There was so much fun today.... so much excitement, so much emotion. And, I got to share it all with my Gracie.
I put Gracie on the bus this morning and reminded her I would see her in about an hour.
Garren had promised to watch Thomas this morning several weeks ago, so I could go on the last Kindergarten Field Trip with her.
I waited for the bus to arrive at our town lot around 8:45. As usual they were late--but when she did step off the bus she was beaming.
The kids from 3 of the 9 Kindergarten classes were going to visit the "community helpers" around town.
Our class started off at the town library. The kids got a tour of the restored home and then were treated to a story about the beach.
From there we headed to the Town Hall where the Police Station is located here in Strasburg.
The kids participated in the discussion about strangers, and later a very gross discussion about germs. They got to see a police bike, the lockers, charts, bulletins and more.
And, then came the fun part--getting to see the cruiser. The officers let them see inside the front seat of the car, they all heard the sirens and watched the lights. And then, he let them crawl through the back seat where the "bad guys" sit.
The kids did their best to stand still and be patient and wait their turns, but this was by far the most participatory and most fun stop on our journey.
After they said "thank you" to the officers, we crossed the street to the Fire Department and the kids got to peek inside the many doors and compartments on the fire trucks and the ambulance.
I for one, had no idea they had the much stuff hidden inside, and I definitely didn't know we had rescue boats!
We finished up a little early at the Fire Station, and Ms. Orndorff arranged the kids for a class photo. As I leaned to ask her about one, she had already thought of the same thing. So, the kids stood and knelt in front of the rescue truck.
As usual it is not easy to get 20 kids to look in the same direction, so mine aren't the best, but hey, they are kindergartners, and you can see Gracie--so that's good enough for me!
The kids lined up to get back on the bus, and I gave Gracie a kiss. I told her I would meet her at the park for the picnic. She and the other kids were quite excited. Not about the food though, they were all told they could go and play on the playground after lunch and their songs.
I drove over to the park and found Garren, Luke & Thomas waiting under the pavillion. Garren had to go back to his car as work things "blew up" as he says. Gracie joined us and we ate our Subway sandwiches and the other treats I had brought.
I was actually surprised she ate as much as she did with all of the excitement!
We made sure Daddy came back over for the "ceremony" part of the afternoon, and we watched as Gracie and her class sang the two cutest songs about their year as Kindergartners.
I was fighting back the tears watching her sing, but thankfully I had to distract Thomas and video the whole thing at the same time, so I didn't have time to cry!
After songs the teacher gave each child an award tailored just for them.
Our Gracie was awarded the "Caring Award." Many times this past year Ms. Orndorff has sent home a note about Gracie doing something super sweet. Once a child was all alone in a center and she asked the teacher if she could switch centers so they weren't lonely! She was the helper for the new little girl in the class, she was always making notes and giving them to her friends. She was just showing in class what I get to see all the time at home. This was the perfect award for her!
Once all of the kids were recognized, we went through them again.
This time they were given their Kindergarten certificates.
Somehow I made it through this process as well, but I lost it when Ms. Orndorff teared up herself when talking about how the kids would always hold a special place in her heart since they were her first class as a teacher.
We of course couldn't have been more thrilled to have her as Gracie's first teacher. I have no doubt that God answered my prayers when I was struggling so much 9 months ago at the thought of her leaving me and going to a place to be with strangers all day.
The kids barely let the teachers finish their final instructions before running like mad to the playground.
I made Gracie stop and get her picture taken with Ms. Orndorff. Well, she was happy to do that, but excited to go and play.
And I even let her get out of her dress and into a t-shirt! She had shorts underneath and went off to play with the others, and look like them as well. (Did you hear that Candice--t-shirt and shorts on a school day!)
Garren had to rush back to deal with work things at home as soon as he gave her hugs. Thomas and I stuck around and let her play for about 45 minutes.
Everyone said it was supposed to stay cool today--but that sun was blazing hot!
We took Gracie home with us, hot and tired, and very full of pride.
What a day for Gracie!
What a day for Mommy!
Miss. Orndorff Mrs. Kupeski
**This is only a fraction of the 175 pictures I took today, but they are the ones that best describe the day. The picture of her on the playground is with her best school friend Rebecca. **