Friday, June 11, 2010

Well, We Survived Another School Year!

Today was the last day of school for both Maddie and Josie. What a school year it has been! We've seen Maddie grow in so many ways. Academically, she's shown tremendous growth and maturity. She finally figured out her time management skills, which enabled her to keep up steady efforts in all her classes. Although finals finished this morning, the one grade we did see was a 94% in French II. Way to go, Maddie!

The other big change, that we are all getting used to, is that Maddie is driving. She still has her learner's permit so she doesn't drive alone. But, now she drives to and from school with James or me as her passenger. Although I am the most patient of her parents when it comes to instruction, I am a horrible passenger! When James drives I have to bring along a book to read or a Sudoko puzzle book to keep me occupied. Otherwise, I would be a nervous wreck! It's a control thing, I guess.

Maddie has once again proved to be waaaayyy too much like her mother when it comes to driving. She has a lead foot. To me, it seems like she is racing to get to the speed limit, rather than a gradual work-up to 55. Josie sits in the back seat telling Maddie, "Mad, you're going too fast" or "Mad, why you hurrying?" It's pretty funny and just goes to prove that there is never a dull moment with these two girls!

Maddie - this morning. Driving to her last day of school.

Josie had all kinds of events for wrapping up her pre-school year. At the end of May, her school had their annual Art Show. The show was open to the public and participation awards were given to all the kids. The art teacher, in our case Miss Mollie, selected one work of art from each child's collection to be displayed. Here's Josie's drawing, entitled DUCK:

After the Art Show, there was an open house so guests could visit the children's classrooms and see the other works of art the children created. Here are a few more shots from that evening:

Here are our girls - Josie was so happy to have her big sister at the show!

And here are the girls as we usually see them - cracking each other up!!

Here are Josie and Jolie with their big sisters: Bella and Maddie!

Josie has also grown in so many amazing ways - at home and school. I have always believed that the girls were capable of relatively complex tasks at an early age. At the age of 2, Maddie was helping out in the kitchen by measuring and stirring. Josie has proved to be better at 'clean-up', but she also had a willingness to 'help' at an early age. So, a few weekends ago I finally allowed Josie to start 'chopping'. I taught her how to properly hold a knife and how to hold what she was cutting. She is a natural! So, I'm posting these photos to let my Mom see that when we arrive in Delaware in August, she will have an able helper at her disposal:

More recently (Saturday) Josie had a photo shoot with Jennifer Eliason to capture her before her first big recital on June 26th. I posted a few of the photos on Facebook, but here are a few of the 39 Jennifer took (copyright permission given):

Josie and Jolie - her classmate had the appointment slot right before ours!

This is the costume she will wear for her ballet performance of 'Castle on a Cloud' from Les Miserables

And finally, on Wednesday, Josie had her last chapel at school. Awards were given for academic achievement and Josie received hers for Reading:

Josie and LoLo hold their certificates on stage with their classmates

As you can see, it's been a busy time around here. I only have two more 'major' tasks to accomplish before enjoying summer vacation. Tomorrow, Jolie's parents and big sister, Bella will join us here at home to help assemble and pack 70 personal hygiene kits for the children of Siankaba pre-school in Zambia. Jolie's family was kind enough to volunteer their time to help the children get these kits. They are a wonderful family who really want to 'make a difference' in the lives of children all over the world. We're going to work hard and then have a nice cook-out as a reward for our efforts!!

Last task is to finish preparations for the 50th Wedding Anniversary/80th birthday celebration for James' parents that we are hosting in San Francisco on July 3rd. We are expecting about 120 guests for the eight-course dinner. Speeches need to be written, table linens need to be rented, seating arrangements prepared and favors to be crafted. Luckily, I will have both my girls on hand to help out with these tasks! I'm off now to take a nap.. I hope!


  1. Happy Summer!!! Looks like your summer will be as busy as your school year!

    I am soooo impressed with Josie's handling of the knife!! I do not care for the job of chopping, so I might just have to train Hayden to do the same:)
    Enjoy your summer!!

  2. Congrats to ALL of you for surviving another school year!

    I hope that Maddie will continue to learn safe driving skills and be an awesome driver. Teaching her how to drive in CA will prepare her for everything else!

    What beautiful photos of your precious Josie! She is gorgeous and so very poised in her ballet photos. How wonderful that you get to experience all the 'girly-girl' stuff with her. I sometimes wish I would have had a daughter to make those kinds of memories.

    Good luck with the party planning. Sounds like it's going to be a wonderful celebration. Happy Anniversary to James' parents! May they have 50 more years.

    Love you!


  3. We live in Chicago and I beg, plead, implore my dh to move to California. I graduated from UCLA and would love nothing more than sun-filled days and coastal living.

    The cost of living is a bit surprising but it's pretty bad in Chicago too.

    I'm sure you'll grow to love -- or at least like -- California.

  4. Congrats to Maddie and Miss Josie for accomplishing another school year! Congrats also to Maddie for accomplishing driving! :) Look out world!! :)

    I love Josie's duck picture!! She did a wonderful job! I'll have to show it to Chris considering he's a HUGE duck fan... sort of! ;)

    You and James have a fabulous reason to be proud. You have two beautiful daughters that are the shining example of what wonderful parents you guys are!! :)