Ralph S. Mouse Pumpkin

We recently finished reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle, so Robert decided to make Ralph for the school’s Storybook Pumpkin Patch. (He’s sporting a ping pong helmet with a rubberband strap in case you’re not familiar with the daredevil mouse named Ralph.)

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I took Robert to school the morning he was turning Ralph in so that he wouldn’t get torn up on the bus ride to school. Turns out cars aren’t too safe for a mouse either. Ralph was sitting on the seat next to Robert and took a spill when I rounded the corner, breaking off his nose. Robert seemed to take it in stride, especially after I told him I’d glue it back on when we got to school. He just laughed and said that Ralph must have leprosy :)
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Meet the Teacher

The kids’ school grew so much in enrollment last year that every grade except 3rd added an extra teacher this year. It’s so nice to have their class size go down a bit. Between those 5 new teachers, about 5 who switched jobs to non-classroom positions still at the school and about 7 who left the school, there are lots of new faces in the hallways. Both kids got “new to us” teachers. This is Ms. C.

Robert has had a rough start to his school year. He seemed to settle in a bit in week three. He has a hard time with change and misses his kindergarten teacher and friends. They’ve added a second recess to the day for K and 1st students, which has me so excited! I really hope it helps the kids stay more focused.

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Clara’s getting a little too old for pictures with her teachers, so I spared her the embarrassment :) She has three this year and loves them all. Her homeroom/science/social studies teacher is a male and is very enthusiastic and energetic and was at our principal’s old school several years ago. I think it’s going to be a great year for Clara. She’s decided not to continue doing orff ensemble and pep squad but I’m sure she’ll want to replace them with something. She really wants to do dance class, but I’m not sure I want to pay for dance class. And I’m fairly certain she’s going to want to be on student council. She was made for student leadership :)

I really liked what I heard at Clara’s orientation last week. Science is about 50% hands on experiments along with keeping a science journal and they still have their trip to the science lab every other week. Math is still doing timed multiplication/division quizzes to keep those times tables fresh in their minds. Reading and writing will be going back to doing some spelling practice, cursive instruction, in class book clubs in small groups with aides reading three different books on varying reading levels, and they will be writing and performing puppet shows. It sounds very engaging. There seems to be a lot of new things they are trying and I love it!

First Day of School!

Hmmmm, seems like I’m forgetting something……  Oh yeah, the last three months!! Hopefully I’ll get a summer re-cap up, but I’m not making any promises :) If I do, I’ll probably backdate them so they stay in order.

So, just like that, summer is over and it’s time to hit the books. Robert went to fill out a form at Meet the Teacher last week and couldn’t remember how to write his numbers. Oopsie. We worked on literacy activities that were sent home for the summer, so there’s been lots of reading and a small amount of writing done, but math kinda slipped off the radar. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

You’ll notice someone has on a superhero shirt.  I found it (and his shorts) at the resale shop and he actually liked it! I guess he’s decided to lift the ban on superheroes. Neither of them needed too many clothes, so I just picked up a few t-shirts and shorts at the resale shop to replace ones they’ve outgrown. I think Clara’s had a growth spurt this summer. I did splurge on a new first day of school dress for her. She doesn’t wear dresses to school much anymore, but she loved this one that’s covered in owls, so I relented. About half of her wardrobe is covered in owls now.

Much to their chagrin, both of their backpacks and lunchboxes were still good, so we didn’t have to go out and replace them. I bought them LL Bean backpacks to hopefully last, and they have held up really well. Clara got hers at the beginning of 2nd grade and it still looks new. I told her she could choose a new one for junior high next year. I will probably let Robert upgrade sooner though. I’m not sure I can convince him to keep his dinosaur bones one through 5th grade :)

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They both got back to school haircuts and Robert went with a shorter ‘do than usual. I’ve always hesitated because of his cowlicks, but I finally just said “what the heck” and had the girl go short. I think it’s cute. He likes spiking it up in the front with gel and was a bit obsessed with it and didn’t want it to get messed up those first few days.

