Thursday, May 26, 2016

Little Mermaid Jr.


Another Spring. Another 80 something costumes. Another amazing musical put on by our talented middle schoolers.    This year we did Little Mermaid Jr. 


Ariel, Flounder, King Triton, Sebastian, Ursula, the eels, just a ton of fun costumes to prepare.  


Wait, what?   There's Bee.  She was in the choreography this year. She's sitting as a wave, second from the left. 


The mermaids had on heeley skate shoes so they floated around the stage.  It wasn't my idea but costuming got a lot of compliments for it. I'll take it. 


Ursula was a really fun costume.  Most fun (for me, not Ursula) was that the poor girl who played her had step throat the week before the show and the tentacles needed to practice with the costume, so I had to step in and be the sea witch for a few days!  


We chose the show last summer, so I had all school year to plan and purchase things... plus the gave me a little more budget to work with this year... and I spent every penny. 


There's Bee again as a wave and one of the boat steerers. 


We had a super strong set of 8th graders to take the leads, and many great 5-7 graders to support them.  


The kids I had my first year teaching at this school are now fifth graders, so it was fun to work with a few of them again.  In the next few years it will be even more fun as my third graders work their way up, knowing the kids that much better.  King Triton was my favorite to work with.  Super polite young man and perhaps my future son-in-law.  Just calling dibs now. 




The mersisters were my last costume to put together.  I couldn't get it right, I had mermaid skirts I made for Peter Pan, but they needed added to and they needed tops.  The old tops we used weren't anywhere to be found.  I ended up buying old prom dresses and cutting them up.  


Bee was a lovely wave. 




There's Bee again far right, now a chef.  Oh man, that Chef Louis was a hoot. 


So, our head of school is a goofy, fun guy that the kids all love.  The near kiss scene on the boat was a point of concern.  We're fairly conservative and didn't even want to imply the kissing- despite the fact that the song is called 'Kiss the Girl.'  I was told our Head of School was going to be going on as a jellyfish in a cameo sort of role.  I had a jelly fish costume all ready. The morning of the show he told me he was going on a seagull to do something funny.  You can't do that last minute to a costume person.  We figured it out... I had some extra pieces and he did go on as a seagull.  He squawked really loudly and made it a goofy song instead of a romantic song.  The kids didn't know what was coming as he had only practiced at the dress rehearsal and that was as a jellyfish.  



Every year it almost feels like too much to get it all together, but as soon as the show is over, I can't wait to get started on the next show.  My kids have asked me not to do it again, they don't like all the shopping and errands it entails.  We've got two scripts to read this summer and then I can get thinking on new costumes!  Sorry kids. 



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Easter- escape room style


Happy Easter from our family to yours!

The kids asked for their scavenger hunt for their Easter treats, so inspired by a recent trip to an escape room (the most fun I've ever had!), I made up a new type of hunt.  In this one, they had to find number codes before being given the next clue.  


When they went to our stack of HP books, after some searching, they noticed a little paper scrap bookmark.  The page number it was marking was the numbered answer.  499.


Here's another, a little more Easter appropriate.  I should have led with that one. This verse is on one of the crosses on our ever growing wall of crosses.  


They needed to locate it and figure out what part of was the numbered code.  


They considered the price tag on the back, but it was the verse reference numbers, which Lou eventually got.  



Another clue simply said "see the beauty" and led them to this picture that hangs in Bee's room.  They considered the mirrors around the house and Bee's 'makeup' collection before Daddy casually guided them to the real clue. 


On the back was a clock, whose time was the numbered answer.  645


Another clue led them to Lou's derby cars.  This was harder for them as they had to find the two years I was looking for and put the numbers in the right order.  5016!



There were 15 or so of these, which of course kept them busy for only a few minutes.  Then it led them to this little Easter treat.  They get showered with goodies from the grandparents and only needed a small treat from us.


All this has me thinking how I can use something like this in the classroom!  I'm getting some ideas. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

wrestling, not so much


Lou tried wrestling this year.  This is the only photographic proof, as he wrestled only these two matches and decided he'd just cheer on the team from the sidelines for the rest of the season.  Hubby has started a wrestling program at our school and is coaching.  Lou was very unsure of doing it as there is the business of the singlet and the headgear, but mostly the fact that all those crazy fans are watching just you and another dude.  And those fans are CRAZY!  We are a new program in a serious wrestling town.  We were in a little over our heads. 


