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Dino had to go from a rock band look to a marching band look, in time for the marching band yearbook pictures.

His hair was just barely not long enough to go into a ponytail, so I used the family clippers and cut him short.  G.I. Joe looks pretty even.  (The other haircut I know is Kojack.)
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 I always have my kids do basic language and math worksheets over the summer to keep them in scholastic trim, and gosh, they never tell me that they're bored, or they know MY solution!

Today, Dino was doing subject-verb agreement sentences, with starter sentence prompts to finish.  Bolded words are Dinos.

Each of the buildings has many windows.
Many of them have been abandoned.
Everybody on the block has an anti-zombie rifle.
Most of the decorations are blood from zombie attacks.
Neither of us will leave the other.
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 Helicopter Maple Seed Parenting, that is.

On the way to the YMCA this morning, we noted that the van's windshield wipers were simply covered with maple tree seeds, with their wings for being blown places to grow.  I got the children to make predictions of whether or not all of the seeds would make the ten mile trip to the Y.  We laughed, and pretty much agreed that we'd seed the roads with maple trees all the way there, and arrive with a clean windshield.

Much to our surprise, despite curves, railroad tracks and fifty five mph speeds, two seeds stubbornly clung to position.  On the way home, we made predictions again.  Sparkle thought they'd both stay.  Irish thought one would stay, and one would go.  Dino was exceedingly resistant to making a prediction, but finally opined that the smaller seed was more likely to stay because it looked more stuck.  I took that as his prediction, (under protest) and I agreed with Sparkle, since if they'd made it TO the Y, they'd make it home, I reasoned.

It was a bit surprising how intently my family watched those vibrating seeds all the way there, and all the way home.  (Or maybe not, considering how geeky we all are.)

The small seed flew off quickly, but that last seed stuck along that windshield wiper tenaciously the entire way home!  Irish was so pleased to be so lucky today!

It's the small things like this in life that make me absurdly happy!
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 Hanging up ornaments, Dino, who is in the band, hung up Snoopy on his doghouse.

"Haaaaaaang up Snoopy!  Snoopy hang on!"  he sang.
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 Today, passing by the kitchen sink, the pot in the sink, filled with water had vibration waves from my walking past.  I called Dino over, and stomped, making more vibration waves.

Without missing a beat, Dino started making the T-Rex noises from Jurassic Park, just as I had also thought of.  We giggled, all goofy and happy.
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My daughter, who would run away at reading time, throw books away, turn her body away from stories, let me read to her tonight.

and even more... )
I am so gushy happy.  It is hard to describe how frustrated I have been that I haven't been able to read with my baby girl, and that when I do, it's such a struggle for attention.  Purple Puddles:  tears of joy.
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Another friend's post about her child's homework woes got me thinking about my own...

Cut because blathering at length about mundane kid homework blues is not everyone's cup of tea. )Read more... )
I am glad that not this Friday, but next Friday will be Winter Break, and I can have some dedicated family fun time. Assuming the kiddos don't bring homework to do over the holidays.
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There was a fire in the copy room at Dino's school today. All the kids had to evacuate out in the cold and wet without coats (locked in lockers), and go home on buses that couldn't pull into the school lane due to the nine fire trucks responding to the emergency.

He was 45 minutes late getting home, and I was really worried!

Dino, unlike me, had no smoke inhalation issues, and didn't realize it wasn't a drill until they couldn't go back in and the fire trucks started to arrive.
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We went over to a friend's neighborhood for Trick-or-Treating, as our traditional venue, the godmother's neighborhood was beset by construction, with yawing five-foot-deep trenches that could double as mass graves.  Too creepy and dangerous for my blood.

So, my beggars were:  Sparkle, a princess in a yellow gown, brocade bodice and pink cloak;  Brion, a *Clone* trooper with blue highlights to his armor (they're still good guys during the Clone Wars, you know, and only become bad guys as Imperial Storm Troopers); and Dino, who wore his grandfather's vintage flight suit and bomber jacket from the Vietnam War era, with kewl patches.

We tromped about with Sparkle's best friend, dressed as a Flower Fairy, with pretty ballerina skirts and brigt pink wings, and her little brother dressed as Elmo from Sesame Street.  He looked very Muppet-y, indeed.

Sparkle kept doing something that took me a while to figure out.  As she came up to the houses, she would ask the adult at the door "Hi!  What's your name?"

The adult would answer, "Hi, there.  I'm Mrs. Smith," or "I'm Karen." 

Whereupon, Sparkle would say, "Hi, Mrs. Smith.  Trick or Treat!"  or  "I'm Princess Sparkle.  Trick or Treat!"

It is my opinion that Sparkle was obeying the rule of not taking candy from strangers by introducing herself first.

My children all want to go back to the same neighborhood next year; they got large sized candy and relatively little bubble gum (which they aren't allowed to have.  I do trade our candy for it, though, so I don't know why they'd complain.)

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So, my in-laws gave us (at my request) a second handlebar-seat-and-wheel add-on for a bike, so you can make a regular bike into a tandem one.  It was my thought that my older boys, too big for training wheels, could benefit from being behind me, learning balance and getting used to speed so they could learn to ride a bike on their own.  They could get the idea of how it feels.  In addition, it would be good exercise.

It is, in fact, very good exercise - at least for me!  In addition to tooling around with Dino and Irish, Sparkle wanted to try, too.  She loves it very much, and was furious when she tried to duplicate the results on her own little bike with training wheels through her efforts alone.

We went in figure eights around the little loop that is my neighborhood, and I am sweaty, tired, and my legs are trembly with effort.  The boys don't have very good balance, and it took an iron grip on the handlebars to maintain control when they tipped.  Sparkle sits up nice and straight -I think it's harder for her to lean from side to side because she can only touch the pedals, and is unable to put her feet on the ground, so she keeps them on the pedals for stability. 

Irish begged me to do this every day, he likes it so much.  I already know that merely moving a bicycle helmet back on a peg will get Sparkle begging for the next ride.  Dino is a bit more hesitant, but is willing to get on when asked and do his part.  So, this was my idea, right?  Excellent exercise, meets my goals of family time, getting the kids to do something on my mental checklist of things all kids should be able to do, and the kids love it.  So, why do I have this feeling of dread about doing it again?  (Man, I am lazy!  A little hard work, and I cringe away from it.  This means I must tackle it head-on and make certain I follow through!)
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Irish, working on his laps and endurance, finally earned his "deep end" bracelet by passing the swim test, consisting of a full lap back and forth using freestyle overhand crawl with consistent breathing, in an Olympic sized pool, and a minute treading water, keeping his head high above the water.  I'm so proud!

Sparkle advances from "Minnow" to "Eel."  Essentially, she can swim between 5 and ten feet independently before she goes under.

Dino not only passed his swimming test at Scout camp, but he also earned his Boy Scout Swimming Merit Badge!

Mathtery!

May. 6th, 2009 07:33 pm
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Today,  I'm the proud mama of the first place winner of the district-wide sprint round of Math Counts, where the intermediate schools send their best math whizzes to compete against one another.  My boy held his own and did us proud.

YAY, Dino!

(He gets this from my darling husband, because I  have discalcula, which is like dyslexia, only with numbers.)


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