They both said they wanted to ride the bus this morning, so I didn’t argue. I was going back and forth about driving them myself. I wasn’t too worried about getting him to his new class; I really just wanted to chat with my friends and some of the office and library staff and maybe meet some new parents. I really didn’t want to mess with the nightmarish traffic and parking at the school though, so I just sent them on their merry little way.

And now I can go run errands without bringing along whining, fidgety, pestering kids! Woohooo! Freedom!

May, AKA Crazy Busy School Month

The first weekend in May, Clara had a scheduling conflict between two of her extra-curriculars. She had an Orff Festival and the last 1.2 mile finishing race for Read Deed Run. It was at the stadium and included all groups in the district. She was so distraught when she found out she would have to choose. I felt bad for her, but in the end, making hard choices is something she needs to learn, so I left it completely up to her. We asked her RDR sponsors and they said she could run the last 1.2 miles on her own and she would still get the finisher’s medal and t-shirt and would get to go on their end of year fun day, so she chose to attend the Orff Festival.

That Friday night, we had a family from church over for dinner for the first time and we let the kids swim. Clara had Orff the next morning and we had Becky’s family over for dinner and swimming that night. Two guests in two days is a massive amount of entertaining for us.

The next day was Mother’s Day. We hadn’t planned to do anything special, but we did stop for kolaches before church. Robert was very sweet and said he wanted to sit by me all day on Mother’s Day and my birthday. The rest of the time they both fight over who gets to sit by Daddy :)

I took the kids to their classes and then met Chris at our bible class and was surprised to see Dan and Linda seated next to him! They knew how stressed out I’ve been between all my dental work and helping Becky, among other things, so they decided to surprise me. They got to town the night before but stayed in a hotel so I wouldn’t have to worry about entertaining guests. I totally could’ve managed it, but they didn’t want to add anything to my already overflowing plate :) We just went to a nearby Mexican restaurant for lunch knowing it wouldn’t be a Mother’s Day hotspot and they headed home right after. It was very sweet of them to make the drive to come see us.

The next week was STAAR testing and I won’t get on my soapbox. You’re welcome. Thankfully, kindergarten scheduled their field trip to a nearby farm on one of the testing days so at least some of the kids got to have fun that day instead of remaining silent in their classrooms all day with no specials or recess so as not to disturb the students testing. Oops. Sorry, I just can’t help myself :)

I went along as a chaperone. Two other moms and I had our three boys plus two extra boys. Our three weren’t listening very well and kept wandering off, but the other two were perfect gentlemen. Why is it kids are so bad for their parents? Drives me crazy. Robert was pretty good actually. The “cars” on a racetrack just kept singing their siren song and he couldn’t help himself. He loved the hay maze and probably went through it five times. There was a huge hill with multiple slides, a massive jumping pillow and a tractor “train” ride. I was beat after a day at the farm and ready to get him back on the bus. Lots of parents were going up to the school to check their kids out early. I was like, “Are you crazy? I’m going to take a nap before they get home!” They wore me out!

The next week, Clara had her RDR trip to Main Event. There were only about a dozen kids who finished, so it was a pretty small group. Abby was the only kid in school to earn a certain amount of dog tags to be able to go on a special field trip so they let her go along with RDR. They were so excited. Clara’s teacher, who is one of the sponsors, along with her teacher last year and the librarian all went along and played right alongside them. They had a blast and stayed from 9-2! They bowled, played laser tag about 5 times and did a gravity ropes course several times. I asked the librarian if they ever got bored and she said no. The adults eventually had to sit down but she said the kids could’ve gone all night.

The day after that Clara was gone all morning with the Orff Ensemble to an Instrumental Showcase at a high school along with several other elementary musical groups in the district. It was actually rescheduled from the week of the floods.  They performed and watched the other groups all morning before heading back to school.

Here’s just some silliness after school one day. I think that’s Clara’s RDR medal she’s sporting in the pic.

