01 August, 2016

Presidents and Vinyards and Caverns, OH MY!!!

This past 4th of July weekend we finally made it over to an area of Virginia I have anxiously been awaiting for, Charlottesville, home of one of our favorite presidents, Thomas Jefferson.  With it only being about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from Norfolk (depending on traffic) I don't know why we hadn't gone yet.  Rest assure, we will be visiting more often... read on to get a day-by-day review of our amazing weekend (rain and all).

Day 1 (Friday): We left Norfolk closer to 5 since we had to wait for Leia to get home from Breakthrough.  Traffic wasn't that bad getting out surprisingly, just your typical back ups (rain didn't help either).  Once we made it over the water we stopped for dinner at Panera and then went on our way to the resort we would be staying at, Shenandoah Crossings, just outside of Charlottesville.  The drive over was uneventful, most of us slept since we had just finished a week at Day Camp.  As we got closer to the resort we all took in the beauty of the country side, we sure don't see anything like that in Norfolk.  All the farmland and the rolling hills and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background... absolutely beautiful!!  We arrived shortly after 8 and checked in and went on to our cabin in the woods.  I wish I would have gotten pictures of the cabin, I will just use stock photos to illustrate where we stayed.  That evening we unpacked and rode up to the General Store to pick up some things for breakfast and some waters. We then settled in for the night since we would be having early wake ups the next 3 days!

Day 2 (Saturday): First up on our historical adventure was visiting the home of our 4th president, James Madison.  Montpelier, a 20ish minute drive from the resort, is just outside of Charlottesville in Orange, VA. The estate is situated on rolling hills and farm land with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Our tour was for 9:30 but we got there a bit early, so we looked around the gift shop and we found a trivia book on US History, Leia had fun quizzing Chris and me.  When the tour began it started as most tours like this do, with a short film on the history of the estate.  I actually learned quite a bit as I am not as familiar with James Madison outside of being the Father of the Constitution. We then proceeded to the mansion and enjoyed a guided tour through the main level and the second story. After the tour on of the mansion we were able to wander the grounds as desired.  We went to the archeology lab since I knew the kids, especially our aspiring archeologist (Leia), would enjoy that. Leia learned about an archeology camp they do there and is now eager to go! After that we made our way through the gardens and down to the grave site. After visiting the grave site we headed back to the visitors center and headed to lunch.

Before our trip, being the excellent planner I am, I did my research and learned of a fantastic BBQ place, BBQ Exchange, that was a must-do, so we did.  When we arrived the line was almost out the door, I couldn't believe how busy it was.  You stand in line and give your order to the ladies behind the counter and they serve it up for you, you then proceed down the line to pay.  Not all the food is ready by then so you find a seat and they bring out the rest to you.  It was all very efficient and oh so good!!  I decided to order a bit more than I normally eat because I wanted to try so much. I enjoyed BBQ beef brisket, coleslaw, hush puppies, and a pumpkin muffin. I was so full that I didn't even eat dinner that night!

After our yummy BBQ we headed out to our first cidery, Castle Hill Cider.  Chris and I are big cider drinkers, so when I learned there were cideries close to where we were visiting I knew we had to stop.  Boy am I glad we did.  We drove up to the cidery and were excited to see a big field with corn hole so the kids would be entertained while we enjoyed our samplings.  We went inside first because we weren't 100% sure what to expect, it was very inviting and had a checker set on the coffee table (another piece of entertainment for the kids, and my dad). They told us we could either do the tastings inside or outside.  It was such a beautiful day we chose outside.  My mom, Chris and I each enjoyed the premium tasting.  Everything was great but a few really stood out to us.  After we went through the tasting we decided to join their cider club and we brought a few bottles home with us, plus they comped Chris and my tastings:) Elise, our "bartender" if that is what she is called, was amazing!

