Monday, 30 March 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
2. I'm thankful my kids get to go to school. They've been off all this week. (oops....leaning towards cynacism again)
3. I'm thankful for opportunities I have to get to know other moms. This week we went rollerskating and invited kids from school. I was chatting with one of the mom's and in our conversation it came out that she had a stillborn baby last year at 37 weeks. We didn't talk for too long- but it was clear that there was a deep understanding between the two of us. I left there feeling grateful for the opportunity I had to talk with her about her experience and share a little of mine.
4. I'm thankful we have a student staying with us! He is from Saudi Arabia and he's a really great guy!
5. I'm thankful for free movies!! One of the moms I've come to know at school invited us to go to a free movie Saturday hosted by a real estate agent she knows. We happened to run into a couple families from church as well. We sat with them and it was really hilarious sitting and listening to three little six year old boy's commentary on Monsters versus Aliens. Little boys are hilarious!
6. I'm thankful school will start again tomorrow.
7. I'm thankful school will start again tomorrow.
....oops...I'm repeating myself. It's been a long week! :0)
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
Well, we had fun.
And I'm tired!! Maybe it's the weather (Still freezing. Still tons of snow. BLAH!)
Nope. I'm just plain tired.
I'm very excited for my kids to go back to school!
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
I think we'll try that gig again!
Friday, 13 March 2009
I’ve often thought about the best approaches with kids learning to read.
Is it best to start with all the building blocks: teach all the sounds, put them together, and build on up? My concern with that is you don’t really get to enjoy great writing and good books along the way. Instead you’re left reading Dick and Jane style books. Boring!
Is it best to jump into books and read together for hours and hours? You get to enjoy great books but then you’re left wondering if they’ll pick up on sounds and learn how to put them together and become independent readers. Will I be left reading aloud to this kid for years to come?
We seem to jump between the two types of approaches. Apparently we haven’t done too much damage that way.
I suspected for years that what mattered most was what you did at home to instil a love of reading. My oldest, Jill, never had a home reading program of any sort, and that was okay with me. I have never been a fan of tracking minutes or books. However, this year, Peirce's teacher has a home reading program.
Insert deep breath.
In an effort to be a supportive parent, we decided to give it a shot and participate. There's just one challenge in this home reading program though: the English books don't count. Rather, it has been all about the French books. Our list of English books we read pale in comparison to the other books we read on a daily basis - but we chose French Immersion - so we decided we should give it a hearty effort. Some weeks we do well and others are quite dismal. I put up with his criticism on my poor French accent. I put up with having to keep track of the books. And along the way I’ve learned a lot! Not only that, we have enjoyed the snuggling time, made it through the good books and the bad, and have had great conversations thanks to books.
Recently Peirce has been quite motivated to read every day and has been reading two or three times as many books each evening because or the dangling carrot: when you get to 100 you get a book!
Today he finally reached that summit. Sure enough he got his book and a certificate. The book he was given is a Magic Tree House book - and funny enough, we haven't read any of those! So tonight at bedtime we got started on it. In the middle of reading Peirce suddenly had to tell me a story:
Peirce: Peirce: I finally got my goal Mom.
Me: Did you go running in to hand her your duo-tang and announce you were at 100?
Peirce: No. I just gave it to her and sat down. But she was so excited she had to look right away and she counted...but she counted wrong. And we got into this big fight. She said I read 100 books but it was really only 99.
Me: Oh dear. Was it like Thomas' Snowsuit?
Me: Wow. So what did the principal do?
Peirce: We had to get back in our own clothes right there and then. That's when we saw her red underwear with pink hearts. It was crazy. (insert pause) But, I'm still glad she gave me this book. It's really good. Keep reading.
My Peirce sure can weave a tale!!!
Oh, and by the way, Peirce was wrong. It really was 100 books.
AND he is learning to read!
FYI: This isn't our garage door (just a picture I found somewhere on the net) but if gives you a general idea of how ours looked. Ours didn't look quite this bad...but almost!
Next problem: I'm supposed to be volunteering at a casino today (not my favorite assignment...but here the casinos have to give 1/3 their profits to charities/non profit organizations - and our kid's swim club is on that list. In order to get the money you have to volunteer....in a day we make about $70,000....un-damn-believable if you ask me) ...Anyway, how am I supposed to get to the casino if I can't get my van out of the garage?? So I get Allen to come and drive me to the casino. I get there right on time at 10 am only to wait and wait and wait. No one else from the swim club is there. Do I have the right casino? Oh no! I panicked for a while and tried to make a few calls to other people in the swim club. Of course, no one is answering their phones....finally I said, this has to be the right place. The guy at the door said I was early - so I decided I'd just wait. Turned out I was a full hour early. I sure could have used an extra hour this morning to do a few things....but oh well. Then around 11:15 all the volunteers start arriving and we visit like swim parents like to do while they wait around (we do a lot of waiting around!)
We made a series of phone calls. Neither of us could find out spouses or get a hold of the other people we tried. So we decided, well, let's go have lunch!! (They feed all the volunteers on their days at the casino) Just as we're about to go have lunch my husband shows up and drives us both home. So, no free lunch either.
We got someone to come over and look at our garage. He said a wire snapped and lucky us, he has one in his garage we can use. GREAT!! Only he went to get it and hasn't come back. So now its time to take my daughter to swim club and I still can't get my van out of the garage. Finally my husband comes home again and takes her to the pool.
