Monthly Archives: June 2014

when you give a Munchkin (or two) a camera….

the two older Munchkins have been showing a lot of interest in photography. for Christmas 2 or 3 years ago, we bought davey his own digital camera (a little point and shoot for $30). and it held all of like 8 photos – not helpful or useful when your kiddo wants to take 100! i don’t even know where that camera is right now.

so last weekend, while dave was drinking his morning coffee in the backyard, he found a butterfly. he came back inside, put the long lens on the camera and went back outside to snap some photos.

and then he did something that really surprised me. he put the camera neck strap around davey’s neck and let him go to town. and then samantha got a turn. and the following 136 photos (yep… i’m sharing them all) are the results of their labor, but in reverse order (because i don’t know how to get the photos to upload here “automatically” in forward order):

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if you’re actually STILL with me here, THANK YOU for checking out the wonders from my budding photographers! i think they did a pretty darn good job and a few of these photos are on my “current favorite photos” list. also, i love all the “low angle” photos (because they’re shorter than i am)!

later, dave headed to the garage and dug around in the photography cabinet for our older camera body (which he was going to sell on eBay but never did….) and a basic lens. then he let the kids use that camera (inside only, since we can’t find the neck strap for it!)…. but i’ll share those photos (that i haven’t even seen yet) in another post soon.

this one LOVES the spotlight

so samantha finished her first year of school – which was kindergarten. and she didn’t have a “graduation” (even though the spring school photo session included cap & gown photos of her!) but she and the rest of the kindergarten students from ALL FOUR classes put on a nice show for the parents and grandparents and family members….

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almost 100 kindergarten students sang several songs WITH hand motions/gestures and they were so darn cute!

samantha projects this “i love to be in the spotlight but i’m going to act like i’m shy” personality when she’s up there. it makes me smile because it only makes her cuter. and i’m already praying that it’s not related to “insecurity” because that could be a BAD thing when she hits junior high and high school.

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after the program in the multi-purpose room (does your school have one of those? the gym/cafeteria/auditorium), we headed back to the classroom where Ms. Flanagan presented each child with their “diploma/certificate” AND their writing notebook that they worked on all year.

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BE. STILL. MY. BEATING. HEART.

this mama LOVES writing.

this mama LOVES early handwriting.

this mama LOVES “sounded out” spelling.

this mama LOVES that “writing notebook!”

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and then there was a video. it was clips and photos from throughout the year. it was fantastic (samantha watched it THREE. MORE. TIMES. later that day)!

and then Ms. Flanagan thought we were finished.

but we were only getting started (not really). a large group of parents/students contributed to a group gift for Ms. Flanagan. all year long, she has exclaimed that this was her BEST CLASS EVER! with the BEST PARENTS EVER! and we feel that our children had the BEST TEACHER EVER for our kiddos, so this fun little book/present came together quite nicely:

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and after that presentation (where I made the presentation and then i was SHAKING and i may or may not have started to tear-up WHILE i was talking), it was time for photo ops and treats and snacks and hugs and lots of posing for the camera:

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davey didn’t want to miss any part of his last day of 1st grade, so he didn’t come to watch samantha’s program/ceremony or her class celebration. and (grandpa had already headed home and he took alex with him) so we have no full-family photos .

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(snapped these photos at home):

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but wouldn’t you know it, when i lost my opportunity to get a fun family photo, these four kiddos came to the rescue:

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(they were NOT interested in a “nice” photo. seriously? what’s up with samantha’s pushed-forward-shoulder? she did it ALL. DAY. LONG.)

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but they LOVED being total goofballs for the camera. and this photo is so much more THEM anyway.

but then when we finally “released” them from the click-click-click of FOUR cameras, THIS HAPPENED:

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yep.

another huddle.

i LOVE these four kiddos together.

