Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good News for Shaling

Yesterday, Shaling was one of five girls who tried out for two open spots on a traveling competitive basketball team. She did a fabulous job at the tryout and was aptly rewarded. We got the good news today and I let Preston be the one to tell her.

As you can tell, she is excited. So far, we know she has tournaments May 25/26 and the first 3 weekends in June. The first and last ones are in Springfield. The first weekend of June is in Bloomington and the second weekend is in Decatur.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution

As parents, Brock & I have rule that we don't make the kids participate in any specific activity. They just have to be involved in something other than just regular school schoolwork. What that something is, is up to them.

Rules are made to be broken by me, right?

Shaling is in 5th grade this year. In Rochester, 5th grade is the first time that the students have the option of participating in chorus. For one reason, and one reason only, I told Shaling she had to be in chorus for just one year. That reason? The annual production, "Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution."

Oh, my. This is one amazing show. I thoroughly enjoyed it when Preston was in it and couldn't wait for Shaling to do the same. The performance centers around the Constitutional Convention of 1787, but draws upon that to link in other parts of American History as well. The kids wear costumes from the colonial period and sing songs centering around the United States of America.

The intermediate school music teacher, Dave McCafferty, has tweaked the show a bit with his own personal touch, and if I remember correctly, our now retired principal, Laurie Lundin, helped him a bit with that. The entire Fine Arts staff, as well as other staff members, all pitch in to help make this a spectacular production.

Last night was this year's performance (although there will also be a repeat performance at the Fine Arts Festival later this month) and it was tremendous. I'll share with you below two videos from it.

This one is "Fifty, Nifty, United States". It has personal meaning to me, because I remember singing it well over 30 years ago in grade school with Mr. Ben Strode. That grade school (South Elementary) is now an apartment and office building.

Fifty Nifty United States from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

This one is a fun medley of several well known tunes, including "God Bless the U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood and "America" by Neil Diamond.

Medley Finale from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Kids Might Be In an Ad Campaign

Over night, I received a message from a visual research company based in Los Angeles, Nickerson Research. They are currently working on an advertising project for a client and stumbled across one of my videos on Vimeo. They would like to forward my video to their creative team for possible use (footage only, not the audio), so they had some licensing and logistics questions for me. I'm very intrigued about their client, but realize privacy issues probably prevent them from telling me who it is. I have told them I am the author/copyright holder of the video and I'm willing to let them use it, but am awaiting further information from them at this point as to how to do that.

This is the video that the company wishes to use (I suspect the last roughly 20 seconds are what they want):

Preston & Shaling Share Ramen Noodles from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.
My caption at the time: "Ramen noodles are the one thing Preston knows how to cook. No, we don't usually make the kids share bowls. They did that all on their own."
They are both able to prepare several items in the kitchen now.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Becoming an Elected Official

I typically focus our blog on the kids, but I'm taking a brief time out to celebrate a personal moment. Last night, I was elected to the Rochester school board. As an education geek who was already a frequent board meeting attendee, I am thrilled to take on the role of helping to continue the wonderful tradition of our local schools.

I ran four years ago when an incumbent stepped down. At the time, 3 seats were open and 8 people (including 2 incumbents) vied for them. Despite having only lived in the district 3 years at the time, I did well (in my humble opinion), coming in 4th -- even beating an incumbent. Therefore, instead of being discouraged, I was encouraged.

I initially intended to run again 2 years ago when 4 seats were open, but when I realized all 4 incumbents were running, I changed my mind. This time and incumbent was stepping down again, and there were 5 people running for 3 seats. Per the Sangamon County Clerk website, these are the results (pending any straggling-in absentee ballots):

Vote for 3
COLLEEN BRAKER DRACOS   .....................................   390   11.97%
AMY REYNOLDS   .....................................   874   26.82%
TODD M. GOEBEL   .....................................   806   24.73%
WILLIAM YATTONI   .....................................   802   24.61%
DAVID A. BARBER   .....................................   387   11.87%
  Over Votes   .....................................   9  
  Under Votes   .....................................   734  

I have to share a sweet story -- Preston waited in the car while Brock went in to vote at the poll. Before Brock could get in line, his phone rang. Preston was calling from the car. He asked, "Dad, can I come in and vote too?" Of course, Brock told him no, explaining that you have to be 18-years-old, Preston's response was, "but haven't we fought for laws in this country to make it fair for everyone to vote?"

Shaling and Preston were both fabulous about helping me distribute door cards with my information. Shaling's enthusiasm was overwhelming, as she kept asking me if I had any more.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to about this is to using my people skills to form strong relationships, therefore, I was encouraged and pleased to receive a congratulatory text from our superintendent last night and several this morning from current board members.

I'm not entirely naive; I know I'm getting ready to take on a lot of work, but it's work that involves some of my favorite topics -- education, children, and people. Thanks again to EVERYONE who helped me. This list is extensive -- a great reminder of just how fortunate and blessed I am.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Busy as the Reynolds Family

Whenever I’m asked how Shaling, or both kids, or my family, is doing, my standard answer tends to be, “Good. Busy.” I don’t usually expand on that much, lest I bore the person asking. However, I’ll take the opportunity to use this blog to fill you in on what the month of April looks like on the Reynolds family calendar. I'm sure you'll see why I won't be nominated for Suzy Homemaker of the Year.