In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Happy 18th Lauren

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Lauren.  Wow!  How in the world did you ever get to be 18?  I have no idea.  You are beautiful.  Witty.  Smart.  And you’ve never so much as had a warning, a traffic ticket or an accident or fender bender.  Amazing.

We ate at Red Lobster with her dad and her boyfriend CJ on her exact birthday.  I usually teach yoga for a couple of hours on Thursday evenings, but I’ve been off yoga for the whole month of January.  A choice I made after I found out I had an inguinal hernia and then I decided t get it fixed pronto, so I’ve been recovering.  I feel as though a replay from 18 years ago is happening in the way of groin pain.  I had a C-section with Lauren and this feels like I’ve had half of one. Not so much fun.  Much easier when you have a baby to focus on instead of just PAIN.

Our dinner was nice, we all had a great conversation.  After that her beau took her to the mall to buy a pair of Converse.  Her dad gave her cash.  She had mentioned getting a tattoo for her birthday, so I was thinking that’s what she’d do. But no, she came home late Thursday night with a Hookah instead.  What’s worse?  A Hookah or a tattoo?  Not sure I can really answer that one. Neither I guess. I know her friends vape and I know she does sometimes as well.  I know when you turn a certain age, it’s cool to do something that you can only do when you’re that age. Like going to a bar when you’re 21, even if you don’t really drink.  I think her boyfriend hit it on the nose when he said to me, “I think she’ll be done with it in like 2 weeks.”  He knows my kid well.  And I’m glad.

So far she’s on the honor roll in school this year, so that’s exciting after a few years of not really giving a crap about school.  She also wants to go to college now which is good and bad. She lost her two free years at OTC due to the not “giving a crap” issue.  She’s into childcare and does go to a daycare for school a few times per week.  She’s also in a Forensics class and loves it. She mentioned going to school to be a Child Forensic Psychologist.  I was like…..is that a real job?  Of course it is.  What do I know.  She scored well enough to get into MSU on her ACT (surprise) but I think we’ll feel out OTC first. Cheaper and just in case she feels like quitting, it will be less of an investment.  The forensics program is also at MSU.  But if she chooses to do that she can get her basics out of the way at OTC then transfer over.

Lauren has not had a job YET.  This needs to change.  She did help me clean a bunch of buildings back when I was doing that, but so far nothing on her own. I am hoping now that she’s 18 she will find something that she likes to do.  It’s harder when you’re 16. But still.  I give her $40 a week for stuff around here and she has to buy her gas out of that.  None of her friends work either.  Weird.  We all worked, from like the day we were old enough to.  Things are different that’s for sure.  I’m sounding old aren’t I?

Lauren.  Follow your heart.  Stand up for yourself.  Be kind.  Stay smart.  Show compassion.  Fall in love.  Get a job.  Keep doing well in school.  Stay the beautiful, responsible soul that you’ve turned into.  I honestly hope that I had a little to do with that. Love You!

 

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WOLF School Is WOW

When my daughter was in 5th grade back in 2009, she attended WOLF (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) and it was a great experience for our entire family.

2009 was the first year that this conservation based school was in business.  The classrooms were located in the old K-Mart building just West of Bass Pro.  They didn’t have a playground.  They had a parking lot.  They didn’t have a lunch room.  The lunches were catered by Parkview High School and they ate their lunch on the floor.  The kids didn’t care they loved the school, the field trips and the teachers.  One of which is still teaching there and the other?  Unfortunately moved on.

Fast forward to now and if you live here, I’m sure you’ved noticed serious construction at the corner of Sunshine and Campbell.  We live extremely close to this intersection so getting Lauren to this school was no problem for us.  WOLF School is now located in a brand new building and it is totally amazing!

We attended the Grand Opening last Thursday evening.  Lauren still volunteers when she can and it’s getting harder with school activities.  She does travel most of the summer with my parents as well.  But we do our best to get some hours in.  After school is out most of the time.  My yoga teaching requires me to be at work when she could be attending animal handling classes.  Lauren had already been inside the new shcool once.  She attended a lock-in prior to the public opening. 

This is the Grand Hall or the entry way.  The classrooms are on the left and are completely secure.  The green wall at the end of the hallway will be removed eventually.  This will allow a connection to the Bass Pro retail store and the WOW museum.  Basically the school will be open to the public so hence for the secure location of the classrooms.  Each area has a neat diorama by the door that features the theme.  So there’s a River Room and so on. 

The classrooms are really cool too.  They have neat stuff on the ceilings just like the Bass Pro store.  One room has the experience of water and a cave system.  One room has grass and flowers like the plains.  Of course there’s no lack of taxidermy and other outdoor gear on the walls as well. 

The ceilings in the main hallway and in the convention rooms are beyond high.  Just massive and beautiful.  The  convention room has a beautifully painted wall mural of the outdoors that was still in progress.  I believe the speaker said it will also feature a real waterfall too.  The gigantic chandeliers in that space are covered with what looks like animal skins.  Real ones?  Probably.  The concrete floors are embedded with animal tracks and the bathrooms?  No mirrors and the stalls appear to be metal with scenes of the outdoors overlayed into them.  And they also have gorgeous stained glass windows and a big round stainless system for handwashing like 6 kids at one time.