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and then it was time to walk home because samantha’s first year of school – kindergarten – was over.

just like that.

ten months that passed in the blink of an eye.

i still remember BEFORE school started and we took the Munchkins to “meet the teacher” night. and i remember dropping samantha off for her first day of kindergarten. (you may remember that it was her first EVER day of ANY school since she didn’t go to pre-school anywhere.)

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^^ (from Meet the Teacher night) ^^

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^^ (and from the first day of Kindergarten)  ^^

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and now the year is over.

and she’s a 1st grader.

and now i’m afraid that if i blink, i’ll have missed 11 years and she’ll be graduating from high school.

(that’s totally possible, right?)

what a way to party!

besides many other gifts and talents, after 13 years (or more?!) of teaching kindergarten, Ms. Flanagan KNOWS how to PAR-TAY! katie and i may have been co-room moms for Kindergarten this year, but for 2 of the 4 big class parties, lynn knew just what she wanted and we only had to coordinate it all! this end of the year party was one of those two where she knew what she wanted and we carried it out.

first of all, it is pretty FLIPPIN’ hot here in arizona in may. and i mean HOT. like it can get in the 100s on a regular basis. so at 10am when a party is supposed to happen outdoors, you have to plan appropriately. the kids had four stations (or centers) to cycle through. are you ready for the crazy awesomeness of this party?!

CENTER ONE: ICE-CREAM MAKING:

A parent (pretty sure it was my dear friend and neighbor, Geneva) pre-measured a few ingredients into ziplock baggies for the kiddos. another parent or two brought ice and there was some rock salt…

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 and then the kiddos LITERALLY SHOOK their baggies and made ice cream.

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(for some, the shaking was more “painful” than others).

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(it was REALLY tasty vanilla ice cream. super creamy and yummy)!

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(for other kiddos, the shaking was more “entertaining” than others).

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(and for most, it was just plain fun)!

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(alex even got to enjoy the party AND some ice cream since her pre school day AND school year ended at 10:15)!

CENTER TWO: WATER BALLOONS!

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and by “water balloons,” i mean HUNDREDS of water balloons. and they were NOT allowed to throw them at each other or parents or teachers. they used some beach towels to see how far they could “fling” them. and they played the “toss the water balloons” game (one girl had magic hands – she kept catching the water balloons one handed and they wouldn’t pop in her hands!)!

CENTER THREE: BUBBLES!

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lots and lots and lots and lots of bubbles. seriously. this is a baby pool with a LOT of bubble solution in it. a LOT. and in case you’re wondering, it was around the corner from the kindergarten playground, in the shade, under the MISTERS that are attached to the school building.

yes.

you read that right.

it’s SO HOT here in arizona, that SCHOOLS have misters on the buildings for the kiddos during recess!

CENTER FOUR: T-SHIRT TIMES!

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every student brought in a t-shirt and had the class sign it with sharpies. so every kid signed/wrote their name 22 times.

TWENTY TWO.

20+2.

for a kindergartener, that’s a lot of times to write your name.

samantha DEFINITELY signed her name “Sam.” and every other child who had a name that could be shortened did, too. pretty smart kiddos, eh?!

(side note: i know samantha wore hers home that day, but i haven’t seen it since…

perhaps i should go looking for it…..?!?!?!?!)

FINAL CLASS PHOTO:

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(Lynn – ahem – Ms. Flanagan, I apologize that this class photo is not the most flattering one of you. In case you didn’t realize it, samantha was pushing and bumping other children out of the way to stand by you… and based on where I was standing to take photos, THIS is the only photo where i can see her face/head!)

it’s not easy for me to see this school year end, especially for samantha. she had an amazing teacher. she had a wonderful class and i knew all the students pretty well. i even know most of the parents names (though i don’t have them all connected to faces).

