A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Our Week

Here it's been over a week again, and I only have a handful of photos to show for it.  But things are still happening, whether I take pictures or not.  


I found it hilarious that Grumman needed to investigate the magnifying glasses I pulled out for a police lesson.  Oh, the irony, my little clue finder.  


So, the preschoolers got a police car coloring page (shown) after our story, but I decided to fingerprint the kindergarteners.  In the spirit of lifelong learning, I discovered that when a stamp pad says, "Child safe" that's not the same thing as "washable."  Oops.  


Josiah and Miss M escaped to Monterey to visit friends over the long weekend.  



I got to sub in the 3rd/4th grade class one day.  That was fun, but exhausting.  I like the kids--in fact, one of them reminds me of Sam so much.  They're at a fun age, and the teacher set low expectations for that day ("Keep them alive and make sure the 3rd graders take the math test.") so it was pretty low pressure, just high activity.  Definitely upped my step count that day.  We ended up finishing all but one thing, and that was due to a lack of technology.  We've been reading Paddington in the library, so I brought orange marmalade and crackers in, and they loved that.  I'm grateful I don't have to work full time.  I did almost nothing the next day.  


The trees are all bursting into bloom, and I love it.  It's been chilly (50s & 60s) again, but we should hit 70* a couple days next week.  


This was one shipment from our Love My Library fundraiser.  I've been processing lots of books lately!  We're getting close to 4,500.  


I know four thousand books is not a lot of books compared to a "real" library, but since I've personally handled (multiple times) every single one of those books since May, it's feeling like a lot.  


And this is what happens when you let the students assemble the bulletin board.  sigh  Suess' birthday is 3/2.  So, I put the Dr. Seuss border up and I laid out all the letters and book cutouts on a table.  Then the high schoolers came in, and Jack was doing something goofy, so I said, "Hey, why don't you put the rest of the bulletin board up?"  Next time I change it, I'll make sure there's some string involved to keep the lines level.  


I fired up the laminator like a real educator and made some dino reading cards and discovered my new band name in the process:  Laminating Cat Hair.  Oh Grumman.  


Miss Hannah tweaked her ankle in PE and wasn't that a learning experience for me?  Yikes.  So, when you only have one ankle, and can bear no weight on it at all, that's a problem.  When you cannot use crutches because of a missing forearm, that's also a problem.  I mostly carried her around on my back, particularly up and down the stairs.  After a few days, I realized I had to come up with a plan to get her bathed.  My goals were getting her clean, and preserving as much of her modesty as I possibly could.  I ended up putting her in my computer chair, rolling her to my large bathroom, and transferring her, fully clothed, into an empty tub.  Then I left the room, and she undressed, dumped her clothes over the side of the tub, and started the water.  Once she was done, she drained the water and wrapped up in a towel.  I returned and transferred her back into the rolling chair (with a towel on it).  We rolled back to her room, lowered the chair as far as it would go, and then transferred her to the floor, with the help of the towel underneath her.  I'm really grateful she is built small.  


Books from the public library.  I did curbside pickup, since Hannah was not up for a library visit.  She got hurt on a Thursday, missed school Friday, and after the long weekend, was back in school on Tuesday.  She's still hobbling a bit.


I am reading so many kids books lately!  The Strange Planet one is adorable.  I'd seen the cartoons online, and picked this up from our fundraiser.  One of the high schoolers read it aloud to the rest of the class, and they enjoyed it.  I'll be keeping an eye out for more Nathan Pyle books for them.  And we're calling beds "rest slabs" now.  

The Ducks Overboard is kind of depressing, but it's the inspiration to a bulletin board idea I have percolating for Earth Day next month.  


I forgot to snap my dino display before it had been plundered and refilled.  I bought a dinosaur skirt, so we had dino day.  Because it's all about the clothes, right?  


And here's a parting shot of Jack telling me not to take a picture of him.  The kids had free dress at school one day, and he chose shorts.  As mentioned, it's been a bit chilly, so before we ventured out into the 36* morning, I asked if he wanted a jacket.  He came back with a cape instead.  You know how when you see a kindergartener that obviously dressed themself that day, it's kind of cute?  Personally, I still think it's kind of cute when my senior does it.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Lunar New Year

Remember the photo backdrop teaser from my last post?  One day I dressed the girls up and did some practice shots.


Katie couldn't wait to get out of the "hot" silk and undo her hair.  I was disappointed she couldn't have left her hair alone.  


Hannah closed her eyes and cringed when I put a little colored lip gloss on her.  

But the pictures are okay, so I took the backdrop to school, and took pictures of a couple of my classes.  Most of the school is out right now (distance learning due to covid) so I'll take some more pictures next week, when more of them have come back.  Good thing it's a 2 week long holiday.


I thought I was going to use a recipe from our Eat2Explore box (Chinese New Year celebration - explore CHINA for $20 per box) but we ended up doing Panda Express instead.  


This is a rawr face.  I sometimes have the girls help me with the crafts I'm planning to do with the younger kids.  "Here, make this tiger puppet for me as an example for the first graders."  FYI, it was too complex to have the first graders color the tigers and assemble the puppet in the allotted time we had.  They had to take their bags "to go" and finish them later.  I should have just printed pre-colored tigers for them.  


