Saturday, January 28, 2012

Home Coming

It was time to head back to Texas. I was really missing dad and Possible.    I had been able to put the next several months out of mind until we got to the March and the college visits.  Now that those things were behind us I needed to get home.  J is so calming about the twins, that I needed to hear him remind me that everything would be ok.  The kids wanted to stay a little longer and I love that but not this time.  So we planned for an early departure.  Could we do it?  We have failed at every other attempt at an early time but I needed us to get moving.  Good News is that we did it!!  We drove away at 5:10 am I had wanted to leave at 4:30 but this was so much closer than 6:30, so I was happy.  It is such a long trip. 

 It was a long trip.  The kids were wonderful.  At one point I didn't think we were going to make it at all.  While getting lost going the wrong way on the OK turnpike, Jumba started throwing up.  He had eaten too many Go-Gurts.  Yuck.  No where to stop on the Toll Road.  I was afraid to pull off completely because we were low on cash.  After that mess was taken care of the winds picked up to about 25 miles per hour.  The van and trailer would sway quit a bit.  When the "check engine light" began blinking I thought I would loose it.  In the end we made it home safely.  My poor facebook friends got sick of my whining, but I am so thankful for all the prayers that helped us to get home in one piece. 
We returned home to an empty house but soon J and Possible got there with flowers for mom and Wings for dinner.  Yummy and safe.  Another St. Louis adventure for the books.  We had a blast and I hold hope that someday soon we will live closer.  It was great to be home even though it was in Texas.

College Bound

I admit that it warms my heart that Goobers and Bear both have interest in colleges in the St. Louis area. I love the idea of them being away from home for college but also being near family.  So where to go?  While in town I took them to just four of the local schools.  I went to ones that I thought they might like because of their learning styles and who in the family went there. 

We started at Webster University.  This is a special place in a way for a few reasons.  From the Website: 
The History of Webster UniversityAlso see the Webster University Archives in the Emerson Library

In the early days of the American frontier, poor children were forgotten when it came to education. The Sisters of Loretto, a Catholic religious organization founded in 1812, set out to offer a solution. 

The Loretto Community dedicated itself to providing education to those who normally might not possess an opportunity to obtain one. It's this mission that remains at the heart of Webster University today.

The Sisters of Loretto laid the cornerstone for Webster University on Nov. 1, 1915. Originally named Loretto College, the school was one of the first Catholic women's colleges west of the Mississippi River. It was progressive for its time, providing higher education to women when it was not generally made available.

Loretto College opened with eight Sisters of Loretto teaching class for five students. Two students populated the first graduating class in 1919.

Five years later, in 1924, the school changed its name to Webster College to avoid confusion with Loretto Academy, a school operated by the Loretto Community on Lafayette Avenue in St. Louis. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited Webster College the same year

Why did I include that information.  My grandma Mommom went to Loretto College in the early days before it became Webster College and then Webster University.  In fact her name was Loretto. 

The school has changed tons over the years and in the 90's J went there for his undergraduate.  He felt he got a wonderful education there and I only wish he had been able to visit with us.  I loved the history in the old buildings and even the odd windows that still reflect their Catholic heritage, even though the college no longer has any affiliation with the faith. 
It was a very cold rainy day.  The kids were not at all impressed by the school or the scholarships they might be eligible for because of their dad.  So onto the next school.
Our visit to Fontbonne University was very short.  KeeKee and Uncle Mike went to Fontbonne and loved their experience.  KeeKee still teaches classes there every so often.  She has a wonderful relationship with the place.  It is a Catholic University still to this day and that I thought might draw the kids attention as they love that Pooker is at a Catholic University.  No such luck, they didn't like what they saw.  That ended our first day of college visits.  I admit that I was worried they would end up not liking anything at this rate. 
The kids asked to see Maryville University.  I was embarrassed to admit that I knew very little about this place.  I probably would have liked it back in the day if I had given it a chance.  I wish I had known to look around but at least my kids do.  It was another rainy day so I worried we might end up with the same results as yesterday but I trusted that the kids would look hard to find something that worked for them.  Maryville was a delightful surprise for me.  Their history was one of also a Catholic one, even though they no longer have that affiliation: 

History  -from College View

Maryville University of Saint Louis was founded in 1872 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, an order established in France by women dedicated to excellence in education. One of the oldest private institutions in the St. Louis region, Maryville was originally an academy for young women; it became a four-year college in 1923 and a university in 1991.

