Friday, 30 November 2007

Relate and then teach

Today was a very sad day for Aaron. It was the last day for the grade tens and there were a lot of tears. I haven't seen anything affect him so much in a long time.

Aaron got his job at Kings Meadows High straight out of uni 3 years ago. The year before that he did his last prac session there and then was asked to come back to do his internship. It was a big blessing to us as he actually got paid to do his internship (something which is rarely done) as another teacher was going on long service leave, so they wanted Aaron to replace him.
They then kept him on the following year, and then the next year he won his permanent position, only a year out of uni. He was very lucky as this also doesn't happen very often and many teachers are shifted from school to school until they get a permanent position. We are very blessed as it is a school in town and so close to home. It has also meant that he is able to walk to work and we haven't had to buy a second car.

Because he has been there for the past 3 1/2 years he has been with the grade ten's since they were in grade seven. I guess you could say that because he started with them straight out of uni, he has also been learning from them.

Today was the Leavers Assembly and Aaron said it was very emotional. His class teacher presented him with a box of chocolates and he presented them all with their certificates.

Aaron walked his class teacher out of assembly and got a big hug from the Principal on the way out.
The prefects gave him a gift voucher and a photo of them in a frame that they had all signed. He is going to miss them all a lot.

There were lots of hugs and tears at the end of the day.

Aaron said that at the end of the day he saw the Principal and she thanked him for all his hard work this year and said how he is a great teacher and that is because he first of all relates to the students and then he teaches them. He said he had many parents come up to him after the assembly to thank him and one Dad told him that he made his son want to come to school.

I keep reminding him that I felt the same way with every class that I had to leave and you quickly get to know your next class and enjoy teaching them as much. I'm sure he will get to know other students just as well and will have another good year next year.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Leaver's Dinner

Last night was the grade 10 leavers dinner for Kings Meadows High. It was at the casino and Aaron had been up there all day with other teachers setting up for it. He had also made the leaver's DVD clip which was going to be shown last night and also tomorrow at the leavers' assembly. One of the other teachers that he is good friends with picked him up, so we joked that they were going on a hot date.

All the teachers keeping an eye on things.

He got home after 11pm and said it was a really good night. Because has had a lot to do with the grade 10s this year I have gotten to know a few of their names and faces, and it was nice to see the photos this morning of them all dressed up.

One of the boys!

With the head prefect boy

More prefects

The African girls who gave Aaron a lovely present
to thank him for everything he has done for them.

Today they were off to the beach (Hawley) for their end of year 'picnic, and tomorrow is their last day. You would think most teachers would love it once the grade 10s leave as it means school is a lot quieter until the rest of the kids break up before Christmas, but Aaron is dreading it. He says it is really boring.

The other day he got a lovely card and present from one of his students and his Mum. The Mum thanked Aaron for 'seeing things that others couldn't see' which was nice. It is so nice that he finally has a job that he absolutely loves. When we first got married he hated his work and couldn't see any way out of it. He now tells his students that it is never too late to do anything you want in life and that there is nothing stopping you.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Everyone is happy

When Noah is well and happy, everyone is happy! We love this time of they year as it is usually when Noah's health is at its best and he is really happy most of the time. Except for not being able to breath because of his huge adenoids, he has been really good the past few weeks. We have been getting lots and lots of smiles.

We usually get a smile out of Noah every day, but on the days that he isn't feeling so well we have to work really hard at it if we want one. Lately if you just go up and talk to him he breaks out in a huge grin. Check out his tan! Noah has the nicest skin that tans so fast. He has little brown knees too as his AFO's (foot splints) come up past his calf muscles, so he has a little tan just on his knees.

