Random End of the Month Thoughts

Hi and happy last day of August.  Can you believe it will be September tomorrow?  I sure can’t. This month has been a busy one and flew by.  Ian has been in school for a  month now and is doing well.  For that we are truly thankful.

It is hard to believe that this is only my second posting this month.  The one I did two weeks ago doesn’t seem to have been read by many people. Oh well.  I really need to get back to regularly writing and posting.  Here are some thoughts over the last week.

I enjoyed my first PTO meeting this week as an interested parent, not an officer having to do something.  It was different and good.  The PTO at this school is different than last year.  Not as much to do and support but what there is to do is quite important.  Nice to be a part of that.

This weekend is football time in Tennessee.  For those who don’t know, the University of Tennessee is a popular team and many people plan their Saturdays in order to watch the games. Orange and white are the colors of choice for many fans as they are yelling at the stadium or cheering in front of the television.  It is almost a religion here.

In 1998, UT won the national championship game.  It was a big year for UT.  One of the local television stations is airing information about that year’s team, information on each week’s game and the fans.  It has been a great look back.  We hope for a winning season this year for UT.  Last year was rough for them and I hope they are on the rebound.

Also this weekend is Labor Day and a three-day weekend, which is so nice.  We can sleep in for three days instead of our usual two. YEAH!  Ian asked this morning what that day is for.  I told him it is to celebrate workers and also the end of the summer.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I don’t know about you but I grew up learning that everyone at an office has an important and vital job in the success of the company.  The janitor keeps the building looking nice, the boss leads everyone and all of the worker bees also do their part.  My hope is that we can all appreciate our co-workers and those who provide services to us and for us.

Speaking of hard work and doing their part, you know who has amazed me this week?  President Jimmy Carter.  He is 93 years old and is building a house with Habitat for Humanity.  He and his wife are working together with other volunteers.  He has been busy giving back ever since he left office as president.  He is someone for Ian to learn from.

Another person is the late Senator John McCain who died this week of brain cancer.  This is the same cancer that led to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, and to Beau Biden.  These men were all mentioned and praised during the remarks yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden and McCain had an unusual friendship, especially in today’s atmosphere of hating those we don’t agree with, or ridiculing them.  They were totally different and called each other on it. They had major disagreements but were still there for each other and were friends.  They knew how to laugh and respect each other.

At the funeral in Arizona, Biden said, “I’m sure there’s people who said to you: ‘Explain this guy to me.’ Because, as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him. In one sense, the way things changed so much in America, they looked at him as if John came from another age, lived by a different code — an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive…. truth is, John’s code was ageless…. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency and respect.”

If only we could go back to that treatment of each other again. I am so very tired of the idea that the other side is the enemy.  They aren’t.  They are just different in what they think.  They could, however, be considered an enemy if they are out to do you harm.  Egging others on to violence and hate is so very wrong and needs to stop.

I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain on issues but I did respect his service to our country, his time as a prisoner of war, the fact that when offered to be sent home he declined since he wasn’t the first one there, and his love of his family.  He was decent, had integrity, and amazing courage.  And, he never thought of himself as a hero.

These are the traits that I want Ian to have as he grows into manhood.  These are the traits that my husband and I are trying to teach him, trying to model to him, and trying to discuss with him.  We want him to be a man of integrity, honor, courage, love, respect for others, compassion, and so much more.

(All pictures are from Power Point Clip Art). What random thoughts did you have this week?  Please share them.

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Day 1 of 2nd Grade

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday, Ian started 2nd grade.  I cannot believe it was his first day of a new school year.  He was excited and ready to go.  Of that I am very thankful.

He has a man for his home room / primary teacher this year.  I too had a male teacher in 2nd grade.  He was one of my all-time favorites!  I have a feeling that Ian will like his teacher as much as I liked mine.

Here is my sweet boy from this morning.  He is looking so grown up now and is ready for school to begin.

Thankfully, a few of his friends are in his class again.  In fact, he and two other kids have been in the same classes for all three years.  Also, there are several new kids who he will also get to know.

I think it will be a great year for us and we are excited.  I am serving again as our PTO secretary.  We have several new people who I look forward to working with.  We hope to have a great and busy year with that as well.

This morning we walked together to school and discussed the day.  Then after school, we walked back home.  This afternoon was quite a bit warmer but not too bad.  We had time to chat about his day.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A wonderful school that Ian loves
  • A short first day
  • Great teachers
  • A wonderful Principal, Vice Principal, and office staff
  • Being able to walk to and from school
  • A boy who loves to learn
  • Friends who we got to see again
  • A quick but fabulous summer
  • Treats after school
  • Listening to a boy explain today’s science fun

I wonder how the rest of our first week will be?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one.  Hope your first day is good as well.

