Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7th Grade Field Trip!!

Peter came home Friday night tired but pleased.  His field trip was a success!

They packed a lot into their three day trip.

They left the school at 6:00 AM on Wednesday and headed to Gatlinburg, TN by chartered bus.  When they arrived they took a hike in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and ate lunch.

Then they headed to Wonderworks, a hands-on science museum. While they were there, among other activities, they dissected a squid.

After this, they headed to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.  After dinner they went to Ripley's Aquarium where they learned about sharks and actually spent the night underneath the shark tank!

Day 2 found them at Dollywood!  Peter had a blast.  He rode almost all of the rides and had a great time hanging out with his friends.  After a day of play, they checked into their hotel and then headed to the Happy Days Dinner and the Comedy Barn for dinner and a show.

On the third day of their trip, they packed up and headed to Damascum, VA where they rented backs and took a 17 mile bike ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Whew!  What a busy group of 7th graders.  The trip sounds like a great mix of learning and fun.  Sarah's already looking forward to this trip next year.

Here are a few pictures from the trip:






I wish I had more pictures but that's one of the downsides to not being a chaperone!  (And a downside that I will gladly live with!!)

On Thursday night, I was at a PTO meeting.  When I got home from the meeting, the message light was flashing and I had a message from Peter.  The message went like this

"Hey Mom, it's just Peter.  Mr. Cancro wanted me to  call and let you know we got to the hotel and are checked in.  Um, so yeah."

Um, so yeah???  Where the heck is my I love you and miss you??

You can bet I gave him a hard time about "um, so yeah".

Although in his defense, when they were on the bus, he called to let me know the exact time they would be arriving at the school and once again I wasn't home. In that message he did give me a quiet "I love you", so I guess he's off the hook!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sound to Sea!

Sarah attended the 6th grade's field trip, Sound to Sea last week.  She had to be at the school by 6:15 last Wednesday morning.

We pulled up to the school, she got her things in the back of the charter bus, gave me a quick hug and hopped on the bus with her friends.  I hung around and chatted with the other parents until the bus pulled off.

Sound to Sea is a program that's held at the Trinity Center in Atlantic Beach, NC.  It was a three day environmental program that included a lot of hands-on activities during the day, exploring both the sound side of the Atlantic Beach as well as the beach, challenge courses, and special evening programs.

One of the parent chaperones sent me a few pictures:




And here are some pictures of some more of her classmates.  (Sarah's group got to do these same activities.)





When I picked Sarah up on Friday night, she was tired and sandy.  But she said they had a great time!  And I was so happy that they didn't get rain because the weather forecast looked pretty iffy last week.

Peter probably isn't going to be as lucky.  His class left bright and early this morning headed to Tennessee and unfortunately,  I think they will definitely be getting some rain.  They do all their activities rain or shine so I guess it doesn't matter.




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Science Expo!

Last night was the Science Expo! 

Sciene Expo is the culmination of  a 6 month long project where the middle school kids team up (or they can choose to do it alone), pick a topic, research it, create a hypothesis, perform an experiment, write a research paper detailing the experiment and their research and their results, create a display board and come up with an interactive experience for the lower school kids.

Whew!  And then finally it's Expo day!  During the day at school, the elementary kids go to all the different displays where the middle schoolers explain what they did and then do the interactive experience with them (a game or a demo).  Also during the day, a team of judges come around and groups explain their experiment.  In the evening, the whole school is invited back to see all the projects and then their are awards.

Sarah's group won 2nd place out of the 6th grade and Peter's group won Best Overall Experiment.

Dan unfortunately was out of town (Again!  This is the third week he's been gone in a row.)  But my parents were able to go. 

Here are the kids with their groups and their awards:




  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hail Mary, full of grace...

I always try to get some pictures of me and the kids on the front porch on Mother's Day.  In early spring, the flowers on the porch are fresh and always look great.  In a few weeks, they won't look as lovely because I'll have forgotten to water them, or sometimes, I over water them.  My thumb is definitely not green.

But yesterday, as we were trying to take pictures, the sun was working against me.  Every picture I snapped had a few sun spots (large glowing orbs) right on Peter's face.  So we quickly took the pictures on the side of the porch to block the sun and in doing so, no pretty flowers.  Oh well...







