Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello, Summer!

We had a whirlwind first week of summer! We jetted off to the Magic Kingdom and spent four awesome days there. Unfortunately, while recharging our batteries, we recharged the camera battery and accidentally left both the charger and battery in our room! So instead of looking at our awesome family pics, you are seeing a generic Disney image! Real photos to come....sometime.

This was our first stay at the Grand Californian, thanks to a special they were offering. From the staff leading the coloring station (letters to Mickey) in the lobby, to our special entrance to the park -- it was worth it!

Random side note: one of my favorite things about the trip was our new luggage. Pretty, it was not. E and I had basic black and navy (respectively) functional bags. P had a Tinkerbell case that was stinkin' cute. We bought them somewhat impulsively before the trip with hopes of not checking luggage. I'm sure everyone reading has appropriate luggage. E and I were always rummaging for duffel bags. We had one giant (that needed to be checked, naturally) suitcase that we would pack all of our clothes in. Then we'd put our toiletries, magazines, and anything else we wanted to carry on in the duffel bags. At the airport, E would haul the big suitcase and carry a duffel, while I'd have P and my duffels. Anyway, this time it was the three of us, each hauling our own rolling carry-on suitcase. It made all the difference!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Last week of school

As usual, the last week was full of pomp and circumstance. This year it was even more sweet for a couple of reasons. One, my OWN daughter graduated, and two, this was my first year back as a full-time teacher after five years of being part-time. I always thought that I made good connections with my class, even when being part-time, but it does seem more intense this year. I find myself already missing the kids.

Here's just a few highlights from my dual role this week as mom and teacher

First, below are the gifts I gave to my awesome volunteers - the baskets have a lemonade pitcher, lemons, lemonade mix, lemonade glasses, and a magazine.

Miss P at the end of year concert. She introduced the song, 5 Little Butterflies.
With buddy Max. Friends since birth.
With dad and grandma
My class, including my two student teachers from 2009 and 2010.
Graduation! "I'm a first grader!"

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

See Jen Run!

Yesterday's half marathon - go us! We had about 15 staff members or parents (or both!) from school gather to participate in this women-only event in Alameda. Some of us trained. Some of us didn't. Some of us ran. Some walked. Some ran/walked. Some beat personal goals. Some were disappointed. (Some like my awesome friend and race buddy chanted - 'low expectations, low expectations - that way, you're happy no matter what!') All of us finished, had our chocolate and champagne that awaited us at the end, and made it home in one piece. Girl power!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ending the year with a bang...

We've had a busy last few weeks at the Ponderosa! Here we are celebrating Miss P's Open House/Classroom Celebration.

Exactly a week later, we had International Night. Our school is unique in that we have every ethnicity you can think of. This year I have a Turkish student, and a student from Haiti, to name a few.
Above and below you see P and her 'besties.' China, India and France are represented - not sure why her Scottish friend didn't make it in the picture! Now, some of these girls don't just have ancestors from these countries (like P's great, great, great grandparents are from Ireland). I'm talking, these families just moved here within the last few years from India, Scotland, and France. The kids speak the languages and have the accents. Cool!
Today we had our End of Year BBQ Party. It used to be the last week of school (next week), but as that time is already so crazy (and the other grade levels are vying for the days), we started having it early. It was a hit! I enjoyed my dual role of mom and teacher. I actually met a mom from another class who had no idea who I was (shock, can you believe it? I had to explain my actual celebrity status.) For a moment, I was 'just a mom.' : )
Paige with her cute friends again. The little boy on the end in Elmo is a younger sibling.

Speaking of 'just a mom,' I had the realization recently that I will never get the chance to be that 'do it all mom,' - at least while I'm in this job! I was recently thanking one of my parents profusely for working hard on our classroom auction basket. She modestly shrugged and said, 'That's what we do.' I told this story to E, and he kind of didn't get it. 'Who's 'we'?' 'The stay-at-home, do-it-all mom of course!' I had planned to only work part-time this year, but things turned out differently. For awhile I held on to hopes that I could organize my time and take days off to try and play both parts. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I can be helpful, but I'm not going to be able to do any of the big stuff in P's classroom. I was so thankful to the room parent in her class this year, who kept me in the loop, and helped me to feel part of things. I'm actually happy with my full-time status now.

OK, back to the slide show.
You can barely see it, but around the playground there were many groups of children who collected sticks, rocks, and weeds and built homes for imaginary animals and all kinds of other things. P and company are quite proud of this 'creation.' Love the imagination!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

real life

I've had so many 'bloggable' moments lately, that I haven't had time to blog! But here is one I'm living right now.....for all of you working moms who have moments you feel guilty about. Don't! Currently, I'm working on my student teacher's evaluation with report cards on deck. Meanwhile, my lovely daughter is in hog heaven, having a cartoon marathon upstairs. She only needs me when it is time to turn the channel. (By the way, I can tell her reading skills are improving as she can read the names of all the shows - Backyardigans, Ni Hao Kai Lan, etc. Oh! and I'm hiding candy from her down in the office. Mother of the Year! : )

In other news, tomorrow we have our end of year BBQ. E will be there representing our family for P's class. : ) My team of moms is at the ready to pull off the event, with the help of my detailed notes :). I have warned them that I have 2, possibly 3, meetings after school tomorrow - the first one starting 5 minutes after school is out - so they have promised to clean up and give away any leftover food! I am loving my volunteer moms. They help me in so many different ways. Ideas for gifts, anyone? I have seven mega moms to celebrate. One year my teaching partner and I took the moms out to dinner (three really awesome ones), another year I did beach bags with books and other summer fun things (again, for three supermoms). Spending a lot of money is not necessarily in my budget, but the amount of work many of these moms do really necessitates something significant. Throw ideas my way!