Monday, December 13, 2010

El Paso trip: December 6

When I planned this trip to El Paso I knew my time would be short. There was no way to book an entire weekend without having to pay almost twice what I had paid for my tickets. I wondered how to make the best use of the short time I had with the kids ...
When Di mentioned that the kids eat breakfast at school, I asked if it would be possible for me to eat with them. She didn't see any reason that it wouldn't be allowed! So, Monday morning I went to school with the kids! I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to be able to SEE where they spend their days! We ate a very nice breakfast together every single morning ... at school! I met so many beautiful children along the way. I wish I could tell you about each and every one of them.
After breakfast, the children are allowed to play on the playground until the bell rings ... I was standing near Emma's line when one of her classmates (Malachi) came up to her kind of got in her face!

Malachi: "Hey, Emma, you owe me a transformer!"
Emma and I exchange glances, my eyebrows raised ...
Emma: "I don't have any transformers, Malachi!"
Me: "What's this about?"
Malachi: "I gave Emma one of my chocolate fudge poptarts the other day ~ she asked! ~ and she said she would bring me a transformer if I did!"
Me to Emma: "Do you have any transformers?"
Emma: "No."
Me: "Emma doesn't have any transformers, Malachi. But she does have quite a few dolls. Would you like her to bring one in for you?"
Emma smiles.
Malachi: "No!" (very indignant)
Me: "How about ... would you like me to bring you ONE piece of chocolate mint ice cream flavored gum tomorrow?"
Malachi: "Yes!"
So the chocolate mint ice cream flavored gum sealed the deal and rescued Emma from her plight. The bell had rung and the children were walking inside ... and I really meant to talk to Emma about promising something she couldn't deliver ... but I never did! Sigh.
When the children hear the bell, they line up outside according to class and then their teacher escorts them inside the building. I wasn't sure they would let me come in ... but they did! This is Emma's classroom and the table where she sits. I was told to be very careful only to take pictures of MY grandchildren ... so I tried to comply as much as possible.
Here is Matthew in front of his morning class. Matthew actually has a morning class and teacher and then switches to another class and teacher for the afternoon.
And this is Chris sitting at his desk! Of all the teachers I met, I liked Chris's teacher best. She was so warm and friendly and ... happy!

There are THREE boys named "Chris" in Chris's classroom: Chris H., Chris P., and Chris R. And that's how each are designated ... but I didn't realize this until one of the days we were eating our lunch (!! ... I got to eat LUNCH with the kids too!) one of the boys at our table said, "See you out on the playground, Crispy!" And Chris answered him. And right after that, another one of his friends called him, "Crispy." I looked at Chris rather stunned because I thought these kids were referring to him as C-R-I-S-P-Y as in a Crispy Critter! And then Chris explained the THREE Chris problem to me and how they solved it by adding the last name initial ... his is the only combination that comes out sounding like a real word! I asked him how he feels about being called, "Crispy" and he said he was "OK" with it and then smiled real big. I think he rather likes it.
I was able to roam the hallways and take some pictures of the hallway art ... I did go to the front office, though, and fill out the appropriate papers in triplicate, so that I could come and go in the building at designated times. I was so glad to be able to do this! And I was very impressed with the school.
This is their science lab!

After lunch on Monday, I walked home to find that Jesse had a "short" day at work. I asked him if it would be possible to drive up Transmountain for a little while ... so that's what we did!
There is something about the mountains ... don't get me wrong ... it's not the same as my love for Lake Michigan ... but the amazing beauty just stuns me every time. And the air is SO fresh and clean up there.
Transmountain highway cuts right between the Franklins, right through El Paso. Jesse drove all the way over, we stopped and took a bunch of pictures, and then we drove back!

So nice to spend some one-on-one time with Jesse ... a very rare occasion during the last ten years!

I love to see for miles and miles and miles ...

Diana and I picked the children after school and they worked on their homework first ... and THEN we played.
On Monday, Emma comes home with 15 spelling words. She takes an initial home test and any words she misses, she has to write out three times.
We had a bunch of fun stuff planned for Monday evening and we accomplished just about everything I hoped we would! We ate homemade wet burritos for dinner! We did a lot of art and games and just had fun.
We colored in some special Toy Story 3 pictures together ...

And we decorated some foam Christmas trees ...

We read "Turk and Runt" together at bedtime and laughed so hard! What a fun book for kids (thanks, Shelley!)! We also read "The Candymaker's Story" about the origin of the candy cane and the beautiful meaning of that candy!
This is Macy and Lacy, my roommates! The spare room is actually a study/office/playroom/futon room ... it's where I slept. These lizards sleep there too in a nice warm tank. We got along just fine ...

1 comment:

larry and judy hand said...

Wow these are really neat pictures
of the kids and the school. Great
information about their classes too.
I really loved the Franklin Mts., too, and that's what keeps the hummdity down in E.P.