right now

right now

Nov 3, 2010

It's National Finnegan Day!

Finnegan was a Citizen of the Month at his school, today was the monthly award ceremony, and he was so proud! This is the first time he has been recognized "publicly" at school so I think he was pretty 'stoked!

Finn with his Vice Principal

Enjoying the ice cream reward! He also received a coupon for a free dinner at Baker's Crust, and the standard license plate frame for me to declare my kid superior to the world.... you know the ones! Haha that means I'll have to take off the one that says my dog is smarter than your kid!

Thought I would share the school hallways...

Tons of murals like the one below decorate the school... can you tell 90% of the students are military? Finn is literally greeted at the front door every day with a reminder of where daddy is!

I am proud to say that our school DOES say the Pledge of Allegiance every day... I think the all the military parents would stage a coup if it wasn't done.

Below is a photo of what happens on a weekly basis at our school, these are coats for kids in need.

I want to take a minute and tell you about some of the great things our elementary school does. Our school is HUGE to me, 10 kindergarten classes alone, very different than the small town I grew up in. It is one of dozens of elementary schools in our district, so I was very nervous about sending my kids to public school when the time came, but I have been so happy with our school! It was designated Title I awhile back, so I was nervous about that, but it can be a wonderful thing - our class sizes average only about 10 kids per class, and there are tons of tutors and extra teachers and labs for the kids. When I walk into this huge school, it somehow feels comfortable and small, and I have never once encountered a staff member who wasn't friendly and helpful, and on occasion I have watched even cafeteria workers and other staff with the students when they "didn't know" they were being watched, and it's probably the most respectful teaching & support staff I've ever seen, my "small town school" included! Our school does all this while meeting a huge challenge, we have the highest homeless population in the district. This is due to our close proximity to the oceanfront and the campgrounds, etc that are frequented and the climate that is a bit more hospitable than places north of here. Instead of ignoring this fact, our school has embraced these students and really taken big steps to help these kids stay in school. One of the things they do is a food program to help out these kids & families. For homeless kids, after they eat their school lunch on Friday, many might not eat again until Monday at school. Every Friday our school takes donated food and places it in school-type backpacks for qualifying children and they are simply able to pick it up discretely at the end of the day to bring home for the weekend. The backpacks are reused from week to week and I think is a huge improvement over the "food bags" done in other places which are often not used because they are easily identifiable and thus a cause for teasing. We don't have periodic food drives, they go all year long! Coats and things for kids can be donated and go directly to needy children based on teacher observations or parent request. I think we have such a large donation participation for the homeless because there are so many military families here, we often think "there but by the grace of God, go I...", we are used to moving often, not being able to form lasting friendships locally, and are completely dependent on the government for our "just adequate" income. One more thought on the homeless issue, we are home to the largest Naval Hospital in the world, so many of the homeless are here because they earned the right as a veteran to health care, and this is where it is located at, but no one ever guarantees a home for our returning injured and disabled veterans.

Another cool thing, our school has weekly deployment "support groups" for kids with a deployed parent, a place for them to talk to a counselor about any behavior issues, anger, sadness that they are feeling, and be with other kids going through the same. They get help with their homework too if they need it.

You think military spouses are strong? See the mom below in her cammies? 8 moms dressed like this in today's gathering, imagine being a mom and having to leave your kids for 7-12 months at a time... now that's strong! I am glad that I got out of the military before I had kids, because I'm not sure I could have juggled all of that stress!

Okay, thanks for letting me rant about our school! I've wanted to write about it for awhile, but it seemed boring to everyone else LOL. I just really feel the need to express thanks for all the school does and since hubby and the grandparents are 1200 miles and half a world away, I want them to know that we really aren't "sacrificing" being stationed here... the school is great!

One more FANTASTIC FIND at the thrift shop today!

I considered myself lucky if I could even find a cheap pair of crummy snowpants here in Virginia, since we have no need for them with no snow... but holy cow look at this for $6.99! Minnesota Christmas, here we come, you better have snow!

Must be another northern family like us that was transplanted here! I want to say "thanks" for donating these, whoever you are! I'll be sure to return the favor for another misplaced northern family once Loch & Finn grow out of them! We usually have them just freeze solid on the trip home and hit Fleet Farm as we roll into town LOL!

Since I was so proud of Finnegan today..... I decided to treat everyone to a round of flu shots! My poor kids, they got a raw deal - I am the polar opposite of a bleeding heart mommy, as I sat there grinning and saying things like "sweet, I can't wait to get a shot", and "shots are awesome!"....

Finn wasn't buying it, this was taken BEFORE the shot LOL

Loch's like me, he didn't care at all!

So there's our day, now we need to eat a rush dinner and head out to a meeting for our squadron's family support group, where we will be rationed information on a need-to-know basis LOL, gotta love being married to the government!

