Sunday, November 18, 2007

A singing montage

Play list (in case you can't translate two year old singing)

A trip to the farm

Thursday I had the pleasure of joining Samantha's pre-school class at the Dewberry Farm out west of Houston. It was a cool, sunny, breezy day and we had a really great time. Here are the pics from our day.

hay bale climbing (this was weird to was just hay arrange around a pole and it was sooo fun? Samantha decided it wasn't sooo fun after she got a foot to the cheek. I had to ask one of the other moms, "How do you know if you've broken your face?" Luckily, none of her answer transpired for Samantha.)

a train pulled by a tractor

a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, where you could pick (up, not actually pick it off the plant) a tee-tiny pumpkin to take home

two different play ground areas (one was called Fort DooHickey...only in Texas)

the "other" playground

a tee-tiny barn with chickens, turkeys, rabbits and goats you could feed

a funny slide that was made of capped PVC pipes...quite bumpy on the booty, fun for the kids, NO fun for the mommies as another mom could atest
It was such a fun day that I considered taking Jack, and my good friend and her kids back on Monday but at $10/person, I decided that might be a bit much. So we are praying for good zoo weather tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

School worries

Well, the Vanguard Magnet Program process has just begun and I am WAY stressing about it. I toured a school today that we are really excited about (hopefully Michael will tour on Thursday) and it was pretty impressive and emotional (for me, I am sure Michael won't have tears in his eyes as he tours :)).

The impressive part
  • the curriculum and academic work that they displayed
  • every teacher there is certified to teach the "gifted and talented" children
  • they have a language immersion program where they teach children to read, write and speak fluently in English and Spanish by the third grade (3 children from this program got up and read a speech that they wrote for themselves in one language and then translated it into the front of us. AMAZING)
  • they have "student competitions" that they encourage everyone to participate in, but by third grade you have to pick at least one to join. The choices range from spelling bee to science fair, to math minders (or some such thing), etc, etc.
  • they have a cool garden mostly managed by the kiddos; they encourage teachers to build it into their curriculum whether it's measure the height of the flower, to watching paper decompose.
  • the HISD bond fund just passed and this school is slotted to be re-built within the next five years and maybe next year.
The emotional part
  • I really could see Samantha as a Kindergartener today. I was overflowing with pride for her because of what a good girl she is and just how far she's had to come since I first met her...not that all kindergarteners haven't come that far, but never my first born.
  • I am really anxious about the whole school thing though because as a child I NEVER operated from a place of strength in school. I feel like I had to work HARD to scrape out every B I got. When I tried to attend 1st grade, the school really wanted me to re-do Kindergarten but Mom and Dad pitched a big enough fit that they let me proceed. So, I guess I am a little jittery about the testing that will have to occur for her to get into this program.
  • Pretty soon I am going to have to send my precious little one into the big, bad world where I have little control...and that scares me a LOT.
I recently finished reading ScreamFree Parenting and what I learned is that to produce self-directed, confident, successful children I need to settle myself down and grow up. For Jack and Samantha to be what I want them to be they need me to operate out of my highest principles rather than my deepest fear. So, if you see me nonchalantly talking to Samantha about all of this, just know that I am crying desperately inside as I don't feel equipped make such hard and life altering decisions for her. Know that I struggle every day to find the right amount of grip to keep on her close to me and protected and still allow her to flourish and grow as God intends for her.

Parenting is HARD work and can be totally exhausting, but I thank God for Samantha and Jack and the things that I learn from them everyday.

Later taters!