"O say can you see by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war's desolation. Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
That has been so true for us lately! A lot has been going on here, and where it has been tiring physically, it's also been a little draining mentally! Just trying to take it all in and remember where everyone has to be and when!
It would take forever to go into every little detail for each person, and it would probably be WAY too confusing anyway, so I will just share some highlights and recap this spring.
Kaitlyn started working for Brenneman's - an ice cream/pizza place just a few miles from our house. Kelley worked there last summer and is also helping out again this summer. They both really liked working there!
Tuesday, April 29th:
Last summer, Kaitlyn put in applications at 2 different banks, on 3 separate occasions. She didn't get any of the jobs, and was totally fine with that. Last fall, she already knew that she could have a job at Brenneman's in the spring if she wanted it, plus she was babysitting for a neighbor, working for Wagner IBA and helping out around the house a lot. But on April 29th, she received a call from the bank, saying that there was a job opening, and would she please consider accepting it. It was SO out the blue, and she was kind of in shock for a few hours, not really sure what she should do! But after she thought and prayed about it and talked to mom and dad, she went down the next day, and accepted it!!
This was the end of Kelley's final week of school for her third semester! She had two very big tests, and passed both of them with flying colors!! She (as well as many of her class mates) participated in a project for the nursing honor society, involving a fundraiser for the March of Dimes March for Babies. She raised over $650 for the cause, and joined the 5 mile walk as well.
Part of the Allegheny nursing group.
Kelley and her friend, Emily, are the last two on the first row (left to right).
Monday, May 19th:
Mom had to take Kaitlyn and Kaleb to Virginia to Uncle Wayne to have their teeth cleaned. That week, Aunt Dianna was watching three of her grandchildren: 8-year-old twins and a 3-year-old. Katrina was just about finished with school, so she willing went down with mom and stayed with Aunt Diana the entire week to help her out with the kids! She had a lot of fun, and was a big help to Aunt Dianna!
Tuesday May 20th:
Kaitlyn and Kaleb both passed their drivers test and got their license!!
We were so proud of them and excited for them!
But at the same time, it was also sad - Katrina is the only one that doesn't have her drivers license now!!
How is it possible that any of us are old enough to drive, much less Kaleb and Kaitlyn?!?!!!!
(Don't mind the look on Kaleb's face! He was eating a cookie!)
Wednesday, May 21st - Friday, May 23rd:
Kaitlyn officially started her new job with 3 days of observation!
Friday, May 23rd:
Ever since Kelley finished up this semester in school, she had been going around to different Doctor's offices and nursing homes, trying to find a job for the summer. No one seemed to be hiring, but then she finally got an interview and accepted a job at one of the local nursing homes. It was in the "nursing" field, so she was excited about it. But on May 23rd, she got a call from the hospital. They accept a couple of third-semester nursing students every summer for an "Extern" program. Basically, it's a job opportunity only for nursing students, where in an 8-week program, they can work in 5 different departments and every shift. So it's a really neat opportunity. Kelley had applied for it, but by the time she put her application in, they said they weren't taking any more applicants. So when they called and said they were going to take 1 more student for the summer, and asked if she wanted to apply, she was BEYOND excited!! She promptly left the house and went straight to the hospital to pick up the application! She had to get it to both of her nursing instructors for them to fill out certain parts, and she managed to have all of it filled out and turned in by Sunday afternoon!
Also, on this particular day, around 9 o'clock that evening, we finally had everything packed and all of us but Kelley and Katrina, left on vacation to Massanutten Resort in Virginia!! We couldn't get there soon enough!
Saturday, May 24th:
Aunt Dianna lives about an hour from Massanutten, so she brought Katrina over on Saturday morning!
Sunday, May 25th:
Kelley had to work at Brenneman's Friday and Saturday night, so after church Sunday afternoon, she packed up and came to Virginia to spend the rest of the week with us there.
We always look forward to attending services at Victory Baptist Church when we're in Harrisonburg.
Monday, May 26th:
In the morning, Dad and I enjoyed going down to the gym on the Resort and using the treadmills!
Mom, Kelley, Kaitlyn, Katrina and I went shopping around Harrisonburg that afternoon, and got in on some great Memorial Day sales! Dad and Kaleb spent the majority of the day car shopping!
That evening, we were invited to attend a Memorial Day picnic at the Church, and we really enjoyed the fellowship!
Tuesday, May 27th:
First thing that morning (after another trip to the gym!), Dad and Kaleb went back out for more car shopping and brought a Ford Explorer to the condo for all of us to see and test drive. We loved our little Subaru car, but it was getting way up there in mileage, plus a lot of things were needing to be fixed, and dad wasn't sure that it was worth putting that much money in.
During this time, Kelley also received a call from the hospital, asking when they could schedule an interview with her! Again, she was SO excited and and scheduled it for Friday afternoon.
Later, Aunt Dianna came back over for the afternoon and we all met up to go visit mom's Aunt Margaret and Uncle Glenn. We try to go see them every year, and we always look forward to visiting with them!
That evening, Kaitlyn purchased her first car! A '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. She was super excited, and then again pretty nervous at the same time! But it's really cute and she loves it!
It had been closed up for a while, so we went to Dollar Tree to get a couple of cleaning supplies and Dad helped Kaitlyn clean it out a little bit!
