Friday, June 29, 2012

Nora's Quilt - The Beginning

Several months ago, I sent two squares of white fabric to Haiti so my friend and former employee could embroider them with baby scenes. One was for a baby girl and the other for a baby boy. This was in anticipation of the news we would receive for grandchild number six. And then the announcement came, a girl! I went to the fabric store and purchased what I needed to make the baby quilt. That took about all the time and energy I had. Having just transitioned from junior high to high school teaching, I was still up to my neck in work with little or no time for sewing. But now summer vacation is here and there is time, somewhat... I have helped with scheduling for the new year, hosted birthday dinners, shopped and lunched with my mother - so maybe there's time. I'm taking the time today to sew. Here's the center square, our baby girl square for Nora Elise.

And here is the fabric that I will use to create the quilt blocks. The bright yellow (far left) with the polka-dots is the back. The white with pink polka-dots (far right) is the border. The three fabrics in the center will create the blocks, which will be stripes on the diagonal. The eyelet trim will go around the border. I hope it turns out okay!

 Oh yes, I still have the baby boy embroidered square (not shown) just in case. Right, I think my sons would have heart attacks should another one show up anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer = Sore

I've decided that the new normal for summer break is being sore! Yesterday was a great day. I went to my son's house and helped K move all the furniture from two kids' bedrooms into a third kid's bedroom so that carpets could be torn up in anticipation of new carpeting. It was a job and I'm a bit sore today, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. My mother got me hooked on furniture sliders. Seriously, a person could put a queen-sized hide-a-bed on these sliders and move it with one hand! Great invention; I hope the guy's a millionaire! After working and lunch, I took my three grands to a park on my side of town and they played until they were ready to drop. It's a big park with lots of fun things for big kids as well as little ones. They had a blast. Limeberry was next on our agenda, followed by cartoons at home. I wore those little darlings out so their parents could rest. That's what a good grandma does!

Other than that, my garden is blooming and I'm loving it!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Soooo Sore!

Yesterday I worked, all day. First I made strawberry freezer jam, then cut up fruit for a large salad, and finally the yard. Oh my goodness, the yard definitely got its revenge. I took advil last night and tried to sleep. About 2:30 in the morning I gave up, came out to get more advil, and roamed the internet for a while. I tried the daybed in the kids' room but couldn't get comfortable. Finally about 4 in the morning, I went back to bed. I think I heard the clock chime 5 o'clock and then I don't remember anything until the phone rang at 9 o'clock. I don't want to just sit around because that makes me hurt more, so I'm doing laundry, vacuuming, and will run errands in a short while. This afternoon, we will attend Colton's last baseball game for the season, followed by a BBQ/bonfire for his team and the families at C's house. That will be fun. I want to see Kayla's room. She (and her mother) splatter-painted it, painted a dark brown wainscotting, and trimmed it out in ribbon. Scott repurposed the wood flooring from his office (which was destroyed by a falling tree during a snow storm) into her bedroom as well. Can't wait to see it all together.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yard Work

Along with summer break comes yard work. Honestly, I love working in my yard. I love flowers and trails and waterfalls and shrubs and all growing things. I don't like some of the work these things demand. I've done a lot of weeding but there's a lot more to do! Today, the big deal... I finished pruning the rhododendrons and laurels. We have 15 rhodies and 4 laurels. Of the rhododendrons, only two didn't need a heavy pruning. I decided that this was a project I could do while T works all day. There are reasons why I wouldn't want to be an administrator in a school and summer break is one of them. Anyway, today I pruned the last four rhodies and two laurels. My arms and shoulders are so sore that I can hardly type. This means that it's going to be really awful tomorrow! I also put up two batches of strawberry freezer jam and cut up fruit for a huge salad for tomorrow's little league picnic for Colton and his team. I think I owe myself some lunch at a good rest. The sun is shining beautifully so maybe I'll have a little picnic all by myself. I do believe I deserve it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Proud of my School!

As I previously posted, we attended my nephew's high school graduation. Two of my former middle school students and one of our former high school students graduated from THS the same night, along with over 274 others. Now, there were only 266 names on the program so I'm not sure where the other 8-10 students came from but that is incidental.

