Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Asylum is Almost Open

This year's Halloween theme at our house is the 'Red Oak Asylum'.  The whole family is taking part in this theme, with all of us dressing as doctors, nurses, and patients.  This is what our front yard is shaping up to look like, with a day left to go before we open for business.

We are looking forward to admitting new patients tomorrow...

Carving Pumpkins

This afternoon, we finally got around to carving pumpkins.  We let the little ones draw their own faces and then we came back through and 'helped' the drawings before carving.  The older three designed their pumpkins, but K and I took over the carving process for all involved.  I did manage to get a few pictures of the process.  Currently, CED is cleaning the gunk off all the seeds so we can roast them.  Yum!

Carving pumpkins is always an interesting experience in our house.  JAD and I had a wrestling match over who could get pumpkin goo on the other person.  Sadly, it was a draw.  The kid is almost as tall as me now.  A couple more inches and I'll start looking up at him.

It's Never Really Over

The fall soccer season is slowly winding to a close.  We have make up games that have yet to be scheduled, but most of the kids have their last games of the season next weekend.  I'm not sure when the make up games will be, but considering I get to reschedule those, hopefully they'll be really soon or they'll just have to wait til the spring season.  Except for JED - I have to get his done in the next week or so.  Yikes!  Anyway... soccer pictures have been taken for the two little girls' teams and, although I'm too cheap to buy the professionally done pictures, I did snap a couple with my phone.  Classy, eh?

Here is MED with her team and coach.  We really enjoyed watching her play this fall.  She went from being this sweet little girl to a fierce competitor on the field.  In her second game on Saturday, she scored four goals!

MAD with her team.  She was part of the Itty Bitty Soccer Academy and she had a ball while doing it.  This past weekend she scored three goals!

MAD with Flavio - the club director and her favorite person at soccer.
Now we begin the segue and overlap from outdoor soccer to indoor...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's My Blog and I Can Brag If I Want To

It's conference time around here and the first round of report cards are trickling in.  In the midst of doing my classroom conferences, I've been moving around to my own kids' teachers to hear what wonderful (and not so wonderful) things they have to say.  I started off yesterday morning with JEDs conference.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he received one B and the rest As on his report card.  He is also being moved up to the high math and writing groups (already has been in the high reading group).  He's showing some great abilities in school academically (which we already knew, but being at a new school the teachers didn't know) and hopefully moving him up will curb his need to be naughty.  I was really proud of him, however, and excited to see that he is doing as well as he is.
Conference number two yesterday was for MED.  Her teacher gushed on and on about how sweet a little girl she is, how mature she is, what a great helper she is... I could go on and on.  MED loves school and you can see that from the moment she walks in to the building.  Her teacher is already providing enrichment in the area of reading and MED regularly gets chapter books to read where most of her counterparts are reading shorter books.  She loves to read - MED will finish a book within days of starting it.  Junie B. Jones are some of her favorites right now.  I knew MEDs conference would be good and I wasn't disappointed!
At the end of my class conferences, I headed off to CEDs conference at her school.  CED didn't want to attend her school at first and she gave her dad and I a really hard time.  For the first week of school, she cried, pouted, argued, gave us the cold shoulder, glared at us, glared at others, snapped at her siblings... I could go on and on.  She finally has given up on trying to convince us to put her back at her old school and she's adjusted and adapted to her new school.  She has lots of new friends and has really blossomed back into the girl and student we know her to be.  In fact, kids regularly tell her that she's the teacher's favorite student and recently she received the highest grade on a history test that teachers there have ever seen.  Anyway, her report card was wonderful - especially considering a pretty serious learning curve with the requirements and methods this school has.  Her teacher couldn't think of anything she needed to work on.  Wow!  Again, I was really pleased to hear all the great things said (who wouldn't be?).
The next conference, for JAD, will be next Wednesday.  I'm not overly looking forward to that one.  My super-bright-son-who-doesn't-want-to-apply-himself will have an interesting conference, I know.  He has decided that being the class clown is more important than being the quiet kid that pleases the teacher and does everything he's asked.  So, I'm sure I'll learn some interesting facts about him next week.  I can't complain too much, however.  He's not on drugs, he's generally very respectful, and he has a pretty high moral code.  All the things we want for our kids.
This past Thursday, MED was part of another community performance through the conservatory.  We were asked weeks ago if she could be part of the performing group, but it was in the morning and I had to be at conferences (can't take off on that day!) and K was in Arizona at a company business meeting.  They were very understanding, but sad that she couldn't be there.  This past Monday though, I received a phone call.  It turns out this breakfast was a fundraiser for CPCD (Community Partnership for Child Development - the governing group over Headstart, which MED attended two years ago).  They were specifically requesting my daughter to be there.  The director of the conservatory offered to bring MED to and from the performance as long as I didn't mind.  Mind?  Not at all!  So, Wednesday night we headed off to the sound check where we met several nice ladies, the event coordinators, from CPCD who informed us that they see my MED as the face of CPCD and Headstart.  Seriously?  That's pretty cool!  Thursday morning, MED was picked up at 6:30 am to head off to shine and hopefully help CPCD garner some more funding for their programming with her cute smile.  She had to be up before 6 so I could get her 'performance ready' - something I think she might be doing a lot in the next few years as she gets more and more involved with the conservatory.  I am so blessed that she is doing this - her confidence level is through the roof... and she is not 'big-headed' in any way.

I do love my kids.  They may do things at home that drive me crazy (to the point of insanity!), but they are good, kind people to their very core and they just bless me immensely every day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Story Continues...

I think my children are secretly and quietly planning a mutiny against me.

Parenting can really, really suck sometimes.

The End

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Night Out

Last night, K and I were able to get away for the evening (I love having teenage kids - built in babysitters!) and we went to see a play and have dinner. We have a local fine arts center here in town and they put on plays every other month October - May. The ticket prices are reasonable (for theater), the acting is very good, and the theater is cozy and personal. Last night we went and saw Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Assassins'. The play is about the men and women who have assassinated presidents or made attempts to assassinate presidents. I thought it was an odd play - not so much in the content, but in the way that it was presented. There were some very funny moments, however, and I really did enjoy two of the characters very much. Maybe they remind me of me and how I'm slowly losing my mind. Regardless, it was still nice to get out and see a play again. After the play, we went to Macaroni Grill (think a tad more upscale than Olive Garden if you've never been) and pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves. We had a nice time being able to talk without interruption from any number of kids and we enjoyed sharing our main dishes and appetizer. Our waiter was very attentive and kind, checking on us without hovering, but not ignoring us either considering it was nearing closing time and he had a lot of cleaning up to do. All in all, I had a wonderful night out with my husband. I'm looking forward to our next date night (hint, hint!).