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and what’s even harder is knowing that some of these classmates won’t be back next year. some kids are moving out of the state or even just the district. some are changing to private or charter schools. some are going to their “home” school (and no, i don’t mean “homeschool” – i mean the students will go to the school in which their house is zoned). it’s even harder when they’re some of your favorite kiddos (like sweet Carson below):

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but all in all, this PAR-TAY was a fantastic celebration of Kindergarten for these 22 munchkins. many, MANY thanks to Ms. Flanagan for being the amazing teacher she is and for LOVING our kiddos the way she did! many, MANY thanks to Katie for being a co-room mom with me and for taking on so many details for so many parties! and many, MANY thanks for the generous parents of these 22 kiddos who donated time, money, energy, food, water balloons (including the sore back and red, chapped and sore fingers to PROVE they spent HOURS filling and tying them!) and more! this year was FANTASTIC!

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and completely unrelated to this post, here’s Alex with her classroom aide/para-educator, Mrs. Liz, who LOVED Alex (who doesn’t?!). Mrs. Liz so kindly “delivered” Alex to the kindergarten playground for me at the end of the pre school day on Wednesday:

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ceremonies may not be her thing…

in case you’re wondering about alex and her end-of-the-school-year activities, this post is for you (and for her)! since she’ll still be 4 when the NEXT school year starts, alex has another year of pre school ahead of her… AND she qualifies again for the Amancer program with the school district, so she’ll be back again next year.

(unfortunately, she’ll have a new teacher AND a new speech therapist because mrs. lyssa and mrs. judy aren’t coming back next year. and i DID cry when i learned of this. and if i think about it enough, i might start to cry again. but, as usual, i digress….)

since alex wasn’t “graduating” from pre school, but SOME of her classmates were, there was a cute ceremony for all of them. when we first arrived, Mrs. Judy (speech therapist) was reading a story to the sweet kiddos:

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i could NOT get over how STILL and QUIET alex was during the reading of that book!

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once most of the parents had arrived, the kids lined up on the wall for a fun Photo Op. have you ever tried to get 12 kids (ages 4 and 5) to look at you for a photo? i have a hard enough time getting my THREE to look and smile at the same time…. forget TWELVE!!!

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following the group photo op, there were two songs (i don’t think alex sang ANY part of EITHER song even though she LOVES music) and then Mrs. Lyssa shared with the audience a drawing by each child. it was their favorite thing about pre school.

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then the kiddos got to sit with their families until their name was called again later for “graduation” (to pre-K or Kindergarten) or for “recognition” that this year was completed.

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and then there were treats. LOTS of sweet treats.

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(alex and jack had been eyeing those cupcakes for about 3 seconds before their hands were IN THERE, choosing at least one!)

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aren’t these the cutest little “chalkboards” you’ve ever seen? Ben’s mom made these (hooray for Family Fun magazine for the idea). They’re chocolate bars, caramel piping and powdered sugar as the “chalk.” they were darling. and sweet. and yummy!

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and then, before i realized it, we were among the last few people in the classroom. and i knew i would cry if i stayed any longer, so i told alex to go give Mrs. Lyssa a hug:

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dang it! just looking at this photo and remembering how much this woman LOVED my daughter… yep. the waterworks are upon us again. i can’t say enough good things about this Godly woman who LOVES her students and FIGHTS for them. she also has two little ones of her own at home. and yet her heart is big enough to make every one of these kids feel so special. and loved. and smart. i heard amazing things about “mrs. lyssa” before the school year began – she has, by far, excelled and exceeded beyond my wildest imaginations at being the PERFECT teacher for alex! she encouraged (and required) independence while tempering it with help, assistance, training and love, as needed. mrs. lyssa will be missed by MANY parents this next year.

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but before my waterworks could start on this day, my little peanut and i walked home:

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(doesn’t she look SO GROWN UP and still so tiny at the same time?!)

so ceremonies may not be her thing… but she’s a really good hugger and cuddler and snuggler and i think that’s way better!

