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Sunday, May 19, 2013

We're separated...

Yesterday, my husband left me...and he took my two oldest kids with him, leaving me with our three 15 year olds. Oh, don't worry, our marriage is just fine and he'll return to me just in time to celebrate our 20th anniversary at the end of this month. So where are Dad and the 17 year olds off to? Well, they've headed to the Big Easy for a little service learning adventure.

The awesome charter school that our kids attend does a lot of community service work both here and in other communities. The school has done trips to New Orleans the past couple of years where the students have worked with a group called United Saints Recovery Project. A group of 15-20 students and staff spend a week repairing homes that were damaged in Hurricane Katrina in 2005...and yes, there's still an appalling amount of work to be done even 8 years later.

This year Ms. Senior wanted to make a difference by joining the service trip to NOLA before she graduates. Her brother was motivated both by service and the tempting prospect of a week away from school when he signed up for the trip. Craig was also interested in the service work and sharing the experience with his kids and volunteered to go along as a chaperone/skilled laborer. They flew down yesterday afternoon, spent today touring the hardest hit areas and becoming familiar with the work ahead of them. Tomorrow they'll be up at 7:00 AM and headed to the work site. They could be painting, cleaning, renovating, or planting a community garden. Whatever they do, it will be hot and dirty...and appreciated by the folks they're serving. I'm so proud of them!

So what about the rest of us?  Well, I have to report that I'm equally proud of my other 3 kids. While I was at the airport yesterday, my youngest mopped the floor and washed the windows at home...totally unsolicited help that was a lovely surprise. Then my girl helped with dinner and we all watched a movie together. This morning, my first boy had to have blood work done, not his favorite thing but he did it without complaint and was very brave. After that, Tanya and I headed to the mall for some early birthday shopping...she turns 16 next weekend! It was a real treat to spend one on one time with her today. Everyone managed to complete homework, do chores, and catch up on laundry and it's not even dark yet...gasp!...and I taught Tanya how to make Asian Fried Rice for dinner so we're all well fed. It's still daylight and I have downtime, a rare occurrence. I'm planning an early bedtime, some extra rest for my poor weary body...but my heart is happy and full of gratitude for the kids who have been trying so hard to be good to Mom. Service is happening here at home, too.

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