Little Free Library

Guess what?!  I got a Little Free Library for DBS!  :)  I’m super excited.  I’ve wanted one for awhile and last spring I asked the boss if we could put one in front of school.  He loved the idea.  I was hoping to find a boy scout or someone to do it for free, but ended up asking a neighbor who has a crafty family and a good mid-western work ethic! :)  They are a pretty awesome family and like to do family activities.  They had a few kids go through DBS and were excited to make a lasting project.  I was thrilled!  I gave them free range on design and they ran with it.  The week before school started they were ready to install.

I love these people. They are amazing. As is the Little Free Library they created.

They even brought some books to get it started!

It has solar powered lights running along the inside of the roof. A very classy touch.

There is a website called LittleFreeLibrary.org that started the movement (as best I know) and maintains a map of locations. I went to registered our new addition and discovered that it’s a trademarked name!  Of course! In order to use the name (which we obviously and clearly did!) and be listed on the map you have to pay a small fee and get a plaque.  Guess what I did ASAP?! :)  The plaque should be arriving in the mail any day now.

During the first week of school I was talking to each of the classes about it and I was thrilled that so many kids had already found it and started getting books.  I love the expressions when I tell them that although it’s called a “library” they can actually KEEP the books if they want to!  And add some of their own that they are done with.  The kids love it!  I’ll check on it regularly and keep it stocked with books as well, just in case kiddos take books faster than they leave them.

 

First day of school

There is so much I want to blog about these days, but never seem to find the time. I can’t miss a first day of school post though! I started my 4th year (longest career I’ve ever had, not counting parenting), Eve started 7th, and Lex started 9th — in high school! Eeek!

Eve has been dreading school and asking regularly if she can be homeschooled. She was in tears several times this week just thinking about going back to school. Somehow she woke up with a positive attitude though, and even smiled for a picture!!

She had a little fun with Lex’s picture too. Do you see her?

We all laughed, then told her to go away. :)

Alan brought them both to school. Eve at the middle school and Lex at the high school. Lex has a different start time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he wasn’t sure what to expect on the first day, so he opted for the earlier start time, just in case. He ended up finding a friend and wandering the halls for 20 minutes. I think it was a really great way for him to start school.

My day was long and busy. As my job evolves to include more and more tech, I’m finding less and less time to do library work. I had a chat with my principal about it on Friday and we will make some changes to the start of school next year. For this year it will be what it will be. I spent the day doing tech support, cleaning the library (there was a conference over the weekend and they left a mess!!) and teaching a few classes. It was fun to see everyone again, smiling kids, a few crying kids, lots of new faces, all eager for a new year.

At the end of the day I headed home to find my kiddos having snack. Eve immediately broke down into tears and told me her day was awful, too many people, doesn’t like this, that is dumb, etc. I think middle school is tough for her. Lots of struggles to find her place. I know she’ll find it, eventually, but these past few years have been tough. After a good cry, a snack, and some alone time in her room, she rebounded and had a nice evening with us.

Lex had a great day. He was happy with all of his classes, gave me a play-by-play of his day (which classes he went to, anyway) then pulled out a huge packet of paperwork for me to sign! There’s always first day of school homework for the parents! Most of the paperwork was band related. I’m so happy that he has found band. It’s done wonders for him. His friends are all band friends, he joined jazz band last year, he joined Pep Band this year, which means he’ll be playing at all of the home football games, and he’s going to audition for two district events this year. Band has given him a level of confidence, a peer group, and an area to excel. It makes us all happy.

Honors and Graduation

The end of the school year is always busy, but it’s a little extra busy with Lex graduating from middle school this year.  Earlier this week was Honor’s Night and tonight was their graduation ceremony.  Lex made Honor Roll for the past two years and High Honors in 6th grade.  Before Honors Night he was asked to give the Student Speech for his team, but he said a hearty “thanks, but no thanks!”

Shaking hands with the principal.

