Sunday, August 24, 2008

One Week Down

We all survived the first week of school. Other than being exhausted by the time it was Friday, it was a really good week. I seem to have a really good group of kids. I have to admit to being really worried because we have about 80% boys this year. Putting that many 12-13 year-old boys together in a classroom can be a crazy thing. But, all of our boys seem wonderful. No noticeable behavior problems at all - - which is wild because usually I can tell even in the first week. My team of teachers also seems to be functioning well thus far which is a praise. We have a new team member, and he seems to be catching on quickly and nice and laid back.

The kids all seem to love their teachers. Jacob is the one I worry about the most, just for social reasons, but he seems to be doing well. He is in class with his best friend, a true blessing! Samuel actually seemed disappointed on Saturday morning when I said we weren't going to school. Hannah cheered tonight when I told her that tomorrow is a school day. I just hope their attitudes stay like this in the early morning when we're scrambling to get out the door in time.

We haven't heard anything further from Panasonic about winning the Living in HD contest. However, my sister (the one in China!) has spent the past week with the guy in charge of the contest. She told him about our connection (the one hitch I was worried about), and she said he was cool with the fact that we are sisters. He even remembered our entry and said that what we wrote about Jacob (his intense interest in weather, forecasting, maps, computers, blogging, etc.) is what got their attention. Needless to say that Jacob has pretty much got the big head now. (Of course, I think he is a pretty unique little guy!) We hope to hear something soon. Since many of the Panasonic crew are in China with the Olympics, I'm thinking that's the reason we haven't heard anything.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fabulous First Day

4th Grade - Wow!
new class - P5
first day of first grade

Well, the first day of school has come and gone. For me, it was a whirlwind! The first day always seems like such a blur with the craziness of making sure everyone is in the right spot, assigning lockers (and making sure students can open them!), and giving the same introduction over and over again. My kids all seem pretty sweet so far. I am looking forward to tomorrow which will seem like a more traditional school day. I just hope I can remember all the names and faces that I learned today.

Jacob, Samuel, and Hannah seemed to have a great day as well. They were pretty quick to get up and ready this morning. Well, Samuel was dragging a bit and had to have some prodding. Hannah even got into the excitement and was quick to get in the van and get buckled. We actually left home on time (about 6:55) and got to Montessori in record time. Hannah's new teacher was there to greet us; it's nice to be able to take her to her classroom instead of to an early drop-off room. The transition is just smoother. After dropping her off, we headed back towards Vandergriff and McNair. The boys jumped out of the van (yes, I slowed down) with smiles, ready to go to their new classrooms. They anxiously shared stories this afternoon about their days.

Tonight we went out for ice cream after dinner as a traditional "First Day of School" ice cream treat (an Aunt Ann tradition that seemed like a really good one to me). It was a yummy evening!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Split Again

I went to Vandergriff tonight for a meeting about Jacob's class placement for this next year. He will be in a "split" class again this year - a 4th/5th grade class. This is the second time we've done a split class. He was in a 2nd/3rd split as a 2nd grader two years ago. I must admit that two years ago, I was a little apprehensive about Jacob being with older kids, especially because he was already a year younger than everyone in his grade. I have a little twinge of that this time when I think about my sweet 8-year-old being in class with 5th graders! (Of course, he's almost nine.) We had such a wonderful experience with his split class before (primarily because of his awesome teacher) that I don't really have any big qualms going into this year. Now that I've spent an hour listening to his teacher talk about her plans for this year, I am feeling great about what's in store for him. His teacher appears to be nothing short of absolutely fabulous. I will be praying that she will be understanding of his special quirks and needs, but from everything that I've been told, she will be good for him. Another blessing is that Jacob's best friend is also going to be in this class. That's the biggest praise from my viewpoint. It took him so long to make some friends; I'm glad that he doesn't have to start over in that area. Jacob seems a little apprehensive, but he was excited when I came home excited. Once he knows the routines and gets to know his teacher, I think he'll be fine.Tomorrow is "Meet Your Teacher" day at Vandergriff. We'll go and find out Samuel's class (since Jacob's isn't a surprise) and see classrooms, meet teachers, pick up school supply boxes, etc. Samuel is very excited. His question tonight was, "Do we get to start going to school the next day after that??" He would start tomorrow if he could!Hannah is slowing getting into the school routine. It's been hard for her to start a different class. I'm anxious for her to start with the gal that will be her regular teacher. She'll also be better when tap lessons and tumble time start back.I have Open House at McNair on Thursday night. I'll get to meet the students in my classes as well as their parents. I'm hoping to have my room completely finished as well as the area right outside my room because first impressions are so very important. The kids have seen everything before, but the parents haven't. I can't believe that school starts next week!! I feel like the week is going at warp speed!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ok - I Can't Stand it Anymore!

