It Really Happened

Recently, the family and I took a weekend trip to Memphis, TN. The ultimate purpose was to see the National Civil Rights Museum. We had never been and I wanted to see it but as importantly, I wanted the kids to see it. I think it is important amidst all the Ipads, video games, and TV that we make an effort to show them non-fiction items..things that really happened. I am not a huge museum person but I do enjoy learning about things that happened in the past and trying to get as much of a clear picture oh how things happened. As we approached the National Civil RIghts Museum and turned on Lorraine Street, I started to feel the change in surroundings and started to try to mentally capture the scenes around me and how it must have been on that day when Rev. Martin Luther King was shot. As we walked through the museum, you felt like you were somehow transported back to the 1960’s. As I read each poster, listened to each audio, it was hard to believe the things I saw and heard. Because as I listened and saw, my current situation was that I was surrounded in this museum with people of every race, and the bathrooms were marked “women” and “men” and not “Colored”. It was crowded as we moved from room to room and shoulders were touching lightly as we maneuvered about. Yet we would get to a poster that read that whites and blacks could not sit in the same section at restaurants. We spent hours reading and listening on all the events of the Civil Rights Movement and I was in awe at the things that happened during that time. If I was in awe, can you imagine the children? They really have no concept of not having the same privileges as their friends who do not look like them. They have no concept of having separate bathrooms and restaurant sections. They have no concept of being jailed, burned, killed for the color of their skin. I have no real concept either. I have heard about it from my  mom, in-laws, grandparents, etc. but being in the museum and seeing additional accounts made it all more real. We have come a long way with yet still ways to go. As we got to the final room-it was the actual hotel room where MLK was shot. As we peered through the window, the room was as much recreated like the day he was shot and his final moments. His partially eaten room service was still on the desk, bed semi-made, and all things appeared as if he could walk in at any moment and finish his meal. But of course we know that is not how the story ends. His life ended that day on April 4, 1968 yet his life lives on in his legacy and the foundation he laid.

I was not there in 1968. I was not called or identified as a “colored” person. I did not get jailed for sitting on the bus. I do not truly know what it was like during that time. But..even though I was not, even though I only have gotten a glimpse through pictures…it really happened.

Lorraine Motel

Lorraine Motel

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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

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Poster in the Civil Rights Museum

Poster in the Civil Rights Museum

Outside view of MLK room

Outside view of MLK room

The room where MLK was when he was shot

The room where MLK was when he was shot

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Another School Year

School is back in session! Lauren started 4th grade and that sounds so strange. She is excited and ready to tackle another grade. As I was putting pictures on the computer from Lucas’ first day, I ran across pictures from Lauren’s first day 5 years ago when she started K-4! Look at how we have grown:

Goodbye and Hello

Lucas saying goodbye to daycare

The familiar adage of “Time flies” does not do justice to my thoughts over the last four years as we start a new school year and Lucas is part of it! Lucas started K-4 this week and said goodbye to daycare and hello to “real” school.

Time has flown, soared, catapulted, and leapt through space. It really had to have been “yesterday” when I had him and now he is sitting in a class with a uniform. He was ready and excited to start his first day and he made us proud. Part of my maternal makeup thought that maybe he was “too’ ready on the first day of school-he was 100% positive, no tears and no dependence at all for me to even be there. You know… that is hard for a mom who knows this is the last child and who looks at the time that has passed and realize it may only get quicker from here. But…I thought the reverse of this independence and 4-year old confidence may be just as unbearable. I looked around at all the other 4 and 5 year olds and there was a young boy in Lucas’ class that cried and clearly did not want to be there. That was painful to watch for his mother and also for the rest of the other parents. As a mother, you want to be the hero, the rescuer, Superman with a dress even(:-), but you know that the first day is a test of letting go and the first of many similar tests to come. As I watched the him, I realized it was ok for Lucas to be content and happy on his first day. So, I enjoyed the moment of seeing him content and happy and thus I became content and happy.

So many times in life, we are forced to say goodbye and we are not given the opportunity to say hello to something else. Lucas said goodbye to daycare on Friday where he had been since 3 months old. But, on Tuesday he was able to say hello to a new school, new teacher and new friends. Yes, I do have a tinge of sadness but I also have happiness and excitement for this new chapter for Lucas. I am thankful I am here to say hello with him.

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Writer in the Making

I enjoy writing which may be obvious since I have a blog. I enjoy reading as well, so I have often wondered does the two go hand in hand? My daughter Lauren is a great reader at the age of eight and she loves books! She also may be a writer in the making. As part of her school work, they are encouraged to keep a journal (which I love) and this gives them time individually to write and also to have some quiet time while the teacher may be working with other students. One of her recent assignments was to write a personal narrative and the goal of the assignment was to include sensory details and work on sentence structure. I haven’t read much of Lauren’s journal thus far, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how she wrote and what she would write about. I thought for an 8-year old she did really well. She definitely included lots of sensory detail and seemed to understand the goal of the assignment. Also, I was pleased with her correct spelling and using correct grammar and punctuation in her narrative.

I have included it below because 1) I am a proud mommy! and 2) she just may be a writer in the making!

My Cruise Story

When I went on my cruise, we went to Mexico.  It was really, really hot.  I drank a lot of water.  Sweat was pouring down my face!  I could feel myself getting weaker and weaker.  I was dragging myself. Every second felt like a minute.

