Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Race to the Finish

Finally, we are out of school.  And, finally, a post from the purple palace.  The cats are fine.  Spunky doesn't look fine, but her behaves well and eats well.  I hope you don't mind the photo dump, but many different things happened that were photo-worthy.  First of all, we held our annual senior barbecue and kickball game.  My team lost for the first time ever.  We tie-dyed shirts for the two teams and we all looked great.  As always, it was a fun, but hot, afternoon.  Travis came and made funnel cakes - always a hit.  
The 2013 Senior Kickball game
That week, we also got to hand out our state championship rings to the cheer team.  That was lots of fun to see them all so excited about it.  The ring is rather large; it covers knuckle to knuckle!

Then there was that week that Morgan came home!  It was so good to have her here, even if it was just for 6 days.  I let the girls out of school and they drove with me down to Orlando to get Morgan.  She was home specifically for her dear friend JoAnna's wedding.  
As always, Morgan has a good time wherever she goes!  JoAnna was a beautiful bride!!
We were able to go out to lunch for Rozzie's 17th birthday!  Happy Birthday Rozzie!!  Even tho it was Rozzie's birthday, everyone got shoes.  Apparently, Morgan was wearing tennis shoes that Maddie had grown out of in 7th grade!
Lunch at Bahama Breeze
Rozzie is now 17.  This was taken at a Young Women's activity where they learned a little about photography.  This is just a reminder to me to get her senior pictures taken!!  (Jenny - we'll have to coordinate schedules!!)
 On the heels of Rozzie's birthday was graduation.  Rozzie was a graduation marshalI  again; however, she was promoted.  Last year she tied off a rope.  This year she led a row of seniors onto the field and through the graduation process.  Due to her quick thinking and somewhat questionable tact, she was able to lead her friend Lauren's row and also sat just a few seats away from me.  By chance, I ended up seated just a few feet away from our dear Chelsea who is recovering from her brain tumor surgery and doing very well.  The dance coach (Ali) and I discussed what a treat it was to sit so close to her and be grateful for her and her recovery.  What a miracle!!
Lauren, Rozzie & Chelsea
Rozzie takes her work very seriously
Spying on Rozzie

Celebrating Chelsea's graduation moment
 Many of you have heard the story of Matt.  Matt was my student the past two years.  On the first day of school his junior year, he filled out a student information sheet as did all my students.  In response to the sections "Interests", he wrote:  trains and West Virginia.  That was an odd response, but I thought to myself, "I've found a new best friend for Travis!!"  Weeks later in a meeting with Matt's mother and grandmother, it became apparent that Matt was the one who needed a new best friend and mentor.  I was informed of the alcohol and drug abuse in the home.  His parents had been in and out of jail on a variety of charges.  Money was spent on drugs and alcohol rather than food.  All Matt wanted was to get out of high school and the house, and work for the railroad.  My department head worked with Travis to set up a Big Brother program that paired Matt up with Travis to act as a mentor to help Matt attain his goal of working for the railroad.  The past two years have been horrific for Matt and his family.  The one constant (other than Grandma) was Travis.  Matt has now graduated and is on his way in the next few weeks to start a job in Fitzgerald, Georgia, working at a railroad car shop.  He will get his 2 years of experience working outdoors and with heavy machinery so that he can apply to become a railroad conductor.  This has been a life-changing experience for both Matt and Travis (and even me).  I don't know who benefited more.  Matt knew what he wanted (and didn't want); however, he lacked the knowledge and resources to make it happen.  Travis provided him with that.  Matt has not been "given" anything, but will be successful on his own.  I am so proud of him.  He is a humble man who just wanted better than what he had seen in his house.  On the other hand, Travis has seen some of the problems we face at school and has a different understanding of people.  This has been a great source of satisfaction and joy for Travis.  We are really proud of Matt.  His grandma threw him a party with lots of family and friends there.  His mom is trying to clean up.  Dad was shipped off to live with his mom in Oregon the morning of the party.  Apparently, everyone here in Florida is over his antics.  Travis and Matt head to Fitzgerald to get Matt's apartment lined up tomorrow!!
Congratulations to Matt!!
 Then I got this hair-brained idea to make cute pillowcases for the dance team to take to camp.  Rozzie thought they needed their names embroidered on them.
 And let's see what Maddie is up to.  She is driving a lot more, in anticipation of her 16th birthday in November.  I like this picture of us.  The phone camera makes everything backwards.
That is us in a nutshell.  I hope you are all done with school and on your way to a great summer.