Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Its ALMOST holidays...

The year is racing towards the finish line with such speed I really don't know which way is up most days. I am counting sleeps with the kids because I really need some downtime to regroup and get all my ducks in a row again. I'm constantly looking for my notebook to add more things to the holiday list or the Christmas pressie shopping list. I'm going totally OCD with my lists and driving the rest of the family crazy. 

We fetched report cards this morning and said thank you and goodbye to the teachers. We did some fun bracelets for teacher gifts this year. I think they are pretty awesome. Sometime different to the usual chocolates and hand creams. 

I usually reflect back on the year a little bit later in December but I was chatting to Mr W's teacher this morning and she reminded me how far he has come this year. He started the year off as a shy, reserved boy and grew into a little chap with self confidence. He really came into his own this year. He made a really good friend and I can see that this is going to be a long friendship. I have never seen 2 little boys just totally "get" each other like these two. They have even developed their own special way to communicate! With a few nods and shakes of the head, they are totally on the same page whilst the rest of us are still wondering what on earth is being discussed! Once in a while the kids have a teacher who just means the world to them (and to their mom) - Mr W had one of those this year. These teachers are so much more than just mere teachers - they make a profound change to your child's life and I will forever be grateful for this teacher for doing that for Mr W. 

Ms M rocked this year like she always does. She thrived in so many areas and got an amazing opportunity to represent SA at the Commonwealth Chess games in India. How many 8 year olds go to India to play chess? She worked hard this year and it makes me so proud. She started out the year with clear goals and she did everything she set out to do and more. We hit a bit of a rocky patch in the middle of the year with girls bullying her and making her life miserable but even that she faced head on and I can see she is not even giving it a second thought anymore. Her rapport card reads like a bit slot machine according to Mr K... 7 - 7 - 7! She has a great teacher next year and a very good friend who will be in the same class. I am so glad for her because she deserves a bit of happy to end this year with! 

Onto other news.. I found this on my desk this morning with the new Joel Osteen book. I am overjoyed about the book as I was planning on buying it for myself anyway but even more I didn't know that all the nonsense I talk on a daily basis made such an impact on this lady's life. She is a single mum with a son the same age as Mr W so Mrs Bossy Boots is always offering advice and an opinion on various mommy things. Her fiance was killed in a car accident last year, right before she started working here and her mom the beginning of this year. I burst into tears when I read her card... how SWEET! Just shows that a little friendliness (or is that bossiness??) can make a huge difference to someone's life. How cute is the drawing? She calls me the Queen. I think its SO funny cause I can be a bit of a drama queen at work! :) I am so humbled by her kindness and generosity. This surprise gift has definitely made my week! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

End year functions, Christmas parties and more

This weekend was one of those crazy ones where you think it was weekend but you are not really sure cause you were just so busy that you didn't spend much time at home.

Friday night we finished up at holiday camp swim school. We have had such special instructors this year and both kids have really made so much progress in the last 3 months. I am very grateful that we decided to stick it out even when its a real pain to take them cause its quite far from school and because it means that we get home late on Tuesdays with very grumpy tired kids. The reward for completing the camp was a chocolate medal and a beautiful embroidered t-shirt. The kids LOVE t-shirts with logos and slogans on so this was such a treat for them.

I promised the kids that we can attempt gingerbread houses this year and although the houses are not made from ginger bread biscuits (I cheated and used Golden Cloud's cookie mix) it was such a fun project. What I really loved that it kept all of us busy for quite a long time. Mr W demanded a break from all this baking after about 1.5 hours of decorating :)

Saturday afternoon was our work year end function. As always there was lots of laughs, lots of pressies and fun to be had. As usual the "unwanted" gift was the hit of the party. The rules state that you have to bring an unwanted but unused and unopened present to the party to swop with someone else's unwanted gift. The gifts are wrapped so you never know what you are getting. There was a a set of wooden cats, the ugliest candle I have ever seen and a really old unopened board game from 2005 that made their rounds. The gifts are REALLY awful but its so funny ending up with someone else's unwanted gifts. Printing is an incredibly stressful industry to work in with tight deadlines and incredibly demanding clients. I love it that at the end of the year we can all sit around a table and just be friends in spite of it all. 

We finished off the weekend with our monthly dinner club's Christmas party. I can't remember when last I spent the entire day in the pool with the kids. I love our dinner club buddies. We are all so different but every month the conversation just picks up where we left off last month and we spend the entire day/evening chatting away.

What an incredibly nice South African Summer day. The entire family was in bed before 8 last night ...tired and happy. 

rapport cards and end of the year drama

M started going to Mr's W school in January of 2011 and now after 5 years we are done with "baby" school. Next year Mr W is in grade R and Miss M in grade 3. I'm so sad yet also happy about this new phase. My babies are growing up so quickly! 

The teachers put so much effort into the school's last rapports for the year. I have never cried about a rapport card before but this one with all its special memories of 2015 made me bawl. 

Mr W - I am SO proud of you and I am so excited for the journey ahead of us.