Tuesday, April 29, 2008

6th Grade Spelling - for Aidan

Each Friday, Aidan has a spelling test.

Aidan is a pretty good speller, (is that even a word??). He receives his new words for the week every Monday. I write the words on cards that we can take anywhere and work on them whenever we get a few moments. My favorite place to work on them is when we're riding in the car. It helps pass the time from Point A to Point B & he usually doesn't mind working on them in this setting. I must confess, I like it too because there aren't any distractions.

This week Aidan got his new words. He gets ten new words each week, plus five "optional" words (which I make mandatory). This week one of his challenge words is detective. It just so happens that on Austin's list of twenty spelling words, detective, is also found.

I find this amusing, my seven (almost eight) year-old is learning to spell words that my 12 year-old is also learning. I amazed in the differences in the curriculum from Austin's first grade experience to Aidan's year in first grade.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Flowers - indirect thanks to Patti Anne

Jerry, Aidan & I went to Black Creek Greenhouse yesterday. It was a mad-house, but it was so worth it!

I get this magazine every month called Backyard Living. I receive this magazine thanks to my generous mother. I love reading all the helpful little hints they have each month & the wonderful ideas that people (more creative than me) come up with. Each month I have every good intention of doing the projects featured & before you know it, the next month's magazine comes along with new terrific ideas & then I am afflicted with A.D.H.D. and want to try something different.

Well, believe it or not, I tried an idea from the March/April 2008 & I have the May 2008 issue in my hot little hands. So, kudos to me for keeping on course!

Anyway, I digress. I went to Black Creek & they had every flower/plant I needed for the container I wanted to recreate. I was so excited!

Here is a list of the plants I needed to make this beautiful container:

(2) Blue Lobelia
(3) Magenta variegated coleus
(3) Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri, Clown Series)

(2) Fuschia dianthus

(3) Hot pink petunia

The beauty of this magazine is that it gives a blue print that shows you exactly how to plant the container. I am anxiously awaiting these containers to grow this summer!

I also bought - for the first time - a rose bush. This is a bush from Star Roses. It is called 'Hot Cocoa'. On the tag it says "Whatever you think the color is, chocolate, smoky brick, you'll be amazed at the beauty and interest this floribunda will create in your garden." I mean how can I go wrong...Chocolate Roses!!

Jerry also took a picture of our new garden flag & the cute little bee I got at Black Creek.

Bring your kids to work?!??!?

This past Thursday was bring your child to work day. So, being the parents of the year that we are, Jerry took Austin & I took Aidan.

I don't have Austin's report (because he didn't do it yet), but Aidan & I sat down Thursday afternoon & wrote down everything that he did with me at the high school cafeteria.

Here's Aidan's report:

I went to work with Mom today at the Governor Mifflin High School Cafeteria. Mom is a cashier there. When we got there, I used Mom's I.D. badge and scanned it so the door would open. Mom introduced me to her boss and some of the other ladies she works with. Then I helped fill the fruit bowls with apples and bananas. Then we filled the cream cheese and jelly basket. We carried those back to the snack line. Mom carried the bagel bin back too.

Then we filled the snack rack with a lot of different kinds of snacks like chips, pretzels, popcorn and iced animals crackers. One of the ladies that works with Mom said that the snack rack looked the best it ever had because I did it.

We pushed the snack cart in the back & then I pushed the button to make the gate go up in the back. After the gate went up, I helped Mom push out the table with the napkins and straws on it. I also pushed out the tray and silverware cart. I got a blue Power Ade and waited for the bell to ring to start lunch.

Here I am standing by Mom's cash register.

Lunch started and a lot of kids started coming in. I stood by Mom and handed out Uncrustable Sandwiches and Fruit Gushers. I also helped Mom put the money in the cash register and sometimes told her how much change she needed to give.

My friend Matt is a senior and when he came in for lunch he scooped me up and took me over to his table. I sat with him for a little bit and then went back to helping Mom. A boy named Joe came through the line and tipped me 95 cents. I used it to buy Welch's Fruit Snacks.

When lunch was over, I went into the back and Lisa who makes the hoagies had made me a special sandwich of roast beef and American cheese. I also got a bag of Baked Barbecue Lays.

I helped wash off tables and saw my cousin Scott. I helped Mom scrub out the sinks and dry them.

That was all I did when I went to work with Mom.

Okay, I got Austin's report. Here it is:

On April 24, 2008 I went to work with my Dad. He works at Lin Good & Son Heating and Air Conditioning. He has worked there for the past 16 years. I learned a lot of things while I was with him. I went on a really slow day.

First we went to a new house and checked the air pressure in the pipes for the heating system. The pipes will be hidden by dry wall, so everything has to work correctly because after they cover them with dry wall, they will be a pain to get to.

At the second house we laid out the house with hot water piping locations for a new heating system.

Finally at the third house, we found a buried oil tank that needs to be filled with concrete when we install a new tank in the basement.

We went back to Lin Good & Son where my dad had to do some really confusing paperwork to figure out the heating system for the second house.

To finish off the day we went on the roof of the shop with Nate, one of the guys my dad dad works with, to look at the air conditioning unit that they had installed on the roof the week before that is rattling. I climbed up the ladder to the roof which is about 20 feet in the air and my dad told me to stay away from the edge. That was about all I did on my day at work with Dad.

So, you can see they were both busy & Jerry & I think they had fun.

I may post again today to show you the amazing containers we planted on Saturday. Ooh-la-la!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aidan's Spring Open House

Tonight we went to Aidan's Spring Open House. This year there was a scavenger hunt to complete in Room 179.

