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!!!