Thursday, March 5, 2015

Patricia Jo

Today we're celebrating out daughter-in-law Patty's birthday!
Patty is an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller but large family.
Last night I conducted a phone interview with Patty (because she's in Virginia and we're still in Florida). Here's how it went.
Happy birthday a little early, Patty.  It sounds like you might have a snowy birthday and a day off!    Thanks!!  Yeah, after hearing the forecast some of the teachers and the principal we're saying things like, "why don't you take tomorrow off for your birthday, Patty".  I thought it would be funny if we didn't get a snow day but I called off because, after all, I was given the day off by so many!
Well, it would be nice wouldn't it, to have everybody home to pamper and spoil you on your birthday?  Would Dave be home too?  Actually, yes.  Every time Fairfax County has a snow day, Dave calls his own snow day for his battalion.  He feels if it's unsafe for most people to be out on the roads, it's unsafe for his guys too.
So have you started making special plans for the day?  Well since all of us are going to be here, I'm going to work on organizing closets and Dave's going to work on our new microwave and taking the vent out of the wall.
They actually pampered me tonight because I had to work late. When I walked in the door dinner was ready and Katie and Zachary were decorating cupcakes and a cake for me.  And Katie does not like to decorate cakes so it's extra special!
What has been the highlight of the last year?  I would say definitely getting an Assistant Principal position.
Are you enjoying your new position?  I love it.  It was a huge learning curve for me at first and I joke with people now that I barely remember the months of August, September, and October because I was completely overwhelmed.
Now I've kind of settled into a rhythm.  The principal and I get along well and we have the same visions for where we want to take the school so it's pretty neat.  And the kids are great!!
What are the advantages to being an assistant principal?  Well, it's a little more money which is great because we're continuing to work on the house and realizing we have some kids to send to college; and also being an ap in Fairfax Co., even if I didn't get a principal position here, would make it easier to get a position in another county simply because Fairfax County has such a great reputation in education. 
Disadvantages?  My hours are longer and I have to be at some of the evening and afternoon events which makes for some pretty long days.  Dave gets home before me a lot these days.
Do you miss  teaching?  Some days yes.  The days that I miss it the most are when I go in to observe a teacher.  It's hard to just sit and watch.   I want to jump right in, be with the kids, and take over teaching which the teacher would not appreciate.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?  Going to Alabama at Christmas. 
What did you like best about that?  I think being able to get up in the morning and walk along the beach and seeing how much the kids enjoyed the beach.  It was awesome. They talk about it all the time and are looking forward to going back,
 I'm also looking forward to having a year of being an assistant principal under my belt because it will make the next school year easier.
And, in a bittersweet way, I'm looking forward to Dave's Change of Command.  He'll be going to war college (hopefully in Washington DC), and I'm looking forward to finding out what plans the Army has for this wonderful soldier and exceptional leader.
Working full time, keeping a home, having four very active children - how do you manage to juggle so much?   Dave and the kids are extremely helpful.  David helps with the driving now and my mom helps a lot by taking kids to practices and school functions when we're overloaded.
What's the best thing about motherhood?  I would say watching the kids grow up to be extraordinary people. 

The worst?   There's not really a worst thing but they do grow up way too fast and the realization that they're getting older is kind of hard.  Right now we're in SAT mode and we're starting to look at colleges so it's the realization that at some point they'll be on their own, which they're much more ready for than I am.  It doesn't help that I'm sappy.  David brought home his course selection and while we were going over it, somehow I just started crying.  He gave me a hug.  
They like to tease me that if David graduates from college in four years, it's the same year Matthew graduates from high school, and Zachary graduates from elementary school.   They're like, yeah that's going to be a tough year, Mom.
Do you like about being an Army wife?  I do.  I feel like being an Army wife naturally instills an increased sense of pride in our country, our military, and every time I hear the National Anthem, I have a renewed sense of pride in Dave and what he does for our country every day.  It's almost a time to give a silent thanks to him, Dan, and all the other soldiers and their families. I also love that our children have a higher sense of patriotism, and I am proud to be part of a bigger family, the Army family.  And I love to see him lead.  He's an incredible leader and such a forward thinker. You can tell at any function how respected he is by everybody and it just makes me extremely proud to be part of that.
Dislike?  He still travels a lot.  
If you ever have time, what's your favorite recreational activity?  I enjoy going to the kids' games and with the club volleyball season starting and three kids playing club ball I'm traveling with them like twice a month and they're almost like mini vacations to me. We go to Pennsylvania, Southern Virginia and this weekend I'm going with Katie to North Carolina. That's kind of what I do for recreation.
How about relaxation.  I play Hay Day once in a while. And every night after Zachary goes to bed, Dave and I watch some TV. I recently found him his new favorite show which he stays up way too late to watch. It's called Bitchin' Rides.
What do you want your kids to remember about you as a mom.  That I was always there for them. 
Do you have a favorite age for your children?  Every time they hit a new age, I think it becomes my favorite.  I totally loved the infant stage. Gosh I just love them all.  Now they're all like little and big people and it's so much fun at every age.  The only age I really really struggled with was six to nine months. They were awake a lot longer, not moving, not talking and not sleeping.  LOL
What can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered in this interview?  I'm looking forward to retiring in a warm place with Dave.  We talk a lot about where we want to go, what kind of house we want and so far we've figured out it just needs to be warm. 
I would love to take ballroom dancing classes.  
And I love to cross stitch which I haven't done in years. So I'm looking forward to starting that again some day.
 And that concluded our interview but as usual there's so much more I could tell you about Patty.  She really is an incredibly devoted and loving mom
And a supportive and loving wife.
She's fun-loving, hard working, and conscientious. And she's one of the most organized people I know.  She's proud of her children without taking due credit for what fine people they are and she's kind, understanding, and sweet to everyone - especially children.  We love Patty and we're proud of all she's accomplished and all she does everyday.  Happy Birthday, Patty.  We're hoping it's your best one yet, but only half as awesome as the many more to come.

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