After cider tasting we drove down the rode to the Keswick vineyards, this time we would be tasting wine.  Again, the atmosphere here was so inviting and they had things to keep kids entertained and a bunch of outdoor seating.  Again, my mom, Chris and I did the wine tasting and enjoyed about 7 different wines in all... we also left here with a few bottles of wine that we really loved.
At this point in the day it is almost 3:30 and we wanted to get back to the resort so the kids could go swimming and enjoy the amenities at the resort. So we headed back, got in our swim suites and headed to the main pool.  It was pretty crowded but we found some chairs and put our stuff down and the kids played in the pool for awhile while I just hung out on the side. Then we visited the hot tub and again, I hung out on the side... it was actually quite HOT! After the pool we went back and got cleaned up and hung out.  I had a raging headache so I laid down while everyone else went to get some dinner and watch the fireworks that the resort put on.  I was bummed I missed it but things happen.

Day 3 (Sunday): We woke early again so we could begin our hour and a half trip up to the Luray Caverns. The trip up was uneventful though it did bring back many memories of my summers when I was in Jr. High when I would come and stay with my brother back when he lived in this area.  It was very picturesque even if it was dreary. We arrived at the Caverns around 9:30 if I am not mistaken and the line wasn't too long but it still took us about 15-20 mins to get through. They snap a photo of your group with the green screen for you to purchase at the end of the tour, which we normally don't, but this time we did because it turned out pretty good (except Elijah's expression).  Once we got in to the caverns the guide gave us the run down on how it was discovered and what we will see during our hour tour.  It was fantastic and the kids LOVED it. Highly recommend this for any family.  When we were done with our tour, and our shopping at the gift shop, because if you know us, we love to shop, we headed to eat at the cafe quickly.  It was a good thing we got there when we did because there was no line really, but just after us the line came.  My mom and I enjoyed a fish sandwich, the boys got chicken tenders, Chris and Leia got cheeseburgers and my dad got a tuna sandwich... all of which were very good. There were a few other museums included on our ticket so we went to the carriage and car museum and the Luray History museum area. As we were going through to these other museums we noticed the line and I said to the kids... "this is why we always come early to things".  The line was crazy long!! 

After visiting the caverns and museums we hopped back in the van to head back to the resort, but we went Skyline Drive so we could enjoy some scenic views, unfortunately the weather wasn't the best for views, but we got some. Once we got back to the resort we chilled for awhile and then headed for dinner, we found a good Asian place not too far away that we all enjoyed... can never go wrong with Asian.

Day 4 (Monday, 4th of July): Early wake up was in order for today is the 4th of July, and at Monticello for over 70 people that means they will be come American Citizens.  When we finalized our plans for the 4th of July and picked Charlottesville I started planning our visit to Monticello.  What I didn't know was every year for over 50 years Monticello host a Naturalization Ceremony.  I was so excited to find this out and knew immediately what day we would visit.  We had to arrive early so we could get to the Community College next to Monticello where we would park and take a shuttle to the estate.  The rain was steady all morning but finally let up during the the ceremony and stayed away for most of it, only towards the very end did it start up again and then never really let up too much.  After the ceremony they served Coke floats, not sure why but I wasn't complaining:)   We then had a little while to our scheduled tour time for the house.  You see, for the 4th of July they do a Jeffersonian Open House, it is a free self guided walking tour of the first floor.  When walking into the mansion you knew immediately this was not your typical Founding Father's home... it was Thomas Jefferson's, he decorated his home in such a way to reflect his many interests and accomplishments.  One of the coolest features in the home was his bed that was on display, it was the exact bed that he passed away in on July 4th 1826.   The tour was great and we look forward to returning back one day to do the complete tour, hopefully minus the rain.   Before we headed to the shuttle to return to our car we visited Thomas Jefferson's grave site, which was kind of fitting considering it was the anniversary of his death.

We returned to our van to begin the journey back home, but first, a stop to eat at Michies Tavern, some shopping in the shops and Carters Mountain for some Bold Rock Cider!  We arrived home and were pretty exhausted so decided to forgo fireworks.

