Thursday, May 31, 2007

my soon to be 2nd grader

Today is my baby's last day of 1st grade. She will be a 2nd grader soon! This is so hard for me to believe! I was teaching 2nd grade when I was pregnant with her and I remember thinking that those kids were so old! Now my baby is soon to be one of those "old" 2nd graders. Time is going by so quickly! I'm just so happy that she fills my days with such joy! She is a special child!
first day of 1st grade
last day of 1st grade

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cinderella Penguin

So I've been told by one of my friends that my blog about our weekend was rather short. I tended to agree so I thought I'd add a little more detail, along with some more pictures. To save myself some time-but still record the memory-I'll try to write it in timeline style.

Thursday: went to Atlanta and spent the night with my parents

Friday: went to Nashville to my brother's (Josh) house. The girls immediately started playing & having a good time together. We ate dinner then went to the park to play and do a little fishing.

Saturday: Chris & our girls and Josh & his girls went to the library to see a marionette show of "Hansel & Gretel." I stayed with Beth (my sister-in-law) and went to the church building a little early to help her start setting up for Ann Elise's 5th birthday party.

My parents & grandparents, along with some of Beth's family arrived and we had the birthday party. Afterwards, we drove by the house Josh & Beth are hoping will be theirs very soon if all goes well. We then went back to their current house where the girls played and we all visited. Mom & Dad and my grandparents left for a bit while Josh, Chris, Katie & Morgan slept. Beth & I went to a local bookstore that I really like .

We met back up with everyone that night to eat at a really good Japanese steakhouse in the Cool Springs area of Nashville. Katie wasn't so sure of the fire-"I don't like the fire!!!!!"-but she did okay. The food was fantastic!

Mom & Dad and Bigmother & Bigdaddy left to go back to Huntsville. I tried really hard to get a good picture of my grandparents with the 4 great-grandchildren. (1 great grandchild wasn't there because he was out of town.) I also tried to get a really good one of all 4 grandchildren with my parents. Alas, when you have a 6 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old & 1 year old....picture taking just isn't their top priority! I have some of all of them but none that are really any good. Katie is usually scowling, crying or looking away & Morgan is topless due to having a really bad diaper and she had taken her extra shirt out of her diaper bag before leaving the house. *sigh* Maybe one day.

Sunday: went to church with Josh & his family. Some of us slept that afternoon (I did!) Gracie & Ann Elise played on AE's new slip 'n slide. We went to church that night then ate out pizza. Got ready for bed and leaving the next day.

Monday: got up and said good-bye to Josh, Beth, Ann Elise & Morgan. We hope they will come visit us this summer at some point. We then went & visited with some friends who used to live here. They just had a baby about 3 weeks ago, so it was nice to meet her for the first time!

We drove home-about 8 hours total counting the time we stopped to eat & potty. This is a funny picture of Gracie sleeping. She tends to keep her mouth open and usually her eyes are partly open which always makes me feel creepy! Chris ended up driving the whole way home! I started a book and really liked it and read the whole thing! I enjoyed it but I did have a killer headache by the time we got home! I just love Nashville! It is sooo pretty!!!!!

This leads us up to today: Tuesday. Gracie's play! "Cinderella Penguin" was the name of her play. They did so great and were so cute! Gracie wasn't very loud, thus her lines couldn't be heard very well but she knew them and did awesome! Everyone did really well-some of them had such sassy little attitudes to develop their character which really added to the humor.

For example: when the fairy godmother came to the crying Cinderella (because the stepsisters told her she wasn't pretty enough to go to the ball), she introduced herself with: "Dry it up, girl!" When Cinderella got her new ball gown and asked, "What about my hair?" the godmother said, "It looks fine. Let's not sweat the small stuff!"

I also loved when Cinderella was dancing with the handsome prince and one of the stepsisters said, "She's dancing with MY prince!" The attitude that sweet little Nya put into that line was hilarious!