One match he was pinned in about a minute and the other match he held his own until the very end of the last round.  He did enjoy practice and watching his friends at meets, so who knows, he might do it again next year.  He did not go the weigh-in for the all city meet as he had no intention of participating, but when it came time we learned he would have been uncontested in his weightless and would have taken first place for the city by default!  I thought he be disappointed and we prepared to give a speech about not deserving a trophy we didn't earn anyway, but he was totally cool with it.  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Daddy Daughter dance and 2 full tummies


I probably should have titled this posted Throwback Thursday... or Monday... if you're a stickler like that.  I feel like some days I'm just working triage.  I put out one fire and then another and then get some kids to soccer, or track... or baseball... or play practice.  Then someone always thinks we should have dinner and then there's that too. 

But never mind that.  This throwback Monday is in attempts to get a bit caught up here before summer comes.  We seriously have like 33 days of school left.  Praise the Lord.  



Dear hubby took Bee to a daddy daughter dance this Valentine's day at our church.  It was our church's first time and it was a great success.  The dads all took their little sweet peas out to dinner and then to the church for dancing, candy, and I'm sure general shenanigans. 

Bee picked out this dress and it was a bit of a compromise.  It wasn't little-girl enough for me, but she liked it and goodness gracious- she'll be in middle school next year!  She had to throw on a sweater of mine at the last minute, as it was a chilly evening.  She's taken over my favorite red sweater, but the thought that we could share some clothes soon is intriguing! She's more trending than I am and that might not be a bad deal for me occasionally.  


Daddy and Bee went to her favorite pizza place in town and met up with some other and dancing dad couples.  Lou said he wanted to take me out for dinner too.   He wanted buffet and I wanted sushi so we ended up at a new-to-us China buffet in town that some students have recommend.  Oh dear!  Gluttony Buffet should have been the name of it.  There was so much food and it was all amazing (plus I've been eating so healthy for months- it was all so fried and fatty- pretty much the best food I'd ever eaten).  We ate and ate and then ate some more and then had ice-cream.  When the bill came we giggled because Lou is still well within the age for the children's price but he said, "Did they not see how much I ate?"  We got out of there for $15!    I think we paid for it the next day though as we were both feeling a bit yuck the entire day.   My sweet kids wanted to take me out to my favorite restaurant the next day for my birthday so there was more food- I think I could have gone without eating the rest of the weekend! 

If I get to it, tomorrow can be throwback Tuesday.  And then Wednesday. And then by Thursday I'll be following the rules of the throwback. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Wax Museum- from November


I'm pretty much stalling going to the basement to exercise... so I found something from November to share.  I've shared about our school's Wax Museum project before.  Here's 2014.  It's a great event, tons of work but with an impressive end product.  

Here's my sweet third grade team dressed as Ms. Frizzle, the mouse from if you give a mouse a cookie, Mary Poppins, and Minnie Mouse.   (They painted the walls in out hall last summer, blah!)



Each grade participates in some way.  In kindergarten they dressed up like a nursery rhyme, in first they dresses up like their favorite bible character, in second they dressed up like an animal that they read a book about and did a report about.  In third we read a fiction book, dress up like a character from the book, but present about the author that we've researched.  In fourth, they choose a famous historical person.  In fifth (pictured below) they choose a president of first lady. Teachers dress up as they choose. 


Here's my friend, Captain Underpants presenting about the author that created him, Dav Pilkey.  





Each class gets to give out a few awards, best costume and best presentation.  Amelia Bedilia was my costume winner this year. 


The Fox from Jan Brett's The Mitten was my best presentation. 

Lou read a book by Dan Gutman about Sachel Paige.  He dressed as this 1940's Negro League baseball player. His board had to have info about the author, list other books by the author, display the setting of his book, and have a photo of the author.  I made him use the costume as his Halloween costume as well since I had to order the jersey and spent time making the letters for the front.  Bee was less cooperative.  I posted this picture and a short description of the project on Dan Gutman's Facebook page and he responded himself that it was a great project and he thought Lou did a great job and he hoped Lou got an A!   

(On a side note, I have since unfriended Mr. Gutman.  There was an unrelated Facebook conversation later where I thought he and several friends/fans were criticizing a young fan and I was slightly offended. It took a religious turn.  I left a comment that I still stand behind.  After a followup post and conversation I decided it was better for me to unfriend and leave that conversation!  He's an engaging writer and Lou enjoys his books, but perhaps would not be described as a compassionate mentor to a young person.  Why share that?  I sometimes read through old post and remember little details of our days that I had forgotten,  I guess I thought that was something I might want to remember some day.)



Bee was assigned Mary Todd Lincoln.  I was crossing my fingers for Jackie O. simply because that costume would have been fun. 


