Today, Bonnie and I headed over to Ritzville, Wa to participate in the parade. It is a little farming community that reminded me a lot of my parent's hometown of Alexandria, Indiana. Several DYW representatives were there so it was a great time for Bonnie to reconnect with the girls that she had spent so much with in August.
After the parade everyone headed up to the park for a BBQ luncheon. Bonnie and a few of her DYW friends had fun swinging and playing on the merry go round. It was a fun day.
Bonnie has at least two more parades to end out this year.
I kind of like this graduated start. To be honest, I didn't want to start school at all this week, but three days of school is not so bad. Everyone keeps asking how Brian is doing. I struggle with a response. On one hand he is doing fine. He is excited about his band class and feels that he is going to really enjoy that time with the concert band. He is still trying to get going in his video game programming class. The first day the computer system was not set up for him to log in so he could not do anything. By day two he was in the system but couldn't access the sites he wanted to. His assignment is to take his favorite computer game and remake it. His problem is that the school system will not allow him on to the game site he uses. It's blocked. The solution is for him to talk with his teacher and find a way to problem solve. I am praying that he does that today.
Brian had his first homework assignment on Tuesday when his science teacher told the class to write about what they thought were the top ten scientific discoveries and why with a picture included. Brian brainstormed at school but when given the time to work on it at home doddled (is that a word)....he squandered his time...Oh know...I thought...here we go again. After his dad gave him a time restriction he got to work but due to a poor attitude was not able to finish the assignment. All my fears surfaced and was ready to scream...not again....Brian pulled it together and before school he had the assignment completed. Of course, he came home yesterday with another writing assignment this time from English. A story about a school memory.....according to Brian he has no memories. He purposefully forgets everything concerning school and therefore has nothing to write about. The horror starts again. My stomach sinks. My fears renew. Finally, Brian puts together a paper about his first day of school. Relief fills me. I can sleep again.
So how is he doing? He is doing ok....it is not going to be an easy semester. Not with English and all the writing assignments he will have to complete. So I am still on edge. Waiting for the ball to drop. Waiting for the power struggles. Hating to let my boy fail but knowing that it is the best teacher. Knowing that he may have to fail in order to motivate him to succeed. Trusting in love and logic is so much easier when reading it in a book but so hard to live it out. One down; thirty-eight more to go!
A short time ago I got a thumb drive full of pictures from Bonnie's competition that I purchased since we were not allowed to take pictures during the final competition.
Right after the girls arrived for the competition and got everything settled, they all went out to play putt-putt with their host families. Here is Bonnie with her host parents and her fellow competitors, Savannah and Allison.
During the week the girls had lunch with groups like the Kiwanis club and the local Senior Center.
The theme for the competition was A Day at Disney. They played all the old Disney music like "Zippidy Doo-Da" and such. The girls were asked to dress like they were going to Disney for the day for the opening number. We were thinking about Bonnie dressing up like Minnie Mouse with the red dress with white polka dots but glad we didn't go that route as several girls were dressed like Minnie. Instead we found this really cute shirt on Ebay. We then made a cute hair bow for Bonnie to wear and red shoes to finish the outfit. I thought she looked cute.
The talent portion was right after the opening number and Bonnie did a quick change to sing the song "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. She sang very well. In fact of the seven girls singing I ranked her in the top three.
After talent was fitness. Wow...what a workout. We knew this was Bonnie's weakest portion. So many of these girls were dancers and gymnast who could easily put their legs behind their heads and fold up into a pretzel. Despite it all, Bonnie did well.
Finally was the Self Expression segment were you showed poise, grace, and confidence under pressure. The girls were given a question to answer and a time limit in which to answer it. This picture was actually taken during a dress rehearsal. Bonnie had two self expression dresses. She wore the pewter dress during rehearsal but chose to wear the red dress for the actual competition which I am glad she did. The red dress was more flattering than the pewter dress.
Finally over, after the last award was given and the curtain drawn, the girls gathered for one last photo.
I can't believe our summer is over. I am not ready for this season to end. If I could eek out another week or two I would, but ready or not it is time for school to start. This year Brian will be going to the public high school. Last week we registered him for classes, attended orientation, and got his class schedule and locker. Cascade High School has a block schedule which means instead of having eight one hour classes all year, they have four 90 minute classes each semester. Brian's schedule for first semester is PE/Concert Band, Video Game Programming, Inquiry Science I (Physical Science) and Freshman English. Next semester he will take Living Skills, Metal Shop, Geometry, and Health. School starts on Tuesday this week. Our school district does a graduated start. They start the year with a three day week this week, four days next week, and then five days.
