Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Spring Semester 2017

In no particular order, Whompton stories and images of January - June, 2017:

Raina won the "best dressed" category for 6th grade by rocking one of Samantha's high school prom dresses.  (Yes, Raina is fully adult sized now.)  Not pictured:  Krystal wearing a different high school prom dress of Samantha's.  
Staring out of the view from the African-American History and Culture Museum.  Absolute must-see in DC.


Requisite Ben Purser and Eric Compton posed photo.  We don't see Ben enough, so we maximize on these few occasions we get. 

The Whompton Family Band.  Multiple months ago, Eric performed at the Ethical Society on Darwin Day, and he sang an assortment of They Might Be Giants science songs.  He followed up that achievement by writing three songs that he could perform with his daughters (Raina helped arrange the piano parts) and the trio performed their original works on Father's Day.  Eric has been recruited to come back and perform soon AND he's writing more music to perform with the girls.  

Lola celebrated her birthday at the Saint Louis Area Foodbank and she invited many friends to come along.  For some of them, it was their first time volunteering and really getting their hands dirty by helping someone else.  

I love bread.
Now I know how to make artisan bread that (on the first day) would compare to a standard bakery.  We've eaten a LOT of homemade bread this year.

The cherry blossoms in DC are gorgeous.

Siblings Samantha, Josh, and Krystal all arrived in Owensboro wearing remarkably similar outfits.  Krystal and Samantha are wearing the exact same v-neck sweater (yes, we live in the same house and own the same clothes) and Josh wore one in a lighter shade.  We couldn't have coordinated better if we had tried.

I know that this is just a cute picture of Lola.  However, I cannot help but feel it does a great job of symbolizing how many kids are suffering from poverty and hunger as well and how we ignore that aspect of poverty and hunger by focusing attention on the adults.  

Harry Potter, the Card Game, occupied every free moment that Eric, Raina, and Lola shared in the evenings.  Once they finished the full game, they moved on to watching all the "good" Star Trek Next Generation and Deep Space 9 episodes and are now progressing through Babylon 5.  We're working hard at raising geeks over here, people!

This is a table made out of a R2D2 cooler.  You cannot see it, but the cooler is filled with sand and has many Star Wars action figures stationed inside.  Not exactly Tatooine but close.  

Samantha celebrated her birthday by protesting the Muslim ban.  She also was interviewed on NPR that day!

Raina has progressed significantly as a pianist.  Preparing for a recital here.

Whomptons in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room.  Raina is sitting in Bob Corker's chair.  

Lola's favorite part of the DC trip was riding on the Senate subway, which swooshed us from building to building.  She still talks about it, 4 months later.

Sisters.

For a variety of reasons, Lola will not return to MICDS in the fall and instead will begin her journey as a public school student.  To get prepared, we sent Lola and Raina to Parkway Summer School.  They got situated, made friends, walked to and from the bus stop together (about a mile each way), prepared their own meals, and showed lots of courage.  They even met other Rainas and Lolas!  Here is Lola, proudly showing off the lunch box she used this summer and will use next school year.  

Lola is FULL OF ENERGY!  Eric coached her soccer and basketball teams this year, and she did a season of field hockey and a track club this spring as well.  On the final track meet day, she raced every event:  50 M, 100 M, 200 M, 400 M, 800 M, and 1600 M.  She was EXHAUSTED by the end, and she had tried something new and found out her capacity to push herself even harder than she had imagined.  (Eric has visions of his daughters becoming field hockey, basketball, and track stars.)

Whomptons at the White House.  No, we did not meet the president.  Lola was worried that we would and she wasn't certain what she would say to him.  Luckily we were spared that incident.

A middle school rite of passage:  etiquette and learning how to dance.  Raina participated in Wydown FortNightly this year, which she appreciated on an intellectual level -- she learned a lot -- but was not an enjoyable experience for her.  (Evidence: check out her face in this picture.  She's front and center, in the black dress.)  I signed her up for this experience, mostly against her will, and she did not agree to continue for the remainder of middle school.  We're all happier with that choice, most likely.
Every 2nd Sunday.  We get so many more honks in support than we used to, and far fewer "All lives matter!" or "so-and-so is a thug and deserved to die" comments.  Progress.  

My dad's twin sister, Gerry, died this year.  Simply put, it broke my dad even further, and he's still grappling with the heartbreak of it.  The upside of funerals, though, is getting family together.  We six cousins stood together for the first time in roughly 25 years.  We hugged, cried, talked, danced, sang, bowled, and reconnected.  My Aunt Gerry would have wept to see us all together again.  

No one works a water station better than we do!  

The Saint Louis Women's March.
We signed up lots of folks to receive information about NARAL and Planned Parenthood, which was good, and showed our solidarity for persons of color who felt excluded from the planning of the STL march.  This rally point was both inspirational and hollow.  So many protests, rallies, signs, and gatherings and there's still so much to do.  I joined NARAL's Board and I'll see whether that feels like making more of a positive difference going forward.

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