Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick Or Treat 2014

I am one exhausted mama!

I love Halloween with the kids, but this year, I am just not feeling the excitement. I think I am just drained.  But, I also think that we managed to have a good time.

Thomas looked super cute as a construction worker "just like grandpa!"

And, Gracie got her wish to be Glenda the good witch from Oz the Great and Powerful.  As I warned her, no one got her costume, but she was okay with that--its what she wanted.  And, she wasn't one of the 11 billion Elsa's out there begging for candy ;)

We started off the night in our dream neighborhood, also known as the neighborhood where Bryce lives. And, we ended our evening at Trunk or Treat at Bryce's church (where Thomas goes every Wednesday night).

When we got home the kids dumped out all their loot, and cute and brave Thomas won by a landslide.  There were several houses Gracie was too scared to go up to, and at Trunk or Treat she shied away and he got handfuls of candy from large Home Depot buckets.

Eh, it doesn't matter anyway, I end up sending it all with daddy to work in 2 days anyway.

We did let them choose 4 pieces each to eat tonight. And then sent them to super brush their teeth and go to bed!

We hope you all had a very Happy Halloween as well.

Halloween Treats

Being the room mom for both rooms, I was able to plan out and schedule myself easy for both kids Halloween treat days at school.

They can't have a Halloween party, as each class is only allowed a winter, spring and end of year party--so, we fudge the rules a bit and offer the kids a special snack. Or, in Gracie's classes case--a Halloween lunch.

I did Thomas' class snack yesterday.  These parents are awesome and signed up for all the items I requested in 48 hours of posting the sign up list!!!  

Thomas and his friends enjoyed cupcakes, popcorn, Halloween pretzels, juice pouches and candy.  And, they got to watch Franklin's Halloween as they ate.

All this after they made a cute bat clothespin craft I found and prepared for them.

I think they all had a great celebration, and Thomas was loving having mommy in the classroom.


Today was Gracie's turn. I suggested a "brunch" for the all girl 5th grade class since it was an early release day and their lunch time was 10:30!!  Since we parents provided all the food, we were able to push the "brunch" time back to 11:15 and Mrs. Madison got more uninterrupted lesson time.  Because, we all know, the day is shot after fun food.

The girls loved the cheese strings, fresh fruit, carrots & cucumbers, cheese-balls, 2 desserts and candy for their "brunch," and most went back for second and third helpings! Those girls can really pack it away (in comparison, I threw away nearly full plates for almost all 23 Kindergarteners yesterday).

Since Mrs. Madison got her lessons in early, she let the girls have the last 10-15 minutes outside on the playground AFTER I got my class picture.

Both of my kids were truly spoiled along with their classmates this Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

First Kindergarten Field Trip

Kindergarteners, I think, get the most fun field trips.  And, even though we went to the same place last year with our preschool, the pumpkin patch is a great fall destination.

I didn't ride the bus, but I ended up being a chaperone anyway for Thomas, Delaney, Jaiden, Brenden, and Elsa Mae.

There are 23 Kindergarteners, and 1 teacher, so I think she was very grateful to have as many parents there as she did.  Mrs. Naff's class had by far the most parents of the three Kindergarten classes that meet at Hanover Vegetable Farm this morning.

There was plenty to do, and after the kids got lessons in different kinds of pumpkins they got to watch pig races, plant a seed, walk through the corn maze, take a hay ride, pick out a pumpkin, have some lunch, see more animals, jump in a bounce house, crawl through corn kernels and race rubber ducks.

I would say the day was a major success!

As you can imagine, I took tons of photos, I won't bombard you with all 52 that I edited and liked (I took 131 ;), but I will share my favorites.

I am so blessed to get to go on these trips, and volunteer, and be apart of my kids school lives any time I want.  Truly, truly blessed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talent Show Thoughts

So, she performed again tonight for 100-200 parents in the cafteria-torium, and did well.  So, I will post another video.  And, seeing as how this was my first ever experience with an elementary school talent show as an adult, I have to say I had a wide range of thoughts.

