Thursday, September 19, 2013

Two weeks in

I should have known better.  (Why am I suddenly feeling the urge to go rummaging for my old Richard Marx tape collection?)  I spent the day yesterday feeling pretty good with the way the school year has started out.  We are getting in the groove.  Getting the wake up times and leave for the bus times all memorized.  Figuring out specials schedules and what day to wear gym shoes.  I even logged into the school portal to check the kids' grades thus far and was thrilled.  In the four classes that had grades already - Spencer had all A's.  He has transitioned to middle school seamlessly.  Man what a great mom I am!  Cough.

When Spencer got home from school, my perfect year of school utopia crumbled away quickly.  No sooner had he walked in the door with a "Hi Mom" when an email popped onto the screen from his math teacher.  You are receiving this email because your student failed to turn in an assignment today. Until this assignment is turned in they have a zero in the grade book.   A quick log back on to the school portal and his one hundred percent A in math is now a big fat D. 

I asked him what assignment it was that he missed and he told me it was the one he was working on last night.  You mean the one I sat there and helped you with and watched you complete?  Why did you not turn it in?  He said it must have fallen to the bottom of his locker when he took out his lunch that morning.  He said he wasn't even sure that he remembered to put it in his backpack.  He thought it might still be sitting on the counter at home.   He told me that he could still turn it in tomorrow and get a ninety on it and it would still be an A.  I tried to get it through his head that an A was not the point.  The point is that he did the work.  It was finished.  Just by sheer laziness, disorganization and carelessness he failed to turn it in.  I just can't fathom that mindset.  I don't know where it comes from.  If I was in sixth grade my stomach would be in knots in the same scenario. 

He was immediately banned from all types of screens and forced to go out and mow the lawn (even though it was Evan's turn).  I told him if the assignment was not turned in today he would not be going to the youth hunt this weekend.  I was already beyond frustrated and then Evan and Hailey got home and Evan informed me that he could only find one of his pant legs. 

Maybe that needs a little clarification. 

Evan has a pair of pants that unzips at the knees to turn into shorts.  He wore them to school the other day as pants and came home with shorts.  I told him he needed to bring the pant legs home so I could put them back together.  And then he came home and said he found the one pant leg in the lost and found and didn't know where the other was.  Fabulous.  Can you explain to me how you don't remember where it was that you unzipped your pant legs and left them?  How in the world does that happen?  He was already still missing a sweatshirt that he had worn to a sleepover on Saturday night.  I swear Hailey leaves her coat and water bottle at school everyday.  I pack them snacks in little plastic containers so I don't have to go through ten million baggies.  I started with six and am now down to three.  They have no idea where they go.  I realize that I am a bit high strung.  But I don't think that is a totally bad thing.  I like to know where my stuff is.  I expect that any thing I send with the kids will come home.  Is that really too much to ask?

When Evan told me he lost the other pant leg and basically left the pants useless, I about lost it.  I told the kids that their carelessness had earned them all a trip back to school.  They knew they didn't dare grumble and climbed into the car.  I sent Evan and Spencer to the playground to scour it  (he finally fessed up that he took them off at recess) and Hailey and I headed into the lost and found bin.  After a quick dig through the bin, surprisingly I found it.  I couldn't believe how full that bin was after two weeks of school.  I know for a fact they donate anything unclaimed at the end of the year.  Apparently my kids are not the only ones that can't keep track of anything.   We checked the lockers for anything else but they were empty.  The classrooms were locked so I couldn't ransack their desks.  We will see what comes home today.

That was yesterday.  Today can only get better, right?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Irish for the day

Trent has students that work the Irish Music Festival and one of the perks of that is he gets a couple of free passes so that he can check in on those students.   Saturday afternoon when we got home from watching Hailey cheer at the football game, we headed down there to check things out.  Evan was attending a birthday sleepover so it was just four of us. 

Hailey was quick to scope out the Wee Ones area and went right to work on decorating a bowler hat and making a magical shamrock wand.  Her brother ran in a infinite circle through the inflatable obstacle course and back in line to run it again.   It wasn't long after completing her crafts that she joined him. 

