01 August 2006

Emma got a great idea to raise money for a friend's mom who has breast cancer. She is a single mom who is going to college to earn her doctorate in Family Services but this has caused a setback in her goal. She had plans to graduate next spring but can no longer achieve it due to having a masectomy and enduring chemo. Well, to make a long story short, some of her friends have created a website and bank account to help get donations since she can't work during the chemo either. No school + no job at school = no $. Emma wanted to have a lemonade stand in front of our house during the citywide swimmeet to earn some money for her. The meet lasts 3 days and so we agree to buy fresh lemons and make real lemonade to charge 50 cents a glass. We also had flyers about Kathy's Keepers so everyone would know the money was not for us but for a good cause. The first 2 days went well : day 1 - out for 3 hours, day 2 - out for 5 hours : under a tent with chairs and a table supporting our cause. Day 3 was very different - we had permission to set up at the recreation center with one of their tables and 5 gallon water jugs filled with lemonade, plus had fresh cookies, muffins and coffee.We were joined by our neighbor and her 2 children in the morning. We did not fair as well as we thought we would at that location but not bad either. All in all, we earned quite a bit for Kathy's Keepers and Emma learned a lesson in helping others.

Emma had way too much fun at Old Salem and if you can't tell, she makes her own fun wherever she goes. The water pump could have been hours of entertainment and it kept her cool on the warm day. The patriotic clothes were one of the things she really liked at one of the other field trips in Greensboro, so much that she actually drew the entire uniform.

Emma turned 7 this summer and had a pottery painting party with 10 of her friends. They had a great time creating and eating!

For Emma's birthday, her parents and dad's parents had a tree fortress built. It is quite large and can fit plenty of people very comfortably. Once the heat wave has passed, maybe it can be used again. The tin roof will be nice on rainy days and it stays very cool up there in the trees. Emma particially designed it from a pattern she saw and the only thing left to do is paint the big "M" in the middle of the floor like the Magic Treehouse.

19 July 2006


It has been a crazy summer so far! Emma and Angela are out of school and taking mini excursions to places in North Carolina to see cultural sites or points of interest. These are local and then also within driving distance. First, it was to the Greensboro Historical Museum and she loved the lions outside the door. The museum also has an activity where you go on a scavenger hunt for items in the exhibits. The funniest was the room full of rifles where the lights came on when you entered and music started playing. The museum takes you on a tour of Greensboro and Guilford County through the ages. It was very interesting to learn there were trolleys just up the street.

The next visit was to Tannebaum Park and the Colonial Heritage Museum in Greensboro. The museum had hands-on exhibits for the kids to touch and play with. There were clothes to try on, a loom to weave, gravestones to make rubbings, a slate to pretend as if you were in school, etc. Emma liked trying to lift the musket that weighed about 30 pounds. The problem with Tannebaum was not in how it looked or was laid out, it was how freaked out Emma got over there being bees flying around the flowers there. It was almost comical. I wished there had been someone there to explain some of the things we saw out there but maybe another day.

The third visit was to Old Salem. Since neither had been inside the buildings before, they did the whole tour. It was fantastic to learn all about the Quakers. There was fresh baked bread and ginger cookies to eat at the bakery; artisans making all different kinds of things such as rifles, shoes, things from pewter and tin, a doctor in his apothecary, a woman baking in an old kitchen, and so many other things too numerous to count; and so many firsts happened there : the 1st 4th of July celebration, the 1st place where women voted (though it was way before 1920), the 1st Krispy Kreme doughnut made on Main Street, the 1st women's college in the U. S. Emma had fun pumping water in the town square and they had running water in most of the town too back in the 1700's. Emma bought a pop gun and Angela bought a basket making kit (which is already finished). The last part of the tour was the Children's Musueum where they get to climb, dress up and play around. It was a blast.

17 June 2006

Emma won 2 awards this year in 1st grade: one for Physical Education (pic on left) and one for Mathematics (pic on right). As you can tell, she is very proud of herself for all her good work. She also got all "Outstandings" in Music class the whole year at school.
On 24 May 2006 she received a certificate as a member of the Extreme Drawing Team in Young Rembrandts. This meant she was one of the founding members of the course. She took this class for the whole year and never missed a single time! Her artwork is incredible and she is worthy of a portfolio.


Carlyle coached Emma's soccer team for the 2nd time this spring. They were a great bunch of kids and very talented too! They were called the Green Grasshoppers and as they won all of their games, the reward was a surprise visit from Guilford the Greensboro Grasshopper during the cookout. As he arrived, all of the kids were really excited and ran over to see him. He handed out the trophys, took his picture with each player and since we have a digital Polaroid camera, we printed each picture of the players out for him to autograph for each one. Now that is a memory to last a lifetime.

14 June 2006

The school year is over and we have survived! Emma finished 1st grade with good marks. She is great at math - go figure! She has artistic talent as well as math smarts. She earned awards in both Mathematics and Physical Education.

Angela now has one year under her belt as an art teacher. The only dilemma has been on the last day of school, she found out she was being moved from the original art room to another building to accommodate the EC class with a new wheelchair bound student. Now the old art room had cabinets all around for fantastic storage and 3 sinks - the new room has no storage and no water supply at all. It has been an ordeal running around trying to find cabinets and shelving to house all of the supplies an art teacher needs during the course of a year. The new room is nice (don't think it's horrible!) with one wall of windows, high windows to the interior hallway and it is the first room in the 4/5 building, which means being closer to the Media Center and the office. 2 Days after beginning the move, the maintenance crew came and said the cabinets that were to be moved with the art room could NOT be moved as well as the rest of the room. The original art room is staying as is with storage with the only change being no more art there. Oh well! The new room has scavenged a gigantic bookcase, an old library bookcase, 2 large metal cabinets, 2 low sliding door cabinets a fellow teacher found at the warehouse, 3 tall and 1 short filing cabinets, 2 desks and a short cubbyholed cabinet. It is nice to have fellow colleagues who care about you and try to help one another out. The only thing now is waiting to have the room cleaned before setting up the furniture and moving the rest of the art room over with its tables and chairs. It is going to be a long summer! This is a true test of courage and determination.

This year, Emma had a great time again at Wild Dunes with her best friend, Paul, and his family when we vacationed at Sam & Sue's place over Mother's Day weekend. It's hard to belive she used to be so scared of the ocean and beach, she couldn't put her feet down. Now she is a regular mermaid. We saw all kinds of sea life - stingrays, blue crabs, hermit crabs, lots of starfish, mussels, dolphins swimming right in front of the kids, ducks, alligators, turtles, pelicans, sea gulls, etc. It was more like a science trip than a vacation!

Carlyle always has a blast playing with the kids and since we spent most of the time at the ocean or the swimming pool, he was always there with the three of them. The ladies were in pursuit of cool seashells and boy, did we find them. All types of crabs shells were everywhere and Angela even found a conch - unfortunately, it was still occupied! We sent it back to the ocean though with Carlyle asking why we couldn't make conch fritters and keep the shell.

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