Friday, June 24, 2011

Abegail's Personal Heroes

At Abegail's school, they have two different teachers. One for math and science and the other for social studies, reading, and writing. Abegail liked them both but her afternoon teacher, Ms. Pixton had a baby in February and was out for the rest of the year.
Abegail came home one day and said, "We got a new teacher, Mr. Sullivan. He is very strict. He calls us young lady and young man."

Every day Abegail came home with more stories about Mr. Sullivan. The stories changed from being scared of her new teacher to wanting to do well for him.
Turns out Mr. Sullivan is a tall, basketball tall, African American man. He is the first black teacher Abegail has had. And he has a gift. He wasn't a teacher traditionally but retired and now subs in. He has two grown children and he would tell the kids how they went to the best school in the country, William and Mary, because they worked hard.

By the end of the year, Mr. Sullivan had the children writing essays. You saw the one about Liberia. She also wrote a poem about her violin and how it made her feel to play. The last essay was on her personal hero.

Let's keep in mind, Abegail is not getting easier to parent. Scott and I describe her in two words, high maintenance. She wants the best and when she wants something she doesn't stop asking until she gets the answer she is looking for. This can go on for weeks. She has expensive taste and her room, well it's never as neat as the picture I posted a few days ago. She can sulk with the best of them. She should be in an Olympic competition for eye rolling and sighing. I have just started stressing with her that time is precious. Minutes are precious and the time she has to sit with me on the couch should not be wasted sulking.

Abegail's Personal Heros
See the .pdf file

When Abegail told me she had to write about her personal hero, I immediately thought of who is my personal hero for her. Turns out she thought the same thing. Abegail has a good soul and somewhere in that preteen attitude, she realizes some very adult concepts and she is appreciative. So here it is, Abegail's personal heroes:
My personal heroes are my Mama and Papa because they did something that most other parents wouldn't do. They gave away their two youngest children. It was hard for them but they did it. Because they wanted what was best for us. They wanted us to have a better education and live in a better environment.

Now that I live in a better world I can do all these things and grow as a better person. Another thing I have thought during my life is that they send me here to work hard and dream big and realize these things are not gonna come to me. I have to work hard every chance that I get.

I have wonderful friends that I can count on and that I can be there for them and they can be there for me. Even though my Mama and Papa are not here I still have wonderful parents that take care of me and that love me and they want what's best for me. Even when I don't think that's best for me. They always say they love me to the moon and back.

I'm so glad that I get to talk to my sisters and brothers and parents in Africa. I have four brothers and two sisters and one niece. My brothers' names are small Alex, Levi (who died), Aaron, and as you all know my little brother Emmanuel. My sisters' names are Belinda and Esther. My niece's name is Florence. The reason why we call my brother small Alex is because he is named for my Dad, Alexander. My mom's name is Alice.

My Mama and Papa are my personal heroes because they made me what I am today. Most people in the world pick celebrities as their hero, but I pick my Mama and Papa. I am having a wonderful life. That is my essay of my personal hero.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Annie's Funny Farm

Have you ever had an alpaca in your front yard?? It is a very strange feeling.
We figured since we already lived on a funny farm that we'd bring a miniature zoo to the house to make the picture complete. So for Annie's birthday party we had "Squeals on Wheels" come to the house.
I have never had a miniature pony (named Little Jack) and 25 kids at my house before. 25 kids, you would think Annie was homecoming queen, but you add in our three kids, our three cousins, 12 neighbors and few friends from class and you get to 25 pretty fast. It was quite a rowdy scene. The Squeals on Wheels lady said when she arrived, "oh you just had cake?" No, we haven't had the cake yet. "Oh, dear, " she mumbled.
I saw one neighbor friend, named Shorty walking home with half our broken pinata, and a party hat full of candy. "Where are you going?" I asked. "I can't take it anymore," said the 6 year old, I'm headed home. She came back for cake.
The Squeals on Wheels was a real hit. Ducks, chickens, rabbits, a goat, miniature horse, and of course the alpaca and all was complete for a real funny farm. I'm just glad it didn't rain, an alpaca in the living room is a little much even for me.
See the guy in the background, I'm pretty sure he's ready to call police, luckily we invited his three kids to the party.

OK, lets take the alpaca for a walk, keep in mind we've lived in this neighborhood, 4 weeks!
Oh good, have the horse poop on the neighbors yard.
Cake Time
Happy almost 7th birthday to my sweet Annie. Everyone should have an Annie in their lives.

Annie's Animal Cakes

This year we got smart, OK take that with a grain of salt. But we decide to have Annie's birthday party before school ended so everyone would be able to come and no on would be out of town. 25 kids later, we will go back to original plan of having it in the summer next year. But there's nothing like having that many kids come to your house to motivate you to unpack and put away all the nails, hammers, and screwdrivers. So here are a few of the rooms in our house. Annie had a farm themed birthday so she wanted a cow and pony cake. Her friend Rubi helped us make them. Annie told Rubi, "My mom always has to make my cakes." Yes, deal with it. But she really liked them in the end, I don't think the batter was bad either.
Family Room, a room we didn't have in the old house, we live in here
Living room, for calm and peacefulness, unfortunately it wasn't soundproofed
Toy room, or soccer room, yes you may play with the ball in here
Abegail's room
Kitchen, I knew it was gorgeous. I didn't know how gorgeous til we were back at the rental house last weekend, cleaning it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If I had the power to change something....

Abegail had to write an essay in Social Studies, "If I had the power to change something I would change.."
This is what she wrote. Yes, She got an A++
If I had the power to change anything I would change Liberia because it had a war in 1989 and it ended in 2003. I was only three. I would make better schools and better houses. I would make sure everyone has a job. Another thing I would change is the hungry. I would make sure everyone has enough food.
I will make sure everyone has an easy life. Also put flowers and plants in their yards. I would make Africa the way it used to be. Plants and flowers all around and people swimming in the beach and running along the shore.
The reason why I would change Liberia is I know how life is there. Although it is gonna take a long time I will try hard. Also work hard in school and everything I do in life. That's what I would change if I had the power to change something.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Annie & Eman's Room

Eman came up with the idea for his room all on his own. A Liberian flag on one wall, an American one on the other, decorated in red white and blue.
Annie's room is all pink and it is awesome!
Abegail had her first strings concert last week. 120 kids, they did great. The teacher is a gem.