I love this time of the year, even with all its hecticness… concerts, musicals, baseball games, auditions, students rescheduling… it is sheer fun!

Last Friday morning, Jose, Flyer and I left the house at 7:30am en route for Indiana, with one stop at the dentist so Jose could have a spacer inserted. We were on I-70 by 9:00am, and in Elwood at 11:15am. We stopped at Edgewood Elementary School where Mother was having lunch with my nephew, Andrew, for Grandparents’ Day. I ran into my dear friend from high school, Stephanie Grimes Hoel. We met in the fall of 1974 when she moved into the Washington Elementary School district, and remained great friends ever since. Her husband, Tim, was one of my best friends in high school, and their four children, Megan (now in college), Brandon, Tiffanie, and Tyler, all call me “Uncle Darin.”

Dena, Jose, and I began painting Mother’s new house on South N Street; took a break to go to Andrew’s baseball game where I got to catch up with other dear family friends, Jack and Judy Barnes, and their married daughter, Ann. We returned to painting and finished up the day at 12:30am.

I woke Saturday morning early, and suggested a family breakfast at Jim Dandy. Afterwards, we were back at the paint job, finishing around 9:00pm.

Sunday, we had church, ran errands, and then Jose’s friend, Tom Manoussakis came over for the afternoon and remained until we had our monthly breakfast supper (pancakes with almond extract for flavor, eggs sunny side up, and ham), and watched THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY. The boys worked on their show choir audition pieces, as well. I ended Sunday night with a great American Experience DVD on the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and ended up beginning the one on Eleanor Roosevelt.

Monday I was busy with everything imagineable. I began the day at 6:30am by watering all the flowers in the yard. Tom came home with Jose after school and stayed through supper – spaghetti – which Tom loved, and ate as though he had never had the Italian dish. I use a jar of sauce, and then add chopped onion, half jar of milk, a can of baked beans, a big squeeze of ketchup, and a little of Splenda’s brown sugar.

I woke Tuesday morning at 5:30am with a headache, and could not return to sleep. So, the flowers were watered, I ate breakfast and answered Email, tied Jose’s tie for the morning music department concert for the school, and then returned to my bed to work the remainder of the day. At Noon I prepared supper: rice, chicken, shredded carrots, celery, onion, mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper. I finished the Eleanor Roosevelt DVD, and completed one on Windsor Castle.

Then it hit:

  • 2:15 – began teaching

  • 3:45 – break in teaching

  • 4:00 – saw Jose, Tom Manoussakis, Patrick Barnes, Isaac Williams, and the Wheeler twins, Nathan and Justin crossing the high school parking lot.

  • I promptly began tossing ice cubes at the boys – much to their delight. I collected all the white shirts, sprayed them with water, and tossed them into the dryer with several dryer sheets. Shoved apples and water down the boys.

  • 4:30 – I returned to teaching at 4:15, and the boys went to the high school for a show choir dance clinic until 5:30pm.

  • 5:40 – boys return home, eat, and wash up

  • 6:30 – while teaching a saxophone lesson, I tied six sets of neck ties so the boys could return to Van Buren MS for the evening concert at 7:00pm

  • 7:00 – concert began, 6th grade opening

  • 7:15 – I finished teaching and headed to the middle school down the street, chatting with Mother for a few minutes on the cell phone.

    • Arrived in time for the 7th grade’s portion of the concert – choir, orchestra, band each do three numbers but rotate between the three – fast, simple, and to the point.

    • My friend, Valerie Lockhart, sat with me as her son, Jackson, plays trumpet with the 8th grade band. I have known the Lockharts since 1992 when Jackson was four months old. He and his sister, Sohpia, study piano with me, and much to the confusion of their classmates who do not realize Jose is adopted, refer to us as “uncle and cousin.” Valerie and I realized it would be our final concert with the boys… now on to high school and marching band for Jackson and Jose – both of whom I predict will be co-field commanders.

  • 8:30 – concert over; Tom, and his younger brother, Bill, a singer in the 7th grade choir, joined Jose and I for the traditional “after-concert” ice cream celebration.

  • 9:45 – homework for Jose, office work for me.

Now it is Wednesday. At 7:00am I watered my plants, talked to my neighbor lady, Kay, about breakfast Friday, and while Jose is prepping for school, am getting some blog time in. I will mow, trim, and use the blower on the yard.  By 9:30am, I plan on being at my desk writing the remainder of my day until it is time to teach at 2:45pm.

Thursday and Friday we have 7:45am rehearsals at Kettering Middle School for the choral contest at Kings Island this Saturday. Thursday will be crammed with all sorts of business, followed by teaching at 2:45pm.

Friday, Jose will attend the early morning rehearsal since he is helping out with the men’s section on Saturday. I will rush him back to Van Buren MS, meet my neighbor lady and her daughter, Laura, for an insane breakfast (Kay is one of the most darling, outrageously funny ladies I have ever known – and Laura is just as funny!), return to KMS for choir until 1:30pm, rush home to begin teaching at 2:15pm.

Mr. & Mrs. Manoussakis will drop off Tom and Bill at our house so they can head to Cincinnati to celebrate their anniversary. We will eat pizza, and maybe grab a movie at the Danburry Theatre.

Saturday morning, we rise are to be at the middle school at 6:30am – ugh – head to Cincy for the contest, and spend until 9:45pm at Kings Island. Thank God, I am not confined to chaperoning anyone but Jose, Tom, and Bill. All three of these young men are so polite, nice, mannerly, and fun to have around. Jose has two good friends in these two men.

Sunday is Sunday school and church, and hopefully a BIG nap.

Timed perfectly – Jose is leaving for school, and I am ready to tackle the yard work.

For all those who are reading this, have a fantastic Wednesday – make it great!

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