Claire’s Dance Recital 2014

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DSC_0069It had taken nine long months but all her hard work and effort was displayed on May 17, 2014 at A Time to Dance’s annual dance recital.

When we moved to Florida a year ago May 2013, neither girl was sure what activities they would be interested in trying.  Both hesitant since they did not know anyone to do anything with. Both girls had been doing competitive cheer for the past few years.  Both girls tried out the teams here briefly and both girls quickly changed their mind.  Claire already had her mind set on something else though.  Dance.  She loved to watch ballet videos and shows.  Not really sure where the interest sparked from, but either way, it was something she was passionate about.  With school starting and the official “dance season” doing so also, we decided this was her chance to get involved and become one of those dancers she watched videos of over and over.

The time came to sign her up in September 2013. The question was, which class?  Beginning or Intermediate?  The instructor suggested trying both as the beginning is often younger girls but Claire had never danced before (well not counting the one year when she was 4).  So she tried both classes and it was obvious.  Intermediate it would be.  She caught on quickly and fit in better age wise with that class.  So our Wednesday night from 6-7 routine was now set.  Intermediate Ballet would be how she would spend that night from September until May.

Next we had to get her a leotard, tights and ballet shoes.  She was quickly looking the part but it would take a few months to play the part.  Her hair in a ballerina bun, black leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes was her Wednesday night uniform.

She loved going to dance every week.  She loved her teach Ms. Griffin.  She actually idolized her as she was a senior in high school but had studied at professional ballet schools and had been dancing since she was three which included dancing in point shoes (Claire’s goal).  Not to mention the sweetest teacher you could imagine. She was so good and patient with them.

January arrived and costumes were measured for and ordered.  Recital routine was started.  Parts were learned.  Fromimage January to May they would continue to learn proper ballet techniques and the recital dance.  May arrived and it was time to take pictures and see the costume.  Claire was so excited to finally see it and try it on.  They would be dancing to “Wind Up Dolls” so they were to look like dolls.  The costume was perfect.

Before we knew it, recital weekend was here and the big performance on stage was about to take place.  Dress rehearsal was the Friday night before.  Claire was scheduled to practice at the end of the night.  7:15 to be exact.  We left with plenty of time to spare so we could watch some of the other acts.  What we didn’t know is it was Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola.  Guess where the theater was. Yep, downtown Pensacola.  On the same street Gallery Night was being held.  That might not sound like a big deal, but when you do not have cash for parking (because you didn’t know you’d need it) it becomes a big deal.  So Claire and I drove around for some time looking for free parking.  I was beginning to think we’d be walking from the next city.  Good thing we had left early because we needed it.  We finally found a parking space but had a few blocks to walk.  Claire was stressed we would be late.  I knew we had plenty of time.  Maybe I should listen to her more often.

We finally made it to the theater back entrance where we were instructed to go.  Found our way inside.  It was 6:55.  20 minutes until scheduled rehearsal.  As we walk into the theater guess who they were calling to the stage.  “Wind Up Dolls”.  What?  Claire didn’t even have her shoes on since we just walked in.  They mentioned they were a little early.  Try 20 minutes early.  I did mention that to them as I didn’t want to look like we weren’t on time.  Unfortunately another girl in her group was not there yet so they ended up having to hold them back and run a few other numbers why they waited for her.  At least it wasn’t us.  Claire quickly got her shoes on and she was set.

Her time finally came and her class ran through their number like pros.  I think it took longer to find a parking spot than to get her on stage and perform.  After she was done she decided to stay and watch the few numbers after her.  Remember we were one of the last numbers of the night so it wasn’t many.  The time came and it was time to go.  Now we had to walk back to the car at night.  During Gallery Night Palafox street is blocked off and there are bands, music and tables outside restaurants selling alcohol.  I could of easily sat down and drank a few glasses of wine at this point.  But, of course, since it was just her and I, we headed back to the car knowing we would be there again the next day.

Recital Day arrived.  Saturday, May 17.  The recital started at 2pm.  Claire had to arrive at 1.  Knowing we would be driving back downtown we made the decision to go early and eat lunch so we could get a parking spot easier.  We invited the grandparents and the aunt and uncle.  Grandparents agreed lunch sounded good.  Unfortunately Aunt Suzanne wasn’t feeling to well so she stayed home knowing it would be a long day.  But we were lucky enough to have Uncle Ray join too.  One of Craig and I’s favorite places to get a burger is called Tin Cow.  It is right next door to Saenger Theater which is where the recital would be held.  Since the rest of the family had never eaten there, we decided to all meet there for lunch.

