And that’s a wrap….

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So we made it through another football season, cheerleading season, school year, baseball season, after school program, softball season, and dance recital. I’m getting pretty good at moving from season to season and this year we even accomplished a few firsts! I have to say that every time I get really overwhelmed, feeling like this task is far too big to complete it well, I think back to where I was 5 years ago when I tucked 4 babies in and said to myself “what are we gonna do now?”

A lot has changed since my Blondie and I sat on the floor changing diapers in an assembly line. It’s funny to think how different life is now. I’m not pushing around the world’s biggest stroller, my Blondie flew the coup, and every day these kids grow and everyday I learn something new about the world just by looking through their eyes. I have to brag for just a minute. Please indulge me, I won’t take long, but this year, as I went from one end-of-year assembly to another, I was over joyed at just how far we’ve come. I once sat in classrooms and heard teachers use words like “at-risk” and “below-level” and “not quite on target” and this year, those words were lost under “he’s so bright” and “she’s so cute” and “I can’t believe how intelligent he is” and I couldn’t be happier!

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We got two, yes, two perfect attendance medals! We had three kids who pulled off the honor roll. We had one who scored exceptionally high on his state assessments, and was recommended for GT (gifted & talented). We even had one get the Presidential Fitness Award. Of course, our teenager gets an award too. His award comes from the Zookeeper (aka MOM). He wins “Best Last Ditch Effort to Salvage the Year”. So, we’re not perfect, but hey, we’re making progress!

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In the midst of our academic achievements we had a lot of fun. I think I have one of the best little ball players I’ve ever seen! He didn’t pick grass or fill his glove up with sand. He spent half the season with his tongue hanging out, but this kid made a TRIPLE PLAY!

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Meanwhile his brother entertained the crowds with his skills in the outfield.

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And his sister teetered between dancing and batting, never quite sure which one was her favorite!

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And their big brother was Jacques Cousteau in the Fifth Grade Play!

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Yep, we’ve grown way past diaper changes on the living room floor! Dyl Pickles is getting his driver’s license. And Blondie? Well, she’s coming home next week for a visit. Life in Nashville is looking good on her. She smiles brighter. I’m not sure if it’s the music, or if it’s the fact that while we were playing baseball and going to recitals, she was busy falling in love!

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Yep, folks, you heard it here first. Blondie has fallen in love. And she has a new partner, both on and off the stage. But that’s a whole new story. I promised I wasn’t going to brag for too long. But sometimes, when I’m bogged down by 42 loads of laundry and new tennis shoes that are already lost and a broken light fixture it took months to put up and I just can’t see past the dwindling bank account, I spend a week going to the end of the year assemblies, and suddenly it’s easy to remember why being the Zookeeper is such an important job. I have seven people growing before my eyes, and somehow, I had something to do with just how amazing they have become, and for that, all these stinky socks will someday be worth my time!

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