Maybe you had to hear it for yourself, but it was funny! This is when the stepsisters have "thrown" her down the basement stairs but her "flipper" has gotten stuck in the door. The stepsisters are standing there to try to hide her from the handsome prince. He sees the flipper sticking out of the door and eventually finds her and marries her!

We were very proud of Gracie for doing so well! All of them did well. Tomorrow she may get the chance to play Gretel in "Hansel & Gretel." Deja is supposed to play Gretel but she was absent today, so Mrs. Stauffer sent home her lines with Gracie. Secretly I'm hoping that she will get to step into this role so I can watch her "act" again.
This is the cast of her play. Mrs. Stauffer as the director of course. The 2 stepsisters are on one side of Mrs. S. The handsome prince is next to her then the fairy godmother next to Gracie and of course Gracie as Cinderella Penguin! She has her apron on in this picture because of course Cinderella doesn't start the play in her ball gown. When the fairy godmother magically gives her a ball gown, they simply take off the apron and voila! Mrs. Stauffer said she goes for simple which is the best way in a 15 minute little play. We were just supposed to pretend she didn't have on the ball gown during parts of the play!
I have to relay a funny from Katie. She was being a bit of a stink pot as she often is when we were at my parent's house Friday morning. I told her, "When you stay with Grammer & Pappy in June, Grammer can s-p-a-n-k you." Grammer said, "Oh! I don't want to do that!" Katie turned and looked at me and said, "She said she didn't want to do that." As if to say, "nana nana boo boo.....she doesn't want to spank me!" My mom quickly assured her that even though she may not want to, she will if she needs to. That girl!!!!!
On a different note, please keep the Brown family in your prayers. Even though I don't know them personally (I was at ACU with some of their family and knew them somewhat) my heart is breaking for them. It is really so sad. I heard about this first from Brandon Scott.

Also, please keep my friend Alissa in your prayers. I didn't want to post anything about this on my blog until she did. She's had a tough time but is relying on God and we know He can help them heal from this. Never forget...but heal.

Monday, May 28, 2007

cousin time

We had such a great time visiting my brother & his family this weekend in Nashville! The girls got lots of great "cousin time" which is so important. I can remember many happy times visiting with my cousin Andrea while I was growing up. I only wish there had been more of them and I wish I'd had more with my other cousins as well.

Gracie & Ann Elise are almost exactly 22 months apart, but Gracie is only about 1/4 inch taller than Ann Elise. They ran around together all weekend holding hands and just having the best time! Katie kept up with them pretty well and then there was sweet Morgan who wanted to do all the things the big girls were doing. There are about 22 months between each of them, starting with Gracie and ending with Morgan.

I could write lots-and maybe I will later-but for now I'll just post a few pictures of our time together. It was lots of fun! One of the best things was seeing what a fantastic daddy my brother is! Seriously, I'll deny it if you tell him I said so (LOL) but he really is such a great dad to his little girls. It's easy to see that they adore him. I'm quite proud of the daddy he is!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pull, pull!

Yesterday was Field Day at Gracie's school. Chris, Katie & I were all there to help & observe. Her class almost won the tug-of-war but fell victim during the championship round. In their defense, their class is smaller than some of the others. Also, one of the kids on the winning team was HUGE.....looked to be at least a 3rd grader! Alas, it's just a game and they worked hard so Mrs. Stauffer expressed how proud she was of them.
Part of their Field Day is basically "free play" with hula hoops, jump rope and inflatables-sno cones too. Chris & I were in charge of watching 5 of them and we didn't lose any of them.....for very long anyway! LOL Here is our group + a couple extra who jumped into the picture.

After the "free play," the whole class did the tug-of-war then they played some organized games as a class, along with the other 1st grade classes. They did "Tiki Torch Relay" which was a relay race where they had to walk a certain length with a ball on top of a tiki torch. They also played a game where the first person on the team would fill a sponge with water then they'd pass it down the line and squeeze the remaining water into a bottle to see which team could get the most water in a certain amount of time.Another one was where they all had a cup full of water and they were supposed to protect their own cup from spilling while trying to knock other people's water out of their cup. Gracie did pretty good at this because she's not aggressive and wasn't really trying to make other people spill their water so they weren't paying attention to her. However, someone finally did notice her and her water was spilled.

