I wish there was a website for books like IMDB. One of the things I really appreciate on IMDb is their Parents Guide. I know there are other more popular movie guides, but I like IMDb because they aren’t viewing the movie through a particular filter. Just give me a list of the language & the questionable scenes & I’ll decide for myself.
I don’t want to censor books but as a parent of a tween & a kid with a high reading level I really wish there was a place to go to see what’s appropriate without having to pre-read all their books.
E~ would like to read Life of Pi. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. What kind of violence is in the book? Sexual content? Language? If I had that kind of info, it’d be easier for me to say if it’s appropriate for my 12yo or not. Same goes for A Dog’s Purpose. I think it’s something both boys would enjoy but I have no idea what else is in the book. The kids are voracious readers. I can’t keep up!
Right now E~ is in the middle of two Jack London books. I think he’s preparing for his trip by reading White Fang & The Call of the Wild. G~ is reading book 341 of The Warriors Series. I can’t get into that one. Cats are not my thing.
T~ is easy. She’s reading whatever she can get her hands on & right now that’s Magic Treehouse. I find them annoyingly simple but for an early reader – you can’t get much better than that series!
This past weekend we ventured to Northern State to celebrate my dad. After 42 years in the teaching ministry, he retired. His school put together a wonderful celebration & my entire family was there for the festivities.
Any time the cousins get to be together is a wonderful time.
The icing on the cake was that two of my dad’s brothers & their wives came too. I love my extended family, as do my kids. In fact, when G~ tells people about his Alaskan Adventure, it always starts with the stop at Uncle R’s farm. We had a wonderful time together, as we always do.
There was a part of the weekend that left me feeling emotionally raw. My dad, sisters & I had to have a tough conversation about ‘what to do if…’. Never an easy thing to discuss. I was fearful we were going to be very far apart on some of the issues, but we were miraculously pretty close. It was one of the first times we have grieved together for my mom. It felt odd since she was in the next room, but it was sorely needed. We get so bogged down with the day-to-day stuff, we don’t take time to talk about what we’re missing. I am not a big crier, but I was somewhat prepared for the emotions of this particular conversation.
I was not prepared for the emotions of watching my mom with her best friend. A~ came to the retirement party & sat with my mom during the speeches. My mom was getting somewhat agitated & A~ sat there, rubbing her back & holding her hand. After things were over, A~ gave my mom a hug & stood up to leave. Only she was crying. It struck me at that moment, that we are not alone in grieving for my mom. A~ lost her best friend to this terrible disease. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered that before (see day-to-day comment in previous paragraph). As I was hugging A~ & crying myself, I was struck by feelings of gratitude. That A~ still cared. For the years of friendship they shared. Even for the emotions of the moment. It felt very sacred to me. It still does (I’m crying as I write this).
I miss my mom.
That’s how long it will be till my boys head off on their Alaskan Adventure.
How did this dream trip of my dad’s become a reality?
Right now, I’m oddly okay with them leaving. As time marches on, it’ll get harder. We’ve done it before – left them in the care of my parents for 3 weeks. They were a lot younger & we were a lot farther away. Maybe that’s the difference? I cannot even fathom how much they will grow & change. It truly is a trip of a lifetime.
Trip preparations are slow. G~ is good for shoes. I still need to shell out $$$ for E~’s Keens. Adult-sized shoes are pricey! We still need to buy a camera. I’m thinking this one. We also need to get them a pair of binoculars. I’m sure there’s a million tiny details I need to work out but it’s not crunch time yet. I’m sure that panic will set in about the 1st of June.
E’s school is amazing.
You may remember how I struggled with the decision on where to send E~ last year. We totally made the right choice in sending him to Treetop. I haven’t spent huge amounts of time there but every time I’m there, I get a really good vibe.
Today is was there for 2 hours; one hour was spent listening to Shark Tank-type presentations. The other hour was discussing books. Could there be a better way to spend a cold, windy, dreary day?
After I was done I had a conversation with Treetop’s principal. I had a few questions about 7th grade & needed to wrap up some Lego League business. We had a very pleasant conversation where I learned all about the plans for Math for next year, staffing changes, & scheduling challenges. I also learned that staff who were previously at our local elementary (who I thought were fabulous) are now valuable fixtures at Treetop. It was refreshing to hear that teachers I thought were great are viewed the same way by the person who hires & fires.
I was able to request a particular teacher for E~ for next year. How else should I spend my volunteering cache?
I love being proven right!
Way back in January, we applied for passports for the kids. If an Int’l adoption has taught me anything, it’s how to gather paperwork. I had all the necessary documents in my plastic folder, organized by kid, & all the extra documents T~ was going to need, plus additional documents, just in case.
The guy said he didn’t need them. Only the birth certificate. I didn’t argue too much because it’s not easy for me to let adoption documents go anyway. 6 years & I still have a phobia about letting her paperwork out of my sight.
Now we’re on our second request for additional documentation for T~’s passport.
See! I was right! You do need her original paperwork, citizenship document, & the name change paperwork! I was right! I was right! I was right!
Now I need to take some Ativan & find a secure mailbox so someone can pry the latest request out of my hand…
I just sent a video titled Fart Patio to a friend because it made me think of her*.
There is something really wrong with me.
Maybe I am a 12 year old boy?!?
*I swear I sent the video to her because she & her family eat a lot of quinoa & kale & other whole foods. Not because she needs a fart patio. She has a good sense of humor so I’m not really worried. At least not about her. Maybe my 12yo is rubbing off on me? Farts are funny business around here. E~ & his friends have a running joke – when someone lets a silent-but-deadly, the offender says “do you guys smell popcorn?” trying to trick everyone into taking a big whiff.
**I just wrote a whole post about farting. This blog has really gone downhill…
This is probably useless for anyone not in charge of an elementary school running club, but I need to get this written out so I can reference it next year. You know I’ll be in charge of planning for Running Club again in 2014.
30 seconds on & 30 seconds off. Repeat.
- Speed Skaters
- Jog in place
- Push ups
- Mountain Climbers
- Wall Sit
- High Knees*
- Yoga – Tree
- Yoga – Dancer
- Basketball Shots
- Jumping Jacks
- Lunges – side~
- Lunges – front~
- Lunges – back~
- Chair Squats
- Chair Dips
- Sit Ups
I like to turn this into a race. Pick the number of stations you want to use & post signs with the station (maybe with an illustration of the exercise). Position yourself in the middle of the stations. Explain each of the exercises to the group. Explain that this is a race. After EACH STATION they run to you & get a mark or a sticker or something to indicate that they’ve finished a station. Then they run off to another station, complete it & run back for another mark/sticker. Set a time limit – 3 or 4 minutes & see who can get the most marks/stickers. I like to start with each exercise for a count of 10. The exercises with an ~ should be 5 each leg. The exercises with a * are best suited for a specific distance (for instance, across the gym). After they complete one round of ALL stations, the next round is for a count of 20, ~ for 10 each leg, & * double the distance or stay the same, whichever is best suited for your space. The third round would be 30, 4th round 40, etc. The kids do not need to do the stations in a particular order, they just need to complete the entire circuit.
You will need adult helpers to watch to make sure the kids aren’t ‘phoning it in’. They need a deep wall sit, an actual lunge, air between feet & the ground for a jumping jack, etc. Of course, your kids would never do that
I have a few more posts under Running Club coming. I know you are super excited about that!