Back to Reality

Patti_Ian_ElPasoHi and Happy Monday!  Today we are back to our normal reality — school and work.   And, the words of an En Vogue song are running through my head, “Back to life, back to reality. Back to the here and now, oh yeah…”

This morning, it was hard to wake up when that alarm went off at 6:30 a.m.  I have never been an early morning person but have had to learn to get up and get the day started. Getting Ian ready for school and myself ready for the day keeps me busy each morning.

Over the past two weeks of Ian’s winter break, we enjoyed not having the alarm clock to wake us up.  We often were up by 7 a.m. anyway.  However, being woken up by a sweet boy saying, “Mom, it’s 7:05,” is often nicer than the alarm clock.

Ian is an early riser as long as he’s had enough sleep.  But school days can often be a challenge, especially the first day back after a long break.  I think he was excited and ready to get back, once he finally got going.

Today, he will have library as his special area class.  Since he loves the books, that should be a good time for him.  He helped chose his lunch for today as well as his outfit that he picked out last night.  So long as he can stay healthy, we should be fine.

Then tonight we have a celebration.  He is getting his Tiger patch from Cub Scouts and is thrilled.  He and his den have been working the entire first semester in doing activities and attending meetings to earn it.  This is the first patch he has earned and we are so excited about it!!

Should be a fun and great day back to our normal reality, but for now, this morning, I am getting used to some time to myself.  The house is quiet again and I am missing my sweet and small companion.  But, he will be home in later and we will enjoy our evening.  Kirk is here today so we can have lunch together.  That will be fun!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Sun on a cold day
  • Hot chocolate
  • Morning hugs
  • A kiss from my hubby
  • Our morning routine
  • Left over pancakes for breakfast
  • Hot coffee with creamer
  • Lunch dates with Kirk
  • Ian’s wonderful school
  • Seeing friends again
  • A kind and fun teacher
  • Cub Scout leaders

I wonder what fun and amazing things we will add to our routine today?  I look forward to finding out.

Homework and Quizzes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“Mom, first grade is hard work,” Ian told me yesterday afternoon.  He said that as he was finishing his homework.  “Yes it is Ian,” I said, nodding in agreement.

“I don’t like this homework, Mom,” he added.  “Ian, I understand, but you can do it and you are a smart boy.”  He seemed to like hearing that. “And, your job is to learn and part of that job is homework,” I explained.

Homework.  I remember it well from my days in school.  Some days the backpack was very heavy.  Speaking of backpacks, while we were eating dinner, Ian asked me, “Mom, did they have backpacks when you were in school?”  I told him, “Yes there were backpacks.”

He also informed me that a boy said he wouldn’t be doing his homework.  I told Ian that wasn’t a choice for him.  He will be doing the homework that is given to him.  I also said that boy will more than likely get in trouble with his teacher if he doesn’t do it.  “Ian, your homework helps you with learning and is part of your grade,” I told him. He seemed to get that.

So the routine of homework each night begins.  It is taking some getting used to but I know that he will get used to it.  We just need a few weeks to adjust to this new routine. The nice thing is that his teacher is primarily giving homework from Monday night to Thursday night, so we will have a break on the weekend.  At least for now.  We will certainly do our best to enjoy that!

This week, he has one book to read each evening.  A piece of paper comes with the book, for the student to initial, a parent to initial, how the book was read (by self, with parent, or by parent), and how long it took to read it.  We read his book for school and were done very quickly.

Before he read the book from class, he spent 45 minutes reading a chapter book, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  He had picked this out at the school library.  I helped him sound out words, but a lot of them he did guessing on. Clearly he loves to read and is doing very well with that.

I have to say I am very proud of him and love to hear him read.  It is an amazing gift that we started back when he was a baby and we signed him up for Imagination Library.  That is a program that is fantastic and provides books to children from birth to 5 years old, at no cost to the family. It was a great way to instill the love of reading.  We also regularly went to the library and have been reading to him ever since.

The thing that is new is the word study or spelling.  Each week, we will receive a list of words to work on with our child.  Then on Friday, there will be a quiz.  This week the quiz is a day early, on Thursday, so there isn’t as much time to prepare.  He is familiar with all of the words so he should do fine.  This afternoon, we will do a practice quiz.

Each evening we have been practicing and that so far seems to be working well. After school, he gets his snack and has a short break, and then right to the practice/homework time.  I told him we have to do that before time to play.  He may complain some but is understanding this is the way it will be done.

I wonder how the rest of our first week of real homework will go?  I think it will be fine.

1st Grade Adventure

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt is hard to believe that Ian just started 1st grade today!  It seems like he just got out for summer break. Now, here we are a few months later and it’s time for school to begin again.  The summer went by so fast.

