Friday, November 8, 2013

Pics from Halloween

Playing with the leftover dry ice after our Church's Trunk or Treat

 Carving the pumpkins was fun and quite messy! We did find sprouted seeds inside Emmy's pumpkin which was really odd...never seen that before! The best part was baking the seeds and eating them though cleaning them took a little time and effort!

      Sterling                        Emmy                     Joe

Cori                             Kailyn                                            Eddie

 Notice Kailyn's pumpkin has pigtails and a crown? 
 All lit up!

 Kailyn and her besties Abby and Ainsley...err...I mean, the princess and Wonder Woman!
 Dorothy watching the kids' Halloween Parade
 Eddie's first ever Halloween Parade!
 Our little Gansta'!

 Ninja Joe...yeah, that doesn't really sound very scary I guess. 

And our two nerds.....
Emmy and Sterling. 

On Halloween we went to our friend's house and had dinner then the moms took the kiddos trick or treating. We had a lot of fun and the kids got plenty of candy....which is almost all gone already. I'm sure Rob and I didn't help with that at all. ;-) 

Parent Teacher Conferences

For the first year ever, I had PTC for each of the 6 kiddos. Yeah, it took a while ;-) I've always enjoyed PTC...Really! I DO! It's not JUST that I love hearing about how well the kids are doing, how smart they are and how their teachers enjoy having them in class, thought that is a big part of it. I also love just getting to sit and talk to the kids' teachers. They are all AMAZING! We have yet to have a teacher that we haven't loved and I'm so glad that my kids go to such wonderful schools with some of the best teachers in town! Additionally, the staff at the kids' schools are great also! From the principal, who fights right along with us to get Emmy the challenging work that she needs to thrive, to the secretary, who calls me and reminds me that I forgot my child on the and should maybe think about coming back to get her. Although, this year, I didn't forget Emmy at conferences so I'm not sure WHAT the secretary did all day ;-) Anyway, wonderful kids + amazing staff and teachers = great PTC.

Eddie is in his first year of preschool and is loving it! He knows almost all his colors and shapes and can count to 12...well, he can count higher, just not in the right order. He recognizes the numbers 1, 2, and 4 as well as the letters "O", "U" and "X". At the beginning of the year the kids drew a picture of Mat Man and then again before conference. Eddie's somehow morphed from Mat Man to...Squid Man??
Yeah, I'm not sure either...But he does great in class and his teachers love him. 

Kailyn has the same teachers but goes to the afternoon class for f 4 years olds while Eddie goes in the morning with the 3 year olds. She is doing awesome! She can (mostly) write her name (as long as the letters don't HAVE to be in the right order). She knows all her colors and shapes and can count to 12. She recognizes all the numbers except 6 and 9. She also drew two Mat Mans...although hers morphed from Mat Mat Girl. 
She loves her preschool and has a best friend in class named Abigail. The teachers tell me they are inseparable. She also has an admirer named Graham who likes to sit by her, stroke her hair and try to get kisses from her. Good grief! It starts already! Her teacher tells me that Kailyn has incredible fine motor skills and is impressed with her drawing and writing. She is very helpful in class and pretty quiet too. 

Cori had a great report from his teacher this year also. He has the same teacher that Joe did last year, Mrs. Shepherd. Can I say that I just LOVE this lady! She is so funny and genuinely loves her kids..well, at least MY kids and that's all that really matters! He does very well in Math and Spelling but the kid loves writing apparently. He loves to write stories whenever he can and gets super excited for any assignment that involves writing. He also loves Ms. Hallee, a classroom volunteer. I met her a few weeks ago at a school event and she told me how much she loves getting hugs from him every day. Apparently, Mrs. Shepherd tells me that all the kids treat Ms. Hallee like a rock star. When she walks into the room  Cori exclaims "Ms. Hallee!!" and she calls back "Cori!" I guess they can distract each other a bit cause Mrs. S had to warn them both to calm it down or they're going to get the other into trouble. ;-)

Joe is doing great at school and although he doesn't always...or usually...get his homework done before school, he does rush and finish it in time to play the Math games. No homework...No math games. Weenie! It's such a struggle to get him to do his homework ::sigh:: I'd be more concerned except that he just does it in the morning at school and he always aces his tests. That includes spelling. I haven't gone over a spelling list with ANY of my children for YEARS...since Sterling was in first grade probably. But they rarely, if ever, miss any words. One thing the teacher told me had me cracking up. Each of the students had to fill out a sheet before PTC about the things they struggle with, what they're good at and they're goals. In the area he struggles most Joe put Math. I was a little surprised and when I asked Mrs. Stimatze about it she said, "Yeah, Joe came and asked me what he should put there if he didn't struggle with anything. So I told him to pick the one that he had the hardest time with." Apparently, Joe doesn't struggle with any are at school, which I believe although I suppose he could have put "doing my homework" there and it would have been accurate. His goals this next quarter?? Clipping up a lot, making new friends and getting better at soccer. Hmm...not one mention of doing his homework anywhere. Oh well! I suppose he'll learn eventually!

Emmy's PTC was a long one. She came along and we met with her teacher as well as the principal. At the beginning of the year we had talked to the counselor, her teacher and the principal and decided to accelerate Emmy in math and let her work on the 6th grade curriculum. If students meet certain requirements they can do this and Emmy does. BUT (and there's always a BUT) it took FOREVER to get the materials. No one at the district level knew what to do, where to get it, etc. And now that they finally have the student manual... there's no teacher's material available! SERIOUSLY!! On top of that, there are another 54,980,532,986 questions about how to implement this, how to test and track her scores and performance, what would happen next year if she completes the 6th grade math curriculum this year, how to make sure she is mastering the material....and no one knows the answers to those question either. This program was thrown into place with very little thought or planning on the part of the district apparently. Super Fun Stuff! So she hasn't been able to start on that. She also hasn't been able to get on their computer math program (Success Maker) where she can actually do math at her level (the program tracks your progress and moves you up as you master each concept) because there were IT problems so she hasn't even had that enrichment. At the end of last year she finished at a 6th grade math level on there. She is in the highest math group at the school with some other students so she gets some harder math in that group, but the daily work is just too easy for her. At least she still loves school and is getting straight A's. It can be a struggle to get her what she wants and needs so she can be challenged but we are blessed with a supportive and encouraging teacher and principal. They really are willing to do anything they can to help her and get her what she needs. 

Sterling is doing well in middle school. He's getting pretty good grades in school, but could do better at getting some of his work done. In art (which he loves) he's got a "C" because he hasn't been doing all the "Bell Work". All he has to do is pick a picture out of an art book the teacher has, write who it's by, what medium is used and a few other things...but he hasn't been doing most of them. Additionally he seems to have some trouble with time management and talking in class. :::sigh:::  And it's not just art class that he talks in. A few of his teachers mentioned his talking though they did say he just needs a reminder to not talk and he stops but I still had to remind him to not talk so much in class. It was so much fun to talk to his English teacher. She just loves him and couldn't say enough good things about him. They did some testing at the beginning of the year and Sterling is reading at about a 12th grade level. She told me that Sterling took two benchmark assessments and scored 100% on both. Something only he and one other student managed.

Basically, all my kiddos are smart kids, I guess. And basically good kids...even they don't always behave that way at home.  They're not perfect by  ANY stretch of the imagination, but I'm proud of them anyway! Way to go Kiddos!!! Dad and I are proud!!

Robert Allen