Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fabulous First Week

And so we dropped down out of the sky and landed at Grandma's house....where, upon seeing the stocked pantry, Big Ben exclaimed, "Wow!"
...where Firstborn got to drive the tractor and mow the grass out in the country, a big deal to a city girl.
...where we eat big breakfasts and enjoy the quiet of the country.
...where we find all kinds of stuff in attics to dress up in.
We are home!
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Our Flight

We always get do you fly that far with five kids?! To be honest, it's something my kids greatly anticipate. They are super travelers. We have sort of a routine. I sort of stay on alert mode the whole time, not sleeping much at all for the 21 hours. Campbell Clansman falls asleep before they serve the first meal. At one point, I realized both the males were asleep, so I slipped Big Ben in his lap.
Big Ben had. the. time. of. his. life. If we heard, "WOW!!!" screamed once, we heard it 75 times. My girls can attest. Every airplane. Every luggage loading car. Every gas tanker. The whole thing was like living out his "Fisher Price Airplane Set" in real life. I can not tell you how many times all would be quiet on the airplane as we pulled into the airport in our plane and he'd scream (again), "Oh WOW!" and then everyone around us would chuckle and make sure to tell me, "He's all boy, isn't he?"
At one point, we weren't sure we'd make a flight. We landed in Newark (unfortunately unable to see my uncle and aunt who live there, due to our short layover and the inability to leave the airport). CC had to go through a customs line which took very long, so he instructed me to sit with kids and luggage. Perma-Baby decided it was time to unload the sheet of stickers she'd brought for the flight. She put them all over Big Ben, who declared they were all 'boo-boo's.' We were then told to ride the tram to Terminal A. That thrilled my kids. They think the trams are just about the best thing at the airport. We got to Terminal A and were told, "No, actually you should be at Terminal C." We had to go back through customs (think 5 little people taking off all their shoes here. again.) At one point, CC said to me, "Ok, I am running ahead to ask if they'll hold the flight, you just keep the kids moving and get there as soon as you can." Just then, a little Indian man on a golf cart drove by (was he an angel in disguise?). He let us hop on, and we made it to our gate just in time. And the best part was, that since he didn't have a horn, he just kept yelling, "Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep" in his Indian accent to everyone we saw, which made us heartily guffaw in our delirious states. Thanks, Mr. Indian Man, for getting us there on time and making us laugh. The girls had major culture shock in Newark. At one point they asked me if all African-American women had big, beautiful smiles like all the ones here. I think most do, I said.
And so, we finally made it. I was starting to wear thin, so CC assumed the role of Pack Mule and carried all the heavy bags and the big boy. And as we walked through the Nashville airport, I had the same two thoughts I always do...
I can do anything for 24 hours. And it's worth it all.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Closing Things Out

So, we went into our final week of school and did all the things we do on that final week each graduation. Aren't they great?
And we said a few goodbyes to some people we love who won't be in our city when we get back.

...And we packed. And we braced ourselves for 21 hours of flying with 5 little (wonderful) people. Stay tuned!
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Field Day: Pep Talk

Yes, PB was NOT happy on field day. Take her shoes off and then scramble to get them back on? Jump in a sack that was bigger than her and hop to a finish line? At one point, I went and had a little pep talk with her. It went something like this, "Straighten UP! If you don't start cooperating a little better, I am taking you home and you can just take a NAP!!!" Big mistake. Then she kept coming to me and saying, "Mama, I think I just want to go home and take a nap."
She's so opposite of me! I can still remember my blue and red K-Mart shoes that took me to 1st place for the girls' race in 1st grade.
So, when they put her in the sack and I saw her face, I knew. There. is. no. way. I told BB to stay put, and ran and grabbed the sack. I said, "This is going to be fun! Let's go!" and then I hopped her like a floating cloud, touching down, all the way to the end and back. Her teachers and teammates were dying laughing. The day is all about teamwork and encouragement, so little helps for little 4-year-olds don't bother anyone. In the end, she came around and had a little bit of fun.
I told CC that day about how awful she had been! Not competitive. Scared to try. We've got to toughen her up, I said! And you know what he said? "Well, she's just a baby. She's the youngest kid out there.." And that response from her father, my friends, is 1/2 the reason she is still a Perma-Baby!!!! Oh well, maybe by the time she is in 3rd grade, like this Campbell Clansgirl, she'll snap out of it.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Field Day: Impresssions

