September 12, 2012

Collegiate Chloe

About 17 years ago, Katie and I nervously brought our oldest child, Chloe, to Nursery at church for the first time. 

Would she be OK? Would she like it? What if she's scared?

As we approached the open door, Chloe saw the teachers and other toddlers. She looked up at us, said "Bye!" and was off—never looking back. 

And that is how it as been ever since.

In my last post, I shared the first-day-of-school photos of Liam and Tomas. This year, I didn't see Chloe on her first day of school because she is now in college. Chloe going to BYU has consumed a lot of our thoughts, energy, time and money this past summer.

But true to Chloe fashion, she really has done most of everything completely on her own without much help from us. 

After thirty-some-odd interviews, Chloe got a fantastic job on campus that works perfectly with her schedule and it only a few minutes from her dorm. According to Chloe, the job is totally worth all the rejections. She's a secretary for the Department of Technology. I'm glad she enjoys the job, but as her father, I was a bit concerned when she mentioned one of the perks of the job being that most of the students in the Department of Technology are boys. 

Here's a photo of Chloe heading to her first day of work. I used my cell phone, so the quality isn't great. And, for some strange and very unusual reason, Chloe didn't want her photo taken.

When the time came for Chloe to move into the dorms, she completely cleared out her bedroom. All that remained were some nails in the walls and a few little scraps. It reminded me of what the Whoville resident's homes looked like after the Grinch had visited. Chloe would have been totally content to move completely by herself, but she did let Katie help out by driving a couple van loads to the dorms. I didn't witness it personally, but I heard that one load was stuffed with clothes. 

Chloe is living in the same dorm complex where Katie and I lived. They will be torn down in the next year or so to make way for new dorms, but Chloe seems to like their quirkiness and that they are old (or "retro" as she refers to them). She laughs at the fact things break often and that it takes incredible skill to get the shower temperature right.

Here are some photos I stole off Chloe's blog. She's blogging about her freshman experience. Check it out here. It's pretty entertaining, but I suggest you do it quick. She tends to go through blogs like she does clothes.

The pile of clothes you see there would have been the total amount I brought to college. Believe me, that's just the beginning for Chloe.

Here she is in the kitchen. I remember when I lived there many, many years ago the cabinetry was brand new. 
For her first semester, Chloe is taking Biology, Book of Mormon, Art History, and German (I may be missing one). She's doing well and likes all her classes. One of her favorite classes is German, which makes me happy. But soon she'll be able to understand a lot of what Katie and I say to each other when we speak German so none of the kids will know what we're talking about. Katie and I are going to have to throw a lot more slang in or try speaking Pig Latin German.

I knew Chloe was prepared academically for college and that she would have no problem making friends, but I was a bit concerned with how she would be with her money and budgeting. However, we have been pleasantly surprised. She's got her budget all planned out in an Excel file and is being very responsible and careful with her money.

Even though we miss her at home (things are amazingly quiet), we are so happy she is doing well and enjoying college so far. We love and are extremely proud of her.

September 08, 2012

Whats on the Camera?—First Day of School

It has been three months since I last posted something. Pretty pathetic, I know.

Maybe it's because I didn't think I had anything to write about that could possibly come close to being as exciting as last year's adventures in Austria.

Well, I did take a lot of photos, and this past week, I finally inserted my three memory cards into the computer to see what I had. Turns out, we did do quite a bit that I should share here—so much in fact that I feel a bit overwhelmed in trying to catch up. My first inclination was to just forget about the last three months and make a fresh start. But, I know I'd end up regretting it later.

So, I decided to go through the photos and just start writing.  I'm going to try my best to be caught up by the end of the month. To help with the process and to relieve some of the pressure I've put on myself, I'm going to take the photos as they come, and if an event or topic comes up that I don't want to write about or deal with at the moment, I'll just move on to something else. I'm also not going to worry about keeping things in chronological order.

Therefore, I shall begin.

Perusing through the photos, here are a couple that first caught my eye from the first day of school for Liam and Tomas.

Tomas is now in the third grade. The biggest thing about beginning school for Tomas is that he is doing it in a cast. He fell off his bike and broke both bones in his right forearm. Luckily, he's a lefty. This also means he will miss most of the fall soccer season. He has a very nice teacher and for the most part likes his class. Of his three best friends, two go to other schools and one moved away, so this will be a year of making new friends. Tomas is still at that age where recess is his favorite part of the day. Last week, he told me he loves to play a game during recess he invented called "evil snails." I asked for an explanation, but didn't really understand it.

They've really come a long way with casts since I had my white plaster one in sixth grade. Tomas had all kinds of choices. He ended up going with a camouflage cast with a glow-in-the-dark white stripe. Pretty cool. 
Liam transferred school districts this year. Instead of being a freshman at Provo High, he is a 9th grader at Lakeridge Jr. High. I think he was a bit nervous at first because he's not the social butterfly his sister is. However, things are working out. It's good his best friend, Tanner, is there, too. What I find most amazing is that he seems to like ALL his teachers. I don't think that ever happened with me from jr. high through high school and even into college. I always had at least one oddball or cranky teacher. Liam is taking honors English, biology, algebra, history, drama, computers, symphonic band, and seminary. He's already begun the infamous bug project. Over the years, I've watched many 9th graders in the neighborhood over at the park with their nets in early fall trying to catch bugs. Liam has to collect and mount 30 different insects. I think he currently has three.

Liam is still in braces, so no open mouth smiling for him.

Liam and Tomas are fantastic kids, and I'm pretty sure it will be a great year for both of them. I'm excited to see what they learn and what they accomplish.