Last night he was sooooo happy that at 10.30pm when Aaron put him to bed, he started to arch back and stiffen up, and let out a little squeal in protest as he didn't want to go to bed. I told him that it was time to go to sleep and after a few minutes he settled down and must have went to sleep - at least I know that I did! :)

It made us remember the days when he wouldn't sleep at all, or one of us would have to lay down with him and rub him and tell him 'shhhhh' so he would settle down to sleep. Sometimes it would take up to half an hour to settle him down, and then as soon as he would fall asleep and we would move away he would wake up again and start arching and crying. We complain that he goes to bed too late (whenever we go to bed), but we are very lucky compared to what he used to be like. It is nice to have him so happy and settled and arching in bed because he is so happy and wants to stay awake!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Becky's birthday surprise

Today is Becky's birthday. I'm not actually sure how old she is, but I know she is very young :) Jared went to Melbourne last night for work so Nicki, Mum and I thought we would surprise Becky and take her out for lunch. Nicki rang her yesterday to make sure that she was going to be home in the morning. Nicki told her she would drop around at about 10.30 with her present.

I texted her in the morning to say happy birthday and told her I was off to the gym, so it was very funny as she had no clue that we were going to turn up. Nicki suggested we try a cafe called 'Peelz' for lunch. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside in the sun.

The kids had a great time playing with each other.

Lunch was really yummy. Nicki and Mum both got crumbed scallops, Becky got a chicken, mango and camembert salad, and I got a chicken, avocado and bacon salad. It was so nice.

Maddi thought the food was great until she sucked on the lemon off Grandma's plate.
It was a busy day driving up to Devonport straight after I dropped the boys off at school, and then coming straight back after lunch so I can pick them up, but it was nice to be able to surprise Becky on her birthday and spend some time with Nicki and Mum and the girls.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Years ago Aaron and I used to always put up our Christmas tree on the first day of December. I always wanted to put it up earlier, but Aaron would say it was 'bad luck' and would make me hang out till the 1st. After Jay was born we started to go to the Christmas parade in town every year. It is always held on the last Saturday in November. I would get home and be in a real Christmas mood after the parade and finally convinced Aaron that putting up the tree on the same day was a nice way to finish off the day.

So our tradition for the last 6 years or so has been to put our tree up after the Christmas parade. Mum and Dad popped in to visit after the parade, so they were 'lucky' as they got to help us too. We always put Christmas carols on while we are doing it. Mum kept saying she should have brought out the old Muppets Christmas record that we used to play as kids while we were putting up the tree. Thank goodness she didn't and that we don't have a record player! As little kids we loved it, but as we got older we were very over it :) Sorry Mum!

Aaron brought the tree and all the decorations up from the garage. Every year we have the same jobs. Aaron puts the tree up and the boys and I decorate it, while he puts up all the other Christmas lights and puts out all the other Christmas ornaments etc around the house. Aaron got sick of me being so picky about where to put each decoration on the tree and gave up on doing that years ago! :)

As Aaron put the tree up he realised that heaps of the plastic that the branches slip into was broken. They plastic just kept snapping! It was actually a really nice tree that we bought from Chickenfeed a few years back - no wonder it was so cheap!

We left the boys with Dad, while Mum, Aaron and I went down to Kmart to buy a new tree. We got one that doesn't have plastic on it. Hopefully this one will last a lot longer!

Harri was very excited to help out this year. It was the first year that he really knew what was going on and all morning he kept saying 'go and do the Christmas tree?', as we had been telling him we would do the tree after the parade. Another tradition that we have is to buy the boys a new decoration for the tree each year. We write their names on their decoration and the year and it is their job to put their own decorations up. Jay loves working out how old he would have been each year that he got the decoration. Harri was excited as he knew that whenever there was an decoration with Noah's name, he could help to put it up.

Mum was a great help, especially doing the worst part - putting on the lights.

The boys loved putting all the balls up. The last couple of years we have gone with a red and gold kind of theme. I was wanting to just leave it plain with red and gold balls, lights, beads and red bows but I felt sad that the boys decorations wouldn't be used, so we ended up putting those on too.

There was a big argument between Harri and Jay about who was going to put the star on the top. Jay won as he had asked first. I have never had to worry about things like that before this year! Looks like next year will be Harri's turn.

Grandpa and Noah both decided that it was a good time to have a nap. Grandpa used some excuse about his shunt not working properly :) I didn't even think about getting a photo of him asleep on Harri's bed for evidence of how much he helped out. Noah woke up from time to time to make sure we were doing it all okay.

It took ages, but we were very happy with the finished product.

Mum and Dad ended up staying for tea. It was a really nice afternoon - a great way to finish off a great morning at the parade.

