Monday, September 22, 2014

Peek at our Week (student council, letter R, and the bad hair cut)

I’m loving this awesome fall weather we are having!

I’ve said it before, but fall is my favorite.  I love pumpkin flavored everything, the crisp air in the mornings, and the return of routine.   I got so excited about fall, that I foolishly thought to myself, “Self….you need a new hair-do.  For fall.”


Who does this?  Is it really possible to convince yourself that there is such a thing as “Fall Hair” and that means cutting it short after a seriously long season of growing it out and swearing to yourself that you WILL NOT CUT IT NO MATTER WHAT?

So now I’m in major regret mode, which I guess historically is spot on for me about day 3.  I’m all brave and bold on day 1,  optimistic on day 2, and then by day 3 I’m all whyyyyyy????? and that will last just long enough to drive Saul crazy with my complaining.  So, a pretty long time.  I’m not including a picture here so you’ll just have to imagine me, with shorter hair, and a big frown. 


Isaac decided to run for Student Council, so he’s been working on his speech (which will be video taped) and his posters.  The Fifth graders run for President and Vice President, which I’m almost certain is his only motivation for running – absolute power.  Well, at least that what he thinks.  His campaign is based around getting longer lunches for the kids (aka more free time and less school time) and even includes having “food drills” to teach kids how to eat faster.  I know.  It’s so crazy it’s cute.  And no matter what his dad or I say, he is standing firm on his plan.  I’m afraid that he will be disappointed after the teacher who coordinates Student Council reviews his speech, but there is just nothing like learning through living, right?  I’m super proud of his willingness, eagerness, and ambition and more than a little curious to see how long his political life will last.  Smile


Nate thought about running for Student Council too but after finding out he had to prepare a speech, he was out.  I mean totally.  He looked over at me during the meeting and mouthed, “No thanks.  Let’s go.”


His teacher is encouraging him to try out for the Journalism club, which is actually a perfect fit for his interests and abilities.  I loved what he wrote on his application: “I promise to only miss a few of my deadlines.”  You gotta love the honesty, right?


Olivia learned letter R this week.  We had too many themes to get through.  Perfect example of my over planning.  I really need to keep it simple.  We’d probably be through with the letters by now if I’d just remember that.


I put together an Alligator/Crocodile Unit for Elaina that we’ve both been having fun with.  She is so motivated to get her school work done that we often have a lot of free time during the day.  That’s awesome!





We have had some cool mornings that make me want to bake.  The problem with that is then I want to eat sweets all day.


I planned to try making gluten free pita to serve with Greek food, but had to settle for gluten free tortillas when I realized I didn’t have the yeast for the recipe.  They turned out pretty tasty, but that was way too much work for a weeknight meal.


I also made Chili Mac, Beef Brisket, and baked Ziti for a few of our other meals.


The boys don’t have school on Friday so we are heading up to Camp-For-a-Day with my parents before they go back to AZ for the winter.  The rest of the week should be pretty normal.

What are your plans?

Peek at our Week

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What’s happenin’

We are slowly but surely getting used to the new routine.

I say “we” very loosely because truthfully I think everybody but me is already adjusted.


Both of the boys are waking up and getting ready for school without any problems.  After much begging and pleading, they have been allowed to walk home together (and without me) twice.  It’s only about a half a mile to the school, but I still get very nervous.

Isaac had a couple of emotional weeks, mostly due to being tired.  You could tell by the end of the day that he was done in and didn’t put up any fights about going to bed by 7pm.  This last week though went much smoother and I think he is doing very well.  He is making friends, getting great reports from the teacher, and completing all of his school work.  I love hearing about his day in the evenings – he’s still so funny and always has a story to tell.


Nate’s adjustment is going pretty well.  HIs afternoons are not as smooth as they could be yet, but we are trying to give him plenty of transition time after school to re-focus and relax a bit.  He is learning the hard way what happens when you lie to your mom and your teacher about homework…hopefully it doesn’t become a habit for him.  Nate was tested and placed in a “gifted” language arts program a few times a week. I’m hoping it challenges him as it is his best subject.  I'm super excited to see how different teachers can motivate and challenge him in ways that I was unable to.  He is such a bright kiddo!

Both of the boys are fascinated with MineCraft right now.  It’s a good motivator too for getting school work and chores done. Winking smile



The girls and I are LOVING our days together!

Overall our time is really laid back and fun.  We officially started the new grade level (and our new school year count) last week.  Elaina has started 2nd Grade and Olivia is continuing PreK. 


Elaina had her first day at the Arts Academy this week too.  She was sooooo excited!  They are continuing to learn Early American History through integrated, performing, and visual arts.  This enrichment program is right up her alley!



Olivia is finally ready to start back with her letter-of-the-week curriculum.  We took most of the summer off and she just did misc. theme work.  It was getting confusing for her to learn a new letter and then also spend so much time focused on a specific different sound for speech, that we put aside preK and just focused on speech.  Now that she is in individual therapy it seems easier to incorporate both.  We are starting letter R this next week, and I have a loose and flexible plan to be done with LOTW by the end of November.  After she turns 5 in December, if she is ready, we will start reading lessons then.  I’m certainly not going to push her into reading, but both of the boys were ready at this age so why not try it with her?


My mom helped me re-organize the school room to make it more functional for the girls.  We purged through curriculum that needed storing until the girls need it, and packed away toddler age toys that Olivia has outgrown.  The new set-up gives each of the girls their very own cabinet full of grade/age appropriate school activities as well as their current curriculum and daily workbooks.  I’m hoping that now we can keep the table cleaned off so that it can be a more available work station for all of the kids.


While I was in the mood of re-organizing things, I made a daily planner for Elaina to help her learn to manage her assignments and her time better.  I think it needs a little tweaking still, but overall it is working well.  Elaina really likes to have choices so this set-up allows her to choose the order she completes her work in and the time of day she wants to do it too.  She is almost always done by 10:30 though because she is highly motivated to get ‘er done and get on with the day.  Smile




I’ve been horribly boring in the kitchen these past few weeks.  I guess it’s time for a fresh infusion of recipes to try…

We don’t have anything new or exciting on our planner this week, which is fine by me.  I’m still sort of dragging my feet to get acclimated to our new routine.  Partly because I’ve been sick for almost three weeks, and partly because I just miss the boys so much.  I’m determined to give it more time and choose to keep giving myself the “pep talk” about why we are doing this and all the positive observations we are seeing so far.  I definitely do not feel any peace about it and daily have to lay it a the foot of the cross.  My good friend told me this: just because it’s hard doesn’t make it wrong.  I think I’ll keep stewing on that for a while.  Smile

Peek at our Week