There were a few things that surprised me. This school honored their National Merit Scholar who was also one of the student speakers. We honored our National Merit Scholar as well, as our Valedictorian. Yes, we use the title. Oh, and their National Merit Finalist, the one who didn't quite make the Scholar cut, yeah... she was ours for more than half her high school experience but transferred for the big school's drama program.

This school had about a dozen students in the top ten percent category of WA state graduates. So did we... and they had one in the top one percent... hmmm, so did we.

This school hit their all-time-high for scholarships and grants at $1.8 million. Great. We came in just under $1 million... like $986,000 or something like that.

So what's the big deal? That school... has 274+ grads; we had 53 grads this year. 53! Our students came away with virtually the same number of honors in academics as one of the biggest high schools in the county! And we earned more than half the $$$ - even though - wait... (274 ÷ 53 = 5.16981132075)... Right... they are more than FIVE times the size of our school.

There are some out there who say small private schools are just taking people's money and handing out an inferior education. This is not true. Our small, private, Christian school is not cheap but the education is excellent, as demonstrated by the above stats contrasted with one of the most coveted public high schools in our county. We have eight large public high schools in our county and this particular one always has a waiting list for transfers.

I'm not here to rag on the public high school. I am sincerely happy for those students who were able to demonstrate their abilities in such a tangible way, but I would like those in our community who like to say private schools are not very academic to take note of the facts and quit the negative chatter. Because it simply isn't true. I am so proud of our school and our grads!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last Graduation

At least the last one for this year. Last night a local high school held their graduation. My nephew was among the grads. It was touch-and-go for him to the very end. C has to deal with Tourette Syndrome. He doesn't have the serious version, just the kind that produces small ticks, which for him means his head will twitch every few seconds/minutes, depending on stress. Just try to read with your head jerking every few seconds; it's phenomenally difficult. When C was a little guy, he displayed remarkable observation and verbal skills. We all knew he'd grow up to be someone who would soar in scholastics. By the time he was in first or second grade, the ticks started, accompanied by violent bursts of anger. I can only imagine the frustration he felt not being able to do normal schoolwork because his head wouldn't stay still. Testing produced the diagnosis, and meds helped some with the symptoms but didn't do much to help the anger issues. Between elementary and middle school, I tutored C three times a week in reading and math. Yes, I did say math. I'm notoriously inadequate in that domain but I do have basic skills, and at that time, C didn't. That summer made a huge difference for C. He didn't lose what he had already learned, plus he mastered the multiplication tables and grew exponentially in comprehension skills. From that point on, his grades improved radically. I never had to tutor him again; he knew he could do it. C didn't graduate with honors or any other awards, but he did graduate - and that was a great accomplishment for him. Now we just have to help him find a decent job, and I'm sure he'll do well in the future. He's already learned that life isn't easy, faced down his challenges, and risen above unavoidable obstacles. Congrats C! Your family loves you!

Monday, June 11, 2012


I have the joy of an extra week of vacation this year. For the past few years, the Labor Day weekend has fallen so late into September that our school started in August. This year, instead of starting with students in August, we will begin the Wednesday after Labor Day. That means I have 88 days of "vacation" rather than 81! Nice! Of course next week I'll be at an educational conference, and there will be those necessary pre-teaching faculty meetings in August, but that's fine. Today the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my laundry is nearly finished and it's only 9 o'clock in the morning. I have lessons to plan, books to read, and letters to get out to students, but this week I'm going to let all of that wait. As a slight breeze blows through my window, bringing the fragrance of new flowers in bloom, I just want to enjoy this day, this moment. I don't do a very good job of taking time for myself, but I will today.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Almost Finished!

I can hardly believe this semester is coming to an end. What an eventful year. The best thing in 2012 has been the arrival of our new granddaughter, Nora Elise. This little sweetie was born in Chartres, France and will grow up with big sister Grace and big brother Eliott. They are elated to have her to cuddle!

I have spent a lot of time working on my classes for Brit Lit and Honors Am Lit. Coming up with new ideas and fun, brain-stretching projects has been a great challenge. One of my better ideas was to end Honors with brunch. We had a great day today and the food was yummy, as shown by some of my students gathered around the food table. Thanks to all my students for such a great semester!