29 October 2011

BOO - Trunk or Treat 2011

Trunk or treat at the church was fun this year - as always. Costumes were all recycled and borrowed - and the BallTeam looked fantastic. We have a turtle (Jay Michael, 3), a ladybug (Josephine, 7), an escaped convict (Rachel, 13), a zebra (Laura, 12), a drummer (Samantha, 12) and a vampire spider queen (Charlotte, 9). BOO!

25 October 2011

Pigs and Goats and Chickens, Oh My ....

We attended a great petting zoo party - the ladies and Jay Michael hobnobed with the other party guests - goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, ponies, horses, and a llama! Great fun on a fall afternoon...thanks, Parker!

24 October 2011

Magic Dinosaur Mist

Jay Michael was born with some severe allergies and asthma. So far, we have all adjusted to our high maintenance little man, but, recently he scared us. His breathing was loud and labored. He was rattling and raspy. The fantastic staff at Children's Hospital gave Jay Michael some "magic dinosaur mist" (known to adults as albuteral). He now has more drugs to take, which he does willingly, and he breathes much more easily. So do the rest of us! We love Children's, but, we love Jay Michael more!

23 October 2011

School Update ...

Family Night at School - Focus on Movement
Samantha on the mini trampoline - Joey and Charlie playing twister - Charlie and Sam using the binoculars and Jay being Jay (chasing a ball!)
The first term of the new year is over and I happy to report that the ladies are making us proud. What follows here will be praise for the ladies in school and proud parent moments - so feel free to skip this section if you are looking for anecdotes....I gotta brag on my ladies!
Rachel (8th grade) is testing the academic waters by choosing the accelerated tract and has found, all on her own, that the harder classes are more work, but, are more rewarding. She commented to me the other day that she likes being in a class with kids who are eager to learn and want to succeed. Rachel is finding that the accelerated classes make her want to excel, and that makes Mom and Dad thrilled. Thrilled.
Samantha (7th grade), meanwhile is on fire! Always the athlete, school was never her thing. No more. With the best report card of her seven years in school, Samantha has already decided on the accelerated tract for her eighth grade year and has her sights set high. Fantastic. On a side note, Samantha has two of the same teachers that Rae had last year - English and math. At parent teacher conferences, both of these women told me how amazingly different our daughters are. Since Rae excels in English and suffers through math, and Samantha suffers through English and excels at math, it is hard to believe they both came from the same gene pools.
Charlotte (3rd grade) is right up there with the grades. She is above grade level on every test and loves every subject at school. Her teacher's only complaint was that Charlotte would rather be chatting with her friends or chasing them on the playground than reading her lesson. Her head is not in her book - it's out the window, watching the wind in the trees. Ahhhh, youth. There's a time and a place for everything. I was especially proud when Charlotte's teacher gave her high praise - Charlotte, says her teacher, has amazing manners. She consistently says yes ma'am and no thank you. It warms my heart. It probably goes something like this: teacher - Charlotte, please pay attention. Charlotte - Yes ma'am. And repeat; all day long.
Josephine (1st grade) had not a single mark lower than a 3 - which is the best you can get. She scored so high on all her standardized tests that she doesn't have to do them again all year. She's already hit the scores they expect by the end of the year. Way to go, Joey! Her teacher had great comments, too; she's social, she's a leader and she thrives in the classroom.
These pictures are from a family night at the elementary school - they have these each term to let the kids come play educational games and bring their families out to the school. Plus, they serve popcorn and hot dogs, which is a big draw when you are 7 and 8 years old.....

09 October 2011

Josephine Is Seven

Josephine is officially seven. It is almost impossible to believe how quickly time flies. She was born in North Carolina, at Woman's Hospital. She has been riding a bike and doing beautiful cartwheels for two years now. She is in the first grade and loves school. Her favorite part of the school day is math, she says, but she also says she loves P. E. Joey comes off as shy to adults, but, she is as playful and curious as any kid. She loves to draw and color, play and pretend.

Here are some facts about Josephine that everyone should know: her favorite animal is a monkey; her favorite color is pink; she has the longest first name in her class at school or church. Her favorite Disney princess is Belle, because, Joey says, she's the prettiest and she was nice to the beast and the furniture. When she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian. Joey leaves notes and flowers for James and me, and her pictures she draws at school are full of her family and big pink hearts.
Josephine had a pumpkin party this year, with friends over to paint pumpkins, play pumpkin games and eat pumpkin pie for birthday cake. It was delicious. Although a few of her friends, who had never tried pumpkin pie, were not convinced it was delicious.
Here are a few photos of the big day:
painting pumpkins and party guests
pumpkin chunkins!

Pin the Nose on the jack-o-lantern and bobbing for apples!
Last week, Josephine celebrated turning seven by spending the gift card my folks sent her - she bought a lunchbox. Since they were on sale, she also bought Charlotte a lunchbox. So sweet.
In a few weeks, Joey and Charlotte will do the annual birthday/shopping lunch with James' side of the family. The birthday fun continues!
Happy Birthday, Joey!

08 October 2011

First Run

Samantha participated in the "Inspiration Run". This is a marathon, all through the streets of town, wherein the local running club promotes healthly living. The group starts at one school, jogs to the next, stops and talks to the gathered students about running, exercising, healthly choices, etc. Then they throw some frisbees and tee shirts into the crowds and run off to the next school. They do this all day until they have run over 26 miles and visited eight elementary, two middle, two junior and the high school in our town. Samantha joined our friend, Dawn Brown, in running from Samantha's school - Junior South - to two other elementary schools, before Dawn dropped Samantha off at home and headed back to work. They covered 5.5 miles. Next run is a 5k in October!

01 October 2011


When Rachel entered the seventh grade, she was able to choose two electives. She chose art, which she later changed to choir, and forensics. Forensics, I asked? Like crime scene investigations? Rachel educated the rest of us in forensics. It seems that what James and I called theater and debate is now called Forensics. The students learn the art of performing poetry, prose, mime, duets, solos, debate and words/music. The intro year the students perform for their class and build their skills and confidence. At the end of the intro year students can try out for the JV team, which is the second year. Rachel loved her first year, made the JV team and now competes for her school. In her first tournament, held at historic Central High, among fifteen schools, her JV team took second place in words/music for their rendition of a scene in the Wiz, and Rae took seventh individually for her presentation in prose, doing a selection from Runaway, by Wendelin Van Draanen. Rachel was so excited. Break a leg, lady!!