Monday, July 28, 2014

Tampa: Day One

Report on the day:   Emma and Lucy loved sailing camp.  When I returned to the hotel room from my conference I asked both girls about their day.  Emma said "It was awesome".  She took a boat out all by herself.  She said she feels confident and even though she hit the buoys a couple of times she feels like she can handle it.  She doesn't feel like there is a lot of room in the Opti but is comfortable sailing it.

Lucy went out on an Opti with two other little girls all by themselves.  "We just barely ran into a big boat with our boat, Mom".  It sounds like she had a great half day at sailing camp.  She spent the afternoon playing with her daddy.  She also described her day as great.

I went to my conference in this building.  It is one amazing place.


And if you ask me about my tour of this magnificent facility, "It was awesome!"  Although they would not let me take photos; I was so disappointed.  They were running a trauma simulation that was similar to a Boston marathon trauma and I can see why they wouldn't have wanted that on film.  It was very, um, disturbingly real. 

This facility is really spectacular and I get to go back tomorrow!

We went to dinner on a trolley and had the most wonderful evening. We watched flamenco dancers and ate in a beautiful historic restaurant. 

Good night!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Florida detour via Ft Walton Beach

We are driving to Tampa and couldn't resist a quick stop on the emerald coast. After almost not finding a place to sleep for the night and waking up in a place I would never let my daughters sleep in without their father, we set out for a little beach time. 

This is Ft Walton Beach. It was deserted on a Sunday morning. We shared it with about 10 other humans, a few seagulls and a few crabs. 

The girls were mesmerized by the white sand. Lucy loved the waves and water. 

We didn't get to spend nearly enough time here; we must plan a trip back to this region of Florida. 

We stopped in Panama City for lunch and ate outside overlooking the water and the beach. The breeze was cool and the palm trees were swaying.  It was a perfect beach lunch. 

On to Tampa.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fifth Grade Promotion

I was holding off on this post because I was waiting on picture from another family.  I can't seem to get my hands on them so the post is out of date.  I am typing this prologue to remind myself years from now why I waited nearly 6 weeks to post such an important event in our lives, and also to remind myself not to rely on others.  We were unable to sit where we wanted to sit this night and this caused me great disappointment. But my disappointment quickly was erased when I saw this smiling face on stage.  She was so poised and happy.  As always she had the positive attitude that I needed to have.

She always does the pledge of allegiance in sign language now.

They do a wonderful fifth grade promotion at Mayo.  I enjoyed seeing these kids all together up on stage as eleven year olds.  The teachers play a guessing game where they read a prediction about a child and if you think they are talking about you the child stands up and then you sit down when you know it isn't you.  This was so much fun to watch.   This was Emma's.

This crafty and creative young Mayoan spent her time in and out of school trying to create anything she could with whatever material she could find.  She was particularly adept at sewing, knitting, and crocheting leading her to study fashion design in college.  She now owns a boutique on Cherry Street.  Go by and check out what new creations Emma Jane Plunkett has in store!

But the surprise of the night, and something that I was ill prepared for because I had never been to a fifth grade promotion before, was the award for students of the year.  There are two students who are awarded student of the year each year.  This award is voted on by the faculty and it came as such a surprise because Mayo has, in my seven year experience there, never singled people out.  It is the type of place where everyone gets an award.  So at first when this man that I didn't know got up to speak, I didn't know what was happening.  He was not very clear in his diction and he was saying something about academics and leadership and overall outstanding student and then he said the award goes to "Emma Jane Plunkett".

She was so thrilled!  We were so proud!  Emma Jane would tell me that I am not using enough exclamation points to appropriately capture our emotions.  However, I think I was too surprised to be properly overjoyed!  It all happened so fast.  But Mike got this beautiful shot of Emma.  And she stopped and looked at us for the briefest of moments (good girl, Emma).

Next she received her certificate of completion from her principal, Mr. Joslin.  There was a fist bump and hand jive, but I didn't get a very good photo of it.

Then they get the chance to hug teachers past and present.  She got to hug Mr. McKenzie.  He was the principal when she started at Mayo (through about second grade).

Cherished teachers, who mean so much to us.

There are so many selfless things you do as a teacher, but this is right up there in the top three.  To come to a ceremony at night and sit through two hours of talking just to be there at the end to hug our means the world to our children that you are there for them.  This gesture in the end, could not show your dedication to these children any more.  The end of school, when things are so hectic and life is so crazy and you have so much to do, thank you for coming.  And for those of you who organize this night, thank you, thank you, thank you.  It was so special.

Best friends and beautiful girls who are off to middle school together.

Both sets of grandparents made it to this special night.  So glad they got to see Emma get her award.

Three special teachers who are moving on to greater things this year.  They are leaving great big shoes to fill.

I love these kids.  You could not ask for a better group of kids than these.  Polite, hilarious, intelligent, funny, witty, all three of these kids received awards for being avid them.

The two students of the year, Sophie and Emma. Seven years ago they looked like this...

Now they are beautiful young ladies who have made their momma's proud this night.  They are both such outstanding students who make good choices.  I was telling someone that I could not have asked for a better booster shot for "good behavior" for going into middle school.  Just when she was starting to think no one notices how hard she works or how she follows the rules.  Just when she was starting to think that the only kids who get attention are the ones who receive negative attention.  This award gives her the recognition she needs to "keep on keepin' on".  This is the first real earned award she has ever received.  This is the first time she has been singled out among her peers.  Thank you Mayo.

Thank you Mrs. Jimenez!

Thank you Mike for raising this amazing girl with me.  She is everything I hoped she would be.  She is the perfect blend of the two of us, a lover of adventure and the outdoors, jumper of cliffs, inhaler of books, seeker of knowledge, nerd extraordinaire, and as witty as the day is long.  Her character is strong and sure and she will look out for those who need looking out for.

Emma, every parent thinks their kid is outstanding.  That is what we are supposed to feel and think.  To have you recognized as outstanding by your school is a wonderful accomplishment that YOU achieved.  You earned this award through outstanding scholarship, leadership, citizenship and integrity.  My heart is full of pride for you my dear.  I love you so.