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Ready for the dance?

Sadly, spring break is over, but the school year end is in sight now! Your summer plans are starting to take shape. One, maybe two major units left in the year. You got this! The year is nearly done. With the exception of that one thing…

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On Gratitude

Thankful… Blessed….Fortunate…. Words that have been on my mind since the passing of Hurricane Irma. While feeling lucky to have been spared Irma’s direct wrath, I also harbor feelings of guilt, sadness, and more guilt to know that my relative good fortune came at the expense of so many others whose lives have been forever altered at best, lost at worst. How does one come to terms with this version of a survivor’s guilt?“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward

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On Patience…

…because Anyone can wait; what’s important is how One acts during the wait.”He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin FranklinThe final act before our departure from the lake was the group photo of all the kids sitting on the steps of the house. We have a number of these pictures, and if I could find them all in my cyberspace photo collection, they would evidence the quick passage of time via the changing faces of the cousins.After the whole group shot taken with tripod and timer, the cousins were finally released from their assigned step positions and crammed themselves around the camera to see how the pictures turned out.

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Why an Etiquette Class?

My children have come of an age where they definitely have an opinion about what activities they want to do. My daughter is especially good at self advocacy in her activities, begging for tennis, gymnastics, hip-hop, Girls on the Run, and soccer all in the same season. My boys are definitely more selective in their requests, but equally excited and committed to those activities that happen outside of school hours. Not one of mine, and I feel pretty confident in assuming very few children anywhere have ever asked of their parents, “May I please take an etiquette class?”

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Manners Matter

As a child, respect, kindness, and manners were modeled by my parents and expected of my brothers and me… I muddled through my elementary years demonstrating enough “manners” to keep the focus off of me and on my brothers.Then I became a teenager. I am certain my parents would say I pushed the limits of their patience during that time. A “trying” adolescent, with a strong desire not to conform, I scoffed at the idea of etiquette. I wanted to throw convention to the wind: wear what I wanted, say what I wanted, show up when I wanted.

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Back to School Etiquette

Whether you are looking forward to or dreading the end of summer, you cannot escape the back to school call to action. You do not need to let the stress of supply lists, required reading, or post vacation laundry baskets get in the way of starting the new year off right. Here are some suggested rules of back to school etiquette to keep in mind and help to prepare your family for a great 2017-2018 school year.

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How GEM Began

Summer 2016 was quickly coming to a close, the first day of school was approaching, and I finally put my mind to consideration of my children’s schedules for the year. Soccer, dance, basketball… was I missing something? They were entering second, fourth, and fifth grade. Having been a teacher of both fourth and fifth grades before having children, I was both looking forward to and almost at the same time dreading having two of my own in “my grades.” My thoughts turned to my time teaching fourth grade at Ashley Hall. How things have changed in just a few years, but how they are also just the same. What had my students at Ashley Hall done in their after school hours? Horseback riding was a big one. Swimming was also quite popular. Yes, and then there was Cotillion. Oh no! Cotillion! My son was ready for Cotillion!! And I had nearly missed the enrollment deadline already!