Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Faculty Follies--Filled with Fun and Frivolity!!

Every year, our wonderful faculty and staff put on a musical for the students at our school. There are three teachers who get together sometime in the fall to write the script for the upcoming Faculty Follies. It is always about something that is happening in the world of entertainment, etc. They always include a take on events that happen in the education world at this particular moment in time. There are always different acts that are posted and different people sign up to be in a certain act. We have two wonderful teachers who always volunteer to be Santa and Mrs. Claus--Tom and Jo. Our wonderful music teacher, Clare, brings this altogether--which is amazing to me.

This year, the children were told that the teachers were too busy to do the Follies and that it really didn't fit into the "state standards." This was done on our morning live news program. Our two anchors urged the students to start petitions to get the Follies back. So students signed petitions on the playground and the Follies were on again.

Over the years, I have seen the kids get so into what was happening, that they actually believe it to be real. One year the Easter Bunny, Father Time and various other characters were beating the Christmas characters on a game show. The kids were incensed that this was happening.

This is probably one of the best things that our school does to build community. The staff has such a great time putting the show together. The students absolutely love to see their teachers and IA's up on stage singing and dancing and having such a good time.

In this day and age of standards, high stakes testing, etc., we can't lose sight of how important that community is to the adults and children who spend so much of their time together. We need to sing and dance and most importantly--laugh at ourselves in order to cope with the every day stresses that constitute our lives.

I know I have said this before, but I am very grateful for the wonderful group of people who I work with more than 185 days a year at Gilbert El. It is truly a wonderful place to be. As this new year begins, thanks to all who make our school community what it is--Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wishing You a Holiday Filled with Joy and Laughter!

I have never been good about sending cards for holidays. If I did, this would have been the picture for the "homemade" cards!! Did I ever think that I would take "dogs" to have a picture with Santa--NEVER!!!!!! Oh how times have changed! Over the past few days being home from school, we have been busy trying to get some things done in the house, etc. I got new counter tops and a new sink installed today and it looks great! Our pugs (and Harvey the chow who thinks he is a pug) have provided non-stop entertainment!! What fun they are!

We have had Teresa, Judy, and family every night for dinner. It is so nice to be home and be able to have the time to cook.
Yesterday I made chicken noodle soup with my own noodles. It always tastes good, particularly when it is cold outside. Teresa loves this soup so I decided to make it. I also wanted to make something special for my friend, Martha, who is fighting inflammatory breast cancer. Our staff is getting her family a Christmas dinner that I will pick up and deliver to her tomorrow. I wanted to be sure to take some soup for her family also--a little comfort food.

Tomorrow evening we will go to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Mary's in downtown Phoenix with all of the cousins. We usually go to Yaya's house after church for tamales and enchiladas. This year we will be going to Pat's house as Phil is to weak to go anywhere. I received an email update from Pat this morning and Phil is declining rapidly.

Cameron is very excited about Christmas. He is getting a guitar and begins taking guitar lessons next Monday evening. He has been playing Rock Band on his Wii and is really getting into music. As always this time of year brings many memories of wonderful holidays that I have spent. I am so thankful that my own children are doing well in their careers as teachers and in their lives. Cameron is such a blessing and is growing up so quickly! My Aunt Teresa and Judy and her family continue to be such a support. And of course, there is our wonderful extended family--the Scott Family--who provide so many memories. I am so thankful that we have all remained close and stay in contact the way that we do. I am also thankful for my many wonderful friends who make my life complete!!

As I was looking for pictures for this post, I found this one of Cameron getting a doctor's kit when he was about two. That was the year that my mom fell and broke her hip right after Christmas. When the paramedics came to the house, Cameron ran to get his doctor's kit so that he could help his "Great," along with the paramedics. As I say so often, one has to find the things in life to laugh about. That picture brought a smile to my face as I remembered that day.

Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BEEing a Good Speller and Learning to BEE an Even Better Person!!

Recently, our annual school Spelling Bee was held on a Friday afternoon. The winner will participate in the district Spelling Bee in January. Cameron was one of two representatives from his class. He was very excited and very proud! He studied the week of the contest and was fairly confident in a good way. His Tia came all the way from Douglas to see him. I told him how proud I was of him just being a participant. I also shared with him how I still remember the word that I missed when I was in seventh grade in our spelling bee at Loretto School in Douglas.

I think that having the opportunity to participate is great for kids. They go up in front of all the students in third through sixth grade, as well as teachers, staff, and parents. The students are very nervous. I always stand by the benches and give the students encouragement and a hug if needed when they miss.

The first round is a practice round so that the kids can learn the rules and get a bit of nervousness out of their systems. Cameron spelled his practice round word correctly. His words that he spelled correctly were "diplomat, tundra, feldspar, and Frankenstein." This year the students were able to write the word before spelling it. Cameron did this every time. I believe that he is a good speller because he is such an avid reader. I think that is why I have never had trouble with spelling (until I got old, that is).

Anyway, all of a sudden there were just three spellers left and Cameron was one of them. Then we were down to two and again there was Cameron. The other speller is a great young lady who is a sixth grader. Cameron was given the word "ramada." He spelled is "rOmada." The young lady spelled her word correctly and so she was the champ.

The last three students were asked to give their names and whose class they were in. I think that the most proud moment with Cameron was when he clapped for the winner. To me, that good sportsmanship was the absolute most important "winning" that he could do! What a life lesson the Spelling Bee can bee.................

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rosemary!

