Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why do they call them Easter Lilies?

...when they bloom in late May? Our first Easter lily bloomed a week ago and now they are in full bloom.

At Easter they were just green plants with nary a bloom stalk. Aren't they beautiful now? I love that they spread too. We have many small Easter lilies that aren't blooming this year, but will in future years.

We also have some other lovely lilies. I can't remember if these are Asiatic or Oriental lilies, but we've had them for years and they keep blooming year after year.

The first stand of our daylilies is blooming now also.

Here's a close up of the tiger lily:

We have another section of yellow lilies that should be blooming soon.

In other yard news, D trimmed the hedge in front of the deck. We certainly hope that holly will grow back from a severe pruning...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Birthday D!

Yep, its D's birthday today. He had decided he wanted to go to Henderson's, a catfish restaurant in the next town. We took his parents and my mom there a year or so ago. So, we all piled in the car and headed over there. Oops, no cars there. We asked at the grocery store across the street - "why sugah, they're always closed on Mondays". On to plan B: a Louisiana restaurant that my mom and I went to last fall (and D has heard good reviews of also). Nope, they're closed also. In fact most of the non-chain restaurants seem to be closed - either because its Memorial Day or because (in the case of BBQ places and other local establishments) they are always closed on Monday. So the choice came down to chain places - Outback or Cracker Barrel. He chose Outback. We had a very nice dinner there - D had prime rib (not something served at home). And they celebrated (tried to embarass him) with a birthday song and ice cream.
Then we headed over to Bruster's to pick up his ice cream pie. We had one at a party on Friday night and it was quite tasty - chocolate raspberry. So tasty that D ordered one for his birthday. Somehow he wasn't in a big cake mood. I don't mind as then I didn't heat up the house more with baking said cake.

Here we all are helping/watching D open presents.
After we got home, D opened his presents. I wasn't too with it as I had neglected to take the kids shopping to buy D anything and had not gotten him much myself. But he proclaims himself feeling loved anyway. And we promised a return visit to Henderson's some night when it is open.

We only managed to eat a fraction of the cake since we were all so full from dinner (and as it was, D, A and I all brought some of our dinner home). M ate all of his (except for the places on his grilled cheese sandwich that had been touched by a pickle. Horrors).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Swimsuits and Cat Toys

M and I went to Target yesterday to get him a new swimsuit. I can't believe that the swimsuits were already on clearance! It's still May, not even Memorial Day and all their suits were already 50% off. I don't mind a bargain, but its a good thing we didn't wait since there was only one suit M liked - a Yu-gi-oh suit. He's already worn it twice - first yesterday we went to our neighborhood pool (M and D both went in, but I only made it as far as the bottom step - still a bit chilly in the water) and then today he had a church youth group party. A is already asking when he can go to the pool (he went yesterday up in the mountains at camp), so I expect we may be back at the pool tomorrow.
While at Target, I remembered that I had a raincheck for a cool cat toy I'd seen advertised, so M and I went to look at it. Yep, it looked cool, so we got it. M helped me put it together, lots of small diameter PVC pieces. We finally got it all put together:

And almost instantly Miss P came over to check it out. She had been supervising us from the laundry basket. She really likes the little mouse hanging from the crossbar.

Mr S also checked it out, but he mostly lay inside on the ground floor - not nearly so photogenic.
Only problem is that the thing is rather large, 30" x 30". I'm going to have to find somewhere other than the middle of the LR for it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

End of the School Year

It's official - school is over for the year. Yesterday was the last day. M had his class party. I don't know whether A did - yesterday I picked him up early so that he could go to camp this weekend with my mom. They are attending a church mini-camp this weekend for rising 1st and 2nd graders with a parent (or grandparent). He and my mom headed up there along with his friend S and his mom. I'm sure I'll hear lots of stories and see pictures when they come back Sunday afternoon.
We're all glad that school is out. I'm looking forward to sleeping in a bit and not having to pack lunches. D agrees on the sleeping in. M is mostly glad for no homework - he's unlikely to sleep in much.
I need to work a bit on chore lists since everyone will be home, thus making more messes, and without school and homework taking up their time, they will have more time to help out around the house. Or at least that's my plan.
Last night M and I went with D to a party for the teachers at his school. It was very nice. M had a great time swimming, even without anyone to play with (the next oldest kid was 5). He was very well behaved and sat with us and played boys vs girls in Trivial Pursuit later - the girls won!

