Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wonderful Wednesdays and Lost Tooth

Look at the cute missing front tooth. Jackson lost his first tooth on the top on Monday. Here is a close up of his darling new smile!
Jackson and I have come up with a few times each week where we do some fun educational projects. One of them is called Wonderful Story Wednesday. I am trying to get him to come up with original writing ideas and expand on them. This was the most difficult thing for Jackson in 1st grade. I was talking to Jason's Mom (a recently retired elementary school teacher) about it and she gave me a great idea. It is called the 5 finger paragraph. For the first finger, the child introduces the story in one sentence. The next 3 fingers are a sentence each and are details about the idea. The last finger is a sentence that concludes or sums up the story. We also talked about editing and worked together on moving sentences around for a better flow. This was very easy for Jackson and not stressful! Here is his first entry. Enjoy!

Kate’s Leukemia
I have a sister named Kate and she has leukemia. Leukemia is a sickness in your blood that is called cancer. Kate must take medicine for two years. She has a port under her skin where they put the medicine. I hope Kate will get better soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

End of the School Year

Mrs. Wise and Jackson - We LOVE her!

Award Ceremony

Pirate Party

Wow, it is the end of another school year! Jackson received his advancement to 2nd grade this week with an award for making the Prinipal's list and a Citizenship award. We are so grateful for his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Wise. She is one of those rare teachers that considers her job to be more than just a job. She loves her students and is as concerned about their academic progress as she is about them demonstrating kindness, patience and empathy for the other students. We were so blessed to have had her in our lives this year!
The last of school was celebrated with a pirate party complete with a silly string fight AND a water balloon fight. Can you imagine a better way for 7 and 8 year olds to party? They had a blast and I think were a little sad for it all to end.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tiger Cub

Jackson and his bud Oliver

Award Presentation

Tiger Paw

Jackson's first year of scouting came to an end at tonight's Pack Meeting. These are a few pictures of him receiving his Tiger Badge and having fun with his den. Jason can hardly wait for the campouts to begin...(no sarcasm there)!
Today was kind of a rough day for Kate so the girls and I stayed home but Jason took a bunch of pictures and gave me the low down. Now aside from swim team, we have no activity commitments for the summer. Yahoo!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Book Addiction

My sister-in-law, Shauna, has been telling me for months about the book Twilight and how awesome she thought it was. I won't even tell you what it is about because it was a turn off for me when Shauna told me the plot line. I have to give her props for being persistent though, as she ignored my lack of enthusiasm and bought me a copy anyway. I am so glad that she did!
I grabbed the book on my way out the door last weekend as we headed to beach and started reading it in the car. I finished that 500+ page book before the end of the day and then persisted in bugging all of my family members to read the book too. I convinced my sister-in-law, Jenny, and she too finished it in a day. Since we were both still on vacation and had little else to do with our time we went to the authors website to see when the sequel was going to be published. Turns out that the sequel, New Moon, had already been published so we ran to Target and bought 2 copies. We polished that book off in under a day as well. The books are actually classed as young adult fiction (so they are very quick reads) and have a fun story line. If you are up for some pool reading this summer or some mindless fun I highly recommend these two books. The next in the series, Eclipse, is going to be out on August 7th so if you hurry up you can read that one too!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Soccer Tournament

Jackson participated in his first soccer tournament this weekend. His team played one game yesterday and 2 today. In order to advance to the final they had to win all 3 games. They had 2 wins and 1 close loss by only 1 goal. One of my favorite moments of the weekend was when Jackson's teammate, Chance, ran up to Jackson after he scored a goal, jumped up and they butted chests. Too darn cute.
Jackson has really found his stride these past few weeks. He learned to challenge the other players in possession of the ball and also how to slide while kicking. He even scored a goal today on a left footed slide shot. It was awesome!
On a different note, I think that I might need therapy. I have found that I am physically unable to verbally control myself at soccer games. It is a bit ridiculous that I have to continually shout words of encouragement and even "suggestions" from time to time for the duration of the U-8 game. I just get so swept up in the game and I really can't contain my enthusiasm. (At least I am not asking what the score of the game is or even caring who wins.) Gratefully, Jackson doesn't mind my enthusiasm and even looks over from time to time and gives me a thumbs up. What a great kid!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Arrrrgh Matey!

Does anybody remember how awesome field day was in elementary school? For me it was a magical day of contests, eating treats and playing games against the teachers. What a wonderful way to wrap up the school year! Now I get to live vicariously through Jackson as he enjoys his field day. Last year I was able to volunteer for field day activities and this year I so wish I could have been there. The theme was pirates and the kids looked adorable all decked out. A Mom in Jackson's class made the cute bandanas for the kids to wear and keep as a momento. So Cute!! Here are a few shots of Jackson, some "in character" and others just of our sweet little man.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Belated Mothers Day

A friend emailed me this article and I loved it! It captures so much of what I have been thinking about recently. Happy Mothers Day to all of the women in my life!

By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through unreliable haze of the past.
Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.
What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.
Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.
When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.
Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.
I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.
Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?
But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages
6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner,bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.
The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top.
And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Movin' on up

Jackson moved up a level during his last day of swim classes last week. He has been working hard for months to achieve this and I am proud of him. Here are a few pictures of him after he rung the bell (what they do when the kids move up a level). Summer swim team at our swim/tennis club begins next week and Jackson is very much looking forward to it. It is more fun and less stress is placed on swim stroke technique. We are hopeful that we'll all get to hang out at the pool quite a bit and enjoy this beautiful Atlanta weather. Summer is my favorite time of year!