jack was asked to attend the Bessie B. Moore Awards Luncheon in Little Rock on wednesday, the 15th! it was such an honor and an experience that he and i will never forget.
it was held at the impressive Clinton Presidential Library.
jack's 4th grade teachers were receiving this award from the Economics Arkansas organization for their 4th grade project last year, Woods Wondrous Wacky World. economics arkansas gives this award to 10-11 teachers each year in the state and it is quite an honor. beforehand, i really had no idea what a big deal this was for either the teachers or for jack. it was truly, a very special experience.
because jack was the manager of the project, his teacher, Mrs Howald, asked him (along with two other students with big jobs) to come and speak about his experience.
there were about 150 people at this prestigious luncheon, including the president and CEO of Arcbest Judy McReynolds, who was the keynote speaker. she is an impressive lady! there were members of the state school board present, plus the board of Economics Arkansas and many of its private funders.
when we got there and were being seated, they realized they didn't have a seat for me at the same table as jack. i later put it together that one of the other students had brought his mom and sister and the sister hadn't rsvp'd and had taken my seat at the table. it wasn't a big deal although it would've been more fun to sit with jack instead of at the table next to him. I'm so bad at small talk, then add in the fact that i was about 30 years younger than the next "young" person at my table and it wasn't very pleasant for the folks around me I'm sure. sorry old man seated to my right for my lack of conversation skills!
i so wish chris had been able to be there. not only does he need a day away from work (they have been extremely busy lately because one of his coworkers was in a serious car accident a couple weeks ago so they are all taking on extra work to cover for him) but also because he knows how to work the camera... all of these pictures are so dark because the light was coming from behind and i had no clue what settings to change. chris would've been able to compensate for the back lighting. and he probably would've thought to take a picture of the room as a whole. its gorgeous!
i took these next two photos from google
each seat was $30, but as an invited speaker, jack and i didn't have to pay. the food was so delicious!
jack LOVED the chef's salad and talked about it a couple times on the drive home. we also had very tender rolls, herb roasted chicken breast with roasted garlic and parmesan whipped potatoes, agro dolce green beans, and brandy pan jus. for dessert they had either the salted caramel cheesecake (like in the photo i took) or a raspberry white chocolate cake. both jack and i sat at seats with the cake and thought it was very tasty. after i asked jack which fork he had used to eat his salad. he said "don't worry, i got it right". i pressed him to find out which one again "don't worry mom, i used the smallest fork first. the one above my salad plate". i guess we don't ever have fancy dinners with our kids haha! at least he was smart enough to know it was tea in the glass next to his water!
after a blessing on the food and speakers, we began eating while the speakers started. first up was Mrs Howald and Mrs Rodebush, along with the three kids.
jack and his two classmates were the only students invited to attend, so it was a room of adults. i was so impressed with all three of the kids, they did a phenomenal job with their speeches!!!
jack asked for some input before he wrote his speech, but besides that he wrote it all on his own. he told me afterwards that the other two kids had their parents either write it for them or help a lot. I'm grateful for an independent kid. I've got three others that aren't, so i really appreciate it!
i know its hard to believe, but these pictures are edited and lightened up. eek! they were so dark before you couldn't even see faces. i wish my brain could retain all the tips and info chris gives me about photography!
after the speeches, all the teachers were given their awards along with a brief synopsis of their class projects.
jack and ellie's 2nd grade teacher, Mrs Been, was also receiving the award for her 2nd grade project last year, so that was pretty cool to be there to celebrate with her as well. when we walked in the room she said "my jack is here!! i didn't know you were coming and now I'm so excited to hear you!" then she called her husband over and said "its our jack! he's here!". it was heart warming. Kim and her husband were kind enough to come to jack's baptism back in 2014.
Mrs Howald, Avi, Lai'el, Jack, Mrs Rodebush
Jack and Mrs Been
Mrs Howald, Jack, Mrs Been
these two teachers have been very important to jack and as parents, chris and i are so thankful for them. they have both pushed jack as a scholar and have tried to challenge him, but have done it with so much love and encouragement. I'm sure he would've loved any teacher he would've had wherever we lived, but i feel like one of the blessings of being in arkansas right now has been the teachers that our children have had. they truly are amazing. out of the 11 teachers receiving this award, 4 of them are teachers at woods elementary! and our elementary won the blue ribbon award from washington dc this year as well. we have been very pleased with our school experience here.
tried to get a pic with bill, and jack snuck in a thumbs down at the last second. sorry bill.
we originally thought chris would have the day off because it was a post call day, but he didn't. it really made both jack and i sad that he didn't get to experience this day with jack. but we are so thankful for a great friend, jenny westcott, who was willing to watch owen for the day until chris got off work, so that i could spend this special time with jack. i was so proud of him as he walked around, shaking hands, saying hello, and speaking in front of 150 professionals. but my favorite part of the day was the 2.5 hour drive there and back. we talked about nothing important and did some silly dancing to some of our favorite songs, all while the rain was pouring down. it was something that i really enjoyed and judging but the smile jack had most of the day, i'd say he enjoyed it too!