Awards Day

Well, awards day was Wed, but things get busy here at the end of the year... Awards day was not particularly photogenic as the had the kids up and down too quickly. A's teacher just had each kid come up and receive their portfolio of work and the awards were not mentioned. But, I will mention them because I think he should be recognized.

A received:
a free ticket to six flags (for reading)
a certificate recognizing completing six months of Book It (reading program)
Perfect Attendance certificate
he also had the most AR points (18) in his class - though there was no certificate for that.

M's teacher gave out awards in categories and had each kid come up at each point, so it took longer (but not unreasonably long - the whole thing was about 30 minutes) and some kids went up multiple times.

M received awards for:
making good choices in PE
a free ticket to Six Flags (for reading)
a certificate and pin for making all A's all year
best class reader certificate (class voted one award per child)
and certificate, ribbon and $10 gift card to a local bookstore for having the most AR points (401)
M also completed 6 months of Book It, but no certificate

As you can see, I have kids who like to read. M had, I believe, the most AR points in the school, though I'm not sure of it. I do know he had more than any kid in 5th grade. The highest 5th grader had 342 points (I saw part of the 5th grade celebration).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Field Day for A

Today was field day for the 1st grade. Yippee, what fun. First time I caught sight of A playing it was with the hula hoops. Whee. He can spin it around his arm pretty well.

Then later I found him playing in the bubbles.

After a while it was their classes turn at the sprinklers. Hip hip hooray! This was the moment they had all been waiting for. So why does A look like he's not too sure about getting wet here?

After lots of good wet muddy fun in the sprinklers, they all trooped in to dry off and change. As you can imagine this took a while to get 19 kids all changed.
Then it was time for awards (I'll post about that tomorrow) and then a picnic lunch outside. A decided he wanted a silly picture here as he took his hat and mine.

It was a fun day and I enjoyed sharing it with A and his classmates.

Monday, May 22, 2006

What we should have been doing...

this afternoon:

Swim team practice was supposed to start today, but as recently as last Wed, it was still feeling very much like early Spring - as in, lows in the upper 40s/low 50s, highs in the upper 60s. Pleasant, but not swimming weather! Between the COLD water and the fact that the pool pump evidently needs a new part, they cancelled practice until after Memorial Day.
Of course, now, it is HOT - mid 80s, so a dip in the pool would feel good. Well, at least wading in the pool would feel nice.... I'm sure its still too cold for me to get in, but maybe not the kids. I imagine M will drag me to the pool this weekend. The pool will officially open over the weekend and we can get our passes - I wonder if I'll have A for a kid or if I still have a phantom 30 year old daughter??? Every year, they get the kids wrong and every year the pool manager promises to fix it (some years he even prints me a new pass), but evidently it never gets corrected on the master list.


Saturday evening was our annual Cub Scout crossover, where the boys cross from one rank to the next. We spent the last few meetings trying to get everyone finished up with their Tiger badge and practicing the Cub Scout Law and Promise for the Bobcat badge. We managed to get everyone their Tiger badge and 3 out of the 6 learned everything for the Bobcat. We'll be doing Bobcat again next year, because we're sure to get some new kids.
First they did the crossing over:

There were 2 Boy Scouts dressed as Indians to guide the crossover. The Indians quizzed the Webelos II Scouts more, but just asked the younger kids if they were ready to cross to the next rank.
Yes! they all replied.
Here are several of my Tigers waiting for their turn.