Speaking of the guv'ment, funny thing I wanted to mention the other day, one of our local political candidates' slogans was "NO Means NO"... yeah, I don't get it either, suffice it to say he didn't win!

So raise a glass to National Finnegan Day! Doesn't that sound like a good Irish drinking holiday? If it's not yet, I bet it will be by the time he steps foot into college life!


  1. Congrats to Finn!!!
    And your school sounds so wonderful. I wonder why some are SO good, and some SO poor--I do think parental involvement has a LOT to do with that!!
    Again, congrats. But flu shots for a reward??? It's so, um....nice!

  2. yay. Great post about your school I really enjoyed reading it and all the good things that happen there. I thought all kids say the Pledge of Allegiance at school? Ours do. And we always say it before any meeting or performance, too.

    And Happy National Finnegan Day! Or is it Merry National Finnegan Day?

  3. Sue, that's me, nice mommy!

    Melissa, I think it depends on where you are... it is a heated issue in MA that has gone to the Supreme Court, and now they are "allowed" to say it if they want to, there are many schools in CA where it is not said, I'm sure there others too, sadly.

  4. I vote we ALL tip a glass (apple juice is fine, too) to National Finnegan Day! What a wonderful honor. Way to go, Finn!

    Now why don't we see articles or blurbs on the nightly news about schools like those in your area? What truly wonderful things are happening there. The public needs to be reminded that not all schools are poorly administrated ones with sub-standard teachers who don't really care about the kids. We really NEED to hear about the good stuff that happens every day . . . as spelled out in your post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm marking it on the calendar for next year! We'll have cake and sleep in on Finnigan Day. No shots though. LOL!
    Your school looks and sounds awesome. Our school has only about 300 kids in it and that's Kindergarten to grade 7.

  6. Yeah for Finn! That school sounds wonderful! I love the 'bags' they use. It makes my heart cry for any one who would have to go days with out food. Such a wonderful thing for others to help out with. And I am so glad they still say "The Pledge of Alligiance". That was just something we took for granted as kids, but no longer do.

  7. Totally raising a glass!!! Can't believe how much your school does and how active the parents seem to be. That in itself makes all the difference.

    I can't believe how tall Loch has gotten recently! He's really turning into a boy instead of a 'kid' isn't he.

  8. i think I started celebrating NFD early, 2 margaritas in and I can barely type....the wisdom teeth are coming out on Friday and I am a wreck of a woman, needed some tequila to cure the jitters. Love the murals, go Fin!!!

  9. Way to go Finn!

    It's so wonderful to hear of people coming together to make a difference! We need more of that in this world.

  10. Happy NFD! What a great honor. It sounds like you have a fabulous school. Too bad you can't swing through Iowa on your way north. We've got a wealth of outgrown snowsuits that we could donate to the cause.

  11. You must be such a proud mommy!! What a great recognition for Finn! That school sounds amazing. That's great how they do all those things for the homeless. So wonderful!

  12. Awesome! BTW, I really like your kids names, if I haven't mentioned it before.

  13. Hey Erin (your sister Sarah here, I just couldn't figure out how to log in, so it says anonymous), congrats to Finn! That is so awesome. I loved hearing about their school-what an amazing place; it was so cool to hear about all the ways they're helping families that are struggling to make ends meet. It's really refreshing to hear you saying nice things about a public school, I feel like all I hear in the news lately is people ripping on teachers and schools...it's good to know they're appreciated!

  14. I was out all day and come back and see all your kind words, love it!

    We are very lucky, i neglected to mention that on any given day, you will see at least 3-4 military personnel in uniforms volunteering around the school, everything from in the class to grounds work, which is nice!

    Judy, too bad we just "skirt" Iowa or I'd take you up on that!

    Everyone meet "anonymous"! Glad you stopped in and left a comment! She's my sister in law, and is a "big city" public school teacher in the Twin Cities, and I'm glad I could say some nice things about public schools - there are definitely some good ones, and even in the not-so-great ones, there are great teachers within, and they should be treasured!

    Coincidence, last night on our local news, they did a story about how our metro area is ranked the LOWEST in teacher compensation in the state... this is very sad considering the quality we are experiencing. I think many who complain about public schools are the ones who expect the schools to do EVERYTHING for the kids, not realizing that teachers are there to teach, but the parents need to reinforce and practice at home or nothing is retained or deemed useful by kids. For the teachers who are entrusted with the majority of our kids' care during the day, they are way under-compensated!

    I'll end my rant now... :)

  15. Congratulations Finn! Sorry about the shot though. It's so true that my kids cry more BEFORE the shot than they do afterward. Often, they are crying their eyes out and then when they get the shot, the tears immediately stop and they say in wonderment, "was that it?" Lol!

  16. Congratulations Finn! Mom too!