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and now, more than two weeks later, while working on my Project Life album, i started a list of “August 2013″ vs. “May 2014″ regarding Alex and her abilities. It turns out she learned a LOT in her 10 months of school – way more than we ever thought possible. i wrote it as a letter to alex’s teacher and support staff:

Dear Spectrum Pre-School Staff,

We can’t begin to thank you enough for all you’ve done to make this year so special for Alex. First Miss Michelle, a long-term substitute, taught Alex about schools and classrooms and schedules and routine and helped her know what to expect. Mrs. Judy worked HARD with Alex to help her communicate verbally and to expand her vocabulary. Miss Michelle dealt with an often times temperamental Alex on the playground and in the hallways to get her to do things she physically did not want to do. Mrs. Lyssa returned from maternity leave and helped Alex expand her learning of the world around her. Ms. Mel and later Mrs. Liz were phenomenal aides who helped Alex wash her hands and change her diaper and try to focus during circle time (hey, not EVERYTHING can be learned in one year, right?!). We have seen so much GROWTH in Alex this past school year and from the bottom of our hearts, we say, THANK YOU. The chart below highlights some of her more notable accomplishments over the past 10 months.

In August 2013

In May 2014

Alex was unable to say two words together. She was unable to explain what was wrong, what hurt, what happened, how she felt, etc. Alex is now speaking in full sentences (minus articles, “a,” “an,” and “the”). She can tell us what hurts and how it happened. She spontaneously says “i wuv you” (which fills our hearts).
Alex was terrified of an exercise ball. At home, Alex can often be found sitting or rolling on her belly on a large boucy ball!
Alex had no interest in dressing herself. Alex has mastered putting on shirts and sweaters/jackets and most pants and skirts. She even likes to remove her own diaper.
Alex knew few, if any, letters of the alphabet. Alex can identify almost all 26 letters of the alphabet (upper and lower case) at any given time.
Alex knew few, if any, numbers. Alex can count from 1 to 12 rather consistently (though she can’t yet count that many objects).
Alex wanted to be carried or pushed in the stroller EVERYWHERE we went. For the last few weeks of school, Alex and I walked the ¼ mile to school most days WHILE she wore her backpack.
Alex was unable to run or jump with two feet. Alex rarely stops running (she has to keep up with D&S) and she can jump up with two feet.
Alex would use her hands to eat and wouldn’t sit still at the table after she finished her meal. Alex needs reminders to use her utensils, but she can and does use them. She’s still squirmy, but does sit still at the table for a few moments after finishing her meal.
Alex was able to climb stairs but she was unable to climb ladders or the “rock wall slats” on our backyard playset. Alex can now climb up the slats to slide down the slide (with her trunk upright!) all by herself.

We are so grateful for all the love, support and encouragement Alex received in pre-school. We are so thankful for all those who have played a part in helping Alex grow and mature this year. We love our sweet, social girl and are so thankful for the staff at Spectrum who love her, too.  

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So with that, I want to tell Alex something -

Alex, you are amazing. You are sweet, kind, loving, social, funny, friendly, smart and eager to learn. You have been one of the biggest blessings in my life. In our family. You make us happier. You make us kinder. (You also make us frustrated but you can’t be perfect!). You provide every member of our family with their quota of hugs for the day. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that God gifted you to our family. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all those people who prayed for Baby Daisy for all those months. I am overwhelmed by how integral you are to our family unit. Thank you for being who you are. For trying hard like you do. For loving life and people whole-heartedly. For loving me unconditionally. You are amazing and I can only imagine the wonderful progress you will make after ANOTHER year of pre-school! You are a blessing to everyone who knows you. Thank you, my sweet daughter, for being you.

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Davey’s class celebrated families with an Authors’ Tea Event and Donuts for Dad on two different Fridays. The Authors’ Tea was first and the classroom felt VERY SMALL with 27 students, 27 moms, a teacher, a student teacher AND a “guest” for the teacher:

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there was cake and red punch to celebrate (hey, it’s arizona in may…. there’s no need to sweat us all out FURTHER with hot tea):

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(it read “Happy Mothers’ Day Room 109 Moms!”)

