Weekend Update

Happy three day weekend! We made it through the first week of school and we were all ready for a break! Friday night we went to high school football game. I think my first ever! Lex has joined the pep band this year and they play at all the home football games. We were the family taking pictures of the band, not the field. :)

Do you see him there, way in the back? Nope? Me neither.

There he is!

Ok, maybe a few pictures of the field as well. :)

The t-shirt orders for pep band hadn’t come in yet, so Lex picked his most school-colors related shirt.  Apparently he needs some blue shirts. :)  At the game they had a concessions stand where we bought lots of junky food, and an apparel stand (for lack of the appropriate word) where we bought two Hurricane t-shirts for Lex.

The game was good.  The home team won.  It was really a massacre, which meant no overtime and minimal delays, so I was happy. :)

On Saturday I was up bright and early for WW, exercise, and errands. I got home at noon, just in time to unload groceries, grab the family, and head out to the karate dojo’s 25th anniversary celebration at Storr’s Pond.  Lex was kind of on the fence about going, but decided at the last minute that he wanted to.  It ended up being a lot of fun.  My phone battery died (it sucks these days) so I didn’t get many pictures, just one of these cool cupcakes!

Cupcakes! I didn’t have one, but I think my kids had more than our families fair share. :)

Karate has been so amazing for Lex. They are kind and supportive and patient. It was wonderful being at this event with so many families (many I knew, many more I did not) all celebrating Sensei Ken and all the hard work he and everyone else there does for our kiddos.

We were all exhausted when we got home Saturday afternoon.  Actually, I was exhausted FRIDAY afternoon and just stayed that way until Sunday. :)  We got home from the picnic and Eve went right to bed. She slept from 4pm-8pm.  Alan went up to take a nap at 5:30 and ended up sleeping until 8:30.  It was a weird afternoon.  The landscape folks working next door worked until 8pm.  Lex and I were very disoriented!  Once Alan and Eve were both awake again we had a late dinner and watched some TV.  It was 10:15pm and I realized we were all up watching TV.  Crazy.  Lex and I went to bed shortly after and left the other two to fend for themselves.

I woke up Sunday and found the kids both reading. I  asked where Alan was and Lex said, “I think he went to the beach.”  NOT what I was expecting to hear!  He has a friend who has a beach house in Maine and there had been talking about going up there for the weekend, but it never worked out.  I guess Alan decided Sunday morning to head up on his own.  He had a great day there, while the kids and I had a relaxing day at home.  I made some healthy food, we played a few rounds of Clue, watched a cool documentary, and generally enjoyed our down time.

And now, thanks to Labor Day, we have another whole day to not labor!  Yay!  Elizabeth came up for a visit and Alan took Alistair and Lex out for some joyriding in the Tesla (the real reason for their visit!) while Elizabeth and I enjoyed some hot tea (it’s cold and rainy today!) and conversation. When they left, Eve and I went to pick up our CSA share and check out a new candy store in town. I figure the two balance each other out.  I also made super delicious zucchini bread yesterday, so we’ve been enjoying that with tea on this rainy Monday.

Tomorrow we are back to school.  I feel almost ready.  I have a handle on the to-do list, most of the tech stuff is done, and I even have proper lesson plans for the week!

Our plans this week include a contentious Select Board meeting (I’ll be watching from home!) and a visit to a new humane society to check out a dog Eve found online.  She’s really working this dog search!  I’m glad it’s her this time, not me. :)

Happy September!

Growing Up

I’m exhausted from this working nonsense.  I worked a whole day today, plus karate!  Luckily there were no drum lessons this week.  LOL!  Before bed I wanted to write a quick post about some growing-up observations I had with Lex this afternoon.

In the car on the way to karate I asked if he had any homework today.  He said, “Well, kind of.”  Apparently his ELA teacher gave them an assignment, due Monday, to write three things they want to accomplish this year.  “Basically goals, without calling them goals,” he tells me.  Goal setting is one of his least favorite things.  Right up there with vaccinations and trying new foods. All have left him on the floor, under chairs, in tears.  As I mentally prepared myself for a weekend of goal setting with Lex, he said, “I’m just going to write three down and then forget them.”  Um… ok.  Not really the intended goal, but certainly a suggestion I’ve made in the past in an effort to get him off the floor.  He then went on to tell me the goals he decided to set!  The first one is to get all of his grades up to an A, the second one he couldn’t remember, and the third was to keep his assigned 40-book challenge sheet up to date.  All good goals, I assume.  Then he tells me that he had a B+ in science, but when he checked it today his teacher had a put in a few more grades and he was up to an A again.  Check that goal off the list!  He also told me that he’s sure he’s read at least 40 books already (they are allowed to count books they read over the summer, so yeah, he’s read at least 40!), so he’s going to just write down a bunch of books he knows he’s read and be done with the challenge.  LOL!  Check that goal off the list!  Now he just needs to remember what Goal #2 was.