Then they handed out awards. M got a ton of awards. He thought the coolest one was a gold pin for participating in at least 3 summertime events. D is going to check M's book when we get it back (the leader still has it) to make sure he actually earned all the awards he got - we're not sure about one in particular.

Then it was time for the Bobcat ceremony at the end. The deal is that you can't wear your Bobcat badge right-side up until you have done a good deed, without being told. They don't want to pin a badge on upside down, so they turn the kid upside down and put the badge on.

We've been told that BSA doesn't want them to turn the boys upside down as seemingly in some places it has bordered on hazing. Our kids, however, all think this is really cool and had a good time with it. I'll have to be watching A for his good deed so I can go ahead and sew on the badge (its on with a safety pin until then).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sleeping or Not

Things have been rather slow around here. I don't like the fact that illnesses seem to hang on longer than they used to. M and I seemed to have the same virus, but he was sick for 2 days and I was sick for 4. No fair! However, we all seem to be on the mend now and A and D never seemed to get it, so that's good.
In fact, M had a sleepover with a friend last night, only sleepover seems to imply that there was actually sleep going on - which M claims there was not in his case. He is currently "resting" because he was getting a bit grouchy. Actually I just checked and he is truly sleeping. Good. He needed it. We have plans for tonight - its Crossover for the Scouts.
A spent the night with a friend also, they evidently did sleep - outside in a tent in the friend's backyard.
Meanwhile D and I went to his school's awards banquet. It was a nice meal and I like having adult conversation, but it went on and on and on. We left home about 5:15, got there about 6:30, they served dinner around 7 and the awards weren't done until 10:30. It was quarter to 12 by the time we got home. I'm not sure what they could/should cut, but maybe they should start earlier so that we old folks can get to bed sooner... One teacher suggested doing it as a progressive dinner - appetizers then some awards, salad, some more awards, etc. It's a thought.... but not mine to do anything about.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

You know your kid is sick when...

he takes a nap - especially a 3 hour long nap! M didn't feel so well yesterday (and neither did I).

me: M, time to do your homework
M: But I don't feel good - my throat hurts and my tummy. My head hurts too.
me: Well, either do your homework or go climb into bed.
M: OK (as he goes to climb in bed)

I covered him up and brought him a cat. I didn't really expect him to sleep, but he did - for almost 3 hours. Then the next way to tell he really wasn't feeling well - he ate 1/3 of a banana for dinner and nothing else.

He woke up this morning and still didn't feel well, so we snuggled in bed for a while. He still hasn't eaten much - the rest of the banana, 2 eggs, scrambled, a cereal bar, a small dish of ice cream and half a serving of jello. Normally he would eat that much in one meal, but this has been spread out over the whole day.

We're both still somewhat lacking in energy. I hope we both feel better tomorrow!

Mother's Day

We've never celebrated Mother's Day much in my family, but like most all mothers I enjoy the gifts the kids make at school. It's hard to believe I only have one more year of that from M. I don't imagine that middle school has the kids making Mother's Day gifts.

A filled in a sheet for me:
My mom is special because she kisses me a lot.
I like it when my Mom hugs me.
My Mom can do many things. I think she's best at cooking.
My Mom has such a pretty smile. I like to make her smile by kissing her.
My Mom is as pretty as a butterfly.
My Mom is smart. She even knows how to bake cakes.

Aww. It definitely makes me feel special.

M made me a nice page too, with a lovely drawing of a rose. He learned how to draw roses in art class this year and is quite good at it.

Then I also got the plants that the kids planted and painted the pots for at the Scout campout. A brought me a plant from school too and M made me a pot with lid in art class. All neat stuff.

I hope my readers had a Happy Mother's Day also.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cub Scout campout

otherwise known as the fishing and bamboo pole outing. Our leader had planned all sorts of activities for the weekend, but for the most part the kids wanted to fish, or play with some big bamboo pieces they found, or poke at the fire. I wasn't so happy with them playing in the fire, but the fishing was fine - kept them happy and busy - what more could you want?

