Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5th Grade Awards

First, this is the last stand for this little gerber daisy. It bloomed last Saturday. Since it has been so warm even in OCTOBER, I have one last beautiful bloom. Funnily enough, the daisy didn't bloom much this summer. Now the weather has cooled so I picked it to enjoy it in my kitchen.
G had her 5th grade awards ceremony yesterday.  I was unable to attend buy my parents went.  She was acknowledged with a blue ribbon for all As and won a top reader award in AR.  They have new rules governing the AR points and I am very grateful for the new rules.

Last year they based the award strictly on points earned.  However, some of the kids earning a lot of points were reading well below their grade level.  One boy in particular this year even had a 20 point lead because he started testing prior to the start of AR.  So he was cheating and his grade level average was below his actual grade and ability.

So this year they are using a combination of grade level and points which is way more than fair.  The actual scores received is based on the number of answers the kids get right so they will only get points based on how many questions they get right.  G's average grade level is over 7th grade.

This really is the most fair way as some kids are reading well beyond their own grade level and reading significantly sized books but are being out read on points alone by kids reading 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade level books when their tested level is 5th to 7th.  It was discouraging for kids who are reading bigger books and not being acknowledged for the effort.  And it wasn't pushing kids out of their comfort zone.  These kids will only become better readers when challenged with more difficult books.  Also, as far as G's cluster of 4 classes go, they are most of the brightest in the school.

For those kids who test below their actual grade level, the tested level on the higher end would count because for those kids testing at a 2nd or 3rd grade level, they could win with points by reading on the higher end or beyond to their tested level.

The average grade for AR is not counted which is also fair as some kids just don't comprehend or test well enough to have an AR grade.  They may do well in other areas of school but with AR the grade itself was bringing some kids off honor roll.

G usually performs really well on the books she wants to read and not so much on the books she has to read, at least not all the time.  Thankfully there are only 4 of those books a year and sometimes she does enjoy and pay attention to the books.  So far we have hit 1 book a year since 3rd grade she just detested and didn't really try.  She received no scolding from me.  I mean you can't force someone to like a book particularly if you have to read it for school.

I am very proud of G and I think we were both surprised that she won the AR award.  We didn't know about the new grading system until the awards were announced which means the kids aiming for just points didn't know until yesterday either.  Now that may or may not be fair and that I will not judge.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Parent Teacher Conf. and Weekend

G's 5th grade social studies class built a life sized tee-pee and decorated accordingly. Her symbol is the deathly hallows from HP. I knew it would be as she comes home every Wednesday with it drawn on her hand because 3 of her friends form a sort of HP group at after school and play HP.  I also learned the other 5th graders were doing dioramas for which I am so glad her class didn't do one!!  Her teacher knows the parents usually end up doing them, not the kids.

And she had a great 1st 9 weeks.  I let her teachers know to encourage high goals for her because she is more likely to reach them than if the goals are too low.  funny how that works but it does for some kids.

G had received a balloon dog at something, I can't remember, but it is losing air quickly. The back legs unraveled and she attempted to fix it to many giggles and complete failure of the fixing, heh.

Apparently, our town decorates for Halloween. These are two of the pumpkin exhibits: The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Max and Ruby. G used to love Max and Ruby and of course the Great Pumpkin is part of my own childhood. We finally snapped photos last night before it became too dark.

G got to play two hours of soccer Saturday.  The first game was with her own team then the next game she was asked to play due to strep hitting one of the teams leaving them a player short.  She wanted to play because it was with two of her best-ies.  Then after soccer, I brought one of the friends home with us and they giggled for roughly 5 hours.  Breaks for lunch and supper were taken but seriously, the giggled all afternoon.

The parents of the other friend and I have arranged for the girls to walk to school together so I dropped G off at the friend's this morning.  Hopefully, no matter what, the girls can walk together without being late or without needing to be dropped off by the other girl's mom.  I think since it will be the two of them even if they leave 20 mins til they will be okay and not need to be dropped off.   Bad weather will alter those plans of course.

Nothing else of import happened.  My mom came home from her sister time but we haven't seen her yet.  G is going to dress as a soccer player for Halloween.  We just couldn't or maybe wouldn't come up with anything creative this year.  My creative is gone.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thankfully My Car is Fixed

For under $300 and it apparently is a problem for a lot of Altima owners.  Crankshaft sensor going bad but Nissan's recall didn't replace it only cleaned it.  I wouldn't have gotten the recall since it is a used car for me but the sensor is now replaced with a new one that shouldn't have this problem again.
Tomorrow, 2 hours of soccer, yea me, and then finish laundry that for some reason seems to be so very much for just two of us.

And my Friday evening just got freed up.  Our high school team's homecoming is tonight and G has been invited to go with a friend who also invited her to spend the night.  YEA!  This is a soccer family as well so they will bring her to the game in the morning.  And yes G is very very excited about going.  I am personally excited about not having to go myself and having the morning to run my errands by myself!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Over the Hump Day

We had a fairly relaxing weekend due to soccer games being cancelled for rain.  I enjoyed not having to go out and about this weekend.  Cleaned off the dining room table which for me is a big deal as that is usually dumping ground central.

