Tonio has found a creative outlet. The ELP program - don't ask me what this stands for...I asked Tonio and he told me "I forget. I know that it says on the window, but I just forget." No matter, he gets to write and express himself, traveling over to Desert Willow Elementary school on Tuesdays (he likes to look for Breanna when he is over there and is always excited when he gets to say 'hi' to her).
Monday night, he told me that he had a play on Tuesday, but couldn't remember what time. I scrambled to make sure that I had plenty of coverage at the bookstore (my partner, Jaimelyn, always helps me out when it comes to bambini time!) and then found out that the play would start at 10:30.
I went to work at 6:00 a.m....around 9:00, my cell rang and I did not recognize the number...but, once again, defying my rules about never answering calls that I don't recognize, I picked up. It was Antonio! Reminding me that his play started at 10:30. "I understand if you cannot make it." he told me - always concerned that I cannot leave work or that he is somehow inconveniencing me. He had borrowed his ELP teacher, Mrs. Bradshaw's, cell phone to make the call!
Left work at 9:30 and made it to Desert Willow in time to grab a seat. Tonio had invited Lupe to his play, too, so I met her there. The students in this class were given an assignment over break to write a story. Then, they got together and picked a couple of stories to turn into a play. By themselves - these are 9 year old 4th graders. It was called a story exchange.
Tonio starred in one called 'The Different Boy'. It seems he is the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandson of Luke Skywalker and has 'the force'! When aliens invade Earth, his friends call Tonio to save the world!!
Here Tonio receives the news about the alien invasion.
And Tonio was that hero who saved the day!
I wasn't able to get many shots from where I was sitting, but, all of the kids involved did a great job! I texted a thank you to Mrs. Bradshaw...for a great performance and her work with the kids...and with Tonio.
That night, our normal Barrios family night, we had Lupe, Manny and Monsi over to our house for a change! Guess what I made? Pasta.
Our house, their home - it's all good.
Today, I had the honor to help judge the Cottonwood spelling bee. I am on the Site Based Council at Cottonwood, and Mary asked a couple of us to judge the event - she knows I enjoy it and she always lets be the chime ringer. When a child spells a word correctly, I get to run my finger across a set of chimes - very zen like - feels like you are waking from a dream.
Tonio's best buddy, Monsi, was in the spelling bee today!
Each class holds a qualification spelling bee. The top spellers from each class compete in the all school spelling bee. Tonio didn't quite make today's event. In fact, he was out after the very first word he was given. He told me later that he spelled the word, but Ms. Irwin didn't hear him so asked him to spell it again, which he did. She told him he was correct and was on to the next round. But, Tonio went right up and told her that he had misspelled the word the first time, the time she did not hear him - thereby disqualifying himself. He seemed a little embarrassed when he told me this story. I hugged him tight and told him that what he did was way better than winning - especially when he knew he would not have earned it!
Monsi did a great job - coming in 2nd place! We were all proud of her. Tonio missed this part, as he went on a field trip with the Junior Optimist Club to Cienega High School for a photography class. He told me later, that he really missed his Mama during this class. I told him how Kim had taken photography classes, and what an eye for a shot she had...I told him Mama must have been tapping him on his shoulder to let him know he was following in her footsteps. He looked for his big brother, Cody, on campus, but was sad that he did not get to see him.
The bambini had a good day - getting to spend some quality time with Mary and Ami, going shopping! They bought 200 lbs of rice and a couple dozen socks for a project Mary and Ami do with their Kindergartners - sock snowmen! Cody and Tonio remember making them. And they had gianormous slice of pizza at Costco. Watching Brinley do 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' seemed to be the highlight of their day!!
They were all smiles when I picked them up around 7 from Mary, Brinley still doing her Itsy Bitsy routine!!
Kim and Cody visiting the Chipmunk's house in Disneyland.
Cody, Kim and Cajun on the beach in La Jolla
The tide's coming in at La Jolla
Sitting on the sea wall at La Jolla
She sure loved the beach!