Lakewood Co-operative Preschool


Where Families and Friendships Grow

Co-Chair's Note

Other Co-Chair's Note

Auction News

Birgitta's Bit

Reminder from Birgitta

New Bumblebee & Dragonfly Teacher

Editor's Note

Cute Kid Pix







“Your parents aren't outsourcing; I'm the babysitter.”


Co-Chair's Note

Dear Lakewood Families:

Hard to believe, but here we are, at the end of the school year. Kind of bittersweet. I always look forward to summer with great anticipation, but it means the end of this routine (which I know I’ll miss one week into vacation!) and that everyone is growing a little older. I’m so happy that so many families are returning next year and so we have that to look forward to.

But we also have some goodbyes ahead: Corrado Moy and Kelly Corl are headed off to kindergarten next year. We’ll miss these big boys and wish them well in their new schools. Another noteworthy departure is the Raisys family. Rasa and Steve and their 3 girls have been with the co-op for a stalwart 6 years—a record as far as I know. As co-op chair for two years during the co-op’s most struggling times, Rasa kept the lights on, the bills paid, and the doors open. Since then, she got us financially sound, brought in our talented teachers, and set the example for families on how to roll up your sleeves and commit. We’ll miss you, Rasa and Vilija, but we know we’ll see you around.

As we end the year, we have a few rituals that take place, one of which is the end-of-year party. This year, it is on Sunday, June 10, at Deena McCloskey’s house from 3:00 to 5:00 This is always the perfect end to the year. Stay tuned for details on directions, what to bring, and how to help.

And then there’s the end of year clean up on June 14 and 15. Mica has done a fabulous job of keeping us organized on our weekly and yearly set ups, and she has contacted all of the families who are lined up for that event. Yes, it’s work, but you’ll get to know some folks a whole lot better☺, and we’ll try to make it fun.

We end the year with the hand off of school jobs. Thank-you to everyone for being so responsible about your jobs, and leaving them better than you found them! Jim Peterson, current co-chair, is our new job co-ordinator and he’s been getting in touch with people to recruit them for new jobs, or to encourage them to keep the ones they have. Before school is out, we’ll send an email with the jobs and families listed, and for those who are changing jobs, it will be important to get in touch with the next family to hand off the job and give some guidance before summer begins; this will go a long way toward a smoother start to jobs at the beginning of the year, something that came up in the all-school evaluation. Look for more on what people had to say, in another column in this newsletter.

And speaking of jobs, congratulations to our new board members. Thank you for stepping up to new responsibilities—we promise we’ll have a lot of fun too.

And finally, special thanks to Bill Muse, our fearless and funny newsletter writer. It has been a great pleasure to read our monthly news and we’ll miss your take on parenthood. Good luck to you and Ronnie at her new school.

Thanks again to everyone for all the hard work you do and for signing up to do it again next year, even knowing what you know.☺

See you at the beach,
Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell is Co-Chair of LCP and mother of loyal Dragonfly Charlie Budd. ccamp [at-sign]

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“Go back and give that part some oomph. Really make me believe.”







“Wolf, schmolf. Try three bears!

Other Co-Chair's Note

Dear Lakewood Families:

Ahhh… It is a cool seventy degrees in the garden as I write this, my dependable Remington perched on top of an old gallon azalea pot, a sweaty lemonade by my side. Today I am pondering the state of my nasturtium (Tropaeolaceae dandelionus) and giant zinnias (Asteraceae herculeaeus), neither of which seem to have any inclination to germinate, let alone produce the kind of flowers my kids are so keen on indiscriminately yanking out and leaving in heaps around the yard. I think they must hide in the trees afterward and delight at my crawling around on hands and knees, clutching whatever is left of my prize-winning Antirrhinum majus, my delicate Centaurea cyanus, my majestic Lilium tigrinum, and sob. And cuss like my pants are on fire! Come see my compost heap sometime—it is most colorful (and fragrant) just about this time of year. Thanks kids, up there in the trees somewhere.

But enough about my garden; let’s wrap this year up. We had a stupendous auction—thank you very much Auction Committee (although I don’t quite know what I’ll do with sixteen free hours of deep-tissue/pilates/rolfing instruction)—we’re getting ready to put toys and tricycles away for the summer, and, yes, the all-school surveys have been tabulated and re-tabulated and scrutinized and otherwise considered by the Board. In fact, I have bad dreams at night of ordering a nice low-cut pile and installing crown molding incorporating little zebras and giraffe reliefs just in time for the class of 2011 to begin their school year (as thoughtfully suggested by one of our interior designer too-much-time-on-his/her-hands parents in the survey). Anyway, here are some of the items we plan to actually address next year that a number of you suggested:

  • Make sure monthly class meetings end on time

  • Add one or two more all-school get-togethers during the school year

  • Improve the green-space here at the church (probably the “pit” on the west side of the church)

  • Help folks be better prepared for their assigned jobs before the school year actually begins

In addition, there were many, many other smaller suggestions that the Board will be reviewing and attempting to incorporate beginning in the fall. Thanks to everyone for taking time to fill out these surveys and also for participating in the life of the school this past year. Let’s do it again, soon.

Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson is an LCP Co-Chair and father of Dragonfly Cosmo and Bumblebee Dexter. jimapeterson [at-sign]

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“It's a hybrid; it runs on mom or dad.”


Auction News

Thank you, LCP, for showing such wonderful support at the Spring Auction which was held at the Rainier Club on May 4th. The committee is proud to report that while official numbers are not in yet, it is safe to say we made in excess of $14,000!!! Congratulations to all the committee members for their hard work. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and get some great deals as well. [And that fill-in auctioneer did a heckuva job.  —Ed.]

Sad because you didn’t make the auction? No worries. Additional merchandise will be available for purchase at the end of the year picnic. Official numbers on what the committee made this year will be available after the picnic.

Laura LaForte

Laura LaForte is LCP Auction Chair and mother of Bumblebee Santo and Dragonfly Talia. sllaforte [at-sign]

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“If you call it a 'travel mug', you don't have to give it up.”





Birgitta's Bit

Dear Parents,

The school year is coming to an end, and we can all look forward to summer. I have worked with Lakewood Co-op Preschool for many years, but I can honestly say this must be one of the school’s best years on record. Just entering the preschool classroom, I feel the positive vibrations of excellent teachers, dedicated parents, and happy, productive kids.

The definition of a co-op preschool is that it is run by parents. That statement may have hit home with many of you this year. “Could it really be this hard and take this much time to be involved in a co-op?” The answer is: “Yes, it can indeed, at times.” But the reward is that every one of us (including me) has learned something this year by being in the co-op, and that such learning will help us in our future endeavors as parents and human beings.

We were so fortunate to have Erin and Jennifer as our teachers this year. I know you parents appreciate your children’s teachers in the present, but in a few more years, when you have experienced a variety of teachers, you will really appreciate the strong pre-academic foundation your child has received here at Lakewood Co-op. Learning the three R’s is important, but the preschool years are the prime years for laying a strong foundation in understanding emotions, interacting socially, and living in a community. Erin and Jennifer are working on these skills with your child every school day. Thank you for your work, teachers. We will miss you next year Erin, but thankfully we can be excited about the Bumblebees and the Dragonflies being in the good hands of Katie Vos next year.

Thank-you, board members, for taking on the responsibility of leadership and all the work that goes with that. Thank-you, fundraising committee, for making this a very successful year in terms of revenue brought in. And last, but not least, thank-you to all you parents who had a less-visible job but fulfilled your task faithfully.

Have a relaxing summer!

Birgitta Dahl is in her seventh year as the parent educator for LCP. Questions welcome at 206-328-0960 or bdahl [at-sign]

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“We better not. My dad's warning level is already at orange.”

Reminder from Birgitta

Dear Parents,

If you have one of my books, please return it to my mail box before the end of the school year. My name and phone number is written on the front page of the book.

Thank you,

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New Bumblebee & Dragonfly Teacher

Dear Lakewood Families,

I'm thrilled to be welcomed as the new Lead Teacher at Lakewood, and wanted to take a moment to thank the current teachers and the hiring committee, and to introduce myself to those of you I haven't met.

My husband, Tim, and I live right here in the Mt.Baker/Lakewood neighborhood with our daughters Clio (3½) and Romy (1½). We've been here for about eight years, and love our easy access to parks and cultural activities, and the great neighborly feel of the area.

Our family joined the Lakewood Co-op this fall when Clio started with the Crickets class. From the beginning, Lakewood has struck just the perfect note for us in terms of the program, facilities, and, most important, the people. We've really enjoyed the year and I feel so fortunate for the opportunity to teach here.

I taught previously in the Lake Washington School District for six years before taking a break from the classroom to stay home with our growing family. I love the work of teaching: getting to know and grow with children and their families, and acting as a guide for learning. I will share more with you about my background and the experiences that have prepared me for this position, but for now I'd just like to express how excited I am as I begin preparing for the coming year with the Bumblebee and Dragonfly classes. If you have particular questions, ideas, or resources you'd like to share with me, I would love to hear about them.

Good luck to all as we move into the fun and sometimes crazy days of summer. I look forward to playing and learning with you in the coming years!

Katie Vos

Katie Vos is the mother of Cricket Clio. k.vos [at-sign]

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Editor's Note

Welcome to May. If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims. (And you were thinking Mayflower was a typo. I don't make typos. I may have misspelled Birgitta's name for the first 5 issues of this newsletter, but those were all intentional.)

I was debating whether to even do one more newsletterit being so late in the yearwhen I consulted my pal Larry the Cable Guy who told me "Accomplish her!" (That's how he talks off-stage, and with a slight British accent.) So here's the last issue under my editorship. If it bears any resemblance to a mediocre album by an aging rock band fulfilling a contractual obligation, that is also intentional. Try reading this while listening to Boston's Third Stage. (Listen to a sample now.)

