Mom Pride

Grandma Kc wrote this on January 31st, 2016 16 Replies

For many years now I have made Amara calendars for special members of her fan club – OK, family! This year I really got a late start on them but they finally were mailed! The hardest part of making the calendars is picking out just the right pictures for each month. January 2016′s page needs photos from January of 2015 and so on. While that part takes the longest it is certainly, the most fun and I found some pictures that reminded me of posts that needed to be done. Still I procrastinated until a friend asked me to post to Facebook three of my favorite Mom moments. Here is that photo.

Jenna Collage

Early last year I told you about Jenna receiving the Parent of the Year award for Santiago. They had a huge celebration and presentation at the school board. It was an evening I will never forget. That was in April of last year.

The first week of June Jenna came to pick me up to do some shopping. Before I could get out the door, she came in the house looking very nervous. She had gotten a letter from the City. Not a letter to Justin or to the family but to HER. She was terrified to open it. I think we both cried when we read it.

Letter from the City Council

I was so glad I got to go! The awards were presented in the City Council chambers so we had to go through strict security procedures to get in. They even checked Amara’s purse and ran the metal detector over all of us. It was really very impressive. There were other recipients from other schools, too. Of course, we had to sit through a lot of other City Council business before they finally got to the important part but it was worth the wait. We were lucky enough to have gotten front row seats. It was another wonderful night of Mom pride. I couldn’t help but cry when they called her name.

Jenna certainly hasn’t let that award go to her head. She is not sitting back on her laurels this school year. She is President of the PTA and is loved and appreciated by all. She knows all of the teachers and most of the students by name. She does so much for so many of the students at Santiago. She is such an amazing person and such a positive influence. The students and teachers all know they can count on her and that she is there for them if they need her.

I am pretty sure Jenna has never said “No” to anyone! I am very proud of her.

Aliens, Gummies and Light Bulbs

Grandma Kc wrote this on January 25th, 2016 18 Replies

Amara at the track meetI know I say it all the time but we are so lucky living only a mile away from the Kids. We love being local grandparents. It means we get to see Amara a lot. Last Friday was the first PTA Popcorn Sale after school and Amara was right there to help run the fresh popcorn from the workroom to the sales table. She has PE as her last period and she seldom changes out of her gym clothes after school. She looked so cute running with that popcorn. It reminded me of her last track meet! If I hadn’t been there volunteering I never would have gotten to see her helping. She does make a Grandma proud. Of course, I am extra proud of Jenna for organizing the whole thing. She really is amazing.

It has been a while since I blogged about our typical sleepovers. Just because we see her often doesn’t make it any less fun or any less special. We just don’t do big thing like the Zoo every time. Instead, we do fun things together. More often, we do dinner and a movie at home. We do make lots of memories!

I had decided long before Amara arrived Saturday that I didn’t want to cook. I discussed it with Grampy and we agreed to let Amara decide where we should go or what we should do. I figured we would either go somewhere or get hamburgers or something to bring home to eat while we watched a movie. Amara was so glad I didn’t want to cook because she wanted pizza! She said she’d been craving it for days and it had been a long time since we had it so pizza it would be.

While we were waiting for the pizza, we decided on a movie, Independence Day. Amara and her Mommy have been binge watching the X Files in anticipation of the upcoming 6 episode special so I figured it was a good choice and it was. Amara really liked it. We promised her that when the sequel to Independence Day comes out we would take her to the movies to see it!

Amara making Gummies

I forgot to mention that Amara arrived with a bag of goodies Saturday night and announced – “We’re making gummies!” She had seen a video on making gummy Legos and while she didn’t have Lego molds she did have Star War molds, Easter Egg molds and heart molds! She and her Mommy had gotten all the Jell-O, Knox gelatin and Karo syrup that we would need. We were making gummies! It became our theme song on Sunday morning. Each batch did not make very many gummies so I think we ended up making 5 batches, the last one being a double batch of orange. We had fun in the kitchen and they were awesome! They smelled amazing and while I am not a big gummy fan a fresh cherry one is very tasty! Especially if you helped your Granddaughter make it and it was the first one she popped out and cut in half to share with Grampy and me. While the gummies were setting up, we had other things to do.

Idea for a decorated light bulbI had seen an idea on Facebook and it reminded me of the time that Amara made balloon animals. I just knew it was something I wanted to do with her so before she got here I had gone out and gotten some new light bulbs and a fresh set of Sharpies. She loved the idea and we had so much fun sitting at the dining room table making them, chatting and getting up every now and then to check her gummies! I have the best-lit bathroom in the world! Every time I turn on the lights, I will think of her! Now I have to add that I almost never have all of those bulbs screwed in because long ago we went on an electricity austerity program. I am going to have to rotate which ones are turned on. I don’t ever want them to burn out. Amara seemed so proud when I told her that no one else had lights in their bathroom like mine! Plus she and I each did one for the dining room! My lights just got brighter!

Decorated Light Bulb Collage

Since Amara’s gummies needed to set up for 4-6 hours she only unmolded the one heart and took the home to unmold. But she sent me pictures!

FInished Gummies Collage

It really was a great weekend!

Another SnowVenture

Grandma Kc wrote this on December 30th, 2015 14 Replies

Yesterday I told you about part one of our Christmas. Today I bring you part two!

Amara must have asked me at least three times if the Snow had arrived yet. I reassured her it had arrived, been wrapped and was under the Christmas tree for her and Fred to open the day after Christmas. I guess Fred had asked his parents about the snow, too.

Fred and his parents always join us for Christmas dinner the day after Christmas. For the last 4 years, I have gotten Fred and Amara instant snow. There was almost a crisis last year when I thought they were probably bored with it and I wasn’t going to order any. Crisis averted thanks to Amazon! Needless to say, I now order in advance!

Last year’s SnowVenture included the addition of food coloring to the snow. So of course, they wanted to do that again. I told them they could each take one color but since they wanted blue we just had blue snow – of course they used up two bottles of blue food coloring! I am so glad I was the one taking most of the pictures. The kids are really respectful whenever I have the camera in my hand. They always love chasing Fred’s Mom and they did an exceptional job of that this year. Not to mention that Amara got Grampy really good!

Enough of telling you about it I am just going let you look at the pictures.

Christmas Eve with Creative Kids

Grandma Kc wrote this on December 29th, 2015 24 Replies

We had a two part Christmas again this year and so Christmas was twice as fun! Let me tell you about Christmas Eve first. We always spend Christmas Eve with the Kids. Amara is lucky to have all of her grandparents close by but on holidays, it is a lot of work for Mommy & Daddy. They spend Christmas Eve at our house; they have brunch on Christmas Day with Justin’s family and Jenna fixes Christmas dinner for her Dad that evening. No wonder they are exhausted when it is all over and as I’ve mentioned before, I am glad we get them first! While they are still fresh!

Dinner was wonderful and the gifts were spectacular! Amara made me a cute ladybug using her 3D pen! Jenna and Justin are both very creative and over the years, some of the best gifts they have given us are ones they have made.

The first year we were married Jenna created this amazing photo for Richard. It looks like a map of the world and you can’t tell well from the photo but it is made up of tiny little pictures of Amara. Richard has always loved maps and globes and it hangs proudly over the television. I would love to have her redo it someday. (If you click the picture it will become larger and you can almost see the little photos.)

A Map full of Amaras

Last year Justin made Richard this really cool clock from a plastic globe! Making that clock was not easy either. Justin had a very difficult time cutting the globe in half but it was worth it. It is certainly unique and hangs in our dining room.

Global clock on the wall

Then there was the year they gave us the freezer that lives happily in the garage. OK, they didn’t make it but what a great gift! I don’t know why I didn’t get a picture of it but for months afterwards, I used to proudly announce to Richard, “I’m going out to the garage to our new freezer!” I love that freezer!

So knowing that my children are creative, I sent Justin an email a few months before Christmas asking him to build this house for Shebee. Shebee just will not sleep all night in the house and I worry about her being outside at night when it is so cold.

Ordinary cat house

I had completely forgotten that email. I don’t even remember where I got the picture! And on Christmas Eve, the Kids gave us this!
A new home for Shebee
Isn’t it amazing? Justin insulted it, put in a cat door and even installed a vent for extra air! They got a little cat bed and a towel to make it extra comfy! Amara did the painting – I love the brickwork around the door!

We don’t know if Shebee has slept in it yet but she has been in it. The first night we brought in the front room to try to get her used to it. Richard even lured her in with some cat food. Now we have it on the patio. I haven’t put the lid on, as I want her to get comfortable with it first. I really hope she comes to like it!

Shebee Collage

It was a great Christmas Eve! I will be back to tell you about the day after Christmas.

UPDATE: The software that Jenna used to create Richard’s amazing map is called AndreaMosaic and it is free!

The Monster at School

Grandma Kc wrote this on December 3rd, 2015 30 Replies

This is not a happy post but I feel like I have to talk about it.

We are fine. Amara and her family are fine but life at Amara’s school is not fine.

Some of you may have read about it already on Facebook but let me explain what I know. Last Tuesday afternoon, during Thanksgiving week break Jenna, Amara and I were out at the grocery store together. Jenna’s phone rang and as she stood there talking I swear she went green. I was sure something had happened to her Dad. When she got off the call, I think she told me it was the Principal but I know she didn’t want to talk in front of Amara. A few minutes later, her phone rang again and she simply handed it to me and told me to listen. It was a recorded message from the Principal that went out to all parents. I think by the time the recording was done I might have been green. That first call Jenna got was to let her know the robo-call would be going out and that she should prepared to have her phone start blowing up! It did! When things go wrong, people call Jenna and something had certainly gone wrong.

The previous Friday a student went home and told her parents that she had been sexually assaulted after school in the bathroom. We later found out that it was a 9 year old girl. We don’t know who she is and we don’t want to know who she is but our hearts go out to her and her family. The young girl gave a very good description so we are all hopeful that this monster will be caught.

Yesterday the school held two meetings to discuss with parents what had happened and the new measures that are being put in place to insure something like this will never happen to another student. There are new cameras, there will be changes to drop off and pick up. Parents who want to go on campus are still welcomed to do so they just need to go through the office and get a badge first. Theoretically, parents were supposed to do that already – just not at drop off or pick up. Change is hard for all of us but all of these changes are being put in place to protect our children. They don’t have all of the changes figured out yet but are being very proactive and I really felt the Principal was listening hearing the parents as they voiced their concerns. It is just sad that it had to come to this.

When they have this monster in custody, I will update this post. In the meantime, hug your children close. There are just too many bad things going on in our world lately.