We got a wonderful tour of the place.  They had added many new features.  They even will have woman's swimming next year.  These are things that really interested my kiddos.  They even treated us to lunch in their new cafeteria.  Delicious.  We were surprised to see our names on the board welcoming the visitors.  A very cool touch.  I thought Maryville had won them both over.  I almost avoided the next visit.  Goobers did not hear her major and still wanted to investigate another place.  I am so glad we did. 

We headed to Lindenwood University.  This is located in St. Charles, MO not exactly in St. Louis but very close.  J also went here for his MBA;  so did Aunt Nikki and Aunt Julie, both for both post graduate work.  As the mom driving to each location I so appreciated the clearly marked building where a visitor should start.  (This was the only school that had that clearly marked!)  I find it interesting that this college also had it's origins as a woman's college.  The property had been a family farm and the family cemetery is still in tact and those at rest have a perfect view of the sports field.  Again I was loving the local history lesson. 

We did not have that much time here, considering we spent hours at Maryville.  Lindenwood was so impressive,  wish we had more time there.  We were won over when the admissions director we met with asked about our family name.  He saw that we were from Texas but lived near that park that was named after J's grandfather.  It is always fun to have the name recognized. 
My pictures were not impressive but the visit was.  They have added so much to the University in the past 15 years.  I was so excited to see it all.  I can't wait for J to get the chance to visit the school someday and see all they have to offer.  Goobers found her fit.  She really wants to get here for school.  She knows that she could stay with family to save a little money and still have a wonderful education.  Time will tell.

I can't say for sure that the kids will go to St. Louis area colleges but at least they are open to look.  I was so happy when the discussion came up a few days later.  One of the younger ones said that they wanted to go to A&M even though it didn't have the major they wanted.  Bear voiced his opinion and reminded them not to limit themselves to the schools that were close to our current home.  I think it is good for the soul and for your education to be open to other cities and schools.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Mail Jumba

What are you doing up there Jumba? How did he even get up there?

Fr. Tom was behind it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

March for Life 2012

This is an update reported from borrowed pictures from all the teens.  I did not go on the March and missed them terribly.  We sent Goobers, Bear and Sugar on a bus with Fr. Tom from St. Angela Merici in St. Louis to Washington DC.  They were delayed hours on the bus because of bad icey weather.  As a surprise Fr. Tom and Dad had worked it out that Pooker and her boyfriend would fly into Washington DC on Saturday to join the others.  I have heard wonderful stories for each of the kiddos.  They loved the March again this year.  I watched the EWTN broadcast and video taped it for the kiddos.  The Mass before the March is new to when I used to go 20 years ago.  Watching that made me cry.  I am so proud to be Catholic.  I am so proud that I could not go with them because J and I have lived our pro-life convictions and I had to watch the little children while also letting the twins grow inside me.  I am so proud that my kiddos are willing to suffer and sacrifice to honor God and defend life. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where have Dad and Possible been?

It has been evident from all of our pictures that a few very important members have been missing from the trip to St. Louis, and then onto the March for Life.  We have missed Possible and Dad very much the past week.  Dad had to work, when in sales you can't avoid a trade show given by your bigger clients.  The fun news was that his trade show and meetings were held on the property of Disney World in Orlando Florida.  J planned ahead and new he would have Sunday mostly free and Monday evening after the Trade Show he was free.  We decided that this would be a great time for Possilbe to spend some time with Dad.  So she got to have her first flight, some yummy foods, swim time, and a day and an evening at the parks of Disney World. 

I do just want to say yummy to all the food they send picutres of.  We can't wait to get back home to talk to Possible about her time at Disney World.  None of the other children have been there.