This time of year, it is so busy that I can't keep track of the days. I truly thought that Dec. 15 was tomorrow. I want to wish my cousin, Rosemary O'Brien, a very happy birthday. Rosemary is the second daughter of my Uncle Bill. Bill was my mom's youngest brother and my godfather. Bill was the apple of everyone's eye because he was the baby of the Scott Family!!

Because Bill's kids were quite a bit younger than me, we didn't spend the time with them like we did with the other cousins. As an adult, it has been great to get to know all of these cousins.

Rosemary has three great kids and a wonderful husband, John. One of the neatest things that has happened in our family is that we have had brothers marrying sisters. Now don't take this wrong--let me explain. Rosemary's husband, John, and his brother Mike, are both married to sisters--Rosemary and Maria. With my Aunt Dot's family, Kathy is married to Lynn Boyer and Jan is married to Tim Boyer. So there are double cousins. I look at it as wonderful families who are a part of our family now.

Rosemary and John are the proud parents of Brendan, Johnny, and Katie. They see the importance of our family--particularly Brendan who has spent a lot of time with us. I feel we are so blessed with this connection to our San Francisco cousins.

My Uncle Bill died in 1993 and their mom died several years before. I think that my mom, our Aunt Teresa, and other members of the family have served as surrogates for my cousins.

Rosemary and John bought Rosemary's parents house in San Francisco. They live in the house that she grew up in. I know that houses are just buildings, but in our family there seems to be more of a connection. I am sure that is because of the house in Douglas being in our family since 1918.

Whenever we go to San Francisco, we always have many places to stay. I am thankful for that connection!

Happy birthday, dear Rosemary!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

They Say It's Your Birthday!

My cousin, Cecilia, celebrates her birthday today! What can I say about Cecilia? Actually, there are a lot of things I can say about her. Cecilia, or Rosie as she is known to some of the elders of the family, was born on December 10 in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the fifth of the six childen of my Uncle Matt and Aunt Gyp Scott. Cecilia is four years older than I am and I have wonderful childhood memories of the time spent in Douglas during the summer. Cecilia spent most of her summers in Douglas with us.

One of the best memories I have is the club that we started in the neighbors' backyard. We were the "Death Boys, the mighty, mighty, Death Boys.. How all of us girls came up with that, I don't know. I was the youngest and I went along with everything that they did. How I loved to be included!! We all had code names. I was Mehitabel, the Cat. I can't remember what Cecilia's name was. Someone was Archie, the Cockroach. (Maybe my cousin Marion will be able to remember and put a comment on this post.)

Cecilia is one of the most fun people to be around. She is always up for a party and a good time. I think she will be having fun when she draws her last breath some day way in the future.

Despite her fun-loving ways, there is no one that you can count on more than Cecilia--any time, any hour. She will do anything she can to help. Cecilia is not afraid of hard work and will do any job at any time for family and friends. I know this to be true because I have been the recipient of her help many times over the years. She is always there for us and I am thankful for that.

I remember when my kids were younger, they were a bit afraid of Cecilia. I think this was because she made them tow the line and put them to work. Now they look back and can't believe that they were ever afraid of her. They love her dearly. I remember being a little bit afraid of her mom, my Aunt Gyp, when I was a child. That was until I came up here to go to ASU and was so incredibly homesick my first year. Cecilia would pick me up on Fridays and then take me back to the dorm on Sunday evening during that first year. I found out then that Gyp was way more "bark than bite." I will always be grateful to Matt and Gyp for helping ease me into being away from home and becoming a real grown up person!

Cecilia and her awesome husband, Jay, have six wonderful kids. They also have six grandchildren, with the newest one being born just as short time ago. They are all fortunate to have such a great mom and grandma!

I have heard many times that you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.... I feel blessed that I come from such a wonderful family. Cecilia Rose Scott Henderson is not just my cousin, she is my very dear friend!!!

PS (I usually only put one song on when I have a new post. However, I have two for you, Cecilia. Hope you like the significance of one of them! It didn't seem possible when the Beatles sang this song that one day it would happen, did it? Notice the "rose" colored font?)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joan!!

Earlier this week, my wonderful Aunt Teresa said that she has started calling all of her brothers' and sisters' children for their birthdays. This is just one of the many ways that endears all of us to Teresa. Teresa is the only surviving member of the Edward and Katherine Scott Family. My grandparents had 10 children, but only seven of them survived to have families.

I am sure that it is very difficult for Teresa to be the only one left. However, all of my cousins treat her as the matriarch of our family. She is so deserving of this title because she cares so much about everyone in our family and makes every effort to make sure that we all keep in touch!! All of "The Cousins" include her in family events by giving her a place of honor in weddings, etc.

Teresa loves that I do this blog. So when she told me that she was starting to make these phone calls, I told her that I would do a blog post for these birthdays! She was very pleased. We talked tonight about the December birthdays.

It is fitting that this begins with my Uncle Johnny's family as he was the oldest of the Scott children. Johnny was born in Leadville, Colorado on February 5, 1903. I have done previous posts on Johnny as he lived with us when I was growing up in Douglas. Johnny's son, John Edward, was an incredible person. John died in November of 2005. John's wife, Joan, is celebrating her birthday today. Teresa will be calling her sometime today.

My cousin, John, had many health problems. He was diagnosed with diabetes as a young adult. Joan took such wonderful care of John and I know how much everyone in our family appreciated that. Joan is a kind, gentle person who we are proud to have in our family.

So Joan, I hope you have a very happy birthday. We love you very much!!!