Here is Aidan with the best (in my opinion) first grade teacher in the world.

1. Got to your cubby and show your scroll to your family. Aidan's scroll goes up to the number 500!

2. Read a book from your book pocket to your family. Aidan is reading the book "Bears" to us.

3. Look through you math journal with your family. We looked at Aidan's math journal that he does work in every day.

4. See if your mom or dad can guess which silhouette is yours. Aidan is standing right next to his silhouette (on the bottom). I helped cut them out & hang them up, so I didn't guess.

5. Show your family the promise you made at the beginning of the school year. This is series of promises the children signed. All I can remember is: Sit criss-cross applesauce. Aidan also told me that there is one that says: Raise your hand to speak and another one is never call out.

6. Show your family the Fraction Creature your made. Aidan's Fraction Creature is made up of 23 blocks. 12/23 of the Creature is red. 11/23 of the Creature is orange. I can't believe my 7 year old is doing fractions!

7. Read your favorite big book to your family. Be sure to wear the glasses! Aidan read the book "Sweet Dreams" to us.

8. Tell your family about your classroom job! Aidan's new job is the paper passer. Whenever Mrs. Moyer has papers to pass out to the class, Aidan is the man for the job.

Jerry took a picture of this painting that hangs at Brecknock. It was paint by his great-uncle, Papa Horning who was a local folk artist.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring...At Last!

I am happy to report that I believe that spring has finally arrived on Bowmansville Road & none too soon for me. I am so tired of being cold. Jerry doesn't believe in keeping the house above 64 degrees-due to the ridiculously high price of oil. So, I am usually forced into wearing several layers in order to keep luke warm - not toasty warm (which I prefer!).

We went to Black Creek Greenhouse on Saturday and got some plants & herbs. I'm going to try planting my herbs in terra cotta pots & then placing wire around the top lip & hanging them from either a piece of split rail fence or a piece of lattice. Then I can take the pots in the house to cut them & they can still hang outside to get fresh air, sunlight & rain.

I got a chamomile plant (which I bought on a whim) because I thought to myself "How lovely! Fresh chamomile tea after a long day!" Only I discovered after I got home & Googled chamomile that chamomile tea is made with the dried flowers of the chamomile plant.

I have a green leafy plant - no flowers. Probably won't have flowers until the fall (according to Better Homes & Gardens). So I will have to wait patiently for my "fresh" chamomile tea.

I also got the following herbs: Oregano, Italian Parsley, Curly Parsley, Lavender (one of my favorite scents), Stevia (supposedly 300X sweeter than sugar, Cinnamon & Sweet Basil. You are supposed to put cut Cinnamon Basil in a vase on an outside table & it is said to keep bugs away. So, we thought we'd try it. We also got two water hyacinths - one for my fish pond & one for Austin's turtle. I loved walking around amongst all the plants & just "feeling" Spring. It was so pleasant.

Jerry worked outside for most of the day on Saturday. He mowed the grass (second time this year!), weeded most of the flower beds, planted a lot of flowers & cleaned up the front porch.

Today we went to pickup chicken BBQ at the Mohnton playground. The boys wanted to go along because there was a good chance they would get to play on the playground for a little bit. It amazes me how athletic they both are. It is apparent that Austin's growth spurt over the last several months has helped him tremendously when running after Aidan. Austin got weighed & "heighted" (as he called it) at school this past week. He weighs 75.8 pounds & is 61" tall (5'1"!!!) Jerry, Austin & Aidan have a bet going that Austin will be taller than me by the end of December. Considering he grew over 6 inches since the beginning of last August - it's probably not such a far fetched thought.

Look how tall Austin is!

Aidan stopping & posing for a brief moment.

Aidan cruising across the monkey bars.

Austin's legs are too long. He keeps hitting them on the ground as he goes across.

And now for my new favorite snack. As if the name weren't enough..."Hanky Panky". It is delicious. We all really enjoy this little treat we get at King's. I always have a bag in reserve so we don't run out!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Life Happens

Well, things have been happening around here.

We spent a very enjoyable Easter at Waterside with the Slick's, Burke's, Myers' & Peters'. I love Easter with everyone. We have so much fun! We laughed so hard playing games (Ellis DeGenerate!) & just being with everyone is a hoot!

Charlie is so sweet. I didn't know that I could love a nephew so much. And no Maggie, we did NOT give him Peeps (wink-wink)!

Charlie adores both Austin & Aidan and they are charmed by him also. Maggie is so good about letting them carry Charlie around (makes me nervous - but not her) & they love to play with him.

I really don't know how Janis does it. She makes it look so easy. She is wonderful! I wish I had one tenth of the patience she possesses!

School has been going well for both the boys. Report cards will come out on Friday, April 11, but Mifflin has a feature that allows parents to go on the internet and keep tabs on their kids grades. So, we already know what kind of grades Austin is getting. He is doing very well!

Aidan is doing well in school also. His teacher had them make Easter Baskets & then the Easter Bunny filled them with treats, pencils, erasers & bubbles that were SCENTED! Aidan's were grape. The children were thrilled to received their baskets.

I think the boys have around 45 days of school left and there are field days, land olympics, first grade programs, a Medieval Farewell, a 6th grade graduation (can you believe Austin will go to Jr. High next year?!?!) and many more end of the school year activities going on.

We are starting to make our plans for this summer. The boys & I will be going to Erie for an extended period of time & then Jerry will join us at the end of our vacation to attend the family reunion in Erie. We will also be going to Potter County at the beginning of August. I am just laughing to myself thinking about August already when we have so much living to do between now and then!