He was so excited this morning for school to start.  I love that he loves going to school.  What a blessing that is!  In his class, there are a few of his friends from last year as well as several new students.

Ian was also excited about getting new tennis shoes and a new backpack.  This photo is one from this morning.  I thought the cropping would be fun and different.

I really hope that he enjoys this year as much as he did last year.  His teacher seems nice and she has a nice classroom.

A few quotes about school and education:

  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  ~ John Dewey
  • “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” ~ Robert Maynard Hutchins
  • “The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher.  That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”  ~ Malcolm S. Forbes

To all of you with kids going back to school, hope you have a great first day and great school year.  To all of the teachers, principals, and school staffs, my hat is off to you and I thank you for all that you do!!

Two More Weeks of Summer

Summer.7-28-2-14It is hard to believe that two weeks from today, school will start back for Ian.  My the summer has flown by. But it’s not over yet!  So, we will have to see what other fun things we can get into.  We certainly did a variety of fun things this weekend, along with some work.

This photo is from last month when we went to Cypress Gardens.  I love the pink color amongst all of the green and the water. That was such a calming place and lovely.

Over the weekend, we went shopping for books and a microscope for Ian.  We also went to buy a new backpack for Ian for school and some new tennis shoes.  Then we went for a yummy lunch at the Olive Garden.  And, later we had a relaxing evening.

For several days, we watched the San Diego Padres in action — first against the Chicago Cubs and then the Atlanta Braves.  I prefer going to a ballpark but it was just as fun watching on television. They won two of the games and lost two.

We also watched “Heaven is For Real.”  That was a very good movie and touching.  It makes you stop and think about your faith.  Anyone else seen it?  I would love some thoughts on that.

Ian spent Sunday afternoon reading his new books and going outside to find things to look at through his microscope.  At one point he was ready for a snack and said, “I am a hungry scientist.”

After that we went to play mini-golf with some friends and then out for dinner.  We had a great visit and a lot of fun.  None of us did very well but we had a great time.  Ian and his buddy were helping each other throughout the course.

Now with two weeks left of summer, we have to decide what else we will be doing.  I think there will be swimming, maybe a trip to a museum, a baseball game, and time to ride Ian’s bike, and take walks.

Ian will be starting his 1st grade year.  I think he is excited to get back to school since he really likes it.  For that I am thankful.  I, on the other hand, can’t believe he is almost a first grader.  The first year went so fast and I expect this one to as well.

Soon it will be back to the alarm clock going off, packing lunches, walking to and from school (when the weather is nice), homework and school projects, and earlier bed times.

For now and the next two weeks though, we will still enjoy making pancakes and bacon during the week.  There is never enough time during the school year to do this in the morning before we have to leave.  Instead it’s just on the weekend. So that is a fun summer treat.

We will also enjoy time to read together, have Ian watch his favorite cartoons in the morning, color and draw, make up stories, play, have computer time, and enjoy ice cream treats.

The routine and pace of summer is so different than the school year.  We have enjoyed it and will between now and when school starts.

I wonder what fun end of the summer adventures we will have this week and next?  I cannot wait to find out.

What The?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“What The?” This is Ian’s new catch phrase for when he isn’t sure what to think about something.  Or when something shocks or surprises him.

I love that he came up with his own words.  His expression when he says it is absolutely priceless.  “What The?” I always say back to him, “What The, What The?”  His reply is “No Mommy, it’s What The?”

“What The?” also applies to the fact that Ian is almost finished with kindergarten.  Tomorrow starts the last month.  How is that possible?

Before he started kindergarten, I had a hard time adjusting to him being away from home all day.  But, during the year, he has learned to love going to school and I have enjoyed having some time to myself.

This school year has been a great experience for both of us.  He has learned to read, write, add and work with numbers.  I have been able to shop by myself at stores, eat lunch with no interruptions, and have time to write on the computer.  Kirk has also enjoyed the year and seeing Ian learn and grow.

We have loved his school and I have enjoyed being active in the PTO.  I joined the first month and have been serving as the secretary.  I have met some great people and made some new friends.  We are truly part of our school family.

This last month includes a lot of fun stuff — a field study (formerly called field trip), walk-a-thon, spring fling, field day, a kindergarten concert, and then the last day of school.  It will be a whirlwind and will fly be.  And, then he will be a rising 1st grader.  WOW!!

This photo was taken at the beach several years ago.  He looks like he could be saying “What the heck is this wet stuff in the bucket Mommy?”  “Wet sand, which is great to play with,” is my reply.  This makes me think of the summer and the fun we will have with Ian.

I wonder what other things Ian will say “What The?” in response to?  I cannot wait to find out.