And Wednesday on the interstate going home my car died.  Thankfully, I was able to pull to the side of the road.  It started again right as my dad answered his phone when I called.  But then sadly it died for good when I went home and started to leave again for choir practice.  Good think I went home first or I wouldn't have know the car wouldn't start before 7:30 when I was supposed to get G at GAs.

And thankfully, my dad didn't listen when I suggested he combine sell his 2 vehicles and purchase just one; because, for now I am driving his truck.  I am also praying desperately that I don't wreck it.

God was good enough (well He always is good) to get home home safely and get me off the interstate when it died without issue.  I am also praying the fix won't be significantly expensive.  I have spent over $1200 for the air conditioner earlier this year that I have yet to truly recover on top of our mini vacay coming up that is well with the timing of not being able to cancel it for refund, bummer.  Had this happened in Sept, I could have cancelled for full refund.  I truly do not have the money for anything big.

Of course going into the weekend knowing my car won't work is not actually comforting.  Thankfully the gas is going down in price.  This truck will take a lot to keep filled.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Another Busy Weekend

Our Saturday started early 7am with breakfast of grits and bacon for G, because #mmbacon, then grocery shopping by 9am.  Anyway, home by 10am, and why does it take me an hour to grocery shop? to unload and back to next town by 11:15 to pick up teammate of G's for soccer having to get to the field early for photos.  Soccer game was cold, and I still managed to get a sunburn on my forehead.  The wind was biting cold and I had no protection from the wind.  They played okay, not spectacular, much better than I would do.

After soccer at 1:15pm, grabbed mom, took teammate home, took G home for shower, out again to purchase the Sunday Church boots for fall/winter/spring.  Prices were up and I paid more than I wanted and didn't get the dark color I wanted. Seems a similar pair of boots cost 1/3 less last year.  Yes, these boots can be worn to school as well as church.  Will she?  that is the question. Anyway, there was a great pair of red boots that would have looked so much better with her black pants.  She refused my suggestion, instead, picked a dark brown with orange uppers which are pretty but I just don't like them with the black pants.

After boots, off to a late lunch with mom and G then to see the 4pm matinee: The Good Lie.  Reese Witherspoon is the most well known actress in the movie and is center on the posters.  I hope the marketing team thought more people would see the movie if she were on the posters more prominently.  The story is about the Sudanese refugees or The Lost Boys of Sudan, their trials in Sudan and going to the refugee camps as well as the ones chosen to come to America prior to 9/11.  Mom and I both cried and laughed through it.  There were a lot of difficult parts to see because they filmed it so realistically or at least created it to be very realistic.  

One thing that could have been more of a focus was the faith of the Sudanese children.  They showed up to the refugee camp with a Bible after walking hundreds of miles.  Though the movie wasn't a biography it was based on composite stories of these children/adults.  The actors who played the refugees were themselves refugees and two were child soldiers.  One was a son of refugee parents.  I strongly recommend you can go see it, do so.

Another part of the movie that could have had a bit more time was just the total cultural adjustment like how to use a phone or what one is.  Maybe it would have made the movie too long but it was just under 2 hours so really it could have been a wee bit longer.  If this movie is playing in your area, go see it.  #theGOODLIE

Sunday was church and nap for me, movie for G; then up to mow the yard even though I didn't really want to do it. #lazy  Hopefully, this is the last mow for the year.  G picked up the sticks for me without griping oh and she also picked up with a shovel bits of an animal left over from some sort of nature attack.  Yes, I paid her for picking up the sticks, but sometimes she still gripes even though I pay her.

We slept with the windows opened last night, and around 4:30 I was so glad to have the yard mowed. It came a thunder storm that woke me up but not G.  She doesn't hear anything when she is asleep.  I used to could sleep like that.  Not sure exactly when that changed, probably age and hormones.  I had to shut the bedroom window though because the rain did tend to splash in on the window sill.

This is the confusing part of fall, cold in the morning hot in the day, what to wear based on what does it feel like outside at the moment, difficult to predict rain or heat or cold as the day moves on.  Well, that is all going on for now in the M household.

Friday, October 03, 2014

A Promise Ever Faithful

This week I saw and was reminded of promises God made.  The rainbow was actually a double but didn't show well in the picture.  After the flood, God promised Noah that He would never use a flood to bring worldwide judgment.  God is always faithful and always good.  In Sunday school I was reminded about the promise to have a descendant of David rule on the throne and that there will always be a High Priest to offer sacrifices and that if God's covenant with the sun and moon shall fail then His promise regarding the branch of David shall as well.  

Man tries and tries to scare people into believing that man is causing the earth to be destroyed via man made carbon.  Man tries to scare people into believing God is not good nor in control.  Man is sinful by nature and drifts toward sinfulness and darkness.  God is Light, in Him is no darkness.  God is Love.  God is HOLY and cannot look upon sinful man.  Jesus, God's Son, took the fall for sinful man so we can be restored to a relationship with God.  

Sometimes looking at all the evil in this world it is hard to remember that God has a plan, a hope and a future for His children.  But then, I just go read the back of the Book and I see Who wins.