Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Once upon a time (August 17, 2002 to be exact) a beautiful blue eyed princess was born. From her earliest years, books were a favorite hiding place for her. She would meet the strangest of characters and quickly become the fastest of friends with a Cat in a Hat who spoke in rhyme and a curious little monkey with an uncanny perspective of the human world. She met a mulitude of bears, pigs, girls in capes, princesses in castles, brave knights and even ferocious monsters and dragons. Some would lull her to sleep while others would spur her imagination into action!
After 6 years, we decided to throw a huge party for her and all her friends (both real and thought to be real). So, we gathered all the best books and characters from across the land and appropriately displayed them around the room.
All who were gathered were invited to create a storybook of their own using their imaginations and a few necessary tools provided(you know: crayons, stickers, markers, stencils, etc.).
A game filled with cunning, strategy and skill was played by all with the grandest of prizes awarded to the champion! (Ok, so it was a literary bingo game and the winner got to call out the next game - but still filled with adventure.)
Afterwards, a great war broke out! Brave knights wielded their weapons against mighty foes! There were many casualties and only the most courageous were left standing. (Who knew balloons could be so much fun!!)
Her friends brought extravagant gifts of every shape and size - gifts befitting such a princess. Each came with a greeting wishing her well on this momentous occassion. She read each with care and treasured the sentiments of her loved ones. (It was the first year I didn't have to help her read her cards!!)
There was cake and goodies for everyone as the festivities continued. And each special guest received a bag of treats as they headed out the door on their long journey home!
And the princess lived happily ever after...
View complete birthday photo album
Friday, August 08, 2008
Well for all of those who immediately thought of the mishaps of Billy Joe McGuffrey on Kaliese's first day of first grade, I can happily report that all went well! No pencil box obstacles and certainly no kangaroos pulling out hair (however, she was closer than you might think to such an atrocity as her school mascot is a wallaby!!)
I must say she really, really loves school. She got the perfect teacher. She's young, fun and full of sass which fits Kaliese to a tee. But she's not a softy, she's got a firm handle on the class. We spent some time in prayer about her teacher for this year and God certainly came through.
Watching her thrive in school just means more to me than you could ever know. Every parent wishes to impart some of themselves into their children. Just a little piece of me that creates a special bond with each of my children individually. And I can see where this has taken place to some extent. Kaliese loves to read, loves classical music, and even musicals! She enjoys watching Jeopardy with me and as I answer the clue, she repeats my answer just before the contestant rings in. She gets such joy from being right!! Of course she has my eyes and resembles me in appearance, so you can definitely tell she's my child in more ways than one.
However, there are pieces of me that I would never want her to experience. My memories of school were filled more with fear and shyness. I was forever self-conscious and worried about everyone's opinion of me - certain it was never good. It was mostly just a severe case of being shy, but it felt like a prison. Once I got to know a few friends I could be very social and have a great time, but there was always that lingering sense of discomfort.
I was afraid of everything: the dark, shots, snakes, public speaking, the public in general, new places, new faces, etc.
I overcame a lot of this when Kaliese was born, as I did not want her to experience any of the fears or uncertainties I had. If she ever felt that way, I had to make sure it wasn't an inherited trait from me.
Well, today I talked to her teacher briefly and her principal. I just wanted to let them know how much Kaliese enjoys school and how much that meant to me. The words used to describe her? Miss Personality, Social Butterfly, Charismatic! They used these terms in the most positive sense. I was assured she was not one of those "in-your-face" children and she was not a distraction in the classroom. The teacher said Kaliese sat down on the carpet with a book and her peers gathered around her, so she "took over" and read them the book. The teacher was impressed because it was a lengthy book, but she also noted Kaliese's personality in the situation.
What that says to me? Love of learning, love of school, and self-confidence to conquer all (without being overbearing). That was priceless information to my heart.
The principal asked where she got that personality, because I had made it clear that Kaliese was the opposite of me at that age. However, I do have a tendency to act like that around one person: Katie. For those who know us, Katie and I share a unique relationship that tends to take 10-15 years off our age. She makes me laugh. I mean, at our age, we still cannot be trusted to sit together in church without causing a distraction. Katie is full of fun and sass and uses that in her job, which is why the girls she keeps LOVE her! Well, Kaliese got a nice healthy overdose of our combined personalities the entire first year of her life. Apparently that was enough to stick! So thanks my sista!
I count my blessings daily and this one (Kaliese and her blooming personality and self-confidence) is more than just a blessing - it is a most treasured gift!
Monday, August 04, 2008
Well, she's off! Back to school as a big 1st grader. Of course, we called it 'Big School' when she went to Kindergarten. But really, how hard is Kindergarten --its just all play (or at least we thought as much until we got the homework -WOW!).
Kaliese and I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday shopping for the rest of her school supplies and her 1st day outfit. The tax free weekend must mean a lot to a lot of people, 'cause Tanger outlet was packed like Christmas Eve!!! Walmart and Target were out of most everything, so we stood in an unreal line at Staples to purchase the last few items. At any rate, Kaliese and I had a great time. She loved picking out her own stuff and putting together her outfit. We ended the day with an Oreo Candy Blast Frappe!
When we got home, we put it all together in her lovely backpack. We made a custom decorated cover to slide in the front of her binder. We put beaded strings on her backpack as well as added her 'cousins' keychain. She decorated her spiral notebook with 'Horton Hears a Who' stickers that she picked out herself.
This morning she was very excited to go to school. She didn't eat much for breakfast, so I think she was a bit nervous. But she got dressed in her new clothes, put on her favorite necklace that her brother gave her for Christmas, and threw on her new backpack.
She walked into class like an old pro - gave me a quick kiss and 'I love you' and her life as a 1st grader began.
I look forward to seeing her at 2:30!
Meanwhile, Braedyn and I will do our best to entertain each other!