Wednesday, May 28th:
That morning ( it was vacation, so take "morning" as anywhere from 10 a.m. on!!!), Mom and I wanted to check out a Cato store, but we didn't know where it was, so dad showed us how to get there, and then we dropped him and Kaleb off at a dealership where Kaleb bought his first car!! Actually, a truck! He was super excited, but tried not to show it too much!! He got an '01 Dodge Ram 1500.
Kaleb made his own keychain!! He made a slightly different one for Kaitlyn, too!
Thursday, May 29th:
The worst day of a vacation is always the last day :( no matter how many fun things you do!!
Dad had decided to trade in the Subaru for the Explorer. He had started the paperwork on Tuesday, so we just had to go in and pick it up.
There is another IBA dealer in that area that mom and dad had gotten to know over the years of going to business meetings. That evening, we all went over to their house to visit. They are really sweet people and we enjoyed getting to meet them. She had made gluten-free Strawberry Shortcake - so thoughtful!
Friday, May 30th:
So we went to Virginia with 2 vehicles and came home with 4!
To top it off, we all had to go in different directions!
Kaleb will be graduating next year, and our home school satellite program requires the Juniors to help with the Seniors class graduation (helping set up, tear down, pass out programs, usher, serve during the reception, etc.). This year, the graduation happened to be that weekend! But, Kelley had to get home for her interview at the hospital that afternoon! So Kelley drove the Explorer and Katrina rode with Kaitlyn who drove her car! They left for home around 7:30 am.
I rode with Kaleb in his truck, and mom and dad drove the van, and we headed to Laurel, MD! We switched out half way there, because neither Kaleb or mom wanted to drive on the Beltway, so I drove the van, and dad drove Kaleb's truck. We stayed with Dad's cousin, Viv, that night, which was about an hour from the church were the graduation ceremony would take place the next day. We had most of the afternoon and evening to visit with her, which was great! We had a great time, and really appreciate Viv allowing us to stay with her!
Saturday, May 31st:
Dad, Mom, Kaleb and I attended the graduation and then left for home!
Sunday, June 1st:
After church Sunday morning, we ran back home to get a bite to eat and then went about 20 minutes down the road to a home school graduation for one of Kaitlyn's friends. When we got back home, Kaitlyn and mom re-packed their bags. After church that evening, they headed to Hagerstown, where Kaitlyn had 3 days of training for the bank.
Monday, June 2nd:
Kaitlyn started her training, and Kaleb and Katrina both started new jobs as well!!!
Kaleb started working for a landscaping company just down of road from us. He is on the crew that does mostly mulching, mowing/trimming, and a variety of other things. He has to get up pretty early in the morning now (at work by 6:45 a.m.), but he has really enjoyed it! This picture was taken last week, and he's gotten even more sun since then!!
For about the past 8 years, Kaleb has worked for our neighbor who raises standard poodles. He went up every single day at noon to feed and water the dogs, and do pretty much whatever Trudy needed him to do. Sometimes he'd be up there for 10 minutes, other times it was 2 hours!
Katrina has been washing the dogs and is learning how to groom them now as well.
Since Kaleb is no longer available to go up at noon every day, that has now been passed down to Katrina! Trudy wasn't crazy about loosing Kaleb, but Katrina was already very familiar with the dogs and the entire process really, so it's working out!!! Now, Katrina spends A LOT more time up there, between doing what she was already doing and now adding what Kaleb used to do on top of all that!!
Kelley also heard from the hospital that morning and they said she GOT THE JOB!!!
She was on cloud 9 for days! Well, actually she still is!!!
Monday, June 2nd - Monday, June 9th:
For the entire week, dad went to work every day, and then came home to work on vehicles or the garden!
Both Kaleb's and Kaitlyn's vehicles failed inspection the first time. With Kaitlyn's car, it wasn't huge things, just all things that took time, so dad worked and worked on that. Finally, it was all done and passed inspection! He managed to till the garden and plant the potatoes one day, as well! He ran out of time trying to get Kaleb's truck finished, but it was really okay, because Kaleb can walk to work if he has to (it's not even 1/4 of a mile).While in Hagerstown, Mom got to visit with two of her Aunts and a cousin. Kaitlyn and Mom returned home Wednesday night. Kaitlyn started at the bank the next morning, and mom unpacked, did some office work and repacked. On Saturday, June 7th, mom and dad left for New York for another business meeting. Kaitlyn and I took a different vehicle and went with them as far as Cumberland. Since her car was fixed and passed inspection, they wanted to get the tags for it. But after we got down there, we found out the MVA doesn't do tags on Saturdays!!! Oh well! So we went back home, and mom and dad went on to New York, where they had a meeting on Monday, and got back here early Tuesday morning!
And ever since then, Dad and Kaleb have been working on his truck - mostly in the dark and the rain!
Monday, June 9th:
Kelley's first day of work!!!
She works 3 days a week, 12-hour shifts and she's loving it!!
Well, I think that about wraps it up!
I'm sorry if this was just one big, huge, boring, confusing mess! I have tried for days upon days to get this finished, and the longer it took me, the more that happened and I had to keep adding on!
But, if for no other reason, in a few years, we'll be able to come here and look back and remember what all took place and how God provided above and beyond what we could ever ask or think!