A and a friend with their bamboo poles.

M and D are conferring about which type of lure to use for fishing.

We had hot dogs over the campfire on Friday night and people straggled in and set up tents.
Saturday, the kids painted flower pots for the moms for Mother's Day.

A with flower pot (and requisite bamboo pole).

Not as many people showed up as we had anticipated (though no one ever asked for a head count), so there were plenty of supplies. So many that many of the parents painted pots too. I painted a Braves pot for my mom - she doesn't really want to celebrate mother's day, but always likes homemade things (and anything Braves), so I figured it was an appropriate way to say I love you Mama!

Then the kids worked on their Raingutter Regatta boats. It's a similar idea to the Pinewood Derby, but its quicker to make them and since they do all the work right there, its all what the boy can do and not how much fancy equipment dad has. They sand the balsa boat and paint the boat and/or sail if they want and glue in a rudder and keel. Then they blow the boat down a 10 foot long closed-in piece of gutter, racing against another boat. The kids had a good time making and racing the boats.
M with his boat.

And M "sailing" his boat.

Now, of course, here's A with his boat:

and A "sailing" his boat

Other than that, there was some playing in the sand and some more fishing, and a game of dodge ball and some dodging of raindrops.

We had some varying sleeping arrangements. M didn't want to sleep in our tent, so we set up the small tent for him. Some of the parents seemed surprised that he would be willing to sleep in a tent by himself, but he did fine. D had signed up to walk from 4-5 am Sat for the "Relay for Life", so he left sometime after 3 am to go walk, then when he finished (closer to 7am than 5 because his replacement walker didn't show), he returned to the house to feed cats, shower and grab a bit more sleep. Then Sat night I went to a memorial service for my aunt (well, actually my 2nd cousin once removed - her grandmother and my great-grandmother were sisters) with my mom. We didn't end up getting back until after 11pm, so I stayed at the house instead of trying to go back to the campout. I'm glad I went, it was really good to see family and I got to meet my cousin's kids, whom I'd never met before.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

a new roof

We just got a new roof put on the house - Thursday and Friday. I never realized how NOISY roofers are! The cats were scared to death. They were both in when the roofers showed up Thur afternoon and neither would dare venture outside. On Friday, Miss P was inside and stubbornly stayed in (D couldn't even find her to put her out once the roofers had gone and we were all leaving). And S was outside and we couldn't attract him to come in and eat - even after the roofers left.
We had thought that the new roof would be a bit lighter than the old, but it seems very similar - maybe a tiny bit lighter, but not so you'd notice. This is the old roof:

And then here is the new one.

I guess it is a bit lighter when you see them together, but friends can't tell. This isn't a good photo to tell, anyway.
I thought it was interesting that they used big sheets of foam to kneel on and to keep things from sliding off.
The roofers had estimated that they would be done by 3, but at 2:30 I could still see the sky through the roof where the ridge vent would go, so I knew they wouldn't be done in half an hour.

And sure enough, they didn't finish until about 6. They should be calling in a few days to set up an appointment for a week or two to check over the roof and see if it all looks good. In the meantime, I've told the kids I'll pay them 10 cents for each roofing nail they can find. They cleaned up the driveway and deck nicely, and they used some sort of magnet to pick up nails in the yard, but I'm sure there are nails in the yard and shrubs.

A's check-up

I took A to the pediatrician Friday for his long-overdue 7 yo check-up. He hadn't been for a check-up in almost 2.5 years, so obviously he's grown a good bit. The nurse said "you're square" - he's 47 3/8 inches and 47.5 pounds. Woo-hoo! 47.5 pounds! That puts him squarly at 25% on height and weight. He's been around 25% for height for a while, so that looks like his curve, but at 5 he was still just below 10% for weight. I knew he was gaining a bit of weight since his pants aren't falling off him any more (even the slims used to fall off or threaten to do so). Most of his pants are still slims, but he can wear a few of M's regular hand-me-downs.
They've also transferred all their records to computer and do a rather thorough health screening - wanting to know about family health history back to the grandparents. I had to ask MIL today about some of it, I really didn't know. They also quizzed A and me about eating habits, sleeping, extra-curricular activities (do you have some but not too many), bike riding skills, reading habits, etc. I was pleased to be able to answer positively to almost everything. If the questions are the same for M, there may have to be some discussions about eating among others.

