Sunday, June 28, 2009

A New Friend

As you may know I am lucky enough to live in a beach side community. We've lived here for many years and enjoyed our private but rocky beach as a place to go searching for seaside treasures. The east coast shore has been hit by a series of strong storms over the last month and as a result we now have a sandy beach. This may not sound like much but after needing water shoes to swim and being unable to walk barefoot on the beach comfortably we are so thrilled. We've been down the beach three times this week. Soooo much fun for me. I could just sit by the ocean all day, not in an attempt to get sun and a tan but just to soak in the ocean. I love everything about the ocean: the sounds, sights, smells and feelings it evokes. I'm happy to be by the water in the warmth of the sun or in the mist or fog or even the in light rain.

Over the past two years on occasion we have met up with an older gentleman during our beach excursions. I would say he is in his late 60's or early 70's. He reminds me of someone from my childhood-a grandfather figure. He always says hello as do we when we see him. This past week was the first time we have encountered him this year. 'n' and I actually look forward to seeing our beach friend. Today we planned a long morning/early afternoon excursion to the beach. It is cool and misty, the perfect beach combing weather, for me anyway. So off we went in our jeans and sweatshirts, ponytails and baseball caps with a plastic bucket for large treasures and plastic bag for small treasures. The beach is within walking distance but due to the threat of rain we decided to drive. During the brief car trip 'n' expressed her hopes that we might see our little old beach friend. Alas when we walked down the ramp we were alone on our now sandy stretch of beach. I must say we were both a bit disappointed but we were happy to be together on the beach. We walked in the opposite direction from where N usually leads us and quickly found several large chunks of frosty, beautiful sea glass. In case you are unaware; sea glass is a bit of an obsession with me and I am constantly on the look out while we walk the beach. It was clear from the debris on the beach that the tide had been another extreme high tide early that morning. As we continued our walk we came upon a huge lobster trap covered in sea weed. Upon further investigation we discovered what looked like a live lobster in the trap. How exciting. Looking back up the beach we noticed our friend had come down to the shore to check on his small boat. Long story short we walked back to tell him about the trap. He was pleasant as always; commenting on how 'n' and I are the only fisher women around. We walked with him down to the trap. Finally we introduced ourselves and found out that our friend 'J' was originally from Ireland. Galway to be precise. He hails from the same town from which my maternal grandfather emigrated. I also found out that his sister and I share the same name. He knew of my grandfather's surname. Funny how there could be so much in common with a stranger. Turned out the pot was too big for our friend to use, but he was able to open it up and inspect the lobster. It was still alive. He insisted we bring the lobster home and boil him up. He even gave me cooking instructions. While we were sad to leave the beach early we were happy to have spent time with our new friend, find some beautiful sea glass and then bring home the catch of the day. 'n' and I will be looking forward to seeing 'J' the next time we visit the beach.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Day Celebration

Wow what a busy day!

Today was the last day of school. The children went off to school with mixed emotions; happy for summer yet sad to leave their current classmates behind and a bit apprehensive about what lies ahead. In the past I have picked them up at school on the last day of school. Today they both opted to ride the bus home today as it will be the last time they ride the bus together for two years as N is moving on to the middle school and n won't join him for two years. Anyway I planned a bit of a celebration for today. We invited a few friends over for snacks, cake and ice cream. I went to the store while the kids were in school and picked up some healthy fruit and a bunch of kid favorites: twizzlers, reaces pieces, swedish fish, gummy worms, doritos... It was like kiddie heaven. We also grilled hot dogs and hamburgs.

As an end of the year gift the kids got a Wii system. Chances are we are the last out of all the kids friends to purchase this system but I think it was worth the wait. We spent all afternoon and much of the evening playing Wii sports. Boxing and bowling are hilarious. The other games are fun too. I am totally going to get the Wii fit. I can't wait. I heard of an acquaintance who lost 50 lbs just using his Wii to exercise to. Boy if I could lose that much weight I think I would feel so much healthier. It would be awesome.

I'm hoping to make more progress with my etsy over the weekend.

Well it's time to retire for the evening.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So last night's ceremony was obviously a tremendous amount of work for 'N's teacher and certainly something that the kids will always remember, but.....

Her favorites were obvious and many of the awards lacked depth(in my opinion). The best thing she could come up with for 'N' was that he is totally into video games. While he does love his video games he is so much more than that and it saddens me that she didn't know more. She found a cool game related candy item for 'N' but she didn't even know that we don't own a Wii. Oh well it is time to move on. Last night there were lots of emotion on 'N's part. Already he is missing his school, his friends and even his teacher. I think it is just nerves. I know he is ready and will do great. I hope that he truly connects with his teachers next year. It just never truly happened this year.

On a different note I said farewell to the summer program at school today. I am happily finished spending my time at work with children. As much as I love teaching and being with preschoolers, I am so excited to have some time off! Yay!!!