 And then we took a few on my Mom's front porch after lunch:

 Check out Peter's mustache!  He refuses to shave it because he thinks it makes him look manly. 









Peter made me the sweetest card:


Peter loves languages so he wrong Mom for me in 13 different languages.  So sweet!

And Sarah took to Pinterest and made the cutest little 52 Reasons Why I Love You!

On each card she had written a different reason that she loves me.  But y'all, my favorite and the least accurate:

I remind her of Mary!!?? 

Oh, sweet Sarah, if only I could be more like Mary. 

Perhaps I will make that my mission in motherhood - be more like Mary - full of grace, loving, kind, trusting, faithful, generous, always willing to say yes to whatever the Lord asks of me.

I better start praying right now!

Friday, May 6, 2016

No more split ends!

I got my hair cut this morning!  I'm very happy with it.  It looks basically like it does every time I get my hair cut short.

My hair was a great length before I got it cut - not too long and not too short but it was getting unhealthy.  I get my hair highlighted every 7 weeks.  I blow dry it every single day.  And after I blow dry it I run the flat iron through it.  That's a lot of chemicals and a lot of heat on my fine thin hair.  And it causes it to split at the ends and break way up the length of the hair. 

And to me, that just looks gross.  So, it was time for a chop! 


Before:

See how damaged and frayed my hair looks? Not good.

After:


Much healthier looking!!  And who knows, I might even go shorter next time!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Buddies and Olympians!

This time of year is always packed with activity.  With school winding down and spring activities coming to a close before the end of the school year  (which is June 3rd for us - and can I get an "AMEN"?) and all the things that come along with that there's no other word to describe it but busy.

And yesterday was no exception.  Peter's 7th grade class took a field trip to Tanglewood Park with their Pre-K buddies.  I absolutely love the Buddy Program at our school.  The 6th graders are paired up with a 1st grader to get practice being a buddy.  The 7th graders are paired up with Pre-kers and the 8th graders are paired up with Kindergartneres.

The buddies sit together during Mass each week and they do special activities together through out the year.  The little kids really look up to the big kids and the big kids enjoy helping the littles.

And y'all, it just melts my heart every time I see the big kids with the little kids - especially the boys.  To see a big tall boy holding hands with a tiny one (and without embarrasement!) brings a tear to my eye.






The big kids led their buddies through the trails and had a scavenger hunt.  At the end of the scavenger hunt they made their way to the playground and spent lots of time pushing their little buddies on the swings, chasing after them on the slide and just running around and having fun.

Afterwards we headed for ice cream at a local restaurant.  It was a fun time and one that Peter had been looking forward to for a while.

Last night Sarah's seasonal swim program ended.  This program works on improving your strokes, building up endurance, and improving your speed  so that you are ready for summer league.  She did it in the fall and again spring and she's already looking forward to doing it again in the fall.

Last night, Charlie Houchin, who is an Olympic gold medalist came to meet the kids and talk to them about his experience in Olympics.  He has retired from swimming and has created some really cool technology to run swim meets from an app on your phone.

Here's Sarah with Charlie.  She's wearing his gold medal and holding a swim cap that he autographed for her. Her swim cap is blocking part of the medal unfortunately.  She said it was very heavy.


And tonight is our conference championship meet for the track team.  And since tonight is our last track meet of the season and since Sarah is finished with swimming until the end of May, next week is looking wide open.  I think we are all looking forward to a calm week with no after school activities!!! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I didn't mean to be gone for so long but I've been busy!

Well, it appears that I took a bit of a blog break.  It wasn't intentional but it was bound to happen.

Since November, the PTO has been working on our school Casino Night and Auction and the big event was this past Friday night.  I was at school from 8:00 - 3:00 (and some days longer) every day last week. And then in the evenings we had all of our regular things (swimming, track, scouts, homework). 