DSC_0067Lunch was ordered.  Ray brought a pot of hyacinths for her to congratulate her on her performance. They smell amazing.  Grandma gave her a ballet photo album to put pictures in to remember her dance years.  Thank you both on behalf of Claire.  Lunch came and as usual it was delicious.  Once we ate we had about 30 minutes left until Claire was to arrive and check-in.  Not to get any food on her costume, she ate in regular clothes.  But after eating she needed to change.  So she gathered her costume and off the the restroom in the burger joint she went.  Isn’t that where all professional ballerinas get ready?  We had already did her hair and makeup.  All that was left was the outfit.  Out she appeared in a long red dress ready for her part of a toy master to a wind up doll.  You could see in her eyes she felt pretty and special.

I took her outside and took some pictures just to waste time.  About 10 minutes til 1:00 we decided to walk to the check-in door.  I was not prepared for the line that I saw.  It was around the corner.  Parents were not allowed in with their child but did have to sign them in.  So there we stood in line waiting for them to open the doors and start checking dancers in. The rest of the family decided they had taken up the table at the restaurant long enough and decided to move on to another hangout place.  They were not letting anyone with tickets into the theater until 1:30.  So really it was a good 40 minutes before anyone could get inside the theater.  Luck have it, at the corner of the theater entrance is a place imagecalled World of Beer.  Of course that is where my family found themselves with an outside table to waste time.  Craig called it the dance recital pub crawl as they started with beers at Tin Cow and now just ordered another round at World of Beer.

We finally made it up to the door.  I signed her in and joined the clan sitting outside.  We knew it would be a long day as Claire’s teacher said it would be about a 3 hour recital.  Drink up.  The time came and we could officially enter and find our seats.  Tickets were sold ahead of time and they were assigned seats so we knew there was no hurry to get the best seats.  Once in we found our row.  So it seems this year there would be no program as there had been previous years.  That was ok except we really wanted to know where Claire fell in the line up.  We had to be there the whole time but the rest of the family wanted to know how long they would be there as they had other plans.  Luckily a lady behind us told us the lineup was emailed out.  Of course I did not check my email.  I was too busy getting everyone up, ready, dressed and out the door.  So I open my email and see Claire’s dance.  6th from the bottom.  As in number 47.  As in almost last.  Looks like the family will be sticking around for awhile.

The first Act consisted of all the 3-5 year old.  Honestly, this was the best part of the whole recital.  Just don’t tell Claire. They were hilarious.  It definitely helped break the time as it was going to be a long 3 hours.  The theme was Disney.  So as each act performed we were trying to guess what the song was from.  Some we had no clue and some weren’t even Disney.  But it was something to do to pass the time.

imageSo we sat.  Clapping after each performance.  Counting down to Claire’s.  Two up from Claire’s was Steamboat Willie so I knew at that point I needed to get my camera out.  It was a slow go but we suddenly realized we made it to Steamboat Willie.  She was two away.  The time came and there stood five girls in long red dresses playing the parts of dolls and toy masters.  I had seen this routine a  few times (at the studio and in rehearsal) but the rest of the family had not.  It was a small class which I liked as it was easier to see her.  The music started and our she came.  My little ballerina was up on stage, dancing as gracefully as the ones in the videos she had watched a year before.  Now she was one of them.  It took 2 hours and 45 minutes of production to watch a 2 minute and 30 second dance but it was worth it to see my baby on stage.

The grandparents and uncle quickly left between dances.  Even though we were close to the end we didn’t realize how far away from getting our ballerina and leaving we were.  Once all the numbers had preformed they all came out in rows for a final bow.  This itself took longer than I expected but I presume it is tradition.  As they finished their group bows I thought “We’re almost there and able to leave”.  Wrong!  Next thing they tell us is they will be releasing the students by classes off the stage for parents to pick up starting with the youngest.  What?  So we sat some more while they slowly called each class releasing them one at a time.  Of course Claire was with the older kids.  Her time finally came.  4 hours and 20 minutes after I dropped her off I was able to congratulate my ballerina.  She really did a good job and I would do anything for my kids, which includes sitting through a recital for as long as I needed to.