Things can only get better, right?!! Today made me think back to that crazy week we had last Spring break. Wait a minute...that was just about this same time last year when we had bad luck on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!!!! Now we have our Friday, I guess.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Recently Jill has been dropping hints that she wants to go to English Junior High. She's in Grade 5 so we still have a year to figure it out. I decided though, that since she was already on top of that issue maybe we should start checking things out. The other day there was an open house at the French Immersion school she would go to as well as the English Junior High she says she'd like to go to. We decided to go check both of them out. I couldn't have planned it better if I had tried! The French school had an amazing set up planned. There were displays and activities and demonstrations in every classroom...and not just the elective subjects either - even the math teachers were there with displays and kids in the classroom, and the science teacher had some kids there cutting up cow eyes (blech!). They had games going on in the drama room and kids playing volleyball in the gym and even a French cafe set up in the library where they were serving crepes. It was amazing!! When we went to the English school there was nothing in comparison - but there were still lots of kids there. Which mostly meant there were kids running around acting like junior high kids do. Jill said she really didn't feel great about the English Junior High. Just to make sure she knew I was seriously considering the option I even went and talked to the principal (who happens to be an old friend) about whether or not they accept out of bounds students. We explained our situation (Jill would love to attend there because its close to the pool) and since he was also a swimmer he was quite sympathetic to the situation. In the end, though, I don't think we'll need to take him up on that favor. I think we'll just continue on in French.
YEA!! I'm excited for Jill to go to Junior High. I think she is really going to love it! That girl was built for Junior High!
Monday, 9 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
1. I'm grateful for all my new swim-club-mom friends I've made. I spend a minimum of 4 hours at the pool each week and am really enjoying getting to know some of the moms there. They're great people!
2. I'm grateful that I have such good kids. I generally go to church as a single parent these days since Allen is always in some other ward for High Council business - and I'm so grateful that they're good kids and I can still enjoy the meetings and get something out of my time there.
3. I'm grateful for Freecycle. I don't know how it could be possible - but I've been giving away stuff on an on-going basis. There always seems to be more I can give away to de-clutter my life.
4. I'm grateful for my new job! Have I mentioned how much I love it? I have seen amazing teamwork and work with a bunch of really terrific people.
5. I'm grateful it's going to warm up this week and that I have a garage to park in while it is cold.
6. I'm grateful to have family around. We got to spend this afternoon with Becky and Nathan and sure had a great visit there. Life just gets so busy sometimes that we don't hang out often - but I sure enjoy it when we do.
7. I'm grateful Jill has a real love of reading. I think Peirce is developing that too. We have some great reading going on in our house. Love it!
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Friday, 6 March 2009
Thursday, 5 March 2009
I happened to find out that the French Immersion junior high and the school by the pool were having open houses this week. We had to go check them out. I have tried to be open minded about the idea of Jill going to the pool by the school - but I didn't feel great about it. I talked to a woman in my ward whose kids had gone through French Immersion and talked to Allen's aunt as well. Neither of them were hard care dedicated to the idea of French Immersion and it caused me to be a little open minded....but I wasn't making any decisions just yet.
Well, the open houses were quite interesting. The French Immersion open house was amazing! There were kids at the front door welcoming us. Kids in the foyer telling us what places we should go see. Kids in every classroom showing us stuff in the classes: kids in the art room, the band was performing in the band room, there were kids in the drama room playing drama games. There were kids in the math classroom having fun with their math teachers (??!?!) There were kids in the home ec room making crepes and there were kids in the library serving the crepes to us! There were kids in the gym playing volleyball in their school uniforms. There were kids in the resource room having great conversations with the teacher. There were kids in the science room cutting up cow eye balls (eeewwww!) It was simply amazing!! Jill and Peirce BOTH loved visiting that school. When we were leaving I said, "Jill, I think you were built for Junior High!"
Then we went to the school by the pool. I have to cut them some slack because we were there at the end of the night - but man, it sure didn't compare. There were lots of kids. Yup lots of kids. Acting like junior high kids (not impressive). We talked to the drama teacher and we talked to the band teacher but we really didn't know where else to go. Then we went into the library and chatted with the principal (a friend of mine!) It was a good visit....but it just didn't feel the same. As we left Jill said, "I just don't feel good about this place."
I was so glad we went and checked them out! And I was glad I let Jill lead in the decision making process. She's right. I didn't feel that good about it either. It's decided...she's going to continue on in French Immersion.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Sunday, 1 March 2009
4. I'm grateful for Allen and his hard work. This RSP season hasn't been the money making time it normally is thanks to the market....but he still works hard and manages to do what he needs to do to take care of us. I'm so proud of him!
5. I'm grateful for miracles. I sat by someone in Sunday School today that is from Kelowna where I grew up. It turns out that they've been in Atlanta for four months visiting their daughter as she has cancer. She had gone through radiation and chemo and the cancer was thought to be gone - and they did tests and found out it wasn't gone. Through a series of priesthood blessings she was healed. They tested her again, and the cancer was gone.
6. I'm grateful for family....the family I was born into, the family I married into, and the family we've started
7. I'm grateful it's going to be warm this week!!! I'm seriously grateful for that! :) See that Chinook arch?! I love a chinook!!!