This school year is going really well! I have been impressed w/ the international school, the brand new program in our school district that both kids are in. I'm impressed w/ what Jacob's class has been doing. They've been doing lots of brushing up on basics in preparation for the ISTEP test, but they also think "outside the classroom" if you will. They have some ongoing projects, including 4-H, and have already had 3 field trips this year--meeting w/ the mayor at city hall, visiting the courthouse, learning about customer service and business growth at our local Pizza Hut franchise, for starters. It seems to engage the kids more and give them ownership as they are hands-on involved, not just sitting behind a desk all day, every day. And his teacher Mrs. M is the perky, fun teacher everyone wants to have, the teacher who really believes in her students and inspires them to succeed. She has an incredible energy level! (I don't know how she does it!)
For parent-teacher conferences each child made a powerpoint presentation and then presented it for the student-led conference w/ parents. Very cool to watch Jacob go through the presentation he made. Him bringing home projects on his thumb drive is surreal at times. I mean, we use them all the time, but 3rd graders? It's second nature to them. Imagine what they will be doing in college...
Jacob doesn't have a natural love of reading, so we've been working to engage him in books--which usually means finding the right genre. But even though he doesn't think he's a good reader, he's reading at a 4th grade level already. Math is his love, so it was no surprise to learn that he tested at a 6th grade level in that. Mrs. M also said he's a big tech helper in class, assisting w/ laptops. Again no surprise.
Grace is also excelling in her schoolwork and already done w/ the standard kindergarten stuff and has started 1st grade material. No surprise there. The girl thinks reading and writing are gifts from Heaven! She wrote a Barbie book and took it to school to show Miss K, and her teacher put it in the classroom library, and Grace was so proud! Miss K said Grace is truly ahead of the curve, even ahead of her accelerated learning class that she's in. And this isn't a "my-kid-is-smarter-than-your-kid" kind of thing for us--this is a "we-need-to-make-sure-she-is-challenged" kind of thing. I did very well in school, as did Hubby, but Grace is smart, plain and simple, and she learns at an incredible pace. She's not reading Shakespeare or applying for Harvard yet (HA!) but when you see her learn something new and then use that knowledge to figure a bunch of other things out, you realize she's capable of great things. Her biggest advantage is that she LOVES to learn. She begs for homework when hers from school is done. She writes stories, copies poems, types long letters, and sounds out words like it's the most fun thing she could ever do. She's like me--she never goes anywhere without a notebook and a pen. Literally, she can't leave the house w/o them! :) Where Jacob is thinking about the philosophical questions of life, Grace is thinking about what she can learn next. It's so interesting to see the differences.
We are super proud of them both! Lord, help us to encourage these little minds to always do their best for Your glory, not their own, and to remember that every gift we have is from You and to be used for You.
The pace of life is picking up speed, and I feel the need to pause and document the recent blessings.
*We had 2 great parent-teacher conferences this week. It's a joy to have teachers tell us that our kids are well-behaved and doing great. And they both have awesome teachers this year!
*S*bucks caramel apple spice drink is devilishly intoxicating. Stay away if you know what's good for you!
*Our old battered garage is GONE! After months of waiting, it was torn down last week, and next week they begin the rebuild. YAY!
*Our creepy neighbors are also GONE! This is a longer story, but suffice it to say, that what came out in the news after they were gone (and arrested) was not pretty, and the whole neighborhood breathed a huge sigh of relief when they were gone. Whew!
*Pumpkin spice coffee creamer is back!
*Our ladies Bible study made me nervous (these groups always do somehow!) but God introduced me to some beautiful women who have encouraged and taught me. And our Sunday night small group is growing!
*Hubby and I have been serving together on the tech team for our church children's ministry, and even though it's meant a lot of work (as we go thru some big changes) and I soon have to get cozy w/ a Mac, I enjoy it b/c we're doing it together.
*The new season of Inspector Lewis on Masterpiece has been divine. Laurence Fox could be my new fave actor.
*Just 27 days until my friends and I don our silly Twilight tshirts and stand in line w/ a bunch of giddy teenage girls at midnight to watch Breaking Dawn. Such are the fabulous moments of life!
Last week if you'd asked me about Christmas, quite possibly I would've smacked you or at the very least rolled my eyes. I was so NOT anywhere near ready to think about the holidays. I wasn't even ready to consider Halloween yet. (Except candy corn. I'm always ready to discuss candy corn.) But that all changed on Friday, when I took a stroll thru the Christmas shop at Kohl's, saw some adorable Christmas ornaments, and most importantly, heard some beautiful Christmas music. Yup, I'm a sucker for Christmas music, and I found a new peaceful harp CD that almost brought me to tears in the middle of the store. Weeping in public is not on my list of fun things to do, but really, you should hear this CD. Awesome. So there I was, man-handling all of the glass ornaments, staring into the sparkly lights, oohing and ahhing like my 3 year old, and wishing for snow. It happened just that fast.
I loved my excursion so much that later that same evening, while out on a date, I forced Hubby to go to Kohl's w/ me and visit the Christmas shop. Technically I was just showing him the advent calendar train thingie I wanted, but you could say I forced him to wander w/ me for an hour. He didn't object too much, since he's a holiday junkie, too, and he even let me buy the CD that I fell in love with. What a guy!
So everything was perfectly nostalgic and warm-n-fuzzy....until we saw this awful display. I could accept the purple tree on its own, but covered w/ sock monkey ornaments? What kind of person comes up w/ this stuff????? Hubby was overjoyed, but I wasn't sure if it was really his love of sock monkeys that put a smile on his face, or knowing just how much I detest them. :)
The great thing about Sting is that he not only spans decades of music history, he also spans many styles of music. His show I saw 11 years ago is still my fave concert to this day. "A Thousand Years" is a great song. It's haunting and reflective and beautiful.
I may be numberless, I may be innocent I may know many things, I may be ignorant Or I could ride with kings and conquer many lands Or win this world at cards and let it slip my hands I could be cannon food, destroyed a thousand times Reborn as fortune's child to judge another's crimes Or wear this pilgrim's cloak, or be a common thief I've kept this single faith, I have but one belief