Sunday, November 22, 2009

Newsletter and more

This evening we were talking about names for our girl with the boys. Evan's suggestion was "Jimmy the squirrel". Last week I substituted as Sam's primary teacher. I had two boys (in addition to Sam) fighting for lap space for the whole primary time. They were all pretty upset that I didn't bring treats but in my defense I didn't know that I'd be teaching until primary started and their teacher didn't show up.

We do a newsletter for my Dad's side of the family a few times a year. This was our entry for the month (most of this will be redundant for our one loyal blog follower):

We're doing good but sad that it's so cold already, we were hoping for a more mild fall this year. We were wanting to finish up our fireplace before the winter and it's hard to work on it when we have a fire going. With the cold weather we got sick and it seems we haven't been better in a month. Other than that we're doing good. Dallas is in school for this year (1st grade) for some speech therapy and he's enjoying it. He won the citizenship award for his grade level a month into school. He's reading great and can read verses in the Book of Mormon when we do our studying without help for the most part (with the exception of some of the names). He loves reading Calvin and Hobbes and stays up with a flashlight reading those long after he should be asleep. He also loves playing any and all board games with me. Sam is homeschooling kindergarten and gets together with some of his friends a couple of times a week for different lessons. He also goes to Dallas' school on Wednesdays with Karisa when she teaches an art lesson at the school. Sam likes building things and doing puzzles with me when we have time. Evan loves drawing on the whiteboard and at church, he'll draw me and Karisa with different funny things (big eyes, crazy hair, pig nose, etc.). He always wants to learn and begs me to teach him Math when I do it with Sam. Karisa feels crazy busy with both home school and public school this year. They have different activities going every day of the week. She's also put a ton of work into the primary music calling that she's had for about a year now. In case anyone hasn't heard she is due in February with our first girl. My work is going good, I worked overtime all summer and my current 8 hour a day schedule feels positively luxurious. My manager lets me work an early schedule and I'm home by three o'clock every day to play with the boys. I did replace our old Honda with an equally old Lexus that goes really fast and have only been pulled over once in the few months that I've had the car (although no ticket). We miss everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still no name decision...

My sister insists, I comply. She wanted a photo of me pregnant.

Art n' Guns

My days are pretty busy this school year. I really only have Monday's free of things I HAVE to do, although I'm supposed to babysit that day, whenever a friend of mine gets work on Mondays. Tuesdays I do a preschool with two other friends from church. Wednesdays I teach art in Dallas' school class as a volunteer. Thursdays I do Art/Science with my other homeschooling friend at church, and Fridays I try to do visits, etc. Throw into that mix the home schooling I do daily with the kids (Pat does the math and I do reading, handwriting, history, etc) and also piano lessons, and soccer (it just ended though-yea!!!) illnesses that keep going through my family one after the other, and teaching music to the children every Sunday, and you see I am a typical busy mom ready to snap if one more person tells me about a meeting I should go to or a potluck dish I need to bring. Okay...that was just a joke. Heh, heh, hmmm.....

I had a point to this post, but sorry, I got sidetracked singing my praises, and trying to invoke your sympathy toward me. Did I mention Pat is always busy and we will never finish the fireplace construction mess at our house? Okay, good well now you know.

I do plan on quitting nearly everything soon since I am having a baby, but I've been so nervous this pregnancy, that keeping busy is good. I don't have heaps of time to worry. And next year shouldn't be so bad.

One observation: Now that I have tried home school and public school, I firmly believe they are an equal amount of work. I guess if you are the type of parent that can ignore your kid, and let them get themselves ready and off to school where they get breakfast and lunch, and you never invest any time in their homework or volunteer at the school THEN maybe public school is easier. But most parents aren't like that. The amount of time I spend making sure Dallas is clean and dressed nice, lunch packed, homework done, tests studied for, and either walking him to the bus stop or driving him to school (both take about 1/2 hour there and back twice a day) and volunteering at the school so that he actually gets art, and so that I can be a part of his education, well, all this time adds up and is easily the same as taking the trouble to home school. All that busy time could have been spent planning the lesson and setting him off on his task, and we don't care if we have holes in our jeans at home and we eat leftovers or whatever we find in the fridge without having to spend time and money packing a lunch. Dallas loves both home school and school school. I am fine with simply home school. I just wish I could have some recess added into that. Oh well... I got side tracked again.

Yes, there was a point to this post. So as an art volunteer, I'm in charge of D's teachers classroom. We are supposed to do four art projects for the year, one per quarter. They don't seem to be the most organized group, but we're getting along. In fact we never did anything in the first quarter so I asked D's teacher if she would like me to come in anyway and do art with the kids on my own until they got going. She said sure. So we've kept with the school theme of passports/around the world, and done a couple art projects from different places that I knew wouldn't be duplicates. We made didgeridoo's from Austrailia, Lei's from Tonga. The kids made really big, colorful lei's, but here's Evan's practice one, and the didgeridoo that Dallas painted.

