Powerscourt, Ireland.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Midnight Excitement!

So we're thrilled to be in Burbank, CA for our third year of the Jensen~Schmidt Tennis Camp!  We arrived here late afternoon and went right to the pool for a little fun and relaxation.  After dinner went made our annual pilgrimage from the Marriott to Target to stock up on necessities, like Apple Juice and  Reese's Pieces.  We're all settled into our perfect room for our three day stay....or so we thought!

Here is our sweet Max the first year of Tennis Camp in 2009!

And here his is in 2010...he loves Tennis Camp!

Now back to the story....I just don't like a blog post without pictures!   So after we brought all of our stuff (including a case of water!)  in, put cold items in the mini-fridge, got Max to sleep and settled in with our mindless TV watching and internet surfing, we were surprised by a loud pop, sparks came off my laptop power cord and then all was dark.  We blew the fuse in our hotel room! 

Because it was almost midnight, the guy who knows how to reset the breaker had gone home for the night....we would have to move rooms.  Really?  Yes, really.  They would send a guy with a flashlight to help us pack up our pitch black hotel room and move all of our crap and our sleeping child to another room.

Here's the morale fo the story....if you are inconvenienced or given less than you feel you purchased....ask for compensation!  I asked for our room to be comped, but the night guy couldn't do that.  But what he could do is give us 50% off.  Fair enough.  And he threw in free breakfast vouchers!   Yippee....all you can eat bacon for Max!

And the best part....Max slept through all of this.  He went to sleep in one room and will wake up in another.  Good thing all hotel rooms look pretty much the!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thanking Teachers for a Great Year

Max has had a great first year of Elementary school.  It's hard to believe he only has one more day as a Kindergartner!  I face the end of the year with bittersweet feelings.  Max has grown and learned so much thanks to a devoted team at Cabrillo.

 I've made some adaptations to some crafts I've seen in the blogosphere (sorry I can't find the exact posts to give credit) and made some things for Max's classroom teacher, Mr. C and his caseworker and resource teacher, whom he refers to as "Miss Kitty."  Her name is actually Kaity.

I was going to do this with a regular can, but I purchased the crayons at the 99 cent store and they are about 3/4  the size of a regular crayon, so I did these little tins instead.

These are sooooo easy!  Here's all you need to make them:  some sort of container (I used this coffee tin, but a disposable plastic would work too),  crayons and a glue gun.  I got this glue gun at the 99 Cent Store.

This is super easy.  Put a dot of glue on each end of the crayon and attach to the tin.  Continue around until you 've covered it in these cute little crayons.

So here you have it...a cute and inexpensive teacher gift!
I wasn't sure how to finish these a ribbon or some other decoration? 


Then I remembered something else I'd seen.  I glued some broken crayons in the shape of the letter...a K for "Miss Kitty"and a C for Mr.C.  I had some frames from the 99 Cent Store and put them in the frames without the glass.  Now I have 2 special Thank You gifts for two people who have done so much for Max this year.  There is really no way I can express my gratitude, but this is a start.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorialand feel free to ask questions and make comments!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cabrillo Elementary Library Receives $5,000 Grant!

Who knew it costs almost $100 to enlarge a regular bank check into a giant check?  This is how I found myself making a giant check on Tuesday morning.  All you need is a large chunk of cardboard, a computer and a little imagination!

Larry's first reaction was, "You're making a FAKE check?"  Sure, I told him.  He seemed very concerned about any possible criminal activity this might entail.  I assured him that no one would actually try to cash this check.  Could be in real trouble....did I forge Laura Bush's signature?  No, I just wrote her name on a gaint piece of cardboard!

Max started Kindergarten at Cabrillo Elementary this year.  I wanted to be involved, but traditional PTA isn't exactly my style.  So back in October of 2010 the school Library tech and I sat down and talked about ways to raise money for the library.  With the state of education budgets, new library books rank low on the list.  As I talked to the school administration, I learned that the school library was actually closed for five years, just reopening last year.  Can you imagine a school without a library?

The library at Cabrillo elementary is an amazing space.  It was built with California Prop monies, so there was only funding for the actual building, not staff or equipment.  It has high ceilings, lots of light, but not so many books.  Any new books were from the scholastic book fair, so soft cover...not meant to last or show on a shelf.

I researched available grants and found that money was tight in this arena as well.  I found two grants that I thought might be a good fit for our school.  With the help of Jose and the school administration, I wrote a grant for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.  It was a long shot....there are a lot of deserving schools out there.  We found out in May that Cabrillo was chosen from thousands of entries to receive one of 241 grants awarded!

So yesterday, I participated in a check presentation ceremony to present the $5,000 check from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries to the Cabrillo Library!

This is our Principal, Nestor Suarez, our library tech Jose de la Luz and Area Superintendent Diana Carberry.  Principal Suarez is an amazingly positive person!  One of the first things he did when he came to Cabrillo was to reopen the library.  Now with this $5,000 we'll be able to round out the collection for our kids!

As the school year comes to a close we look back on what a great experience this has been for Max.  He has found friends, acceptance and learned a great deal.  Max loves the library so it was personally fulfilling for me to help with this grant.