Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's not Good Bye, It's See you Later

How could it be time for Elena to go! This past month has gone by way to fast. Today was a rough day not only for myself but for Elena as well. The morning was easy, get dress and eat breakfast. Something she had do everyday since coming. As the clock got closer to 11 I knew our time with her was coming to an end. We loaded up the truck and off we went to our meeting spot. All the kids seemed excited to be going home.  As the families started to say good bye the tears started to come. At this point Elena and I were ok. Well that was about to change.

 Elena was always great about asking before she did anything. She asked me for a hug. At this point I was ok, sad but not crying. It didn't take us long before both of us were crying. As we were saying good bye Jason told her " It's not good bye, it's see you later" Both of us wipe our faces and laugh. So to help lighten the emotions I asked for a group shot.

 All the students and their host families. What a wonderful group of people.
 All the students with their teacher Jose. I loved all the shirts they had to wear. This group was so much fun to be around. I was the crazy camera lady but they all would stop and let me get pics. Thank you all for letting me have so much fun with you!

 Our last family pic- let the crying begin. Over the past month we have had so much fun with Elena. She is truly one special girl. My heart aches knowing that our time together has come to an end but we will be in Spain next Summer. You might of started out " Our Summer Time Sister" but you are now part of our family. We will miss you but also Thank You for all the memories you brought to us this past month.

Elena's last day with us

So yesterday was Elena's last full day with us. We keep it low key. She backed her suitcase and started getting everything in order for her trip back home. She had one more get together with the group at the florist shop. As usual I was there with my camera ready. All the students got to make their own flower arrangement for their host family. They all did a great job. Elena's was beautiful. She even had 2 of my favorite flowers in there, Lilies.

 I'm going to miss this silly boy too
 Elena writing out her Thank You card.
 It was always so much fun to listen to them talk when they were together. The pic below is of the lovely flower arrangement Elena made for us. Her favorite color is pink, having the 2 pink roses brought such a smile to my face. I will be honest, I was choking back tears looking at all of them last night knowing that their time here was coming to an end.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More pics from the lake

 Elena loved the Kayak.

 This is my brother-in-law Ryan and niece Parker
 I have the cutest niece
 Elena loved that there were dogs on the trip. This is Dash
 My sister-in-law Kari
 Ryan riding on the wake board. Elena tried so hard to get up on it.
This is wally

The last week with Elena

I know it has been days since I have made a post. We took Elena to the Lake for a 4 day trip with our family. Elena got to go back to O'Hare Airport and watch Kyle leave for his trip. This was the first time she saw me cry. I was excited for him but as his mother I was very nervous about him leaving. We had dinner at a very fancy Hilton. As always she was ready for the camera.

 Our last family meal with Kyle

 Elena had no idea what tubing was about. SO Ryan went first, we showed her the easy way to tube and the crazy way to tube. She decided we were going to start small and work up to more crazy stuff.
 We were having a blast. It was nice to talk to someone while riding.
 Olivia was 2 the last time she tried tubing, well she had the same reaction this time
 Elena was trying to cheer her up.
 For Elena's family- this is what a crazy ride tubing can look like. This is my husband Jason
 Olivia did like jumping in from the dock
 After Jason talked with Elena about why she didn't want to get into the lake she decided to give it a try. A lake is a lot like the ocean but doesn't have sharks!
 What a brave girl. Ryan stayed out in the water to help her wake board. She gave it her all but couldn't get out of the water

 She let go of the rope
 We decided she should try skies.
 She almost had it
 Boat ride to the shore
 The sand felt like the ocean
 Family shot
 Floating in the lake

 After a long day of boating
 I was able to get Elena back with the group Monday afternoon. She went to Spring Mill State Park. The next day they went to Holiday World.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Class, sleepover and taking Kyle to the airport.

What a crazy few days. Yesterday I made time for everyone to go to the pool. Forecast for yesterday was hot/sunny 97 with a heat index of 115. It was so nice to get into the cool pool. Elena enjoyed laying out. After the pool we headed home for Elena to get ready for class. This week class was in the afternoon. After class she went to a pool party / sleepover at Dori's house. Dori's family is hosting Bea. All the exchanged students showed up for a fun evening of swimming. All the girls had a sleepover. Sleepovers are very common in the US. Elena seemed to have a great time. She did some how fall out of the bed while sleeping. One I picked her up at noon it was a mad dash home for her to pack for the lake. While packing Elena dropped her phone in the sink in the bathroom. The look on her face when came told me was so sad. I have never seen her so unhappy. I quickly took it apart and put it into rice. I had to tell her she will be without a phone for 24 hrs. We started sending emails out to her family so they don't get worried. My nerves are already shot with getting Kyle ready for his trip, my phone not working and trying to get us all ready for vacation. At this point I could just cry.

As I type this we are on way to Chicago to drop Kyle off at the airport. He is heading to Montana for 2 weeks. This is his first time flying alone. I'm a little bit of a basket case right now. Elena is upset about her phone. But we told her we will make sure we email and Skype with her family.

Tomorrow we are heading to Kentucky for a family vacation on the lake. Elena seems excited to meet our family and friends. She will be tubing for the first time.