John's only day off. Sean made me a lovely card at school and they took me out to In-N-Out. Then on Sunday while John slept Sean and I went out together for awhile. I was able to get a new pair of swim trunks for him and we went swimming Sunday afternoon. It was pretty darn cold but we had a good time. He wanted to go again today but we went down after John left for work and it was too cold. He couldn't take it. I didn't even stick a toe in. If an 11-year old can't get all the way in there's no way I'm even gonna try. LOL It's funny, he can be so grown-up that I sometimes forget he's really still a little boy and doesn't completely understand how things work. He was so disappointed that it was cold and felt bad that he couldn't take it. He kept apologizing to me and telling me he was sorry because he knew I wanted to go swimming too. Then he asked if we could go back down and try again later because maybe it would be warmer. He didn't seem to realize that the later it gets the cooler it gets because the sun goes down. I told him we could try again tomorrow and that we'd go down earlier so it wasn't as cold.

That's about all that is going on in our corner of the world. I hope everyone is having a great week.