The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Sarah Koehn

For me, this is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Especially the anticipation of the 4th of July, which is my favorite holiday.   It’s the culmination of summer and a guaranteed day off.  It lacks the stress of other holidays and is truly about relaxing in your neighborhood.  No special outfits or gifts to exchange or complicated meals. I’m not sure the extent to which we will celebrate this year; my family takes it day by day lately.  Charlie and I had planned to head to Wrigley Field this weekend to see Dead & Company, but Charlie is under the weather, so no all-day Dead jam for us.

Jacqueline and Harvey are excited for the July 4th for the first time and looking forward to their first parade. And we FINALLY got the fairy garden underway this week.  As I planted the first miniature conifers, I realized that the fairy garden was far more for my benefit than the kids’.  I have big dreams for my house and it’s landscaping, but neither the time nor talent to make them a reality. I am noticing that it’s all achievable in the fairy garden!  For sure, my biggest weakness is unrealistic ideas about what I can accomplish in any given day, season, or year.

This was a fun week at GiGi’s Playhouse – check out the pictures on Facebook of the TEAM program on Monday, as well as the Movie Night on Wednesday night.  There are currently 10 adults in our TEAM program with hopes to grow in number and size in the Fall! Also, this week is the start of the Summer Literacy session; we have some new AND returning students as well as new tutors.  Daphne has a new tutor named Grace, who is an SLP student at Marquette. Lucky Daphne!  We are still trying to figure out the secret sauce of summer programming, but I’m thrilled with the participation so far.  Friday Friends meets tonight for Board Games, and then we will close until Wednesday the 5th.  My heart will be heavy next week as we say goodbye to our dear Jamie.

I was focused on two things this week: a snafu in planning our fall fundraiser, and hiring the new Site Coordinator.  I’m also writing a progress report for a donor, which I’ve never done before. This anonymous donor gave us $20K last November, and I have to explain how the donation has benefited our programs and families.  It has me thinking about creating a better way to acknowledge our donors inside the Playhouse. Let me know your ideas!

I am super excited about the Down Home BBQ with DSAW on July 8th.  The event will be at DSAW in West Allis.  There will be food, games, and an awesome band – Max & The Invaders. The goal is to bring our entire community together and educate everyone about available programming.   I also got word that Nancy Gianni wants to visit in the next month. Nancy is the founder of GiGi’s Playhouse, otherwise known as “GiGi’s Mom” and one of the first people I ever met at GiGi’s Playhouse in Chicago.  So you know how you feel when you plan a party and it becomes deadline for all the improvements you want to make in your house? That’s how I’m feeling right now!

Sadly, I made no progress on my minivan search this week.  Perhaps it’s my way of tempting Mother Nature to raise the temps, as I have no air conditioning in the minivan. Bring it on!

Happy 4th of July to everyone!

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