Then they finally trained me (in the 2nd quarter) for the first quarter's project. Of course now we have to hurry to get the next two projects done on time.

So following instructions I'm to teach them about ancient Assyria, and the king's conquests which were sculpted on the palace walls. I thought that was a bit strange, but hey, at least Dallas knows about ancient Assyria, since we are learning that at home in history. I had slides I was supposed to show and many were pictures of the ancient king killing a lion. (Sword through the chest, spear in the mouth, arrow in the head- poor Lion right?). I showed these, and taught the kids the things I was supposed to say, and the substitute teacher that day let me know how upset she was about all the violent Lion pictures, but I just shrugged my shoulders and explained that that was the program and I was just following orders.

Then yesterday I took the clay in and the children were to sculpt their own hero's. It was really hard for first graders to sculpt bas relief, but they did their best. One boy struggled with his clay because his hero's arm kept coming off. It was holding a gun. When D's teacher saw it she very seriously said to the boy, "No guns in school", and then looked at me. My heart went out to the 1st grader, who I'm pretty sure wasn't going on a shooting rampage any time soon, and he was already near tears because his clay kept falling off. It was hard to not laugh after all the lion pictures I was told to show. I just looked away and sighed.
I really like D's teacher and principal and school, lest anyone mistake me. There are just times when things are so ridiculous, you can't do anything but sigh .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Naming a baby...

I had about 5 plus boy names picked out. Can I use those names? No. I am having a girl. (Although I could turn my Charlie, into a Charly.)

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about anything EXCEPT the difficulty of picking a girl name. I would like something more simple than my name, since it has been misspelled and mispronounced all my life. Plus, there is an unsettling trend lately it seems, to change spellings and make every name as difficult as possible on the poor kids lately. Or maybe it's just parents trying to come up with something extra original. Examples from Dallas' class:Isabeau, Ellama, and ooo there's so many other good ones, but I can't think of them right now. I'm all for simplicity, but it doesn't have to be an old time traditional name necessarily. But it'd be nice if there were some family history...

Now problem #2...
I have a fairly large family, with a lot of girls. Girl Aunts, (as opposed to the other kind) girl cousins, and girl cousins having more little girls. That uses up a lot of girl names that I like.
Pat has a family that makes mine look like a quaint tea party as opposed to a full banquet hall, and so pretty much every girl name has been used between our two families. Pat told me tonight to say goodbye to having a name that is original (meaning one of our cousins isn't already named that).

For example: Two of our favorite names are Andrea, and Amanda. Unfortunately those just happen to be the names of two of Pat's sisters (and my cousin). Beth, Cherie, Kathryne, Marian, just happen to be the names of two more of Pat's sisters, and his cousin. The only name I have that I like well enough, and no one has used is Embry, but Pat doesn't like it too much. I keep thinking the right name will come along, but I am getting really impatient. Now that I know it's a girl, I'd really like to think of her with her name. It'd be nice if it went with Laura (our first daughter's name) and maybe started with a letter not already used in our family (no P, K, L, D, S, or E names). Are you feeling the dilemma? Maybe I'll just pick an attribute, like Charity, Felicity, or Happiness. Pat and I had a friend once named Happiness.

The only person in this house who is sure of a name and has been since the day we knew it was a girl, is Sam. He really, really wants the name Paige and he never waivers.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Piano Recital

Dallas had a recital on Friday night, here are his two songs. Karisa couldn't go because Evan was too sick. Dallas' hat blew away as we were walking in, he didn't notice and I was dealing with Sam so I didn't notice. He didn't find it until we were leaving. His piano teacher is behind him and to the right. My favorite costumes of the night are also right behind Dallas, Spock and some sort of beast man.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Mario, Scarecrow, and Spiderman hope you all got lots of candy! Everyone loved Sam's costume which he came up with on his own. (I'm glad he changed his mind. At first he wanted to be He-Man who is essentially naked with a furry loin cloth and some belts across his chest.) Evan is keeping the Spiderman costume tradition alive. We've used it 4 years in a row now. And Dalls loved acting like he had no brain, and being his usual goofy self on steroids. Evan had a fever but still wanted to trick or treat, but he didn't like the scary houses.


We've had our stove burning non-stop almost for a week. It suddenly decided to be winter here. Here's D's first snowman of the season! And S and E with some icicles.

Thanks Grandma

I inherited material from my Grandma through my mom. Very funky, 70's material, all cut out in squares, ready for quilting.
Maybe someday I'll make a quilt, but so far, I've made a puppet show out of some of them, and my latest was these bean bags. I can't claim credit for the sewing. A nice sister in my ward offered to do it for me since it is for Primary. It makes me happy when I pull them out and use them with the kids, because it makes me think of Grandma. Thanks Grandma!