Friday, January 25, 2008

Birthday Wishes...

I'd like to thank everyone who sent me greetings and happy thoughts on my birthday this year. I had a great day!

I started by waking up at 7 AM (I actually woke up at 6:45, and rolled out of bed just before 7!) to get ready for my kindergarteners! I'm a guest artist in a seven week session with the ArtLinks program at both McPherson and Salvador Elementary schools in Napa. We're working on "Stained Glass Windows" for our first project. But, instead of using glass, we're working with tissue paper on waxed paper. Aside from that small detail, the rest of the process follows very closely to the actual stained glass process. I was a bit nervous at first, because I wasn't sure if their motor skills would allow them to carefully cut the tissue paper. But, they are really loving it, and are doing a great job!
So, I spent the day at Salvador elementary (from 8:45am-2:00pm). I did have an hour break for lunch, in which I raced to the new Whole Foods to meet Todd and sample some of the multitude of prepared foods.
After school was over, there was a special program taking place at Salvador. Wild Cats!!! The good people at Leopards, Etc., a group which strives to "expand learning opportunities about wild cats and increase awareness of the impact of human behavior on the habitat and survival of these rare species," brought four cats with them to Salvador, and it was thrilling to be able to see them up close! They explained that we should be very quiet and sit very still while the cats were on stage. Now, one would think that this direction would be given for the safety of the humans in the room. But, actually, the cats are very shy and easily upset. So, if there's too much commotion, they won't come on stage at all! I was very impressed with the children for being able to sit still for a whole hour to watch the captivating cats. Even the shyest cat of all, the leopard, didn't need to be enticed to stay on stage with the "treat buzzer" - a Pavlovian trick that the handlers use to keep the leopard focused on meaty treats and not the bustling audience. We got to meet the Canada Lynx, the Serval, the (highly endangered) King Cheetah, and the shy African Leopard. What a great birthday present!
After that was all over and I arrived home, I walked into a beautiful bouquet of roses and some chocolates from Dad and Uncle Jim! So very thoughtful!
To top off the night, Todd took me out to dinner (our fave, Uva), and then we went home to enjoy the decadent chocolate birthday cake that Todd got me:)
I truly am blessed to have so many caring people in my life! Also, I don't want to forget everyone who wished me happy birthday early, or late;) Thanks for all my gifts and for being a part of my life!

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