Check out the cool clothes!

 

Tonight we went to 8th grade graduation, which was a lovely ceremony in the field beside the school.  The weather ended up being perfect, despite days of thunderstorm warnings.

I dragged Eve along to both nights, despite her best efforts to be miserable.

This year they asked the students to answer a short questionnaire and then used their answers to say a few things about each student at graduation. I missed his name being called (but they called him Alexander, so whatever) but caught his comments.  Watch his team teachers try to give him a hug in the background.  :)

He’s so handsome. :)

Lex and his band teacher. This guy was an instrumental part of his middle school success!

Not sure how two such dorky parents ended up with such an awesome son!

I feel like I should post something deep and meaningful, but I don’t have it right now.  It was neat to see all the parents of kids he went to elementary school, and even preschool, with!  Everyone’s looking as old as I am. LOL!  I have special fondness for his DBS class and was proud of each and every one of them.  So cool to see them all growing up.  Lex is happy and confident and ready for high school!  But first, summer vacation!

Middle School Musical

The middle school musical this year is Once on This Island Jr. The original version is a TONY award winning show in Broadway.  These middle schoolers were pretty close. :)

Eve played a villager in the show and Lex worked the spotlights.  They both had fun, though Eve will deny that to her dying day.  Lex was happy that after putting in the time for the last two years, he was finally getting to do something more interesting.

See the elegant villager in the purple shirt and peach skirt? She’s my favorite villager!

Handsome tech crew!

Eve’s in the middle, towards the back. Big smile on her face!

Lex at work!

I took them to the show last night, Opening Night, and worked concessions.  Tonight Alan and Amanda went with them while I went to a free CrossFit Ladies Night. Now they are all getting ice cream and I’m home, drinking tea in my PJs.  It’s a pretty good Friday night. :)  Tomorrow is the final performance.  The highest praise I’ve heard so far came from my husband who said, “It was so great! I want to go back tomorrow night!”  Fortunately I bought a ticket for him, just in case. :)

High School!!

I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but Lex is prepping for high school!  The 8th grade class went on a tour there yesterday, and tonight was “8th grade family night” at the high school.  We met the principal and assistant principal, met some teachers, got some questions answered.  All very crazy.  And yet, we all feel ready.  He is excited for it and I’m not nervous, which is a HUGE change from the elementary-to-middle school transition a few short years ago.  He’s come a long way.  At the tour yesterday they got a course catalog and a form to fill out to select their first semester classes.  He’s hoping to take a 3D printing class and I’m hoping he tests out of Algebra I. Have I mentioned that math debacle this year?  It was frustrating, but I think it will all turn out ok.  I’ve been emailing with the high school math director and she has been super helpful.  It was nice to put a face to the name tonight and for her to meet Lex.  He also chatted with the high school band director and came away from that all excited to join pep band!  He already does (and will continue doing) concert band and jazz band, now he’s excited for pep band too! Pep band plays at the home football games!  That will bring a new element to our lives.  :)  I’m not thrilled with the way they handle the language program, but that’s a small concern.  Lex is excited and that’s AMAZING!  Before I know it my little guy will be in high school!  (He’s not so little any more!)

Spring Concert

The HMMS Spring Concert this year was great.  Mostly Lex, of course. :)  I love watching him on the drum.  He’s such a neat kid.

Ready on the timpanis!

Volume up. Enjoy!

I don’t remember any of the song names and he’s in bed now, so you’ll have to just guess.  :)

Photos from the week(s)

Lot’s going on here, yet nothing that feels terribly blog-worthy.  I have a few minutes while the kids are getting ready for bed, so here are a few things from the past week (or few).  I just took a spin through my phone gallery for inspiration. :)

Mini-golf
DBS PTO set up a mini-golf fundraiser again this year.  It was even better than last year because I didn’t have to organize it or clean up!  Whoo hoo!  I did help set up on Thursday (no school Friday) because it was in the library and the parent volunteers needed help, but I didn’t have to plan the whole thing like I did last year!

