Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thank you for your patience.....

OK - things have slowed down enough I think I can finally write again! The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. And much of it spent sitting - in cars, airplanes, orientation meetings, meals and finally - back to work. Strange as it may sound, I am sore from head to toe from sitting!

Since I am at work, I don't have any La Vida pictures to post - if I think about it tonight I'll try to put some up. But suffice it to say that Carissa had a good, and exhausting, time at La Vida. 12 days in the Adirondack Mountains - 2 of them solo. She was assigned to the kayaking patrol. There were also a couple canoe patrols and also mountain patrols. Her group had 10 kids, including kids from Iowa, California, Georgia, New York - and ironically, three kids from the West Chicago area. Carissa met John in February - he is from Naperville. Carissa has known the other student, Jessica, since they were toddlers even tho their paths took different directions over the years. She is also from West Chicago. John and Jessica were both students at Wheaton Academy. As predicted, this group bonded. Really tightly. LOL. The other night after orientation stuff wore down they got together just to veg. And the next night Carissa said she had meetings to go to, and all she wanted to do was hang with Kayak One. Word is that La Vida patrols are pretty much bonded for life. I am beginning to see evidence of that even at this early stage.
Anyway, Kim and I flew to out Wenham, MA after LaVida and arrived at campus about a half hour before the kids returned. They got a major big welcome from orientation leaders (soph, jr and sr. students who came back early) - signs, posters, cheers; a great big welcome to Gordon College and a congratulations on surviving La Vida.
They were then able to move into their dorms - a day earlier than the general population. Which was nice. Carissa's roommate (Kaitlyn, see pic) was on a canoe patrol and also moved in Thursday night.
One of the girls from Carissa's kayak patrol lives directly across the hall from her.
Their dorm is the newest dorm on campus, Chase Hall. She is on the third floor right next to the kitchen and lounge. Also the stairs and elevator. The dorm even has front loader washers! Two rooms make up a suite and share a bathroom.

Chase Hall
Named in honor of Trustee Don Chase and his wife Barbara, Chase Hall has 162 beds and is organized as a series of suites with every two rooms sharing a shower and restroom. In addition to the double suites, Chase Hall also has a kitchen on each floor, three classrooms and a spacious lounge area that overlooks the campus quadrangle. Chase is also designed for energy efficiency in accordance with Gordon's broader aim to promote renewable energy and resources on campus.

Again, we were very impressed with the campus, the faculty and the philosophy of Gordon. It's too involved to write here, but if you want to know more just ask me! Carissa and Gordon seem tailor made for each other.
Kim and I spent time with Jessica's parents - going out for a lobster dinner in Gloucester on Friday night, and then we spent time with Kaitlyn's parents (Carissa's roommate) going out for a seafood/lobster dinner with them in Essex after we left campus Saturday night. (The first pic is Ned, up close and personal with his lobster. The second pic is Kaitlyn's parents, Sandy and Bill.)

It was a good weekend, but stressful. I was so tired of meeting new people. I could feel myself curling up a little inside and retreating with each new person I had to meet. All were nice, and I felt frustrated with my inability to get past my introverted self. Batteries were dead, no chance to recharge. Fortunately we met Kaitlyn's parents the first night, as well as reconnected with Ned and Linda, so they got in early before I began to check out.....
I could understand Carissa's sentiments that she just wanted to chill with her Kayak patrol, it was becoming too overwhelming.

And, then, Kim and I returned home and we each started the school year. And it has been crazy.
I choose not to vent here, but suffice it to say I was ready to quit after the second day. And so my stress level increases. My neck is in knots, my head is aching, and I basically hurt all over. I'm looking forward to coffee with my friend Betsy in about 2 hours. Enjoy the pix!

Carissa in her room.

Carissa's bed

The other side of her room

A section of the dining hall

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Creed for the school year......

Live beneath your means.

Return everything you borrow.

Stop blaming other people.

Admit it when you make a mistake.

Give clothes not worn in three years to charity.

Do something nice and try not to get caught.

Listen more; talk less.

Every day take a 30-minute walk.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Be on time.

Don't make excuses.

Don't argue.

Get organized.

Be kind to kind people.

Be kind to unkind people.

Let someone cut ahead of you in line.

Take time to be alone.

Reread your favorite book.

Cultivate good manners.

Be humble.

Realize and accept that life isn't fair.

Know when to keep your mouth shut.

Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.

Learn from the past.

Plan for the future.

Live in the present.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

It's all small stuff.

-from a Quaker newsletter

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crazy busy.....

Sorry guys - I have been really, really busy lately. We were in Massachusetts over the weekend with Carissa - moving her into her dorm, and then yesterday the new school year began so I am back at work. When things calm down a little I'm sure I'll have plenty to say! Be back soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Finally! Vermont :)

So - a week ago we were in Massachusettes dropping Carissa off at Gordon College. Let me first say I wouldn't recommend driving 2500 miles in 4.5 days. Ever. But you gotta do what you gotta do. So, we rented a Kia Sedona and loaded it up. If her other two room mates bring that much stuff I have no clue where they will put it all....
We had to store her stuff for the 12 days she is on La Vida. Fortunately we could do that in a designated area on campus.

Then we headed home. By way of VERMONT! Not exactly on the way home, but it was the only state left of the continental United States that I had not been in, tho I have been around it many times. So we took a detour and did a short road trip.
We ate at the Blue Benn Diner in Bennington,
as well as visited some covered bridges and a monument. Nothing fancy, but good food and beautiful scenery......
Anyway, we are back home, very tired - still. And we leave again Thursday for MA - flying this time - for parent/student orientation and to move Carissa into her room.
BTW, I just checked the weather for the area of the Adirondacks she is in, and it is supposed to be in the lower 30's the next couple nights.....

A day after we returned home Jen left for Rio. So we lost 2 kids in less than a week. :( Before she left we took her to The Irish Oak which is in Wrigleyville a block from Wrigley Field.

Carissa and Jen, we miss you!


Click to view my Personality Profile page

Pretty expected results.

"creative, smart, idealist, loner, attracted to sad things, disorganized, avoidant, can be overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings..." INFP

The multiple intellengences does not surprise me at all.

Fun test - but I didn't really learn anything new.

Thanks for the link Julie!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Just so you know...

I am still alive, just incredibly busy getting Carissa ready to leave tomorrow for college. Tired, broke and crazy busy. Hope all is well with all of you!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ladies nite out

Dana, Tina and I went out tonight for my birthday. :)

Do you know how many calories we probably consumed? But we had a great dinner at Big Bowl - Pad Thai to die for, Mango Cheesecake, Pomegranate Sangria.....
and then the night was just absolutely perfect for sitting on the patio at Max and Ermas and having good conversation and good drinks (I only had these two - honest...)) with good friends. The waiter even brought me this huge piece of banana creme pie on the house (actually on him) with three forks.. I highly recommend the banana creme pie at Max and Erma's.....

And I highly recommend celebrating your birthday with your best girlfriends! :)