 I am sure I missed some things but this def outlines the highlights of our great weekend.  Charlottesville is an amazing area which offers so much to do, we can not wait to go back.  Another great adventure was had and wonderful memories made as we live our lives to the fullest!! 

23 June, 2016

School's out, scream and shout!!

Today the kids wrap up yet another successful year in school, I couldn't be more proud of their accomplishments this year.  Leia tacking her first year in middle school, Jacob changing schools and meeting new friends, and Elijah excelling in all he does (well, except handwriting).

We are so proud of Elijah this year, he made ALL A's except the first quarter he made 1 B (writing).  He has been challenged by doing higher level math, and spelling in school and he has challenged himself by starting the Harry Potter series this year (he is almost done with book 3).  Next year will be very exciting for him as he moves over to the Academy for Discovery at Lakewood, I know he is ready to tackle all they give him!

Jacob has had an amazing year as well.  Changing schools is never easy but he flourished, making new friends and being challenged with higher expectations. We are so proud of him being inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society last week.  All his hard work has paid off.  He finishes 4th grade with A honor roll and an A/B average for the year. He also received numerous awards at the 4th grade awards ceremony including the Citizenship award, Student of the Year in Science, attendance, and for receiving honor roll all year long.  I can not wait to see what 5th grade has in store for him.

Now to Leia, everyone told me "wait til middle school" whenever I would talk about how I love how Leia is so modest and conservative (with her looks and clothing) and has a great relationship with is.  I am proud to say that middle school has not changed her a bit.  She is her own person and does not follow the crowd.  She has transitioned into a middle-schooler beautifully. Her academics were stellar this year, receiving only 2 B+'s the entire year!  Leia was also inducted into the National Junior Honor Society last week. At the 6th grade awards ceremony Leia also received numerous awards including Student of the Year in Band, achieving pass advance on her English SOL, fitness award, attendance, and receiving honor roll all year long.  I hear 7th grade is quite different but I know Leia will achieve much success!!

In other news, some how I got roped in to becoming the new PTA president for the school next year.  I am very excited for it though and I have recruited two great friends who I also work with in scouts to be on the board.  We have big plans for the school next year, I can not wait to get to planning!
Also other news, since buying our house we have started tackling some projects.  We are rearranging where everyone stays and painting rooms, which is exciting... but more exciting is we are doing an entire kitchen remodel!!  It is so much more involved than I thought but I know the end result will be worth it.  Stay tuned for updates on that.  Goal is to have it finished before the end of the summer!!

We are very excited for summer break to be here, though we really never break, we are always going... but hey, that is how we live our lives to the fullest!!!

25 May, 2016

So much to share!!

So much has been going on at the Morrissey house over the last couple of month I don't know where to begin...  I guess I will just summarize by each member of the family:) Get comfortable, it is kind of long!

Elijah is up first... he has been rocking 2nd grade, making A honor roll yet again.  We also found out that he was accepted into The Academy for Discovery at Lakewood so he will be joining the rest of the family there. I can not even tell you how excited I am that all 3 will be at the same school and riding the bus together next year!!!  Elijah finished out another great year of religious school and will be starting Hebrew school next year, crazy how fast that happens.  He also has been taking piano all year and had his first recital just a couple of weeks ago, he did wonderful, I was so proud of him.  I hope he sticks with it (unlike Jacob).  This summer Elijah will be attending Camp Einstein again, we should be getting their schedules soon to see which classes they got.   Lastly, Elijah is now on the 3rd book of Harry Potter, he is loving it.  It is so great to have something that ALL 3 kids are so interested in and can enjoy together.
Elijah painting on the elephant farewell poster
Volcanoes 2016

