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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photo 168 - 300 Flags

It was the weekend and I was searching for something to do with Short Person. I didn't want to sit around the house watching movies, and I didn't want to drive 20 minutes back the way we came (from swimming) to go paint or to the store, so I was really stuck looking for something local. In this small town, there's not much of that. As LJS, Shortie, and I drove home from running morning errands I glanced down a street where there is an old cemetery and thought that it would be interesting to go look at the gravestones. Then, inspiration struck. Short Person and I could go on a photo adventure.

I approached the subject in the car with her and we decided that we'd go and pick up a disposable camera and check out a few places. So, after going home and dropping off Daddy and picking up our coat, we headed out the door. First stop on the list, after getting the camera and coffee, was the little air field.

There wasn't much going on there, and even though vehicles were parked in the parking lot, a tour through the lobby showed that the place was essentially deserted, so we headed outside. Overhead, there was a helicopter. I think the person flying must have been doing some sort of training because the copter would circle around, approach the runway, lower and hover about ten feet from the ground and then repeat the process. Short Person loved it and, if I had let her, would have taken the entire roll of film on that one thing. Thank goodness for manual film advance features.

When we had gotten enough airport exploration done, we headed to the cemetery. I had forgotten up to that point that it was Memorial Day weekend. Once I saw the flags out, I knew it would be a good chance to also teach Short Person a few things. We parked the car, grabbed out cameras, and began walking around looking at the different markers. It seemed that every turn we took had a flag marking a grave site.

We walked along and I'd read the headstone to her if there was a war notation and point out the little metal noting a veteran. We did this until she learned to do it herself. I watched as she took photos of different things, wondering at her choices and asking her why she'd take a picture of something. All in all, it was a nice afternoon and she enjoyed taking the pictures.

Our last stop was at Memorial Park where I showed her the monument erected to honor those men from Newberg that had died during the various wars. It surprised me while we were walking among the graves that most of the men and women buried there that had fought in the war had also gone on to live long lives. The average age of death was 80 years old. In fact, I only found one marker of someone that had died during the war as a cause of the war. World War I. As we were walking back to our car, an old-timer walked by us and commented about the number of flags. He said there were 300 flags.

So, in comparison to the 300 flags, very few who are buried there are named on this monument.

Once we finished, we turned the camera in to get developed. But, there was one photo I snapped that I needed to take home and look up. It was a marker of someone that had died as a result of lynching in the Centralia Massacre. Having never heard of the Centralia Massacre, my curiosity was sparked and I wanted to remember to look it up.

It turns out that there is a bit of history to this particular man. Sad history. If you are interested, here is a link to read about it. The Centralia Massacre.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo 167 - Short Person Graduates from Kindergarten

Today was not the last day of school. No, the last day of school is Tuesday. But, today was Kindergarten Graduation. It was the day that the kids had a field trip to Top Spin, where they'd sing a medley of songs they had learned throughout the year, the day they received their certificates, and the day that gifts were presented to the teachers. It's a fun day and one that I took off from work so that I could attend. The only day I was able to take off and attend.

The day started with Chapel and then a field trip to TopSpin. Since I was running late with having the gift ready for presentation, I decided to skip Chapel and sit in the classroom inserting pages into the album and gift-wrapping. It also presented the opportunity to get to know one of the parents that I had managed to miss all year. Then, once Chapel was done, we left for the events of the day.

At TopSpin, the kids received a tennis lesson. It was a lot of fun to watch them learn, and by the end of the hour I was amazed at how much an hour had taught them. Each and every child was able to hit the ball with the racket, including Short Person.

After the tennis lesson, we headed to the park for our picnic. The kids played in the park for a little while and then we ate a wonderful fare of pizza, watermelon, strawberries, juice, chips, brownies, cookies... It was yummy and wonderful. And then afterward, it was time to Graduate.

One word on graduation-- Mess. I was a mess. I am often thankful for my camera because it gives me something else to focus on other than the moment. I know there are times when I should be present and focused, but there are others when you realize that you've already made one teacher cry and maybe enough is enough and you should check out a bit. Now was that time. I'd already gotten emotional the night before with one of her teachers over how fast time goes. We both spent time acknowledging that our kids were growing up faster than what we were prepared.

We listened to the kids sing, and then watched as they each received their "diplomas".

After the presentation of the certificates, we presented Short Person's teacher with her gifts. She opened the scrapbook and looked through it. All the kids and parents looking on. It was a very happy, relieved, proud moment for me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo 166 - Peacock

Today, I began scrapbooking the first of two albums that will eventually be appreciation gifts for both of Short Person's teachers. As usual, I was with a group of friends at Sleighbells enjoying the atmosphere and company.

Outside of Sleighbells there are many peacocks. Most of the time, they keep their distance from the customers and people, but not today. Today, they were active and stayed only feet away at any given time. Preening and calling, it must be spring.

There are both white and colorful peacocks. The blue are my favorite, especially when they have all their feathers out showing off their majesty-- and prowess to all the female peacocks who care to look.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Franklin's Last Visit

Dear Class,

On Thursday, I went home with Megan again. I got to go to her gymnastics class and watch her walk on the balance beam and flip on the bars. She looked like she was having a really fun time! When we got back to her house we played for awhile before going to bed.

The next day, I was really excited because I got to go to school with Megan-- and I didn't have to be in my backpack! I got to watch everything that happened. It was really cool. But then, something went wrong and I think Meg forgot to bring me back home. Meg's mommy said that they miscommunicated. So instead, I went home with Mrs. Bessler.

