I’m Back (and with a plan to be more consistent)!

It’s kind of funny that my last post I said that I did still exist and was going to do better about posting. Then the end of the school year happened and it was just madness. I do have a plan now though! Thanks in part to some great posts from 180 Days to Happy and reading the book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. I’m hoping to set up a morning routine 2 days a week that will involve blogging a bit before the crazy of the day begins.

But let’s back up before we go any further. This looks long, but there are a bunch of pictures. 🙂

Right around the time that I claimed I still existed we had three OM (Odyssey of the Mind) teams at my school compete at the State competition in North Carolina. We were fortunate to have 2 of the 3 teams place 1st and get invited to World Finals in Iowa! I’ve coached OM teams for 8 years and this was the first time I’d coached a team to World Finals. Add to that the fact that the middle school I teach at has only done the program for 2 years and that’s an accomplishment! I’d previously coached for 4 years at an elementary school. We had a blast in Iowa competing, hanging out, meeting teams from around the world, trading pins… The Driver’s Test team (yep, they had to build and design a car that completed various tasks) I coached placed 4th in the world out of 46 teams and our How We Rule team (creating a fictional royal court with some specifics from historical courts) placed 8th out of 48 teams. Top 10 in the world! Blown away.

10428646_10203206365177267_264368785360934860_nRight before performing at World Finals

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Pin trading!  We had pins made for the kids and they wanted a zombie theme. 🙂

10334417_766710778593_5807256804479828294_nI traded for a Doctor Who pin. I was quite pleased.

All of the planning, preparing, financial stuff in getting ready for World Finals (which was at the end of May RIGHT BEFORE EOGs) made things crazy and hectic. I needed a break by the time school ended. I needed summer. It was a choppy kind of summer. Busy and unusual in some ways.

A few days after school was out we had a big family event coming up! My sister was getting married! So I drove up with my dad and my youngest sister to New Hampshire (mom flew up). 16 hour drive both ways but worth it.

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Wedding fun!

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Hil and Derek

A few days after the wedding I went up to my family’s place in the mountains for about a week and a half. That turned out to be the getaway for the summer.

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Right before heading home my OM team had planned a get together nearby in the Virginia mountains. They really got along and liked hanging out, being together and having fun. So I headed up there and we camped and went rafting down the New River.

10412034_748799375184484_7107577262014620324_nAfter we returned from rafting I got a phone call from my mother and sister to get back to them ASAP. My grandfather had passed away overnight. We can’t say it was a surprise but the timing was unexpected. My grandmother had been going downhill with Alzheimer’s after they had attempted living with both of my dad’s brothers and their families for a time. We’d convinced my grandfather she’d be safer and better off in an Alzheimer facility. He was always visiting her but I know he still worried about her. He’d lost a lot of weight over the months of living with my aunts and uncles. A few of them think he likely died of starvation. He also had diabetes and a few questionable changes his doctors made with that prior to his passing. Either way it was hard to hear. We drove back up to New England and despite the circumstances it was good to see my dad’s side of the family.

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All of of the cousins together in the same place for the first time in five years!

I stayed a few days longer to help them start going through things at my grandparents’ house. The greatest blessing in the situation was knowing that just 2-3 weeks before his death my grandfather was able to be at Hilary’s wedding. I LOVE the picture of the two of them below and the one of them holding the picture of my grandmother who wasn’t able to be there.

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After returning home from the funeral it was late July. I think I was home a total of 6 nights (mostly just to sleep) from June 16 to July 24. A couple of days after getting home we had LOVE Week scheduled at my church. I had a blast with it last summer serving at a camp Christ Our Shepherd ran for kids who come from single parent homes. I did it again this summer with a few people who had also served last year. We had a blast!

10530909_781163575073_444287125575795973_nNot long after LOVE Week we had a volunteer event and they had a photobooth they set up. It was a fun night.

10600404_786512101583_5162088201391566880_nAnd now here we are at the end of the workdays. School starts on Monday! I’m ready for the routine and structure again after this summer. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t terrible – just unusual, choppy, busy and emotional. It definitely had highlights and fun times.

I did a lot of thinking, getting ideas and planning (helped a lot by TpT, Instagram and Teaching Teens in the 21st) once August arrived so I’ll have to post about that and how workdays went soon. Here’s to hoping year 9 gets off to a great start!

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