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And then came Robert’s “awards” program. About halfway through, and before he had gotten his “award”, I got several calls from Chris and Becky within seconds of each other. I was texting them to tell them where I was and then Chris said I needed to get home because someone was on their way to look at a piece of our pool equipment that was broken and we were trying to get it fixed under our home warranty and it had already been a week. (Oh, and he couldn’t go because we only had the jeep that week because the rover was in the shop getting a new roof because the old one had a huge crack from hail during our bad flooding in April.) Becky was in pain and sent several texts all in a row. It’s very disconcerting when it happens because I can tell she’s scared and confused and disoriented and there’s just nothing I can do to help. Ahhhh! I snapped Robert’s picture when they called his name and then told a teacher he knows to please let him know I had to go home to meet someone there and I couldn’t stay for the end. I felt so bad. I’m sure he was sad and confused watching me walk out early :(

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Both kids had dental appointments this past Monday. Clara had a cleaning (that was rescheduled due to her Main Event fun day) and Robert got sealants on his two 6 year molars that have erupted. I then picked them up early at the end of the day for an orthodontist appointment for Clara. He took x-rays and after comparing them to her two previous ones, he’s decided that it looks as if two of her bottom permanent teeth have changed direction a bit and are coming up between two teeth instead of pushing out the baby teeth. Looks like she may end up having to have those two baby teeth pulled in the future. Still keeping an eye on her bottom ankylosed tooth and it looks ok for now, but it will definitely have to be pulled at some point. He thinks we can wait and pull all three in about a year if they don’t correct themselves. Sigh.

Because STAAR testing is the most important part of a well-rounded education in Texas, there can be nothing that might possibly interfere with the kids test prep in the spring. Which means that teachers couldn’t even put it on a parent’s radar that “Hey, your kids are going to have to do a science project in the last couple of weeks of school so you might want to be thinking about that.” I had already decided that she probably wouldn’t participate in the science fair this year because Chris was out of town one weekend and I was having my wisdom teeth out the next and I just didn’t want to add anything more to these last couple of weeks of school. After STAAR testing was done though, the assignment went home that it would be due on the 24th. Ugh.

She didn’t have to enter it in the science fair but we figured why not if she has to do it anyway. We weren’t the only ones. There were probably 3-4 times as many projects this year because they were mandatory for at least some classes. For her experiment, she wanted to see if making water wheels out of different materials would change their speed. I don’t know why she chose that, but she was soooo excited about it so I didn’t try to change her mind. Chris helped her build the frame and wheels with three different paddles–spoons, cups and popsicle sticks. She recorded the three different water wheels and then slowed down the video to count the number of rotations per second. Chris helped make sure her calculations were correct, but we didn’t give her much assistance with any of her findings or presentation of them and she spent probably 12+ hours on her project that weekend. She was just plain giddy all weekend. That girl loves her some science. She received an honorable mention for her project. She wore this dress because it matched her project :) I couldn’t even get a good picture because they had the kids crammed in there so tight. The kids spent almost the entire day at the science fair. All of the grade levels came through to see the projects and the judging happened after lunch.

Wednesday was the 4th grade “awards”. I had asked Clara if she really wanted me to come and she seemed ok to not have me there. (They’re a pretty brutal waste of time.) At the last minute I decided I should suck it up and be supportive and I told her I would be there. Well, I found out that Becky had been taken by ambulance to the hospital after a seizure that morning and her husband wasn’t with her. Her oncologist had hoped that if they got her to her neurologist’s hospital that she would be more likely to get in for surgery. If she walked in, she could expect to wait about 24 hours to be seen! Well, they wouldn’t take her to that hospital, only to the nearest one, so they were releasing her after a few hours saying, “yep, tumor’s still there; you need to get into your neurologist”. I brought her lunch and when they discharged her, we dropped her prescriptions and I took her home. I needed to go back for her medicine, so that meant I would miss Clara’s awards. I felt bad that I was skipping out on it when she was now expecting me, but I knew she would understand.

Thursday was her class field trip. I decided one field trip was enough for me this year, plus the kids have a four day weekend and we were getting ready to go camping on Friday, so I wasn’t going on this one. I was working in the workroom for a couple of hours that morning though, so I was there when I heard that the buses got about 10 minutes away from the school before having to turn around and head back. The ranch had received too much rain and they had just lost power. Talk about disappointing :( I felt so bad for all the kids.