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Davey’s teacher even had bouquets of flowers (sunflowers) for her “faithful volunteers” throughout the school year:

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and when each mom walked into the room, their child ran to the door, said a small speech, handed the mom a pink carnation and escorted mom to the child’s seat. it was so sweet!

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it was a lovely afternoon where the students were able to read some of their writing from this school year (davey’s entire table wrote about their moms!) and the students were so excited to have us moms in the classroom!

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a week later, his class enjoyed an early morning (before school started!) of Donuts for Dad! I’m not sure how many dads/grandpas were able to attend, but I did ask Dave to snap a photo of himself with Davey, and he complied:

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I know the students got to read to the dads some more of their writings (what i learned in 1st grade) which included rather comprehensive and impressive lists of the various subject matters learned this past year!

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many, MANY thanks to Davey, his teacher and his classmates for these fantastic ways to celebrate FAMILY and LEARNING!

sports kids…

it is ENTIRELY possible that i MIGHT have 1000 photos of my Munchkins (and their friends!) playing t-ball this past season. i think it’s a 6 or 7-week long season. yeah. i take a lot of photos. doh!

but, honestly, when you’ve seen ONE t-ball game, you’ve seen them all. each one has their own nuances, for sure (like that one game where Davey and Luke were an AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC tag-team duo at pitcher and 1st base)!

this last game (8am on saturday morning, may 3rd), was extra fun, though. all four dads (of our 5 neighborhood kiddos) were there helping coach, cheer on, encourage and organize (so sorry, Ted!), the players.

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(you can see Matt’s head just to the left of Dave’s hair. Then Ted – ready to move. and Keith is wearing the orange hat).

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(he makes this face EVERY SINGLE TIME he hits the ball.

it makes me laugh.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!)

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this girl leaves her eyes open when she hits the ball:

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i loved that in this game, BOTH of my Munchkins were involved in not only hitting and running, but in fielding, too!

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and lest you wonder what i did with alex during all these games (2-3 each week!), i assure you she was well cared for by the OTHER “little sisters” of our neighborhood gang. and the other moms. and, of course, she found her own mischief to get into, as well:

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i might also need to mention that she is NO stranger to ANY lap of any parent or grandparent of a KNIGHTS team member.

i’m serious.

when i was taking photos, i’d lose track of her. when i’d begin my somewhat frantic search, a stranger (who was actually a Knights family member) would simply point down the line of chairs and i’d find her in someone’s lap. playing with their glasses or baseball caps or begging food from them.

again, i’m serious.

i’m super proud of alex and the way she (mostly) obeyed and managed to find things to do she enjoyed during the t-ball games.

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after the game, the players received some special trophies (many, MANY thanks to another mom, Shauna, for organizing this!), the coaches received their THANK YOU gifts and the kids enjoyed their snacks.

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coach ryan was great. he didn’t put any pressure on the players – he really just wanted them to have fun. some of the other t-ball coaches were more… well, just MORE… so i’m thankful that we wound up on the Knights with Coach Ryan.

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after the trophies were handed out and everyone had their obligatory photos with the coach, i wanted our neighborhood gang to get together by home plate for some photos.

we tried these “smiling-group-shots:”

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but the kiddos weren’t really interested (it was ridiculously hot).

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but what happened next, when we told the kids we were all finished taking pictures, was crazy:

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they huddled together, all of their own accord, and they shared some secrets.

and they stayed like this for quite awhile.

and the 4 of us mamas snapped about 100 photos of this spontaneous huddle!

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i’m so very thankful that t-ball is over (especially now that it’s over 100 on a daily basis), but it was fun while it lasted. and i wouldn’t mind if davey wanted to play again next season. samantha, however, definitely preferred playing in the dirt (her glove held more dirt than balls this season!), so i’m guessing she won’t be too interested in playing again!

