I live in Georgia now. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact (even when I'm driving down an unfamiliar country road) most days because I still can't believe I am here. I wish I could share with you the feeling I get when I drive down a winding road and look out onto the white mist streaming from the large irrigation systems rolling slowly though dry fields. Or explain the feeling of the sheer power of nature as I sat last night on my porch watching and listening to an approaching thunderstorm. Somehow, the power of nature is so much more, well, PROFOUND here. Maybe it's because nature isn't blocked by tall buildings or drowned out by the sounds of traffic and blaring music, instead nature surrounds us and supplies beautiful, simple sounds all day long. There's rustling along my treeline at night that comes from an unseen animal, probably an armadillo, and the screeching of the enormous black crows that land in my side yard, and the ever circling hawks above, floating on the wind. I'm just in awe sometimes and wonder how I missed out on all this for so long. If I can share anything with you, let it be that I move you to go out and listen to the sounds outside. I'm positive you will sit just a little bit longer once you hear them, because you will want to hear more. I'm laughing as I sit and type this because there are three blue jay's and a red carndinal just hopping about in my side yard. Most likely in response to the sprinkler set to water my garden there. They are so thirsty too. It's so hot and dry.
Last night, after nearly three weeks with not a drop of rain, we had a gorgeous thunderstorm that lit up the sky with sharp streaks of lightening and thundering booms. I was shocked three screeching children didn't come running out of their rooms! The trees and grass seemed a little happier this morning...I am sure the farmers appreciated it as well. Seeing the fields, the farming machinery, makes you stop and really think about where your food comes from and why it is so important to support the local farmers here. Not in another country, but here. In our home, supporting our economy.
I went today to the final day of school celebration at Brooklet Elementary. The kids received awards for successes throughout the school year and I am so amazed at the difference in education from PA to here. In our old school, there were about 15 standards in Kindergarten, here there are 39!!! I was atonished then yesterday when Emma's teacher and the school principal suggested I hold her back....what! I thought, she's my little teacher, the one always pouring over the books and I can't possibly hold her back. But there, laid out on paper, was the truth. Skills that thier pre-K had mastered, she may not have even been exposed to. Plus, she started kindergarten at the young age of 4. She received the "Marvelous Manners Award" today and Jacob received a "PE Award".
jacob and his new friend Justin
Here in Georgia, she would only have been in pre-K this year. Enouraged that by holding her back would allow her to blossom and not alter her self esteem at all...I agreed. And it makes so much sense. Jacob I already knew I would hold back, he just needs so much help to get him on track and focused and I can already see that the work they've done with him is helping him progress. So my kindergartener will be a kindergartener next year and my first grader will be a first grader. And I'm ok with it because I know it's the right decision for them.
There's such a difference in the respect of education and teachers here. I clearly saw in PA how there were some fabulous teachers (Hello Mrs Mellor and Mr. Craven), but the school system and the need for funding always seemed to play a big role in how they could teach. Being understaffed and classrooms overfilled. It's just different here. it's not about funding, it's about education. Here, they let teachers do what they are supposed to do. Teach our children.
The most amazing thing I heard today as I walked into the school was the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE over the loudspeaker with the words with the word GOD in it and then to top it all off....THEY HAD A MOMENT OF SILENT PRAYER.
To celebrate today after we left school (although this may seem like punishment to some since it was really, really hot out!!!) i took the kids to the playground and we had a picnic under the trees. I think they enjoyed it and for me, it's all about doing the little things, not having to spend tons of money to entertain, but teaching them that the uniqueness of each of them is entertainment enough. The ability (and luck) for each of them to always have a playmate, a confident, a friend in their sibling is so awesome. That is why I decided a big family was for me . Despite the smartass comments from people who don't (or are unwilling) to understand why you want to have a large family, that's the main reason. It's all about togetherness, a bond. I'm working on my summer list of sharing things to do. We have chickens to raise, a coop to build, I want to let each of them make patio blocks that they can decorate for the garden...ooodles of things to do...stuff that they will remember doing, not just have a t shirt as a reminder of the event. Thursday is Library day...my favorite!
Sam, up until about three days ago, refused...I mean all out REFUSED to get into the pool. I found this cute little intertube at RITE AID and voila!
All of the sudden, he's a water worm...
and just to clear up an misconception that Sam is not the owner of the most awesome afro ever....here is the proof in the pudding!
what a post shower comb job. it's like a mix of a 1970's platinum bozo the clown!!!
I can't wait to show this pic to his girlfriend when he's 16!!!
and then there's little miss sparkly feet..sneaking up and down the steps.
But lest you think she's so sweet....last night we caught her putting her hand in the kitty pan and throwing litter across the laundry room. I nearly fainted from shock and made Danny taken her to the bathroom and wash her dirty little hands. Then i chased her around yelling "STINKY..POO POO!" Ugh!