Since 2007 our kids have attended a charter school in the most adorable little red schoolhouse. It is situated out in the country among rolling hills, past large pastures with roaming cows, next to a holly tree farm, with a lovely drive that provides morning views that can take your breath away.
We have loved it. And our kids have been dearly loved there. We've been fortunate to have some great teachers who "get" our kids.
Lots of great memories, relationships, and learning has come out of this place.
On Conner's last day his teacher set aside some time for a good-bye party. He brought cookies, I think they played a little game, and Conner had an opportunity to show off his best bendy joints trick in front of the class. He went with the leg behind his head trick. ;)
Payton's teacher held a party on Payton's last Friday. She popped popcorn and they got to watch a movie. It was a surprise -- he didn't know this was going to happen until it started.
Anna's last day almost didn't happen. We woke up on that tuesday morning and got the phone call informing us of 2-hour late start due to snow. When there is a 2-hour late start AM kindergarten is cancelled. I was just heart-broken for her! A few minutes later she came into our bedroom all dressed for school asking, "can you zip me up?" Oh my, that brought up the emotions. I looked at Scott and mouthed, "I just can't - you tell her." Not too much longer I got an e-mail from her teacher wanting to re-schedule or make accomodations for Anna to stop in the next day (even just for 5 minutes) so they could say good-bye to her. Luckily, we would be in town the next day. And luckily our awesome friends the Habels let me borrow a vehicle for the day so I could get her to school. (The plan was for Scott and the boys to start driving on Wednesday - so I would be van-less, Anna and I would stay behind to clean the house, and then fly out on thursday.)
So Anna's last day party did happen. It was also a surprise for her. I was so thankful to her teachers for setting aside a chunk of classtime for her. And additionally grateful for the class mom who showed up with cookies and drinks for all the kids! Seriously, the state of my mind and the house in that last week was so far away from me being able to think about and put together treats for my kids' classes on the last day. So many awesome teachers and parents stepped up to the plate and made these important memories happen for my children and I am so so so grateful.
And if a going away party wasn't enough one awesome mom, Ellen B., put together a wonderful keepsake for each of my kids. She is the 5th grade class mom and waaay back last September when we announced we were moving, she got going on a project for Conner.
He received a binder with notes from each of his classmates. "Conner, my favorite things about you are . . ."
What a treasure! The common themes are playing four-square, writing a book, and being smart.
Ellen also went on to share the idea and materials with Payton's 3rd grade class, and Anna's Kindergarten class. She didn't want any of my kids to be left out. Talk about so sweet and thoughtful and going over & beyond.
It was so fun to watch the kids huddle around Payton as he flipped through the book. They all wanted to point out the pages that they made.
Common themes in Payton's book: funny/silly, likes the color blue, plays on the swings a lot, smart, he is crazy.
A few priceless excerpts:
- You take a good sniff of your mom every morning.
- I will make sure I remember you so much Payton. And I will talk with Brooke about you so much.
- You have a lot of energy.
- You always make me laugh when you laugh.
- Here is a poem just for you: Payton I know you are moving it's just so sad. I will miss you forever and it's just so sad.
- You are so kind to the new kids.
After school we looked at the book and Payton shared that he had learned that over a period of time, the kids in his class took turns missing recess so they could stay inside and complete their pages for Payton. Keeping it a secret from him the whole time. Oh my heart! Imagining these sweet 3rd graders giving up a recess -- the thing they all hold precious and dear in their school day . . . . if that isn't a tear-jerker
Anna's teachers wrapped her book in a pink bag with pink tissue paper and presented it to her while she sat in front of the class. You can just imagine how her face lit up when she heard the word "present" and saw the color pink. :)
A week or two earlier the teachers had spent some time taking some photos of the class at recess and posing with Anna at her desk and included those in her book. I think she absolutely loved it.
And I won't mention the fact that I shed a few big tears as I looked through it. In the classroom. The day before we watched all our belongings get packed up into a moving truck, we spent the night on the floor in an empty house, and that morning I said good-bye to Scott and the boys as they headed out on the road. I think I'm justified in being a bit emotional!
I think my favorite entry came from her friend Jaren -- Anna, my favorite things about you are . . . "Your hair and your shoes. I love your smell and the way you're nice. I like that you are funny and happy." Hehe. They have a super cute relationship. I drove Jaren home on this day and I had so much fun listening to their little conversation.
- Anna: "What would I do without a friend named Jaren."
- Jaren: "I think I'm going to cry when you leave."
Well, I don't want this post go on forever. But I just wanted to record this incredibly thoughtful and much appreciated keepsake that each of the kids received. Thanks to Ellen, the kids' teachers, and all the parents who helped their children write and submit these pages. They will be treasured!