 

best art gallery ever…

so i don’t know if ALL elementary schools do this (like this might be some new trend from when i was in school a looooooooong time ago) or if it’s only our school or only our district or only the greater east valley of phoenix, but no matter, i still think  it’s pretty fun idea for the kiddos. it’s called Art Walk.

throughout the year, different parents volunteer to go into their child’s classroom and teach them about one artist, at least one of their works of art (painting, sketching, pottery, etc.), and then the students get to make their own rendition/version of that famous piece of art.

one month, davey’s class learned about an artist (please don’t ask me which one!) and his use of water colors. the students then used a sharpie to draw a cat on a dried baby wipe. then they “painted” it with water colors and we sprayed it with a water bottle to blend/blur the colors together a bit.

since i know ZERO about art and am not really that interested in it, i didn’t volunteer to be an “Art Masterpiece” mom in ANY of my Munchkins’ classes this past year. i did, however, get to take photos a few times in Davey’s class. but the most fun comes at the end of the year when the school is open from 5:30-7:30 one evening. there are cookies to munch on and there’s art on EVERY hallway all over the school. most of the art is even “matted” (usually on construction paper) – it’s a pretty cool event.

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our Munchkins were VERY excited to show off their handiwork this year. we went in classroom order, which means we started with Samantha’s Kindergarten classroom, worked our way down the hall to Alexandra’s Pre School classroom and then over to Davey’s 1st grade classroom.

I wish I could tell you the name of the artist and the original piece of art studied so you could see what the students were using as their “inspiration” but, alas, i remember none of those details.

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(i LOVED how davey asked samantha all kinds of questions about her art work – he really cared and wanted to know what she made, how she made it, why she made what she made, etc.).  

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(interpretation: “I taught myself to swim”

and then she made our swimming pool out of clay).

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(sometimes the teachers just add extra non-Art Masterpiece art to the walls during this fun event – i love how colorful it makes the school!)

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now i don’t think the pre-schoolers actually participated in Art Masterpiece BUT they definitely spend a lot of time drawing, painting, coloring, gluing, molding play-doh and clay and more, so there was plenty of pre school work out on display:

here alex is showing off her painted rock (hooray for lady bugs!) and her clay sculpture (i think it was a spider but in the photo on the left, you can see it in her hands – she picked it up and squashed it and then put it back down in the right photo. i’m SUPER thankful that i caught her before she did irreparable harm to anyone else’s sculpture!)

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this is alex standing in front of her self portrait from August/September and again in May. the one on the left was from back at the beginning of the year. (i’m guessing she had a lot of “help” making that self portrait!)

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one of the FABULOUS pre school teachers (mrs. katie – who will be alex’s teacher next year) coordinated this photo project of all the pre school students (meaning three classes of morning AND afternoon students!). i didn’t take a photo of the full art (doh!) but it was a huge sunshine with student handprints IN the sun and then each “ray” consisted of school year photos of TWO different students (alex’s strip is in the middle with a giant glob of gold glitter AND a nice, sharp glare from the overhead lighting):

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i think alex had the most fun playing in the hallway with her classmates!

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and not to be out-shined by his younger sisters, this kiddo had a GREAT time sharing his art with us (and he was SO PATIENT while we chatted with parents and teachers and looked at Samantha and Alex’s work first)!

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(see the water colored baby wipe above? it was a pretty cool art project to watch happen.)

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(chalk art, a feather mask and a clay animal)

i’m one of those moms who is a SUCKER for ANYTHING involving my Munchkins’ handprints or traced hands (imagine having a 20-year old davey hold this bee in his 20-year old hands and wonder “was i ever that small?!?!”), so i LOVED this bee more than any other piece of art work that was displayed that night:

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it was also the last piece of art to view.

many thanks to the Art Masterpiece VOLUNTEER moms who coordinated, arranged, scheduled, taught, matted and everything else required for this amazing night!