1. I was expecting 2 hours of cringe-worthy "performances" one after another, and while there were a few--on the whole, I was surprisingly impressed with how talented many of these young people are.

2. Parents in general let their children listen to music/entertainers that I would never allow my 10 year old to listen to/watch. I know it is easy to say: "just because the child performing knows that song doesn't mean the majority of school kids do." And, I would agree with you, but I watched the school body as they watched the performances, and listened as most of them mouthed or quietly sang all the words and knew dance moves.  Clearly my child is in the minority to being closely monitored in what messages she is allowed to receive from the entertainment industry.

3. Kids move their bodies in ways I would never allow my child to move.  Not, that she is necessarily able to do that with her body--she unfortunately got her 'dance" ability and grace from me and lets say it would be embarrassing for either of us to try.  But, wow. I wonder if their parents knows they can and are doing that? I wonder if they think that is okay?  I wonder if they think that I am prude?  (Yeah, probably, and if they didn't, they do now)

4. I love my kids school.  I have always loved it, but the longer I am here, the more under-the-radar things happen like encouraging a very shy child to sing, allowing a gifted 5th grade singer to belt out a Christian song that used the word "God" more times than I counted, finding more than a dozen teachers to get on stage and perform and make the kids laugh and make their day, nurturing kids with talent as well as those desperately hoping they have talent. 

5. Kids are better listeners and more encouraging than parents. I watched this morning with 100+ kids and the room was far more quiet for each performance (by A LOT) and the cheers were more loud and more sincere and more frequent (by A LOT).  While I won't argue that bullying happens, as a whole, I think kids are more loving and giving to each other than their parents.

6. Students perform better when performing for their peers than parents and other adult strangers.  This morning very few drops, missed steps and lines, squeaky voices, and falls.   This evening, with a very few exceptions, most of the acts were full of mistakes that never happened at their first performance.  Of course another philosophy is that they were far more exhausted since the performance was at 8:45 am and this one started at 6:30 pm.


While I learned and processed a lot by Gracie's two performances today, the biggest thing I felt was pride for my daughter.  I couldn't and wouldn't get on a stage and put myself out there, and she did.  She did something I never thought I would see her do, and I am over the moon.

Disclaimer:  I write this as a one time, 5th grade student performer in the Perrymont Elementary School Talent Show and I lip-synced Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth" with three of my friends tossing blown up globe-printed balls in the background.  A) I was also painfully shy  B) I knew all the words to a pop-song

Talent Show

So my painfully shy Gracie...decided she was going to follow through this year with her plans to perform in the Talent Show at school.

She has wanted to do it every year, and then the reality that she has to stand on stage in front of a lot of people kicks in and she quickly changes her mind before I can sign the permission slip.

But, not this year.

She wanted to sing "Let It Go," and after a try-out, 2 practices & a dress rehearsal she did just that.  

I did her hair and made her and Julia Frozen inspired dresses for the show---but she conquered her fears and performed in front of over 100 preschool thru 2nd grade kids and teachers, and a few of us parents lucky enough to come this morning 8:45 for the special Talent Show assembly.

She and Julia were 4th from the last act, and they were the third Frozen song to be performed, so there was a collective groan among the kids sitting (less patiently than an hour before) on the cafeteria floor.

I wasn't happy about the groan, and she didn't even notice. She and Julia took the stage and snag their song loud and proud and the kids sang along and cheered  when they were finished.

She will perform again tonight for the PTA parents, and again tomorrow for an assembly for the 3rd-5th grade classes and teachers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gracie's Poem

I had to take the costumes I had made for Gracie and her friend Julia who are performing in the school's Talent Show tomorrow in to the classroom for today's after school dress rehearsal.

Anyway, while I am waiting outside the classroom for them to return from lunch, I find poems hanging outside on the wall.

I thought you would get a kick out of Gracie's.