Bryce and I will start school at the same time Brian does. This year I signed Bryce up to attend the Columbia Christian Homeschool Co-Op. He will be taking English II with Matt Turnbull who uses the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum. I am really excited about Bryce participating in this group. I tried to get him into a few other classes but since there were not enough students they were cancelled. Besides his English class, Bryce will be taking Pre-Algebra (Saxon), Apologia General Science, Tapestry of Grace Year 4 (1900 to present), Introduction to Great Composers for music, and Spell to Read and Write spelling program. Other skills he will be working on will be typing, penmanship, and art. Bryce and I will also continue to go to the gym every day for PE.
Bonnie will be taking all of her classes at the community college which starts September 22. She is excited to have the next three weeks to her self. She has worked just about every day this summer so to have no work and no school and no brothers around will be her own vacation. She still has a few parades to attend as Leavenworth's DYW. Saturday we will travel over to Ritzville for their parade, then two weeks later we go to Othello, then two weeks after that will be Leavenworth's Autumn Leaf Festival. She will also be working with our local DYW board as they put on this year's program to find the next Distinguished Young Woman.
I can't believe my little girl is 17 and finishing up her last year of school. She is still not decided on what she will do next year. I am leaning more and more on her attending Washington State University, mainly because it is more affordable. I know they have Christian housing, several churches close by, and Christian organizations on campus. She would like to go to George Fox but for one year of George Fox University she can attend three years at WSU.
So.....one more day of summer break then we are off.
Bonnie is still sleeping here at the hotel, but I can't seem to sleep anymore so I started a pot of coffee and thought I would update everyone on the results from last night's competition.
Bonnie did great! Our seats were at the top of the stands right where Bonnie came in. She was so excited to see us, that is the Leavenworth DYW board and me, and we were so excited to see her, it was hard not to go over and grab her and hug her. She made it through the opening number and then on to the talent portion of the competition. Bonnie was contestant number 2 which was great for me because that meant I got to see her perform early and didn't have to agonize through the whole thing. Bonnie looked great on stage and sang beautifully. For someone who has not had any training I think she was awesome. I would have a hard time ranking the talent portion since there are so many different talents performed. They had one inspirational speech, three dancers, three pianists, and the rest were singers. Of all the singers she ranked third best in my book. Two gals won the talent portion. One was a young lady who sang "Wouldn't It Be Lovely" from the Broadway play My Fair Lady. The other gal was a pianist who played a piece from Mozart.
For fitness, Bonnie gave it her all. She knew that this part was her weakest. She has not been in dance, gymnastics, ballet, or in any regular sport like many of these girls. Regardless, Bonnie gave it 110% and I was so proud of her. I have to say, I cried every time my girl was center stage because I was so proud.
For self-expression Bonnie wore the red dress that I have been working on all week adding rhinestones and sparkles to. It was a better choice than the pewter color dress we had originally chosen. While training for Self-Expression, Bonnie had been coached to keep her answers short and concise. She was warned that the judges would mark her down if the answer was to wordy. Bonnie did that but could have added one more sentence to help clarify her answer. The girl who won Self-Expression was very wordy, but I guess they liked her answer so that didn't count against her.
Seven out of the fifteen girls won an award. Two of the seven won two awards, and one of the seven won every category and the over all competition. Poor Bonnie was disappointed in her self for not doing better, but I couldn't be prouder. She did it! She put herself out on display for the world to see and I thought she did awesome. She won in my book. This experience is just another stepping stone in preparing herself to be the young lady God wants her to be. Who knows where all of this will lead.
In an hour, Bonnie and I will have breakfast with one of our Leavenworth DYW board members then head home. I have a feeling I will be driving home so she can catch up on some sleep. The poor girl is exhausted.
The day we have been waiting for all year has finally come....The Distinguish Young Woman of Washington Finale. In just a little over an hour the final competition will begin. I will see Bonnie for the first time since dropping her off on Tuesday. I won't lie. My stomach is in knots. I have been praying for her all week and all day today. The suspense is killing me. Right now I am sitting in my hotel room getting ready and trying to bide the time until I head over to the coliseum. I wish Todd was here with me but wouldn't you know today is the day my nephew picked to get married and Todd is the officiate. So right now Todd is conducting a outdoor wedding ceremony in the midst of a thunderstorm in Leavenworth, while I am here.