TGIF and Fun At School

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know about you but I am so ready for the weekend.  It has been a wild. crazy and busy week and I am ready for some time to rest.

For my blog today, I decided not to do the Photo Challenge or 5 Minute Friday.  Instead, I wanted to write about my week and some of my adventures at Ian’s school.  Just felt like doing that for a change.

This photo is of a tree that we walk by to and from Ian’s school.  It is a great spot for shade and a lovely tree.  The bark is unusual and a rust color and the flowers are white and big.  There are some other trees and plants in the background.

You can also see the sidewalk that we walk on for part of our trip in the mornings and afternoons.  Both of us are looking forward to less humidity after school.  Hopefully that will be soon.

Last night it stormed for a while.  Lots of lightning and very loud thunder.  Thankfully Ian was asleep before it started and slept right through it.  It rained some as well, but was nothing compared to what people are dealing with in Colorado.  I have been stunned to see the images of so much flooding and destruction.  Lord, please watch over the people in Colorado and keep them safe. Amen.

Yesterday morning I met with the board of the PTO and the principal and vice principal to discuss a few projects that we will be doing for the year.  I joined and decided to serve as secretary.  I thought it would be a fun way to learn a lot about Ian’s school and meet some new people in the process.

After that meeting, I helped during reading time in Ian’s classroom.  This was a fun time to get to know his classmates.  Their teacher told them to raise their hand if they have questions.  At first they didn’t but little by little, the kids started asking me for help.

It was fun to see this room full of students who are just learning to read,  They are in various states of knowing their letters and words.  I got to see the excitement in a few of their faces when they were able to complete their task.   This is going to be a regular thing for me to do and I so look forward to getting to know these kids and see more and more progress.

Ian was happy to have me in his room and raised his hand for help too.  He wrote “Right” and “Left” on the correct sides of the white board.  I have to say I was very proud!!  After doing writing, each child got a book to read.  I helped a few of them with the story and what the words were by asking them a variety of questions.  I could almost see their minds at work.  It was great!

Halfway through the hour, the teacher said to me, “You are wonderful.”  I said “thank you.”  That meant a lot to me since this was the first day in this class and with these kids for me!  I suppose that having so many friends and family who are teachers helped me.   Thanks to all of them for teaching me so much.

We then walked down the cafeteria and I had lunch for the second time this week with Ian.  The first was on Monday morning since Ian had asked me to come.  He sat quietly and ate his lunch and we chatted a little bit.  The children have been told to raise their hand when they need help and one of the teacher’s assistants will come and help them.  At one point, the TAs were busy so I was helping.  I then sat back down and the girl next to me said, “You aren’t a teacher.”  I told her, “I know but I wanted to help.”  She seemed to understand.

After lunch I left and said goodbye to Ian and his friends.  He gave me a hug and said, “I love you Mommy.”  Awww.,  That truly made my day.

Before he started school, I was nervous and prepared to miss him like crazy.  But, I see that he is thriving and loving school.  He loves to learn and is so excited in each new thing he figures out and understands.  We have a fabulous journey ahead of us and I am so enjoying each and every minute of it.

Thursday night I told him how proud I am of him.  He listened and stayed on task in the classroom, behaved himself in the walk across the school to the cafeteria, and ate the protein from his lunch.  And at pickup time, he ran to me and give me a big hug.  Isn’t that the best? I know it won’t last but I am savoring each moment.

I wonder how long this love of school and learning will last for Ian?  I hope it’s for all of his years in school.  Lord, may he continue to love learning.  Amen!

Power Outage This A.M.

powerToday’s photo challenge is lost.   How appropriate since we lost power this morning.

I didn’t take a photo of my own today, but instead went with a photo from the clip art in Power Point.

At 7:30 a.m., the power went out.  Thankfully Ian was mostly ready for school by then and so was I.  We finished getting ready and then at 15 minutes to 8 a.m., we walked to school where we found the power was also out.

I wasn’t able to walk him in today (bummer) as I usually can. I had wanted to drop off part of our supplies and talk to his teacher.  But, we weren’t able to do that this morning.

He turned from me and started to walk inside. “Ian, can you give Mommy a hug goodbye?” I asked him.  “Okay, Mommy,” he said, while quickly hugging me.  Then off like a flash, he was ready to go inside.

An hour and 15 minutes later the power was back on at both our house and the school.  We got a call from the principal saying the power has been restored and they are ready to have a great day!

I am ready to have a great day too.  It was, however, funny to me and sad in a way how ready he was to leave and get inside his school.  I was the one to remind him to say bye.

I imagine that is common, but still a little tough on his mommy.  Frankly, I’d prefer that to him dreading school or crying.

I wonder what other adventures today will bring.  With rain in the forecast, there is no telling.  It will be fun to find out.