Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Georgia's 8th Grade Graduation

So last Friday, Georgia graduated from middle school.  She is now officially a high school student.

Middle School took 3 years to finish, the ceremony took an hour and the outfit shopping / preparation took about 4,000 years.  

At least that's what it felt like to me.  :)

Georgia ordered a dress from some cheap, on-line company and was shocked when it arrived, looking cheap and ill-fitting.

She then spent months looking at dresses on line and trying things on at the mall.  Everything was rejected - either by her or by me.  I was starting to get concerned when in May, she settled on this dress:

Which was from Lily Pulitzer and which looked beautiful, fit her perfectly and wasn't too short or too revealing.  

And then we spent the next thirty days looking for shoes.

It's hard to dress a young teenage girl these days!

Case in point:  Josie.  

Josie found a great black dress with spaghetti straps and a sweet lace insert around the waist but when she went to put it on before the graduation ceremony, she realized that she didn't have the right under-garments (whisper-bra).  And then she rejected all the potential hand-me-downs in Georgia's closet and was about to have a full-blown closet frenzy when we found this white lace dress that used to belong to Avery and which luckily fit.

This is actually the second time this particular Avery dress has saved the day for my daughters!  Georgia wore it to a band concert either last year or the year before when she "lost" her black concert dress (which we later found, stuffed in the back of her closet).

So many thank yous to Meredith for this purchase!  You got your money's worth!

We arrived early at the high school where the ceremony was being held, but naturally it was already filled.  Georgia has almost 400 students in her class and the place was packed.

The parents sat on the bleachers and the students sat in chairs on the basketball court.  It was unbelievably hot in there.  It's a good thing that basketball is a winter sport.  Although if they plan to use the gym for future spring / summer events, they may want to at least invest in some windows.  The room as an airless tomb.

A few children gave speeches and presented awards and then the diplomas were handed out.

We were glad when they got to the Zs.  All four of us were melting in that top row of the bleachers.

We found Georgia after the ceremony and took some photos before she headed over to the mandatory 8th grade dance.

Here she is with Chloe, Margaret and Caroline:

We didn't find all her group of friends, but it was still nice to get photos of these four girls together.  They all went to the same elementary school and Georgia and Margaret have been close friends  Holly's School when they were two.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Josie's Room Re-do

We finally finished redecorating Josie's room and I thought you might all want to see how it turned up.  Thank you for your color suggestions, by the way.  

After trying every possible shade of blue, we settled on the palest of lavenders - which is a little hard to see from the above photo, but, trust me, it looks fantastic.

But maybe you need to be reminded of what the room used to look like?  

It was hot, bubble-gum pink:

It was very little-girlie and very sweet, but Josie has grown and her room needed to grow as well.

Here is the her new desk:

And the view of her bed:

Almost everything in the room is new:  the bedside table, the bed and the swimmer photo are all from One Kings Lane.  The bedside and desk lights are from Target.

We bought a small lavender chair (also from One Kings Lane) and a funky mirror from Overstock.  The bookshelf is a hand-me-down from Georgia (more on that later) which Josie and I painted the same peacock blue as her bed.

We got the rug from a local rug store.

And the pug is from Stoneham, MA.


We still need curtains but I'm taking a break from decorating for the summer!

Josie's room isn't the only room we worked on.  I also "finished" Georgia's room.  She needed a chair and a new bookshelf (her old one never fit into her larger-sized room).

In case you need refreshing, here's a photo of Georgia's room when we first moved into this house.

ARRGGHH!  Shield you eyes!!!

Georgia chose a hideous shade of neon green originally and so nine months later, when we had water damage from ice damns and had to repaint all the upstairs rooms, we chose a much lighter green which Georgia hated.  I'm pretty sure if she saw this photo, she'd still think that was a beautiful color.

When we updated her room two years ago, she chose a muted Tiffany box blue.

We did the update right before Christmas a few years ago.  In addition to the new paint color, she got a new navy blue bed, a pretty parson table desk and a new rug.

We wanted to give her an easy chair and a new bookcase but it was the holidays and our guests were arriving.  And then two years passed REALLY quickly.  And I realized that I couldn't exactly start redecorating Josie's bedroom if I hadn't ever finished redecorating Georgia's.

So we finally purchased her a navy blue chaise lounge (which is super soft) and a new bookcase.

Georgia's room needs curtains, too, and some art work but again, that will have to wait.

