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.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Ready For Summer

If you've seen the May-cember video floating around on social media, you know how crazy May is for most parents with the end of school.  This year, I discovered additional crazy from the staff side of things.  It's a lot.  I'm glad we're about done with it.  

Katie's solar system, which I helped her with.  All the middle schoolers made one, and it was interesting to see the variety of different materials and interpretations of the project.  

We're going inside the library more often these days, instead of just doing curbside pickup.  Although, I still contend that curbside pickup from the library is one of the very best things to come out of the pandemic.  

One of the May Events was the AWANA end of year awards ceremony.  Which meant I had to break out the ironing board to put Katie's patches on her shirt.  Grumman was helping.  

And when he got bored with the task, Fiona stepped in to help.  All ironing in this house happens with a side of cat hair.  Fi is so accommodating, her fur shows up on any color clothing.  

Mother's Day happened.  Katie made me the ladybug, which opens to a note.  Hannah did the painting.  

Since it was a holiday, I was permitted to take pictures.  

I'm liking the maxi dresses I found for the girls on Zulily recently.  It's nice they won't outgrow them length wise after a few wearings.  

And this guy?  Had "short timer's syndrome" like most high school seniors get.  

Zach sent me cookies from a local cookie shop.  They were delivered when we were at church.  

So yummy, and enough to share.  

The aforementioned AWANA ceremony.

"Can I go play with my friends now??"

I ended up subbing a couple more times in May.  I did half a day with the second graders.  I took beads left over from Brianna's childhood, and pipe cleaners and bubble solution in.  

We finished all our work early and the kids made bubble wands and we blew bubbles at recess.  One of the students declared it the Best Non Field Trip School Day Ever.  (I also let them write their spelling words in sidewalk chalk, which was a hit.)

The other class I subbed in was kindergarten.  It was a good growing experience for me.  When my kids were little, I had no patience for teaching K because I felt like there were 100 other things I could be doing in the time it took my 5 year old to sound out a simple sentence.  I discovered I've gotten over that (yeah!) but I also discovered multiple K students means drama and I don't have as much patience for that as I probably ought to (boo).    

My dad came for a visit, and we were hanging out in the front room, so Grumman wanted to be a part of things.  I caught him looking regal and majestic once he settled down.  

Had a nice visit with my dad and remembered to have Jack get a picture for me.  :) 

Fuel prices are just crazy right now.  :sigh:  

More books, including more "research" for my upcoming trip.  

Those of you who have watched my little school library take shape may appreciate this.  The biography bookcase was the very first section I set up when we got the room.  It was just a dozen or so books on each end of the first 4 shelves at first.  It has grown so much this year!  I'm really pleased with how many interesting people students have the opportunity to learn about.  (But the books on the top shelf don't actually fit into this bookcase, due to height.) 

Our Early Chapter Books section has grown a lot, too.  

I tried to do another collaborative art piece like the manger scene we did at Christmas, but the results were less impressive this time around.  I'm thinking it's a May thing.  Everyone was so done.  With everything.  

Our 5 reader buckets went from a couple inches in each to quite stuffed in a couple levels.  I may add another blue and another yellow next year, if needed.  I like the ones from Lakeshore, since they're very sturdy, and I prefer indestructible stuff when it comes to kids.  

My post-jab owie picture.  The things I do for France.  :sigh:  

After dropping Jack at one of his shoots, the girls and I stopped at a historic landmark just off the road we were on.  

Kind of fun to see what gold rush related things took place nearby.  

I showed Hannah that I had Mrs. Pollifax book on my ipad, and promptly lost my ipad for a couple of hours.  

I miss the older kids as they move out and begin their adult lives.  You know who I'm not going to miss?  Not Me.  Not Me broke the drawer tracks, and I had to hold the flashlight while an unhappy Paul repaired them.  Not Me has done a lot of nefarious deeds over the years.  

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Our Week or Two


I introduced the kindergarteners to Wikki Stix in the library.  Great fine motor skills tool.  I did have a couple ask for a hand wipe afterwards, though.  These are brand new, so maybe they won't be quite so sticky after repeated playings.  

One of my boys got to go somewhere where they could see the Northern Lights, and sent me this cool picture.  

More books.  We pick up lots of little piles, and suddenly we have lots and lots of books here that need to go back.  

A rare moment where Grumman graced me with his presence.  He's so not a lap kitty that it's a treat when he chooses to snuggle a bit.  

We've been having the kids take notes in church, and then going over them at dinner, usually Monday or Tuesday.  When Paul works on Sundays, this gives him a chance to hear what the message was about (especially nice when he misses one in the middle of a series).  When he's home, it gives him a chance to assess the kids' notetaking and retention skills.  

All that to say, this is why there are a pile of church bulletins on the table.  Which apparently someone used to make a card structure.  

In the school library, we used markers to color coffee filters, then sprayed them with water to blend the colors a bit.  

The following week, the students mounted them on black paper and used paint markers to embellish their space scene with stars, planets, even some astronauts and spaceships from some students.  

Lots of space books on display right now.  

The second graders got to make constellation viewing tubes.  

This actually went well, and if I'd had more TP tubes saved up, I would have done it with another class.  

Hannah has also been reading the Mrs. Pollifax books that I'm rereading, so we "fight" (teasingly) over who gets them first.  

Also, the Michigan books were a result of me planning a trip there with the girls this summer.  Adding a new state to my list, and it will be the farthest east the girls have been in the US.  

Speaking of Hannah, little miss played piano in church again.  

More books.

One of my space dresses to go with our space theme in the library.  

I should probably stop calling her little miss at some point, since she's now **15**.  :mind blown:

I think this is the only picture I took during the Fine Arts Fundraiser.  Katie is in the pink shirt & gray hoodie.  She was in a skit; Hannah played 2 piano pieces.  This was the first production in which Jack did not die on stage.  Although he was fencing with another cast member, and leapt onto a table during their joust, so it wasn't outside the realm of possibility.  

The middle schoolers are learning about the solar system, so I had them help me with this display.

So... I booked a little trip.  I saved all the money I earned sewing masks, and most of my paychecks this school year, and now I'm ready to travel again.  My thought process was a bit convoluted, but the whole thing started as, "I want to take a cruise."  The cruise I finally settled on is to France and Spain, departing from Southampton, England.  Well, if I'm going to be across the pond anyway, I might as well take a few days to see LONDON, right?  I'm crazy excited.  

Katie decided to do this puzzle from Christmas, and then almost immediately decided it was "too hard" and that she "couldn't" do it.  I reminded her that we can do hard things, and she kept chipping away at it.  I got her solar system kit (a school project that's due tomorrow) and told her she needed to finish the puzzle before she could start the project, so she'd have somewhere to work on it.  She grumbled, but she got it done.  

Since the Wikki Stix went over so well with the kindergarten class, I decided to try asking the middle school students to build dinosaurs with them.  

Which went well for about 7 minutes, and then there were balls of Wikki stuck to the ceiling.  :sigh:  

Grammy sent the girls a package!

It's an herb garden!  If all goes well, we'll plant it next weekend, and then the girls can show off their ready to harvest plants when I get back from Europe.  

It's Teacher Appreciation Week.  The doors at school got decorated.  We had a catered taco bar in the staff lunchroom yesterday.  And one of the students brought me a little candle.