Not Swiss Chard

D planted some Swiss Chard seeds a few weeks ago, hoping, of course, for Swiss Chard to fix one night. What he got is something entirely different, but what we're not sure. Our plants look rather squash or gourd-like, like this:

Whereas we think real Swiss Chard should look like:

If you've got any ideas what we've got, we'd love to hear it. I think I've finally fixed it so people can comment, but I can't test it, because it lets me do whatever (except when Blogger doesn't like me and eats my posts, but that's another post (which Blogger ate, because I guess it doesn't like me complaining about it)).

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week was teacher appreciation, so we sent in notes and goodies. I had said that I was going to send in fresh strawberries, so Thursday afternoon, it was finally nice weather and off we went. Both kids have gotten to be pretty good pickers.

This time was a little harder than usual, after all the rain we've had lately there were a lot of over-ripe berries out there - you know those that look good, but go squish when you try to pick them.
Of course, half the fun of picking strawberries is getting to sample them!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Beta club

We were pleased when M was invited to join Jr. Beta club at school. Initially I had thought that you had to have almost all A's to be in Beta club, but it turns out that its "just" a 3.5 average and satisfactory conduct. This is obviously not too hard as 42 (out of about 110) 4th graders were inducted into Beta club Monday night. It was still very nice and the school made a big deal out of it. They told the kids that they all needed to dress up. Evidently (from talking to other moms) many of the girls went out and bought new dresses. And were happy to do so. M, on the other hand, was not happy to dress up. I'm not sure which he disliked more - tucking in his shirt or wearing a belt. He tried to insist that we wouldn't be able to see his belt, so he didn't need to wear one. Obviously, we could see his belt:

They called each child by name and they went to their teacher who lit their candle. While waiting for the rest of the kids to get their candles lit, M managed to catch his styrofoam cup on fire! Luckily another mom saw it and ran over and blew out the candle and the fire.
After the refreshments, we managed to get a semi-decent picture of all of us together. It only took about 5 tries.

After the ceremony, we went out to dinner. My mom had promised M that she would take him to a restaurant of his choice. He couldn't decide for the longest time, but he/we finally decided to go to Olive Garden. We had a nice dinner there, but ended up leaving a little later (almost 9) than I would prefer on a school night. That would have been okay, except...
On the drive home, along the interstate, we heard a strange noise - it sounded like a helicopter hovering just over our car. After a minute or two, we realized that the chances that a helicopter was hovering over us was extremely slim, and thought about other possibilities - like a tire. Yep, we could smell it as soon as we opened the door. I had pulled as far off the interstate as I safely could, but I still didn't want the kids to wait in the car. Given that it was dark, we had no flashlight, but do have AAA, we decided to call AAA and let someone else change the tire. So, while we waited for the tow truck, we all huddled way off the road. Only one problem - it was chilly. I had a sweater, but no one else did. A was in short sleeves. I used to keep a bag of spare clothes in the car - a holdover from potty-training days - that came in handy plenty of times. Alas, I took that bag and the spare blanket out of the car when I was trying to transport the HUGE load of Cub Scout popcorn last fall - and I never got around to putting it back in the car. (That has since been remedied.) So, I poked around in the car and found one "warmy-fleecy" (a fleece hand warmer) that A could stick most of both forearms in. And some plastic grocery bags - we poked holes in the bottoms and tried sticking them over the kids heads. They squirmed around enough that the bags ripped before long, but they did say they helped. A wanted one on his head too - sounds reasonable as they say that you loose a lot of heat through your head.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

haircut time again

M complained Friday morning, at breakfast, that his hair was too long in front and he needed it trimmed, NOW. Umm, no. We definitely don't have time on a school morning. But then it didn't seem to bother him after that. However, this afternoon I decided that we had time and it really was a bit long in front.

