Jaxty's Place

My place to ramble about my family, my crafts, my travels and life.

Zack, Plan C

About a month ago, I told you how Zack had decided to switch from the Electrician Training Certificate to Aviation Mechanic Certificate. Wwwwweeeellllllllll, that program lasted less than one day. When I awoke in Arizona last Monday morning, I had already received a text from Zack in the midst of his first day in the program saying, “I think I’m dropping out of the program.” I’m guessing that they started the day with a “Pep Talk” about how challenging it would be and how hard they would have to work and other realities of life. All Zack focused on was the fact that he had until that Friday to drop out without any financial consequences. So within the first two hours, that is what he had already decided to do.

We gave Zack three options:

  • Find another program to switch to by the weekend.
  • Enlist in the service.
  • Work full-time and pay us rent, car insurance and cell phone.

At first he said he was switching to the Welding Certificate program. Then he said he was switching to the Drafting Certificate program. In the end, unsure of what the heck he wants to do, he has decided to work full-time for at least one semester while he explores his options.

We really wish that he would enlist in the service but he seems to have no interest in that option. So for the time-being anyway, Zack will be working at home and paying bills like a real adult!

Good luck Zack! We hope you figure out what you want to do in life.

Advertisements
3 Comments »

College Bound

For the second time in two years, I made the 28-hour drive from Jacksonville to Tucson in Anthony’s pick up truck.

We drove 10 hours to Lafayette, LA the first day, 10 hours to Ft. Stockton, TX the second day and 8 hours to Tucson on the third day, where Anthony dropped me off at my Aunt Sandy’s house.

We were so blessed to be one day ahead of the devastating hurricane Harvey, as we drove through Houston the day prior. Other than some brief rain and numerous highway signs warning drivers to avoid the Texas coast, we traveled without any difficulties.

I did borrow Aunt Sandra’s car to drive up to Phoenix on Wednesday to visit Anthony at Grand Canyon University and see his apartment.

I took him to Costco to stock up on groceries and household supplies.

We also went to a few Goodwill stores to find a tv stand and two kitchen chairs for a total of $12!

It was good to spend time with the college boy and help him get set up in his apartment.

I wish him a great third year of college!

6 Comments »

Zack’s New Plans

aviation-mechanic-schools

Remember when I told you that Zack would be going to FSCJ in the Electronic Certification program? He has decided to instead enter the 20-month Aviation Mechanics program, which is another career that we previously tried to talk him into but he resisted. When Zack first started talking about automotive mechanic as a potential career, he had several adults (Carl’s cousin’s husband and Carl’s brother) try to steer him in the direction of Aviation mechanic instead due to the high demand and higher pay of that field. After hearing of a friend in Minnesota that is entering the US Air Force in that field, I think Zack was finally swayed. He decided to change paths to obtain his Aviation Airframe Mechanics and Aviation Powerplant Mechanics Certification. So he is now enrolled, starting on August 28th. Zack will attend classes at the FSCJ Cecil Airport Center every Monday through Thursday from 7am until 3pm for the next 20 months. It will be hard work but we know that with Zack’s determination and good work ethic, he can be successful. We are really proud of him!

Even better news is the fact that Zack has received a significant scholarship from the Jacksonville Jaguar Foundation which will pay for half of his yearly tuition/fees. Thank you to the Jaguars!

4 Comments »

Happy 21st Birthday!

Our second child, Anthony, has reached the momentous milestone of his 21st birthday!

img_7054

After finishing his second year of college this April, Anthony immediately flew to Seattle to spend two weeks on the West Coast visiting with a friend from college.

img_7052

From there, he was blessed to return to Camp Homelani for his second year working for the Salvation Army camp in Hawaii.

img_7053

He had another amazing year living just a few steps from the beach on the North Shore, making many new friends, like this guy….

img_6944

After camp finished for the summer, he stayed with his friend Josh for another week to celebrate his 21st birthday in Hawaii, the place that has claimed a special place in his heart.

img_7051

On Friday, he will be leaving Hawaii and flying to Chicago for a long weekend to visit his birth family. Next Tuesday, he will be returning to Jacksonville for a week. And then Anthony and I will make the 3-day/30-hour drive from JAX to Phoenix with his pickup truck. The redeeming part for me is that I will then get to spend a week being pampered by my Aunt Sandy in Tucson so it will be worth it in the end.

We are so excited to welcome Anthony home next week and are very grateful to God for giving Anthony so many amazing opportunities.

Happy Birthday, Anthony! We love you! We look forward to celebrating with you next week!

3 Comments »

He did it!

032

Zack actually graduated high school!

034

We are so very grateful for Lighthouse Christian School for getting him through his last two years of high school and awarding him his diploma.

036

We are not sure how he would have done it without the blessing of that school.

040

The extremely small class sizes, personalized educational plan and love and patience of the teachers was invaluable.

044

It was just what Zack needed to get through this major milestone.

060

We are so happy that 3 out of 4 of his grandparents could be there for his big day.

054

Since it was “Red Nose Day” for charity, Grandma Sandy thought it only appropriate that we got one picture with our red noses.

064

Zack’s graduation present was his very first suit…something that he has really wanted for the past year. He sure looked good in it!

012

Now Zack looks dapper when he asks “who wants to hire me?”

075

Congratulations Zack on your accomplishment!

 

 

5 Comments »

Zack’s Post High-School Plans

My baby is graduating high school!

Announce1

I can’t believe we are almost empty-nesters (sort of…Zack won’t actually be leaving home for a while).

Announce2

Carl and I have been talking with Zack regarding his future plans for the past few years. We are all realistic that Zack is not college-bound due to his learning difficulties and lack of motivation.