While wondering about Harry Potter came to my mind with the dark, thick wood and stone in the architecture.  My favorite space was a big room with big round tables.  The West wall houses the biggest stone fireplace that I’ve ever seen.  We attended the Awards Banquet this week and enjoyed a really nice dinner in this cozy space complete with the fireplace roaring.  The walls are adorned with vintage photos (big ones of course) of the Morris family on outdoor activities. 

Once the place is landscaped the kids will have a playground.  A place for archery.  A fully stocked fish pond where they can fish, clean and cook fish.  The yard will also feature a nature trail with native plants and a cave.  Heck.  They might not need to go on field trips as everything will be in-house.  Was my daughter jealous to see all of this?  Not really.  She mentioned how her class was the first class and they were the pioneers.  I do feel like chances of getting into this great program will be harder now because the building is so incredibly cool.  But if you have a child entering 5th grade, I highly encourage you to apply.  We feel honored to have had this experience and very lucky to be part of such a beautiful new space.


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Dumped, from a Canoe

Today, my daughter has orchestra first thing.  After that, they load up and head to a lake for canoe and kayak safety.  She wore her bathing suit, quick dry shorts, sweatpants a T-shirt and sunscreen!  We packed a lunch, filled a water bottle and made sure the hat was in the backpack.

I guess they’re going to dump them out of the boats!  The morning is cool today, so I’m sure the water won’t be much better!  On Tuesday, they spent the day at a creek, snorkeling and studying fish.  They’re also learning hunting safety in the classroom, which she thinks is kind of boring.

My son, just rolls his eyes at all of this.  He’s a big outdoorsman.  He was a junior zoo keeper at our local zoo for two years.  He also volunteered at Wonder’s of Wildlife museum, until they decided to completely renovate it, so it’s closed for like a year!  Wish they would’ve had this awesome school when he was in 5th grade, it’s truly been an amazing experience for Lauren so far!


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Spulenking the Ozarks

Lauren (our daughter) loved the cave experience.  She even crawled through the mud tunnels, which I was mighty surprised.  They sent home instructions on how to wash cave mud off clothing.  So if you ever find yourself in need, here goes.  Wash the clothes in cold water 3 times.  On the fourth time, add the laundry detergent, hang them out to dry.  They look brand new.  Good deal, those Nike tennis shoes I got at the Salvation Army for a buck look better now, than when I brought them home.  Today they go to Ritter Springs Cave.  Lauren said it was a dry cave, but they may get into some water, with streams, but no mud.  Ok.  Sounds fun.  Friday, they take a trip to Close Park for tree observation.  She’s loving this school.

Jordan (our son) is really getting into Cross Country.  I’m hoping I will attempt to run with him when he runs here at home on his own.  I’m not a runner.  I have knock knees and a strong inward rotation at the hips.  Basically, I have crooked legs and wore funky shoes as a child and there was some talk of a placing a bar between my knees when I slept.  That didn’t happen.  My mom’s whole family has this inward hip spiral, sometimes it truly sucks.  Anyways, running generally hurts my body, so we’ll see if I can overcome that.  He missed the first two meets since he decided to join late, but another week or so and he’ll be a traveling runner.  He was also a little apprehensive as all the meets are on the weekends.  That’s his time with his mother.  We meet her in Buffalo every Friday night and Sunday afternoon.  She lives at Lake of the Ozarks.  But we had a chat.  I reminded him he’s only in high school once and that he’s a damn good runner and his mother owns a car.  Evil stepmom revealed.

Both kids are doing great in school as they take on these extra activities.  We are so proud of them both.


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First Week of School

School Bus Top

Our kids don’t have to ride the bus, we live close to every single school that they have to attend.  I consider us lucky!  They don’t have to get up too early and they don’t have to waste too much boring time in transit.  Our son is liking his sophomore year so far.  The school has undergone serious construction and he said he felt almost as lost this year as he was last!  To top it off, they actually distributed the wrong schedules to everyone the week before school started, so the first couple of days were a bit crazy!  It’s all good now and he’s just patiently waiting for Spring track to start!

Our daughter made it thru her first week of WOLF School.  I was a little concerned at first.  A few of the other parents whose children did not get in also made some comments.  One was “I heard it’s going to be really tough, do you think she’ll make it?”  Please, it’s a conservation based school, not boot camp!

She had been at the same elementary since Kindergarten.  It was a small, friendly elementary, up the street from where we live.  She had bonded with many girls there and at this new school, only one other kid was chosen from her previous elementary and it was a boy.  When I picked her up yesterday, the kids were all outside waiting and she was lingering.  Then, she hugged like 2 other girls good bye!  Wow!  How great to make friends like that in the first week. 

I do feel the circumstances they are in has made all the difference in the world.  They spent the day Friday out at the Watershed.  She said it was a bit cold to swim but they got in the water none the less.  They studied leeches, mayflies and water pennies.  She absolutely loved it and can’t wait until next week when they go to Bull Creek.  What a wonderful opportunity and hopefully this is just the first of what our public school system will offer in the future!