In this, my final column, I'd like to answer some questions from my fellow LCP parents. If I don't answer your question, it is because I am harboring a petty grudge for some imagined sleight. OK, raise your hands please. Yes, you with the baby spittle on your shoulder. No, not youyou; go ahead.

"What's it like being a stay-at-home dad?"

Well, I've never been a woman, so I can't honestly say it's harder for a man to stay home with the kids, but nonetheless I will say that it is harder for a man to stay home with the kids. For one thing, just about all you can do when you're home with young children is chick stufflaundry, dishes, nurturing, picking up after yourselfwhich is bad enough, but when you're surrounded by a dozen projects that you'd love to get 90% done before quitting, it's torture. My power tools sit in the garage, softly beckoning, but there's no tool belt for washing dishes, no hot rod parts for clothes dryers. My wife says I should think of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and vacuum as power tools for housework. Nice try, but if they're not sold at Home Depot, they're appliances, and the only thing I want to do with appliances is take them apart when they break and get them working again, or ensure they will never work again.

"Do you have any stay-at-home dad role models?"

Yes. Whenever things start spinning out of control, I ask myself "What would Mr. Rogers do?" Would he be yelling at the top of his lungs? No. He would don a cardigan and go to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, which is what I do. I like to make believe the demanding child near me is not mine, for I am a childless test pilot who lives in a loft in a trendy part of town. That whining noise I hear is just the number two engine spinning up, and this ratty cardigan is actually a bitchin' leather flight jacket. My old role model was Captain Kangaroo, but it turns out he is not actually a marsupial, and I don't think he even owns a boat.

"Is it hard raising girls given that you are such an incredibly masculine macho man's man simmering with brutish intensity steeped in alpha-dog musk?"

If I had a billion dollars for every time I've been asked that, I'd be a rich man. The short answer is "no". The long answer is far too much to type. The Goldilocks answer is that my girls don't know they're being raised by the wrong parent. As far as they know, all kids help rotate the truck's tires (just as fun as baking cookies), everyone plays Candyland for money (they owe me almost enough to pay for their college), and when I treat scraped knees with a "Walk it off, cupcake", I know they'll be prepared for high school Phys. Ed. In fact, my nine-year-old can already swear at a 10th-grade level. Oh, and as for the alpha-dog musk, that's just a lack of showers covered with Tag body spray, which you can find at Walgreen's.

"Have you garnered any special male insight into housekeeping that you could share?"

Just a few things:

  • Walk around the house barefoot. Anything that sticks to your feet should be discarded.
  • Kids love paper plates and plastic forks. Save time on dishes while making every meal a picnic.
  • The ear plugs you use when operating power tools make the worst tantrum a distant hum.
  • When doing a load of laundry, ask yourself "Isn't my kid just going to grow out of this anyway?" Throwing clothes away saves time and water.
  • Before guests or wives arrive, sprinkle a few tools in the middle of any mess to magically change yourself from a lazy slob into an industrious multitasker.
  • Above-the-waterline toilet bowl stains can often be dispatched by a well-aimed ammonia-rich urine stream.
  • Speaking of toilets, one of ours is black (I got a deal on it) and as far as I can tell, it just doesn't get dirty.

"How does one enrich one's urine with ammonia?"

Eat lots of red meat, and be dehydrated (a post-barbecue hangover is perfect). You're gonna want that urine to be yellow as a Ticonderoga pencil.

"Ammonia is an excellent cleaner, but is it true that if you mix it with bleach, it makes a deadly gas?"

Yes, so that is not a good cleaning tip, except perhaps for severely depressed janitors, which is many of them, not that there's anything wrong with janiting. The gas it makes is chlorine gas, a.k.a. mustard gas, which the Germans used for cleaning allied trenches in World War I, but they switched to armored Swiffers and pine-scented artillery. A deadly gas is also made by mixing Tag body spray with Axe body spray, according to an internet rumor I just now started. (Look for this rumor in your inbox in a week. Sooner, if my mom has your email address.)

"Your children seem so wonderfully perfect. What's your secret?"

I have a small confession to make: they are robots. They are two of fifty built by a Japanese consortium in the early 21st century. The other 48 were destroyed, but I managed to get these two thanks to a disgruntled employee and a Japanese ad website (Kakiroslist). You may have noticed, or soon will, that my girls stay the same size, though I periodically buy them smaller clothes to give the illusion of growth.

"Robots? C'mon. You must be dreaming."

Well, that would explain why I'm writing this naked in my old high school.

Bill Muse encourages you to walk it off, cupcake. LCP [at-sign]

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Do not overdose
on cuteness.
Know your limits


Cute Kid Pix

Email your cute kid photos to the LCP newsletter, or even better, post them online at

  1. On, click Sign In (near upper right corner)
  2. Enter this email address:
  3. Enter this password: gobaby

You can look at photos, buy prints, or upload an album of your own.


The Crickets took a field trip to our local fire station (Station 28, 5968 Rainier Ave S).

Elise gets to drive.

Ella listens patiently.

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