Saturday, September 20, 2014

It has been Proven

In a few weeks, our RDH12 Fund for Sight is going to start the biggest campaign we have ever done.  Our final push to clinical trial has begun.  We see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is going to be a big job.  It is going to be a mountain.  But I am not worried.  I know that we can do it because of who stands with us.  Not behind us - with us.

So get ready.  It is going to be big.  It is going to be fun.  And in the end - you will help us cure our kids from blindness.  And you can carry that with you for the rest of our life.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Off to a Good Start

The other night, we went to the elementary school's "curriculum night" for 2nd graders.  Each fall, there is a chance for parents to come into their kid's classrooms, meet the teachers, learn about the year's curriculum, and what the teacher has planned.  We get to see what the kids have done so far (which was quite a lot considering they have only been there 2 1/2 weeks) and leave a note for our kids on their desks (the kid's favorite part).

I had a chance to speak to Finley's teacher (Mat went to see Cainan's teacher) and she was so excited about how well Finley is doing.  She said she has been a super star - getting all of her work done, and being a role model for the class.  This is exactly what we were hoping for, so I hope it continues.

I have to credit her teacher and her creativity for this great start.  I don't think I blogged about the fact that her teacher made fairy houses and placed them on trees on the playground after school one night for the kids to "discover".  And that she made an "artist corner" on the blacktop area of the playground so that Finley will have kids with similar interest to join her in drawing.

Her teacher goes above and beyond for Finley and for all the students.  I see this time and time again in our school district.  I feel that we are very lucky here in Massachusetts to have an amazing public school system where our kids can grow and become confident learners and members of society.

We repeated 2nd grade to give Finley a better chance for the future.  Her teacher is giving her the tools to make this a great year to make Finley see how great she really is.  That she can do anything she puts her mind to.  And for that - we will always be grateful.

If your child has a great teacher - tell them so.  They don't hear it enough.  In an age where public school and teachers tend to get a bad rap, what parents don't see is what those teachers do that is beyond the basics.  That most teachers will do ANYTHING to get a child to learn and LOVE learning.  That they are building your kids up.  Even when they have 24 different personalities to deal with.

Finley's teacher has 20 kids all with their own needs.  Finley's needs are high, but her teacher has taken her time to know her and REACH her.

It is wonderful.  It really is.  I am proud of our school system and so glad that my kids get a chance to experience it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A few odds and ends

September tends to be one of the busiest months around here.  We are getting used to routines and school schedules, activities, and homework.  So I have not been a good blogger.

So I just have a few pictures to share that we took over the last couple of weeks.  Our foundation is also gearing up for our biggest campaign to date, so that has also been taking up a large amount of our time.
Enjoy the pictures!

Finley off to school on a warm morning.  I love this little dress, so I had to take her picture
Arlington on Picture day.  This is as good as it gets when you are in Middle School 
 Finley on a school morning.  I love this outfit - cost $20 from head to toe!!  I am a bargain hunter.  The dress and leggings are from Gymboree and the shoes are Michael Kors!
 We did an office makeover.  I decided that with all the kids doing nightly homework now, we needed a place downstairs where I could see them and help them if needed.  So I brought their desks down from their rooms, and we re-arranged the office.  It looks really good and is working very well.
 Finley started Ballet this year.  (along with tap and jazz).  Her first class was this past week.  She was pretty excited to start (but I secretly think she likes the outfits the best)
We cleared a very large section of the woods.  We are going to be putting in a fire pit and fire pit area.  I got covered in poison ivy, oak, and sumac, but the area looks great!
We took the kids to where Mat works on the Pfizer/MIT campus.  They enjoyed walking around.  And then we ended the evening with having dinner at a Chinese Restaurant that makes homemade dumplings.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Day of School - 2014

I am a day late posting - I had it in my head I did this yesterday.....

Anyway - Wednesday our kids started back to school.  #1 in the country for Education, yet bringing up the rear in when we start back to school - a fresh year has begun.

This year, Arlington started middle school.  I find it hard to believe that I have a child old enough to be a 6th grader when I, myself, am only 25.  (cough, cough).  She was definitely nervous about her first day in a new school.  We had gone to the school the day before and located her homeroom and even had a chance to meet her homeroom teacher.  That helped some, but I know that the unknown can be terrifying.

But she had a great day.  She enjoyed all of her classes (she has a ton of teachers to keep up with now), and said the day went by quickly.  She is in class with her two best friends (in 6th grade, even though they change classes, they travel with all the same kids all day long.) which was a first.  She has yet to get homework, so they are really easing them into the transition.

Finley and Cainan are both in 2nd grade.  This is the last year at this particular school (up here our lower elementary kids are in their own school).  On Tuesday they both had a chance to meet their teachers and bring in all of their school supplies.

Cainan is in class with his best friend and a couple of friends he was in class with last year.  He was pretty excited.  Cainan is easy - he likes school, and gets a long with everyone, so I don't worry as much about him.  Hopefully he will continue to grow academically and his struggles are now behind him.

He had a great first day and it sounds like he has a good class.  I have heard very good things about his teacher, so I am sure all will be well this year.

Finley was excited to see that her desk is right next to a little girl she befriended this summer.  She has made a few new friends, which helped going into this year.  She told me on Tuesday that she was excited for the first day of school.  That was a first!

She came home and said she had a good day.  She had a few minor complaints, but Mat and I decided that most of that stemmed from the fact that she is 1) repeating 2nd grade and 2) missing her old friends.  I think the reality settled in that they are truly gone and she is still in this class without them.  I think as time goes on, and she settles in with these new kids, she will be fine.  I have to believe that.

Her teacher continues to be amazing - coming up with different plans to help engage Finley.  She reorganized her whole classroom - it really did look completely different.  And then she is going to put an artist corner area out on the blacktop for recess so that Finley has a place she and her friends can gather and share her interest.  And then she put up three fairy houses (secretly) on the playground for the kids to discover (Which they did today) to again help Finley with her playground struggles.  I have faith that this year is going to be great.  It is a chance for her to grow, and to become independent and confident.

I took a few pictures on the first day of school.  Here is to another year!

The new backpacks.  After three years, the kids needed new ones.
 How Arlington felt about getting up early and having to catch the bus at 6:50 am.
 This is as dressy as it gets for the 6th grader.  Plus, she had gym.

 Cainan was pretty excited all morning.

 Second Grade V 2.0
 This dress is all one piece.  It almost matched her glasses!

 My virtual twins.  Only 30 days apart - back in the same grade.  As it is meant to be:

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Photoshoot

I am a little late this year in getting the kids pictures taken, but I did it before school started, so that should be a win.

The kids are getting so big.  The girls really don't WANT me to take their pictures, but too bad.  We have there three photos in our bedroom and each year we change them.  So that is why I take the pictures.

I am not a photographer, but I do enjoy taking the kids pictures each year.  Enjoy!

 I think this is the one we are going to use:

 Miss Goofy

 Cainan's turn!

 Arlington's up!

 I think we are going to use this one.

 Or maybe this one.....