Friday, June 3, 2016

School Year Wrap-Up

I know that I blog about a lot of things through the year, but I felt like a school year wrap-up was in order this year, especially since it's our last year at Chavez.  I don't buy yearbooks for the kids in elementary school but I want them to remember some things about their school and their teachers.

This year all the schools in the district threw their mascots out the window and switched to Lobos.  Perhaps it was a way to bring district unity in, but we went from being the Chavez Eagles, to the Chavez Lobos.  The school didn't really change significantly though -- it still started with Jumpstart every morning where the kids recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge (yes there is one) and the Lobo's pledge.  I think I can do all three from memory because I was in Jumpstart A LOT and the kids automatically do them all together once they start the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Abby's teacher was Lynn Cain in her last year of teaching.  She is quite honestly one of the shortest people I have ever met but a great teacher.  Abby started the year off not knowing all her letters (although I'm not entirely sure she still knows them!) and having quite a few writing problems due to grip and pencil control.  She has ended the year with confident writing that is legible and is reading at a level C (which is the general goal for kinder and I have no idea what it correlates to!).  She is also doing very basic addition and subtraction.  School takes a little more effort for her and we've had our frustrations this year but she has progressed tremendously.  I think probably the best thing about it for her is the friends.  She has a lot of friends and not just in her class, but throughout the kindergarten.  A lot of them are boys too.  Sometimes at the park, she sees someone from school and immediately runs off to play.  Her teacher always told me though that she was very good about following the rules and doesn't talk nonstop in class -- a little surprising honestly!!

Megan's teacher was Heather Kremer and I don't think I could have asked for a better one for her!  Megan responds so well to humor and lightening the situations where she gets easily upset or anxious and her teacher was so funny.  Weird, according to Megan but we're all big fans of weird.  She answers her classroom phone Crazy Kremer apparently.  We have had far less instances of crying in class than what we were having last year and Megan has made a little collection of friends that love her and are excited to see her in the mornings.  She started the year above grade level in reading and has finished it WAY above grade level in math and reading.  Her reading is on a 7th grade level!!  And she does read all the time.  But I think that her favorite subject is science -- she loves learning about animals and nature and the world.  She wants to live in a rain forest someday and go to Africa.  Unfortunately, that will probably not happen while she's living at home!!  She has won several awards this year for her art, in particular for a piece called "Peacock at Night" that was entered in the PTA competitions and was apparently traumatized when her art teacher showed a video of watercolor paintings that included one of a peacock being eaten by a snake!!  This year I think she had her first crush, or at least the first one I know about.  And I only know about it because I overheard her telling a friend about the boy she liked.  She told me about him when I asked questions but of course didn't volunteer any information on her own.  His name is Toby and he apparently has the cubby above hers and she has tried to grab his legs and kiss him.  She invited him to eat lunch with us one day and she was very animated and funny around him which was funny to me because she's normally so reserved.  I asked her teacher about him and she said that he's a lot like her -- quiet, a rule follower, and a good student.

William's year of speech therapy was also successful.  He's still largely unintelligible and hasn't gained any of the sounds they've worked on 100%, but he does talk a lot more and I THINK that others can understand him better than they could.  I certainly can.  His therapist was Sarah Housl and she put up with a lot of temper and stubbornness from him but also genuinely enjoyed him and he loved her.  He might throw a fit to go in the school but he always went with her to the classroom willingly and for the most part did what he was asked to do I think.

Walking into jump start nearly every morning, having 2 children in school, and then coming in twice a week to bring William to speech has resulted in my becoming very close to several of the teachers and staff at Chavez.  I've friended them on Facebook and intend to keep up with them because they're so wonderful.  I think that's why I cried all yesterday morning -- because I love them so much not only for the people they are to my children but because they are important friends to ME!  I am a strong believer in being a stay-at-home mom if you can and I'm so grateful that Chopper's job and income has allowed me to choose that path.  But I cannot express enough gratitude for these amazing women (and some men but honestly, elementary school is mostly women) who play such a vital role in the forming of my children's characters and lives.  And I love that as a stay-at-home mom I am able to be a closer part of that in volunteering and hanging out and around the school.  I'm looking forward to great things in Germany but I have adored Chavez and I will miss it very much!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Chopper Turns 39!

Yes this happened a week ago.  I'm a terrible wife!!  But life has been full of purging, organizing, paperwork, and other things that go with an inter-continental move so I think I get a little wiggle room.  The girls have been at school for all of it too (today is the last day!) but William is very helpful.
He likes to build things like this house and then put things away where I can't find them.  Very helpful.

Chopper's actual birthday was on a Wednesday and so for his birthday dinner we had wings and he requested an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen which was actually very good!  The kids all gathered around to sing happy birthday and I've posted so many of the same pictures because you can kind've see the progression of the song: 

And then this happened.  William didn't get to blow out the candles.  Poor boy.

He calmed down to eat cake of course!!  Chopper got some books, a date night with a hot woman (yes, that's me), a giant case of Dr. Pepper (we don't think they have it in Germany so he's gotta get it while he can!), Slim Jims, and some headphones that turned out not to be so great and were sent back.  

Of course we extended his birthday to the weekend.  Saturday I ran another 10K race (went out way to fast but came in with a time of 1:03:42 which is still pretty good for me) and then he smoked ribs for the last time and we had friends over for dinner and a bounce house all day.  Despite the almost constant rain that we've been getting, the day was really beautiful and we enjoyed it.  Then we both spoke in church on Sunday and cleaned the garage out on Monday!!  Things are moving right along!

It's hard to believe that Chopper is just one year away from 40.  Fishing and barbeque are still some of his favorite things and he's very excited about his new job and what it will hopefully do for his career.  He is a great husband and father and we're grateful to have him!!!