My Dad went to be with the Lord 3 years ago today. And I miss him.
So handsome in his tux...and wow mom. That dress. I remember playing dress up with it when I was a little older. I would put on the crystal dangly earrings too. (Clip on...she didn't get her ears pierced until after I did, at age 17. In the immortal words of my father..."If God had meant for you to have holes in your ears, He would have put them there!") I think this was for my brother Karl's wedding. I was supposed to be flower girl, but I cried and wouldn't walk down the aisle. Karl's still mad.
This one is before my time, but I love to look at pictures of my folks with the boys. I think this is Phil, Karl, and the top of Eldon's head. Loving Mom's hat.
I'm going all out of order here. This was their wedding picture. April 26, 1946. Dad had just gotten out of the Army.
I LOVE this picture of him. He looks so happy. And then I looked a little closer and saw he has his hand on my Mom's bum.
I remember taking this out at Stoney Ridge Farm in the fall.
He was ALWAYS trying to kiss on my mom. She would act all 'oh stop that'...but she liked it. ;)
Love this one of him and Ian.
And with Shelby. Oh my word, how proud he would be of her going to West Point.
At my niece's wedding. It was starting to get to the place where he couldn't leave the Care Center.
There are two bags of asparagus sitting in my refrigerator. One has been in there for far too long.
By the time I think of making a vegetable for the meal, it is too late for asparagus. And so, the bag of Steamfresh corn or peas goes into the microwave. And the asparagus remains in the fridge. No love.
I have come to the conclusion that it makes me feel better just having it in the fridge. Not Shelby...she actually wants to eat it. Go figure. It makes me feel slightly healthy. Don't healthy people have crap like asparagus in their fridges?
There's some yogurt in there too. Even a Greek one.....all the rage, right? Past the date. But it looks so nice next to the asparagus.
Have a great weekend. Maybe I should clean out my fridge. Happy Spring Break Luke!
1. I couldn't get the Underdog theme song out of my head. I think it's because the Peabody & Mr. Sherman movie is out, and that made me think of Underdog and Polly Purebred. And then I got as far as "Speed of lightning...roar of thunder.................crickets." I had to look it up on Youtube to get the rest..."fighting all who rob or plunder." It's ok. I can sleep now.
2. Thank you Alissa, for showing me this:
I am getting hearts in Iowa & New York, with a Bible verse on the charm. :) Can't wait to see it!
3. Shelby is officially finger printed. I will mail them off to West Point Security today, and probably next week some time we can start the next step of security clearance. I think right now she's feeling overwhelmed with her stupid senior project. Pretty sure all kids hit a time where they're just so sick of it and want it to be DONE. lol
4. meTV. Am I the last one on the planet to discover this? Here it's Channel 12...all retro shows. Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Bonanza...and then a little later in the day Dragnet, Adam 12, Emergency (Luke's favoite from when he was little)...Gilligan's Island. I love it! I leave it playing in our bedroom during the day for the cats. (They like The Rifleman...but then, they're girls, and it's Chuck Connors...who wouldn't?)
That's about it. There's other non-random things, like the laundry. Blech.
Here it is. I've been thinking of posting it for awhile, but honestly...whenever I think about it all, my heart swells and then I cry. Seriously. I break out in tears at the most embarrassing moments.
Anyway...remember these? College recruiting letters. She throws javelin. There's only a few states in the country that have High School girls javelin. Shelby had the Army in the back of her mind, but her plan had been to go to Northwestern College in Orange City, IA where her brother Luke is. At least for a year to try it out.
Then she got a letter from West Point. She filled out the online questionnaire and then the phone calls started. Coach Brian...the throwing coach at WP & Shelby had many, many long conversations over the phone. And half the time when he'd call, she was gone...so I got to know Coach Brian too. :)
Over the course of time...I think it was last August, he asked if she'd be interested in coming out for a visit. Yep. And so in November, Iz & I flew out with her to check it out. We sort of figured it would be a love it or hate it thing. But then at least we'd know, right?
They picked us up from the airport and drove us to WP...it was dark by the time we arrived. We dropped Shelby off with her host cadet, Justine...and didn't see her again until later the next day. She ate with the cadets, slept in the barracks, went to class with Justine the next day...we didn't see her until track practice the next afternoon. (Justine is awesome, by the way. They really clicked. She has a twin sister, Morgan...also at WP. Justine throws jav & Morgan is a heptathlete.)
