Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Grade at Spencer Pointe: Part 1

Here it is, the end of the school year, and I haven't posted about Nora's first grade experience. Now its over, and she's already looking ahead to second grade.  I thought it would be nice to look back on what was a fantastic year.

School started in August, and Nora was so excited to be a bus rider. I think she had always been a bit jealous that Emily got to the ride the bus back in DeKalb, so things were finally even. Every morning we waited at the end of the driveway until the bus came, and then she skipped/ran/flew onto the bus and sat in her assigned seat. Off she went! I have to admit after driving her to Montessori for three years and bringing her into the classroom, this hands-off approach was odd at best, downright impersonal at worst.  However, Nora was happy and that's all that mattered.

Nora was very blessed to have one of the most caring, funny, and loving teachers in the profession. Mrs. Anderson, or Mrs. A. as the kids called her, quickly became near and dear to Nora's heart. She made art featuring Mrs. A., talked about her incessantly, and complained that she should be able to go to school on the "S" days (ie Saturday and Sunday). Mrs. A. loved her back (but I think Mrs. A. loved all the kids, so there wasn't any favoritism or anything going on).

Here are some photos from the first half of the school year. I think Nora had a wonderful first-grade experience, complete with field trips, new friends, and lots and lots of birthday parties to attend. In a future post I'll have Nora share some of her experiences in her own words.

Spencer Pointe 2011

The entrance to the school

Room A-113 and Mrs. A. in pink and chartreuse!

Nora's desk...she was super secret agent number 7.

Mrs. A.'s desk

Smiling on the first day of school

Waiting with Dad for the bus
Bus coming down the road!

Yes, Nora is telling the bus driver where to go.

Beautiful tribute to Mrs. A.  The best part about this pic is that
 Nora really captured her likeness!

Nora's School Photo...she looks so grown up.

Nora was chosen as student of the week
in November.  She made a poster about
her interests and presented it to the class.
The poster...I love that she can go to Mom's work.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Emily's Fifth Birthday Party

Happy Birthday Sweet Emily!!!

After looking over Ryan's schedule for the month of June, we realized that there was one day and one day only we could have Emily's birthday party...June 2nd. That gave us ten days. Ten days is not a lot of time when you're already five months behind on laundry and cleaning, but somehow, we did it! And it was a lot of fun. In retrospect, everything worked out rather well despite the rain. But I'm jumping ahead.

First, I'm really glad we didn't want until closer to June 22nd for her party, since Emily has been walking up every morning for weeks now asking, "Is today my birthday?" or announcing, "Today IS my birthday...I want toys!". So it felt really good on the morning of the big day to say, "Yes honey, its here!!! Happy Birthday!!!" to which she replied, "Did you buy me toys?" Geez. Secondly, since it was so last minute, we couldn't do one of those fancy bouncy house places or anything like that. Quite honestly we didn't want to spend 400 dollars on a party anyways. Nora came up with the very good idea of having the party at the park, just like Ramona Quimby. Ryan and I thought that was a great idea. After all, the playground is new, there's a gazebo, and its just a short walk from our townhouse. The idea of a birthday parade was born. Just add a couple of quick trips to Target and Michael's, and you have yourself a bona fide celebration.

I was so happy that for once the weather was slated to be beautiful. My wedding got rained out, my vow ceremony got rained out, Emily's part last year got rained out...but the weather man promised blue skies and sunshine. We cleaned up the house regardless, and then Ryan ran out to do last minute errands while Emily and I held down the fort. She was sleepy, ended up napping on the couch, and no kidding she wet herself. She hasn't done that in over a year. All over her new dress. Should have served as a warning! Anyhow, I got her into an old outfit, which coincidentally was the same outfit Nora wore to Emily's first birthday party. First hurdle jumped.

Guests started arriving at two, and it was so nice to have Emily hosting her friends from school. This is the same girl, if you recall, who just a few short years ago was in play therapy to learn how to socialize. Her friends Joey, Shannon, and Ben from school joined us with their parents, as well as Sarah and Anna, and cousins Layla and Xander. The house was crowded, so I was happy that we were going outside after decorating our hats. The parade started and we marched to the park. The wind picked up and there were...rain drops??? Hmmmm. Odd. We continued on, Emily running and everyone else trying to keep up.

We got to the park and the kids played. I tried to get the picnic table all set up, but the sky burst open!!! No one could believe it. It started pouring. We grabbed our things and sheltered in the gazebo. I thought it was slightly funny, but I felt bad because I was supposed to be playing host and we were all cold and wet. The kids were not happy to be confined, so Ryan and Tim braved the rain, got the cars, and ferried everyone back to the house. I had NOTHING ready, nothing!!! It was supposed to be an outdoor party, so we totally winged it. Luckily we've done a few of these at this point, so we figured we'd have Emily open presents while the other adults got the food situated.

Needless to say, Emmy was THRILLED. She got a lot of wonderful presents from everyone...thank you so much! My Little Ponies, art supplies, Barbies, great gift certificates, a Lollalopsy named Charlotte, adorable clothes. The girl is set for summer vacay! (And she slept with the art supplies...too cute). We had a rainbow cone cake from the Creamery afterwards with yellow candles, and then the kids went upstairs and played until the party was over. The grown-ups got a chance to mingle as well, and all and all I would say it was a success. So again, thank you to everyone for sharing this day with Em!

PS I've decided to try Flickr instead of using Picassa for the photos. Let me know what you think!