Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reaching the Next Level

Whew.  What a summer so far!  W has been enjoying having July off from academics and I think he'd like August off as well, so why not.  We'll just pick things back up in September.  I have all the supplies I need:  tons of notebooks, drawing paper, sketch books, dry erase markers & whiteboard, pens, pencils, and most of his curriculum.  All I have to buy is Saxon Algebra 1 (maybe, lol).

J continues to dance up to 3 days a week.  She was one of 3 girls selected (out of at least 30) to be one of the backup dancers for an up-and-coming singer.  All this paid work (and paid rehearsals) makes her a true professional dancer.  And so many more incredible projects are coming up.  She is also sometimes assisting her choreographer in his weekly classes.  Another music video she's in was just released yesterday.  And we just got back from...  Nationals!  We went to Atlantic City for a week.  J did great and her new studio was amazing.  We had such a great time.  We have always treated Nationals as our family vacation, and this was the best one yet.

K is almost finished with her cosmetology training.  She has about 6 weeks left.  For the last month or so she has just been taking clients all day.  She gets great tips and 90% of them re-book with her (usually for 6-8 weeks later).  She's already building her own clientele this way.  She is so happy that she threw care to the wind and followed her heart and found something she absolutely loves to do.

All of us have jump on the Mediterranean diet wagon.  I hear it's one of the healthiest ways to eat.  So, breakfast is a lot of whole grains, Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, eggs, honey, etc.  Lunch is grilled meats, whole grains, fruit, feta, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olive oil, fresh herbs, cucumbers, lettuce & tomato, pita bread, etc.  Snacks are whole grains, tuna, hummus, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, etc.  Dinners are grilled meats, fish, vegetables, salads, stir fries, brown rice, etc.  We feel better already.

I feel like all of us are stepping into the next level of our lives:  K's cosmetology career, J's college and dance career, W's starting 8th grade - only a year til high school, our new healthy living plan (not only eating but exercising too), my new job, and all the brand new things going on with B's job.  It's an exciting time and I'm so grateful.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Summer is Here

W's CAT-E results came back and he got 97 out of 100 correct, which put him in the 99th percentile.  He couldn't believe it and I'm so proud of him.  He fretted over this test all year, but I knew he'd do fine.  All he needed was the directions read to him.  He told me that this time around he felt more confident that he was answering properly since he was sure about what was being asked.  I wish I'd known that for the 5th grade test.  Now he can relax for another 2 years since the next test will be at the end of 9th grade.  All paperwork was sent in at the end of June and we already got the packet for the 2014-2015 school year.  I'm really looking forward to W's 8th grade.  I'm treating it as practice for high school.  I'll be keeping more detailed records and practicing writing a transcript and course descriptions.  I've been reading so much about it already.  My favorite resource so far has been the books and website of Lee Binz (The Homescholar).

In other news, J graduated from high school last week!  The beautiful ceremony was held in Lincoln Center.  She looked gorgeous and so does that (arts & regents endorsed) diploma.  It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating that she got into the school.  Have 4 years really gone by already?  Thank you, LaGuardia Arts, for everything.

A few days before graduation, she had her senior prom.  The venue was the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.  She wore a light blue gown with silver stones and jewels on one side of the front.  She wore sparkly silver flats instead of heels (smart, imo), spent the day getting groomed with a mani-pedi, professional makeup, and got her hair done by none other than her sister (K) at the cosmetology school.  She, her date, and a few friends had a white stretch limo take them into Manhattan in style.

J has also been so busy dancing.  She is preparing for Nationals with her amazing new studio.  It's coming up soon and we can't wait.  She is also working with a big choreographer who has just gotten her another dance job with a gold record singer.  They'll be performing locally in August.

Now summer has really begun.  I plan on living fully every day and savoring every moment (I tend to rush summer to get to autumn - my favorite season).  By the end of summer, K will be working full-time in her dream profession and really starting her adult life.  And J will be getting ready to live in Manhattan for college.  I know it's only 20 minutes away, but it's a huge independent step.  And when did W get taller than me?  He's becoming more and more independent every day and in the blink of an eye, he will be off to college, too.  This, right now, really is the best time of my life, with my husband and children here every day.  I'm truly grateful and plan on making it count.