I went swimming. I also went snorkeling. I had a blast!  I saw a starfish. I saw schools of fish. I even saw a fish that looked like Dorothy in the movie Finding Nemo.  I saw red, blue and purple fish.  When I saw a seahorse I almost screamed. I have never seen a seahorse before.  But luckily, I didn’t scream.

The guy who swam with me went down and blew a tiny ring. Then it grew and grew and grew.  Then he swam right through it.  I wondered how he could do this then, it hit me, this guy is a professional.  These are the fun things I did on my cruise.

Written By:  Lauren Mason

School in Session

School is officially back in session after a nice enjoyable summer. Lucas moved to the 2 year old class and has a new teacher Ms. Stephany . There are 7 kids in his class which is nice. He has adjusted well so far. The biggest thing on the horizon for him is potty training. He knows his ABC, numbers 1-10, his colors and his shapes. At his open house, his teacher remarked that “Lucas is so sweet and very lovable.”

Lauren is in 2nd grade and has Mrs. Grice again as her teacher this year. She has 7 kids in her class also, 3 of which that returned from last year. She is doing 3rd grade spelling words and has made 100 on her spelling tests except one . She missed one word and made a 90 the 2nd week because she missed the word “scratch.” She is doing great in reading and in math. She now has homework nightly which consists of reading, spelling, and math. She is also starting her 3rd year of piano in Birmingham and is doing well.

So we are back to the school routines of homework, packing book bags and packing lunches. The kids are growing and I am constantly reminded of the saying that says “The days are long but the years are short.”

First Grade

1st Day of First Grade

1st Day of First Grade

Lauren has been an official 1st grader for about a month now and she is loving it. There are 8 kids in her class and she already knew over 1/2 of them. She loves her teacher thus far and is excited every day to get up and go to school. Each week they have 7 spelling words and a memory verse that have to practice each night. She reminds us every night to do her homework. She has made all 100’s on her tests thus far!

It is amazing to see the change in her as she is adjusting to first grade. She considers herself a big girl and makes sure she lets us know that. It is funny how she remarks about “the kindergartners” and how the first graders are big kids because they do not take naps and they get to stay on the playground longer. I just chuckle and ask myself should I remind her that she was one of those “kindergartners” less than six months ago?

I decide to sit quietly and let her enjoy being a first grader.

Little Valedictorian!

IMG_0045Last week was one of my proudest moments as a mommy as I watched my 5 year old daughter graduate from kindergarten. I sat in my seat with my heart about to jump out of my chest beaming with  pride. The best part of the night happened as we watched her read her “valedictorian” speech. Her teacher requested that she speak at her graduation so everyone could hear her reading competence. She read the whole thing through flawlessly without one hint of being nervous. Her teacher called her the valedictorian of her class! Here is the speech I wrote for her to read:

     Good evening and thanks to everyone that has come to help us celebrate our kindergarten and eighth grade graduations. It is not everyday that a 5 year old gets asked to speak at her kindergarten graduation. So, when my mommy first asked me if I wanted to do it, I was hesitant. My mommy told me it was my decision but strongly encouraged me to do it. She said it would be a chance I would never have again. Plus, she promised me I could pick a special treat if I agreed to do it. I think that is called bribery!

      Well, here I am and tonight I want to tell you a story about me and my experiences at Hoover Christian School. As for me, I am your average 5 year old little girl. I love to play with my friends, watch Dora, paint and ride my bike. I also like to play with my baby brother Lucas and help my mommy around the house. But, one of my favorite things to do is to read books and go to the library. I beg my mommy to take me to the library all the time. I started reading when I was 3 and I have been hooked on books since then.

      Now, let me tell you why I love Hoover Christian. I have made lots of friends and we have a good time. First, I am blessed to have a great teacher, Mrs. Petty. She is nice and patient. She starts our mornings off with worship every day and she teaches us about God. Also, I love playing with my friends in my class: Cierra, Christian Beavers, Christian Friend, and Peyton. We have had fun all year. We took field trips to the fire station and we went to see the play “If You Give a Pig a Pancake.”  This year, we have learned a lot. We have learned about our church history, learned how to tell time, learned the days of the week and the months of the year. Thanks Mrs. Petty for a great year!

      Another thing I love about Hoover Christian is the fun time we have at lunches and eating Mrs. Angel’s food! She knows how to cook so kids eat tomato soup and think it is yummy! Thank you Mrs. Angel and I am sure my parents thank you for giving me more vegetable points.

      Last, but not least I love Hoover Christian because it has started me on a great foundation for a Christian education. The same things that my mommy and daddy teach me at home is what I learn at school. The same kids in my class are the same kids I can see at church. I pray at home and I pray at school. I thank my parents for spending their money or as my daddy would say-“hard-earned Money” so I can go to school here.

      Well, tomorrow is my last day of kindergarten and I will miss this part of my education. But, I am excited about going to first grade. I think it will be awesome!

      I have made it to the end of my story and I hope you know a little bit more about me and my experiences at Hoover Christian. I think I have now talked long enough to earn my special treat mommy promised me. Thanks again for coming to see all of us graduate. I pray that God will bless all of you and your families. I also pray that the library is still open after graduation tonight because that is what I picked for my special treat!

 Thank you and good night!

It was a great night and one I will not soon forget. Below are some pictures of my first grader!