Eve had no interest in playing, but the boys were happy to play a round!

Jasmine
I came home from school one day and found the cat had claimed a pot holder as her own.  IF I FITS I SITS.

She also helped Eve decorate for Easter. :)Barnaby
We babysat Barnaby last weekend while his family was out of town.  It was fun to have a dog around the house again.  Eve loved the cuddles.  Not so much the farts though! He’s a stinky boy! LOL.

Sun
The sun is starting to come out again!  Hallelujah!

I just realized that I never did a post for Lex’s spring concert.  Oops.  I’m going to put that in a post of it’s own right now.  I love watching him in the drums!

ELA projects

The project for last weekend was a book report project.  All year they’ve had to do “book talks” each month about a book they were reading.  This month the teacher decided to mix it up and gave out a variety of options.  Lex decided to do a book trailer about a Minecraft book.  Eve chose the option of making a playlist of songs to describe the first Artemis Fowl book.  She had a great video project started with images from the internet that resemble the characterless, but when she started looking for music she got frustrated with the difficulty in finding the songs she wanted in good quality, not remixed, and, of course, for free.  Alan and I had a good laugh.  We remember those days of downloading free music!  She ended up just doing a poster for a different book.

Lex, on the other hand, perservered and made a really amazing book trailer!  Alan helped by recording Lex playing the scenes in Minecraft, then Lex used WeVideo to put it all together, with sounds and voice overs.  It came out great!

Lex’s science project

Round two of the science project update.  :)  Lex decided to make his 3D model Earth with a more traditional styrofoam.  He wanted to make it nesting spheres, but after an extended visit to the craft store where they didn’t have exactly what he wanted and everything was very expensive, he decided on the standard cut-out.

He glued two halves together, cut out an eighth of it and slathered the whole thing in a putty that sealed the styrofoam.

Our beautiful blue world!

The continents are a little small, but that’s ok.

All nicely labeled.

I think it’s the epitome of a traditional middle school project, and it looked similar to many others that were presented that day, but he put a lot of work into it and was satisfied with the results.  :)

 

School Projects – Eve

The kids have had lots of school projects lately.  Lots of homework in general!  Two weeks ago it was all about making 3D models of the Earth.  They each had grand ideas in mind, but ended up having to scale down for a variety of reasons.

Eve’s plan was a Jell-O/brownie Earth.  She planned ot use brownies as the core, different colored Jell-O as the layers, and fondant as the crust, with fondant continents as well.  It was a grand idea, for sure!  Implementation was a little trickier.  At first she wanted a full globe, but I talked her out of that.  There’s no way Jell-O can support itself in a full sphere!  She settled on a half-sphere.  The next question was how to make perfect half-spheres in an layer-able way.  We came up with this.  Not exactly perfect, or even close to perfect, but she tried!

Layers of Jell-O in containers.

Then she baked some brownies for the inner core.  The challenge came when we had to get the Jell-O out!  There are some preventative measures we could have taken, but we didn’t, so it was all pretty stuck!

The core inner core and outer core. Working on getting the mantle out next.

Things got a little messy with the final layer of Jell-O!

Jell-O EVERYWHERE!

We discussed some salvage efforts, but she decided to just eat the Jell-O and make a paper project instead.

Quick and dirty chart of the Earth’s layers.

The assignment was for a 3D model, so she made a few life-up flaps.

She decided to also make a slide show with these photos, so her teacher knows that she had bigger plans and the paper wasn’t her only idea.  Eve used all the pictures I took along the way and added her own captions to the slide show.  The teachers got a good laugh!

We were eating Jell-O for days and days.

Drum lessons are over now so I’m just going to post this here and write another one (soon?) with Lex’s science project.  Maybe I’ll get around to writing about their ELA projects from this week too.  All are pretty cool.