Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here's what stands out in my memory:
Got to school in time to set up a couple of work areas for parents leading Christmas activities
Just as the bell rang, got stuck in the office (where was that secretary??) with about 6 parents all asking questions. Worried in the back of my mind about just what my students would be doing
Answered the phone (still no secretary) to find out that one of my students, Little N, may have leukemia and would not be at school. Mum was trying not to cry on the phone as she told me. How do I go through the day with this on my mind??
Cruised around the school putting out fires - the biggest one was that most of the kindies ended up in the wrong rooms! As I attempted to figure out where a couple of them were supposed to be, they drifted away and reappeared in another wrong location!
21 different activities and 40 parent helpers to check on throughout the morning
Pouring rain, so all the children had to stay inside at recess and lunch
Back to the regular routine for the afternoon - what a relief!
Long drive home on the crowded, rainy, dark freeway.
Now the real job begins: time to write report cards. Should be a rockin' weekend!
Friday, November 28, 2008
First, Big Bear has started playing piano at home, preparing for the church Christmas choir. It's always lots of work for him, but I enjoy hearing him practice. The same phrases over and over again. Looking forward to when he has all the songs perfected and I can hear them in their entirety! Second, tomorrow is Christmas Activities Day at school. We have all the elementary students signed up for a couple of different crafts and a whole whack of parents coming in to help. It's when I pull out all my tacky Christmas jewelry and jingle all day!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The day began with our ‘decision’ to go for a family walk up the road. It was a beautifully sunny Saturday and the streets were full of people arriving for an annual festival and also a notable flower show. E suggested that he would like to take a photo of the church up the road. K, who was engrossed in an article in his favourite magazine, decided that perhaps E and I could go on ahead, and he and L would follow behind a few minutes later! However, this drew much protestation from E, L, and I, who argued that it wasn’t much of a ‘family walk’ if the whole family wasn’t participating together in it! Anyway, we managed to draw K away from his interesting article and he lolloped along beside us. Gradually, unbeknownst to K, the rest of us fell back a little and K ended up being ahead by a whisker.
As we went past the prearranged point, there was a sudden surge of activity as water blasters and hollering men burst out on an unsuspecting K and bundled him up. It was a perfect ambush! Well done guys!!! K was then (forcibly) dressed in a white sheet which had targets painted onto it. It meant that he became somewhat of a liability for whichever laser strike team he was on, due to his ‘reflectivity’ in the dark!
The Boys (Men!) ate and played and ate and played at the Laser strike venue, and had a lot of fun charging around in the dark, implementing questionable team tactics, and shooting other team members and bases. I heard of one poor Dude whose team members had disappeared into the dark, leaving him as the sole defender of their team’s base. As the enemy teams approached, he cleverly feigned that there were lots of his team defending the base, yelling out, “OK, you take the right, so-and-so you take the left….etc”. Desperation breeds ingenuity – the NZ army could do with someone like him!
I won’t bore you with all the in-between details, except to move on to the fact that everyone made it out to our picnic lunch at the Park without getting horribly lost…the “Boys” even managed to transport K over there in one piece, and on time, to be welcomed with a barrage of ‘poppers’. Later on, when K and I were reflecting about our day, we both commented about how touched we were, that our friends had made SUCH an effort to be there for K’s birthday, and to help him celebrate. For many, it required a great deal of effort, organisation, and sacrifice just to be there. But everyone was there to enjoy the day and to share in K’s happiness in having friends and family around him. For many weeks, friends and family from around the world had also sent in special quotes and messages and photos, and we were able to present K with a specially bound photobook containing all these well wishes.
Various renditions of the “Happy Birthday” song were performed, and we were truly blessed with song, dance, speech, revelations, and sheer talent! The entertainment was indeed special!
And another one of our talented friends had made the birthday cake and what a birthday cake it was! I do believe, I have tasted The Most Wonderful Cake on earth now. A sumptuous chocolate sponge, layered with a heavenly creamy filling of strawberry and boysenberry mousse, and with the most delicious fresh strawberries and boysenberries on top, and rich dark chocolate twigs all around. Unbelievably delicious.
Anyway, here are a few photos to give you a taste of our day. The children had unlimited space to run around together; trees to climb; kites to fly; others to play ball with. The sun shone gloriously, and even though I spent most of my time under the shade of the tree, I came home burnt! I was somewhat put out by that! However, it was just wonderful to see 70+ friends and family mingling, relaxing, and enjoying each other and the beautiful day. As we continue to muse about this special time, we acknowledge the privilege it is to have friends and family who will go to such an extent to share our happy occasions with us. And though you and others couldn’t be with us in person on the day, we knew we were being thought of and cherished from all around the world. A wonderful, wonderful day! Thank you!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
E: I think I might like to be a teacher.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I'm certainly not talking about the season - it may be spring in New Zealand, complete with sunshine and flowers, but here it's gloomy and grey. The leaves are steadily falling from the trees and the geese are flying south for the winter.
No, it's not the season that makes me glad.
I'm currently at the annual fall scrapbooking retreat! Just think of it: meals made and cleaned up for us, no schedule, nobody to drive anywhere, no phone to answer, no pile of laundry staring at me accusingly (that'll be waiting for me at home...). Just time. Time to scrapbook and be creative!
Outside it's drizzly and gloomy. The apples from summer are still trying to hold on to the tree outside the window. But inside, we're cozy and well-fed. I'm working on the Ali Edwards inspired Week in the Life project. I took all the photos the week of October 21 and it's not even a month later that I'm getting it done! Life is good.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Today, K’s formal research project was accepted
He has now officially gained the right to pay lots of money
and also earned the right
We will celebrate appropriately in due course when the Bits of Paper arrive. Till then, the champagne’s cooling.
We will then celebrate again mid-2009 when he gets a free trip overseas to be officially Bopped On The Head.
But now that the fun’s over, it’s nearly time to
Like building that tree house.
And oh, did I mention those Matrimonial Credits?!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From the end of October, pin-on poppies sprout from lapels in memory of the war dead, and you can get them from veterans and cadets at malls and grocery stores for a donation to the Canadian Legion. I suspect, however, that most children (and maybe some adults) wouldn't know a real poppy if they came upon it in a garden.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We were finishing dinner tonight (at 7pm’ish our time)….when we realised, that this was the time, almost to the exact hour (10 pm’ish) exactly a year ago when our contingent arrived on your doorstep to stay for awhile! It was so exciting!!! And almost unbelievable that such an occasion would even eventuate.
Little Bear had kindly vacated his room so that E&L could sleep in his room. Such a nice Bear!
And I have distinct memories of nice red wine and cheese – a delicious gouda with cumin? Of course, all laced with wonderful company!