Thursday, June 28, 2012

College Decisions: UCF

Continuing on the University front:  We also received confirmation that Jacob got accepted to the University of Central Florida.  This caused a rather large dilemma.

Almost all of Jacob's closest friends are going to UCF.  UCF is HUGE.  HUGE!  TONS of things to do.  Super on the campus life.  And because it's a State University, the prepaid college plan I paid into pays 100% of his fees (not books).  That, with his scholarships, would have meant he would get money back every year.

With his friends going there, and the financial aspect looking really good, Jacob was very-much leaning towards UCF.  He was torn between the amazing education Stetson could provide versus being with his friends and UCF and not having to pay a dime.

I took a half-day off of work and he &  I headed to a tour of UCF.  It was wonderful.  *I* wanted to go there after the tour . Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I did not take any pictures.  The Student Union alone made me want to go there.  The huge sports facility, free to students, has a rock climbing wall, indoor tracks, workout equipment. It was amazing. I was seeing Jacob lean towards UCF.

That same week, Jacob went back with several friends to do an obstacle course at night.  He had a blast.   Another day that week, he went with a friend who is already signed up to start in the fall.  Jacob wanted to visit the Music program.

That night he told me he was disappointed in their music program.  It was not as extensive as Stetson's.   After visiting UCF for the 3rd time, to see the music school, his mind was made up. He chose Stetson.

I am so beyond proud of him.  He chose based on what each school had to offer for his future career goals, not for the fun he could have.  Besides, he can hang with all his friends at UCF whenever he wants; it's only 1/2 hour away.

Monday, June 25, 2012

College Decisions: Stetson

Jacob applied to a few schools; UCF, Stetson University, Seminole State College, and ..I can't remember the others.  Daytona Beach maybe?  The main two were University of Central Florida and Stetson University.

Stetson is a Private University here in Central  Florida.   We've been there a few times for music clinics, concerts, etc.  It has an amazing Music School and half of Jacob's choir was dying to get in.  Did I mention private?  That means big bucks.  He applied but I was a little skeptical that he could even attend.

Then, during the last week of May, we got an envelope.

I saw the envelope in the mailbox on Friday and the text messages began.  "OMG, I think Jacob got into Stetson! There's a big envelope in here!!"  My mother-in-law Tricia's funny reply was something to the effect of "I hear they send rejection notices in big envelopes now."   I walked in the house, handed him the envelope and told him to open it before I had a heart attack. He was accepted. He immediately ran upstairs to post on Facebook while I sent a flurry of text messages to everyone. I knew we could not afford it, even with the Florida Prepaid plan, but we were totally excited. A few minutes later, he comes back down. "Um, mom?"  He hands me a letter from the University. They're giving him $19,000 a year in scholarships. I started jumping up and down and crying. Yes, on my just-surgeried (I'm making words up) knee. I did not care. I was so HAPPY!!

Then, a few days later,  it got better.  We received another note. The school came up with more $$ for Jake. Instead of $19k for the year, they're giving him about $15,000 a term; $30,000.00 per year. Tuition and fees are $36,644.00. We have to come up with $6,000.00 a year! NOT COUNTING THE PREPAID PLAN I PAID FOR!  God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.  I was beyond happy.

We decided to tour Stetson.  It was a rainy day.  I took off work, and David, Jacob and I went to the tour (Isabel was in school.)

They were ready for us.  :)

Out in the rain we went.

The music building is meant to look like piano keys.

It was a beautiful tour, rain and all.

Then, UCF happened.  More to come...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Books Read in May

  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Sunday Philosophy Club book 2) - Alexander McCall Smith.
  • Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan Book 1) - Kathy Reichs
  • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (#1 Ladies' Detective Agency book 12) - Alexander McCall Smith.
  • Death Du Jour   (Temperance Brennan Book 2) - Kathy Reichs
  • Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron - Jasper Fforde
Most of these are books in a series.  I did not enjoy the first Sunday Philosophy Club book because he writes Ms. Dalhousie as this old maid spinster who'll never be married and can never be a romantic lead.  She's 42!!  Ugh.  I read the second book mainly because I was in the McCall Smith section of the library and decided to give it another shot.  I enjoyed it more and will continue the series.