Now, he had a haircut less than a month ago, just before Easter, because I insisted on less scraggly. He wanted his hair left longer, but I'm not so good at leaving hair long - shorter is easier to do. I decided that maybe the barber could do a better job and I wouldn't have to listen to M complain because he didn't see any reason for a haircut. Well, D had to listen to him complain and fuss and squirm at the barber. Evidently M didn't like the barber any better than my cutting. So, today when I told him it was time, he came out willingly, told me how much he wanted off the front, then said "and shorter at my ears" and then "you can take some off the back too". Wow. Maybe the trip to the barber was what it took to remind him that I'm not such a bad barber. He was very cooperative. I think he realized that there's a reason why I usually cut it shorter as it gets warmer - he said he wanted less hair on top because it gets hot.
I tried to get a picture today, but all I got was the top of his head. I'll try again tomorrow.
Oh, and while I was barbering, D decided it was time for a haircut for him too. He didn't see the need for me to chronicle his haircut with a photo either. A said he didn't need a trim - and really he didn't - I cut his just before Easter and the haircut is still holding fairly well. He'll probably be ready for one just as school gets out - in 3 weeks!

Future Harvest

Our yard doesn't get very much sun (well, except the strip right out by the road), so its hard to grow veggies. We tried the first few years, but they never performed well. The green peppers never ripened until September (just before it got too cold for them to grow well) and the tomatoes produced sparsely. We tried cutting down a few small trees, pruning others, etc, but not much luck. So for a few years we contented ourselves with herbs. But we're back - we planted ONE small cherry tomato plant in a pot at the end of the driveway. I checked and it has little mini tomatoes - maybe not even so mini, given that they are cherry tomatoes after all.

It will be nice to have some fresh tomatoes, though I prefer big ones that I can put on sandwiches. A really likes the little ones. I predict that at least half these tomatoes will be eaten before they ever make it into the house.

Also our blueberries are setting fruit. We planted these a few years ago and last year we got about a dozen at a time (total off our 4 plants). The plants are getting bigger every year - maybe this year there will be enough for a good topping on cereal! Until then, there's always the U-pick place on the way to church.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Field Day for M

Today dawned dark and rainy. Not a good omen for 4th grade field day. I even sent an email to M's teacher asking if they were still planning on holding it. Yes, she says, as long as it doesn't start raining again. Hmmm, it dripped as I headed to school, but not much. I almost turned around and headed home, but decided that I would go and check anyway. Good thing, as they were outside getting started.
It was overcast by then and coolish, but the ground wasn't too wet and the kids were having fun. Each class was divided into 2 teams, red and blue, and then red from one class would play blue from another at each station - volleyball, whirly ball (sort of like whiffle ball, but you "pitch" to yourself), soccer and kickball.
Mid-way through the games, they took a break for drinks and snacks. They were certainly welcomed by the kids, though not as needed as they have been some years when we sweated buckets. M and his friend J are enjoying their snacks here.

I was stationed at the volleyball game. I discovered quite quickly that few of them were really any good at volleyball. Each team had about one player who could reliably serve. When that kid was serving, they tended to rack up 8 or 10 points. Otherwise it tended to switch serves frequently - like after each serve. I think the longest volley I saw was about 3 times back and forth.
Due to the variety of skills of players at serving, it was wise to duck out of the way of the serve!

Then they finished up with a tug-of-war.

Field Trip Pictures

Thursday was first grade field trip day. We went to Noah's Ark Animal Refuge to see the animals and have a picnic lunch. It was a beautiful day - we arrived around 10:30 and found (well, maybe the organizing teacher knew, but the rest of us didn't) that we couldn't go see the animals until noon. Luckily the teacher had brought balls, jump ropes and frisbees so the kids ran around and had fun. Then we had lunch.

