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It was a very busy Wednesday for the kids in our family. Gavin had his Frosty the Emo presentation, Parker had his California Mission presentation, and Gwen had a field trip to the North Pole. You can imagine how they raced to the van after school to tell me all about it!

Gwen got there first with her Christmas bell. Parker was close on her heels breathlessly digging in his backpack. He finally produced the most exciting grades.


He kept saying how it was almost a perfect score. I told him teachers don’t give out perfect scores very often and he should be very proud of this score. We will practice a little bit longer for the next presentation so he doesn’t rely on his notecards as much.

He did all this work himself. His teacher sent home information about the project but she never seemed to want any of the work done at home. Parker was very confident about his work but I was starting to worry. This was a major project. At parent teacher conferences his teacher assured me they were working hard on researching at school.

She also described what she was expecting out of the power point presentation. When Parker showed his gimmicky slides to me I just bit my tongue. I knew she wanted the kids to have fun with distracting transitions. Heath bit his tongue too but not as hard as me. It is his number one pet peeve to see slides like that.

Parker has gleaned from us though. When I started to say something about complete sentences on his slides he interrupted me. “I know, I know. She expects complete sentences on each slide.” Alrighty then. When he was copying the content of each slide word for word onto note cards he interrupted me before I could finish the question. “She wants us to read the whole slide. That’s the presentation. The note cards are so I don’t look away from the class to read the slide.” Okay.

He’s in fourth grade. He loves his teacher. She loves him. Her teaching style discourages too much parent involvement. I walked away and let Parker fly.

The model of the mission was a different story. Parker basically made a large Lego box. I wasn’t impressed but it did look like the picture he printed from the Internet. His mission has a very simple design. There is only so much you can do with it.

It drove Heath crazy though. So the two of them sat down together on a Saturday afternoon and put together a butt kicking model of the mission. We even went to the Lego store to see if they sold arch pieces. They didn’t so my boys improvised the arches.


Behold Mission San Antonio de Padua. Father Junipero Serra is the guy in red standing in front. I love that they didn’t just build the outside of the mission. They built the chapel and an office, two rooms Parker talked about in his power point.

I walked with Parker to his classroom this morning. Gwen was too excited to see her friends. We were stopped by three young boys. They were mesmerized by the Lego mission. A mom complimented it and several kids Parker does know. Everyone was impressed.

Then he took it into his classroom. His teacher gushed over it. She said her son tried to make a Lego mission. “We failed!” I asked why it was a failure. She said he just made a big box that looked like Mindstorms. I’m so glad that Heath worked with Parker to improve his mission. They spent quality time together and Parker learned a lot of new techniques.

Gwen enjoyed her field trip to the North Pole via the Polar Express. She was disappointed she couldn’t keep her ticket. But she loved the experience and she loves her bell. Other than that she won’t say much. None of my kids have ever said much about this particular first grade tradition. All I know is they get to wear pajamas to school and they get on a train in the library. They always come home so excited but not super chatty about it.

Gavin’s presentation was postponed until later. So I don’t know how that will go. I still love his Frosty the Emo. It’s too funny.

Eight days until Christmas and the excitement keeps rising!