Monday, May 28, 2012

#1 Graduate

Allyson's Kindergarten year passed by in a flash.
First Field Day - Friday 5/18/12 

On Friday Bill and I attended her graduation, though she technically has three days left. In the program, her class sang, "If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a rain that would be." The girls carried umbrellas and the boys wore top hats.
Allyson's in Front, Wearing Purple (Please excuse our horrible camera.)

They all had such personality. Allyson's grin never faltered, and her exaggerated expressions made me chuckle. Thankfully, no one got poked in the eye with an umbrella.

After all the Kindergarten classes had sung songs about rain and rainbows and sunshine, everyone trooped to the classrooms for the awards ceremonies. With all the parents, grandparents, and younger siblings, we were packed in like sardines.

I was in awe of Mrs. C, who expertly settled 24 little graduates with a simple chant. "Hands on head," she sang. "Hands on knees." After just three chants with accompanying motions, all the excited laughter faded to silent anticipation as Mrs. C explained that she wanted to take a moment to honor each child's accomplishments.

And all of the children sat patiently while she did just that. Each student received a Kindergarten diploma, at least one academic award, and a special "candy" award. There was the Almond Joy award for a little girl who is a joy to everyone, and the Laffy Taffy award for a girl who laughs while she learns (and sometimes does more laughing than learning.) After Mrs. C read each student's awards aloud, she held him or her close and whispered some sort of advice or encouragement.

As I watched Mrs. C embrace every child and whisper her love--even the kids I knew had caused her some grief--tears of thankfulness clouded my vision. Thank God there are teachers willing to pour their energy, creativity, and love into someone else's children. For the third time in a couple of weeks, I felt a strong tug to go back to teaching. If God wills it, may he prepare me to love like Mrs. C.

Allyson was one of two students to receive perfect attendance--woo hoo!--and also received a reading achievement award and a Nerds award for intelligence and hard work in all areas. She didn't get the joke, but most of the adults laughed, albeit nervously. No offense meant, and none taken. (Since then Allyson has told quite a few people about her Nerds award.)

As Allyson recalls, Mrs C told her, "Remember to always challenge your teachers to help you keep learning and growing."

After handing us her awards, Allyson received a handful of Gummi Bears and a little stuffed animal commemorating her graduation.
Allyson Holding Her Stuffed Animal
On the way home, she proudly showed us her tiny lion, whose shirt says #1 Graduate. "Should I name him One?" she asked, "or Graj-oo-ayt?"

"It's graj-oo-it," Bill corrected.

"Okay, I'll call him Graj-oo-ayt," Allyson said.

My Drummer Boy
It's hard to believe Ethan has completed his first year of high school. He's changed so much in the course of that year. He's now taller than both me and Bill, and he's getting more mature by the day. I'm really proud of the way he has managed the demands of band practices and events and still kept up with his course load. It was a rough transition, but he figured it out.

I'm most proud of how he has excelled in band. As a lowly freshman, he spent most of his time playing cymbals, gongs, and wind chimes when he would rather have been playing the snare drum. But instead of complaining, he spent every spare moment up at the band hall, practicing before and after school. And all that dedication paid off. He's earned a slot on the drum line for next marching season, snare #3. He originally qualified for snare #5, but he's already worked his way up two slots. That's my boy!
Ethan and Grandma at the Last Band Concert

I have to tell you a little band story. On Friday the 18th, we attended the last band concert of the year. About halfway through, a man a few rows up turned and scowled at the two teenage couples in the row ahead of us. He pointed at them and shook his head menacingly.

I couldn't tell what they were doing, but their heads were bent together. They seemed to be either necking or looking at their cell phones.

At the end the song, the angry man stood up and hollered, "If you want to talk you can just leave! I've got a senior up on that stage, and this is her last performance."

There was a moment of shocked silence, and then a smattering of applause. I clapped a bit myself, but I could only imagine how mortified that man's daughter must have been. The young couples seemed totally unfazed.

And in Tortilla News...
I mentioned in a previous post that I had bought a used tortilla press on eBay. It's a Vitantonio Tortilla Chef, circa 1997. I paid $40 with shipping, somewhat of a gamble I guess.

It makes lovely round tortillas, but so far they don't seem quite as soft and fluffy as the ones I rolled by hand.

The trouble is that there is no instruction manual, nor can I find one online. I don't know if you are supposed to actually cook the tortillas on the press, or just flatten them and cook them in a skillet. It does cook them, but they don't puff up as much. Maybe it's not hot enough. In any case, they are still wonderfully delicious. I'll keep trying.

If anyone has tips (or an owner's manual), I'd love to hear from you.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Congratulations to your family Sarah. You must be proud of them.

The tortilla looks delicious. Can I have a bit?

God bless.

Jara said...

Just saw this, didn't know Allyson went to Bluebonnet. Did you know I used to teach there? In fact, I was in that very same classroom Allyson was in this past year:) Mrs. Cooper moved in right after I left in 2002/2003, it has since been someone else's room (other teachers), but I think she moved back into it afterwards:) What a coincidence:) Do you know Mrs. Beasley? She was Kaden's teacher, we LOVE her, and Brooke Woods (1st grade) taught with me - one of my fave friends there! Hope you are doing well!

Sarah said...

Victor - Wish I could share a tortilla with you. I'll make you a deal: if you ever come to Texas for a visit, I'll make you some tortillas.

Jara - I think I had forgotten you worked at Bluebonnet. How cool that Allyson was in your old classroom. I don't know Mrs. Beasley. Hopefully Allyson will end up in her class.


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