Now for Jacob... Jacob has been playing baseball again this spring and has improved so much since last spring.  You will usually find him at 2nd, 3rd or shortstop.  He has made a lot of hits this season and runs.   I am a little worried about next year though, since he is 10 I think it puts him in the next level... I guess we shall see.  Jacob had a difficult 3rd quarter in school. He struggled with doing homework and then remembering to turn it in once he did do it.  Thank goodness he ended the quarter with all B's, it was close though.  I am happy to say, the 4th quarter is starting out much better, all A's and 1 B (so far).  Jacob was very lucky last month to tag along on a middle school STEM field trip with Leia to D.C.  We spent the day (mostly driving) going around the convention center checking out a bunch of cool science stuff.  He even got to control a SeaPerch which was cool since he has been building one but hasn't had a chance to submerge it yet. He also got to be the assistant in an experiment... he got to stand on a board that had nails on it while it was on someone's body.  He thought he was cool stuff! Jacob has also been enjoying helping man the supply cart at school, I believe he has been in charge of pencil sales:) Jacob is on book 5 of Harry Potter, only 2 more to go... well, until book 8 comes out this summer.  Jacob will also be attending Camp Einstein this summer and put down beginning violins as one of his top choices, he is hoping he gets in to that so he can test it out before doing orchestra in 5th grade next year.
Happy Birthday Leia
Student of the Month (Academics)

And lastly (for the kids), Leia...She is now 12, one more year and she will be a teen.. ahhhhh!!!!  We celebrated her birthday by seeing Zootopia and having dinner at No Frill Grill, we enjoyed both very much and had wonderful company as well, our Cantor's family, who actually shares a birthday with Leia (the Cantor that is).  In March Leia was also selected as Student of the Month for Academics for 6th grade.  As mentioned before, Leia got to go with her STEM Club to DC to the Science convention, I was so happy that it was on a Friday and I was able to attend.  Such a great experience, just wish we had more time to look around.  We will def go again as a family. Her band had their concert and Leia was awarded as one of Mrs. Waddell's "Rookie of the Year" students, I am so pleased with how Leia has taken to the flute this year.  We are very lucky to have Mrs. Waddell as her band teacher.  In just a couple of weeks her band will go to Busch Gardens on a field trip to celebrate a successful year, no playing their instruments at BG, just going for fun!  Of course we will be joining... it is on a Sat, during the Food and Wine Festival, so why not!  Leia is really looking forward to this summer, she applied and interviewed for a program called Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy, she was accepted!  It is normally a 6 week summer enrichment camp, but this year due to construction at Norfolk Academy it is only 5:( They take 5 classes and chose 2 electives.  So yeah, it is pretty much like school over the summer, but so much better!  It will prepare her for what it to come and she will gain so many experiences and meet new people.  She was the one who wanted to do it, no convincing her was needed!  It is also a 3 year commitment so we have her next 3 summers already planned out.  They also meet throughout the school year for Super Saturdays and do fun field trips and such.  It sounds amazing!  Oh wait, the best part... it is FREE! They get transported by bus, get fed breakfast, lunch and snacks as well... we feel so blessed to have this opportunity for Leia.  Leia also competed in her Robotic's team competition and her team won first place!  I was very impressed watching her control her teams robot and help her team to victory.  I am sure I missing stuff about Leia... oh yeah, track... so, she wanted to try out for track, me being the runner I am was excited, but the realist I am made me hold back some of that excitement, you see, Leia isn't that great of a runner.  Regardless, she tried out and made it through the two cuts (there were SOOOO many people that tried out).  Leia told me she made it as an alternate, I was very proud of her.  A few days later I ran in to her coach at school and she told me how Leia's determination got her the spot on the team and she would like her to get her in an event if Leia wanted to.  I was proud of Leia and especially grateful to Coach Beech to give Leia this opportunity, she knows what makes a great coach! Leia didn't run the first meet, but we all went to cheer on the team.  Leia did run in the next 3 meets though, she ran the 400 meter... that is not an easy event to run, but she went out there and gave it her all.  She was last in each race but it did not bother her one bit, she was proud of herself and all she cared about was beating her own times. My heart was happy:)  OK, I think I have said enough about Leia, as you can see she is a go getter and overachiever (I don't know where she gets that from, LOL).
Leia's birthday celebration with friends