IMG_0003

We have been steering him in the direction of the military or technical school. We have specifically mentioned that electrician, plumber or auto mechanic would be good fields for him to consider.

IMG_0032

After Kelly recently mentioned that she took the Strong Interest Inventory as part of a graduate class, it reminded me that that test was how I became a Speech-Language Pathologist. I entered college as a pre-veterinary student. After my first biology class, I quickly realized that blood and guts were not my thing. Unsure what to do then, I went to the guidance office and was given the Strong Interest Inventory. When Speech-Language Pathology appeared at the top of the list (home economics teacher and nurse were up there as well), I took an introductory class and decided that it would be a good choice for me (and it was)!

IMG_0036

So I looked online and found the test and had Zack take it as well.

Zack

And boy did Carl and I hit it spot on…Military, Electrician and Auto Mechanic all appeared in Zack’s Top 10!

These careers did not….

Zack2

Ha! I get the sense that English/writing is not his strong suit. And having no filter and being very blunt doesn’t make for a great religious leader.

So Zack has decided to enroll in the local tech college for his electrical certification to pursue a career as an electrician. I hope that he finds much success in his chosen career path. We wish him all the best and are very proud of him for actually graduating!

I thank our friends, Michelle and John, for sharing their beautiful river-front property with me to take Zack’s senior photos while my mom and Sis were here.

IMG_6362

To see some more of Zack’s (unedited) photos, see below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 Comments »

A Return to Paradise

…for Anthony that is!

img_6207

If you recall, Anthony was blessed with an amazing opportunity to be a camp counselor at Camp Homelani on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii last summer. This week he was again offered a position with the camp for this coming summer. However, instead of being a camp counselor, Anthony will be the “Surfer Lead.” This position does not mean that he will be in charge of surfing but that he will be in charge of a cleaning/maintenance crew. It will give him more free time (that’s where the surfing will come into play) and a slightly larger stipend each week. Hooray for Anthony!

img_6206

He will be finishing up his sophomore year of college in about a month and then heading to a friend’s house in Seattle, Washington for a week. From there, he will leave for Hawaii for the summer for more visiting with friends before camp begins. At the end of the summer he will return to Jacksonville to visit us before Anthony and I get to bond during our 3-day road trip back to Phoenix with his pickup truck. Good times!

img_6205

We are very proud of Anthony and excited for his second summer in paradise.

img_6208

Congratulations, Anthony!

(Photos “borrowed” from Anthony’s Instagram account from last summer.)

 

 

5 Comments »

Kelly Visits Memphis

Since the in-laws weren’t able to come for Christmas, the kids really missed spending time with their grandparents. So I was very impressed and proud of Kelly and Avram for deciding to go to Memphis for a long-weekend to visit with the grandparents and Aunt Leslie.

img_6168

While in Memphis, they visited our first house together, the one were we lived when Kelly was born.

img_6172

They did some thrift-store shopping at some of Grandma Sue’s favorite places.

img_6171

They played games together.

img_6165

img_6170

And of course, there was lots of yummy food and some “adult beverages” for those that wanted them.

img_6166

I’m so glad that my kids enjoy time with their grandparents and take time out of their busy schedules to visit and/or call them on occasion. I think we did something right to raise such thoughtful, caring children that value family-time together.

img_6167-1

I’m glad that you all had a great visit!

4 Comments »

zAcK

I forgot to mention here that Zack got a new job after the new year.

zack-1

After a full year at Chick-fil-A, he has moved on to Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. He is working every Monday through Friday from 4pm until 10pm each night unloading the delivery truck.

zack-2

He is enjoying his hefty paychecks and not having to deal with the public. It’s good, hard manual labor at it’s finest!

zack-3

As far as what comes next after his high school graduation in May, he has no idea...looks like he may be working at Lowe’s full-time until he makes a decision.

Congratulations on the new job, Zack!

4 Comments »

Kelly’s Visit

It was so nice to have Kelly home with us for 8 days over the Christmas holiday and we were very glad to have her boyfriend, Avram join us for most of that time as well. It was really great to spend time with both of them. Some other noteworthy things that we did included eating lots of yummy meals together, including “make-your-own pizza” night.

pizza

We enjoyed several bonfires while they were here.

kids-2

We played many games together.

games-1

We even played a complete game of 12-dot dominoes. Carl and Anthony knew that it was very close between them. They began making bets with the loser having to jump in the pool or go surfing without a wetsuit being thrown out there. They waited anxiously as the scores were tallied up.

games-2

Ha! And then it was a dead-tie, which was amazing since Anthony won 6 rounds and Carl only won two…but Anthony had some high point rounds. Both of them were relieved to not be on the losing side of a bet.

We went to Mickler’s beach one afternoon and although it was warm and sunny at our house, it was cool (60s), windy and foggy/cloudy at the beach. That didn’t stop Avram from taking a dip in the ocean. Crazy Minnesotan…although it probably felt like the MN lakes in the dead of summer :).

beach

For their last afternoon in JAX, we went to the beach again and it was a much better day.

beach-3

It was warmer, much less windy and with bright, shining sun.

beach-1

Perfect way to end their visit!

One evening, Kelly, Avram and Zack drove downtown to see the city at night and another day Kelly and Avram spent the day in St. Augustine. Kelly, Avram and Zack also had a good time thrift-store shopping and Kelly and Avram picked up a whole bag full of new clothes for super-cheap. Score! (No photos though of any of those events).

goodbye-5

We loved our family time together and are so happy that Kelly and Avram came to spend time with us for Christmas. I dread the day when we can’t all be together at this time of year. We hope to see them in June…I am thinking of visiting MN this summer when Carl goes to shoot the second dance recital. Until then, we love you and miss you already, Kelly and Avram!

 

 

2 Comments »