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[i do feel the need to state that, personally, i think this should be something where the art teacher is very involved and some of the displayed art should be what the kids learn in art class. but, to date, i don't think that has happened. in fact, i'm not even sure WHAT the kids learn in art class. but maybe the art teacher IS involved with the Art Masterpiece program in some fashion and i just don't know.]

how does YOUR garden grow?

you may be thinking about the old nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? with silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.”

then again, you may just think i’m crazy.

(but i’m okay with that because i know i’m only a LITTLE bit crazy).

but if you were to ask samantha the question in the title of this post about a month ago, she would NOT recite the well known nursery rhyme for you. [in fact, i wonder what percentage of today's children would? they know more about sesame street and curious George and sid the science kid and all those other PBS shows that let us take showers WITHOUT INTERRUPTION when our munchkins were younger. but i digress.] samantha would most likely start singing some songs for you. and maybe doing some dance moves. and she’d probably even recite her lines as Queen Cabbage (“Now plants! Plants! Hear me once and for all! These weeds are getting much too tall! I can’t even see where my head meets the ground, and I’m the Queen after all!”) from her Kindergarten performance, which was so fantastic!

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after a brief introduction by Ms. Flanagan (the teacher), the gardeners got right to work (see the cute one on the far left? that’s drew – our neighbor. he had SO MANY LINES and he did AMAZING with ALL of them!)

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here’s samantha waiting for her turn to be up front, in front of the audience, her favorite place to be (yes, in the spotlight)!

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i’m gonna guess that she loved this musical so much because it involved DANCING like a ballerina-princess. (can you see her personal addition to her costume – the giant ring on her right hand?!) she’s my beautiful flower, for sure.

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these “weeds” were a total hit – mostly thanks to that cute kiddo with the green shirt and the backwards black baseball cap. he had some serious “rapper” dance moves! i talked with his mom after the show – it turns out everything Joshua did, he learned from watching Toby Mac videos and performances!

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and after the weeds, it was finally time for Queen Cabbage to enter the show. she looked nervous and even a little shy, but she wasn’t. she said her lines as clearly as her sweet fast-talking-slurred words would let her (i think she talks a bit like me?!)

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and then, for the encore, the kids were all paired up for some partner hoe-down swinging and spinning:

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the show was ADORABLE.

the parents laughed a LOT (mostly when “Weed Joshua” was laying down his moves).

the students had FUN (based on their smiles).

and we couldn’t have asked for a better “gift” to the parents.

BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!

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and to the amazing Kindergarten teacher who made it happen, i say a very sincere and heartfelt, “THANK YOU!”

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i LOVE that dave has a flexible work schedule and can go to work late or come home early when the Munchkins have special school events.

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and i love these families (2 of my favorite 3 neighborhood families)!

Ted, Geneva and sister Kayleigh were SO PROUD of Gardener Drew for all his hard work and excellent line delivery in the show. (he even had to take a quick potty break at the beginning of the show and he didn’t miss a line – NOT ONE – which is not an easy feat for a Kindergartener, especially when wearing overalls!)

Matt, MaryAnn and sister Violet were equally as proud of their Flower LilyKate, who did a fantastic job dancing and singing with the other girls and dancing the do-si-do with Gardener Drew!

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and, as if that sweet show weren’t enough, these sweet gems came home with us that day:

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i LOVE when kids fill out these kinds of forms about their parents. (Davey did them last year, too, but his were filled out with his handwriting .) i’m quite impressed, actually, that samantha knows me as well as she does. she added a decade to my age and my weight is obviously way off, but my name, shoe size, hair description, favorite color and hobby are all spot on accurate. i have no idea WHERE she got the idea that my favorite TV show is “the News” but then i realized that we don’t let the kids see us watching TV unless it’s a show for them.

as for dave’s list, she did pretty well there, too. again, her guess for his weight was way off. but she correctly stated his name, his hair (i LOVE the description – “dark, black, crazy, curly” hair), his employer, his job description, one of his hobbies and one of his best friends. please note that she made him YOUNGER than he is. i need to teach her it’s more important to UNDER guess a woman’s age.]