Monday, December 30, 2013

1999 Disneyland, Sea World, Soccer and Family

A Note
From the teacher

Hi! My name is Greg Goode and I am the New music teacher here at Pine Grove.  School has gotten off to such a fast start this year!  I wanted to send you a note after the dust had time to settle, and just in time to invite you to visit my room on Back To School Night.

My husband's letter written after his year as a stay at home Dad
I am very excited to be here this fall, I took last year off to be home with my two sons, and so I am all charged up about coming back to work, not to mention . . .Broke!  I have all of the students here at Pine Grove for music, so for most of your children, I am "the other teacher."  I see the preschool and kindergarten classes once each week for 20 minutes. This might not seem like much, but in the past several years these students haven't had a music specialist at all.  First through third grade rooms come to me two times a week for twenty minutes, and fourth through sixth graders have class three times per week for forty minutes.  This is a prep time for the upper grade teachers.  Along with this classroom music goes an elective band program for the fifth and sixth graders.  Me being here full time this year is possible because the staff made a commitment to put the budget directly toward your student's musical education.  I can't say enough how proud I am to be part of this super and dedicated group of teachers.  GO PINE GROVE1

If you have questions or concerns about music in your child's class, please don't hesitate to call me or come see me at school.  Two things I love to talk about are music and kids. Also feel free to come and join in during music time.  I focus a lot of the curriculum on singing and rhythm, and believe that most of the time active participation (doing) is the best way to learn about music.

Thank you, for all of your great kids this year!

Greg Goode
Hard to see but we thought we were cute in Micky Mouse ears

Happy Holidays Dear Friends, I just have to announce the date with a bit of something extra!  CHRISTMAS 1999

WOW  !  The oldest people that I ever knew were born in the 1870's  Soon I will know people who have been born in the year 2000.  It makes me stop and realize once again how fleeting are the years of our life, and how even a century or a millennium is a mere blink in the eyes of the universe.  It also makes me realize that we are all part of a wondrous connection going back through the centuries where I will know people from three centuries and the people I touch will have touched people from even more distant times, both into the past and into the future.  It is a bit like standing in all the Holiest places I know: a redwood grove, a canyon's brink, the edge of the sea, or surrounded by towering stone monoliths.  Even though dates are arbitrary human inventions, standing on the brink of one gives you that same overwhelming, yet comforting sense that you are both small and insignificant (And therefore so are even your most daunting troubles) and at the same time that you are also part of something much larger and more beautiful than even the most powerful human mind could comprehend.  My life may be only a drop in an enormous ocean, but what a salty, sparkling one it has been so far.  Good Grief!  Did I really write that? Enough already.

So what is new with you?  If you write, I actually have been answering letters.  News with us isn't really news.  Things have been flowing fairly smoothly, fluctuating a little but not really changing much.  Life has been very good to this Goode clan in 1999.  It almost makes it hard to write this letter because I know so many people who haven't had an easy year this year.  I don't want to make anyone feel worse by telling about our year.  I guess you know I mean it when I say I only leave people that we love on our Christmas mailing list, and we wish all of you only good things each and every year.  Since that isn't reality, we offer you our loving support when the road is rough and remembering a couple years ago when nothing was going well for us, we offer our total sympathy.  May the Y2K be a peaceful year for us all.  As Dickens wrote, "God Bless Us, Every One." and as my friend Lory says, "I'm sending lots of white and purple light to surround you."

So for a brief review of 1999 with G.D.A.E., it began with Austin in Kindergarten.  Dixie was teaching a class of Severely Emotionally Disturbed, third through eighth grade students.  Greg was taking a year of parenting leave to stay home with the boys.  He volunteers in Austin's class.  He babysat the neighbor's kids. He started A & E on Violin and Cello lessons and took them to soccer and tumbling classes and to story time at the library.  In February he took the boys back to Wyoming for Grandpa Harvey's 70th birthday.  In June he took them on a three day trip to San Francisco to see "Underwater Puppets."  In short,
he was a wonderful, at home Dad, from mid-June 1998 to the end of August 1999.  He's still a wonderful Dad.  No more busy at work than at home, but the boys see him less.

This summer was filled with fun.  We enrolled the boys in a week long soccer camp in early July.  They had three coaches, two English and One Irish.  We were fortunate enough to be a host family for the coaches and so we went to the river and the redwoods with them and then had several backyard marshmallow roasts.  The boys had a lot of fun, and learned a lot.  We definitely want to make it a habit from year to year.