March 31st 2016, last day of active duty
Receiving diploma
Now for Chris and I, as you know (if you are following our blog) Chris is now out of the Navy, at least active duty service, and is working for IPA (International Preparedness Associates) a contractor position doing exactly what he had been doing in the navy, so he has transitioned easily.  He is doing the reserves but has yet gone through INDOC with them, he is supposed to next month.  I think Chris likes not having to wear the uniform every day, he has gone a little crazy buying "work" clothes.  One of the biggest struggles I see in going to civilian life is vacation time, WOW has it changed drastically!!  Chris will not get nearly as much time off so we have to be a lot more careful with our vacation planning.  It isn't all that bad though because with my school schedule and the kids we aren't taking as much time away as we had just a couple of years ago.  We will make it work;)  Lots of long weekend vacations will be happening I am sure.  As for me, the last few months have been crazy with school.  I am so glad that I am done and I finished my Associate of Science degree with a 4.0 at TCC. I walked across that stage with the biggest smile, I was so proud of myself.  Now that I have the summer free I have been working on getting things done that I have pushed to the side.  One big one is organizing things with my business, I have come to a decision that it is time for me to step away from vacation planning and just focus on the agency duties along with my agents.  I have loved planning vacations for my friends and clients but I just do not have the time to dedicate fully to them.  I look forward to working on some of the things I have planned for my agency!  I am also getting ready for my trip to Israel, is just about 6 weeks or so!  I can not believe I am going to be going there, on my own (well, without my family) but I am so looking forward to it.  I just recently got our itinerary and I am beyond stoked and exhausted already, lol!  It is going to be one amazing trip.  Another thing I am working on is our home, next week we will close on it! Yes, we decided to purchase the house we have been living in the last two years.  We feel it is perfect for us and in a great location.  There are renovations we want to make and we are going to switch up rooms, so these will keep me busy for awhile.  I have a lot of goals for this summer before I start Old Dominion University in the fall, wish me luck on achieving them!!

Our lives, as you can see, are full.  Full of plans, full of running around, full of fun, full of stress (at times), but most importantly full of love and adventure... or maybe it is full of love of the adventure (life).

We live in busy, hectic times, sure we miss out on things because we have other things going on and it sucks, but we make sure that with everything we do we are living our lives to the fullest!!!

31 March, 2016

Fair Winds and Following Seas

March 31st 2003, the day Chris took the oath to serve his country in the U.S. Navy.  March 31st 2016, the day Chris will end his active duty service to his country.  For 13 years Chris has proudly worn the uniform and performed the duties he has been tasked to protect our country, whether is was on land, or under the sea.  We have been through a lot the past 13 years.  We have lived in 5 different states, met some amazing people and then have had to say good-bye to some of those amazing people (thank goodness for FB), be apart for months at a time (with little communication at times), be away from our families, start new schools, learn how to get around new areas and do it all with a smile on our face!  There have been hard times and there have been wonderful times.  We have had some amazing opportunities we wouldn't have had if we didn't live this lifestyle, and for that I will be forever grateful.  While Chris' time in active duty has ended, he will still proudly serve in the reserves. It wasn't his choice to leave AD service so at least this allows him the chance to continue his service to our country.  Chris' transition in to civilian life shouldn't be too hard since he will be taking a contractor position doing exactly what he has been doing the last four years, just in a different uniform now.
Although we knew this day was coming for some time, it is still a little hard.  We look forward to this next chapter of our lives and can not wait to see where it takes us.  We will cherish all the memories the last 13 years has given us and cherish the friendships we have made.  So many of you have impacted my life in ways you may never know.

Here is to us living this next chapter of our lives to the fullest!