DSC_0092Claire’s current favorite color is blue so Craig had purchased flowers earlier in the day that were white and blue.  Who knew they would have such a thing.  She was presented with a bouquet of flowers from us in congratulations of a performance well done.  Her first year of ballet was now under her belt.  She is wanting to take summer classes but that is up for discussion still.  I assume come September she will once again grace the dance studio in ballet shoes and the whole process will start all over.  It’s a good thing it’s a whole year before the next recital.  I might need it to recover and forget how long the day was.

(Video was from dance rehearsal night. Claire is on the right from the 3 girls who dance in)

Congratulations Claire on your first ballet recital!

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Mother’s Day 2014

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May has arrived and in tradition the second Sunday of the month holds a day to remember, honor and celebrate all the moms in our lives.  I am blessed to still have my mom as part of my life.  Not only do I get to spend the day called Mother’s Day with her, I am blessed to have her live close by and the ability to see her as I wish.

Just as much as I treasure my own mother and who she is and my time with her, I feel honored to have my own two daughters to call me Mom.  I always knew I would be a mom.  And as soon as I got married I couldn’t wait to start that journey.  Now, admittedly, there have been many days I wondered what I was thinking by having kids.  It hasn’t always been easy, but even the toughest, hardest days are worth going through knowing it’s just a day and tomorrow will be a day of smiles and laughter.

The day started with a lazy morning in bed (as many weekends do these days).  As my kids are getting older, they imagemust be following in their own mom’s footsteps as they too enjoy sleeping in and being lazy.  In past years, I have received breakfast in bed given to me by the girls.  This year, per tradition, I did receive breakfast in bed.  Only it was from my husband.  A plate of eggs and sausage with a glass of milk on a tray landed in my lap with a “Happy Mother’s Day” declared by Craig.  Umm, I wasn’t aware I was his mother.  He said he was hoping the smells from the kitchen would wake the girls in time to bring it to me.  I knew better as getting them out of bed for anything is not always easy.  He was being a good dad and letting them sleep.  Honestly, no one has to bring me breakfast in bed.  But it’s the thought that counts and I love him for thinking of me even if the girls weren’t involved.

Breakfast was good.  Good enough to start my day, still undecided what that will be.  The first girl to awake was Claire.  She heard us cleaning up in the kitchen.  She appears with sleepy eyes, bed head hair and in her hand was a hand made book.  She hands me this paper book and says “Happy Mother’s Day”.  I was sure she had made it in school as that is what you do in elementary school.  Through the years I have gotten flower pots, pictures, poems and many more “I Love You Mom” handmade items.  Each one I have treasured and I was sure this one would be no different.  To my surprise, this was a book that each page took time and effort to put together.  This must of taken several weeks to accomplish.

imageSo Claire and I snuggled on the couch and looked through her book together.  Each page had its own sweet meaning that we smiled and laughed at.  Even though she was forced to make this book by her teacher, she wasn’t forced to do it well.  And I could see the effort and love she put in it all for this one day on the calendar.

Carly peaked her head out shortly after Claire’s Mother’s Day moment.  Awaking to her own “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Still half awake but the effort to join us before noon meant a lot.  The girls picked up leftover breakfast from the eggs, sausage and bacon Craig had fixed with love.  As a high school student, there will be no school made Mother’s Day gift.  I haven’t had one in years and wasn’t expecting this year to be any different.  And that is OK.  Just knowing I have two beautiful daughters safe under my roof and a whole day to spend together is enough for me.

Claire was dying to know what our plans were for the day and I was dying to not have to make plans.  I checked in with my own mother to see if we were going to make plans together or just see each other later on.  Both of us had full bellies from breakfast and both of us were wanting to be lazy a little longer before deciding on the remainder of the day.  I laid myself on the couch and before I knew it I had fallen asleep.  Nothing better than breakfast in bed, no cleanup from  breakfast and then a short nap on the couch on a full belly.  Happy Mother’s Day to me so far.

After a brief nap on the couch, I felt rejuvenated and ready to get the day going.  Come to find out my mom had done the same thing and was ready to get up and moving herself.  Claire and Carly suggested taking me shopping.  I quickly nixed that as shopping with both girls is not what I would call enjoyable.  I love them, but a day of shopping was not going to happen.  Claire talked about going to the zoo.  Umm, again, not my first choice.  Sounded like it was turning into ‘what the girls want to do’ day.  So I turned to my own mom.  I texted her asking if she was interested in going to the beach for a bit.  It was supposed to be a rainy day but the sun had decided to come out and what better way to enjoy a relaxing day than sitting by the ocean in the sand.

