Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

Toad, toads, toads. The kids are catching them daily right now. Lots of rain = lots of toads (and a happy Sophie).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rainy Saturday Last Day of the Track Season

Three track meets in the rain on Saturday. Good-bye track season.

I should note here that Calvin and Sophie are very enthusiastic runners, but they finish dead last most of the time. Max is not much better. Oh well. I think it is good to try something new and step outside your comfort zone sometimes. However, signing all three kids up for track right before we move was not the best idea I've had.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yesterday, I Looked Like This

It took a good friend to remind me that I have a child that is overwhelmed and incredibly anxious about this move and really still broken from the upheaval in his young life these last few years. After a bad mommy moment last night, I stepped outside and talked to my friend who put it all in perspective.

It does not really matter in the long term how Max is doing in fifth grade. He is not going to be held back; they are still going to let him go to sixth grade. I still have three years to teach him the skills he needs to be successful in school. It is not really until High School that his grades will impact his future. So, I need to step back, call this year a wash and think of this move and sixth grade as a brand new start for both of us. Max does not need any more pressure or stress on him right now. Hopefully this move and a new job will allow me to slow down, work fewer hours (anything less than 55/week plus an hour or two cleaning a day is going to feel like vacation) and spend more one on one time with Max this fall.

Max is so stressed that he is not sleeping (even more so than usual) and his worries about whether I will find a job and if we will be able to make it financially in Oregon are something no eleven year old boy should have to shoulder. He just needs support and love (and some serious counseling once we are settled and have good insurance) during this move - not his mother getting upset by a failed test. Ironically, he failed his test, but brought home his MAP Math test scores which were off the charts. Sigh. How do I help him apply that brain to the classroom?!

Thank you Susan, for your words of wisdom (and for the chocolate and packing help too)!

Bad mommy moments are the worst.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Flowers

We are still waiting for spring to really arrive. I am hopeful for warm sunshine and fresh spring air today. On Saturday I spent nine hours at the track. It rained. It blew. It was seriously miserable. The temperature hovered around 45. It took a long time to feel warm again after so many hours in the damp cold. I actually considered leaving the meets to go in search of warm boots as I could no longer feel my toes - in mid May. I keep reminding myself that we were spoiled last year with a warm early spring.

We have five more track meets this week including another nine hour Saturday marathon. This is the last week of track and I am not going to miss it. I signed the kids up for track to replace their normal soccer season which we can not do because of the move but it has proven to be a big time commitment and most of meets have been held in the freezing cold.

Less than a month until we move. Life is still flying by too quickly as there is much to do and many last minute adventures to have before we leave. I have the most organized and wonderful Visiting Teacher who I call my moving coordinator. She has been so helpful and the packing is getting done bit by bit as I continue to work and run around to the various end of school year activities.

I wanted to post these photos of the gorgeous flowers that have been brightening my kitchen since Mother's Day. They came delivered through the mail (!) - sweet, beautiful and thoughtful. Thank you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Craft: Button Trees

I found these little cardbord trees at Michaels a few years ago. I just gave the kids buttons and let them go to town with the glue.

On a side note, Calvin is a complete ham when it comes to photos these days.

Craft: Recycled Owls

Here is another easy craft to use up all of those plastic lids. This project is all about finding pairs of lids in different sizes. Once the kids have eyes they are happy with, let them glue them together and let dry. In order to attach them to the face, you will need to use hot glue. We made these on card stock, but you could also use cardboard.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tis The Season

Tis the season for big, bright bouquets of happy dandelions. They only last a day before wilting into a sad mess., but he children enthusiatically gather them every day as we walk home from school. I wonder if the neighbors are grateful for the chubby little legs running across thier lawns to pluck their "flowers"?

I love the little yellow noses - testament of someone still hoping they actually smell good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Craft: Cereal Butterflies

This craft can double as afternoon snack, so make sure you make plenty!

You'll need clothespins, markers, chenille sticks and sandwich size plastic ziplock bags. You'll also need a mix of colorful cereals - I pulled out some of the sugary cereals that we only use for crafts (like Fruit Loops and Cookie Crisp) and mixed them in with Kix and whatever else was in the cupboard.

First: give everyone a couple of clothespins and have them color all sides with markers.

Next, have each child fill two bags about half way with cereal. I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to make it easier on the kids. Squeeze out the air and seal.

At this point, just cut the chenille sicks in half and give each child two. Have them bend them in half and curl the edges. Clip the chenille sticks on the center of the bags with the clothespins to make your butterfly.