So that was Field Day 2007! Guess who wanted to join in the fun, too?!?!!? Katie LOVED going down the big slide! When Chris was helping her climb up the other side, she yelled, "I want to do it myself!!!!!" This picture looks like she's just laying on the slide, but she's really going pretty fast!

They were finished in the morning, and I think the rest of the day was quite a bit more relaxed than usual. They did centers and worked on their "settings" for their plays they'll be doing the last week of school. I don't know how big of a deal these plays will be, but I am very excited because Gracie gets to be Cinderella! I think the play is actually called "Cinderella Penguin" so I'm anxious to see this particular version of the story. Mrs. Stauffer sent home her lines this weekend. She has 9 lines to memorize...very short lines. They'll be performing the plays for the parents and some of the Kindergarten classes. The other plays will be "Hansel & Gretel" and "The Three Little Pigs." She has 15 kids in her class and there will be 5 in each play. I can't wait!

Today, we went to the lake to visit with some friends from church who were on a camping trip. We'd been invited to actually participate in the camping trip, but being who I am I wasn't too thrilled about the camping part. I got quite a bit of teasing over this, but it's just not my cup of tea! Once there, I think I could have done it and had a good time. I just need some help getting over the whole bathroom situation! The bath house they were using had 2 potties and a shower. During the almost 5 hours we were there, the potties were stopped up at least twice. The shower didn't look too clean either. I know I'm a wimp, but I was happy to come home and give my girls a nice warm bath in our bathtub! We did have a good time visiting though. We ate lunch with them and the kids "swam" in the lake and rode bikes and enjoyed being together. There were 3 families camping and then 3 (including us) families came today to join in the fun for the day. This is Gracie with one of her friends she has known since she was about 10 months old. I would have loved to be able to hear their conversation as they sat & talked! It seems that they don't get too much time together these days, so I was glad they were able to visit other than just passing by each other at church.

Maybe one day they'll convince me to do the camping part.....we'll see.

VBS is coming along. Only 3 weeks from tomorrow!!!!!!! I'm sooooo glad we planned it for so early in the summer because I won't have to stress about it for too much longer! We're having a meeting tomorrow to discuss the plans and see what help everyone needs and make sure everyone is on the "same page" with plans, etc. We have had tremendous participation from people agreeing to help which is great!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Let My People Go!"

Saturday, we met my parents for a "pre Mother's Day" get together. We met in Madison, GA which was about a 2 hour drive for us and about an hour for my parents. We ate at this HOLE IN THE WALL restaurant which served the BEST food I'd ever eaten! Well, maybe not the best but almost! My parents are kind of known for choosing real out of the way places so I wasn't surprised when Mom chose a place like this. I had told her she could choose since we were taking her out for Mother's Day. I seriously felt like I was in 'Fried Green Tomatoes.' It was that kind of atmosphere. I think it was called " 'Ole Murray's." The sign said something like "Put some South in your Mouth." It definitely was good 'ole Southern cooking! If you're ever in Madison, GA I highly recommend it! The lady who ran it was really nice, too!
We ate then shopped around a little. It was a very pretty little downtown. We also got ice cream (Pappy's treat!) Mom & Dad and I actually got smoothies while Chris & the girls got ice cream. It was a fun day. Short time spent together, but fun.
Katie was actually a little sick...tummy troubles. They continued into Sunday and on.......I HOPE she is better now. The jury is still out although today was a good day in tummy land for her!
Sunday, Gracie and her 2 friends from Sunday School class did a precious little "play" on the 10 Plagues. We invited the 4 & 5 year old class and the 3rd-6th grade class to watch. They did such a good job of singing a song about the plagues and pretending to be Egyptian people (Gracie & Leigh Ann) begging Pharoah (Kira) to let the Israelites go after each one. Of course, he didn't let them go until after the 10th. They did so great and were so fun to watch!