After a trip past the restrooms, we took some group photos.

Then the fun began. 2 of the teachers thought we had to wait for everyone to go into the refuge together, but in fact we didn't and the other classes had already gone ahead. Ah well, it helped not bunch up everyone. It was a really cool place - lots of different animals, most in large natural enclosures, but some ranging free, like the llamas, pigs and deer (not completely free-range, there were fenced in, but in the same enormous fenced in area that we were walking through.

I was amazed that the kids could get this close to this huge pig.

The kids were very excited to find several nests with eggs in them. Here is one that was under a bridge.

We also found nests in 2 different hollow trees. One of the trees also had a bird in the hollow! - who seemed not to mind that kids were sticking their faces in there and checking her out.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The dr's office doesn't know me anymore

Yeah! A day I never thought I would see - back when A was little. I called the pediatrician's office and they couldn't find A's file. It's been that long since he's been there! Amazing. Back when he was 1 to almost 2, we were in the ped's office almost weekly. I think they kept his file out to save time. They reached for his file automatically when I walked in. He had a lot of trouble gaining weight back then and we were consulting the dr, getting weekly weigh ins, etc. Now, A is the picture of health - he hasn't missed a day of school this year or last year. I can't remember the last time we went to the dr - I think it was sometime the end of pre-K.
Anyway, they hunted in their old files and found it, so we'll go in for his (long-delayed) 7 yo check-up - so that he can go to camp with my mom over Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

a new map at school

I got a newsletter from the kids school yesterday. It's kind of nice - they send them out via e-mail about once a week, giving us important dates coming up, etc. As well as other interesting news:
"Next school year be sure and check out the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project that will be done this summer. The Boy Scouts will be painting a mural of the United States on the blacktop to assist with academic activities. The mural will be 16 feet by 27 feet and will include the states and their capitals."
Sounds pretty cool. We saw one last year at a different school and the kids had fun trying to jump from state to state. M was trying to get a feel for how big the mural would be.

M - Would it be to here?
me - No
M - moving closer, to here?
me - No, further than that. (I lay down) - see that's only about 5 1/2 feet.
M (lying down, his feet at my head) - how about now?
me - No, you're about 4.5 feet. What's the total now?
M - umm, 10 feet
me - yes, and there's a bit more here - the DR is about 13 feet.

So then we got out the tape measure and determined that the mural will be just slightly wider than the LR and from one end of the LR to the mid-point of the DR table. Wow, that's big.
When D came home, he knew about the project and said one of his students is the one who will be organizing it. As I suspected, the boy went to our school when he was in elementary, and in fact lives in the neighborhood.
M is disappointed that he won't get to play on the map, since it will be on the "little kids playground". I promised that we would go over sometime over the summer to play on it. I'm rather hoping that the teacher will take them out there as part of a Social Studies lesson sometimes too.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Choices, choices, choices

It's that time of year again - time for the kids to choose their classes for Challenge next year. A didn't get to choose last year, as now first grade spends all day with the same teacher. (When M was in 1st, they got to choose classes.)

Anyway, A had to rank his choices. He will get to take 6 different classes next year. His top 6 choices are:

Paleontology - dinosaurs
Magic Measurements - learning about measurements
Space Traveler - solar system
Tour of America
Rockin' Roller Coaster - make your own roller coaster - uses Roller Coaster Tycoon

M's top 6 choices are:

It's Greek to Me - be a Greek god and learn what part of nature you control
Snap, Crackle, Pop - Mad Scientist, includes marble racing
It's Your Move - Chess
Cooking with Chemistry - cooking
Guilty/Not Guilty - conduct a trial of a fairy tale character
Time Warp - Science fiction, space simulation, read The Giver

These are probably the classes they will get, but sometimes they will get a number 7 or 8 choice.

They both enjoyed looking over the choices and considering pros and cons of each class. It's a lot of fun to see them choose classes.