Hey I finally started my etsy shop! Nothing is listed yet but I will work on that over the next few days. If your interested in seeing the set up so far go check out

The name is thanks to 'N'. Had some other names including Surfside Serenity in the running, but I liked the idea of the serenity being random. It keeps me from being tied to the ocean theme. Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moving On

Well tonight it 'N's farewell ceremony at 7:30. He will be saying goodbye to 4th grade, Mrs. R., I.B.Elementary School , some friends who will be going to a different community school next year and four years in our small neighborhood school. He is ready. He is excited. He is eager. He wants to move forward to the intermediate school, into the larger world. I however am not. I want to keep him insulated and safe for as long as I can. It is the mother in me and I can't help how I feel. It's much like when I left him at Kindergarten years ago... I know he will do well and we will both be fine. He will likely thrive and I will get used to a new normal. Tonight's ceremony will look back at all he has done and then we will look forward to what will come. This is a special time.

I think I'll bring tissues! I'm off to get ready. I'll report back soon.


Sunday, June 14, 2009


What a great weekend!

The sun came out finally on Saturday and I spent a good part of the day outside with 'n'. She played as I worked on the NAEYC portfolio annotation that I must complete by the end of the summer. It was lovely. The sky was a beautiful crisp blue, the air was clean and the sun was so warm. 'n' worked on a number of dance/gymnastic type routines and impressed me with her rhythm and ingenuity. 'N' played happily with a friend for the entire afternoon. We enjoyed a fish dinner at the dining room table(such a treat!) R had a gig so the children and I spent a quiet evening together.

Today the girls and boys split up to get some things done. The boys went to the movies and the girls went shopping for end of the year gift supplies. 'n' and I have already painted the clay pots that will be given with lovely geraniums. We were able to find a box for a set of handmade cards for 'n's teacher too. It is very pretty. Last weekend we created the wax prints for the cards and this weekend we assembled the cards for Mrs. K. I think she will love them. I was hoping to find scented geraniums at one of our local shops but have yet to find a suitable scented geranium plan. I'll be searching some more tomorrow after work. Wish me luck.

We also went in search of the chemical lye to be used in making homemade soaps. I've been curious about making soap for some time and now have several books on the subject and a keen interest in gathering the needed supplies to start this new endeavor. I'd like to be able to use some of the handmade soaps for felted soaps. I think the handmade soap will be a lovely addition to the felted soaps I've been making. I'm hoping to create an inventory so that I can finally start my etsy store.

Now the children and I are sitting in the living room as the cool ocean air floats in over us through the open windows. I love this time of year.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Walden Woods

So it has been a long, dreary week. Summer camp has felt more like winter than summer, but the children have enjoyed being together and I have enjoyed getting to know some new children. I do love that part of my job; the children. Next week looks to be better. Cross your fingers and do a sun dance. It would be nice to end summer camp with some summer sun.

Tomorrow I'll be going to Walden Pond in Concord with N's class. We are going rain or shine. I home it will just be drizzly and not showering. There is nothing that sounds worse to me than walking in the woods in the rain with 4th grade boys. I am excited to see Walden Pond. Should be interesting. The kids have been listening to the book Mind With Wings. They are learning about David Henry Thoreau. I've done a bit of research but don't feel like I know enough. I'm hoping to learn more during the field trip. We'll be riding the bus...for over an hour! That should be fun too.

I thought I'd bring my camera but I don't want it to get all wet, oooh I just had a brainstorm; I'll bring my old digital camera. That should work.

Well I'm off to do some research.


Monday, June 8, 2009


Well N was home today sick. He came home from his buddy's house last night hacking and wheazing. He woke up this morning with lots of congestion and a headache. He looked beat. I decided to let him have a day to rest. n was none to happy about the decision. She thought he should have gone to school. I made the right decision. He spent the day resting on the coch and even took a hot shower to relieve the congestion.

The day wasn't as productive as I had hoped it would be but I did get quite a few things done. I baked chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies so that I'd have something yummy to bring to our final Stand for Children meeting of this school year. I made some yummy spaghetti sauce for supper too.

I also worked on my wax print cards. I have several beautiful orange and pink monoprints that are now matted on black cardstock ready to be adheared to blank cards. I'm trying to build up an inventory of items to start an etsy shop. I love being creative and would like to use my creativity to start a business. I need to do more research reagarding small businesses and busines plans but at least this is a tangible beginning. Next year I'll have both Mondays and Fridays to work on my artistic endeavors, so I'm excited to get started.

