Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Limos for Learning!


Local celebrity, Gavin Kiley, was recently seen getting out of a conspicuous white limo around one o'clock last Monday at Clinton Elementary. Rumor has it that he advanced five reading levels this past semester. This reading star was returning from a red carpet event where he was honored along with other amazing readers. The Limos for Learning event rewards young readers who make steady, conscientious efforts to improve their reading skills. It's a program that recognizes every kid who demonstrates a determination to improve.


When Gavin found out he had been awarded the Limos for Learning Certificate you would have thought he had won the lottery. But we know how much he has worked at improving his reading skills this year. The lottery is pure luck. What Gavin "won" was through persistence and practice. He had educators and supporters who helped him get back on track when he got frustrated. Is he a voracious reader now? Would he rather be reading a book than playing outside? No. It's still a struggle to get him to read. But now when he sits down to read, he reads. Not me, not his dad but Gavin does the reading. That makes him a star in our eyes.


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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chartruese: It's the new black for Spring!

Imagine you're out for a run one fine Spring morning in South Carolina and you come home and your shoes look like this. Well, Zero to Boston runs daily training for marathons and this is what the god awful pollen looks like on his shoes. Now...imagine the inside of your nose looking like these shoes. Welcome to Spring in South Carolina. Is it yellow? Is it green? My preference is "chartreuse". Never having experienced allergies before, I used to scoff at those seasonal complainers. Not anymore...no, not anymore. We are surrounded by clouds of pollen dust. It isn't pretty.

But, there are a couple of blooming plant life here in the Southeast that we don't get up North. My favorite is wisteria. Sure, in Indiana there is the errant vine here or there. In South Carolina, it's a freakin' menace practically but a beautiful menace I must say. Here's a house down the street from our little house with a beautiful wisteria.

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Another sign of Spring is Easter, of course. We started a week early with Presbyterian College's annual Easter egg hunt on Palm Sunday. Anna and her itty bitty twin girl got a chance to wear the dresses Aunt Laurie got them last year as a gift. They looked adorable.


It was bound to happen. But I was in denial. Our son is growing up. No longer did he want to be seen at a public Easter egg hunt with an Easter basket. Just a plastic grocery bag would do it seems. What's next? Oh, please, don't even tell me. Let me be blissfully ignorant.



How does a parent even slightly logically convince a child that a gigantic rabbit brings Easter baskets on Easter Sunday? I mean, at least Santa is a human being! I struggle...truly.


We walked back home to our little house which I have begun referring to as the "cardboard box" we live in. Anna, skipping along, so proud of that egg and Gavin, deep in thought about all the eggs he got.


Easter was low key. We got together with another family and hunted eggs at their house. Take notice, that Gavin had no problem with an Easter basket in a private setting. I've got some time still. Then a few more families arrived and we all celebrated Spring's arrival with a cook out. Of course, given that the pollen came uninvited, my nose and eyes were wishing they were inside.


It was the start of Spring break for the kids. And the official start of Spring for Mother Nature too. Here's to Claritin.

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