Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Although our numbers were modest, with many children still home on holiday, the mood was positively jubilant. The children spent the morning cheerfully pursuing their studies as the snow began to accumulate in the yard. After lunch, came the moment they had been anxiously awaiting: the elated children donned their winter clothing and raced outside, where they were only too happy to break out their sled and commence with pulling each other around the yard. Then, there was the requisite amount of snow shoveling, snow eating, snow angel making, and snowflake catching (catching flakes on black paper and examining them with a magnifying glass), before the tuckered children headed inside for a little digestif of warm cider to warm themselves up before they were tucked into their little cots for their first snowy day nap.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
First of all, I want to apologize for my sudden hiatus. As the parents of students, and some followers of this blog who emailed me wondering about the lack of posts, already know, my mother passed away last weekend after a two month battle with colon cancer. Between my obligations at the school, and spending as much time as possible with my mother in the hospital, I have been extremely short on time.
My mother was a wonderful, giving, person who cared very deeply about the welfare of children. When she wasn't busy raising her own children or teaching children, she was volunteering to help special needs children, to raise money and provide supplies for children's charities, teaching Sunday School, and volunteering as a debate coach and judge. She was also an amazing mother who felt passionnately that the most dominating social and personal virtues are created and maintained within the home and the family.
My entire family would love to thank the entire staff at Exempla Good Samaritan hospital (Lafayette, CO) for their expertise, their kindness, and their compassion. Exempla is a wonderful institution (exactly what you would want a hospital to be) staffed by amazing people; at every turn, and every moment of our time there, we felt truly overcome with gratitude for the service they provided. On the day my mother passed away, we were comforted by nurses who had cared for her throughout her time there, Jordan, a veritable Florence Nightengale (and the wonderful nurse who helped us through her final night), the caring chaplain who had visited my mother daily, CNAs who wept as they brought us warm blankets so we could spend the night with her, the hospital barista who made our coffee every night for the past month and never failed to ask us how she was and give us the opportunity to vent, and even the security guard we passed for our nightly visits, who cried when he found that she had passed. In their own way, each of them made a very difficult time much easier and we were constantly comforted by the knowledge that she spent her last days in their kind and capable hands.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
As always, our elated children had impeccable manners on the bus, making it a very enjoyable ride (in fact, in what has become a common trend on these trips, Mr. Patrick commented several times on the self-control and courtesy demonstrated by the children- telling me that they were "so polite that it was a pleasure to drive them" and referring to it as "a welcome break" from the rest of his day) . Some of them chatted quietly with their friends, others pointed out familiar landmarks, and a sizable group erupted into an impromptu performance of Yellow Submarine (or more precisely, an impromptu performance of the refrain "We all live in a yellow submarine").
At last, the bus arrived at the farm. We were extremely fortunate to have chosen a beautiful, sunny day, for our trip. The excited children spilled out of the bus and raced toward the barn, where they saw Farmer Mike approaching.
Before leaving the school, I had solicited volunteers to present Farmer Mike with a little token of our appreciation; to my amusement, all of the children insisted upon participating.
After a few moments spent getting re-acquainted, the children ambled down the path to the farm, literally walking hand in hand (and, to our host's great amusement, still singing their Yellow Submarine refrain).
and, if you're really lucky, there might even be something challenging to climb on! The children spied thie pile of tree stumps, which provided the children with a perfect little obstacle course. They entertained themselves for nearly thirty minutes with climbing on the stumps, trying to balance on top of them and jump from stump to stump, riding them like horses, and laughing at each others antics.
Once the children had piled into the wagon, Farmer Mike distributed bags to the children for harvesting vegetables, and Farmer Emily took the delighted children for a ride around the farm.
The children boarded the bus clutching their bags full of turnips and their treasured pumpkins. After an extended chorus of "I'm not ready to go back to school," they conceded defeat and returned to the school.
Once the prized pumpkins were safely stored in their cubbies, the thoroughly exhausted children ate their lunches and settled into the nap room (to dream of pumpkins and tractors, no doubt).
Then, our little pastry chefs donned their aprons (with some help from the older children) and
combined the pumpkin with brown sugar and fragrant spices to make a lovely pumpkin custard.
cut it with a round, placed the crust into their own small pie tin, and filled it to the brim with the spicy filling.
Once the pies had cooled, the children assembled on the patio to enjoy their final CSA meal together surrounded by frolicing squirrels a canopy of beautiful fall foliage. In a most fitting conclusion to our CSA program, we ended by celebrating the fall harvest with pumpkin pie,
Our sincerest thanks goes to Mike, Lisel, and the entire Record family, for all of their beautiful produce and for providing the students with an unforgettable experience. We feel so lucky to have found you and we are so grateful for your friendship, kindness, and for sharing your considerable knowledge and talent with us. I have no doubt that the children have a greater willingness to try new foods, and a better understanding of where food comes from and an appreciation for the hardworking people who grow it as a result of the program. You will be greatly missed.