So that we decided to do.  The beach it was.  While starting to get ready for the beach, Carly walks in and brings me her Mother’s Day gift.  I was shocked.  She had been working on a painting for months now.  She was copying one of imagemy own photographs.  I knew she had been working on it but it was far from finished and I wasn’t sure what her plans were for it once done.  I had asked for a painting of anything for a Christmas present but unsure what she wanted to do I never received it.  So when she walked in with a completed painting telling me it was for me I was so thrilled.  When did she finish it?  As I know it wasn’t finished last time I looked at it.  So it seems while I was napping on the couch, she ventured to her bedroom and spent her morning painting.  As much as I like getting gifts from the store, these handmade gifts mean way more to me as a mom than anything money could buy.

We finally ventured out to the beach to meet up with my own mom.  The ocean was rough and all stirred up.  Not imagethe beautiful emerald coast we are known for but that was OK.  The sun was out and I was spending time with my family.  Claire wanted to play some volleyball since the water was to ‘dirty’ looking for her today.  I guess since it is Mother’s Day, I’m supposed to be a mom and play.  So her and I bumped and served the volleyball back and forth on the beach.  I know one day she won’t want to play or I won’t be able to play, so as much as I really didn’t want to practice hitting the ball back and forth, I knew I needed to have these moments as isn’t that why I became a mom in the first place?

After some time chasing the ball in the sand as neither of us are good at getting the ball where it is supposed to go, I decided I was going to venture in to the water to cool off and check it out.  It was warmer than I thought.  Claire, grandma and grandpa decided to take a walk down the beach.  Presumably looking for seashells.  Craig and I worked our way to waste high water.  Carly, in true teenager form, wasn’t interested in any of it.  She stayed in her chair working on her tan.  Sure enough, Claire decided if mom and dad were in the water maybe she could handle it also.  So in she walked and joined us in the waves.  They were rather rough and the current was slightly strong so no one was going out far.  Grandma brought a boogie board so Claire decided she would have a little fun riding some waves since there was definitely plenty rolling in.

imageI found myself back in my chair, enjoying watching my youngest ride wave after wave in and back out.  The best part though was watching my husband being knocked down over and over only to get back up and have it happen again.  This continued for over an hour.  I sat there in my chair, my mom on one side and my oldest daughter Carly on the other, watching the rest of my family in the water smiling wave after wave.  Yep, these are days I treasure.  It just happens to be Mother’s Day.

After spending a few hours on the beach, we decided we would stop for dinner on the way home.  But it had to be imagesomewhere that would accept us as we were.  Swimsuits and coverups with wind blown hair.  Where better than Juana Pagoda’s there in Navarre Beach.  So we meet for dinner as a family.  Grandma and Grandpa included.  How could you not enjoy eating on the patio by the water.

Dinner was eaten and then we parted to return home for the day.  We were all worn out, which is always odd as we really don’t do much on the beach but I guess the sun is enough to do it.  Just as I thought my mom day was over, as soon as we get home Claire asks if I will play volleyball in the backyard.  What?  Didn’t we just play on the beach?  What did I say?  Yes, of course.  So we spent more time in the backyard playing volleyball. Even Spot the cat joined us by sitting in the grass in the middle.  Craig decided to join us also.  After awhile I handed off the game to him and I found myself watching from the hammock.  Next thing I know Craig and Claire were in the pool playing all sorts of things together.  I laid in the hammock, watching them have fun yet having my own time, finally, to myself.

imageAfter briefly getting in the pool and then the hot tub, it was time for me to start drying off and wind down for the day.  Before officially heading inside, I got the urge to put the cats on the boogie boards Craig and Claire had in the water.  Spot wanted nothing to do with it and quickly jumped off.  Cliffetta didn’t like it but we got her on one.  I’m sure this will be the first of many ‘let’s put the cat in the water’ moments over this coming summer.