Had a great meeting with my Stand for Children Strategy Team Leaders. We celebrated all the wins of the year and talked about how to grow our chapter next year. We enjoyed lots of yummy food...fruit, cookies, strawberry shortcake, brownies, cheese and crackers, hummus. Mmmmmmm! It was a great meeting.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Remembering All Who Protected Our Freedom

So several months ago in conjunction with Veteran's Day, the children in N's class as well as some of the other fourth grade classes raised money and gave up their lunch in honor of veterans who have given up so much for us so that we are able to live in freedom. The children did not actually skip lunch but they had a very simple lunch in their classroom. The could have soup and water and a roll or bring crackers and peanut butter and water from home. Throughout the day the children researched a veteran who died in action who actually shared their birthday. They made decorative plates to commemorate their veteran. They also heard from veterans from the local area. The funds that were collected went to our local American Legion to bring the Vietnam War Moving Memorial Wall to our area.

Yesterday the entire fourth grade went to the Moving Memorial.

I was able to meet them down at the wall.

Each child was able to read their veterans name.

Then move to the wall to find the name and collect a rubbing of the name.

What an incredible experience. I was so impressed by these kids. They were respectful and thoughtful in how they moved through the area.

They knew that the Memorial is a somber place and because of that they needed to act accordingly. I was impressed by what the children knew about the wall. They understood what the symbols next to the names meant and were interested in looking for names other than the original name they were given. I don't know if they actually understood the enormity of the number of names on the wall and the fact that all of those individuals are either missing or killed in action. It was an incredible experience.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

4th Grade Show!

Well there's much excitement here this afternoon! N is in the fourth grade show. Actually all the children in 4th grade are in the show but you'd think he were the star judging from the excitement. So much excitement that I have a headache. It should be great. N is in the chorus so he is an important part of the production. He has six sections in his grade so 3 sections will be going to see the play tonight and the rest of the families will go tomorrow night. Each family received 2 tickets. That will be tricky as their are three of us going to view the show. R might stand up back which is permitted. I'll bring my camera and try to take some photos to post.

On another subject, camp went well. I spent the day felting soap. I have the cleanest hands in the east. :) The process is long for some of the children. I tried to help them along, but the children were funny they didn't really want to hand over their soaps so that I could check them and give them a bit of a head start. So some of the children were at the little table with me for quite some time. I think they will be happy with their final product when they go home tomorrow. Nine children worked on soaps today and nine are signed up for working on soaps tomorrow. We'll be inside due to the weather so at least access to hot water for felting will be a bit easier. Perhaps more hot water will speed up the process.

So the only other bit of news is that our final Strategy Team meeting for Stand for Children will be next Monday. We will celebrate all that we have done this year to make gains for children. Food and planning for next year will be a part of the meeting.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Morning

Well today is the first day of summer camp at school. The forecast is for wet weather mid day. I'm hoping school is just north enough that we will avoid the rain and be able to eat lunch outside. It should be a fun day. I'll be working on felted soaps either today or tomorrow with the children. Last year we worked on soap and the kids loved it!

I have a great video to share with everyone. The kids and R made a 'movie' trailer for a scary movie. Uncle T did the narration. It is a hoot. Having trouble with YouTube however so I'll have to come back to it later.

Here is a link if you are interested:

Hope everyone has a wonderful day today.


Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Time

So I have decided it's high time that I get off of FB and re commit myself to a daily writing practice here at Surfside Serenity. I was so proud of myself when I wrote every day and now that I am finished with my regular teaching schedule and I have three weeks until N and n get out of school I figure it is the perfect time.

So a little update on the going's on in my life....

It was a very busy end of the year. Several families were saying final goodbyes and that was difficult. It is always bittersweet to see these families move on. We have done our job and the children are ready to join the larger educational community. Our school's enrollment, (as well as the enrollment of other preschools around town) is down and that is of great concern. Changes are taking place due to the enrollment issue. Change is hard. I keep reminding myself that I am fortunate to have a job in this difficult economic time. We are also very busy working on the NAEYC (National Association of the Education of Young Children) re accreditation process. It is a tedious and lengthy process. It has consumed quite a bit of my time and energy as well as that of my colleagues. We will all be happy when the process is completed this fall. Still so much work to be done before that can take place. Enough about work.

At home things are plugging along. Kids are excited for the end of the year. My oldest, N, is very excited as this has been a challenging year for him. He never quite connected with his teacher nor she with him I think. It has been a struggle. Many afternoons were spent in tears. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. He will be attending one of our two local middle schools next year as a 5th grader. Only the children from two of the many elementary schools do this due to lack of space in the buildings. There is so much excitement in this transition for N. He is talking about joining after school clubs and a sport! Never in my wildest dreams did I see this coming. I am thrilled for him. I hope the experience lives up to his expectations. I will do everything in my power to see that it does. As far as my youngest, n, she is not so excited to see the year end. While looking forward to the summer; she has had a wonderful year and loves her teacher, as do I! I know she will do well in third grade. I hope she will have the same teacher as Nick but we'll see.

I'll save Papa and Grammy updates for another day. I'm so looking forward to writing again. I hope I still have some folks out there who are interested in reading, but if not that's ok too!

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