I just found out a couple of weeks ago that Richland School District Two dedicated the Chick-fil-A Classic basketball tournament in memory of Mike. They had a page in the program with the dedication and gave me a framed copy. I showed it to Ava, and she said “Oooo!” She proceeded to name everyone in the pictures. There is one of me and Mike as well as him and the girls. For those of you who don’t know, the basketball tournament is a pretty big one. It’s held at Richland Northeast and is played the week before Christmas every year. Teams from several different states participate; in the past, they’ve even had a team travel from the Bahamas. As athletic director, Mike always had to work the tournament, which required a lot hours. I thought it was very nice of the district to dedicate the 2008 tournament in his memory.
And to those of you who sent in a contribution for Mike’s memorial at school—don’t think it’s being ignored! They are working on having a cavalier statue made in his memory. The original idea was to have it in the courtyard, but they have since had a better idea. The school is going to build an auxiliary gym and have a corridor that connects it to the current gym. The new plan is to place the cavalier in the corridor. As athletic director, Mike’s office was in the gym and he spent a lot of time there, so this is really a better spot for it. Having the statue erected will take a little longer since we have to wait on the new gym to be built, but I think it will be the perfect place for it. On a sad note for those of you who don’t know, Richland Northeast has lost two other faculty members this year: Terry McCoy, who was the Student Activities Director, passed away in December, and Tom Buckland, a social studies teacher, passed away just last week. Please keep the families of these gentlemen in your prayers.
The girls are doing well. We went through another bout of the pink eye. I swear, I think that ever since Ava contracted it back in the fall, our house has just been infected with the funk! Savannah is 17 months now, and is doing quite well with her talking. She says a bunch of words independently, and she’ll even speak in two or three word sentences. She loves to put the phone (or remote control) to her ear and say, “Hello?” Mike would have been rather amazed at the difference in development between Savannah and Ava. Ava didn’t even speak ten words when she was two, nor could she correctly pronounce her own name until she was two and a half. Savannah, on the other hand, will say Ava’s name as well as repeat just about anything that comes out of your mouth. So, if you’re ever around the girls, definitely be careful of what you say! You’ve also got to keep an eye on Savannah, or she’ll get into something before you can turn around. Whatever you do, make sure bathroom doors are closed; she loves to stick a toothbrush or toothpaste in the toilet. Whenever Savannah’s being trouble and I call her name, Ava asks, “What are we going to do with her?”
Last month my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary! We all went to the beach for the weekend to celebrate. Boy, was it ever cold! The pipes froze, so we didn’t have water for a couple of hours our first night there. On our second night we all went out to dinner then went to a “Tribute to Elvis” show at the Alabama Theater. My oldest sister and her husband kept the girls while we went to the show, so that they could decorate the house for a mini party when we returned. We had balloons and golden anniversary décor all around as well as cake and punch. It was a good time for all. When we came home on Monday night, school was canceled for the next day because snow was in the forecast. Since I had all of my stuff, I decided to stay at my parents’ house because I knew that I would need help keeping up with both of the girls if I let them out to play in the snow. (Okay, maybe—just maybe—the fact that we didn’t get home until almost 8:00 and The Bachelor was coming on TV played a small role in me spending the night. I mean, if you’re a fan of Reality Steve’s blog, you have to watch so you can enjoy his witty banter the next day.) Of course, the snow was typical of that in the Midlands of South Carolina—everything gets closed down for a dusting of white powder. It didn’t stick to the ground, but some did collect on the cars. My mother and I took the girls out to play with the snow that had gathered there. Ava liked throwing snowballs, and Savannah enjoyed eating it. Not like that’s surprising—the girl likes to eat. We made a mini snowman, though micro snowman is probably a more accurate term.
For some time I’ve been thinking about creating a new blog to update everyone about how the girls and I are doing. Since the majority of the posts are about us and what we’ve been up to, writing about our antics doesn’t really fit the purpose of what “The Misadventures of Mike” was created for. With that being said (or written, technically), this will be last time I post on this particular blog. I appreciate all of you who have been reading since it was started last year and for checking back regularly, particularly since it’s been two months since I’ve posted anything. (Some people are just so slack!) I also want to thank you again for your many prayers for me and the girls. I’m certain that they have made a difference for us. If you want to keep up with me and the girls, check out our new blog at http://starnesgirls.blogspot.com/. I actually created it a few weeks ago, but haven’t had the time to write anything on it. I did post some pictures, so if you want to check out a few pics of the girls in the big blizzard we had, just click on the link to check it out.