Greg's brother Harv, and Fran also came to visit.  Not long enough at all, but we loved the time with them and enjoyed showing them the redwoods as well.  We love company, Hint, 1999 was also the first time in years that Grandma Priscilla and Uncle Lance did not make it out our way.  Mom has had some health problems but basically I think the two of them are doing well and making several new friends.  They are so busy it's hard to reach them on my first try.

Our big trip for the year was to Southern California.  We drove down and spent a few days in San Francisco and along the coast.  Then we rented a room on the 7th floor of the Fairfield Inn across the street from Disneyland.  Some wonderful friends of ors came down at the same time and rented a room at the Disneyland Hotel and we spent three days, "Doing Disneyland,"  I know it's all a fantasy, but what a special dream to share with your children.  A friendly "Town" where everyone crowding the streets is there to have fun.  Where pirates are powerless in the face of children, where elephants fly and strangers smile at each other.  The rides are great but until you've been there it's hard to explain how Disneyland is more than an amusement park.  It's like the American Dream come to life and it has a strong community feel to the crowded street.  Everyone's hometown.

Austin and Emerson were also in love with the warm water and safe feeling of the beaches.  They weren't used to being able to just jump in and swim at the ocean, even though we live close to several beautiful beaches.  It's much colder here.  So we also went to San Diego and stayed at Paradise Point Resort.  The resort itself was incredible.  Several pools to swim in, a miniature golf course, cabins right on the beach at Mission Bay, bikes for rent.  Mom's credit union had a deal there or it never would have been a place we would dream of staying at.  As if that wasn't enough, it was right across from Sea World and we had passes for two days, plus a behind the scenes tour of the marine mammal rehabilitation area where we saw brand new baby dolphins.  We all love whales and had taken the boys to see Keiko the Killer Whale, but here the whales were in several varieties and many killer whales were trained to dazzle and drench us.  I loved the beluga whales the most.  They look like cloud whales, like they are made of mounds of marshmallow cream.  So we had a great time and the kids spent hours playing and learning.

Dorothy and her Great-nephews
On the way home we stopped to see my Dad's sister Dorothy.  She raised him from the time he was six and has always been almost like a grandmother to me, but it was the first time that the boys got to see her.  They loved her and still talk about Aunt Dorothy, mostly wondering when she's coming here.
After the summer, Greg started teaching music again.  This time at a school where he actually has a classroom to teach in instead of going from room to room.  He also is only at one school which is only the second time in ten years that he hasn't had to travel around the county.

Emerson started kindergarten and says that every day is the greatest day of kindergarten ever.  He also was on the Mail Room Packers soccer team and taking swim lessons.  He has a new best friend in kindergarten and seems to love everything about being a big boy.

Austin still does great in school too, although he lost his first, first grade teacher at the end of September and had to adjust to a new one.  Mt. Hartwick was young, playful and quite good at teaching.  Mrs. Smith took over when he went to a new job and Austin loves her too.  He was on the FFA Razorbacks soccer team and in swimming lessons and is doing well on the cello.

Dixie has quit Del Norte County Unified School District after ten years.  I volunteer one day a week in the boys school and spend the rest of my days trying to break into the field of children's writing.  So far I have a large stack of rejection slips, a membership in the society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and invitations from four publishing companies to submit my manuscripts.  I miss the kids but I am not missing the administrator's BS.

Thanksgiving weekend we had four days off and spent them at the beach.  Greg turned thirty-seven the day after Thanksgiving and we went to a zoo and a Christmas light display (over 200,000 lights in a Garden by the sea cliffs.)

Anyway, we are still about the same as last year.  Mainly happy, often too busy.  Loved and lucky all the same.

Love, Luck and Laughter to you in 2000

Dixie, Greg, Austin and Emerson

trying to avoid soccer practice

Graduating Kindergarten

after Disneyland they loved playing Tarzan with Thomas

Dance rehearsal break

Violin with sybil

These two had fun at a birthday party
but Patty ended up with Pleurisy

Thomas and Patty

Hanging out in our backyard

Emerson and neighbors at Jed Smith State Park

Greg's Brother and his wife at our yard
at SeaWorld 

At Disneyland with Willie and Thomas

A spoonful of sugar

Huntington Beach, with Austin

Emerson and mom

At Aunt Dorothy's, My grandpa Emerson planted the donkeytail plant

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