I've listened to many Temperance Brennan books on audio, but have never read any, so I decided to start with #1 and work my way up.  She is sooooo different from TV's Temperance Brennan (aka Bones.) The ONLY thing they have in common is their name and what they do.  The end.  Book Brennan has an ex-husband, a daughter in college, an alcohol problem and oh...yea, a personality.  I wonder how Kathy Reichs felt about "Bones" and how they completely destroyed/changed/whatever that character.

Shades of Grey. NOT THAT ONE.  Not the one that people are reading and I can't figure out why.  From all the reviews I have read, it's horrible fan fiction based on Edward and Bella from Twilight, and it's basically porn.  No thank you.  THIS Shades of Grey does not have '50' in front of it and is by Jasper Fforde, who is probably wishing that other author had chosen another name for his/her story.

Fforde's story deals with a Dystopia where people are classified by colors of the spectrum they can see.  There are purer colors at the top of the chain (red, purple) and those lower in the chain, especially the greys who are the bottom of the barrel.  It was slow going for me.  I was not getting it; there were many obscure references to their particular work I did not understand.  It picked up better in the middle, and in the end, you're shocked by the levels of evil and subterfuge the so-called government is involved in.  I'm interested to see what comes of the characters in book 2.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Graduation Party

The next day after graduation, we had our party.

A shout-out to Sonny's Real Pit BBQ! We were wondering what we were going to feed people and I really really did not want to cook.   Jacob's aunt recommended it because she used it for Rachel's graduation party and really loved it.  MAN!   Did they ever take care of everything.  Meats, sides, breads, drinks, ice, cups, plastic ware,  plates, napkins, sauces, serving spoons, tongs, tubs of butter and lemons.  They were amazing.

So here are some pictures of our fun party for Jacob.

Shrine o' Jake. 

Cake pops

Edible Arrangement from Jacob's aunts and uncles.

The cake. :)

Sonny's BBQ in the formal dining room.

Extra tables set up on the formal living room aka the piano room.

Dumb pin, but I like my hair.


Sing it, Jacob!

Jacob and friends playing Rock Band 2 or 3.

Can you tell this is Florida?

We also had a lot of family in other rooms and upstairs.

Babies everywhere!  My sister Vicky holding Miss Ava.  


Isabel photobombs a picture of her cousin.

It was fun!  What was not fun?  Figuring out what to do with all the leftovers.  We consolidated, we gave away, we had a TON.  We ate leftovers for several days and I even invited Jacob's friends over again to help us eat all the stuff.  In the end, David took what was left to work to share with his co-workers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Graduation Night 2012

We had a flurry of excitement.  Jacob's graduation was a great weekend.

Friday night June 1 was graduation at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.  David's family came down just for this occasion from Tennessee.  David's mom and dad, David's brother Kevin with his wife Heather and their 2 daughters, David's youngest brother Kevin, and also Juliette, one of the daughters of David's sister, who could not attend.  Grandma and Grandpa (my in-laws) brought Juliette with them so Isabel could have a cousin to hang out with.

Dressed up!

Niki, you'll be so proud of me!  I did my own hair, following a YouTube tutorial!  It looked so nice.  There's a braid coming from the side of my head, wrapping around the bun.  Very cute!

Before graduation, we decided to head to Chili's.  Yikes.  It was packed.  

(She's going to kill me.)  My mother-in-law Tricia.

*sigh* David's youngest brother Justin

David's other brother Kevin.

David's dad, Jim.

The graduate (who did not shave, which killed David.)

We had to leave the restaurant early to get Jacob there on time.  Graduates had to be there 1/2 hour early.  We were late but it did not matter; so was everyone else.  The in-laws stayed behind to finish their meals.

We sat far back, but we could see everything.

The graduates file in.

The following video is of the opening presentation of the flag and the National Anthem.  Jacob sang in it.  I had to pause the video at one point, but I can't remember why, so you'll hear the Anthem cut out a sec.

Next up we have Jacob across the stage.  I yell so you can't hear what they are saying: "Jacob Taylor F., Cum Laude.  Superintendent's Diploma of Distinction Candidate."  Following this is the closing ceremony.

Finding him afterwards was a mess, but we ended up meeting up with him.

Jacob with Academic Team friends. 

Jacob with fellow Drama Troupe member.

Jacob with fellow choir member.
(Again, just because I love this shot)

We headed home to relax before the Saturday PAR-TAY!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations Class of 2012!

Jacob F., Cum Laude,
Superintendent's Diploma of Distinction Candidate,
 and some hot chick.