Stuff we’ve done since Thanksgiving

This seems to happen with alarming regularity . . . first it’s Thanksgiving, then we’re already approaching the end of the school year. Winter and the beginning of spring have blown by us at a dizzying pace, marked by big events and excitement in the kids’ lives. Marisela has really settled in to her introduction to academic life at Orange Moon Preschool and continues to express herself freely (and messily) with plenty of art projects. After getting her own camera for her fifth birthday she further embraced photography as a hobby. Here are some of her works of art . . . ImageImageImageImage

Another major development in her life is a new look for spring. She had her first major haircut and went from this (she’s on the far right) . . .

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to this . . .

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in 24 hours.

Isaiah’s winter and spring have been marked by a lot of hard work on Destination Imagination, and it has paid off – once again – for his team. Here he is with the first-place medal from the regional tournament . . .

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and the third-place medal from the Texas tournament. They’re headed for Global Finals again.

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It’s not hard to see why these kids have done so well. Check out their amazing sets . . .

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In DI the kids are given a challenge that they answer in the form of a 7-minute skit (the one his team did this year had to include research into wind energy, an original piece of kinetic art that’s integrated into the story, and also required the team to use stagecraft to indicate the presence of an “invisible visitor” whose presence was key to the story). The story, costumes, sets, etc. all must be created entirely by the kids. Isaiah’s team used an “Aladdin” theme, complete with re-worded songs from the Disney cartoon, to tell the story of the evil sultan Prince Oily Ababwa, also known as “Big Oil,” and his ultimate defeat by the magical “Greenie.” We’re headed to Knoxville in late May for the Global Finals. Last year Isaiah’s team placed fourth at Globals – behind three Asian teams. They were the top-finishing U.S. kids in their challenge. It’s exciting, and a HUGE accomplishment, but we will all be relieved when DI is once again over for the year.

We just finished bike-to-school week at Rosemont (Isaiah’s school), and although he bikes to school almost every day, Isaiah still gets very excited about this event. This year in art class the kids made posters featuring animals riding bikes. I know I’m hugely biased, but Isaiah’s was my favorite by far:

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Now if Isaiah would stop accomplishing all kinds of cool stuff I promise I would stop yammering on about it, but he’s not cooperating. This morning we participated in the latest Isaiah-receives-accolades event. Back around Christmas I vaguely remember one of his teachers saying she hoped we didn’t mind but that Isaiah had entered a poetry contest sponsored by the Dallas Public Library using a poem he’d written in class. I thought nothing else of it until we heard about a month ago that – out of 1400 kids who entered – Isaiah was one of 60 finalists, and we were invited to a reading and reception. Here he is with one of his classmates and buddies, Brasen, who was also a finalist:

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He gave a very confident and impressive reading:

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I had put my camera away and was just waiting for lunch to be served when they announced the winners (two junior winners, one from elementary and one from middle school, and one high school winner). First they announced the two junior winners. When they mentioned that their first junior winner was a third-grader, I thought, “Oh! Just like Isaiah.” Then they mentioned that this particular third-grader obviously had great fondness for Legos and aliens. I started the desperate rummage through my purse for my camera and just barely snapped this pic before Isaiah sat back down with his award . . .

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After the event I got some better ones – one of him with the lovely poster of his winning poem (we got to take it home!) and one of him with Brasen and his English-language teacher, Mrs. Keeter (who took her own time on a Saturday morning to cheer the boys on).Image

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We’re really looking forward to a calm and quiet summer. 🙂

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