Lovin' our Big Boy!

Lovin' our Big Boy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A BIG Loss!

Check out what happened at lunch today at school...Jack was SO excited!

He happily sat down, smiled a TON, showed his lost tooth and told the story of how his tooth fell out at lunch. My favorite part of the story was when he said "And you know what I said when it fell out? I jumped up and said "FINALLY! It was taking forever!"

Isn't he cute? He is so proud!

I'd better keep the light on tonight for the Tooth Fairy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome to 2nd Grade!!!

Tomorrow is the big day! Jack will be in 2nd grade and has the distinct blessing of having his most amazing Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ward, (seen here) as his now-2nd grade teacher!

Today we organized a playdate for all the upcoming 2nd graders at the school's playground. We thought it might be fun to get back into the swing of things by seeing all the old faces as we were learning who was in each class. It was an incredibly hot day (97, heat index 104) but there were lots of troopers who braved the heat to join us!

Lots of Jack's former classmates were there and several of his current classmates, who will join him in Mrs. Ward's class, were there too!

You know it is hot when the kids choose to sit UNDER the playground equipment!

The highlight of the event was when Mrs. Ward came out to see the kids. As soon as they saw her, they all ran toward her like she was carrying ice cream! She is one of the most loved teachers. There was lots of hugging...

There were lots of cuties there! Here are a couple that stopped running with their friends long enough for me to grab a picture!

Vishnu - Jack's classmate for 2 years now! He pushes Jack as one of the best readers in the class.

Niles and his brother, Nicholas, and mom, Andrea. Sweet Niles was in Jack's class last year.

Charlie, little brother to Clarissa.

Clarissa, Jack's friend since Kindergarten. Clarissa claims she and Jack are going to get married some day!

And, my ever adorable 2nd grader! I can barely believe it!

Jack, here we go! Another year to learn, navigate & grow! I'm so glad you have such a kind heart to guide you on your way this year! I'm so proud of you already!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It's NEVER Easy Come, Easy Go

Summer is in full swing (and my work is as well), and blogging has become a thought that never quite makes it to the keyboard...

So what brings me out of the woodwork to post? My poor baby is losing another friend...to geographical difficulty.

In preschool, Jack bonded with an adorable friend, Connor, and his sweet little brother, Aiden. Mom Michelle was such a help to me when Tyler was born, driving Jack to and from preschool every day during those first few weeks. The 3 boys together had an easy friendship and it was a joy to watch. Living on a busy road with no neighbors his age, combined with a very small sunday school class of his peers, seemed to leave Jack with little opportunities for friendship to blossom. I thanked God for Connor and Aiden and for the friendship that was developing. But Connor and Aiden moved to Texas at the beginning of the summer when their dad was transferred. We were happy that the boys would now get to spend time with their Texas family but were so sad to see them go.

pictured above with Owen (another classmate) and his sister Olivia

Kindergarten began that Fall and one particular boy showed a spark of interest in Jack and soon, an amazing friendship developed. Jayden has an easy spirit and is quite frankly the most polite boy I have ever met. Jack is very fond of Jayden and we have experienced the right of passage of boyhood with Jayden: Sleepovers. The 2 boys love to play, watch movies, play Wii and DS and yet go to bed with ease at bedtime in Jack's bunk beds.

Today I got a call from Jayden's mom, Tawanna. Seems that Jayden's dad has accepted a job in Atlanta, and they will be moving before Summer ends. I haven't told Jack yet...I fear his little heart will break. Rest assured, Jayden, that you will be missed in this Halbert house! Both Jack and Tyler love you so!

Time will heal this wound, and my hope is that a new friend will come in to view soon. Good thing he has his little brother. I hope they remain best friends for life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Things Change...

Yesterday I accompanied Jack and his class of adorable 1st graders to the Honeysuckle Hill Farm in Springfield TN. This is a great learning farm, and we were headed there this year to release the baby chicks that were visiting in his classroom. (Side note: The class observed duck eggs for 30+ days in an incubator until the floods came and power was knocked out at the school. The duck eggs must have cooled, which was very detrimental to the ducks. Hence the appearance of the chicks.) The chicks were turned over to Farmer Jeff, and everyone was excited to see the chicks in their new home (which was like Disney World to them, noted Ella on the bus ride.) Jack was excited to have me ride the bus with him but really didn't want me to sit with him! We learned all about photosynthesis and brought home crowder pea seeds in a necklace that we are cultivating now. As we walked around the farm, I remembered that in the Fall of Kindergarten we had also come to this farm and our experience had been a little different. He was so anxious for days about riding the bus (told us he wouldn't...but in the end, he did) and finally declared that he would only be a 'field trip bus rider'. This year he rode the bus home nearly every day from school and happily got on the bus for all of the field trips.

There was also a tube slide, and last year he was unable to make it down alone. It took me climbing the ladder, offering lots of coaxing, and the promise of being 'caught' at the bottomo by his assistant Kindergarten teacher. This year he went off and played happily and was disappointed when the short play time was up. Jack even reminded me that Mrs. Haber had caught him last year at the slide when he was scared.