When she got home, I could tell she was sad and had been holding it in all day. Not long after, I got a call from the state park saying they were closing their trails and that although the park would still be open, the sites were going to be pretty flooded. I called Chris and we decided to go ahead and cancel. He tried to find something else nearby, but everything was full for the holiday weekend or was also experiencing flooding. Clara just couldn’t hold in in anymore. It was just too much disappointment for one day and she cried and cried. Emily was disappointed as well. She was going to come with us and it was going to be her first time camping. We got a call the next morning from the park and they did have to close. The lake rose 6 feet overnight and the bridge into the park was covered in water. This weather has been crazy!

Later that night after I had taken Emily home, I noticed Robert was acting weird. He didn’t eat much dinner and was laying on the couch under a blanket. I took his temperature and sure enough he was running a fever. As Chris and I talked about what we should do (we were going to have Emily Friday and Saturday while her dad was at work), I looked over just in time to see Max pee right at my feet. The day just kept getting better.

I let Becky know that night because I didn’t want her getting sick right now and possibly having to postpone her as of yet not scheduled surgery. Thankfully, he woke up Friday feeling fine with only a slightly elevated temperature, so we planned on having Emily until Saturday night. We were waiting for her to wake up to go pick her up when I got a call from my neighbor. Her 4 month old had just woken up coughing up foam and choking on it. Jamie needed me to drive her to the ER because she didn’t want to strap her into her carseat and potentially choke again.

I got dressed real fast and left the kids watching cartoons and headed across the street. The Children’s hospital is very close, so we were there in only a few minutes. I watched her 3 year old Barrett in the waiting room while she went back. The baby was fine and I don’t guess they ever really determined what the foam was. She was just very hesitant to feed her without getting her checked out first. Her hubby got to the hospital and brought me home before going back up when they discharged her. So I got showered and headed on over to pick Emily up. It really has been an eventful week over here.

It rained a lot on Friday, so the kids just played inside all day and watched movies. This morning I took all three kids to Barrett’s birthday party at an inflatable play place. They swam after lunch and then I made them a picnic in the driveway. They had hotdogs and smore’s from our camping food stash. When life gives you lemons…….

Emily is at home now. Maybe I’ll have her Monday? Becky has been assured she’ll have surgery by Wednesday but still hasn’t gotten the date and the kids get out of school on Thursday, so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and hopefully things will start to work themselves out real soon. And good news. I’m all caught up on my blogging! Woohoo!

Some Stuff Happened in March

The first couple of weeks in March were really busy. The Glow Run, which is the fundraiser for Read Deed Run, was on the 1st. The kids in RDR helped set everything up, register participants and clean up; Clara enjoyed every minute of it. I know I took pictures but I can’t find them.

The next day was my birthday and we enjoyed dinner at Salt Grass to mark the occasion.

After that was helping out with Field Days on Thursday and Friday.

The kids received beads for each station they completed. Here Robert is giving me thumbs up after completing all 12 stations.

The choir sang The Star Spangled Banner before each session.

The next week was a full one too. Our anniversary was on Monday and we actually got a sitter and went out to eat at Perry’s Steakhouse. It was my first time there and I got the massive pork chop. And proceeded to eat not even a quarter of it.

Then there was the book fair, Muffins with Mom and picture day. I had planned on volunteering for the first two, the latter I kinda got roped into the day before as I was leaving school. Oh boy, picture day was chaotic! I ran myself ragged that day.

It was the week after Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but the kids still had themed days during book fair week. Thursday was the storybook character parade. Clara was Dorothy but her dress was an epic failure, so I had to convert it to a skirt. I probably could’ve done some alterations, but my last minute volunteering for picture day kinda threw a kink in my last minute sewing project. Oh well, she loved it anyway. Robert was  a Lego Ninjago character.

Here he is proudly sporting his Cat in the Hat hat he made at school.

I was trying to keep the volunteering to a minimum that week (easier said than done) because the next week was Spring Break and we were leaving to go camping on Saturday.

Hmmmm, Where Was I?

Here’s a look at February around here. If I don’t have a picture, then it didn’t happen .

Robert’s friend Eli came over to play one afternoon while his parents had something they had to attend to. Robert was acting terribly and refused to play with him. I had to pull him aside several times to talk about his attitude; he must have just been having a really bad day. I was so embarrassed by his behavior but Eli was very understanding and didn’t seem too upset.