I realize this is not the intent of goal setting, and I will also confess that I am TERRIBLE at goal setting, but I did notice several points of growth in this conversation, and I shared them with him.  First, he didn’t cry over this assignment!  It didn’t even stop him in his tracks.  Instead of getting hung up on whether or not he could do the goals, he just wrote something down.  He’s a very honest person and in the past the idea of committing to something he didn’t know if he could accomplish really got him stuck.  Today he was able to write them down and move on!  Second, I remember (not so fondly) the days of elementary school when he was assigned to read for 20 minutes a day.  After reading for hours he would then fall apart because he didn’t “do his homework” because he didn’t time himself reading for exactly 20 minutes.  When I tried to tell him that he just read for an hour, he struggled to fill out the stupid form with a start and stop time because it wasn’t, in his mind, an “official” reading for 20 minutes.  Today he has the flexibility to say, “yeah, I read those books in the past, that counts!” and move on!  Awesome!!  Again, maybe not entirely the intent of the assignment, but boy these are big milestones for him!

The icing on the cake came at karate today.  As he’s walking into the dojo he notices that most of the other kids have these red sparring gloves on.  He turns to me and says, “Oh, I forgot, we are going to start doing sparring on Wednesday and I think I need gloves today.”  Umm… ok?!  But guess what, he went in anyway, without the gloves and all was fine.  They offer sparring classes on Friday and Lex hasn’t had any interest at all, though he told me later tonight that he’s kind of interested in sparring, but just doesn’t want to go to karate on Fridays.  :)  So anyway, I was watching the class today and they are wearing these big gloves and mouth guards and I’m thinking this might be the end of karate for Lex.  After class I asked him if he wanted to stop at the office and see about buying the gear.  He said yes!! YES!  He wants to wear those gloves AND is willing to wear a mouth guard.  A MOUTH GUARD!?  Can you believe it?  (He hasn’t actually put it in yet, so we’ll see how that goes.)  He’s even willing to wear the rest of the sparring gear when the class gets to that point.

Of course that means we have to buy all that extra gear, but hey, if he’s willing (and excited!) to wear it, I’ll buy it!

It’s amazing to think back to how stuck he used to get over seemingly the smallest things and how far he has come.  It really gives me faith in his future!  He is a pretty amazing guy!

Karate

Lex had a belt test this week.  He’s now a brown belt!  That’s just one level below black belt!  (However, they way they do it there’s actually a variety of brown/black combinations to get through before you get to the true black belt.)  Sensei is sick so Shidoin Paul ran the test.  He said the nicest things about Lex at the end.  Then he went home and told his wife (whom I work with) how proud he is of Lex.  <3

And because I’m feeling nostalgic these days, check out Lex’s first time in a karate gi and his first belt test.  Eve too, of course.  Oh how I wish she would rejoin!

Concerts, karate, and mini golf (oh my!)

We are once again in a busy upswing around here. Lex had is “Concert Grande” yesterday. It was only postponed due to snow once, unlike the 6th grade concert that was postponed so many times they ended up just not doing it. We’ve had a lot of snow lately! Concert Grande is 7th-12th all together. It was fun. Lex once again dressed nicely and I, like a dope, took a few pictures in SnapChat but not the camera app and, like even more of a dope, didn’t save them to post here. Oh well. Imagine Lex at the holiday concert, only slightly taller. :)

Today he had a belt test and got his solid purple belt! He’s a powerhouse!

 

 

 

Lex is doing stage crew for the middle school play too and that will pick up in April.

Eve has several roles in the DBS play and rehearsals are in full swing. She is busy rehearsing during recess and many days after school. The play is April 12th! I’m looking forward to it!

I am elbow deep in an PTO mini golf fundraising event we are orchestrating. Each class has built a mini golf hole with a book theme. Tomorrow they will all be setting them up (in the library, which I have been prepping and clearing all week!) and Saturday families will come play 18 holes of mini golf! I’m sure it will be a blast, but right now it’s a ton of work! Being a teacher and VP of the PTO puts me right smack in the middle of all of it. Also, ’cause it’s in my space. I had eager 4th graders today clear out all the tables and chairs from the library, so now it’s a huge open space. They wanted to move bookshelves too, but I had to put a stop to that! Right now it’s 9pm and I’m brain dead from PTO work, so I thought a blog post was in order. :) If you’re local, come by and check it out. It will be awesome! The kids are SOOO excited! If you’re not local, check out pictures on Facebook. :) We might even LiveStream for awhile.

My life, in bullet points

  • We are closing on our new house next Friday (Friday the 13th, to be precise!)

We have a lot of mirrors in the master bath vanity!

  • Everything is coming along swimmingly!

We were here for awhile, making faces in the mirrors.  :)

  • We hope to get all the moving done in one weekend. Alan says one day, but I can’t even imagine that. :)

I”m sure she’ll be super helpful!

