Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Sure Flies

Wow.....where did the year go? Spring sprang and summer flew by as we waited...and waited...and waited...and waited for it to warm up. (It never did.) Rain has been plentiful this year and the weeds took over my backyard with a vengeance. I think the last day we swam in our pool was in early July right after the 4th. I never really made it out in to the yard much after early summer and admired my blooms this year from afar. But pay the price I did. I sauntered out one evening, as the days started to cool down even further, and discovered multitudes of green "soldiers" standing tall and alert in the form of tall prairie grasses and weeds. Some stood taller than I.

Quickly the months ticked by and back-to-school days were upon us. As a member of our PTO Executive Board, my school year got started early with preparation in late July for Registration at our elementary school, Woodland Elementary. The current PTO President, Scott, is in his last year as President and asked if I might be interested in running next year. Well I tried to resist....really I did, but my manic half urged me to delve a little further into what this might entail. Before I knew it I was in a full-blown manic episode and running wild with enthusiasm about volunteering in every way I could imagine at Leah's school.

While I've certainly gone overboard (as I so often do) a few good things have definitely come out of it. For starters, I created a new PTO website that I just launched last week. I won't win any cyber awards, but it sure does the trick and gives the PTO a good place to communicate with Parents and staff at Woodland.

While my official role on the PTO is as Vice President, I've filled in pretty much full-time as the Secretary and in that role I created a binder.....a quasi archive if you will. I'm collecting everything related to the PTO....meeting minutes, financial reports, committee procedures/steps/forms and volunteer lists. My hope is that it provides some continuity year to year and serves as a good foundation as the PTO moves forward. Our school was opened just last year and so it just seemed right to set the parent-teacher organization up with a framework within which it could operate efficiently. If nothing else, I'll at least have documented the first two years of the organization.

I also jumped wholeheartedly into the committees which are the heart and soul of our group. The committees are where things happen. Everything from the student name & address directory to the school carnival and fund raisers are done by committee volunteers. I knew I was going to volunteer to head up two committees this year ever since I got involved with PTO last school year. The Directory and the Book Fair were things I worked on last year to a degree and wanted to do more this year. However, because committee chairpersons were hard to find this year I ended up agreeing to take on the Book Club and Welcoming committee as well.

And that is where I find myself this month....head swimming in plans for a Book Fair that opens on October 21st, a Directory that has a targeted publish date of October 1st, and a Welcoming committee and Book Club that never got off the ground last school year. "Busy" just doesn't say it, what I have been is "buried". I say that with a smile and a strong sense of satisfaction. I've done pretty darn well.

The Directory will be ready for publication on 9/29....tomorrow. The Welcoming process and packets are ready to reproduce minus a form from the Yearbook committee. The Book Fair has a two-page time line of activities and volunteer and storyteller schedules more than halfway filled in. Book Fair volunteers have been briefed and assignments taken. We're ready to rock! Only the Book Club is somewhat stagnant and that's because the school principal is re-thinking what she wants our school's Book Club to be.

Two weeks ago a calendar reminder popped up one morning reminding me of my oldest daughter, Sarah's birthday on October 2nd. I left the reminder there each day for about a week and then sat down to compose the annual email invite to my extended family for the birthday party. After addressing the recipients on the message I came to the "Subject" field and typed in: Sarah's Sweet Sixteen. Oh dear. An idea began to brew in that hyped up, overactive brain of mine. Might I be able to pull together a somewhat passable Sweet Sixteen bash? Surely, I could.

A mere 12 days before my intended party night, October 3rd, I set about making plans. Being a Sweet Sixteen party, no ordinary birthday party would do. Wouldn't a rented space with a DJ and some of my daughter's closest 30 (or heck maybe even 50) friends be a grand way to commemorate my daughter's 16th year? First step, find a location that was available on 11 days notice. Things didn't go so well in that department and I wasted a good five days finding out that no one had space available except the local Holiday Inn and it was by far more expensive than my other locale choices. With one week left, I talked to Patrick, my husband, and got a thumbs up to go ahead with the higher expense.

Multi-tasker that I am, I didn't entirely waste those five days. I did lots of research on food and DJs and with 7 days left booked the DJ even though I hadn't been able to reserve the ballroom at the Holiday Inn before the weekend and the event manager only works Monday through Friday. Bright and early today (Monday) I booked the room and spent an hour and a half with the event manager planning our big night. A bit of research on Google over the weekend gave me three good leads for a cake source. By mid-morning today, I had a beautiful 2-tier hot pink and black Sweet Sixteen cake ordered. The girls and I squeezed in a Saturday shopping trip for some fall clothes and party decorations.

So I sit here tonight quite smug. Not only have I managed to stay on top of all the school activities, keep up with doing all the bookkeeping for my online gardening coop group, AND plan a Sweet Sixteen bash like none seen so far in my extended family, but I've also managed in the last month to:

1) deal with a dog that needed surgery (three vet visits and $500 poorer),
2) fret and worry and visit a mother that was hospitalized with a blood clot that went from her calf to her navel,
3) hold down the fort single-handedly while the hubby was away in China for 7 days,
4) see my daughter off to her first Homecoming dance,

My daughter, Sarah (left), her best friend, River (right)

5) been to or taken family or dogs to 11 appointments,
6) attended 12 meetings,
7) helped sort out over 300 pieces of clothing of "spirit wear" at Woodland
8) volunteered and walked at the Woodland Walk-a-thon
9) taken my family to Olathe's annual Old Settlers fall festival/carnival

and last, but hardly the least. . . .

10) stayed sane the entire time

......well mostly.