Thursday, September 13, 2012

t i m e w a r p

Whew, it's been f-o-r-e-v-e-r since I've posted anything. I won't try for too many details in catching up - I'm just checking in to report that the wildwestshaffers are still alive and kicking!

Summer came and went in a flash. Both boys had lots of things occupying their time, Keith was extremely busy at work, and my 'summer vacation' was cut a bit short by taking a job at a year-round elementary school!

I was hired in May, so I finished out the '11-'12 school year and then returned to work for the new year in mid-July. I am a full-time SFA (Success for All) Tutor. As such, I work one-on-one with 12 students a day from all grade levels, plus do all of the reading assessments and testing for all new students, all first-graders, and all remedial readers of higher grades. The full-time tutor positions don't come open very often in the district (each school only has about 2), so I feel very fortunate to have been hired. My biggest hesitation was the year-round schedule, but on the day of my interview, the newspaper reported that the school board had decided to make it a traditional school beginning next year - so this was our only summer of me going back to school before the boys. Yay!! Here's my school:

Keith, as you may or may not remember, also works for the school district - as the project manager for all the construction projects that were financed by a school bond passed last year. He's had construction projects at five different schools this summer, which has been a little nuts. Most days he never even made it to his office - he just went from site to site, putting out fires and answering questions - or sometimes even helping to move playground equipment, pour concrete, or fix clogged plumbing! Can-do-Keith can do it all. He really enjoys all of it because he's just that kind of guy. He consults on the side for some previous clients, including an old business colleague from Pennsylvania doing some ongoing railroad bridge work.

Pouring concrete at 4 a.m. recently:

Austin stayed busy all summer with football, basketball, football, mowing lawns, football, EFY, football, scout high-adventure caving trip, football, and Pioneer Trek. Oh, and did I mention football? Number 12 is mostly playing defense this year so far. 

Way to hold on, Austin! 
[after the first two games of the season, our little Austin was number one in tackles in the STATE]:

Sometimes he has to go in as the backup quarterback:

Caving was hard, but he loved it:

Then there was EFY with Evan Church - which he REALLY loved:

That trip also included visits with some special people:

"Special people" for Austin definitely included Kyle Van Noy, Austin's favorite BYU football player, who just happened to be on the same flight back to Reno Van Noy is from Reno). Austin screwed up ALL his courage to strike up a conversation with him, and as you can see, they became best friends.

And finally, Pioneer Trek was the highlight of late summer. He and his dad got to spend some time together:

Whew, that was a lot about Austin. Dallin's summer was a bit more low-key than Austin's, but he was busy with swim team and basketball 'open gym' for middle schoolers, and his first scout camp. I don't have any pictures of scout camp, but Dallin LOVED it, and I couldn't believe my baby was old enough to leave me for a whole week - crazy! But here are a couple of pictures from his first swim meet:

Kristi was home for a month between Spring and Fall semesters at BYUI. Not long enough to get a job, just long enough to do a whole lot of nothing. She enjoyed seeing lots of friends, hanging out at Lake Tahoe, and being Dallin's mom when his real mom went back to work. We loved having her here . . . and now she's gone again. She has a tough semester of math classes (her major is now Secondary Math Education), as well as a job as a Peer Advisor in the College of Language and Letters.  This has been a stressful week for her, but she is always positive and optimistic. She texted yesterday to tell me that she was 'lost' in her Calculus II class. I suggested she not wait too long before talking to her prof or going to the math lab, but she assured me, "I got this, Mom. No worries".  And I'm sure she does.

A late summer evening at our favorite Tahoe beach:

Last but not least, Elder Shaffer. The release date is official -- he arrives home November 21st at 9 pm, the night before Thanksgiving! We. can. hardly. wait.

Brennan was called to be an Assistant to the President in July, and the very night he was called he was whisked away to the mission home in Louisville, where he will finish out his mission. He has said several times in letters how difficult it's been, but how much he's learned and how grateful he has been for the opportunity. He and his companion have been traveling all over the mission, doing lots of trainings, working closely with the mission president, and it's been amazing for him. Last month he and his companion put over 4,000 miles on their car - can you imagine?? Some training:

Welcoming new missionaries fresh from the MTC (why do I love this one so much?):

A skit for the newbies:

Working in the office ("I'm getting really good at Excel!"):

And fun on the road:

We can't wait to see him, but we suspect it will be a bittersweet experience for him to come home. His mission has meant the world to him!

WELL. That little update turned out to be huge. I'll sign off for another six months or so . . .


Marc and Miriam Deru said...

Way to go, Austin!! I love how fitting your blog title is to the way you do things as a mother-- you really are "at the crossroads" for your kids, and a lot more than that. Good luck to Kristi with her major, and hooray for Brennan coming home soon! Is there a more perfect day to arrive than the night before Thanksgiving?

Sarah said...

That's wonderful about your new job! It sounds perfect! I had a short stint as a remedial reading tutor when I was pregnant with Benjamin, and I loved it.
Sounds like it was a fun and busy summer for everyone! I also can't believe how fast your kids are growing up. They are all wonderful. And six months might be a little too long to wait between blogging this time around. I think a Thanksgiving post would be nice! :)

Strollerblader said...

Hoorah, hooray! I check here every week, and I am so excited to find a new post!

I miss you and your cute family, so this is a good way to know a bit of what you're up to in between seeing you (for a few minutes at a time) at Conferences.

If I could've recorded all of my comments and exclamations while I was reading this post, I would've, but it's too much to type!

merathon said...

i was thinking the same thing as sarah-- you'll want to be blogging about the thanksgiving homecoming!