Our third graders got to travel around during the fifth graders wax museum time and hear their 1 minute speeches.  Lou is in the baseball outfit.  Two of my students are next to him.  I told them all to go hear Mary's speech! 


Bee was not happy to wear a puffy dress, but we compromised and I sewed it pretty form fitting until the waist. No puff in the sleeves!  I used one of the skirts from Annie and found enough fabric left to compose the top.  She wore gloves from Peter Pan and some of my jewelry.  I might have and unusual amount of costumes hoarded in my basement... 


Three unlikely friends. 


Here's Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.  Mr. Lincoln is a former student and a sweet, sweet boy.  I'm saving this one for their reception slide show.  Shhh. 


Here are some of the teachers who dressed up for the day.  The fifth grade teachers might be my favorite!  Since their students were presidents and first ladies, they were secret service agents.  Not exactly a book character, but great nonetheless.  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas


What a nice Christmas break we've had!  Two full weeks off of school! The weather could be bad (but it's not- we've needed just a jacket all month), I could have been required to fold twice as much laundry (seriously, how four people make so much laundry I don't know),  we could be housebound without things to do (thankfully not though) and it would still be a nice break.  Two full weeks is a wonderful treat. 


We even had a few days off of school before Christmas which was such a delightful treat.  Errands were done.  We were reseted.  I didn't feel rushed when Christmas came.  I didn't even have any papers left to grade.  I'm pretty famous for grading on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Years Eve and my birthday and well... really, every day.  



We used some passes from a student to visit our local Children's Museum.  We hadn't been in at least a year but I had passes with an expiration date.  



I had thought the museum was now too young for them, but they had the best time they have ever had.  Our school was out two days before the public school and we took advantage of that- there might have been 12 kids in the whole place.  We took friends and made a day of it.  The trampoline place in town, a restaurant with a pizza buffet (I'll pass next time), and the children's museum- kid fun day/mom exhaustion day!   


Bee spent a few days at my sister's farm for some girl time and really enjoyed herself.  She sent me this photo on the first evening there. I had a book on tape from the library and didn't mind the hours in the car to take her and pick her up.  I learned a lot about the Oregon Trail- want to talk about it?  It was fascinating book and I can't find many (anyone?) who wants to hear about it! I've always loves that period in history.  


Bee was glad to be back and we were glad to have her home.  Tippy sure seemed to miss her. 


We spent Christmas Eve with hubby's parents.  We opened presents early so we have time to play, then ate and went to the evening service at church. 


 Lou received a punching bag.  It hangs in my basement laundry room.  It scares me every time I walk in there.  It sort of looks like a bad guy hiding in there to get me while I fold laundry.  And you know I'm folding more laundry than is humanly possible. Sometimes I bump into it with my back while I reach in one of the machines.  It startles me and I'm pretty sure I'm being attacked.  


 Christmas morning we do our own thing, just the four of us.  I make white chocolate chip scones and the kids sleep in.  We open presents and hang out.  Hubby hurriedly picks up the wrapping paper trash.  Bee puts her new items in their new places right away and Lou leaves his out scattered around the house until I threaten to throw them all in the trash.  


Lou wanted a music player.  


It was too warm to wear our fleece Christmas pajamas.  I won't complain! 


Bee wanted an instant camera.  It' like 1974 at our house!  There was a long discussion about how much each photo she takes actually cost (that film is pricey!) but she didn't seem to get it (multiple photos of the cat, a picture of her alarm clock, etc) until I mentioned that when she was out of film, she was out of film.  She had what she'd received for Christmas and then she'd be buying the next rolls of film. There were practically tears as she realized- she's now a choosier photographer. 


The last few years we've spent Christmas evening with neighbors. 


Which meant, Lou was one lucky boy, spending Christmas day with his teacher! 


Neither seemed to mind. 

It was the Michigan's family turn to host sibling Christmas.  To my brother's we went.  I didn't mind the long drive, I had a captive hubby to discuss the Oregon Trail with!  



We had planned on snow skiing, but they had as much snow as us- none!  Bee received enough film to last until Valentines Day, which she's hoping she'll get as a valentine.  



We visited their children's museum, ate pizza with apples and granola on top, played lots of board games, drank more Izzy soda than a person should, built pop can robots, 


read stories from Spanish children's books, 


                                                       and went iceskating. 



(Bee and my sister are in the middle of the picture, her hubby is behind them.)


(Lou and my new brother in law are in this picture.)

We returned home with days to spare.  Did I mention two full weeks is delightful?  When everyone in your house spends their days at school- it's a big deal!  The Christmas decor is down, the house is tidy and back to normal,  report cards were completed, errands have been done, we are rested and ready for second semester.