Teacher Appreciation

Tonight we were invited to attend Charlie’s Classroom Celebration and Open House. We received a formal invitation with all the important details, and of course we gladly attended.

We love Charlie’s teacher for so many reasons. We have a shared history, as we first met her when she came to our school as Christian’s second grade student teacher from Stanford. Lucky for our family, she was hired on that summer and became Christian’s 3rd grade teacher.  Juliana also then had her for 3rd and 4th grade.  When we returned from Amsterdam and found out that she would also be Charlie’s teacher, we were elated. I think we are the first family where she’s had all 3 siblings.

I asked Christian and Juliana to join us at the celebration, so that they could see their teacher again too.  This was pretty special to me.

Charlie gave us a tour of his classroom and walked us around the room, pointing out all the important details. My favorite sites were the Word Clouds that the students created for each other.

I love positive recognition and seeing the good in everyone. This activity empowered the kids to practice kindness and celebrating each other. They all seemed to like their individual highlights.

Charlie was most proud of his writing portfolio.  

This year he joined the newspaper staff and every month worked on an article for the school paper. I loved seeing his skills develop and how proud he has been. He loves to write and has a natural talent for creating interesting stories that flow. He types them himself, using Google Docs, and emails them to his advisor all on his own. After all the articles are turned in, the team meets to peer review and edit the articles before submission for the final paper. He says this year he’s learned how to indent paragraphs, and to use quotation marks properly. I’m still amazed how much a 4th grader can do and love seeing him enjoy learning.

I am thankful for all the amazing teachers and staff at our school.  We have passionate, smart, empathetic, kind and loving teachers. Our principal has also been supportive and has created an open environment where the synergy between multicultural students, teachers, staff and parents has thrived and has created a wonderful community.

I am happy to be back home again, living in the same, ol’ neighborhood, and getting to enjoy these last two years of elementary school at “our” school.

Love this life. Love our teachers. Thank you.  

Teacher Appreciation Week


This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at school.  I love that students and families are taking time to slow down and be thankful for our teachers and staff.

There is a schedule of appreciation at our school, should you choose to participate.

Monday – Shower with flowers or Healthy Snacks

Tuesday – Teacher/ Staff Luncheon – Donated food items

Wednesday – Parent Notes of Appreciation

Thursday – Classroom Supplies Donations

Friday – Student Notes or Gift of Appreciation

It’s fun to see everyone walking in with different treats. Charlie brought some type of chocolate covered Goji berries yesterday.

Today we prepared a green salad and served at the teacher luncheon. My favorite part was chatting with the other volunteers and sharing stories.

Our school has a great community of students, teachers, parents and staff. It’s a wonderful place to raise kids and to be part of such a loving community. I am thankful for all that everyone contributes to make our school and society a wonderful place to learn and grow up.

Love this life.




Day 76: Living the American Dream


Coke and Baseball and Stella & Dot arm candy – It doesn’t get much better than this!

Today was a fabulous day and it started out with a HUGE surprise for Ms. Pettee – J’s 5th grade teacher. Because of email and being able to quickly connect a great group of parents, we were able to collect $365 in one day to purchase an HP Netbook for her and give her a CASH bonus (because don’t teachers need bonuses too?) as part of Ponderosa School Teacher Appreciation Week. It was cool to be part of the process to inspire others to share and contribute and be part of the “team” gift and to feel the passion and enthusiasm that everyone had to give. Ms. Pettee was so thankful, and one of the dad’s is looking at matching the donations through his company, so Netbook might even multiply into two! Isn’t that such a cool story? I wish you could have been there to see her face. 

After that joy, I enJOYed getting a pedicure with Christine and also sending pictures to my cousin, Shellee, the Birthday Girl in San Diego, who was getting a manicure at the same time! We had fun swapping pictures from our phones, pretending we were celebrating her birthday together. Too bad we live so far away, but the pictures were fun to share. And the pedicure was oh, so relaxing and my tangerine colored toes are so Holland and the Color of the Year!! That made me smile!

After those fun events, I was off to run errands and shop for my company that is coming to see me tomorrow! My parents and my sister and my niece are all joining us for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.  Now the fridge is ready and stocked for the weekend. Do you think there’s a Costco like store in Holland? 

From the Costco run, I ran C to the baseball field, and then back home again to unload the groceries. It was a beautiful and warm day and didn’t even need a jacket until after 7 pm – the game went on for a long time! It was fun to sit with Rachel and Allison and the girls, chatting and watching the boys play. C did great as catcher, and hit a double and a single. He loves baseball and I love being with the other mamas watching and enjoying each others’ company.

After the game, we were home together, doing homework, cleaning up the house and getting the kids ready for bed.  There’s always work to do before company arrives and my office piles and laundry piles were HUGE!!  That’s why this post is so late tonight. BUT – the killer part of my mess, was my Wife texted me to see if there was anything she could do to help me get ready for tomorrow (which is booked solid even before the relatives arrives). I of course, said No, that I should have everything done by midnight, and that she should finish baking for the teachers tomorrow. And off I went to kiss the kids and tuck them in for the night, when my phone kept buzzing with texts. I finally went to check who was trying to reach me, and it was her. She was at my door, and knocking softly, but I didn’t hear her knocks, only the dings from my texts that read “Knock. Knock.” She came to fold my laundry with me. OMG – is that the best or what? We had so much fun catching up and sharing stories – we hardly have time to chat this week at all for various reasons. But boy did we laugh and have fun! Who knew laundry could be fun? I wouldn’t even believe you if you said it, but I lived it. I’m still smiling…Life is good and I’m glad I’m living it!

Oh, and P.S. – the other good news is we heard back from one of the two International Schools today and we have a spot! Thank goodness I won’t have to be home schooling the kids, because I’m way too busy “relaxing.”