Thursday night was the Elementary School Winter Program.
This is our last year having all four kids in the same school, or part of school. Next year, Katherine will be off to Middle School, and by the time Nicholas hits Middle School, we'll have Katherine in High and Jonathon still in Elementary. That should be an interesting year, split between 3 different schools. But I digress.
Thursday night we were treated to a Flat Stanley trip around the round. Flat Stanley is a book character about a boy named Stanley who is smashed flat by a board and is thereforeâ€¦ Flat Stanley. So, with Stanley flat, he's easy to send off around the world in an envelope. In the books, he's off on adventures, and teachers have used Flat Stanley to learn about different countries as they send their own paper cutout Stanleys to friends and sister schools around the globe. On stage, Stanley was looking for a doctor to help him become "round" again. So he traveled to Colombia (4th grade), Germany (Kindergarten), the amazing "country" of Africa (3rd grade), China (1st grade) and back in time to the non-country of Mesopotamia (5th grade). Each group did a song and some dancing. I found it quite enjoyable and it only lasted an hour. Jonathon had a speaking part about Germany, Nicholas headed the dragon in China, Katherine was queen in Mesopotamia, while Rebecca was one of four dancers for the song "It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child." Our house has been abuzz with rehearsed lines and song lyrics for weeks, it was nice to see the pay off. Katherine's lines came out clear and loud and aside from Nicholas still trying to count the stitches in his socks, everyone did great, even him as soon as he picked up the dragon.
No one wanted to get up for school the next day, but they did and I managed to wipe most of the eyeliner off Nicholas's face.
This morning, we made big progress in preparing for Christmas. Jonathon and Nicholas brought all their money. Jonathon's intention was to buy a big power ranger for himself, spending most of his cash in the process, like Nicholas did the last time we were in Landmark. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly, and after talking to him over and over I wasn't making any progress, so I turned Ian on him. A very sad little boy we had for a while, and that wasn't our goal either. We want him to give to others out of the desire to give to others, and he wasn't â€“getting- it, but I didn't want to force him either. After all, his cash, his choice. But. He did turn the corner, he did decide to purchase for others, and he had a good time finding something fun for his brother with Rebecca giving him suggestions. For his sisters he still didn't pinpoint what he'd like to get them, or make for them if it comes to it, but at least he's taken a step. Nicholas dove in and bought some really nifty items for his siblings. He found items that reflect them and their interests and he's excited about it. This evening at bedtime he told me "Mom, I don't think I'm going to save my money for a GameBoy. I think I want to buy you and daddy Christmas gifts." Nicholas has been set on a GameBoy (and sharing the expense with Ian) for quite a while now, so to hear him say that made me feel good. I think he'll still go for the GameBoy sometime next year when he's saved enough, but it's nice to know he'd give it up to give to others. At least for now.