Yeah, I have no idea when this Frozen obsession with her is going to end!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Apples And A Sleepover With Clara

Clara's mom asked me a few weeks back if Gracie could do with their family apple picking.  I was fine with it, and Gracie was very elated to get to spend an extra day with her best friend.

Clay, Clara and Jacob's dad sent me some pictures from his phone throughout the morning, and then I got a text from Clara's mom about making the day last even longer and let the girls have a sleepover.

Well, ordinarily I wouldn't have allowed this on a school night, but Clara's mom Becky is a school teacher at the girls school, so I knew she wouldn't let them get to the classroom late.  So, I gave my okay, and Gracie stopped by to collect her clothes and toothbrush before excitedly piling back up and heading to to Clara's house to carve the pumpkins they picked out and (hopefully) sleep!

Needless to say, it was a great day for Gracie.

Thomas was quite a bit bummed and jealous, but we took him to his favorite pizza place for lunch and that seemed to boost his spirits!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Punkin' Carvin'

We attempted to keep it simple this year, and we may have succeeded.

The templates I choose seemed to be pretty simple, and I made the rule that everyone had to carve their own this year. 

Thomas was give the choice of an easy "T" or he could draw his own.  He decided to draw his Jack-O-Lantern, and mommy gets extra points for cutting it out exactly as he drew it.

Gracie opted to do Olaf (are you really surprised it was something "Frozen?!").

And, we found an Avengers Logo for daddy (Captain America seemed a little tricky).

 I, of course, can do nothing "simple." I wanted Mama Bear--but no pumpkin stencil exists. Of course this does not keep me from getting what I want, so I used a coloring page and made my own stencil.  And, I think she came out awesome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Music Award

Thomas was chosen for the music award today!

One child from each class, each music day, gets the award from Mr. Bateman. 

He is so proud that he was chosen today!

(And, he looks extra handsome since it was picture day at school)

Days With Rachael

I got snuggles for TWO days!!

Yup. Two-year old, precious little girl snuggles. It has been a long time since I have gotten those.

(Can you tell I miss my kids, even though I know they need to go to school?!!)

We had lots of fun.

We played, and we watched "Rella" two days in a row. And, we colored "Rella" and we found the songs from "Rella" on You Tube. And, when it rained we brought the slide in, and Cassie got some love and action again.

Oh, and we went to Kindergarten too!  Thomas forgot his snack, and we didn't want him to go hungry.

Thank you so much Keri for letting me have the privilege of caring for your precious Cinderella-loving curly headed snuggle monster! I loved every minute!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Site Words

Listen to my little smart boy read off his words to his sister.

He may struggle with a few things learning-wise, but he has picked up reading very quickly since I started really working with him at the end of Preschool in May.

(To compare, Gracie picked up everything BUT reading so quickly--she really took a long time to get in the swing of words, but I truly believe like most things she had no desire to read. She fought me every time I tried)

Missed The Bus

It may be the first time this year...but it won't be the last.

Gotta love extra-excitement mornings!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MES Miler

Gracie has been running the 1-mile kids run since she got excited about running in 2nd Grade. 

Thomas hasn't run anything but the 100 yard dash--but this marks his second year doing so. Maybe next year we can convince him to give the miler a try.

 2014                                                  2013

And, added bonus, this is the school's 50th birthday, so they choose to have an extra special day to celebrate such a big birthday!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Science Chocolate

Gotta love any learning experience that involves candy!!

And, I love any chance there is to come in to school and see what either or both of my kids are doing.  So, I was pretty thrilled that Mrs. Madison accepted my help for today's chocolate experiments to help the girls understand different kind of rocks.

Hopefully the lesson sank in, but even if it didn't, they all love getting to taste science. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Yes, that is the front of a Walmart store.

Yes, I cheat.

But, you can't beat $3 a pumpkin! 

And, Thomas will be going to the pumpkin patch for his field trip this month, and my kids always get a "patch experience" at some point, so why not save a little lot on the ones we are going to carve up anyway? ;)