Thursday, September 20, 2012

So far, so good.

School is a couple weeks in now - finishing up week 3 - and things are going well.  We're getting into the groove and haven't missed a bus, yet.  I've also have 5 mornings now for about 2-3 hours of "me" time....well time that I run errands, get housework done and try to squeak in 30-40 minutes of "me" time.  Since "Pebbles" is getting taken to preschool by her parents, I don't have her until noon those days.  So, once 8:15 comes and both kids are on the bus, I'm "off the clock" until 11:20.  Here's my routine....

8:15 - 8:45 - have a cup of coffee and catch up on e-mails I have to return. 
8:45 - 9:10 - get dressed and ready for a run.  (This may seem like a long time, but I have a process that I go through)
9:10 - 9:50 - run and stretch
9:50 - 10:00 - water/banana/apple
10:00 - 11:10 - shower and run any errands that are needed - store/school/library/etc

Once I did this a few days, I realized that I didn't really have much time.  In my head - it seemed longer. :)  But, I figure I'll do this as long at the weather is cooperative. 

Will seems to like kindergarten.  It will be interesting (as it always is) to go to conferences in October and hear what his teacher has to say.  But he seems to play with lots of kids - and always has good, funny stories to share.

Katie is liking 3rd grade too.  It's officially "upper elementary", you know.  It seems to be more serious this year.  Homework is really corrected and graded - not just stars and stickers.  Points are taken off for punctuation, misspelled words, etc.  And if your name is missing from any homework, it gets crumpled up in front of the class and thrown away.  Then you stay inside during recess to re-do it.  This hasn't happened to Katie, yet.  Although I did hear from a parent of a girl that it did happen to - and that little girl was NOT happy. 

And of course, blamed her mother for not reminding her to put her name on her homework. :)

Strangely enough, I think Katie likes this extra structure and rules.  It's comforting knowing what to expect each day.  And the teacher has told us that she is really strict and firm early on in the year while the kids get used to her, and then as the year goes on it's easier for her to take a step back and watch them take on the classroom expectations themselves.  It should be a fun year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Funny

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I don't know these kids....

One night last week, the kids were playing quietly together downstairs.  Then, they came up.....and this is what they looked like......

Swapped clothes and identities.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Off and running

School is off and running.  Katie has already gotten into the homework routine without much complaining, and Will is excited to get on the bus each morning.  Today he made sure to walk ALL the way to the back of the bus so he could sit in the last seat. 

Katie has her own caterpillar in her 3rd grade classroom, in a jar right on her desk.  (All the students have their own.)  I saw hers last night at a school meeting and it's already in it's cocoon.  This year, Katie tested into the Program for Academic Challenge as well.  So on Tuesdays she gets to go to the "PAC" room for an hour and work on more challenging problems, read more difficult books, etc.  As part of this program, she also gets to have 15 minutes of "relaxation and mindfulness" every Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday.  This is where she has a scheduled time to go into the "PAC" room, lights dimmed and soft music playing.  She lays on the floor and they practice deep breathing, letting things go, etc.  Sounds kind of nice.

Will has very positive things to say about Kindergarten.  He got to go to the library and check out a book this week, which was a big deal.  He talks about a few friends in his class already (one that lives right down the street!) 

Heading to school....

Waiting for the bus.  Since it was Will's first day riding the bus, I was planning on riding along. (As all parents were invited to do - and many did.) John stayed home to make sure Katie got on her own bus. 

Will waiting with his classmates before going into school.  The 2 little boys to the left are in his class and ride his bus. 

M/W/F "Pebbles" is in preschool.  So I leave to pick her up after Will gets home on the bus.  That means I have about 3 hours before kids start trickling back into the house.  Monday I went for a run, had a cup of coffee and went to the grocery store.  Today, I plan on going for a run, having a cup of coffee and taking the car in for an oil change.  Friday we are camping with friends so I'll spend that morning getting everything ready...and go for a run.  Wow - 3 runs in a week.  It's been a LOOONG time since I've been able to work that in!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Funny

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No school pictures

Ok, so I keep forgetting to take pictures of Katie in the morning before school.  We WILL do it tomorrow...then it will be Will's first day and Katie's third.....

In the meantime, here are some pictures of when we visited Itasca State Park!

Walking across the Mississippi.....John helped Katie walk across the rocks so she wouldn't get too wet.

Then, being the good dad he is, John came BACK to help Will across the rocks. 
 (Hey, I was holding the camera!)

And here would be John climbing out of the water after he slipped of a rock. 
But notice how dry the kids look!

Riding bikes on the trails....John and Will are up ahead.

Nothing better than ice cream after a 3 mile bike ride!

100 foot tall fire tower.
I was a little shaky on the way up....not wanting to go up to the top and not wanting the kids to go to the top.  After stating this, Will yelled "I'M GOING TO THE TOP!"  Ok.
I did get there - just after the other 3.

....If I stayed low, I didn't have to look over the edge. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

More vacation....

The Wednesday we were up north, we went into the local town of Longville.  Every Wednesday from June through August they have turtle races at 2:00.  An entire street is blocked off and people buy a chance to pick a turtle and race it.  (You can also bring your own turtle as long as the shell is over 5 inches wide.)  The racetrack looks like a bullseye.  12 people (and their turtles) start in the middle, then on "GO!" you let them go, and the first one out of the outside ring wins.  Also, the turtle still closest to the starting line wins too as the slowest. :)

Of course Katie and Will both raced their pick of the litter.  Katie came in second fastest.....Will's came in second slowest.

The other big kid-centered activity of the week was the fishing contest put on by the lodge we were staying at.  All kids - fish for 30 minutes (or until everyone has caught at least 1 fish) using whatever bait you wish.  The owner of the lodge went around and took pictures of every child and their first fish.  From then on, he wanted measurements and pictures with what could be the biggest fish or the smallest fish.  Also keep track of the number you catch because there'll be a prize for the most caught too.  Katie missed out on biggest fish by something ridiculous like 1/4 of an inch.  She caught a really nice small mouth bass.  In the end Katie caught 5 and Will caught 4.  AND they were both fishing like pros by the end of the week.

    Stay tuned for details about our stop at Itasca State Park and the Mississippi headwaters.  BUT I have a feeling tomorrow I'll have first day of school pics for Katie......