On Monday, Megan took me back to her house so that I could get my journal and backpack. I got to visit her and her Grandma Linda for a little while. But then, something weird started happening! Megan's eye started getting bigger and bigger until it was almost swollen shut. She said it was itchy, so her mom made her put ice on it and gave her some medicine. We watched Scooby Doo while we waited for her eye to look normal again. Megan loves Scooby Doo!

After the movie was over, Megan and I put her tooth under her pillow and went to bed.

It was a long weekend, but I'm excited about today and wondering who I get to go home with next!


I can't tell you how many times I'd fall asleep on the couch at 1:00am writing in Franklin's journal, but for some strange reason I'm still going to miss it. Maybe that's one of the side effects of writing-- creating characters that live and breathe and that eventually you have to say goodbye too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo 165 - Mother's Day

This was my Mother's Day gift from Short Person. She made it in her Kindergarten class. I love it. The colors are incredible and she did such a good job.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Photo 164 - "Sittin' By the Dock of the Bay Wasting Time..."

It was a beautiful day today. LJS went fishing with his Dad. Short Person had swimming lessons. But, after we got done her and I were floundering for something to do outside in the sun. I decided to go and get us some snacks and then go down to the river to see if we could spot LJS. His truck was still there, but the boat was too far down river.

Short Person really wanted to see him though. See him and, to my surprise, go out on the boat. So we rushed home and picked up her life jacket and drove back to the river to sit and wait. She blew bubbles on the dock and I simply sat, enjoying the sun and taking pictures.

You can tell it was really sunny from these first few.

Her and I goofing around with the camera. She didn't want to make any nice faces, so most of them were goofy looks.

These are the posts holding the dock in place. I really liked the way they looked against the blue sky with the white of the spires and the white of the clouds co-existing.

Once we got on the boat (Daddy finally came back to dock. YAY!), Short Person wanted to go really fast. This is the moment after LJS cranked up the motor and started flying down river.

A little bit wind-blown after the drive.

My handsome husband.

Shortie was getting tired, so she laid down to take a nap while we fished.

I don't know how well this photo shows it, but the cotton trees were shedding their cotton and it was floating through the air. It looked like snow falling all around us.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mom, According to Short Person - Part II

Last year, right before Short Person turned 5, I gave her an interview based on questions written by Scrapbooker and Author Stacy Julian. As an idea for Mother's Day, I asked Shortie's Kindergarten teacher if she'd like to use the questions and present the answers as a gift to the Mom's.

She took the questions in order to review them and that was the last time I heard anything more about them-- until they were given to me, along with a wrapped Mother's Day present last night at the Academic Fair. Below are Short Person's answers, along with a link to the answers from last year. They have changed a lot as her awareness grows.

But, before I get to that, I wanted to write some about Academic Fair, which is an opportunity for parents to come in and see what their children have been up to for the year and also to visit with the teacher they will have for next year. The last was primarily the reason we went. With only a month left in the school year, there aren't going to be a lot of opportunities left.

All I can say is wow. Her first grade teacher has a LOT of energy. I was tired just listening to all of the things that they are going to be doing, beginning with a packet that includes 10 pages of homework a week and reading. They also have science and math and sociology and geography and... everything you'd expect from a school I guess. I just wasn't quite prepared for it.

To be honest, the thing I'm most not looking forward to is the homework. Is it bad to say that I want my child to be a child for a little bit longer? I know two pages a day is not a lot, but if it takes away from bike rides with Daddy and trips to the library with Mommy and play is it still worth it?

I think I'll just start praying now that my daughter takes to homework like a fly takes to honey and 10 pages will be done before bed on Monday. Leaving the rest of the week for fun.

Mom, According to Short Person... One Year Later (To read her answers from last year, click here.)

1. What is something mom always says to you? "You have to go swimming because it will save your life someday."

2. What makes mom happy? "When I do what she says."

3. What makes mom sad? "When I do not listen."

4. How does your mom make you laugh? "By tickling me."

5. What was your mom like as a child? "She had blonde hair."

6. How old is your mom? "40."

7. How tall is your mom? "Almost as tall as Tina." (Tina is her teacher's daughter.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do? "Cuddle with me."

9. What does your mom do when you are not home? "She cleans the house."

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? "Gymnastics."

11. What is your mom really good at? "Hugging."

12. What is your mom not good at? "I don't know. She is not good at blowing up balloons because she is allergic."

13. What does your mom do for a job? "She just works at a regular work."

14. What is your mom's favorite food? "Cake."

15. What makes you proud of your mom? "When she is not mad at my dad."

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? "A movie character."

17. What do you and your mom do together? "We play."

18. How are you and your mom the same? "We both like to play."

19. How are you and your mom different? "She eats salad and I don't."

20. How do you know your mom loves you? "She hugs me a lot!"

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? "That he loves her."

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? "Washington D.C."

I'm not sure where she got some of these answers. I'm only a bottle blonde, and I've never done Gymnastics. I almost choked when I read the answer about her being proud of me when I'm not mad a her Dad, but the "Hugging" answer made up for it. I love my Short Person.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Photo 163 - Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy Part II

It seems LJS can't go wrong this week in terms of fishing. He got three this time!

I'm going to be eating fresh salmon until I'm sick of it. LOL... it's fun to be spoiled, but I also think I take it forgranted a bit. I always cringe when someone brings up serving salmon at a group get-together or ordering it at a restaurant. Not to mention that I've yet to eat it anywhere that cooks it better than my husband. He's the King when it comes to cooking seafood.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Photo 162 - Here Fishy, Fishy...

Fishing season is here again, and LJS has been killing them down at the river. This was day one and he got four. Sweet!

The cat you see in the forground has learned that if she hangs around after fishing day, LJS and his dad will share scraps. The cat loves them.