So, every year about the time that school starts and we need a reliable car for work, our car develops a problem with gremlins. This year they took out the battery, alternator, and fuel something sensor. No fun. I got to sit for several hours several days in a row waiting for the car to finally be fixed. Hopefully tomorrow it won't be some weird electrical problem.
On a happier note, I am going to start babysitting a 4-year-old girl for the school year. Benjamin will be thrilled, and I'll make a little money on the side. We are going to start tomorrow, and I can't wait for the fun to ensue. I hope she is happy here, and that it is a smooth transition. I would love a baby of my own, or to be able to put Benjamin in a preschool, but this is also good. He'll learn to share and play with a peer, and I'll learn to juggle to kids and our home. I'll still teach music in the afternoons, and all that craziness. I like to be busy, and feel lost when it's just Benjamin and me at home all day. This will give me added incentive to organize activities, and get out of bed early. Hurray for goals and projects.
I love back-to-school shopping and have felt very left out since Damon doesn't really need anything this year. I picked up a few supplies just for fun, and found a great deal on some shirts and tank-tops, which will add to my fall wardrobe. I wish I could go crazy and buy notebooks and pens, but I already have a ton of those stored under my bed. Damon always asks me what I collect. My deep dark secret is I collect office supplies and stickers. I love paper, and pens. I love the look of a new notebook full of possibilities. I am entranced by markers, new crayons, and highlighters, and wish that I had the excuse of school to go crazy at Target. Damon says when the school supplies go 75% off I can have some fun, and he let me get a few things that were extra on sale. What an indulgent husband I have :) Benjamin will have all kinds of fun with me this year.
We finally made it to Montana. Damon is a fourth generation native of Deer Lodge, and his parents live in Lincoln. Unfortunately due to finances we have never made it up there. We had a blast. The weather was rainy and cool, which coming from hot Las Vegas summers was a blessing. We especially enjoyed seeing all the green trees, grasses and flowers. One of the woods we walked through looked like the forests you read about in fairy tales. Damon had us tramp all through the area on and off trails as we saw where he grew up. My favorites were rock collecting at old mines and in a nearby stream. We brought home some gorgeous rocks that I can't wait to polish and enjoy. Benjamin fell in love with grasshoppers and made them his little pets. He was really sad to leave them behind. We got to spend lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa Wahl, and now Benjamin knows and talks about both sets of grandparents. Grandpa Wahl insisted that Benjamin call Grandma Wahl "little old granny lady", which she just smiled at. Benjamin thought it was hysterical. I would love to live in such a beautiful place, but would struggle with the isolation. Maybe if we lived nearer to a major town like Helena or Missoula.
We drove all night to get up there, and then decided to drive back during the day. The drive up was long, but Benjamin slept through it which helped a lot. The drive back was brutal. We stopped at Temple Square and tried to visit Andrea, but she was busy. We then went to Grandma and Grandpa Poulson's house for a night. We picked raspberries, and Grandma made us raspberry jam, which we got to take home. (We also picked Huckleberries in Montana, and brought home Huckleberry jam.) We had a good nights sleep, and then drove another brutal 5 hours to home. Our backyard suffered from lack of water, and it is way too hot in Vegas, but it is nice to be home. Damon and I brought home a cold, and mine turned into pneumonia, which has been rough. I am finally starting to feel better.
Now it is time for school to start and real life to resume. We had a fantastic summer of swimming, travel and fun. My little sister got married in Montana, and I spent a week alone with Benjamin while Damon went to Scout Camp. We had a blast. Benjamin is so big and smart. He talks to us like he is an adult, and asks regularly "so what are we going to do today?" We love him dearly and hope to add another to our family soon. Benjamin loves other children and makes friends wherever he goes. He misses his friends, and cries whenever we have to leave. He is gentle and kind and gets upset when others are not. I wish that I could give him everything and anything his heart desired, and usually do, but he still has much to learn. Damon is excited for a new year as a GATE teacher, and I am trying to find my role as a wife and mother. Life is never what we expect, but it is great beyond our imagination.