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Chris has been interested in starting up woodworking for quite some time now. He purchased a few woodworking tools with Christmas money and set to work. His first project: a workbench. He’s really enjoying himself and has built a bench and small table, as well as a kayak holder on wheels.

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I helped out with the Valentine’s parties at school. Robert’s teacher was so sweet and wanted to go all out for her class since it’s really the only class party they get. She said her babies work hard and she wanted to treat them to a feast. She had me pick up pizzas and then I helped her set everything up while the kids were at specials. She bought plates and napkins, cheese and crackers, fruit and even made up little goody bags for all of the kids. Other parents brought sweet treats as well.

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PTA gave each class sugar cookies that they could frost and add sprinkles to. I looked over at one point and caught Robert licking all of the runaway sprinkles off of his plate.

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Daddy brought Clara and me roses for Valentine’s Day.

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The next weekend was the local livestock show and rodeo parade and the pep squad participated in it. I had never been and didn’t know what to expect trying to pick her up at the end of the route, so Robert and I parked ourselves right at the tail end of the parade so we could walk to meet up with Clara at the end. Most people were out of candy by the time they got to us. It was a loooong route, so they were all pretty pooped by the end.

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Here is Clara with her friends, Lauren and Ivonne or Ivette, not sure which this is :)

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And then I babysat some DeCarlos for a few hours while mine were at school. This little guy decided it would be hi-larious if he blew out his diaper a mere fifteen minutes after his mommy left. I’m apparently a little rusty when it comes to changing blowouts and he kept looking at me as if to say, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?”

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No one wanted to pry their eyes away from what they were doing for a picture.

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January

The year is in full swing and as usual, I’m having a hard time getting a handle on everything :) We’ve had a busy month so far but not much has been “blog-worthy” and I’ve taken zero pictures so I’ll just do a little re-cap.

The day after Christmas, Chris slipped in mud and was able to catch himself before falling. In doing so, he twisted his knee and was in a lot of pain for a couple of weeks. When the pain didn’t subside, he got into his doctor who also specializes in sports medicine. He thinks it’s a really bad sprain, but he did mention that his quadriceps are really weak, probably because of genetics, and that causes the knee cap to continually be pulled to the side, causing a lot of wear. He will probably need surgery on that knee as well. We’re now wondering if that contributed to the wear on his other knee that he had surgery on. It’s doing better now and he has exercises to do to try and strengthen his quadriceps so hopefully surgery is far, far away.

The next day we visited Bammel for church and to see old friends. It was fun catching up with a few people. We had lunch with the DeCarlos and got to meet their newest little one, Ryan.

Clara had her oral surgery at the end of December. She was the perfect patient as always and went right in without a bit of hesitation. She looked a little nervous this time since she knew what to expect but she put on a brave face. The surgery went really well and thankfully there was no damage done to her permanent teeth and he was able to extract the ankylosed tooth without taking out her molar. I’m really glad because she would have been left with only one molar to chew with on that side for the next few years :) She recovered very quickly and only needed pain meds for the first two days. Much different from her surgery last year where she was still needing it a week later.

We headed up to The Woodlands on New Years Day to hang out with the Couringtons. It was a relaxing afternoon of chatting, games and pizza and was way over due.

We re-entered reality the next week when the kids went back to school and Chris to work. It’s so sad when Christmas break ends. Later that week, Danielle and the kids came to hang out for the day. Justin had an appointment near us, so I watched a couple of the kids during his appointments and then they had lunch with us and played until the kids got home from school. They stayed through dinner so they could avoid rush hour traffic. If the state of the upstairs at the end of the night was any indication, the kids had a grand time playing all afternoon.

Clara’s extra-curriculars started back up the week after. She had extra choir practice and auditions for a special performance that took place last week. Their choir was invited to perform during the school board meeting and because of limited space, only 25 could go. They learned two new songs just for this performance.

