Saturday, June 20, 2009

Showing Off New York City...

...hard to do if it rains the entire time, if you have an aversion to grime, second-hand smoke, or the f-bomb, or if you have to sleep on an air mattress with street noises in the background. But my parents were troopers and enjoyed themselves anyway:

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's No Question, We are Mets Fans

New Stadiums this year, for both the Yankees and Mets. McAllister, as part of the Downtown Little League, got to go on the new Mets' field at CitiField during the National Anthem. My parents were in town, so we all went and had a blast. I thought McAllister's attention span would fade, but he was in it to the end and was bummed when we finally left after the 7th inning. We did the kids' play area before hand, enjoyed a great view (even if they were the nosebleed section), and enjoyed the fantastic weather (one of the few dry evenings in June this year). 

McAllister at the kids' field, showing off his skills.
Daisy in our seats (with McAllister's team on the field below):
Tass and PaPa:

Lita in the seats:
Uncle Matt and London:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

London's New Amsterdam Celebration

Similar to McAllister's Celebrations, London had a very extensive, very detailed celebration about her semester-long study of the history of New York City, first known as New Amsterdam. (Last semester her class had a Bridge Study, and her historical and engineering knowledge still blows me away!) Using their history study of New Amsterdam and Henry Hudson's discovery of this remote island, they learned all about New York City's history and how people first inhabited it. They learned about history, clothing, food prep, occupations. They learned about the first roads being developed, later to become such streets as Broadway or Wall Street.They learned about the Dutch language, taking on Dutch names and personas. Again, the depth of their study amazed me. They had *several* walking field trips around Manhattan all the way up to the Bronx. How LUCKY we are to have such easy access to everything, via subway or walking. London's teacher, Dana, was amazing. Such a professional, so detailed. London really loved her and admired her. 
Also, my parents got sucked into our NYC tornado for 5 days, attending the kids' various activities including this school party. It was fun to have them here, they're probably still recovering as we speak. This place isn't for the faint of heart, I'm afraid. I know that all too well.
London with her teacher, Dana:
Papa, Lita, Daisy, and 'Lotje' (a.k.a London)
London showing off her favorite craft, her yarn-doll. She made one holding a baby yarn doll in its arms:
The girls sewed their own hats and aprons, the boys paper-mache'ed their hats and collars. They made the tile and brick oven behind them. A months' worth of prep!

Take 'ShowBiz' off His List

McAllister's end of year dance and chorus show. I videoed the dance (taught by a National Dance Institute instructor-- I love P.S. 234!), but took picture of his singing. He danced well and knew what he was doing, but hated the bright lights and was so. over. it...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

McAllister's Restaurant Study Celebration

So the rule at P.S. 234, a.k.a 'The Independence School' (that's it's real name) is that the only reason to have a class party is when the class is wrapping up their Study. McAllister did a Snake Study last semester, learning everything in the world about snakes, including writing and math skills with Snakes as the theme, and 5 field trips to various zoos regarding Snakes. This semester he had a Restaurant Study: 12 field trips to TriBeCa's restaurants, learning all it takes to run a restaurant, from how many people work there, to the jobs it takes. They did surveys (to improve writing skills) about Restaurant names. They did math problems to study who eats what. And all of the local restaurants (who happen to be written up in People magazine for a random celebrity eating there- this is NYC, after all) were very generous with their time showing a group of 24 students the kitchen, the pantry, etc. One restaurant even fed them chicken fingers and french fries! Another restaurant I asked McAllister what he learned, he said, "they have the best beer in New York City. The owner said so." 
To wrap all this up, they opened their own restaurant in the classroom and had the parents come. The detail surrounding it was amazing. A month's worth of preparation! They all had matching T-shirts designed by one of the students, they all had a very specific job that all of the kids took very seriously. And they even charged us, for example, 10 cents for a salad. McAllister's job for the restaurant, named 'CCMC Rock', was 'Sous Chef'. He explained what that job entailed, and blew me away with his knowledge. Basically he prepared pizzas for well over an hour. He didn't leave his post, took it very seriously. When it was done they even went on a field trip to the bank to 'deposit' the money. 
What a privilege to be in walking distance to 4-star restaurants, banks, and grocery stores for the ingredients. The parent involvement was over the top; these kids learned a lot about Social Studies in general, learning a respect for every person's job: Food doesn't just appear before you, there's a lot that goes into it. Garbage doesn't just disappear, people work to remove it. How wonderful it is for my children to have the opportunity to learn how we all live together in this world. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Goodbye, Goodbye, blah, blah, blah

As an Army Brat who moved around a lot, I got used to tons of goodbyes. I hate them, I avoid them like the plague. When I know someone is moving, or I'm leaving, or it's the 'last' this or the 'last' that, I just want to have a quick hug, a promise that we'll get together soon, and then get outta there. I can't even say 'goodnight' very well to my kids or husband. So May and June, with all the end of year stuff, was just one long annoying party-fest of goodbyes or end of year things. Blech. 
It should be noted, though, that for as much as I don't like the act of goodbye-ing, I miss the people and the experiences terribly after that. I think in my mind if I don't ever make goodbye official, then perhaps that will mean it never will come to an end, technically.

Let's say goodbye to Daisy's Ballet Class:

And then, Daisy's last day of Preschool (her expression mirrors my sentiment):