Brrrrr!  Is it ever cold and windy here this morning, but the weather man is threatening even colder temperatures for tonight.  Maybe even into the 20's.  I'd say it's much too early in the season for that but we've already had one nasty snow storm in October.  I sure hope this isn't an indication of how the winter will play out.

Tim wrapped up his project in Erie yesterday and arrived home at 10:00 last night.  Megan and I are glad to have him home, but after 4 months of being mostly on our own there are going to be a few adjustments to make for everyone.  I'd hoped Tim would at least be able to take today off and rest, but no such luck.  He was up and out early this morning to start helping out on another project that is terribly messed up and hopelessly behind.  He is home, but I don't imagine I will see much of him while he plays clean up.  We are hoping he can get it on track or even finished before Thanksgiving so he can take a few days of much needed and deserved vacation time while we are all home.  If not, we will have to hang in there until the Christmas holidays when he is scheduled to have a week's vacation.  How nice that will be!  With Tim home, I now have regular access to the laptop so hope to write more often and "Santa" has said I've been good enough this year to merit a computer under the tree.  Yea!
I finished my real estate classes since I last wrote.  Now I am waiting for the transcripts to be sent to the realtor I'll be working for so I can register with the state.  Once that's done the state will send a letter saying I can go ahead and schedule a time to take the state licensure exam.  It will all have to happen some time this month as I only have 30 days from finishing the class to take the exam.  In the meantime, I continue to drive a school bus.  It takes a while to get a real estate career going so I'll most likely be driving for quite some time yet.  I am motivated to really work at it, though.  The bus driving job has been miserable this year.  I don't know what has changed from previous years, but all the drivers agree....the kids are behaving much worse this year.  I've had several incidents on the bus this year that the kids themselves compared to the Jerry Springer show.  It's very stressful trying to drive the bus safely and at the same time have to be constantly vigilant against new incidents while monitoring those who have already been punished.  It makes me angry every time a story hits the news about something terrible happening on a school bus and everyone jumps on the driver, asking how could he/she not know.  Think about it.  Would you want your child or grandchild on a bus where the driver never looked at the road?  That is about the only way we can catch everything and even that is not fool proof.  The backs of bus seats are high.  You can't see what kids are doing behind them.  You also can't hear what is being said in the back of the bus unless it is yelled.  We do the best we can, but there is just no way we can catch it all.  We also have the problem of having our hands tied when it comes to discipline.  In the old days if a kid was bad the driver could expell him from the bus.  Not these days.  I can move a kid's seat, call the parents (mostly a useless measure), or write the incident up and turn it into the school.  Unless it is a serious infraction, the school will most likely give the kid a warning.  It has to be very serious or repeated to get kicked off the bus.  Teasing and swearing are pretty much shrugged off.  I try to make the bus a pleasant place for everyone but a lot of kids these days swear endlessly and not with mild cursing.  I'm talking about the foulest of profanities and it seems to be accepted that it's just how kids are.  In a way, I understand the school's point of view, too.  Many parents behave no better than the kids and are not supportive of the school's efforts.  And of course, many parents refuse to believe their little angel would ever do such a thing.  Yes, I will be glad when I can walk away and never look back.
Matthew finished his first quarter at PTI in October and was home for a week before starting the next quarter.  I had been worried about him when he headed off to school, but he has sure proved all my fears ungrounded.  He is thriving.  He had straight A's and a 4.0 gpa for the first quarter!  He is also holding down a job at a huge sporting good's store near his apartment.  He works in the athletic shoes dept. and has earned himself all kinds of free merchandise.  Recently he helped officiate for an ESPN foul shot competition and was interviewed on ESPN.  He's met several of the Steelers and even got Jerome Bettis to sign his rookie card.  He's found a good crowd of kids to run with and is staying out of trouble.  He's right on track toward his goal of being picked for the FBI internship next year.  We are so proud of him!
I have a shorter work day today as the secondary student's don't have school, but I have to head out shortly for a parent/teacher conference.  The day off is specifically so those can be scheduled.  I have to meet with Megan's team.  She is doing better this year than last, but is still struggling in a few subjects.  Tomorrow there is no school so we'll have a 3-day weekend.  I think I will spend the day either baking nut rolls or making candy for Tim's sister's 25th anniversary, which the family is celebrating with a big party on Nov. 26.  I need to make a lot as there will be close to 200 guests.  Thankfully, my mom has offered to help me.
Well, I should go.  Stay warm and dry.