Sunday, May 15, 2011

3 Weeks Of School Left

I cannot believe that there are only three weeks of school left. This year has flown so fast. I was driving to pick them up the other day and realized how calm this school year has seemed compared to years past and I was trying to figure out why. Here are some of my thoughts:

A. The first day was such a tumultuous start, with trying out a different school and after only three hours there realizing that no school would meet our needs as well as BCCS. Returning to BCCS on the second day of school was like coming home and we all knew it was the place for us.

B. After such a struggle trying to figure out which grade to put Aaron into, and realizing it was against my September first cut off beliefs, Aaron flourished in first grade. It took a few weeks to settle into the fact that we were going to have to work with him on math and penmanship at home, but after finding a routine that worked, things have been smooth sailing. We will have to work some this summer to insure that he doesn't fall behind as things get harder next year, but I think we can get him ready. And he definitely showed that he could rise to expectations this year.

C. Both teachers we had this year are the best ever! The only thing that makes me sad is not having them again next year. Especially Aaron's whom we have had for both boys and I admire more than words can say. Both of the teachers this year have shown so much love for the boys and have made them feel special each and every day they were at school. Noah's teacher recognized his gift for writing and creativity and has encouraged him very enthusiastically. There can be no better school experience than that. I will miss these teachers SO MUCH next year.

D. Noah made straight A's this year. It was fun watching him realize toward the end that he was actually going to have to start WORKING, rather than everything comping completely easy for him. This will be a big adjustment to him next year when the work gets even harder.

E. In the past, behavioral problems seemed to have plagued the schooling. This year was not the case. Due to both things we've implemented at home and the very strong classroom management skills of both teachers, this year has been quite easy. Instead of past "daily reports" that were worrisome, this year it was things like, "I forgot to raise my hand". I'll take those any day of the week :)

F. Car pooling definitely made the year easier. I was so grateful when a mom from Noah's class called early in the year to split driving. Having her drive them to school every day opened up the opportunity to finally find a job and be working every day. And with gas prices skyrocketing this year, it definitely made going to a school out of our district and further away more justifiable.

We have discovered some strengths and weaknesses for both boys this year and we are working to learn how best to help each of them. There have definitely been some surprises, and also moments of sheer pride as they try to grow up and become more independent. At the same time, I am finding it harder to face the fact that I have to let go more and let them "sink or swim". That is going to be an ongoing struggle with this momma.

Yup, three weeks to go until summer vacation. Usually I am saying, "I can't wait" at this point, but I still can't believe this year is over. I probably won't believe it until that final day when I am hugging their teachers good bye for the summer and heading off to Chuck E Cheese for our celebratory dinner :)

Then it will be time for summer fun!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not JUST for hoops...

I made a momma bird unhappy this weekend.

And on Mother's Day weekend to boot.

As I was setting up to have a small garage sale on Friday just to try to make enough money to get a small video camera that was on an amazing sale at Target last week, I heard a strange noise behind me. I looked up and saw this:

I started to worry. As you know, we got creative to figure out a way to get the boys a basketball hoop for our driveway and they use it every afternoon. So I started worrying. I figured I should knock it down before anything got more involved. Then, I saw this:

Now I really started worrying. What if Momma Bird has already laid eggs in her nest? If I move the nest, Momma will abandon her "babies" and I will feel horrible. I spent the entire morning and into the afternoon watching Momma Bird fly away and return to sit in her nest.

My dad is is a wonderful photographer of nature and also a bit of a bird enthusiast so I spent the entire day wondering what he would think I was if I destroyed the nest. Luckily, that afternoon while I was having an unrelated breakdown, my step mom called. Within the conversation, I mentioned Momma Bird and the predicament. My parents gave me their blessing to pull the nest, declaring that happiness of boys trumps Momma Bird's nest location." So with a remaining small amount of guilt, I did indeed climb up and bring down her nest. I was SOOO happy when I saw it empty and that Momma Bird hadn't deposited her precious cargo yet.

I also paused in amazement for a moment. First of all, the nest was quite heavy, which surprised me. I actually found myself really studying the construction. It is amazing how such a small animal can create such a perfect home. Taking awkward shaped twigs of all sizes and bending them into perfect circles, soft and ready to make a cozy home for new life.

I've never thought about a bird's nest before. I kept the nest for the boys, who were planning to bring it in for show and tell this week.

I was relieved to have the next dilemma solved and the hoop was empty ready for action when the boys arrived home from work that afternoon.

But I have to admit, the next Saturday morning, when I noticed not one, but TWO birds in action rebuilding, I didn't hesitate this time around. I knocked it down right away before construction took shape. And surprisingly enough, they seem to have found a new place to rebuild for now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

We stayed home for Mother's Day this year.

We decided to enjoy the absolutely beautiful afternoon and take a trip to the local mini golf place. This has traditionally been our Father's Day outing but Steve is the one who actually suggested it. Every year the boys get better and and better at staying focused on the game and we had a really fun time. Aaron even got a hole in one, thus the celebration in this picture :)

We had many coupons that we took advantage of during this outing and managed to get a quick visit to the bumper boats as well. Aaron was so excited when they let him have a boat to himself and after some rather funny finagling, it was decided that Steve and the boys would all go out and I would stay on land and take pictures. The boys (yes, all THREE of them) had a blast. I was amazed at how well Aaron maneuvered his boat. I thought he would get stuck and start yelling but he worked through it quite well and even got some great water shots in on his father and brother. And yes, he did manage to get mom on shore wet a few times as well. When they came off, they were all three soaked and smiling from ear to ear.

We went home shortly after and after a few errands I needed to run, we ended the day with Steve throwing burgers and hot dogs on the grill, followed by homework and early bedtime.

It wasn't a hugely eventful day. But it was one with the four of us just being together, which is the best blessing this mama can have these days.

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day weekend as well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Answers given by 2nd grade school children
to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.
What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.
Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine..
What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

GRANDMOTHERS, AND AUNTS.... and anyone else who has anything to do with kids or just needs a good laugh!!!