Friday, March 28, 2014

High Five for Friday (3.28.14)

1. Did you read Divergent?! Did you see the movie?! I read the books last year and saw the movie as soon as it opened last Friday night. This was only my second experience buying tickets ahead of time, waiting in line, and joining all of the super fans to see a film on its first night in the theaters (Catching Fire was my first) and I loved both the experience and the movie. I can't wait to read the series again (after I make it through the seven books on my nightstand and the two books on hold for me at the library, of course), and hope to see the movie at least a second time before it leaves the big screen. We need hoards people to support the first movie so that the studio commits to making the second and third books - Insurgent and Allegiant - into movies as well, and I plan to do my part. Who's with me?

2. On a related note, on Tuesday I came across this commentary on Divergent (the movie). I won't share the title of the article or the specifics of her points because they relate to the storyline (and I don't want to spoil the book or the movie for anyone), but if you already know the story, I highly recommend clicking over. I already loved the movie for enhancing a story I adored - for making the pictures and sounds and feelings in my head a little clearer - and now I love the movie for sending messages about respect and strength and empowerment that need to be heard.

3. This week Will prepared and gave his very first school presentation. First grade seemed a little young for presentations to me, but I suppose starting early better prepares kids for the many individual and group projects, presentations, and speeches ahead of them on their academic paths.

Will chose to present on the armadillo (each child had to choose a Texas symbol), and throughout the days leading up to his presentation he researched facts about and searched for pictures of armadillos online. Once he'd chosen his facts and pictures, we made a poster board for him to use during his presentation. (He actually made the poster board himself, but I helped him figure out how to evenly space his bullet points and words. Anyone who knows me could look at Will's poster board and know that overall I had very little input - his asymmetrical picture placement nearly drove me crazy.)

Then Will practiced his presentation, many times, with Hallie and me acting like his classmates. Hallie paid close enough attention that she memorized nearly everything Will planned to say; on Sunday I heard her telling one of her stuffed animals, "Armadillo is a Spanish word. It means 'little armored one'".

Will gave his presentation on Monday and on Monday afternoon I received an email from his teacher, letting me know that he'd done an excellent job presenting on and answering his classmates' questions about the armadillo. I was just happy to hear he'd made it through the presentation without picking his nose.

Here are a couple of videos from Will's first practice session. (Thankfully he improved as we continued to practice throughout the weekend.) As you can see in the first video, NOT picking your nose while giving a presentation is NOT common knowledge.

4. The Big Event day of service takes place this weekend! Tom and I barreled through three hours of preparatory yard work (trimming bushes and trees, hauling branches to the curb, bagging leaves, killing weeds, and buying mulch) last weekend, and today I'll make iced tea and lemonade; put together fruit and veggie trays, assemble a cheese and cracker tray, make Rice Krispy Treats, and bake brownies so that by tomorrow morning we'll be completely ready to welcome "our" college students. I'm looking forward to another great year! (You can read more about our family's positive experiences with the TAMU-sponsored day of service here and here.)

5. High Five #5 is three-fold. First, a huge congratulations to a friend of mine who gave birth to her third baby this week. Welcome, baby Cullen! Second, baseball officially kicks off this weekend with the Little League Opening Ceremonies. Little boys in baseball uniforms melt my heart! And third, Hallie's ears have been pierced for six weeks now. Later today she and I will head to Claire's to pick out a new pair of earrings!

Happy Friday, friends!

Linking up with High Five for Friday!

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