Saturday, June 30, 2012

Islesford Graduation

So, I had thought that Boston was going to be our final field trip of the year... but I mean, I do love a good field trip so what was one more 24 hour trip with kids I adore?

Actually, this wasn't an official school field trip. It was more like a special gift I wanted to give to Dalton and Quinn. Dalton had really wanted to go to Islesford Island for his two best friends 8th grade graduation. Dalton, Meg, and Joe are the three 8th graders of the TLC and have become extremely close over the last two years of project. The bond they created is really what the TLC is all about... creating an enviornment where our island kids have friends their own age and classmates to call their own. It only seemed appropriate to have the TLC class of 2012 together to celebrate their graduation. So when Dalton asked if we could go on a Saturday to Islesford I couldn't say "no" and when Quinn asked if he could come along I of course said" yes!"

Since it was a Saturday and we had no real academic purpose it was my special treat to the boys. They deserved it after going on 19 field trips with me over the years! But I obviously still had to blog about it!

You know you are comfortable with your students when they end up passing out on top of you during the boat ride :)

We obviously had to make one very important stop! D and Q LOVE DQ! 

I wonder home many times we have gone to DQ over the years?

They would probably say, "Not nearly enough."

Then we had a quick stop at Reny's to pick up some special gifts for our graduating friends!

Next we drove the two hours to Southeast Harbor, took a twenty minute boat ride, and BAM! We were on Islesford with all of our friends. 

We were lucky enough to be welcomed for the night by our favorite island hostess, Ms. Donna! We ALWAYS love staying with Donna... she has the best dog, husband, and SNACKS! 

After a quick snack, Quinn started calling up the island kids to organize some outdoor play time before the graduation ceremony! I mean, we only had 24 hours... we had to make the most of it!

And within a blink of an eye... there were kids showing up at the door! Man, I love island kids.

Hey look, it is the gorgeous Anne Bardaglio, with one of the graduates... the beautiful Meg!

Time to play!

More hugs and excitement!

Good lord these kids love each other!

So sweet.

And beautiful.

Anne and Joe!

Joe is the other graduating 8th grader! I think he was pretty pumped that we were all here to celebrate HIM!

Dalton and Joe had some secret work to do before graduation, so they were off!

Quinny hung out with Anne and I, while we worked on something equally secret for Dalton's up and coming graduation!

Photo shoot!

Me and my baby Quinny!

He loves me.

So much!

And before we knew it... it was time for the big event! On Islesford the graduation takes place at their Neighborhood House and community members from both Islesford AND Big Cranberry Island are invited for dinner and a special ceremony! We felt SO lucky to be apart of it!

Beautiful cake made for Meg and Joe!

Joe looking all dapper on his big night!

Time to eat!

I think Dalton was pretty happy to be apart of the night!

Mmmmm.... cake!

Then it was time for the show! For the first part of graduation, the Ashley Bryan School kids had a special performance to make in honor of Meg and Joe! They put on a "circus" act that was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

After that it was time for the graduates to give their very special speeches.

As you can imagine, there were many tears shed!

Ashley Bryan was there of course and led us in some poems!

The graduates received some special gifts and special words from their families and community members.

And then it was time for them to receive their 8th grade diplomas!

It's official... they graduated!

What a fun celebration!

And look at those happy faces!

Time to give them our special gifts! 

Meg was pretty pumped about hers.

She LOVES gnomes.

One proud Anne!

These kids will be apart of my heart forever and always.

Thank you Islesford and Great Cranberry for letting us be apart of your special day to celebrate these two AMAZING kids. We feel so lucky to feel like we, too, have become apart of your island community over the last two years. 

Meg and Joe, I am so ridiculously proud of the amazing kids you are and the leaders you have been in our TLC. Wow... pure pride and love fill my heart when I think of how lucky we have been to have you as our friends and TLC classmates over the years. Your life awaits... and you are going to rock it, I am sure! xoxoxo

Friday, June 22, 2012

LAST BINGO of the School Year!!!

It was a historic night, our last and final BINGO. Weird. We knew it had to be a good one so we did a little extra planning and organizing to make it something really great, and really great it was.

The prize theme was "summer luau" which is always a good one. What makes a better BINGO prize then a grass skirt and a coconut shaped sippy cup!?

We were totally pumped up. I think partly we were excited because we would finally be through calling BINGO numbers and picking up BINGO chips from the floor, but we were also just excited to have one last, fun night with our BINGO lovin' community... especially because of all the secret fun we had in store.

Snacks were made... we had some special requests to make our island famous sugar cookies one last time but we had to use up the rest of our bake good mixes at school... so these delicious babies had to do. 

We did pop all the popcorn we could find and used up ALL the butter in our fridge. Yummy, saltly, deliciousness.

Quinn had to make ice tea for the very last time... I guess it was a pretty emotional experience for him. 

When the community started arriving we got to work taking drink orders and getting everyone settled with their cards... business as usual.

But there was this feeling in the air for me... that all of this was another final goodbye to a school tradition I love. 

It was fitting that it was Dalton's turn to give the opening speech of the night. He started by announcing that it was indeed our 33rd BINGO at the Monhegan School and how thankful and grateful we are to all those we have come out in rain and snow, sun and fog to play with us over the years. He ALSO explained that THIS was no ordinary night of BINGO. Every other game of BINGO had a twist... so buckle you seat belts.

We played a normal first game to warm up the crowd.

But Millie thought that was pretty boring and wanted someone to feed her that delicious, salty popcorn!