The schedule left no time for blogging.  In fact, in order to have clean clothes and dinner on the table dialy I had to do a scramble every morning before I left the house at 7:30.  The crock pot was always crocking when I left and the dish washer and washing machine were always whirring.  Which meant in addition to all of our normal evening activities, I had to fold laundry, put away dishes, work on the rest of dinner, etc.  You know - all the stuff working moms have to do on the daily.

I did all of this for only one week and it all caught up to me this weekend.  Well, that and the fact that I didn't get to bed on Friday night/Saturday morning until 2:00am.  This old body felt really old on Saturday when it had to be back at school at 9:00 am to clean up the gym.

Dan headed back to Dubai on Saturday afternoon.  Sarah's science fair group came over to finish their project.  And I tried to get the house back in order.  My plan was to spend Sunday afternoon on the couch in a daze or a doze but Peter spent the afternoon with my brother so Sarah and I headed to Target to buy a few spring clothes for her wardrobe. 

She's outgrown most of the things in her closet.  And not just outgrown size wise, but also taste wise.  She still loves her pink but not so much in her clothes any more.  Nothing we bought on Sunday was pink and I would not have chosen any of it for her.  It all looks cute and I approved of it all but it was nothing that I thought she would have liked. 

We have officially reached the point where I can no longer shop for her.  Every time I picked out something for her to try on, she turned up her nose.  At one point as a joke I held this up:

Y'all, the purple and yellow tassels are actual tassels and not just part of the picture.  She got a huge laugh at the thought of her (an almost TWELVE YEAR OLD) wearing a camel tee shirt with tassels.

Later in Kohls we saw this and decided that apparently large African animals are all the rage in tee shirts this year:

Sarah's at that weird stage where the things in the girl's section are a little too childish and the things in the juniors section are a little too grown up.  We were lucky to find what we found and hopefully she will have enough to be clothed until her birthday when I'm sure I will find myself being laughed at when I dare hold up:

Sigh...I already miss the little one who happily wore pink cotton dresses all summer long.  Now it's camis and geometric print shorts.  Guess they can't stay little forever.

But it's not all bad because the girl in the cami and geometric print shorts is someone who helps me cook dinner, laughs (or pretends to laugh) at my jokes, notices everything I notice when we are out and about (the drag queen, for instance and it always makes for interesting conversation on the ride home) and likes all the same music on the radio (well, minus what she calls my Jesus music).

This week it's back to the grind...auction follow up meeting, track meet, driving for a field trip, planning the 8th grade graduation dance...and whew - it's no wonder I'm just as ready for summer break as the kids!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fine Arts Night

Last night, our school held it's first Fine Arts Night.  It was a lot of fun!

The hallway was lined with artwork from the different grades:

Peter's artwork is the grey, blue, and orange piece behind him.  The sheepish grin is because his friend was behind me giving him a hard time about getting his picture made.  (You've got to love 13-year-olds!)

Here's Sarah in front of a sculpture she made.  The kid on top is hers.  Sarah's pained look is compliments of the fact that she really wanted ot get the photo done so she could get back to hanging out with her friends. (You've got to love almost-12-year-olds!)

In the rest of the school there were performances going on at various times through the evenings.  There was ball room dancing, musical instrument performances, singing performances,  and theatrical readings.

Sarah's grade performed an Ecuadorian ribbon dance that was very cool.



And she was also in a group of kids that did a ukulele demo.  The demo was used to show how the Quaver music program works.  It's really cool to see the teacher use the smart board to teach the kids notes, tune the ukeleles and play the songs.  Sarah has really enjoyed learning to play the ukulele in class - so much so that she used her own money to purchase one.




And they also had masterpieces set up that you could be a part of.  I loved this!

The Scream

The Girl With the Pearl Earring.  (We weren't familiar with this painting and weren't aware  that her face was supposed to be looking towards us and not in profile.

American Gothic (This one makes me laugh so hard!)
 There was also a demo of some coding art that Peter's class did.  It was displayed on a Smart board so I don't have a picture of Peter in front of it.  But his class spent a lot of time learning how to code on the computer and how all the code turns into pixels and makes pictures.  Peter said it was very difficult.  I think he appreciates all the work behind his video games now!

And there were a couple of food trucks and the whole evening was very festive and fun.  I hope the school makes it an annual event!