I got a call from Gracie's school Monday that she wasn't feeling well. By the time I got there to pick her up, she had thrown up! Poor thing ended up getting sick SEVEN times between about 12:15-8:30. Thankfully, she was able to sleep through the night and never threw up again. She was pretty zapped though and ended up staying home from school yesterday and today. She told me today she felt better but just felt like laying around. She didn't even really want to work on her schoolwork, so I knew she wasn't feeling well! After a nap this afternoon, she really pepped up so I'm hoping she'll be okay for school tomorrow. Time shall tell.
We have fun plans for Saturday, so I'm hoping all of us are well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

how well do you know me?

I have other things to write about, but I thought I'd take a break from the normal journal type entry and post this:

Please take my quiz!

Friday, May 11, 2007

We appreciate Mrs. Stauffer

This afternoon, I was able to go to Gracie's school to present Mrs. Stauffer with the 'teacher appreciation' book I made using the students' work. I had a lot of fun putting it all together and I think she really liked it. I was so happy that she read it to the students. She read the poem I'd written about her and each of the pages written by the students. I was thrilled to get a paper back from all 15 of them! Not all on time of course, but I least I got them all back! She didn't read all of the letter I wrote from the parents or all of the story I put at the end, but that was okay. The letter was more from the perspective of a parent and wouldn't have meant too much to the kids. She did read the Scripture I'd put at the top of the page. She mentioned maybe reading the little story to them Monday after she'd read it at home and cried! It really is a sweet little story about God creating teachers. I found it online and thought it was cute.

I was a little humbled while watching her read each of their letters to her. While I'd had opinions about some of them that weren't favorable-thinking their handwriting was messy or wondering why they didn't color it-she chose something positive to say about almost all of them-maybe even all of them; I just can't remember for sure.

She made a really big deal about how neat "L's" handwriting was on his. He bowed his head down but you could tell how proud he was to hear her praise. One of the kids mentioned that he hadn't put color on his picture and he replied that he didn't have "no" crayons. I'd been wondering why he didn't color it either, but maybe he really didn't have crayons at home. Just because my child has about 1000 crayons doesn't mean every child does. Another child whose handwriting was quite messy, she made a point of telling him that he'd done well with his handwriting. He very proudly said that his brother had helped him. I felt convicted of being too quick to judge. While I do feel that some of them should be farther along with their handwriting, I need to remember that maybe "T" has come a long way since the beginning of the year. Another one was this other child's writing was especially messy in my opinion, but she made a big deal about how much she liked his picture.

Anyway, the kids really enjoyed having her read each of their letters and showing them off to their classmates. It meant a lot to me that she took the time to do this! She seemed very appreciative and I truly hope she likes it.

I've included pictures of at least part of the book. Click on a picture to see it bigger. The story, "Creation of a Teacher" is really sweet so I hope you can read it if you click on it.

I thought this picture was cute. I think the reason they're being so cheesy is because I had the camera out but also I think someone was passing out cookies to the kids who were being quiet!
Gracie said this doesn't really look like her. She's right-she has a funny look on her face, but I still think it's a cute picture! There were about 2 Kindergarten classes trying to walk in the hallway + one of Gracie's classmates was trying to play with Katie right where I was standing-a little chaotic! Katie was quite the novelty for the kids. She wasn't too sure about it. She cried out one time real loud; I think she got scared because the kids were right in her face and she was needing a little Mommy comfort! She warmed up enough later to leave my lap and go stand next to Gracie at her desk.
The flower in Gracie's hands is my Mother's Day gift! They had all decorated flower pots and planted flowers in them. Very sweet!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Appreciate your teachers!

