At any rate, we'll declare this a miscellaneous information day. (BTW, I am always open to questions. If you know me at all, you know I don't have much to hide / I'm not good at being coy and selective in the information I share (if its mine to share).
R started college earlier this month (they work on a trimester schedule). Its a technical school a little more than an hour away and he commutes four days a week in a car he purchased on his own. He is also working 25-30 hours a week at Walmart. Its a lot to manage and we're working through some challenges but when I can pull back from the day-to-day, I see how far he's come. And really? We're all a work in progress, aren't we?
This is his first completed woodworking project. Beautiful!
But I'm kind of partial to his first band-saw project though. :)
Aiden is adjusting well to first grade. He likes school and really likes weekends. :) With just nine kids in his class it seems like they are a pretty close group and are getting help on the level they need. He is the classic "my teacher said" kid. Every day there is a new "Sister Joan Marie said this, Sister Joan Marie said that". She is a complete genius and a reliable authority to Aiden. For instance, in religion yesterday they talked about speaking kindly to others. Aiden told me about it as if it were the first time he'd ever heard of such a concept and what a great new idea his teacher had. ;)
That's ok. I'm so glad he's in an environment where the things he's learning at home can be reinforced ('cause just to clarify...we've taught about kindness once or twice in our family :). And his favorite subject to discuss is religion (its actually his homework each night to go over what they learned that day with a parent) so we've been able to have some really good discussions. If his helicopter pilot gig doesn't work out, I think he'd thrive in a school of Theology.
The other day I stopped to drop off cookies where Shaun and crew were roofing. I parked my car on the street and wasn't there for more than 10 minutes, however in that time my wallet was stolen out of my unlocked car. I didn't realize it until the next day when a neighbor brought it over, empty of everything except my insurance cards (which don't have my address on them, so the neighbor, who I'd never met, had to do a little work to figure out who to return it to).
The kids were inquisitive so after I explained it all to them, we did some roll-playing. (I've posted about roll playing before, its one of my favorite kinds of teaching tools.) I simply said, "You found a wallet on the sidewalk. What do you do?" Avery and Aiden immediately said they would find out who it belonged to and return it.
Amanda gave it some thought and said, "I would come home and take a picture of the wallet and make up signs that I could hang around town". The "lost cat" signs we see really bother her in a worrisome way.
The lost wallet has been a hassle. Here is a tip I found that I probably won't do, but think its a good idea.
Anyway, while we were in roll-playing mode, I gave them different scenarios about someone approaching them while they are out walking around town.
Hi little girl. What's your name?
Amanda (accompanied by a sweet smile).
You look like someone who loves animals.
Oh, yes! I do!
Well that's great. I actually have a puppy in my car.
Yes, would you like to pet her?
Amanda is still all smiles here, but I cut her off. Amanda, you are engaging in conversation. You can't do that. So we did several more takes until Avery said, Amanda you can't tell them your real name! Eventually, we got to the point of her politely and firmly saying no thank you while continuing to walk and yell out for help if necessary.
We'll have to reinforce that scenario soon. :) She's got such a big, open heart!
Avery is growing in every way imaginable. She is very independently studious and really just loves to learn. She has joined several clubs, including student council. Her teacher is committed to readying them for middle school, so she expects a lot from her students and Avery has embraced the challenge.
Every time I hug her I feel her inching up closer to my face. It won't be long before she passes me. Of course there is a piece of me that mourns the rapid passing of time, but she's just so fun and delightful and I find it fascinating to watch her blossom into her own person.
"And now you know the rest of the story." :) There really are some great things happening around here and lots of regular old life. I love being mom to this crew.