Well,the girls are back settled into school now. They're into their 4th week already! I can't believe it. Some kids (on the mainland) haven't even started back and my kids are halfway through the 1st grading period.
Alex is doing great in middle school. She's really gotten the hang of changing classes and moving from building to building. She's taking "band", which isn't really band in 6th grade, but ukulele lessons. (You can't take real band until 7th grade here, for some strange reason...)
It's cool to hear her play songs on the ukulele. It reminds me that my kids are getting so much more than a mediocre education here. They're getting cultural immersion. They eat rice and li hing mui just like everyone else, they even try Spam! They're creating memories that most people won't get to have in their lifetimes. We're experiencing these things together. Things that I hope will stay with them for years, so they can share the stories with their own children and grandchildren.
Jon is busy, working toward the crazy travel season that is fall and winter. He's already scheduled for at least 3 trips between September and January. It's great for him, great experience and he really enjoys it. But these trips are long trips, and they fall on some really inconvenient dates: namely, Jon's 40th birthday in January. I had some grand ideas - travelling without the kids for a couple days, a great party, something. But he won't be here. Guess I will have to adjust my plans a little bit.
With school in full swing, the house is quiet everyday. I'm still working, but there is no bustle. There is peace, except for the blare of Chris Daughtry on my iPod. I find that the loud music makes me miss the kids just a little less, and it clears my head to concentrate on work tasks.
Alissa has started taking piano lessons with our neighbor (and good friend). She's been in lessons for about a month now, and she's really taken to it. She practices with dedication, and her instructor says she's picking up quickly. She's also busy with her Class President duties. There's a meeting every week, and she's required to take "Leadership" as one of her electives. She's currently designing the Sophomore Class Spirit T-shirt. I'm so proud of her. She's really taken this responsibility and run with it. She's always been confident, but this has given her some real tangible evidence, that she can not only do something well, but enjoy it too.
Last night was the high school open house. As Sophomore Class President, Alissa was required to speak at the opening events.
I was incredibly proud of her. She wasn't nervous at all, as she spoke to over 200 people. She showed enthusiasm about her role, and she looked incredibly cool and confident. She spoke about all the events planned for the year, and how she's tasked with designing a new Class of 2012 t-shirt, and she asked for her fellow classmates to get involved. Her advisor's husband works with Jon, so he and the advisor got talking. She explained how Alissa is a confident, hard-working, smart young lady who will make a difference to the class of 2012, even though we won't be here for 11th and 12th grade.
We, of course, already knew Alissa's ability and that she's a great kid. But hearing it from her teachers is a welcome blessing. It's nice to know that she's showing her good side at school :-).
As we approach the busy last months of 2009, I am reminded of all that I am blessed with - a job (at least for now), 3 incredible kids, a hard-working husband, a life in a warm, sunny place, and friends out there who mean so much to me. When I have a rough day, or worry about my employment, I remember that I have these things. Things that will carry me through if the job turns sour.