I just have to share some incredible news . . . . When I got home yesterday (after a very long day at school), I asked John if I had gotten any mail. He nodded to the kitchen table and then said I had gotten something from FedEx. Hmmm. . . . Could it be? I knew when I picked up the envelope that I hadn't ordered anything. I also knew that FedEx would be bringing good news to someone just about now.

I entered a contest sponsored by Panasonic earlier this summer. I wrote a short essay and submitted it online. And guess what??? I won! I keep thinking that it's too good to be true. I had to sign an affadavit that I meet the criteria (age 18+, a bona fide citizen, etc.) and have it notarized and FedEx it back. Of course, I was at the bank at 7:30 this morning taking care of that. I can call tomorrow to insure that they received it. After that, I should get a call from someone in their office giving me more information.

What did I win? You name it; I won it. All kinds of products from Panasonic! You can check it out at

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Goes Down Must Come Up?

We are back home now. The drive back wasn't too bad. We drove from Wisconsin to Kansas City, taking a more western route back than what we took going up there. We stopped at a park alongside the Mississippi River at LaCrosse, Wisconsin. It's amazing to me how different this mighty river looks further north. I always think of the way it looks at Memphis (far less scenic and much larger). We passed through one corn field after another, and Jacob found the huge windmills quite interesting.

Jacob got a new atlas on this trip. His last one was literally tearing apart. He continually gave directions and information about the state we were driving through at any given time. I think John could get rid of his gps entirely and just use jps (jacob positioning system)!

To the title . . .what's the worst way a mom can be woken up during night? You guessed it - a sick kid. We woke up on our last night in Wisconsin with Jacob at the foot of our bed telling us that he had thrown up. I hate waking up like that, but unfortunately, that wasn't all . . . Hannah was screaming from the other bedroom. She had been sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor between the boy's beds. Jacob had thrown up ALL over her! The poor thing; it was in her hair, all down her nightgown, and on her toes! John took over cleaning up Jacob (and the small area of floor - Hannah got the brunt of it) and I took Hannah and stuck her in the tub (still screaming). Poor Jacob; I didn't really pay him any attention, and he was the one who had gotten sick. I just felt so badly for Hannah - - soooooo gross! Hannah spent the rest of the night in our bed, and Jacob went back to sleep and was fine in the morning. It must have been something he ate.

I didn't have much time after getting home to plunge into school. I started teaching a 3-day Pathwise Training session today. At least I've done this enough now that it doesn't take hear as much effort or preparation as it used to. I have fun working with Gail, the other trainer. My room is pretty much ready to go. I just have a little more work to do on it. I haven't done any of the work in the area outside my classroom. That will still take a chunk of time. I officially start my contract days on Thursday, and it's a day at my school. I'm hoping that we won't have meetings the entire time, and that I"ll be able to meet with my team, including my new team member that I have yet to meet. (Leah - - it's Ben D., the one you commented about).

Hannah started her new class at Montessori today. She seemed to have a really good day. The class isn't officially open for another two weeks, so she's in with another group of students for the time being, but it's in the room where she'll be staying. I hope tomorrow's drop off goes as well. If she's like the boys, the first day back is easy. The second . . not so much. The boys are staying with my mom, and of course, are having a blast!

John had his MRI today, and he's gotten some indication that all is normal. He also went back to the ENT. There hasn't been very much change. His hearing was tested again, and there's been no improvement with his tonal hearing, but he has improved in the area of speech sounds. He will be continuing to take prednisone for the time being. He has also been told about a doctor in Ft. Smith that specializes in this kind of problem, so he'll be deciding whether or not to go there. He's also considering going to an audiologist who worked with Jacob (and I know her from having her kids in school - - she's a neat Christian lady). He would like to consult with her about different types of hearing aids. If you want more information on his condition, and to see what he's hearing, he's going to put some links on his blog that demonstrate what his type of hearing loss sounds like.