Category Archives: college

Just a dusting

1. EB, my 18yo son, left these footprints on his way to the school bus this morning.
2. Can you tell which one is a shoe print?

3. I have things on my mind that I can’t write about at the moment. This is where a blog fails as an online journal, but it is important to respect others’ rights to privacy.

4. It was wonderful to have all of my boys at home for a few weeks (and SuperDad took some time off from work, too).

[click on pics to embiggen]

5. I’m pretty sure MM was more than ready to go back to college!

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A Fond Farewell

Christmas break is over for MusicMan — he gets on a plane this afternoon to head back to college. Classes don’t actually start until Monday, but I felt obligated to build in a few extra days of travel time into the schedule “just in case” the weather became a factor in getting him back to school.

Here is our group of musical college students playing “We Three Kings” on handbells. One young woman is in her last year of college, 2 of the other young women are college sophomores, and the remaining 4 ringers  (including MM who forgot to wear white, so he’s the one in blue!) are first-year college students. This group practiced one evening (the Tuesday prior to Christmas) and once again Sunday morning before performing at 11am.  As the director says at the beginning of the video, the music being played was written for 11 ringers but is being played by a choir of seven.

Pretty good, aren’t they?  🙂

And on that note…

We spent Thursday evening watching old Batman movies. Wow, I had a kitschy childhood! I never realized how Crayola-bright Robin’s outfit was, but mostly my boys thought we were nuts for thinking it was such an awesome show way back when. They’re pretty sure 1966 was a really really long time ago.

Here are 5 for your Friday, the last of 2010:

1) Have you seen Melli’s new grandson? He’s absolutely beautiful and wonderfully loved by an incredible extended family. If you need a shot of cute or “awwwww” these pictures will make your day.  (There’s an incredible backstory of God’s Grace, too, but I’m going for “awwwww” today.)

2) Humorous-Juniorous, my 15yo son, has asked me to forward all of the College Board SAT prep questions to him (they’ve been arriving in my e-mail inbox for months). He’s apparently enjoying the chance to answer the daily questions and finding them to be correct. Someone get this kid a scholarship!

3) Speaking of scholars and proud families, MusicMan made the President’s Honor Roll at his college for the first semester (complete with an impressive GPA of 3.86). This isn’t a “mommy blog” but I can’t NOT brag about how proud I am of him!

4) Aside from the overwhelming amount of testosterone running amuck in my house this week, it has been soooo nice to have everyone home and together. I’m trying to savor it, because when MM flies back to school next week, we won’t see him for 4-5 months.

5) For the first part of the sentence on #4, I will be getting a ton of spam… and not the kind you can fry up in a camping fry pan.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Do you have any plans for the evening/weekend? And are your plans as exciting as old Batman movies? 😛

Today is THE day

The Apple Cup

Raising our Children to Adulthood

Jenn recently wrote a post (and a follow-up post) based on her reading of the New York Times Magazine article What Is It About 20-Somethings?

I am especially intrigued by the questions raised on page 2 of the article, and later on by the question of whether or not the delay is the result of young people not ready for adulthood or parents unwilling to let go.   (I’m particularly aware of the letting go process right now, as I’ve just sent my first-born off to college. Letting go is difficult stuff!)

I married at age 22 (my husband was 24) and we lived below the poverty line for the first several years of marriage. We also lived within our means: Vacation was a backpacking trip in a local forest or a drive to visit family, groceries were severely budgeted (after one month of powdered milk –blech!– I did insist on the liquid version), and our furniture was all hand-me-downs or yard sale bargains.  We each worked while going to school.
College graduation and a decent paying job did not drastically change our lifestyle. While we did move to a better neighborhood (no more drug deals happening down the street), we still had “experienced” furniture.  I joyfully became a SAHM and willingly accepted hand-me-down clothing and furnishings for our babies.  We had been married for 10 years before we bought our first new sofa — and yes, we still have it.

I do confess that it has been a very long time since I followed a budget for groceries, clothing, or even “extras.” Yes, I know I am spoiled. This will probably be a difficult change next year when my husband retires.  However, my teens would tell you that we still live rather inexpensively. We rarely go out to the movies; instead, we wait for the dvd to come out and then we hope that the library buys a copy! They know how many gallons of milk they drink in a week.   I’d like to think we have taught them well… but I could be very wrong.

For years I have noticed the “entitlement” attitude of adults my age and younger. Many people think they should continue living at the socio-economic level of their parents when they themselves are just starting out their adult lives. They put themselves into unnecessary debt because they purchase (on credit, not cash) matching living room and bedroom sets right out of college. I see this as the beginning of an entitlement lifestyle that gets handed down to the next generation.  Is this because so many young adults today cannot recall their parents in economically leaner times? I do know that my husband and I both remember our parents struggling financially while raising a young family. We look around us now and see many who do not live this way. They don’t seem to say, “No, I’m sorry, we can’t afford that.”

Perhaps this is because many people truly can afford luxuries. But is it a good thing to give our kids everything they desire? I’m not suggesting that it is a bad thing to be financially secure. I’m rather fond of it myself! I do, however, believe that young people today need to understand where the money is coming from and how to manage finances without going into credit card debt.

Are we leading our children into a future of debt by letting them think that credit cards buy anything and everything? Is that the only example we show them on a daily basis? Do we discuss budgets, saving for big purchases, or even the cost of groceries?

Vacation, Day 3

One of the great things about the area we were staying (besides the really wonderful house) is the close proximity to Jane’s Island State Park. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up portable, non-perishable lunch items and headed on over to rent 3 tandem kayaks. At first, I wanted to be in a canoe because I have experience with them, but the water was really choppy where we were putting in and I was quickly convinced that a kayak was the way to go! Thanks to Jenn, I was eager to try one out — and I have increased respect for her summer workout routine. Kayaking is fun exercise! 😀

We paddled on the waterway (much further than we had thought it was going to be) to an island with a private dock owned by the park system. My arms, legs, and core muscles were very happy for a rest while we had lunch! And then we paddled our way back to the main dock. All in all, it was a 3-hour tour. We felt blessed that the threatening storm went around us, or we might have become a modern version of Swiss Family Robinson on Gilligan’s Island… complete with saltwater marsh and mosquitoes. 

After showers and a bit of rest, we indulged in a family vacation tradition: seeing a movie at a movie theater. With 6 of us, it’s a splurge to buy tickets and see a film on the big screen. We usually wait to rent the video (or better yet, borrow it from the library).  It seemed apropos to see Toy Story 3, since MM was heading off to college soon. And yes, I cried at the end.

By the time we returned to the house, everyone pretty much fell into bed.

Friday 5: the college edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, the bird has flown the nest.

1. MusicMan has headed off to college… on the other side of the country.

2. The Onion has  tips on how to keep in touch.

3. Lucky for him, I do have a life, which means I don’t have time for stalking him.  (But go ahead and click the link above, it is classic Onion.)

4. Four minus one really does equal three.

5. There’s an empty spot at our dinner table. 😦

Decision made

It was bound to happen…

… because he likes red…

…and because despite the fact that I, myself, was a Husky, we raised our kids to be Coug fans — pleasing my husband and annoying my brothers all at once. 😀

The decision wasn’t made 4-1/2 years ago when this picture was taken (my older brother refused to display it on his refrigerator, but I knew it would go down that way). The decision still needs to be announced by the decision-maker to his extended family, but MusicMan isn’t a fan of being the focus of attention.

The deposit money has been sent, so I guess I can officially call myself: