karaoke revelation

Saturday night Becki and I sang an Abba song at our cousin’s karoake wedding reception.

We had a blast.

Orchestrated by Becki, our duet was complete with a purloined tamborine.

And two days later, with Dancing Queen still stuck in my head, I realized the reason I followed Becki everywhere when I was little and did everything that she did well into my teens…

because it’s FUN.


We missed you Kokey, Noel, and Nomy!

September 11, 2007

September 11 was an emotional day over here.

We celebrated Mark’s birthdaymark's birthday

cakewith a cake decorated by Zoe and Lucy. (OK, so I poked in the candles.)

Zoe got her first visit from the tooth fairy.zoe no tooth

I remembered the day 4 years ago when I left the Betty Ford breast center in a daze.

And then we got a call from my sister.

Jimjim, my humble and amazing brother-in-law, was given the title “Teacher of the Year” from the high school at which he teaches in Atlanta. Jim had received the well-earned accolade at the school he left three years ago, but this time it came with something a bit different. A NEW CAR. This may seem like a strange thing, but apparently the Ford dealership near his school had taken a look at the faculty parking lots that dot the country and decided that a “Focus on Education” initiative was in order. Brilliant.

And, Jim’s commitment to lending his bright mind to education (and giving Becki the chance to stay home with the kids) rather than a more lucrative endeavor has left him commuting in a 1990 Honda. I remember when the Honda’s air conditioning went out and Jim commuted to and from work and graduate school in the Southern heat with the windows down and the diesel smoke in his face for quite a while before they could spring for the repair. I wonder if Jim’s consistent arrival at school well before the morning bell might have the added benefit of keeping the students from seeing their respected teacher puttering into the parking lot in a heap of metal. Cringingly Election-esque.

My excitement about Jim’s award is not just the fittingness of a new car for the family that needs it; it’s the joy of having something so right happen in the world. Jim is the kind of teacher you want your kid to have. He truly believes that different kids have different learning styles. When he gives a writing assignment, he writes it too. He is unassuming, but commands his classroom with ease. He respects his students. He’s passionate about learning. He doesn’t give assignments that he can’t back up with good educational theory. Am I laying it on too thick?

No. Really. I’m not.

But Jim is going to find this terribly embarrassing anyway.

Congratulations, Jim. The Northern contingent of your family could not be more proud. And public embarrassment is what we do best.

Interview with a Kindergartener

Zoe had her first day of Kindergarten today. Mark and I dropped her off—-me barely keeping my happy tears in and Mark a bundle of nerves (unlocking the car when Zoe and I were already inside, leaving the car running after all of us were out…). Zoe did just fine. She quickly found Vera and Lucy when she walked in the door. After that, Mark and I were more than free to go. It was hard to even coax a good-bye out of her.

This afternoon I picked her up and brought her immediately out for ice cream. I then interrogated her and got all kinds of great kindergarten information. Upon getting home, I tried to duplicate the process for blogging purposes, but my subject was less forthcoming. Here is the non-ice cream interview:

What did you think Kindergarten would be like?
I don’t really know. I don’t really remember stuff like that.

What was the first thing you did?
Pretty much go to my table and play with stuff and tap on Lucy’s shoulder so she knew that I was there.

Did you sing any songs?

What songs?
This is the Day and the one that I forgot the name of. Did you write the one I forgot the name of?

What did you do during choice time?

What are Zoobs?
They are um, it’s hard to say this. It’s hard to say this.

What do you do with Zoobs?
You attach them.

Were they fun?
Not very much. But, Mama?…When will you stop talking? And also write, “when will you stop talking.”

If you want to know about the yellow circle table, the purple square table, Freckles the rabbit, rest time, the dollhouse, gym time, cubbies, art, etc., etc. you’ll apparently have to pony up for some ice cream just like the rest of us.

A few photos of our big kid:
first daymark and zoe into schoolat the yellow circle table

ah, summer

A few favorite photos from summer 2007…
Mark at gigmark and darreljane at the lake
Mark…………………………Mark and his dad…………….Mark’s lovely mom, Jane.

Zoe playgroundzoe is a kittyDad at lake
Zoe at a playground…………….Zoe as a kitty…………my dad’s summer uniform

Zoe at the lakelucy at the lake
now THIS is summer……………..Zoe’s friend, Lucy (Zoe in background)

Zoe camping lake
a happy kid at the lake