Friday, November 20, 2009

Kindergarten Feast

One of the greatest events at Ann Smith Elementary School is the Thanksgiving Feast for the kindergarteners. Our first experience with it was when Isaac was in kinder 3 years ago and we were so excited by what we saw. First of all, it might be helpful to describe our school to you. One of the best things about it is that it is in our neighborhood (or right on the edge of it) so we walk there. The property boarders where our neighborhood pool house is so we just walk through the gate and into the back of a giant yard, I guess, that has tons of huge pine trees (very shady) and then the 3 playgrounds are scattered around it. This is the back of the school. So on Feast Day, all of the events are outside. There are 9 centers that the kids go through every 10 or so minutes. There is a lady dressed in pioneer clothes with a fire going and a big black pot of Stone Soup. While the kids eat the soup, she tells them the story. Then they go and learn and Indian dance and play some Tom Toms. After that we went to another station and heard Mrs. Fonville (Ethan's teacher) read a story about Wampum bags before the kids were able to decorate their own. At the next station, the librarian passed out popcorn and coolaid for the kids to have while listening to another story. Then we went to take class pictures by a BIG Tee pee and then they sang us songs (Indian and Thanksgiving songs) that they had learned in class. The next station was where they made necklaces out of pretty macaroni noodles (classic) and then played a while on the playground. Then we did a pumpkin relay race, learned about the kinds of animals there are in MS, and the finally we went and did a Bear Hunt and one more relay race! All this takes about 2 hours. At the end of these festivities we all eat on blankets. The kindergarten Room Moms arrange to have parents bring enough food for their class and so we had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings, picnic style.

So that's the big picture, here's some small things that I like about this event:

1: LOTS of parents and grandparents come, and younger siblings too. This is one time where parents are really encouraged to participate. Lots of times, space is an issue and therefor it is difficult to have everyone show up. Not so for the Feast.

2: Mrs. Rigsby is available. Mrs. Rigsby is our principal and I think she is just the BEST! Every week, on at least one day, she is outside greeting kids as they get out of the car. She hugs on them and knows their names. Our school is just for K-2grade so our kids are really young and need LOTS of loving. Mrs. Rigsby and her teachers love our kids really well. For the feast, she's outside (in her heels) visiting, hugging, laughing with parents and children. She makes us feel welcome.

3. Our school is full of very different kids. As you can see from the pictures, we have a very diverse group of little people who laugh and play and love each other. I love this. It reminds me of when I was in elementary schools on military bases. I just love melting pots.

4: Being in the Bible belt, mentioning God never raises any eyebrows. I remember when Isaac was in kinder, a man from the Parks and Recreation Dept. was talking to the kids about natural resources. As he explained what natural resources were, he said, "If God made it, it's a natural resource." Today, in the book the librarian read, it mentioned thanking God at Thanksgiving time. I know that MS schools get a bad rap about lots of things, and there is room for improvement of course, but I am glad that most---if not all---of the teachers my children encounter share a love of the Lord that is like mine.

I'll wrap it up and share my pictures now. Just a note though. Jaylie SO wants to be in school. She loves going to Ethan's school and most of the teachers know her by name and think she's adorable (obviously) She still has 2 more years though. But when it's her turn, watch out! Oh, and Ethan's Indian name is Brave Bear Hunter:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Sometimes, I don't post just because I can't think of what to title the darn thing. Hence the unimaginative title today.

Hope everyone is easing into November nicely. You do realize that Christmas is around the corner and that you should have at least started thinking about gift lists and all that, right? This year, we are getting a rather expensive (for us) thing for the family (I guess there's really no danger of saying what it is, since none of my kids read my blog...but still, just in case) and then one thing for each kid. I've already gotten their one thing and have to order the Big Thing. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about the gift list at this point. I have good ideas about everyone else, hoping for new floors or new countertops for me :)

For Thanksgiving this year, our church is hosting the men who live at the Billy Brumfield house in the family center at church. This is a shelter for homeless men and several men at our church have faithfully developed relationships with them over the years. Anyway, instead of giving money to send a lunch down there, we're having them come to our building and we've been invited to eat with them there. So, I'm helping cook a few potato casseroles and will help serve but other than that, the Thanksgiving plan is taken care of. I'm real excited for it this year. I think it will be a great way to share...I am thankful that I can share.

Isaac will be starting UPWARD basketball practices at the end of the month. He is outside every evening practicing his shot. Hopefully it will pay off and he'll have a rewarding season. We all really enjoyed the UPWARD program last year. It's the best possible way, in my opinion, for kids to ease into competitive sports.

Ethan has had a milestone. He has begun to read silently. He was sounding things out before school started this summer, but has just developed a love of reading so quickly. The other evening, I noticed him reading silently and then Isaac walked by him and did a double-take. Then he looked at me and said,"Ethan's reading in his head!" Pretty cool.

Jaylie is also starting to sound things out so I have no doubt she'll be an early reader. It's fun when they start realizing that there are words all around them. She loves ballet still and has a blast dancing everywhere we are.

I hope everyone has a great week and is enjoying the season of Thankfulness and eagerly anticipating the celebration of the coming Lord. I love this time of year!

Much love

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Well I said I'd post pictures and so I decided I'd better get after it. I'll just post a couple. The kids had a great time and we have too much candy, just like everyone else in the country. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm about to throw out all the stuff no one will eat (almond joy, payday, etc) and see what's left. Isaac has a check up at the dentist on Thursday...not such great timing. Anyway, enjoy and let me hear from you!

Have a wonderful rest of the week. I know I will...there's no rain forecast until next Monday! Hooray for sun and low humidity!!!