Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brag Post

My children never cease to amaze me and make me proud.

A year ago, K had just started beauty school.  Within a month of graduating, she landed a position in an upscale styling salon (while still continuing to work as a server in an ale house near home).

She took her cosmetology practical state board exam on Monday and on Wednesday she got the email that she passed.  On Saturday (on a whim) she decided to update her resume and called a bigger and better salon closer to home.  They told her to come in for an interview and had her demonstrate a hair blowout.  The ad required 3 years experience, but they were so impressed by her skills, they hired her on the spot!  She was not expecting to get hired so quickly.  She's not even starting as an assistant - she's going in as a full hairdresser/hairstylist.  Cuts, color, highlights, treatments, everything.

J is getting all As and Bs in school.She is pushing herself beyond any limit she's ever had to go through.  She's memorizing scenes, learning to lose her Queens accent, singing more than ever, and dancing more than 20 hours a week.  She auditioned for and made it into the school-wide tap showcase.  Only 10 kids were chosen and she was picked to be in a trio. I can't wait to see this performance.  She has adjusted so well to living on her own.  They don't do meal plans there, so she grocery shops and cooks her own food, does her own laundry, and is never late for, nor missed a class.  She keeps her dorm room super clean and it seems to be the room all her friends hang out in.

She is also still assisting a major choreographer on the weekends.  She travels with him all around the tri-state area to different studios teaching master classes, competition solos and group numbers, and special recreational classes.  She is an incredible teacher.

I am constantly in awe of their confidence, maturity, independence, and fierce determination.  This has made them both stand out in almost every situation.  I truly believe homeschooling had a huge hand in this.

W seems to be on that same path.  He knows what he wants, he is focused and determined, and already independent and confident.  He has overcome almost all of his visual processing issues and dyslexia.  Looking at the diagnostic report from just 3 years ago, you wouldn't know it was the same kid.  I see a great future for him as well.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Birthday!

I think the freezing cold, snowy NYC winter is finally ending.  I love the cold and the winter, but the snow became too much.  We still got out of the house a lot, though.  W has been meeting up with his friends for go-karts, laser tag and dodge ball, bowling, and for some cool classes, including a seal necropsy at the Riverhead Aquarium.

That was an awesome experience.  A seal was found in the Bellport Harbor (Long Island), having died of some unknown cause.  It was taken to the aquarium and put in a freezer.  It was thawed out for the teens to perform an autopsy on it.  After a few kids started cutting open the skin, they measured its blubber layer.  Then, using scalpels, they got most of the skin off and broke through the breastbone.  The organs looked good.  The instructor cut open the heart to see if there was heartworm (which seals can get just like dogs can).  Then she spent a few minutes feeling the lungs for any parasites or disease.  When she opened the stomach we saw a lot of sand and rocks in there.  This is what killed the seal.  When seals are stressed they eat things they're not supposed to.  It was sad to think the seal was stressed for any reason, but seals really don't belong in Bellport Harbor - or anywhere in Long Island, really.  It was so cool for W to experience a bit of what veterinarians and forensic workers do.  

W made his Confirmation last week!   11 years of catechism classes and now he's got 4 sacraments under his belt.  He started classes at 2 years old since he begged to go - and the third child was free,   It's going to be weird not having classes anymore, but he's glad to have reached the end.  The ceremony was wonderful.  J was his sponsor and went up with him as he got the chrism oil.  At his Christening, his father and I answered questions from the priest on what we believe.  At Confirmation, W was asked the same questions from the bishop and was able to answer for himself.  It's such a beautiful full circle.  We all went out for a great lunch afterwards.  The next day W turned 14.  The years really went by quickly.  8th grade will be over in 3 months and he'll begin his high school years.