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July 2012

June 2012 entries

VBS: Amazing Adventures in the Holy Land

This year, both Aidan and Gabrielle could put Vacation Bible School on their summer bucket lists.  Since Gabrielle will be starting kindergarten in August, she was part of the "Pre-K" group this summer. 


We revisited the "Marketplace" theme from last year, and the coordinators came up with some really great projects, activities, and teachable moments for our kids.   We focused on the Sacraments and on the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  On the first day, we released red balloons as visual symbols of how God works in our lives -- we never quite know where He may be leading us, or the path we'll take to get there.



We dropped Mentos into a bottle of soda to show the "Explosion of Grace" that happens at our baptism.


And Liam found plenty of ways to occupy himself, too. 


The kids also made at least one craft each day.  The varieties were seemingly endless, and their works of art will be treasured reminders of VBS for years to come.  They made Marian terrariums/gardens and stained glass candle holders


and a beautiful mosiac cross out of tile:


Five mornings later, a good time was had by all, a solid foundation of religious education was laid, and potentially lasting friendships were created.  Thank you, Our Lady of Lourdes parish, for supporting such a worthy activity for our kids!  Check our church's new website for more VBS pictures:

Dance Recital: June 16, 2012

Gabrielle performed in yet another dance recital this past Saturday.  This year, she did a tap number "Down in New Orleans" as part of LKW Dance Studio's "United We Dance" tribute to the anniversary of 9-11.  They perform on Williamsport's Community Art Center stage.



She and her class did a great job!  So proud of our little dancer!


Out of the Mouths of Babes

Random Collection of Connor Conversations:

Me: "Liam, what is this?"
Liam: "Truck!"
M: "That's right! What color is it?"
Sigh. I thought he was a Connor.

Mike: "Gabrielle, what flavor ice cream do you want?"
Gabrielle: "Pink."
Sigh. We clearly need to review adjectives.
Aidan: "Mom, last night when we were playing 'Manhunt' with Daddy's drumline [in the dark, at Hughesville stadium, at the overnighter Mike does every year] there was a boy who was REALLY good at hiding. Do you know why?"

Me: "Why?"
A: "Because he had black skin! We couldn't see him at all!"

Oh wow. . . Adjectives and Political Correctness.
Random girl at Dance Recital Rehearsal, to me: "Are you a boy or a girl?"
Me: [glances at my androgynous outfit of jean shorts and t-shirt] "I'm a girl."
Girl: "Huh." [mulling it over.]
Me: "I just have short hair."
Girl: "Huh." [not convinced, not impressed.]

So, I guess I can live with pink-flavored ice cream and truck-colored trucks after all. As long as I can find that really good hider during the next game of "Manhunt," that is.

It's Bucket List Time!

Each summer, we make a Bucket List of trips to take and things to do during vacation until, in the words of Phineas and Ferb, "school comes along just to end it."  We attempt to tackle what they call "the annual problem for our generation":  Finding an awesome way to spend our time together.  We LOVE summer vacation, and it truly makes all the extra work Mike and I do as teachers during the academic year worthwhile. 

First on the list was to meet our new neice, Leann Theressa Campbell.  Since we still have Tyson (who will be Orlando-bound on July 1) I stayed home while Mike took the kids to meet his sister's first baby.  She and crazy Uncle Adam are already great parents, and I can't wait to meet the baby, too.  Soon, I hope!

Next on the list was to convert my fish tank, which was essentially decimated in the great Ick Plague of 2012 (Thank you, local pet store who shall remain nameless . . . ).  I gave the two fish that survived (Darwin and his friend) to Mrs. Avery to add to her Biology classroom fish tank, and we decided to create a terrarium instead.  It is now home to three fire-bellied toads (or "Progs!" as Liam would say) and three anoles (not, alleles, which are vastly different!).   The anoles change from green to brown in color, depending on their mood and environment.  It was the perfect project for a rainy morning! 

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Oh, and I decided to get real and admit that the vegetable garden is a terrible idea for our clay soil and our limited committment to its success.  We've planted sunflowers and wildflowers instead.

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(You can tell that Liam is concentrating when he sticks out his tongue!)

And we are still big bug fans around here . . . wait.  That's not a bug, is it?!

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Congrats, Class of 2012

Best wishes to our remarkable students! I will miss so many of them...these two happened to post our pictures on Facebook first for me to steal and share here: Jake Russo, a phenomenal musician and a star in not only my AP English class but the fall play as well (Stage Manager -- Our Town; Algernon -- The Importance of Being Earnest) and Ryan Looke, a talented young man who has been my right-hand man for three years and who has played lead roles in the fall play the last three years (Dr. Einstein --Arsenic and Old Lace; George Gibbs --Our Town; Jack Worthing-- The Importance of Being Earnest).

Again, these are just two of many, many of "my kids" who have been such a blessing to me! Best wishes to all of you as you pursue your dreams. Always listen to your heart and act with integrity. Never accept less than your best-- from yourself and for yourself. And don't forget where you came from. Don't be a stranger to B206.

Congrats, Class of 2012

Congrats, Class of 2012

Jump Start Summer!

We took the opportunity to jump start our summer last weekend . . . we purchased a family membership to Reptiland (we definitely get our money's worth!).


And we hit up Lewisburg Park (where, ironically, we saw two snakes -- a momma and a baby -- which blended in the mulch so well that another mother left immediately after I pointed them out!).


And, we made our now-famous Bucket List for this year, too.  Come on, Summer, let's do this!