This is a spiral dragon.  It's a scissor practice thing.  


Miss Katie got a tiger shirt, because she's a tiger.  


Small bulletin board with Tiger and some "red" envelopes, and some Chinese New Year books.  


I ordered the classroom decorating kit from Oriental Trading and it came with a ginormous dragon.  The pink bookcase has Valentine books in it now.  


Backup China books to replenish the CNY display as kids check them out.  In the background, you can see a bag of pompoms.  I'm planning to have the kids practice using chopsticks on those and some yarn bits.  Update:  this was well received by the kids.  


Window decorations


Updated my little board from "snow" to February with heart bordered rules and a few pieces from leftover trim.  Oh, and you can see my gold tiger on red paper, too.  Art Projects For Kids printable and gold markers.  My 3rd/4th combo class couldn't finish this in one sitting, but I told them they could work on it again next week.  


The remainder of the OTC d├ęcor.


Another "let's try this at home" project.  


Shaving cream tiger.


Tiger is face down in the cream & food coloring.


I'm glad I tried this at home first.  


When you wipe the cream off, which is part of the directions, it ended up just smearing black everywhere.  I think I know what the problem was.  I used cake gel coloring for the black.  I've never seen black liquid coloring, because black is so hard to dye.  Although my fingers were gray for a day.   

I will not be doing the tigers at school, but perhaps I'll do some giant Easter eggs on cardstock and let the kids color those this way instead.  Maybe outside.  


The pictures of the kids at school came out so cute!  I wish I could share them with you.  I put them in frames over the weekend and will pass them out this week.  


I passed out red envelopes with chocolate coins inside to the 3rd grade and up classes.  I was afraid chocolate might be messy with the younger kids.  I used the ducks (and some folding fans I had left over from prior years) as prizes for Chinese New Year bingo with the middle school kids.  This actually kept them engaged, so I'll be doing bingo again next month.  

And that's our Lunar New Year celebrations for year of the tiger.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Our Tahoe Week

Travel is starting to be a thing again.  I have seen more travel pics on Facebook, and while I haven't ventured anywhere yet, the school took the high schoolers on a leadership retreat to Tahoe.  


Freshman Hannah borrowed Katie's Christmas camera for the trip, and came back with pictures of snow.  Bad mom--this was her first time in the snow.  Because yuck.  I'm not a fan of the cold.  Last time we took the kids to the snow, my face got horribly sunburned.  So that trip was good for over a decade in my mind.  


This was a composite pic staff shared on Facebook.  Heaven forbid anyone find out my son owns sleeves.  Yes, that's snow a stone's throw from him.  


I was a little worried about how Hannah would do on the uneven terrain, but she had a great time.  


I took some "senior" pictures of Jack.


Which the Grum photobombed, of course.  He was so thrilled to be outside.  


The new TV has a fish tank setting.  Fiona was all about that channel.  


At first, Katie was bothered by the idea of Hannah going somewhere she didn't get to go.  After I pointed out that since it would only be the two of us at dinner, we could pick up fast food, she was more okay with them leaving for Tahoe.  The first night, we had Taco Bell.  The second day, I picked her up from school and said, "How about burgers tonight?"  She said, "In & Out?"  I scrunched up my nose and said, "No, their fries taste like potatoes."  She then asked, "Is there other burger places?"  :facepalm:  It's been a while since we've eaten out.  She has been to McDonalds before, I swear.  We stop at the one in Fallon, NV, when we travel out to my dad's place most summers.  Only, not for the last few years.  We had delicious, salty, greasy fries with our dinner that night.  


My snapdragon "bush" finally died, so I have a big, empty spot I need to replant.  The remaining snapdragons are from last year.  Someone forgot to tell them they're generally thought of as annuals.  I'm thrilled to have found a plant that doesn't immediately shrivel and die in my presence.  


Um, Fi?  You look like an Ikea assembly gone wrong.


I was feeling wild & crazy, so I did a black & white dinner.  Black beans and white beans, soaked overnight, then thrown in the instant pot with chicken pieces and beef pieces, served with black & white rice.  Upon opening the rice cooker, we had purple rice.  The instant pot's finished product was basically brown.  But it was yummy.  


Back at the library.  Our local mask order lifts TODAY!  I'm pretty excited about that.  


We brought home a few books.  Katie couldn't figure out what she wanted, so she grabbed the entire state section.  


Grumman so loves to be outdoors.  


It makes him roll with joy.


Hannah and I picked up Josiah's birthday gift (a gaming chair) after her piano lesson this week.  


My birthday boy!  See the cake?  Miss M made that from scratch.  Custard and glaze and all.  It was very impressive.  


Remember a while back there was a minor brouhaha over half a dozen Dr. Seuss books that would no longer be published because ol' Theo was a bit racist in his early years?  Well, we have a lot of really OLD books at the school, so I got curious and pulled our To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.  We have one stand alone, and it's also in a 6 book anthology.  At some point, the copy changed from boy to man and the ponytail and yellow skin disappeared.  Not really sure how I feel about this yet.  


While we're on the subject of altering books, I have some dino crazy students, so I purchased a couple new dinosaur books.  Being at a school that believes in creation and young earth, I felt a little white out was in order for the "millions of years" part of the text.