Monday, November 30, 2015

Season of Thankfulness

Another blessed Thanksgiving has come and gone. First the first time in recent memory, we kicked off Thanksgiving with a beautiful mass at CTK. With so many blessings, it felt really nice to begin the day this way - and saw lots of friendly faces there, too.
We enjoyed gorgeous weather, both on Thanksgiving itself and for most of the days of Grammy and Grampy's visit. This enabled plenty of activity, from Grampy taking Danny and Matthew (via MARTA!) to the College Football Hall of Fame, to Black Friday shopping, seeing the lights at the Botanical Gardens without freezing, and more.

It was a terrific beginning to the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pilgrim Laura

As alluring as the schedule (and joint drop-off with Danny) of kindergarten is, I must admit that preschool presents some pretty cute moments. The Thanksgiving feast was certainly one of them!

I am very thankful for Pilgrim Laura!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Clare's First Debate

One of the many things that attracted us to Marist School was the large range of activities available to the students. Among these is the debate team, which is quite competitive on the high school level (top 10% in the nation!), and fabulously low-key for the 7th and 8th graders. They meet during activity period, which is once a week during the school day. So far, only five students have chosen to participate, but from what Clare reports, it's a blast!
Their first debate was on the subject of parental surveillance of electronics. Fortunately, Clare was on the affirmative side! (Not that she got to choose this.) Her primary role was to give her team's opening argument, which was also the first part of the program. There was quite an audience, between teachers, administrators, and high school students likely earning extra points for attendance. I thought she did quite well! 

Between public speaking, research skills, and learning to work well within a group, there a lot of reasons to promote participation in debate. Hopefully Clare will maintain her enthusiasm for it for a long time, but either way it's been a great experience to enhance her start at Marist.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Good (School) Sports

As the school year rolls on, both Danny and Clare are now engaged in sports teams for their schools. Clare finished cross country at Marist and has moved on to swimming, which of course is near and dear to her heart. The first meet was really fun for all, as it was fueled by school spirit that really elevated it to a true team sport.
Meanwhile, Danny has finally reached the age where playing basketball means playing against other schools. Better still, his dad is his team's coach - fulfulling a dream for them both, I would say.
Game face!
Tim was relieved and happy to win their first game handily, as the boys came together in ways not previously seen at practice...
One of my favorite things about games between Catholic schools: the pre-game Hail Mary shared by both teams.
Let's go War Eagles, and let's go Lions!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Laura's First Letter

Today I filed Laura's application for kindergarten online. In many ways, it feels like eons ago that I was doing so for Danny, much less Clare, but that's partially because it wasn't online back then! Mostly, though, time has flown and it's somewhat hard to believe that she'll be headed off to big kid school next year.

I didn't mention this paperwork to her, as I figured it would primarily go over her head, but also might lead to confusion about when, exactly, she would start kindergarten. No thanks. Still, I think it's interesting that she chose the same afternoon, actually the very same hour, to write her first letter. Over the past couple of weeks, she has dictated sweet notes to Danny or Clare, but she seemed reluctant to attempt the writing herself. Today, though, when the "I need help with something" became a letter to Daddy, she evidently made the turn. I suspect she will be full speed ahead from here, too! Next time she might even be willing to write the final two words, which would have been "your Thanksgiving," had she not run out of space (and possibly interest). (The note reads "Dear Daddy, I love your heart. I hope you enjoy...")

Stay tuned for her Christmas list!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015, with More Smoked Meat

Laura as Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony; Clare as a latte (costume made by yours truly with Dollar Store supplies); and Danny as Legolas, an elf from the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings
When Halloween falls on a Saturday, it's just awesome. In fact, we parents were discussing how great it would be if the powers-that-be opted to change Halloween to the last Saturday in October. No rushing from work in horrific traffic; no hurrying around to get things going because it's a school night; and no chance of having the school activities wear out the kids before trick-or-treating even begins. (It's an added bonus when Luis can smoke meat without having to stay home from work.)
Really not sure when, or why, Laura has taken to posing as though she is on the red carpet?!
Suffice to say, we enjoyed our Saturday Halloween. Soccer games and swim practice in the morning kept kids active, and then they somehow found ways to keep busy for the rest of the day (with a rare, but necessary, nap for Laura mid-afternoon). Finally it was time to don costumes and head once again to the Francos for the seventh year in a row. This year, we were joined by the DiBiase family, which was a winning combination.
As usual, Tim took Laura trick-or-treating and reports that she loves Halloween and is quite adept at walking to doors on her own, and remembering her manners. He also planted the seed in her mind that she was gathering more candy than the big kids, which obviously fueled her fire!
Both Danny and Matthew had eagerly awaited the sorting and trading portion of the night, which apparently did not disappoint. As Danny declared this morning, this was clearly his most successful Halloween. I concur!