Mother’s Day 2014 has come and gone and it was just as I would of wanted.  There was no getting dressed in cute clothes to do brunch.  Heck, I didn’t even take a shower today.  It was the first Mother’s Day we all spent in a swimsuit.  To be honest, I really would not of cared if it was a day of anything.  Just to know I am the mom of two blessings is all I needed for make this day perfect.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there.  And an extra Happy Mother’s Day to my own mom.  Everyday is Mother’s Day in my book and I love her no more today than yesterday or even tomorrow.

 

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Cinco de Mayo – A Conwell Tradition

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For many years now, we try to gather friends and family and hold a Cinco de Mayo party at our house.  I think it started as an excuse to gather for food and fellowship and the fact that I claim I married a white mexican (because of his love for mexican food), I found Cinco de Mayo, a hispanic holiday, the perfect blend of both.  Even though we moved across many states and our invite list has been shortened, we continued the tradition.

We have started to make new friends and hope to continue to make more.  We had a longer than expected list of people invited and at first most were planning on making it.  But as life goes, last minute plans change.  This included one family friend’s little boy breaking his arm earlier in the day at a soccer game.  So the full invite list quickly became shorter and shorter as the day progressed.  That is OK.  We were going to eat no matter.

What we didn’t know is the Kentucky Derby was the same night as our Cinco de Mayo party.  Ok, confession, it wasn’t on Cinco de Mayo (May 5), it was the Saturday before, Tres de Mayo (May 3).  The Kentucky Derby posting was scheduled just as the party was starting and it quickly took over the entertainment aspect and became the leading conversation.  Now if all that talk would of been in spanish it would of been a perfect mix.  Either way, that was OK as I still had food to prepare and get out before eating.

Family and friends arrived, margaritas were passed out, and in true tex-mex style, chips and dips quickly started to be consumed.  Fellowship followed around the spread of food and the TV.  It was a beautiful evening and as hard as it has been to adjust to change, bringing a tradition from previous years made it feel like the new normal.

The night continued.  The taco bar was grazed over many times.  Margaritas were sipped until almost gone.  New friendships were made, old ones were caught up on.  I think we will try and have Cinco de Mayo often.  Who cares if it isn’t the 5th or even May.  This is what life is about.

The kids ventured into the pool for a bit.  The adults knew better.  The pool was too chilly for our old bones.  But the kids enjoyed it.  Going from the pool to the hot tub and back.  This continued on into the night.  The sun showed the first signs of setting.  Some people started to leave and were ready to head home.  Other stuck around a little longer to graze more over the delicious food and find fellowship in new friendships.

Slowly the crowd we have started to call our village staggered home.  Only to leave one last family.  Poor folks.  They may never come back.  Todd, Monika and their 2 children graced us with their willingness to do shots, sport swimsuits and join us in the hot tub for a late night soak.  We got to know them better, learn more about our new home town and realize friendships are what you make it no matter where you are.  I could of closed my eyes and felt like I was back in Maumelle.  Anyone willing to sit and talk over hot tub bubbles for hours can’t be too bad.

The night continued and before we knew it, it was past midnight.  Glad to see we have found a family who can hold their own on late nights.  Their daughter was Claire’s first friend on the first day of school.  She was the first person to introduce herself and invite her into friendship.  Monika was my first mommy meetup at a park one day to let the girls play.  I could write a whole post on these people and what they do for the community but I will just say they are true givers in many areas.

Of course, as most parties with kids my own kids ages, the spend the night question came up.  And, as usual, it didn’t matter to me if their daughter stayed.  It was already late.  They are no longer young kids.  I knew I could go to bed and they would be fine til morning.  Easy sleepovers.  So I thought.

Once the sleepover was finalized, the next question was “Can we sleep outside?”.  Umm, I guess so but why?  Me asking why really was a silly question.  Didn’t we all want to sleep outside or do something silly when we were young?  Why would they be any different?  I just recently make a spot in the back yard by the pool for a lounging area.  It holds a cheap daybed I found on Craigslist.  So sleeping in the backyard isn’t too far fetched as there is actually a bed out there.  Lucky for them there weren’t many mosquitoes that night.   I gathered up sheets and a big blanket.  They grabbed pillows and quickly settled in outside, by the pool, in the backyard, for a night’s sleep.  It is now past 1am.  We have lights running across the fence so the girls had some light.  My bedroom window faces them so I opened up a window so I could hear them just in case something went wrong.  My first question before leaving them for the night “Does anyone sleep walk?  Cause if you do I don’t want anyone walking into the pool?”  They giggled and said “No”.

