Friday, August 14, 2009

Roller Coaster!

It's been a wild couple of weeks here at the Warren...

We planned to host two Japanese Scouts: a Boy Scout, who has hosted DS#2 on his visits to Japan; and a Girl Scout, who had met DD#2 at camp in Japan. So DD#2 decided we needed to paint. And buy curtains. And slipcovers for the couch. And new garbage cans. And clean off the dining room table.

I wasn't planning to do it all in about three weeks. But we did, all except clearing the dining room table. That just didn't quite happen.

During this time, DS#2 was volunteering at Boy Scout camp.

A leak developed in the water line between the meter and the house. Which meant that my favorite tree, a crab apple that had glorious pink blossoms in the spring, had to be cut down because its roots caused the problem.

Three of the five cars needed repairs.

And the Japanese were still coming...

Just before they arrived, DD#1 received a letter from UC San Diego. Because of a D in Calculus, her GPA dropped below a 3.0 and UCSD rescinded her acceptance. Of course, we had already paid a deposit on her dorm fees and her tuition.

I'm not sure who was more disappointed: DD#1 or DD#2 who had been looking forward to having her own room.

The Japanese came. DD#1 wrote a letter appealing UCSD's decision. DS#2 took his J-Scout to a party with his friends; DD#2 had a party with her friends here. The next day the boys went paint-balling and the girls went shopping in San Francisco and then we went to a barbecue.

The boys, including Hubs, went camping on Monday. The girls, including me, went camping on Tuesday. The boys went backpacking; the girls made tie-dyed t-shirts and lanyards and cooked. Our J-Scouts made a chicken curry with rice. Our US-Scouts made foil-wrapped dinners.

Both groups sang and ate s'mores because the marshmallows in Japan are different than the ones here (they're flavored, for one thing), so s'mores aren't part of their traditional menu.

The boys went to Colombia, a historic gold mining town, and panned for gold. The girls went to the Exploratorium and walked to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Both groups toured Cal and went to their Scout stores to buy gifts that they can't get in Japan.

DD#1 tried to call the Admissions office at UCSD, but couldn't get through. She did drive the girls to the Exploratorium because I had chemo that day. It was her birthday. Celebrating a birthday with Scouts is a common occurrence in our household. She then went camping with friends.

In the middle of this, DS#1 came home unexpectedly. He needed to do laundry and the car he is using needed a new starter (that was the third car).

On Saturday, we took our J-Scouts to Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk. This proved to be a good choice because they got to ride roller coasters, ride the cheesy haunted house and cave rides, bury each other in the sand, jump the waves in the ocean, play miniature golf and lazer tag, and eat all kinds of American junk food. We could have stayed longer, but the J-Boy Scouts were leaving for Yosemite early Sunday morning.

On Sunday, DD#2 took our J-Girl Scout to the movies. DD#2 chose Transformers, figuring that it was mostly a silly action movie that would not require understanding the dialogue. They went out to lunch, came home, our J-Girl Scout packed, and then DD#2 and DS#2 took her bowling.

The next morning, we took our J-Girl Scout to the airport. Some of the girls had problems with overweight bags and we ended up buying a large carry-on bag to help the girls consolidate their smaller bags to reach the two carry-on limit. We had a teary goodbye, but I brought tissue.

Since we were in the area, DD#2 and I called my mom and offered to take her grocery shopping since she no longer drives. She, in turn, took us out to lunch.

And then we went home where I promptly forgot that I had a mandatory meeting at Church. Oops. But I'm sure they'll be understanding, when I tell them why I forgot. :)

DD#1 came home Tuesday. There was another letter from UCSD that I didn't open, even though I was dying to. She called me at work. In light of her appeal, UCSD rescinded their withdrawal--she's back in. I'm glad I didn't cancel her dorm reservation! DS#1 was surprised; he didn't think using the "my mother has cancer" would work. I read her letter and it was very good, with only a moderate amount of exaggeration.

I reminded her she still needs to take Calculus.

Tuesday I returned to work and began to catch up. I had warned my co-workers that I would need a vacation from my vacation. And when I told them what I had done during the week, they agreed!

Now I'm down to three children and the house seems way too quiet. I miss my new Japanese son and daughter!