Saturday, May 29, 2010

Full Circle

About 16 years ago, I decided I wanted a dog. I had the white picket fence, the great husband, 2 kids (at that time)... but no pet. Joe and I researched and decided a West Highland Terrier was the puppy for our family. We contacted breeders around the US and found one in Minnesota that we really liked. We added our names to her "list" with a small deposit. We waited... and waited. Finally, one night we received a call about a "reject" puppy. A small male Westie that did not quite meet the "guidelines" and was turned down by whoever was supposed to get him. We were thrilled to be "moved up" in the line and counted down the days until Jake joined our family.

By the time Jake arrived in California, Daniel was born. Jake weighed less than 2 lbs, but you would have thought he was a much larger animal. He quickly became the smartest member of our family.

The years went by... we moved to Hawaii, DC, etc etc and finally Indonesia... Jake was a world traveler with more frequent flyer miles than most humans. He took it all in stride. Jake was with us to welcome Abby home. He learned that life on the 28th floor of a high rise in Jakarta really wasn't so bad.... but mostly... he just loved his kids... and his couch.

Fast forward 6 years and we received orders to Australia. The quarantine requirements for a pet traveling from Indonesia to Australia were extensive... and in Singapore. We could not bare the thought of leaving Jake in a cage without love for months on end. As much as we loved Jake, we decided it was best to find him a loving home instead of making him face quarantine.

A friend found Jake's new family. They had recently lost a pet and had a place in their home and more importantly in their hearts for a much loved much spoiled little white nosy puppy. Jake moved with his new family to Manila. He was very happy receiving all the attention - not only from his new mom and dad... but from maids and a driver also. He rode front and center - on the console - every time his new family's driver hit the road. He was the prince... or maybe the king!

Fast forward a few years and his new dad was transferred to Shanghai ... leaving Jake facing another quarantine problem. Jakes new mom and dad knew - just as we had - that Jake was not a puppy to live in a cage without love for any amount of time... they contacted us and asked about Jake coming home.

Today... almost 4 years after we said a very emotional goodbye... we said a very emotional "welcome home"! Grandpa Jake has come home. He is a bit slower.... a bit more plump... not a good jumper anymore... but he is home. We are so thankful to have him home. And more importantly, we are so thankful that a wonderful lady and her husband opened up their home and their hearts to this wonderful smart little white puppy and took such wonderful care of him. Thank you Kate!!!!

Last??? but not Least!!!!

The mail was good today. Really good! Joey received another academic scholarship today... 4 years of university are now 100% plus covered... all because of hard work and determination on Joey's part!

Joey you are a wonderful young man... your accomplishments are AMAZING!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Next Stop... University of Alabama!

My third and final graduate for 2010.... 18 years in the making...

What a great afternoon! We are so proud of all that Joey has done over the last 13 years. He has stayed focused move after move - school after school. It was amazing how easily he found his "niche" when he started this new school in his Junior year. From academics to journalism to friends to sports... he put 100% effort into all! We can not wait to see what the future holds for our first born!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Next Stop... First Grade!

Abby's teacher - Ms. Gina - is an amazing lady! She has been telling the kids that they are her little butterflies and it was time for her to set them free ... so at the end of the graduation ceremony this morning, the family members followed the new graduates and Ms. Gina to the courtyard where they released 8 monarch butterflies that they had "raised" from caterpillars.

After all our hugs and goodbyes, we headed for lunch - Abby's choice - Mexican! Yummy! Then we headed straight to T@rget in order for Abby to rid herself of her new found riches (graduation money... to quote Abby with her $30, "I feel so RICH!" ). Her choice of goodies.... a Toy St@ry blanket and Leg@ set. Such great goodies!

2 down and 1 to go.... Joey graduates on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Next Stop... High School!

Our first of three graduations took place at eight this morning. Daniel received his Diploma for completing middle school. Attached to his Diploma was his honor roll certificate also! Way to go Daniel!

What did Nanny, Papa, Daniel and I do to celebrate? We headed straight to IH*P for pancakes! YUMMY! Guess it was an idea shared by many as the place was full of young "freshmen" dressed for the "special" occasion!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sinking In

It is all starting to sink in. My first baby... is not - a baby - anymore. In-fact, he makes all 6 foot of me look a bit on the petite side. : )

I dropped his graduation announcements in the mailbox today. I have to say that the tears were falling.

I just don't understand where the last 18 years have gone. I do. But... I really don't.

Wasn't it LAST MONTH that I was being a "semi" ugly American demanding to hold my baby within an hour of my c-section in Bangkok? They did not get that at all! But I won that battle!

How is it that it feels as if I were walking him down the street in Millilani, Hawaii for his first day of kindergarten - LAST WEEK?

I remember every word that his fifth grade teacher, in Jakarta, told me upon his completion of elementary school - seriously... like it was YESTERDAY.

Wasn't I just "cutting-up" with Ruthie in the uniform shop in Canberra while Joey was trying on his Senior High Jacket and Tie?

We have been around the world and back... and my little man has become a young man. I wish - sometimes - that we could just go back around the world the other way and he would be small again.

How will I ever manage when he leaves for University in the fall?

And... isn't it so interesting that a parent's longing for the past is only matched by a young adult's longing for the future? Joey is so excited about University... and he is ready... and I will manage... and put a lot of miles on my car going to visit!

Last night, Joey officially accepted his scholarship to University of Alabama.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Prom 2010

Last night was the Prom. Joey and Holly have been waiting for this date for quite a while.

Joey escorted Sarah to the Prom. They made a lovely couple... and it is reported that they had an amazing night.

Holly went with a huge group of friends and they all had a blast also! Lilli thought Holly looked like a Beautiful Princess and wondered if the Prince was going to be at the "Ball"! : )

Joe and I enjoyed a quiet night at home waiting up for all to return home safe! We all slept in this morning!

Today I am enjoying a nice mother's day... with my wonderful family and a yummy cake and a few presents that I have yet to open!