Saturday, February 23, 2013

Basketball and Cheerleading

Lydie and Josh chose to do winter sports, while Jack has spent his extra time in drama rehearsal preparing for his big play in April.  We have really enjoyed the sports this season.  We chose to do Upward this time, which only requires one evening for practice, plus weekly games.  The coaches very kindly scheduled Lydie and Josh's practices on the same night and time.  This favor was a life-saver for us!

Joshua had a coach whom we really loved and admired.  He was extremely hard on the boys, but also willing to pat their back and point out their accomplishments.  Although Josh did not begin or finish as the best player on the team, his coach did tell him that he was the most improved on the team.  This was a huge compliment, we thought.  He worked really hard.  He still needs to learn how to be more aggressive on the court.  But he seems to understand the strategy of the game really well.  He is a very sharp player.
Joshua loved defense!

Lydie loved cheer leading.  She was the youngest and smallest on the team.  But she had no problem keeping up.  In fact, she did outstanding at the games when she was head cheerleader.  She seems to thrive in situations where she is the youngest.  She wants to continue cheer leading...and doing ballet, gymnastics, art, and trying soccer next year.  Her enthusiasm is over the top!

Her friend's mom made cute polka dotted cups and buckets for the squad.
Lydie is the last one on the right.
Cute little cheerleaders!
We are really proud of both kids for a great season!  We are glad they learned teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship.  Looking for to more games next year!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Piano competition

At some point, between the Sportsmen's Blast with the men and his basketball game, Joshua participated in his first piano competition.  While basketball takes a lot of work, piano is just like school work for Joshua- a lot of success with very little practice.  None of us really knew what to expect.  But he played beautifully and received a superior rating.  I really think with his right-brained talents that he will do very well in music.  I hope he keeps on enjoying the piano and takes after his Granny, Mimi, and Uncle Rick!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Luncheon

My precious friend Leigh Ann had the grammar faculty members over to her house on Valentine's day.  She has the gift of hospitality and encouragement like no one I have ever met before.  She is also very artistic.  Her house is a masterpiece!

She made chicken salad, garden salad, soup, and a fabulous dessert.  Every room of her house had precious decorations for every holiday.  Have you ever seen a Valentine tree?  Her dining room had one!  And garland and hearts, galore.  She picked a variety of containers, from tea cups to silver pots, and put an arrangement of succulents for us to take home.  I am telling you it was the sweetest day!  I whispered to her that our husbands were doomed, how could they top this for Valentines?

Our lovely principal presented a devotion.  It was based on a verse that is now one of my favorites:

"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on new plants."
Deuteronomy 32:2

Isn't that the perfect prayer for me to pray every day as a Mom and teacher?  I left refreshed and excited.  Right now, I cannot fathom my life without my new, sweet friends and all of the friendship, wisdom, laughter, and encouragement they bring to me every day!  It feels so amazing to be settled at a place that I want to plug into for a long time...until someone drags me away!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

When the cat's away...

Andy went out of town one weekend and we just randomly decided after basketball and cheerleading games to go to the Birmingham Zoo.  We were underdressed for cold weather, but it was sunny and a great day.  I do miss these impromptu trips.  We used to go on a field trip every month together when we homeschooled.  Although the pros far outweight the cons of being at a private school for our family, these days are one of the things that I miss most!
The train...same one I rode at their age!
Quiet, but full of life!
The reptile house...shivers.
One of my favorites

I am always struggling to keep up!!
Our little Saturday adventure!

Jack's Cotillion

Jackson attended his first school dance in February.  Wow, it's just crazy to imagine that we are in this stage of life.  He sure is a kind boy, full of integrity and talent.  But will he REALLY be 13 this summer??

All spiffed up and ready to go!
The sixth graders, or at least most of them, met at the park before the dance for pictures.
Pretty girls, handsome boys!
He was so excited for his big night.  The sixth grade class has been taking etiquette classes during their lunch hour and ballroom dance classes during p.e.  So he felt confident and prepared.  At the dance, they get dance cards with some of the partners filled in and others they get to choose.

Lovely tables!
A couple of Jack's buddies before the dance.  Next year I am going to try to talk Jack into a bow tie.  Love!
The dance begins with thirty minutes for the parents to take pictures and a professional photographer to take pictures.  The gym took my breath away.  It was filled with candles and white lights.  The tables were gorgeous with red table runners and roses.  Every detail was attended to, from the place cards to the napkins.  It was really lovely!  The girls looked so sweet and beautiful, yet age-appropriate.  The boys all wore ties and coats, some were in suits.  They looked so mature and handsome.  I don't know if all of the classes are like this, but Jack's group loves to dance, boys and girls alike.

When I arrived, the teachers (in black) had joined the kids in a line dance.  The teachers wore black, along with a few volunteer parents, and served the dinner and helped clean up.
After the parents leave, the kids have a four course meal.  They are seated with various ages and both boys/girls.  Jack was a little worried that he wouldn't know the people he was seated with.  But they had a blast and he loved the food.  He said there was "no awkward silence", so that was good. :)

After dinner, the tables were all cleared away and the gym became a dance floor.  They dance around a dozen dances, I think, including the swing, the waltz, etc.  They also do a bunch of line dances, which is really fun.  He said is was formal, but laid back and really fun.  The parents are allowed to come back 15 minutes before the end of the dance to see the last dance.  Jackson chose to dance with a sweet little sixth grade girl whom he is friends with.  They looked so sweet and innocent.

The last dance with his friend.  This is a sweet stage in life!
This picture is one side of the booth when we went out for milk shakes.  10 boys, 1 booth!
I am so grateful that he is learning how to be a gentleman...and enjoying it!  I am so thankful that his idea of fun is a classy, innocent night with his friends.  Afterwards, a big group of his friends went to get milkshakes and discuss the night.  On the way home, he said, "Mom, this was the best night of my life... so far!"  So far, it has been PURE JOY to be the parent of a middle schooler.  Love, love, love it!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Daddies and Donuts

Lydie and Andy had a special day at school today.  They celebrated Daddies and Donuts, a kindergarten tradition.  I love the pictures that they took together!

This little girl has captivated her Daddy's heart.  Over the years, his heart has softened more and more for her.  She is pretty delightful, I must say.  I was so glad that they had a special day to enjoy each other and celebrate their precious relationship.  She will have a tough time finding a husband who will be able to love her like this man.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Mega Rome Day

Both third grade classes together at Mega Rome day!
One group making bullas (a child's necklaces), at 1 of the 6 booths!
Each group had a special colored "Eagle standard" to represent his or her group for the day, much like the Roman army.

Reclining and eating like Romans!  The children LOVED lunch!
My sweet friend's beautiful daughter making a mosaic piece of art.
One of my sweet students playing Roman dice games.  So precious!
Mega Rome day is the highlight of the third grader's year.  Although we begin with Creation and study history through Constantine, we really focus the majority of our time on ancient Greece and Rome.  On Mega Rome day we spend a day in our togas in the gym.  There are 6 booths with art projects and games that are Roman in nature.  Lunch is prepared on trays and the children recline on blankets, just like the Romans.  It is an entire day of fun and learning!  I loved the laurel wreaths and togas.  It was so exciting and a tradition that will be the highlight of my winter for years to come!