The second to the last day of school every year is field day! Oh, we get excited about it around our house! We wear sporty clothes, we wonder what the events will be, we can hardly sleep the night before!
Firstborn was thrilled to think that she had reached 5th grade status, which would make her one of the older members of each team. She got to help the little ones placed on her team and help lead her team, as in this shoe tying game. Her little charge just arrived at our school not long ago and speaks only Spanish. (Can you spot the wayward man-child in the photo?)
As curriculum coordinator, I dutifully saved all our mail bags just for this day and the sack race!
But someone, a little girl I know, affectionately nicknamed Perma-Baby, was definitely out of her comfort zone on field day! Stay tuned!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tea Party

PB got invited to a tea party where she got to use real china!
The girls put on fancy dresses, then changed them multiple times before we ate.
I am guessing a couple of us moms did the same thing that morning!
Someone got a little full of herself!
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Monday, June 21, 2010


You know, my Spanish I kids sat all year in a classroom that overlooked the P.E. class which met the same period. As the weather got warmer, we had to open the window. So as we sat and conjugated the past tense of Spanish verbs ending in "AR", the 8th graders played volleyball. And flag football. And basketball. It was tough. But at some point during the year, I suggested to my class that on the last week of school, we should take all that pent-up frustration and just release it....

in the form of water balloons.
We planned far in advance. We got the really good thin balloons. We devoted time to filling them. We told no one (except the principal, who I happened to be married to, who really had no choice but to say yes to me).
We pre-arranged it with the P.E. teacher. He watched for a white piece of paper to be taped to the window. At that point, he gathered his class for a little huddle under our window, under the guise of some type of pep talk. I stood in the window, with a Spanish book in hand, pretending to lecture. Then I screamed, "BOMBS AWAY!"
Oh, it was nice. It was worth every afternoon of listening to them!
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gourmet Spoiling

CC and I got a real spoiling last Saturday night. A precious Turkish friend and her husband invited us to dinner. We work with her and have so loved getting to know her this year. But what we didn't know is that she had a secret weapon at home. Her husband! He is an aspiring chef and loves to try out new recipes on company. So, we left the kids at home, took a deep breath after a very busy week, and arrived to their home to find this...
...that pea dish had fresh cilantro in it. I had to refrain from licking my bowl.
Then he brought us a cool melon soup. I glanced at CC. I knew at that moment, he would expect some type of re-creation of this soup. It's just not going to happen, CC. I have no idea how he pulled these ingredients together.
Then he brought us our main dish. The. most. tender. chicken. ever.
Aren't they cute? Can't you see him with a chef's hat running his own restaurant? I'll be his best customer! Thanks, Burak Bey!
Thanks for a wonderful evening! (Let's do it cook!)
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"Papa" on Father's Day 2010

From Firstborn: I appreciate Papa because he leads in the right path to God. I appreciate that he takes time out of his work to be with me. Some dads don't do this, but my dad does. I love him very much.
From Twinkle Toes: I appreciate Papa because he's a great dad, and he reads me the Bible. He teaches me about God. He takes me hiking and does math with me. That's why I love him so much.
From Miss Middler: I appreciate Papa because he does lots of work for me, and he loves me. He buys stuff for me. I love him.
From Perma-Baby: About he, because I love him. He watches teletubbies with me.
From Big Ben: Nack. Mow. (translation: snack. more.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Staff Banquet: Dizzle Pop

Many of you only know Campbell Clansman by the conservative, kacki and necktie clad administrator that he is. Always a gentleman. Always a bit on the formal side. But Saturday night he apreared as "Dizzle Pop, the Rapper" and performed an A-Z rap about the highlights of our school year. (Do real rappers know their alphabet in order?) I can't upload it, for it is over 3 minutes in length. You'll just have to trust was funny, out of character, and perfect. I knew he was going to do it, but not in my daughter's hat and my sunglasses!
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Staff Banquet: Friends

Just here at the very end of the year, it is so nice to sit down as a staff and dine together and just share how much we have appreciated one another.

On the right is Miss Middler's teacher, from South Africa. Oh, how we liked having her this year!
And here's Twinkle Toe's teacher, and her mom. Guess what? When this beautiful young woman was about Twinkle Toe's age, her father married CC and me. This is my precious Turkish friend and her husband. They swim upstream in this country, I am so proud of them.
I had fun playing around with my photographs. Do you like the yellow?

These beautiful ladies were just out on this balcony, and I saw them and yelled, "Hold still! That's a great picture!" Then I played around with the colors. From the left: the girls' Turkish teacher, Miss Middler's teacher, our Wizard of Oz director, Firstborn's teacher, and PB's teacher for next year. They are all stars in my book! Someone once said, "Do you have to be young and beautiful to work at Oasis?" (when they saw our staff). Can't you see why they said it?
And then there's these guys....! No comment!
We had a great time!
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