Tobey was the first big winner of the night! She deserved it as an avid Monhegan BINGO player!

Round Two was a BINGO with a twist and Quinn was excited to host this particular round.

It was SPEED BINGO! Many times during past BINGO games the kids (cough, cough, Quinn) have started to call numbers a little too fast and the community gets all stressed and overwhelmed and asks for Quinn to repeat numbers and slow down! Well tonight, the ball was in Quinn's court. For the speed round, Quinn was allowed to call numbers as FAST as he wanted, as long as he said them loud and clear. He also made up the rule that if anyone ask him to repeat or slow down they would automatically be disqualified! WOW! Those are some RULES! 

Let the speed round begin... the pressure was high.

Look at those tense faces.

Lots of action and movement.

Quinn was having the time of his life hearing the community moan and whine with stress!

Tara seemed especially nervous...

But it was her neighbor who was the fast fingers and able to score a BINGO in about 3 minutes flat!

Radek won the speed round and everyone was pretty excited because it just happened to be his birthday!

He was a happy birthday boy... little did he know the night would only get better.

After every couple of games we stopped for a special "final BINGO" event. The first special event was that we had hid a BINGO card on the back of one of the chairs and we gave away a special BINGO prize to the lucky duck who was in that particular seat!

The prize was a super cool pillow case that we decorated at school that said, "Dreaming of BINGO!"

Margaret was excited to hand it out to Ms. Donna Cundy!

Then it was time for another game.

Mr. B was eager for Margaret to call!

We had another normal round to calm everyone down after the craziness of the speed round!

Marlene was the lucky winner!

The next round's was what we called the "square round." You had to fill in the entire square around one of your cards to win this round. TRICKY!

This round felt as stressful as the coverall round and almost took up as much time!

Getting very close!

And we have a BINGO!!!!

Woah Mama! Sweet prizes! Totally worth the stress of the square round!

We did some BINGO trivia for another special event... we tested the audience on how many BINGOS we have had over the years, what our BINGO money goes to, how to say "BINGO" and french, and what MY favorite BINGO number is. The BINGO intellect in the room was QUITE high. 

We handed out some fun BINGO magnets we made to the lucky winners.

Again, it was time for another normal round and Billy B. was DETERMINED to win a game.

But he got beat out by his BINGO arch nemesis, Pamela, who scored a sweet palm tree cup and cocktail sign. 

Then it was time for Margaret to call one of our special rounds!

This round was called "card switch!" We asked everyone to pick up their FAVORITE BINGO card that they were playing with and hold it HIGH up in the air! Then we told them to pass the card to the person on their right! There were lots of moans and sadness, but it was a pretty fun game.

Then it was time for a really special BINGO event... a BINGO cookie eating contest. We decided that part of BINGO is the eating of lots of cookies, so what better event then to see who can eat a BINGO cookie the fastest. We were able to round up three special volunteers to participate in this exciting event.

Billy B. thought it would be smart to get Life Flight on the phone as a precautionary measure.

Quinn explained the rules and then it was time to go.
Ready, set, EAT!

There was lots of stuffing.

And chewing.

And I think some snorting.

It is hard to not laugh when trying to eat a cookie as fast as you can in front of a room full of people cheering you on!

Radek was using the throw your head back and swallow move...

Jes was just trying not to laugh up her entire cookie.

Oh man, Radek looks focused.

That face means business.

That face means discomfort!

They are getting close.

And BAM! Radek sneaks ahead by a crumb!

Clean mouths!

Double checking!

Radek's special award was a special BINGO frame with Billy B.'s picture inside... I mean could it GET any better!?

The birthday boy scores again!

Jes sure was jealous that she didn't score that sweet prize.

Next was our "guest caller" round. Donna stepped up to the plate to call a fun round.

The next round was "double BINGO" round where you had to score two BINGOS on the same card to win the prize!

After that it was time for another BINGO event. This time we wanted to have a BINGO "rap off." We asked the crowd to make up the best BINGO rap they could and Quinn would give a prize to the best BINGO rapper in the house.

The prize was this amazing BINGO sign and the best rapper in the house was none other than... Pamela Rollinger who busted out a sweet rhyme about BINGO! What a sport she is.

It was getting late and then crowd was getting a little high from all the BINGO playing...

Good thing it was time for our 8th grader to call the FINAL final BINGO round.

There was a lot of pressure on this round. It was everyone's last chance to get on our EPIC wall of fame.

Dalton handled the pressure of calling the last BINGO numbers well.

The machine was filling up.

And the tension was high...

Birthday boy was only one away...

Come on G59....

YES! It was called... BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! He was the speed round winner, the cookie eating king, and now he was entering the realm of BINGO Wall of Fame CHAMPION! What a night for Radek!

After we crowned the champ we asked all those who were only one number away from winning to stand. We then gave one last trivia question to those who were only one away and with a little extra help from the audience, Billy B. won a very appropriate shirt that said, "I came to the final Bingo and all I got was this stinkin' shirt." Classic.

And on the back it said, "BINGO Champ wanna-be." 
I have to say, I do love that THE Billy B. got this prize.

And I LOVE that Radek was our last BINGO champ!!! He totally deserved it.

Had to be sure a document a few more of our big winners!

Another happy winner!

And Donna with her fabulous pillow case.


33 BINGOS boys... we did it! 

During the night I had a slide show going of some great BINGO pictures from over the years. Hope you enjoy it. We have loved our BINGO nights of fun and laughs. Thank you all for being apart of such a silly, positive, joy-filled tradition.