And what about Henry, you ask?  His room has also gone through a few changes.  We installed a wooden loft bed originally and then a few years later, when he got too big, we removed it and bought him a real, adult bed.  He still loves his room colors and says he doesn't care that his dresser is still the same one we bought for him when he was a baby.  He leaves for college in another year, so maybe then we'll change out the paint and the bedding.  

Or maybe I'll turn it into a sewing room. :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Last Day of School 2017 (For Some)

Hooray for summer!  Two of the three children are now done with school.  Henry's last day was Thursday and Josie's last day was Friday.  Sadly, Georgia's last day of school isn't until the end of June, so even though it is summer for some, it is not summer for all and that means that we are living in a summer limbo of sorts.

I took my usual Last Day of School photos.  Here is Josie on her last day of sixth grade:

And here was Josie on her first day:

She's grown, that's for sure!  

Josie had to go into school one more day than Henry because all of the middle school attends the 8th grade graduation ceremony. 

Josie and I have made a list of fun things to do this summer.  I realized that when Henry and Georgia were 12, we filled our summer days with trips to museums, beaches, monuments etc and it occurred to me that now that the older two have no interest in such things, that Josie was missing out.  

Also, Josie is way too addicted to her cell phone.  

On the list:  visits to the MFA, the Boston Tea Party Museum (which celebrates the actual tea party when the colonists protested raised taxes by dumping tea into the harbor), the Hammond Castle in Gloucester and the Mapparium.  We're also going on a whale watch, visiting the Prudential center and trying out as many ice cream parlors that we can.

I'm very excited. 

Josie is somewhat excited.

Henry and Georgia have both decided that they will attend outings on a case-by-case basis.  For Henry that means that he will attend if he approves of the activity or if there is any food involved.  For Georgia that means that she will attend if none of her friends are available and her phone is broken.

Next summer, I'll have three teenagers, so this may be my last opportunity!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Middle School Spring Concert Part Two

Georgia had her middle school spring music concert last night.  The auditorium at our local middle school is much larger than the auditorium at Josie's middle school and because I knew it would be hard to get photos, I made Georgia pose for a few pictures before we left.  That was a very good thing.

This is the closest photo I got of Georgia the entire evening and it was taken from far, far away:

The music department in our town is very good and I'm always impressed with what the teachers / students accomplish - but I do have one tiny complaint.  The music concert is way too long and it includes way too many musical groups.  Georgia's eighth grade band performed second to last - after the 6th grade band, the 6th grade orchestra, the 7th grade band, the 7th grade orchestra, the 8th grade orchestra and the Jazz band. 

Here's Georgia on the stage:

And now she is gone - hidden behind the front row of flutists and clarinetists.

And there she is again - at the end of the concert - she's the third person from the left, not counting that boy.

And just like that we are finished with the concerts until next fall!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Middle School Spring Concert Part One

Last night was the end-of-the-year music performance at Josie's school.  Josie is in the chorus but there are also two bands and a string ensemble.  To make things easier for everyone, the school holds one recital for the entire group.  The weird thing about the recital is that it isn't a recital - it's a practice in front of the parents.  I know I mentioned it before on this blog, but each time I go to one of these evenings, I find myself getting very frustrated.  

I don't mind going to one "practice" each year but I'd prefer to just go to a recital.  I don't really need to watch all four groups perform their warm-ups, learn a new piece, show us how they harmonize, demonstrate how different sections play different parts... you get the picture. 

My mind wanders - especially when the teachers explain what's going on and the lecture lasts for a ridiculously long time.

It's interesting in the fall - especially when you have a sixth grader and you are new to the music program.  But by the spring, I'd rather just hear each group perform the three best pieces that they learned the rest of the year.

Maybe it's just me.

The funny thing about the practice last night was that after the first couple of minutes, someone put a music stand right in front of Josie and from then one, this was my view of my child:

It reminded me of a video I once watched of Avery in a nursery school Christmas show.  There were three or four rows of kids, singing their hearts out and then there was a space between two children - which was tiny Avery, whose face you couldn't see because the taller child in front of her completely blocked her from view.  It was hysterical and frankly, so was the music stand.

The choir sang a warm-up song, did a warm-up, sight-reading exercise and then sang three songs, one of which (Greenway's "Good Riddance") they sang to the seniors on their last official day of school in April (the seniors do a work internship at the end of their senior year).  None of these exercises or songs were in a row.  Interspersed among the chorus songs were warm-ups etc from the two bands and the strings.  I only got one photo of the strings - they played a Star Wars medley and turned lights on their bows to make them look like lightsabers.

Josie has three more days of school!!!

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