Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter, VBS, and Other Updates

I know, I know! I've taken a long time to update again. Bad Joanna. I'll try to do this succinctly, but you know that's going to be hard!

VBS turned out wonderfully! We had so many volunteers who did so many things, and I can't thank all of them enough. It really was a team effort that demonstrated the spirit of service that many at our church have. Thank you to all the work night volunteers, life guards, park guides, center volunteers, adult fellowshipers, floaters, general helpers, actors, the awesome emcee, mascots, baby holders, sound booth peeps, and everyone else who made this year great! Here's looking forward to another great VBS next year! If you go to VRCC, be sure to come to the summer's end water park evening. :-) (Details in the foyer!)

Ah, Harry Potter! I had a hard time wanting to start reading the book as I knew it would be the end. All the questions would be answered, and all the suspense would be over...but I got over it! I don't think I ever did post some theories on here, but let me tell you what I was right about SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!! A Weasley did die (and I wanted to sob) -- poor Fred the probability of all the Weasley's living through the war was totally against him. Harry lived (although I was sitting on the fence with that one), and Voldie died (well of course!). Draco did sort of come around in the end ... at least he didn't kill anyone. I was wrong -- Snape was mostly good and was always acting on Dumbledore's orders. I also thought another teacher would turn out to be a Death Eater, but I was wrong there too. I was one who was sure Aberforth owned the Hog's Head, and I was right there! Yea! I wasn't sure if Harry was a Horcrux -- I read a lot of good editorials about him being one. All in all I loved the book. Rowling did a great job of tying all the books together. She finally made sense of why certain things were mentioned:
** Gregorovich was Krum's wand maker -- did we need to know that in Book 4? I figured it out before Harry came around to it though.
** Aunt Petunia freaked in Book 5 and mentioned she knew what dementors were because she heard her sister and that horrid boy talking about them -- we all thought it was James, but it was Snape. Ahhhhh!
** And of course the mention of the smell of goats in the Hog's Head in Book 5 and the mention of Aberforth doing illegal charms on goats clued us in to the barman's true identity. duh!
There was more, but I won't go into it all. I was so so so sad when Hedwig died (like a knife to the heart hearing about the loss of a beloved pet). I almost cried at the end during the scene about the Weasley's mourning around Fred, and finding out Lupin and Tonks were dead (thus another ophan made by the Death Eaters). I also had a hard time holding back tears as I read about Hagrid carrying a thought to be dead Harry out of the forest as MacGonagall and Ron and Hermione wailed for him. I know it's just a book, but seriously, we've all been reading these books for about 10 years now! I'm in the process of re-reading it now. Before I stop one more thing -- I was really impressed with the use of humor in this book. JK did a good job of putting comic relief in places that needed it. She also did a great job of making this book full of suspense and scary scenes, and while the language was more "adult" (for lack of a better word), I see why she did that. Would Mrs. Weasley's entrance into the attack on Bellatrix have had the same effect without that one word? Perhaps, but man, it was a great moment!

I got back from Michigan last night. I won't lie, it was a really hard trip. Despite the warnings that Grandma wouldn't be able to talk, nothing could really prepare me for seeing her not able to talk in a nursing home. She still has all of her mental facilities, but she has to write to talk. I broke down the first night after we went to say goodnight. This is my beloved Grandma who came for months to visit us in GA from the time I was in later elementary school to high school. She taught me how to crochet and to play rummikib and skipbo. She was there when I learned to drive and quietly rode with me while I was driving us around lost as anything and never told anyone I was lost in my hometown! She was my partner in crime and my confidant. Her visits played a large role in me growing up. It's so hard to see her like this, and I fear for the time when she will still know what's going on but won't be able to communicate at all. I hate to think of this Lou Gehrig's trapping her in her own body. Words can't really express how much I love her or how much she means to me. They can't fully describe my sorrow at seeing her this way. I'm having a hard time handling it. They told us she has about 6 months to a year left. I'm going to try to see her again before the end. Pray for my family please. Especially the family in Michigan -- I know my aunt in particular lives in fear for the day that her mother passes -- she's afraid that she'll be there with grandma and g'ma will want help no one can provide. Pray hard.

I didn't mean for this post to end on a sad note. It's just what's going on right now. I just re-signed my lease to live her another 15 months. I'm getting a new accent wall (totally tan on my bedroom wall -- dull I know, but it's neutral enough to go with bedroom changes), a carpet cleaning, and new drip pans...w00t! :-) It's the little things, ya know? I think I've got about 2 weeks of summer left. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I'm ready to be productive again. Today I've been a bit more productive taking the dog to get groomed (he smelled bad), doing my lease thing, and watching the kids, but it's not the same as going to the school and teaching. I'm ready to tackle teaching Algebra I (the one that goes for a semester) to get the pacing right.

People are waiting to get on one of the cyber cafe computers now, so I better jet. Love you all! Thanks to waiting for me to post!

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