Sunday, June 30, 2013

the end

So today is the last day.

I hope I am wrong. I know I am - but still, something about it feels final, and strange.

My little brother and his family are moving away - far away.  Like so far that the light from where we were born takes two hours to reach me, and will now take another hour to reach him.


It's not me moving. So I'm not sure why it's so shocking - but it is.

His oldest daughter and mine are giving makeovers in my basement.  I can hear them laughing from an entire floor away.  I hate myself for thinking it but I wonder if I will ever hear it again.  I wonder if maybe - just when they were starting to become close that maybe it will all be over.  Tomorrow I will take her back to her own house, and wave goodbye to all of them.

This is the third move we've dealt with in as many months.  First my dad's move - which, well - seeing as he's still hanging out in my living room, wasn't a HUGE move - but still, there was a lot to deal with.  Then Grandma moving into a Care Center, which, lets face it - is about as depressing as it gets, and now this.

It's no wonder I want to live in an RV. That way nobody can really ever escape from me - I can just follow them around forever.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

kooka's song

Kooka decided to write her own song.  She's just starting it, and wasn't sure she wanted me to post, but I assured her that there were far more embarrassing (and much less catchy) things already posted about her on this site, and she finally conceded. Maybe I'm biased, but for a 5th grader with just over a year of piano lessons under her little fingers - it's not too shabby.   Doesn't hurt that she has an AMAZING teacher.

Kooka's song:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

kooka turns 11

Yesterday it was this girls' birthday:

Of course now she is older, theoretically wiser, and a lot more spunky.

She and her besties (who all share the same birthday week) had a girls outing at MOA. There were  manicures, tiara's, fancy dinners, guys at kiosks trying to sell us $14 hair straighteners for $125.  There was a hotel, swimming pool, pink-slushy-girly drinks, and of course a homemade rock video.

Tonight it was back home for a homemade shrimp scampi dinner (complete with crusty french bread, plums, sparkling grape juice, and made-from-scratch vanilla bean snickerdoodle cake).

Tomorrow it is off to her former teacher's house for a formal dinner complete with tiaras, fancy up-dos, and dresses.

Next week is Punk. Let Mardi-Gras birthday week begin:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

graduation day

Ready for the ceremony!
Technically there are two more days left of school. But since Punk has 8th grade skip day, and then half a day on Tuesday, it's relatively moot. Kooka has her village project  and then a school-wide carnival next week, so in reality, today was her last day too.

But I wish it weren't.

If I could keep her there through 8th grade I would. If they had a high school curriculum, I'd be in. Heck, if they had a doctorate program, I'd make sure she got her PhD in SOMETHING.  I love this school. It's not perfect - no education system can be everything to everyone, but it has been an absolutely beautiful nest for my middle child to stretch her wings, nurture her natural curiosity and develop deep and heartfelt friendships.

I'm also slightly in love with her "graduation ceremony".

It went like this: The fifth graders lined up for their procession to the playground (a quaint, but spacious outdoor, wooded space) as all of the teachers they've ever had serenaded them with a grand march played on kazoos. Each child was called to the front, introduced by their teacher of the past two years and lauded for their individual contributions to the school. Of course Kooka's teacher basically heralded her as the Elle Woods of the school - a valley girl stuck in a Nature Valley commercial, but it was all in good fun (and completely true - in a school where kids can be seen wearing pajamas to school on a daily basis, Kooka never misses an opportunity to match her shoes with her nailpolish, started a student council, and wears dresses whenever she can).  After the ceremony, the kids pass under a trellis of flowers into the "tunnel of love" - a London-Bridge type hallway made of parents and teachers and alumni cheering them on and wishing them well as they start their new adventures.  It was lovely, it was sweet, it was totally different from Punk's 5th grade graduation (you can read about that one here).

Here are some of our favorite moments:

Kooka and her besties getting ready for the grand march.

Kooka's graduation poster

Kooks'a send off from her teacher Michelle

Cupcake finale

The fearsome foursome with their teacher
Kooka and her biggest fan. Her second biggest fan was already in the car, plotting his whooping and hollering.