We had a great field trip day. I didn't 'need' to be there...I was attending just like the other chaperoning moms. I saw a couple of sweet boys who WERE struggling with aspects of attending the field trip, and my heart went out to them.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from yesterday...

Jack and his BFF Elita

Jack, Mommy & Mrs. Stark on the hayride

He did ask for me to sit with him on the way home!

But today was a little different. A strong thunderstorm rolled in right at dismissal time at school. It was absolutely pouring down with major (and close) lightening! Even though Jack exhibits no fear of storms or lightning at home, Jack got upset at the thought of riding the bus home in the rain. I received a call from Jack's teacher shortly after dismissal time letting me know that Jack had gotten pretty upset so she had told him it was ok to be a car rider today. So, Jack stayed at school with his teacher until Grandpa was able to pick him up (I was home with sleeping Tyler and Grandpa was on his way over to our house anyway.) We didn't talk about it much when he got home, but he was back to his old self and ready for the weekend!

Things change. The tide keeps moving. The improvements from last year are noticeable and measureable, even if we still have little bumps in the road like today's dismissal.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Rains Came Down...

and the floods came up! In true Old Testament fashion, our community has been rocked to its core this past week. 5 days ago, the rain began and by the time it was over 2 days later, many Nashvillians were left devastated amidst a natural disaster of epic proportions. Today, school is still closed. Roads are impassable and the town has pulled together to help those in need. Here's an awesome video that sums it all up...it is truly something we will never forget. We were ever so fortunate to be spared any damage, but many that we know lost much, if not everything...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I want to ride my bicycle...

As Jack approaches his 8th birthday, I am ever so proud to announce that he has become a "two wheeled bike rider!" Wow, what an accomplishment! I don't know if I should admit that I'm surprised but, frankly, I am! Jack isn't exactly a sports-minded dude. He enjoys the activities of the gaming folks. He occasionally heads out to the driveway where he has been totally content to tear down the hill and spin out on his low riding metal version of a Big Wheel. He's become quite confident, but it is VERY LOW to the ground, and he likes it that way.

Summer Fun with Tyler

He rarely rode his training wheel adorned bike anymore, sticking to the security of the low rider.

Easter 2009

But then Mario Kart came along. And he watched his favorite characters ride motorcycles and bikes and somehow it got the pump primed. So when Grandpa suggested that they go out and begin the process of learning how to ride without the training wheels, Jack surprised us all and said "YES!"

It didn't take long...a few weeks, maybe. And now he's gaining confidence every day. He can start from a dead stop, brake and turn. He hasn't ventured past driveways and straightaways yet, but I think by the beginning of Summer he'll be traversing Crockett Park's trails like a pro. And Mimi and Grandpa have promised that he can pick out a new, bigger bike whenever he's ready.

I might even have to get a bike to keep up. Way to go, Jack. We are all so very, very proud of you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Playdate: Take 2

Jack invited his "bus buddy" Cal, another 1st grader who gets off 1 stop before Jack, over for a playdate last week. He was so excited to have his new friend come over after Friday's half day. At 10:45 a I received a call from Jack's teacher (which is RARE) saying that Jack was a puddle in her lap. He'd heard some devastating news...Cal had gotten sick at school and was waiting to be picked up by his mom. No playdate would take place and Jack was so very sad. I headed over to the school to pick Jack up as a car rider (so he wouldn't have to ride the bus home alone without his playdate friend) and he expressed his disappointment at the turn of events.

Fast forward to a week later, and everyone at Cal's house is happy and healthy, so we rescheduled our playdate for Monday. The boys happily hopped off of the bus together, quickly shed backpacks, coats and shoes and ran to the den to have some fun with the Wii. Cal had brought a new game (Super Mario Brothers, Wii version) and the 2 boys had a fantastic time playing together.

Not much else to report, as I was completely excluded. No need for silly ol' Mom to hang out...these boys were having a great time by themselves. The beauty of all of this? No prompting, facilitating, worrying took place at all. Cal is unaware of Jack's shortcomings, and so is his mom. She popped in at 5 and quickly picked Cal up, other siblings waiting in the car, oblivious to the importance of this event (for me.) Amazing. Normal feels good. REAL good.

Congrats, Jack, on making friends, having playdates and enjoying the fun of being 7. We are so very proud of you.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


We had a special celebration this weekend in honor of Jack's big news! He has now mastered the entire first grade reading level at school and has moved up to the second grade reading level in the AR program (2.0 - 2.9.)

A month ago or so I offered Jack a little incentive to help motivate him to the 2.0 level. Jack decided that he'd really like for me to make him a cake, NOT a cupcake but a REAL (GFCF) cake, as his special treat. So, when he arrived home on Thursday with his big news, a '2.0' cake was in order!

We all enjoyed eating Jack's special treat and are so proud of our great reader!