To bed I went.  I laid there listening to them talk and giggle through the open window.  Isn’t that was childhood is supposed to be about?   After awhile the little girl voices stopped and I fell asleep myself.  But as a mom, I innately worry.  So I got up a few times throughout the night to check on them.  Make sure they were still outside and no one sleep walked into the pool.  So it seems margaritas and wine during a Cinco de Mayo party was not enough for me to overcome my mommy instincts.  Before I knew it, the girls were up before 7am.  What?  They said they were cold and their pillows and blankets were all wet with dew.  “That’s what happens when you sleep outside.”

The girls were now up early, the cats were begging to be fed and so began my day. Next thing I knew the girls were asking if I would fix them pancakes.  Really?  I politely told them I really wanted to go back to bed first.  It’s early and I had very little good sleep.  But I did tell Claire she was welcome to cook them herself.  You guessed it, her and her friend got in the kitchen, found a recipe and fixed their own pancakes.  I lazily went back to bed. But sleep I did not do.  After pancakes, the girls found themselves back in the pool.  Splashing, jumping and just being kids.  It was just 8am.  So I lay there, listening to them play out my open window, keeping an eye on them to make sure no one gets hurt.  It wasn’t until later on in the morning that I officially got another hour of sleep and handed duties off onto Craig.

Cinco de Mayo turned into a night of deeper friendships, memories made for two little girls and a sleepless night for one mommy.  But I would do it all again over and over if this is how our life is supposed to be.  Thank you all who chose to spend a few hours with us no matter what the occasion.

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Life in the Backyard

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Since the weather has gotten a little warmer over the past few weeks and we find ourselves spending more time outside than in, I think the crazy has started coming out in our family.  We moved into our current home this past November.  This is our first home to own in Florida and it has taken us a few months to officially settle in and call it home.  One reason we bought this house was the backyard.

We live at the end of a street in a cul-de-sac and have a direct view down the street which I love.  Because of that, we have a pie shaped backyard with lots of room to enjoy.  The pool included was one draw, but the hammock posts already established, the orange and tangerine trees and a large grassy area despite all the other backyard stuff was the cheery on top.  We have found ourselves in volleyball bump circles, a few soccer passes and plenty of random activities in that grassy area that only us, as a family, would call fun.

As much as I shouldn’t share some of those random moments as they are not the most flattering of me, it is our life, our memories and why I have this blog.  Before I know it, I will not be able to jump or cartwheel and my kids will be grown.  Here are a few videos I am posting for the universe to hold for us all to remember at a later date.  For now, feel free to enjoy at my expense and have a peek into our random life in the backyard.


A Note From Claire’s Teacher

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Almost a year ago we, as a family, decided to move to Florida to be close to the beach.  It was an exciting time but with that came a lot of change and adjustments for both the girls.  One of those was starting a new school.  Claire would be ending her last year of elementary school at a completely new school, not knowing anyone and unsure of everything.  Luckily, she has made many friends but loving the teacher has been a day to day affair.  I personally think she was meant to have this teacher.  But a 10 year old doesn’t quite agree.

Her 5th grade teacher is Ms. Godfrey.  She is an older lady with grown daughters of her own.  She has been teaching all her life.  With that comes A LOT of expectations.  She runs her class kind of like bootcamp.  She expects each student to follow the rules, complete assignments and have character to be the best person they can be.  As an adult, mom and teacher myself, I respect her ways.  From the eyes of a 10 year old, she’s scared of her.  And that’s a bad thing?  Well, it could be, but I have gotten to know this teacher as her room mom.  She innately has each students best interest at heart and is preparing them to be the best they can be before heading off to middle school.  I thank her for that. Claire’s testing has jumped tremendously and her grades are great.  I think it’s because she’s feels she has to live up to her teachers expectations.  Of course, I’d like to think she’s living up to her mom’s expectations instead.  Either way, she seems to have settled in her first year in this new place.  I’m still working at it but it will come.

Claire came home from school this week with a note.  A note her teacher hand wrote her.  No matter how high her expectations are, telling each student that she cares and praising them with positive affirmations says a lot about her love for her students.  Here is the note she brought home.  It is simple and on cute paper but its what the ink produced that means the most.

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Thank you Ms. Godfrey for telling my Claire you care!