This guy was the statue man.  He would sit there looking every bit the part and then spontaneously break into Irish songs.  While we were watching him, he saw Hailey and broke out of statue mode and came over and started to serenade her with a song about a pretty little Irish lass.  She was delighted and embarrassed at the same time.  By the time I had the thought to dig out my phone and record it, he had started to move on in the crowd.

The kids shared some potato soup.   They thought it was the best thing they have ever eaten.

Spencer thought it was pretty cool to flaunt his "crew" status.  Hailey liked the perks of being able to get a free can of pop.

It is hard to tell on my phone, but the Instagram filter I tend to use seems to always make Spencer look like he has lipstick on.

It was a beautiful night.  As the sun went down it started to get a bit chilly and we decided it was time to head for home.

There is just something about this festival that makes it great.  I don't know how to describe it.  There are lots of people there, but it just feels really laid back for some reason.  Like you could just sit down on a blanket and hang out there all night.  I don't particularly like Irish food or Irish music, but I really like this event - weird right?

We will be back again next year for sure.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

8:02 am

The kids have been in school for just over a week now so I figured I better get the first day pictures posted before I am weeding through Halloween shots. I have an empty house to myself all day and I can't tell you how fast those quiet hours fly by. 
Spencer is at the middle school so our day now begins at 6:00 instead of 7:00.   For some strange reason the waking up hasn't been so bad yet.  Even Hailey and Evan who still don't have to get out of bed until 7:00 have been waking up earlier.  
I still have to hustle Spencer through getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing his teeth for longer than it takes to just stick the toothbrush in your mouth and spit, but he has been pretty good about getting out the door by 7:08 to get to the bus which picks him up at 7:18.   The first day he misses the bus is going to be a doozy because what on Earth will I do then?  We are just going to hope that doesn't happen.

His new shoes for the year -or however long they last.  I love that he picked out Van's instead of athletic shoes.  They are very him.   He has adjusted well to the new environment of middle school so far.  He loves the new little bit of freedom that the lunch room offers him.  Switching classes is not really a big deal because he has done that for the last five years in his former multiage classroom setting.   He seems to be pretty on task so far with the little homework he has brought home.   I am cautiously optimistic.   Now I just have to worry about the first middle school dance.  Ugh.

Having kids in two different schools is kind of strange.  It seems like I get Spencer out the door and tend to relax and then twenty minutes later realize that I still have two kids that I have to make lunches for and get out the door.  

Hailey is enjoying first grade so far.  She had her first homework the other night - a reading comprehension worksheet.  She did great on it.  Her reading ability already seems much better than last year - even without working on it much over the summer. 

Evan started fourth grade with his first male teacher.  I am really excited for him - I think he will love learning from a male point of view.   He was already inspired on the second day of school to come home and want to read ten books in one night so he could get a jump on his reading tests for the year.

Evan's new shoes for the year.  Sketchers - Hailey is super jealous even though Evan's don't sparkle or light up.   I love this shirt we got for him as well.  Darth Vader up to bat with a light saber - so funny.

The kids have the same bus driver they did last year.   I love her.  She really gets to know the kids.  When the kids got on the first day she looked at me and said she missed Spencer already!  The bus took off and I made the lonely trek back up the road and was home by 8:02.  Crazy.

So far the year is off to a great start.  I hope we can keep the momentum going.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

After the second day of school...

Spencer came home from school and could not stop talking about how good the sandwich that he ate at lunch was.  He said he had to wait in line for about fifteen minutes but it was SO worth it.  Apparently they have some sort of "build your own sandwich" type of line as one of the choices.  He can't wait to re- create it tomorrow - except maybe not on flat bread.

Evan came home from school and informed me that he was going to read ten books tonight.  I asked him why such a lofty goal and he said he just wanted to get a good start on the amount of points they earn by reading outside of class.  If you read a certain amount you can earn prizes - the top prize being the teacher running out of school to get you the lunch of your choice. 

Hailey came home from school and immediately started digging for snacks and then sat with a giant box over her head and watched "Austin and Ally" on the ipad.  

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.