Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Bee Day

On the eve of my Bee day, I accomplished something I am very proud of. I have a personal rule that I will attempt the hard projects before I ask for help. And......I assembled four of these cabinets for my Children's Church room all by myself! Thank you Rubbermaid, for easy instructions and for making me feel like I am strong, I am invincible, I am....but that's another post.
For now? Let's talk about Bee Day in second grade. My classroom is known as "O'Brien's Bumblebees", and it is decorated throughout with darling bees given to me over the years. For my birthday, we celebrate "Bee Day" with a day chocked full of fun activities involving that buzzing insect. I have books, worksheets, costumes, centers and anything bee-themed you could imagine. I love it, the kids love it, and a good time is had by all each April 2.

I keep a blog of my classroom (found here, if you'd like to visit) and post pictures each day. On Bee Day, the students asked if they could take a picture of me for the blog. Sure, I told them. I'll post the best one. And here is the winner:
My lack of facial features was more than made up by all the adorable cards they brought in this morning. (Except for the one that listed my age as somewhat older than dirt.)
Right before school was out, the student's parents showed up like a flash mob. They handed out snacks and treats and gave me a Kindle. A KINDLE!!! Please remember, I've had these same students and parents for two years--I looped up from first grade to second grade with them. They feel more like family than school friends. But: a KINDLE! The perfect gift for one who was an avid reader along with D, and who lost that spark for reading on July 13, 2009. I think this new innovation and the love behind the gift may just rekindle (get it?) (Sorry! I am just so giddy about this!) my love for reading all over again.

I have two options for these parents:
1. Let me retain all your children in second grade next year so we can stay together, or
2. Invite me to your family reunions, because I already know most of the aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins in your families.

After school, my Ireland Traveling Buddy, Mrs. O'Reilly, and I went out to eat. (Side note: we are together so often that students confuse our names. Somehow "O'Brien" and "O'Reilly" have morphed into Mrs. O'Brielly for both of us.) Good food; good times.

Bright and early Loyal Sister showed up with her birthday explosion. She tends to dress me up for my birthday. Here is her classic Camero waiting to whisk me away.
You may notice she gets to look glamorous in her photos...
We went to some perfect little central Texas towns to shop, talk and eat great food. (If you're local, you already know the wonderfulness of Gruene and New Braunfels...)
Every year she also has a button for me to wear to announce to everyone why we are out and about. I kind of like this three year old version of me on this year's button. (The all time low was the year when she passed out the third grade version of me with cat-eye glasses to everyone in my school. But I'm over it. Mostly.)
Here's this year's version of me at our last stop at a cupcake shop. Thanks for a great day, Loyal Sister. Please remember that you have a Very Big Birthday in July. And I'm sure you wore cat-eye glasses at some juncture in your life.
On Sunday, Young Son took me to a very special brunch. D and I always went here for my birthdays or Christmases, and I've missed it so much. It is a lovely older home that has become surrounded by a funky south Austin neighborhood, but it still retains its genteel charm. Young Son had flowers and gifts, and requested the pianist play my favorite song, "Unchained Melody". My eyes leaked profusely, but we had a great time as we lingered to talk and talk.

After dinner, we went for a walk around the grounds where several peacocks roam on the lawn...
...and Young Son attempted to catch up with one. You can dress 'em up, but they are still that little boy at heart.

My former college roommate gave me a cobalt blue purse to encourage my new resolve to live a more colorful life. Married Daughter is bringing my gift when she comes home for Easter. Friends have called and written all weekend.

In this life, I am blessed with more good friends and wonderful family members than I can possibly deserve. Thanks to each one of you. You certainly are wonderful companions on this road of life.


Sarah said...

Wow! You put those together yourself? Way to go. Your Bee Day celebrations--all of them--sounded really wonderful. You are so loved! My favorite picture was you in the bee hat.

You know, my son once chased a peacock. I think it was when he was 9. He's nearly 14 now, and I'm sure he'd still chase one. And probably at 24 also. Gotta love boys!

Locketts said...

Wonderfully happy post! Josh bought me a Nook for my birthday and I adore it. At first the 'I need to feel crisp pages and smell that starchy book scent Book Snob' side of me wondered if I could ever really get the full joy out of this contraption. I absolutely do. It's especially fabulous when you're traveling and don't know what kind of book mood you'll be in. Rather than taking six books in your carry-on you just have one tiny parcel. Pure genius.

Craig Weeks said...

1. I guess Rubbermaid still has one English-as-my-first-language instruction writer on staff.

2. Um, your photographer sees *you* every day, but the hat is a rare occurrence. (S)he has a photographer's sense of priority for the moment.

3. I'm older than dirt. Sump'n wrong with that? You wanna piece o' me?

4. "... rekindle ..." I will let it slide ... *this* time.

5. The 3-year-old photo is outstanding. Imagine the awesomeness if it were in focus. You know that you have now committed to making *your* "cat-eye glasses" photo available to your loyal followers, right? We can wait ... with steadily decreasing patience.

Over and out.

My Muñoz Family said...

I'm a new follower and live in Round Rock! Gruene is one of my fav towns to visit!! Love your blog and would love for you to follow back!

Nana said...

What a great birthday celebration! Yes, you are loved! I think you will really like that kindle. :) Happy Birthday!

Nana said...

Wow, what a birthday! Yes, you are loved! I think you will really like your kindle....Happy Birthday!