Christmas Parade

Today was the Launceston Christmas parade. 60 kids from Jay and Noah's school were in the parade with the school, and the theme of their float was 'Santa Claus is coming to town'.

All the kids had to meet at the school before 8.30am to get their gear on and get their faces painted. Jay and Noah were in the yellow group, which meant I was also :) We put some yellow tinsel around the top of Noah's sunshade on his chair. Each group had their cheeks painted the same colour as their t-shirts.

The kids then caught a bus into town together. They were soooooo excited, and gave the parents a sneak preview before they left. Because Punchbowl Primary was the 4th float in the parade we had to be there really early. We had over an hour and a half to wait! All we heard all morning was 'when is it going to start!?'. While we were waiting for the parade I had to help supervise the yellow group. All of the kids were really good and just couldn't wait for it to start. Aaron and Harri also came into town an hour and a half early with Noah and I, and went shopping and then found a good spot to watch the parade from.

We finally got started. Noah and I were up the back of the yellow group with 4 other Mum's who were helping out. Unfortunately for me, the yellow group had to wear some sexy cowboy looking hats that had 'Merry Christmas' on them. I was hoping I could wear a regular santa hat like some of the other groups had!

The kids had learned different dance moves to go with the words of the songs. They did an excellent job. Jay is doing 'you better not cry' in this photo :)

On the back of each child's shirt was a phrase from the song. Yellow group had 'Santa Claus is coming to town' on theirs. The Mum who made them was very good, and remembered to put Noah's writing on the front of his shirt rather than the back.

There were so many people watching the parade, and I only saw Aaron and Harri when Aaron yelled out to me after we passed them. We saw lots of other people we knew, but also didn't spot a lot of people that I knew would be there - including Mum and Dad! I finally saw Mum on the way back to the start. She told me she saw Jalen but totally missed Noah and I! I don't know how anyone can miss his wheelchair :)

After the parade there was a children's carnival in civic square. We met Mum and Dad there and the boys had a great time getting free chocolates, colouring in books, crayons and little 'show' bags.

At the carnival they announced the prizes for the best floats. Punchbowl didn't win, but it was lots of fun for the kids to go in it this year. Jay said it was a lot more fun going in it than watching it.

At the carnival there were lots of characters wandering around and Harri couldn't stay away from the person dressed up in the dog costume! He kept going over and giving them a hi-5! I think he probably went over to it about 5 or more times. We finally dragged him away so we could go home. It was a really fun morning and nice that the boys could go in it this year.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Aaron's emotional day

This morning Aaron left for work saying it was going to be a sad day. It was the last day that he was going to be with his class teacher group before they leave school next week. He has been with the same class teacher group the whole three years he has been teaching, and now they are in grade 10. He loves his class and is always talking about them and the things they get up to. This time every year he talks about how it is sad that the grade tens are leaving as he always teaches grade ten classes and gets to know the students well. This year is the hardest for him as it is his class teacher group leaving.

Today during class teacher all of his class presented him with a cool card that they had made with their photos collaged all over it. Everyone had written something to him and many of them said how he was not only their teacher but also their mentor and friend. Someone also wrote that he was the 'biggest Mad Dog/streeter', which I'm assuming is a compliment! :)

They also gave him a box of lindt chocolates (lucky for me as they are my favourite!!!:) and they all pitched in and got him a gift voucher from a sports shop in town. Aaron said that after they gave it all to him he went to talk, and after about three words he started to tear up. He said that he looked around and a few of the students had some tears as well.

To celebrate the end of the year with the prefects and thank them for all their hard work during the year, Aaron and another teacher got to take all the prefects ten pin bowling today. On the way back to school they all stopped at McDonalds for lunch.

Aaron said it was a very emotional day. Now he just has to get through next week, and their Leavers Dinner next Wednesday night.

12 years!

Today is Aaron and my 12th year wedding anniversary!! Can you believe that!? We have been married for 12 years!! Makes us sound old. After pulling out the old photos I definitely feel VERY old. So sad to see how skinny and young we looked back then. Aaron had an afro, but no grey hair :) This photo was taken at our engagement party.

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