They rode together on the bus to the meeting but parents could attend as well. Oh my goodness the place was packed! They had another elementary choir performing too. The public portion of the meeting was supposed to start at 6:30, but the closed portion went long so it didn’t start until 7:30! It was 8:00 before they performed and then we all skedaddled out of there as fast as we could. We couldn’t just take them from the meeting though; we had to meet the bus back at the school. I picked up a friends’ kids too because her hubby was running late and her four other kids were asleep so by the time we got home it was close to 9:00. Clara had been at the school since 7:25 am. She had choir before school and then Read Deed Run right after school, so I brought her choir clothes to change into and a quick dinner to eat on the playground before she was off to the school board meeting. So glad those kind of days are few and far between.

And then on Thursday she had a pep squad performance at the high school. It was a town pep rally where they introduced all of the spring sports. It was kinda fun. The junior high cheerleaders were there, along with mascots from all three schools, the high school cheerleaders and dancers and Clara was enthralled with every bit of it. She was in her element. Their routine was a little rough though. Because of the MLK holiday, they only had one practice where they learned their routine. I guess they didn’t do too bad considering.

Robert was supposed to appear on the school’s video announcements today. The assistant principal is awarding a dog tag to him. When kindergarteners learn their 100 sight words, they make a big deal about it and take their picture to put on the wall. He’s known them for several months now so I guess they just now tested them. He said he’s the first kindergartner this year to learn them all. Proud mommy over here :)

I just started reading Magic Tree House books to him. He really fought me on it at first for some reason, but after only a couple of chapters of book one, he was hooked. I’ve read the first three to him and when we have to stop, he begs and pleads for me to keep reading. I told him that if he practices his reading that he’ll be able to read them at his own pace very soon, so hopefully that lights a fire under him. I don’t think he will be quite as big of a bookworm as Clara, but he is most definitely interested. I just hope his interest doesn’t wane.

I was in the work room a couple of weeks ago and Robert’s teacher came in to make some copies. I told her that that morning Robert had asked me which half of the world we lived in. I told him that we lived in the northern hemisphere. He said, “That’s the good half, right?” I told him I wasn’t sure what he meant and that there wasn’t a good or bad one. He said, “No, it’s the good one because the people on the bottom half have to be upside down.” :)

She got a kick out that and made a mental note to clear some things up in class. She said that they had just been discussing numbers in class and the conversation moved to the kids debating which number was the biggest. Several kids said it was infinity and then Robert said, “No, it’s a googol.” I guess they went back and forth for a while with one boy in particular not willing to give in. Sure enough, his teacher went and googled it and was shocked to see that the biggest named number is a googol. Ha! She was just amazed at this conversation taking place in her kindergarten class. (It’s actually a googolplex but mathematical stuff makes my head hurt, so I won’t try to explain.)

Robert was pretty proud when I asked him about it and it was nice to talk to him about the fact that even adults learn new things all the time. You never stop learning and even kids have valuable things to teach others. Chris was pretty proud too. The math and science stuff is all him. I told him I knew how he felt. He was probably feeling about like I did when Clara took the AR test for Little Women in K or 1st and only missed one question. My little bookworm.

Speaking of bookworm, their school does a reading program to promote the Texas Bluebonnet award nominees. There are 20 nominees and if the kids read at least five, they are invited to a popcorn party with a special guest (last year it was a magician) and they get to vote on their favorite. Well, I mentioned to Clara that it would be cool to read all 20. She took it and ran and set the goal to read all 20. About half of them were shorter picture books, poetry or graphic novels, but the rest were chapter books. The deadline was last Friday and she wasn’t going to finish because the school and public libraries both didn’t have the books in that she needed. I had put them on hold and they weren’t available a week later. She was so set on reaching her goal that we went to the bookstore and purchased the final two. Come Thursday she wasn’t finished with the last one so I asked the library asst. if she could go ahead and turn in the paper saying she read them all and then finish it this weekend.

She knows Clara so she said yes and said that Clara was the only one to read all of them this year. It wasn’t easy; it really forced her out of her regular genre (which is why I threw the suggestion out there). There was a sci-fi and a couple of scary ones but she’s discovered new authors and loved almost every fiction book she read and plans to read the entire series of most of them. There is one problem. The one she didn’t finish? She still hasn’t finished it. She is terrified to read it :) The book is The Night Gardener. She showed me one page and the main character is asleep in her room having a nightmare. She wakes, feeling uneasy and sees a muddy footprint on the floor by her bed and feels a leaf in her hair and more leaves on the floor from an open window. Yikes! I told her not to read it right before bed. Ha! I may end up having to finish reading it with her. During daylight hours of course.

