Sep 05

Violet’s Pre-K Graduation

Violet has since moved on to Kindergarten but this past May she was able to celebrate leaving Pre-K in style during Mount Carmel’s Preschool Graduation Ceremony.  The ceremony itself was a blast.  The kids marched up the isle in pairs, sang a number of songs, presented their mom’s lovely roses, showed off some self art and sang some more.  All this before heading up the stairs to get their certificate officially announcing them as big kids.  After the recessional we were all treated to some yummy cake and got to hang out for a while with the Violet’s class and their families.

Processional

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Dec 08

Sheep with the Curly Horns

Today Violet performed in her school nativity play as the “Sheep with the Curly Horns”.  They have been practicing on and off since the end of October and it certainly showed.  She was very serious about her performance and we even saw her lip-syncing other classmates parts while they were singing or talking.  Violet thought the Sheep with the Curly Horns was very cool and was excited to play this part even though it meant she would have to do a solo part.  We are very proud of her.

Mar 08

Piper’s Kindergarten Concert

Tonight was Piper’s first concert in kindergarten.  She has been excited about it for the past few weeks, continuously singing around the house and wanting to show us her “moves”.  It was very important for her to wear a formal princess dress during the performance.

In anticipation of the concert Violet has been learning the songs and moves from Piper.  Tonight all through the show she was insistent that she should be on stage performing.  It wasn’t until afterwards though that she got her chance.  Both girls wanted to get on the stage and show us one of the songs from the concert, they decided on “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” as their masterpiece.

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Jan 01

A Gift of Myrrh

Violet’s preschool put on a Nativity play recently where all the kids had a chance to participate and play various parts.  Violet was insistent upon the role of a “Wise Man” as her part – interesting choice but she is always running around the house pretending to be the prince while Piper plays dress-up like a princess.  It was a pleasure to see her perform in her first play.  She did well with her part, a few songs, a one liner and most importantly she even stayed on the stage with the rest of her class.

“This is my gift of Myrrh which will keep your skin soft”

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Sep 30

Piper’s Debug Session

Sitting at the island while I poked around on the laptop the kids were playing in front of me in the living room. They were all edgy after doing homework and getting a snack and had not really settled into any type of comfortable evening routine. Anytime one of them did something another did not like, a wartime skirmish would break out on the living room floor – Lego, PlayMobile and horses be damned.

It was during one of these particularly conversational skirmishes that I intervened, trying for the sake of sanity only to add some sort of reasoning to the seeming mindless bickering so it could be solved in a civilized manner – silly me. Piper stood up and said, “Daddy, I am not whining. I am debugging.” The statement was said with direction, strength and finality, as if there was no further explanation necessary and this was not only a sufficient response but obviously the only one required.

Carol and I couldn’t help but turn our backs and laugh quietly to each other. The debug system (love it or hate it) is something they teach kids in school these days as a way towards conflict resolution without resorting to the sticks and stones that we grew up with.

Feb 18

Thriller Night

Last night Berkeley Lake Elementary School had its school concert for the third and fourth graders. Jacob has been excited about going for the past few weeks. He has been asking us to play various Michael Jackson videos online and has every now and then been dancing like a zombie in the kitchen. I didn’t know why, or didn’t put the two together, that he might be performing something special for us. Well now…were we in for a treat.

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Dec 18

The Lonely Snowman

Last night I had the pleasure of dictating a story while Jacob thought it up.  This was an assignment from school that he started but wasn’t able to finish during class, so together we completed it last night.  I love story telling from all different angles but I have usually been the story teller not the audience.  Getting a chance to hear Jacob’s story about his “Lonely Snowman” was intriguing.  His idea throughout the story was that the snowman was lonely and wanted some friends to play with.  The snowman and his friends did whatever they could to ensure they continued to have fun – including the annihilation of planets and alien species in the process.  Fun.  You have to love boys.  His story was all over the board but the general idea remained the same.   Continue reading

Oct 15

Bus Stop Mania Resolved

Today marked the first day Jacob and Isaac rode the bus into school.  For various reasons it has worked out better in the past to drop them off on my way into work – reasons such as getting to sleep later…and…well sleeping later.  They have however been coming home on the bus for quite a while now and without fear of being run over by the very vehicle that drops them off and is supposed to keep them safe.  Working with the Gwinnett County School System worked out pretty well once the issue was escalated to someone that actually gave a damn…I mean cared.  We found out that there was a bus stop diagonally across the street from our house that the bus should have been stopping at for both pick-up and drop-off.  For whatever reason the stop had been removed from the paperwork that both the particular school and driver use.  So in defense of the driver, she wasn’t even aware there was a stop near us and was just doing her job.

I am glad this is taken care of.  With one car and four of our six going in different directions, all between 7:30 and 8:30, our mornings are hectic to say the least.  My one complaint is that I think the situation could have been resolved much quicker than it was.  It took nearly three weeks of working (or lack thereof) with the local transportation superintendent to realize that he didn’t care about what we needed or had to say – safety related or not – we were just another pair of complaining parent.  Realizing this and believing that we were being ignored we wrote a letter to the county commissioner at the recommendation of Carol’s dad and friend Heidi.  They both work for school systems and had some good advice on how to get the appropriate level of attention.  Once the letter was complete, proof read a dozen times, we stopped before sending it and called another person up the management chain for the transportation department.  She listened to what we had to say, asked for a copy of the letter we were going to mail (I mentioned it to her), and a few phone calls and two days later the problem was resolved.  Thanks Patty !!!

Oct 15

Piper starts pre-k

This week marks the start of pre-k for Piper, about a month behind schedule.  She is still at the Legacy but in a pre-k program that is ran by the state.  Up until recently we weren’t sure she was going to be able to attend pre-k, well at least not the state sponsored version.  Legacy was passed over for the first round of Bright From the Start funding and weren’t certain about their prospects with the second round.  We looked around the area for other places to go but the pickings were slim at best with waiting list after waiting list.  In the end patience persevered, well that and not really having any other options.

We were able to meet her teachers this week at a short meeting where they told us about the program details.  They both, Mrs. Gail and Ms Mayonn, seem to have their ducks in a nice neat row.  Having taught at elementary school and daycare in the past they are both excited to being doing pre-k.  As with every government run program, the state has strictly structured exactly what the teachers can and cannot do with the kids.  There are deviations of course but only off the record.  I think Piper is going to do well and I hope she won’t be on a learning plateau until kindergarten.  If anything she will sharpen what she already knows, add bits more, and be ready to run once she gets to elementary school.

Sep 21

A snow day but with rain

It has been raining for the past week in Atlanta.  Literally.  Mainly just on and off sprinkling followed by a short downpour followed by mugginess, wash, rinse, repeat.  Over the weekend however heavy rain came down continuously causing flooding in most of the area.  We woke up this morning to hear about school and road closures around the whole Atlanta area.  Gwinnett County schools of course were only on delay which later changed to a closure as well.  The flooding has been pretty severe closing surface streets and interstate junctions like “Spaghetti Junction” causing significant traffic problems all around town.  The news said a few schools were flooded as well but we didn’t hear about any in our area that were affected other than just being shutdown – likely due to transportation issues more so than flooding.

Looks like the kids will get to stay home and play for another day.  Isaac was concerned though that school was “closed forever”…oddly that upset him (maybe we should check his temperature).  I don’t think we will hear the same complaint from Jacob he has been at home sick for the past few days missing much of school last week and was non to excited to go back today.  Piper still gets to go to pre-school which stays open regardless and Violet is already at school when she wakes up.