Reflections "The world would be a better place if...."

REFLECTIONS - A program run by the PTA created to torture parents by encouraging students to do LOTS of extra work for no grade...

At least this is the exact definition I was given when I asked other parents about reflections as Ashtyn entered elementary.

And at first that might be what some think it is.  But as with everything in life after you experience it a few times and you figure it out.....

But now without a million struggles over the years though!
Man of man have we struggled....

One of the first years we had streams of tears because "I" had missed the deadline.

Another year I sent a framed photograph (no frames allowed) with no "proper" documents and signatures and had to deal with more dejected tears.

Finally (after a few years) I figured the process out and in the eleventh hour  (seriously 11pm or later) was begging a neighbor to help us figure out a way record and download the project in the proper way.  And at this point I was in agreeance with the other parents, torture, extra work, stress, etc...

BUT my determined kids continue to find those reflection applications every. single. year....

and every year they create great projects.

This year Alayna came home with an application for ALL 7 project categories and told me she was going to enter all 7 this year (Photography, visual arts, 3D arts, film, music composition, dance, and literature) And just in case you parents want to know, yes they can turn in all 7 projects.

my response to Alayna was

I let her know I could help her with 3 and if she wanted to do any others, she had to do them on her own.  

So Alayna whose name is synonymous with determination worked tirelessly on multiple projects.  And in the end turned in 3 (Visual art, 3D art and literature) projects.  

It has been so fun to see how pleased and satisfied this has made her.  She just beams as her literature has won an award of excellence at her school, district, region and is headed to state.

\/ \/ BEAMING \/ \/

And just for mom, here is her story.

The Princess and the Colorful Scaled Dragon

Once there was a small kingdom and in that kingdom there was a King and a Queen who had an adorable little princess who became very kind and polite. When Penelope or penny for short was six she went to wander the kingdom. Penny saw much chaos because the people who lived in the kingdom were arguing about silly little things such as who had the best hairdo or the prettiest eyes or who was just the best at everything. As soon as she passed everyone bowed down to her but she believed no one was better than anyone and they were equally good and they each had good talents

Penny was fairly short with a huge amount of freckles everywhere on here body and caramel blonde hair with honey yellow highlights.She had amazing brown eyes and perfectly shaped eyebrows.Her lips were an amazing raspberry red. She wore beautifully simple dresses.

Penny had heard about an ugly dragon up on the hill to the east side of the kingdom. Penny was taught that no one was ugly or bad, and especially no one should be judged by their appearance. Penny believed this with all her heart. She knew that no one should spend their days in a cave all alone. She knew what she was going to do, she was going to go visit the lonely dragon.

      When she walked to the east side where no one wanted to live except the dragon who had no where else to go, Penny climbed the steep hill to the cave and knocked 1…2….3  times. No one answered but Penny was determined to walk back with a new friend, so she knocked 1…2…3… more times and suddenly she saw the eye of the dragon peering threw the peep hole. “Hello.” she said very sweetly and the door slowly creaked open “Why are you up here?” the ginormous and green creature asked. Penny made a plan quickly in her mind and then replied “Do you know where to find the ugly dragon?” The dragon was ashamed because he knew he was the ugly dragon she was looking for.

“I’m the the ugly dragon” he said “Well you are certainly not an ugly dragon, do you want to be ugly?” “ Well of course not!” the dragon exclaimed “Everyone says I'm ugly” he explained to Penny. “You are the most amazing dragon I've seen” and with that nice compliment Penny saw one of the dragon’s scales turn bright orange.

“May I ask what’s your name” Penny asked politely. “My name is Theodore but you can call me Teddy, everyone made fun of my long name at school.” Penny replies “I think long name’s are lovely in fact, my name is long, my name is Penelope but I go by Penny.” Penny said this as if she understood everything the dragon had felt. “Really? No way!” Teddy was so excited. “I love your name!” Penny watched as one more scale turned a bright yellow.

As they sat in the dragon’s cave that was very dark and gloomy Penny was bursting with love for the dragon and went on to say nice things to Teddy and with each nice complement  a scale went from dark green to a bright new color.Very slowly as Penny continued to visit the dragon Teddy’s whole body was covered in beautiful colors and soon Teddy started to feel happy again.The years passed and Penny and Teddy remained closer than close. 
When Penny was eight she taught Teddy to read but one day the dragon refused to read the book that Penny brought for Teddy because the cover was boring and the book had no  pictures Penny very calmly said “Why do you judge this book by the cover?” “There are no pictures and its a boring book!” exclaimed the dragon. “Have you ever read it?” Penny asked politely. “No”  “So how do you know for certain it’s not good?”
Penny explained to Teddy about judging people or books by how they appear is not right like how the people in town judged Teddy.Teddy understood and wanted to read the book and in two days the dragon finished his new favorite book.

As Teddy sat in his bright new remodeled cave that Penny helped with, he realized how Penny never judged anyone until she truly knew them. When Penny was finally ten she realized that Teddy had never been to the castle and invited him. The King and Queen were just as polite and elegant as Penny and were very excited to meet Penny’s friend.

When Penny and Teddy were walking through the village they met very judgmental people and taught them how they were all equally great no matter who they are or where they are from.

When they arrived they had dinner. The colorful dragon learned about how important the things Penny had taught him and the village and from that day on the kingdom never judged anything or anyone by there appearance and Penny and the dragon remained close friends forever.
The End.