Thursday, August 21, 2014

Justin's F I R S T day

What a surprise to receive a first-day-of-school picture from our big guy without even asking... I LOVE seeing how they change and grow from year to year!

I love this picture.
I love this boy.
He really didn't even have a break after taking classes all summer.

Fall football camp is over with his first game in less than two weeks.
It is going to be an exciting fall.

Especially for this family who is more than excited being back home to watch him play.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

W I C H I T A state for TY

And he's off! Thirty minutes up the road to Wichita State. Love, Love, Love him!
Starting classes this week, he is happy with his new school and excited to be a Shocker.

Not quite a sophomore, he has a year of classes on his transcript taken through the University of Maryland while in Germany.

It was college but it wasn't really the whole college experience.

Wichita State is a beautiful college with a strong engineering program.

The basketball team has done an exceptional job the last couple of seasons bringing more money and attention to the school.

Ty has the perfect opportunity to not only enjoy school but to thrive.

He has the whole college experience at his fingertips now.

It should be a fabulous year all the way around.

What a change from a few years ago...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Y E A H... first day of school

6:00 came early. However, this day did not come too soon!

With an extended summer {getting out of school in Germany the end of April} this mom and dad are enjoying the silence this morning!

We are experiencing not only a lot of change at this transition in our lives, but also many firsts.
The first full summer Jim has been home to see the craziness behind what makes a summer.
Today, he is experiencing for the first time the excitement of sending kids to school.

That sigh of relief knowing that for the next nine hours, messes will not be made!
As every parent does- we love our boys.
They just need to be in school.

We think they are in for a fantastic year.

While registering them their new principal gave a tour of the one-level grade school.
She also placed them with what seem to be wonderful teachers- ready to take them on.

What a contrast from Germany.

There are six classrooms in each level rather than eighteen or more.
They will have PE three times a week.

Caden gets two recesses a day.
There is no Spanish or German.

Rather than having 55 school busses, rural route 3 picked them up in our driveway.

No more smoking or cell-phone talking German bus drivers. I think Caden is most happy to be done with them.

It is pretty special to have our first-day-of-school pictures back on our front porch.

Caden thought it would be his first picture since he started school in Germany. Actually, he used to hang with the big guys when they had their first days...

Check out this picture here. Coleman was a little guy here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

road trips and F A M I L Y

We are feeling quite blessed right now. Last night, Grandpa and Grandma arrived after making the journey from Utah to visit.

For Grandpa, it has been almost five years since he has seen the little guys. Big changes.
For Grandma, it has been almost a year since she spent time with us in Germany.

We have really missed them.
After losing my Grandpa in June, we lost Jim's Grandpa Behl in July. After learning he was in the hospital, we made a spur-of-the moment decision for Jim to make the drive to Mississippi to see him. Without hesitation, Caden said he wanted to go along.

They would not let Caden in Grandpa's ICU room, but Jim was able to spending a few special days with Grandpa- a man who taught him so much. Not long after Jim said his goodbye and returned home, Grandpa passed.

We miss him already but he is where he wants to be- back with the Lord.

August 2nd, we were able to celebrate Grandpa's life with the family.

It was the first day of Justin's fall football camp, but his coaches were very understanding and allowed us to have him for the weekend.

It was wonderful to be a family- even for just a short weekend.
I LOVE being close to our big guy again.

We {hopefully} don't EVER have to wait four months in between times of seeing him AGAIN!

In a weekend, we made the six-hour trip to pick up Justin. From Arkansas we drove to Granny's (another six hours) to spend the night and time with the Dickey side.

Saturday morning, we woke up early and made the two-hour drive to Girard, Illinois for the services and time with the Behl side.
Saturday night, we drove two hours back to Granny's for the night.

Sunday, we enjoyed family and a beautiful Sunday dinner at Granny's with a table set for 27. Sunday afternoon, we hit the road to get Justin back on time (another six hours) to college. We crashed for the night and finished off our trip Monday with another six hours to Kansas.

From Friday to Monday, a grand total of 28 hours in the van.It was long but well worth every single minute.

While in Germany, we feel as though we missed out on so much being so far away. Driving is not always easy, but it is nice to be close enough to make these trips. Cousins need to know cousins.
Now, we really need to make it out west....
Growing up in Alaska, I always felt so far from any of our cousins. I wanted to know my aunts and uncles and cousins. I want our boys to know their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Play with them, fight with them... make memories with them. 
Now, we get Grandma and Grandpa for a little while. I'm excited to relax and play and make memories.

School starts tomorrow.
The bus picks the little guys up in our driveway at 6:30. They are going to be so tired.
Ty starts at Wichita State in the Engineering program. Let the fun begin.

Football is in full swing for Justin and Caden.
In two weeks, we will hit the road again to Texas Tech to watch Justin play on the big field.

Life is so exciting. I hope we can keep up!