  • Lego League is going a bit better.  We have divided up into three teams, so the chaos is more manageable.  I have a bad habit of finding myself in charge of things, so I’m pretty much in charge of the Upper Valley First Lego League team.
  • School is good.  No, school is great!  I don’t always love going (so much to do at home!), but I always love being there.
  • I’m in the middle of two grad courses.  One boring and the other super boring!  I posted a minor vent on a closed Facebook group for librarians about my cataloging course and got over 100 replies, most all of them completely emphasize, but a handful who admit to absolutely loving cataloging. It takes all sorts, I suppose.  Glad someone likes doing that stuff and I’m double glad I won’t have to do much of it after completing the program!  :)
  • The kids have both had growth spurts and now have a whole lot of ankle showing.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Probably should do some cold weather shopping soon, before the cold weather really hits!
  • I started a Battle of the Books program at school.  It’s for 4th and 5th graders and will take us through the end of February.  The kids were luke warm at first and I was getting nervous, but last week they got to pick their books and we officially kicked off the project and they were SO EXCITED!  I loved it!  It made me feel 100% more confident about the idea and I know it’s going to be fun!

The brackets are up!

  • I finished making the growth chart I’ve been thinking about for 10 years.  It came out really great.  I’m happy with it and now we can officially move.

Growth chart ruler

  • I am running my first book fair at school in three weeks.  I feel wholly unprepared for it!  The kids at school are very excited and definitely missed it last year.
  • PTO is organizing a Color-A-Thon again this year.  It’s supposed to be bigger and better than last year.  I’m the VP of the PTO and should be helping with this effort.  I’m not.  I do plan to show up for the event.  I hope that’s sufficient for this year.
  • We got flu shots last weekend.  Did you see the photo?  Lex was worried, of course, but didn’t protest too much.  He held my hands and cried a little, but he got himself there, talked himself through the whole thing, and didn’t end up no the floor even once.  Eve smiled for a photo at the end!  I think my babies are growing up!!

Alan says, “Flu shots for a happy family and healthy community.”

  • Eve is playing field hockey this fall and loving it!  She has practices three times a week and one or two games each week (sometimes a game replaces a practice).
  • Lex is belt testing next week for his purple belt.  He’s had the green one so long that the threads are coming out!  He said it’s time to retire the green belt.  We missed a few tests over the summer, so he hasn’t tested in many months.
  • Monday is in-service for me and no school for the kids.  I decided to sign them up for a rec sponsored trip to Jay Peak, a super cool (or so I’ve heard) indoor water park that’s two hours away!  We have talked about going for years, but never made it.  The kids are thrilled that I’m letting them go.  I’m nervous about the distance, but I had a nice email exchange with the parks department director and the details he provided greatly reassured me.  I still don’t love them being that far away without me (am I weird?) but I know they’ll have a great time and ya know, Alan and I have to work, so it’s a pretty good deal.
  • Alan is super busy at work, with town stuff, and, of course, taking care of all the important yet boring parts of this house process, like researching lights and keeping the finances moving forward.  He has been the detail man on this project and has done a wonderful job keeping it all on track.  I just show up with cookies and a camera when the mood strikes!

Belt test time again

Lex got a surprise belt test invite the day before the rest.  He was so proud that the instructors thought he was ready.  

He looked great out there!

Demonstrating his kata.

He demonstrated a weapons kata as well. I love the nunchaku in the belt!

New belt!!

This afternoon he participated in a Foam Weapons Sparring class.  He loved it!! 

Sparring

Belt Tests!

Lex and I had belt tests last night. Lex tested for (and got!) his solid blue belt and I did my first belt test and got an orange belt. Lex hasn’t tested since last October (an admitted oversight on their part) and he was very happy to be testing again!

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I love his concentration face!

Lex did several katas on his own. He is soooo brave!

The weapons katas no longer “count’ towards their belt progression, but they are encouraged to show them if they know them. Lex brought it!

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New belt, blue belt!

Eve is taking a break from karate this month while she’s doing Girls On The Run (they are on the same days and she was exhausted after doing both for awhile!) so she didn’t test today. She was mentally ok with it ahead of time, but kind of fell apart during and after the test. Turns out seeing Lex progress without her was harder than she expected. We talked about ways for her to catch up and I *really* hope she gets back to karate next month!

The kids’ belt test ran long, of course, so we ate a super rushed slice of pizza for dinner then hurried back to the dojo for my belt test! Fortunately there were only seven adults testing, not nearly 50 like the kids, and we were all very low belts, so the whole thing was over and done with in 20 minutes, not the two full hours that the kids’ test ran!

Eve and Lex, once settled after our rushed dinner, were happy to watch me and cheer me on. Lex wanted to make an iMove of it, but the iPad is old an out of space (sooo sad!), so he just made some videos on my phone. He is a funny photographer!

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Me in my white belt. I can’t deny Lex when he asks for a picture, since I take so many pictures of him! :)

That’s me on the far left, and my buddy Mike right next to me.

This is my first kata that I had to do all by myself!

I earned my first new belt! :)

I was so spaced and rushed (and hot!) after Lex’s test that I forgot to get a picture of him in his new belt. He took a picture of me in my new belt, but he didn’t get the belt in it and I look terrible, so you all don’t get to see it! :) But we got them and we are both very happy and ready to get started learning new katas!!

New weapons in karate

The dojo finished up the Tonfa sessions and moved on to Nunchaku, or nunchucks!  These look like the hardest weapons to learn! 

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I was amazed no one smacked themselves in the head with these things!

I think the kids like the coolness factor of sticking them in their belts.  :-)

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That's Lex on the right.