Friday, October 1, 2010

Click, brick, stick, thick . . .

We had interim reports/meetings today with the teachers.  K- went with me to meet with Mrs. S-.  She is doing well.  Mrs. S- has no concerns.  She did mention that K- has a slight (very slight) chatty-Pattyness with her friend, B-, but she's resolved it by not having the girls sit together on the carpet.  K- was slightly distraught.  I could tell by her actions, as she was being rude and interrupting Mrs. S-.  That's when I looked at K- and said, "K-, you aren't in trouble.  It's no big thing.  Just something to keep in mind."  Mrs. S- assured her, even saying, "K-, look at my face!  I'm not mad!"  I explained that K-, particularly in the school setting, is one to pretty well adhere to rules and toe the line.  The teacher assured me that she agrees wholeheartedly, sees the small bit of talking as nothing more than just a very small thing and really it isn't a big deal.

She said to keep up with flash cards.  We're going with the tissue box method and I have to say that the tissue box is getting heavy with words.  I write the new spelling words and weekly vocabulary list out on word strips that I buy at the Dollar Tree.  Each pack has 30 strips that I cut into 3 strips a piece.  Today's new list was 28 words, so I bought a few packages to trim.  Add the 10 spelling words that we get a week and you can see that we're blowing through word strips in hunks.

I'm amazed at the words on the vocabulary listing.  Keep in mind that as of Friday, I believe that it is the 22 day of school.  Their word listings have included, but aren't limited to:
-at words including:  flat, chat and splat
-ap words including: wrap, scrap and strap
-it words including: knit, quit and split
-ill words including:  drill, grill, chill, skill, spill, still and quill
-ick words including: chick, click, brick, stick, trick, quick and thick
-ink words including:  brink, drink, stink, shrink and think

Remember that we have the regular 3-4 letter words that go with these as well.  I was concerned when I first saw the list, but K- belted out 90% of the words accurately and with no help.  Obviously, I was underestimating her. Still, I called my sister and my friend Heather to see what their first graders were doing for vocabulary.  My niece J- doesn't have spelling tests until the new year.  Heather compared the words I read off for K- as words that her oldest son, E-, would have in 3rd grade.  She also commented that it seemed as if we were getting a very excellent education and that she wished that her boys had the same things coming home.  (FYI- Just this year, our school regained its status as an excellent rated school again.) 

They've just been moved up to include adding up to 10.  They are doing subtraction up to 6. 

I have to say that First Grade is moving at a much faster pace than I thought.  It's not a bad thing.  K- is keeping up.  We go over her class work each night.  Generally, she does very well.  Usually, she only misses one in the entire pile of papers she has.  There have been several error-free days.  Only twice has she missed 3 on a paper.  (No more.)  Today it was a chapter culmination review test that included subtraction in one section and adding in another.  K- didn't add two correctly and didn't flip brain function on one. That's fine.  She's doing very well.

Hubs reported that she is comfortably reading the Level 2 Toy Story reader that we bought.  She's been reading to him on the drive home.  I wouldn't say that she is at a Level 2.  I think that she has read the book so many times that she has finally figured it out.  Hubs reports that she needs very little help when reading it.  Still, I'd rank her firmly at a Level 1.  She's where she needs to be and I'm not arguing with that at all.

She loves school.  She loves her teacher and thinks that she is the best 1st grade teacher that they have.  I was worried that they were moving too fast, but she's happily retaining, participating and applying the knowledge that she has gained. 

Huh.  I remember writing spelling words on my desktop in pudding when I was in the first grade.  I think that we've moved up a bit since 1979.  That and obviously we weren't germaphobes back then.  Eeek!  :S

Smiles in my day:
-  Figuring out what I want to make as my special mommy gift to K- for Christmas.  I want to make her a tool belt.  I have some pretty spiffy flower printed canvas.  I'll have my friend Laurie help me out.  I want to find a raw traditional open top tool box and paint it to match the tool belt.  I'll then fill it with all kinds of kid-sized real tools and neat-o building kits.  Our local craft store had a big ole bag of miscellaneous wooden pieces parts that I think I'll buy.  She'll be able to glue and nail them together to make things.  Thanks to Lowe's Build and Grow, she loves wood craft items and is pretty good at swinging a hammer.  I've been doing some research on pioneer toys for a work thing for Hubs and really became inspired!
-  Speaking of the work thing, I located all of the things that Hubs needs.  I'll be making some kits for the ball and cup thing and a table top version of nine pins.  Pioneer toys really fascinate me.  Why have we moved away from their simplicity? 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

So wrong that it is right.

I have a wonderful co-worker who will occasionally gift me chocolate to see how far I will go.  She bought me something delightfully and wrongfully wonderful.  She bought me Mo's Dark Bacon Bar.  Now, I understand that it sounds disgusting. 

It is so wonderful!