In the mean time, Iz & I were having a great time. :) D1 athletic visits are awesome. They paid for Shelby's plane ticket (not ours)...put us up in a hotel, paid for all our meals, complimentary football game tickets....Brian even wanted to get my Starbucks fix for me, but I said no. :) We went on tours, visited the museum, did some damage at the gift shop...it was great. Can you imagine feeding 4400 at every meal??
When it was time to meet up with Shelby, I was nervous. Did she like it? Hate it? I had wanted to text her the night before to see how it was going...but I showed HUGE restraint and didn't. Besides, Iz said to leave her alone. We got to the training facility first.
The longer we waited, the more nervous I was. I realized...after being immersed in the atmosphere (you can literally FEEL the history of the place as you walk around)... and seeing it all.....I wanted her to want to come here. But it doesn't work that way, and I knew it. It didn't matter how much I wanted her to come...SHE had to want to come. More than anything.
And then the door across the gym opened, and she walked in, saw me...and had the BIGGEST smile on her face. She gave me a big hug...I asked her how it went, and she said GREAT. She loved it. Even going to class. (Well, maybe except for philosophy class early in the morning.) She said Justine was awesome, and that she'd had a blast. And then the question. So what do you think about this place? Do you think you might like to try and come here?
And she just looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Duh, mom. Oh yeah, I'm coming here. No "I'll try" or "maybe". I'm coming here.
And for the rest of the visit, I tried to imagine what it would be like for her as a cadet. It was scary. We had a long talk with Coach Brian the morning before the football game (we had to leave during the 3rd quarter for the airport)...he said West Point would love to have her. And she said she'd love to come.
We were honest with him. Shelby was born with some hearing loss in one ear. They will do a medical waiver for some conditions (not ADHD, most asthma, or bee/food allergies)...but it's a process. Eeeeeeverything is a process. There is online 'paperwork' to do. You need a letter of recommendation from your Congressman/woman. To get a letter, Shelby applied to Senators Cantwell & Murray, as well as Congresswoman Del Bene. For each one, there are at least 10 things that go into the application. Basic info, essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, an interview....and on and on.
She had to pass her CFT (Candidate Fitness Test). The basketball throw (from your knees...no other part of your body can touch the ground), shuttle run, mile run, push ups, sit ups, pull ups. The test can be administered by a PE teacher, but all of the PE teachers at the high school were too busy before or after school to help her. (Don't get me started.) So her PE teacher from Middle School (after asking to see if that was ok...it was) gave her the test. He was so awesome...thank you Mr. Ballard. Shelby did great on her test. :)
She had to go down to Seattle for a physical, hearing & eye exams.
More online paperwork. More letters of recommendation from teachers & counselors. More transcripts. More essays. And waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And then Congresswoman Del Bene's office called to say she was writing a letter of recommendation for Shelby. Woohoo!
The last hurdle was the medical waiver. We had been informed that she'd been medically disqualified because of her hearing loss. But we were expecting this. Still...seeing 'disqualified' on your computer screen is like a punch in the gut after all she'd been through. It took a month for the waiver process. They sent a letter saying they'd put in for a waiver for her. But basically not to get your hopes up, because they don't often do them. The Coach would email still sounding optimistic. I was praying & hoping every day to hear some good news. As the time stretched on, I got so worried. My heart hurt thinking about how disappointed she would be if after everything...after how hard she'd worked and all she'd done....no waiver, no West Point.
And then January 31, her coach called. I saw the number on my caller ID and knew it was either really good, or really bad. And it was good. So very, very good. :) The waiver Board had met and granted her the medical waiver. It was a done deal. I cried. I drove to the High School, pulled her out of class and told her. And I cried some more.
So now, even though it was a 'done deal'...she still had to accept the offer, which hadn't appeared yet on her Portal. More waiting. What we thought would be a day was 2 weeks. lol Congresswoman Del Bene called to congratulate her on her official appointment to West Point...the offer appeared on her Portal, and was accepted on February 17th.
And now she is Shelby Jacob, Class of 2018.
There is so, SO much more ahead of her. More paperwork, security clearance, finding the right boots & shoes... ha ha, fingerprinting, and on and on and on and ON. But it's all good. We'll figure it out one step at a time. We are so incredibly proud of her.
I'm toying with the idea of starting a second blog...just for WP posts. It would most likely be a private one, with a password emailed to those who are interested. You know how sometimes you have that friend...and ALL they talk about is that ONE thing? And pretty soon you just want to stick a fork in your eye because it never stops?
I don't want to be that friend. ha ha So it may turn into a whole blog of its own. It's a huge part of our lives now, and I would love to have prayer and support for Shelby.
Happy happy snowy Tuesday to you... Go Army. Beat Navy.