Well, I guess that really wasn’t a “short” re-cap, now was it? I hope everyone’s new year is going great!

Winter Wonderland

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been saying that we just need to get through Sunday without anyone getting sick. I knew last week would be a hectic one but that after Sunday things would slow down considerably.

I forgot to mention that Clara had a choir performance last Monday night at the high school. The elementary choir performed one song with the 6th grade choir. We were sitting pretty far back, so I didn’t take any photos of their performance. I’m trying to learn to be ok with not taking pictures of everything. I usually can’t get very good ones of things like this anyway, so I’d prefer to just sit back and enjoy the show rather than get worked up about not getting the perfect shot. So I took one of her in front of the Christmas tree in the Performing Arts Center on the way out. Seeing the junior high girls in their long black dresses and performing with them only confirmed that she wants to continue in choir once she gets to junior high.

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On Wednesday night, Linda had set up a dinner date for all of us with some of their old friends that live about 20 minutes away from us. They were neighbors in Salem, Oregon and Chris and their son Chad were best friends during elementary school. They hadn’t seen each other in about 30 years, so it was a fun dinner and they all enjoyed catching up.

The kids’ Winter Wonderland event took place on Thursday night. I spent the afternoon helping set up for the event and Dan and Linda were nice enough to meet the kids at home after school so I could continue to help without dealing with picking them up and figuring out how to get them ready and back up to school. I helped during the whole event, but I did pull myself away and watched each of the four performances that the kids were in. Clara performed with the pep squad, choir and 4th and 5th grade and Robert performed with the kindergartners.

I left my camera in my purse and was running around so much that I kept forgetting to bring it in to the gym with me. Linda got all of these pictures, which was a feat. She, unlike most everyone else, tried hard not to be disruptive and stand in the way of others to get a few shots. Others weren’t quite so considerate.

They all sang so well. Clara was part of a quartet chosen to sing the first verse of one of their songs in choir. Initially it was supposed to be a solo, but I think the choir director was afraid to narrow it down any further in case of illness :)

clara solo cropped

 

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She changed into her pretty holiday dress for her grade level performance. I mainly wanted her to change so she wouldn’t be in her choir shirt for a picture with Santa, but she decided she didn’t need to sit in Santa’s lap this year :( Several of the kids played the bells and recorders to accompany the singers and the Orff ensemble also performed with them. I can’t get over how good all the kids sounded. Our music teacher does an outstanding job.

 

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During one of the breaks between performances, Robert got to sit in Santa’s lap. He asked for legos. Nothing specific this year, just legos. He actually wanted to ask for a Ninjago set that he saw in a catalog. I told him that Santa probably wasn’t too keen on gifting him with a $200 set that’s for ages 14 and up, so he begrudgingly decided on just plain ‘ol legos.

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Robert did fantastic. He sang his little heart out and did all the movements. Look at all of those 5 and 6 year olds doing (basically) the same thing at the same time. She’s a master educator I tell you. Robert kept checking out his neighbor’s moves the entire time. I don’t know if he wanted to make sure she was doing what she was supposed to or make sure he was doing the right thing, but he just stood there smiling at her the bulk of the time :) He loved being in front of the crowd just like his big ‘sis.

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The pep squad was the first performance of the night at 6:00 and 4th and 5th grade was the last, so it was 8:00 before they were done. There was only a few minutes between all the performances before one of them had to go line up for their next one, so it didn’t leave much time for getting food. Chris took everyone to Smash Burger and then picked up a to-go order and brought it back up to the school for me as I was helping finish up around 9:00 :) Meanwhile, Dan and Linda went home and made sure the kids got straight to bed. So it may have been a chaotic, tiring day, but I’m just thrilled that both kids stayed well this year and could attend their Christmas program. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a kid performance or two thrown somewhere in the mix.

Forgery

I wrote notes to the kids’ teachers this morning informing them that I would picking them up a little early for dental appointments. I just found this gem in the notebook I wrote the kids’ notes on :)

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