11 March, 2016

Good-Bye Uncle Mel

As I sit here waiting for the shuttle to pick me up from my hotel to take me to the airport I reflect on this last week, actually the last couple of weeks... since I received the text from my dad that my uncle (my dad's oldest brother) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Since receiving the news, so many emotions have gone through me; sadness, brokenhearted, worry, stress... My heart ached for my family, especially my cousins, my aunts and uncles and especially my dad.  My dad is so amazing, once he heard news that my uncle would not have long to live he booked the next flight out to MN to be with him, and he did not leave his bedside for 2 weeks.  The hospice house that my uncle was at was amazing as well and took such great care of my uncle and all the family.  They even let my parents stay in one of the guest rooms and fed them around the clock (and fed them well!).  It was hard for me to be so far away from my dad, I just wanted to comfort him, but through all this he met my Aunt Heeyon's (Uncle Mel's wife) niece and she stepped in to that role beautifully, being there for my father the entire time, and I will be forever grateful for her kindness and love! 
My dad was the last one to see him alive on Monday morning, shortly after he left his room and exchanged a message that I know he will never forget, Uncle Mel passed away. 
I knew I needed to be in MN and Chris stepped in and found air for me and set up a hotel for my parents and I.  I reached out to friends to help with things while I would be away and arrange my pick up when I return.  I took care of what loose ends I could Monday so I could leave Tuesday morning knowing things would be OK while I was away.  Of course Chris stepped up and filled my shoes this week... maybe he will appreciate all I do to get those kids where they need to be better, LOL!!  I can not thank Chris enough for his love and understanding how important it was for me to be in MN with my family.
I left very early Tuesday and arrived in Minneapolis around 10am which was great because the viewing would be at 1pm.  I was not prepared emotionally for the viewing, it was one of the toughest things to go through.  Seeing your family mourn is difficult and heart-wrenching. Chris had given me his Officer Crest from his uniform that he has had since he was commissioned in hopes we would be allowed to give to my uncle to be buried with (My uncle retired as a Commander in the Naval Reserves).  My aunt was touched and allowed it, but I could not do it, my dad and my aunt with her niece placed it on him.  It was time for my parents to go up to see my uncle and I did not think I would be able to do it, but my mom urged me to, and I did.  It was so strange seeing him, he was not the man I remembered.  He was frail and very yellow, but I knew it was him and he looked so peaceful in his white tallit (Jewish prayer shawl). I saw the officer crest and was so very happy to leave him something so special. Later that evening the family met at our old temple, Temple Israel, and met with the rabbi, we thought we were just going to go over the details for the service the next day, but instead we all shared stories of my uncle.  For me it was so very special since I am the youngest of the cousins, and by MANY years, so to learn so much more about my uncle than I already knew was so wonderful.  I loved learning that so many things about his life paralleled so many in my own life.  He loved musicals and his favorite was Sound of Music, a favorite of mine as well. He was very intelligent and a hard worker, he took pride in everything he did.  He loved his country and the fact that he was in the Navy.  
It had been a long, emotional day but I was so fortunate to be able to be there.
The funeral was the next morning, we had to be to the Temple around 9:30.  All the family gathered in Jacob's Room and waited instruction.  Both Norman and I, along with other cousins, were pallbearers so we were told how we would need to gather at the end of the service.  It was then time to go in, I was apart of the last group, my Aunt Heeyon and her family along with Uncle Mel's children and his brother's and sisters would go in, then the spouses of all of them and then the rest of the family members still there (including my brother and I).   The service was beautiful, I had never been to a funeral at a temple before.  The rabbi said the most perfect things and chose the most perfect poems to share.  One of the most touching moments was during silent prayer, my Aunt Heeyon's niece played the piano, she played Uncle Mel's favorite songs, Swan Lake and Edelweiss.  I don't think there were many dry eyes during her playing. When it was over the pallbearers followed the casket down the sanctuary to outside where we all lifted Uncle Mel down the stairs in to the hearse. We all then proceeded in the processional to Ft. Snelling where Uncle Mel would be saluted with full military honors and a 21 gun salute.  Again, the pallbearers gathered by the hearse and raised him out and brought him to the platform where he laid with the American Flag draping his casket as he received his honors.  The guns saluted him and Taps was played. After the honor guard was dismissed the rabbi proceeded in Jewish tradition with the mourners kaddish.  After that, again in Jewish tradition, those who wished to place soil on top of the casket did so. 
After the services we went to a luncheon for the family at another Temple and spent time there catching up and just being together.  Later that evening we would come back to the same Temple for the Shiva service.  That service was another beautiful moment for us all to come together to say our last good byes.  Again, it was a very long and emotional day but I am so grateful that I was able to be there, especially for my dad.
My family is quite special, my dad has 6 siblings, all with different personalities and ideas.  They don't always agree on everything and may not see each other as much as they would like to (or should).  My hope is that they will keep my Uncle Mel's spirit with them and remember just how much love is shared between them.
As I fly back to Norfolk today I know Uncle Mel is soaring right next to me keeping me safe.