This week is 'National Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week.' Teacher appreciation is a special interest of mine, so I enjoy thinking of things to do. I guess being a teacher I remember feeling unappreciated sometimes so I try to be very supportive of the teachers & staff at Gracie's school.

I talked with the main room mom for Gracie's class about some ideas for Mrs. Stauffer and she called some other moms to organize a gift for her for each day. I know my friend MB took her a plant yesterday. I'm not sure exactly what she got on Monday and what she'll get today & tomorrow, but I know the room mom was going to schedule one mom to take a gift in each day.

Friday I'll take a book that I compiled using some of the students' work-similar to what I did last year for Miss Stack. I have really enjoyed working on it and hope she'll like it. I'll post pictures of it later.

I put together some little gifts for every teacher & staff member that are from the PTA in general. I approached the PTA President about doing some things (I loved the things Stephanie planned last year!) and we decided on a couple of them. I had fun working on them. Sure, they're a little cheesy, but I hope they know that the main thing we're trying to get across is that we appreciate all they do.

Monday, I took a little card with a package of 'Extra' gum taped onto it. "Thank you for being an "EXTRA" special part of our children's lives!" is what it said. I put one in each mailbox and gave them to the people in the office who didn't have boxes. Today, I took a little package of Hershey's Kisses & Hugs. "Hugs & Kisses for all you do!" is what the card said on this one. Again, each teacher & staff member got one. Friday, another PTA lady will organize a "duty-free" lunch for all the teachers.

Individually, the gifts look small but I made between 80-90 of them so it did take time! It was fun though! I have lots of other ideas that maybe we can incorporate next year. I didn't really approach them with my ideas until recently. Hopefully we can plan ahead and do even more things next year!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

never thought of that!

the scene: driving to school this morning. Gracie, although not taking a BIG standardized test this year at school, is taking a PACT writing test (I think it's called.) She wasn't too stressed about it, but she did mention it. We talked about it and prayed about it.

Mommy: "Now remember, you can say a little prayer before you take your test." (I modeled what she could say.) "You can whisper it or you can say it in your head."

Gracie: "If I whisper it, someone might hear me."

Mommy: "Well, that's okay. If they ask you what you're doing, you can tell them you're praying to God so He can help you on your test. That's one way you can tell them about God."

Gracie: (sounding like a light bulb went off) "I never thought of that!"

We then discussed how she could go on and talk to her friend about God and find out if they know about Him and tell them about church and invite them and especially mention VBS this summer.

There are so many opportunities. I pray that she will recognize them and grasp them!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

the 10 plagues

Some things are just priceless. We've started studying Moses in my 1st & 2nd grade Sunday morning class. Next week is the first "official" plague lesson, but we've already started talking about them a little in preparation. Kira & Gracie had a great time this morning role playing when Moses went to Pharoah and asked him to "let my people go!" They threw down a pen & a marker to represent the rods being turned into snakes and then had a great time pretending one was eating the other. So fun to watch!

I found some cute Christian journals at Hobby Lobby the other day and bought them to give my students this morning. I suggested that Gracie draw the 10 plagues in hers during church. She did such a cute job. I'm guessing she must have added the color to it this afternoon because I don't think she had crayons in church. Anyway, the "speech bubbles" cracked Chris & I up! Click on the picture to make it bigger if you can't see what's written. I love books & other writings like this that she makes so I just had to blog about it so I'd always have the memory recorded in case the actual journal gets lost. I can tell we need to work on her spelling a little when it comes to the word "plague." She was copying out of the Bible so I'm not sure why she didn't spell it right. I hate that some of the pictures are so blurry but hopefully the main idea will be shown anyway.

I'm a little concerned about the speech bubbles on this last one: "I'm going to k-i-l-l you!" "Help!!!!!" I'm not sure this is the image I want her to have in her mind but......the firstborn were killed......any help explaining this to a 6 year old???? I have tried to emphasize to them that God used these plagues to show that HE was the most powerful-not Pharoah.

These were some other cute things she wrote & drew today.

Here are some pictures of both my sweet girls!