Bacon?  I could probably eat a plate full of wonderful true traditional bacon that is board straight and crispy, please.  Think of Vlasic pickles.  Your bacon shouldn't be floppy.  Now take that overly delicious and crispy bacon and encase it in dark chocolate.  (Because of my fantastic cholesterol, I allow myself bacon at Christmas breakfast at my in-law's.  No, I don't eat a plate full.)

Hardly anything in the world will bother you for that one moment. 


For all those wondering, C- found the delightful bar at World Market (aka Cost Plus to some.)  If you aren't vegetarian, go and enjoy.

Smiles in my day:
-  Mo's!
-  Hubs didn't tell me that in order to keep K- awake on the way home, she has been reading to him.  That's a 20 minute + drive.  Since each one of her 100 Book Challenge steps are 15 minutes of reading, I went into her log and back dated 8 entries to reflect her "Daddy Drive Time" reading.  I left her teacher a post-it to know what the scoop was.  Shoot!  We aren't going to miss out on logging all that reading!  We have goals to meet and anything to help her along is great!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My heart hurts for them.

Cancer.  One word and people think, "Oh, no."

My absolute best friend since we were 9 is going through the final days of her mother's life.   Her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in May.  Though she has surpassed the time the doctors approximated, she has not skipped the eventual end syndromes.  My friend's father died June 2009.  Now almost 16 months later, here she goes again.  This time she won't have a parent to uplift through the grief. 

My heart aches for her.

Our gallery director came late to work from an appointment yesterday that she attended with her granddaughter, Marcy.  Marcy has been on my prayer list for some time.  She went through a bone marrow transplant back in the spring that was supposed to take care of her Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

It didn't.

It is aggressive and it is back.

Marcy is in her 20's.  Treatment has done the typical things to her.  She lost her hair.  She fell ill.  It has thrown her into early menopause, though.  It has changed her quality of life in ways.

Now she sits knowing that she did as was asked of her and now she's back to the drawing board-- again.

These ladies weigh so heavily on my heart right now.  I've been best friends with A- for 28 years.  We've both seen each other through joys and sorrow.  Still, to watch the end of another parents life is something that my heart can't even grasp.  Then there is Marcy.  I've never met her.  I check in from time to time with Maggie, but my heart just stops while thinking of all the medical treatments that Marcy has endured so far and now she is looking into clinical trials and alternate treatments. 

Would you please consider praying for these women and their families?

Please consider keeping Sara and Eli in your prayers.  Sara stopped into work and I've been able to touch base with her only briefly.  I told her that I had her newest bit on my sidebar.  If you have the time, consider watching it.  It is three minutes and answers a lot of questions that people probably have.  I'm sure that she's had more people than she can count ask her why she allowed Eli to go with his father.  She clarifies all that in her 3 minute clip.  As for an update, Eli is still in Turkey and Sara is still fighting to get him back. 

I can't imagine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Hormonal Home Repair

PMS and home repair.  Not a good combo.

Hubs weathered my bit o' ugliness (yes, I've apologized) and we (both tired and feeling a combination of yucks) managed to get the slate tile set on Monday night.  It took both of us nitting and picking (yes, we've both apologized), but it got laid.  The slate needs sealed, then it can be grouted. 

Today?  Hubs Pergo'd the hallway.  Tis gorgeous.  I threatened to buy a little kids bowling set so that we can bowl in the winter.  ;)

The hall from the top to the bottom varies by 1".  He needed to cut most of the wood by jig saw.  Though it took all day, he had 6 doorways to deal with.  (2 bedroom doors, the studio door, a linen closet and the coat/game closet.)  He continued the zipper pattern that he had running in the kitchen.  The lines line up perfectly. 

Such a perfectionist I married.  It doesn't help that I'm the same way.  Between the two of us, it takes a sweet forever to get anything done.  It always looks great when it is finally finished! 

The floor?  I'm thinking it will all be in probably by the end of the week.  Now, that isn't talking about time to re-install all of the moulding, but we want to look magazine picture like by Thanksgiving.  That's reasonable.  I told Hubs that I don't want to have to take holiday pictures where I have to crop funky crap out of.  He agrees.

Smiles in my day:
-  The hallway!
-  I scored winter boots for K- from LL Bean.  We bought the Northwoods boots that were $39.50, had $20.00 in coupons (1 coupon for $10.00 was to expire on Thursday) so I got them for a wonderful price!  Since we walk to school even in the winter, girl needed some fantastic boots.  Oh, and we bought the floral print to avoid the being made fun of this year.  (Her boots last year were plain navy boots.) 
-  A request to fetch dinner from Wendy's was called into work, so while there in line, I saw that they were selling Frosty coupon books for Halloween.  10 frosty coupons come in the book for $1.00 per book.  I bought 5 books and once all coupons are gone, then we'll go trick or treating.  A great thing?  Absolutely!  The money goes to benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  Adoption?  A near and dear thing to our hearts! 

Have a great day!