OK, I think that about sums everything up.  I know this is long and maybe a little of a run on at times, but I wanted to get this down before I forget any important details. Thank you all for the support during this difficult time.

15 February, 2016

Mid February Already??

First off, how it is already half way through February?  I mean weren't we just ringing in the new year, making our list of goals (I like to call them goals as opposed to resolutions), and excited to see what 2016 was going to bring!  Now it is mid-February, my goals seem like a distant memory already and 2016 hasn't been too exciting yet, just busy!  One exciting thing for me, at least, is I am in my last semester at TCC and I got my acceptance into ODU for the Fall.  This semester is proving to be my most challenging though, as expected, since I am taking Anatomy and Phys... I am doing pretty well but I feel as I am doing nothing but studying the human body ALL.DAY.LONG!  I will be so happy once May comes.

Enough about me. The kids ended their second quarter of school last week and I am pleased to announce both Leia and Elijah made straight A's and Jacob got all A's and B's!  Jacob was selected to be on his schools SeaPerch team, it is like a STEM club, he loves it and it is great for him. He was also selected as Student of the Month for December in his class and his science fair project was selected as one of the top 3 in his class. Jacob also has been doing a baseball clinic this winter to work on his skills and is showing great improvement. Next week he will have try outs for the Spring season.  Leia went away the last weekend of January to North Carolina for a youth group retreat, she loved it and can not wait to do it again. She also is in the process of applying for a summer enrichment program called Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy.  It seems like an amazing opportunity and I really hope she gets in. She also just started French, but misses her Spanish teacher, so she will be joining the Spanish Club... luckily this one meets once a week during lunch at school, otherwise I don't know how she would make it fit in to her schedule. Elijah is busy with scouts and has just started reading the Harry Potter Series. He also recently went to the ENT in search of a diagnosis for all his congestion.  He is on tons of meds right now and will go back at the end of March to reevaluate. All three of the kids are also busy with the annual Purimshpele with our Temple, this year it is Lost in Space themed.  It has a little Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Spaceballs, and maybe some other stuff.  It should be great, as always!  If you want to come out and see it it will be performed on the 20th of March at Ohef Sholom Temple. As you can see, the kids are busy as always.

Lastly Chris, a couple of weeks ago he attended TAPS (I know it is called something different now but can't remember what).  It is what all servicemen attend when their time in service is coming to an end.  He has found out a lot of information, some of it is quite overwhelming, but it is information we needed.  His last day of active service will be March 31st, which is pretty ironic considering his anniversary date is March 31st as well.  He has joined the reserves though so he will still be serving his country and working towards his retirement.  He still does not have a job lined up but has a few prospects on the table, just waiting for offers.  We really aren't worried, just more anxious to see which one comes through first, and when.  On another note, Chris has taken on the duty of Cub Master with the boys Cub Scout Pack and is doing very well in the position, he has received a lot of praise for his efforts.  Just last weekend we had Blue and Gold, it was Star Wars themed... Chris stepped up to the plate and made sure Darth Vader made an appearance. I think the boys enjoyed it, I know the adults did.

Well, I think that wraps up what has been going on in the Morrissey house the last 6 weeks or so.  Stay tuned to see how we are living our lives to the fullest!