Saturday, August 30, 2014

Still Strange

So, today I returned to school for a bit to work awhile in the quiet. So strange, working on first progress reports, meaning we've gone past half way into the first quarter, and it isn't even September.
 Last year was easy street as far as my students were concerned.  It is unusual to  get a class where all the students are on the same page so to speak.  They all loved learning and were very capable, independent learners. Likely the only experience like that I will ever have.
This year is going to be more of a challenge.  I never seem to be very accepting of things I can't fix.  It might have been best if I had stayed in first grade, where I wasn't able to see as much of the damage inflicted by the current state of education for the kiddos that don't get everything the first time round.
Truly, I don't mind there being a set of standards.  Now I hate when said standards are developmentally inappropriate, but that's another story.  What I really can't grasp is that anyone is crazy enough to believe that each and every little sweet package delivered to our door can, in the same time and same way, be able to master those standards.
I'm required by state law to teach fifth grade standards, regardless.  Do you know what happens when you don't have a chance to develop a number sense as quickly as the standards are laid down in kindergarten and first grade?  You go to second grade in a fog.  If this is not at some point aggressively addressed then there just is no way you are going to get algebra at the ripe old age of ten in fifth grade.
Can you put yourself there? Walking into a space every day where you are never able to keep up?
I feel I've become a very successful teacher, but I suffer from never seeing the forest for that one little yellow sapling that strains and reaches for the sun, but can't seem to get there, or worse, the one that curls in on himself, believing it is a pointless attempt, and  me trying to see those limbs stretch, grow and reach consumes me, even in my sleep.
Lately, I've been reading about unschooling.  I wonder, what if their days were spent doing something they were successful at, something they loved?  How ridiculous would that be?  So much better that they spend every day failing, right?

I have to say we've been so blessed.  My children and their children have not found school particularly challenging.
We really won't know about this little one till the time comes for learning.  We knew going in that he entered this world with difficulty and there could be residual affects of that birth.

I look at that sweet little perfect face and can't imagine a school situation like that for him.

He so loves the creek, this child of my heart.

Just like his sibling and cousins.

Would it be so awful if little Miss Toddles made creeks and water systems her life's work?
 If Giddy-up were able to tell you everything you needed to know about the lithosphere of the this planet.
And this guy, who we have to pay extra for real art classes, because, heaven forbid, spending time doing real art might take away from his  barely ten year old self doing algebra and reading books he could care less about, though good chapter books have been read to him since he was three and he's been reading them himself since he was five.
So, you see I'm slowing down on updates and if you don't see me here much it's cause there's a little sapling I'm trying to save. Lord help!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Over It? Hardly

This boy is just the sweetest chunk of sugar ever. I keep thinking he'll just be another baby and I'll get over the wonder of him, but it  ain't happening.
I could listen to him giggle all day long.
Huh, Gramerly, are you talking to me?
 Wait, don't get me started.
 Squeal, giggle, giggle (sounding just like a wee goat).  I am so tickled I can hardly stand myself.
 He still makes me cry.  I am just so smitten with the wonder of how difficult his entry into this world, his transformation with the loving attention he gets, all of this smiley boy.

Speaking of not getting over it, this toy has never lost its allure.  I bought this when mine were small and it is still beloved.

Giddy-Up wanted to haul it home with him, but I managed to convince him it better stay here.
Love me some precious boys.

Friday, August 15, 2014


No, it isn't snowing in Southern Indiana and in light of all the sad, horrendous news in the headlines, you might find today's post laughable.
I get that.
But, to more than a dozen Playdaters and one Gramerly and Pap, it is sad news indeed.

At 5:00 pm Cluckingham Palace confirmed that Snow White was found dead on the coop floor.
There was no sign of foul play and so it is believed she died of natural causes at the old age of five years.

Do you see her there in our very first batch of chickens?  She is the one in the bottom left corner.
 She is an Andalusion, and she was supposed to be blue.   I ordered three. Two of them did turn out to be blue.
 Snowy was certainly the odd girl out and our only white chicken to date.  Her  funny comb hadn't grown all the way in the above picture, but once it started, it grew and grew.

Until it eventually fell over her head.

She never got as big as the other girls either, but she was a faithful layer of white eggs.
We loved her so. She was so small, and sweet with her goofy comb, and a gimpy toe.  She was probably the most held chicken of our flock. Everyone knew Snowy.
Of late she was only able to get out of the chicken yard if we held the gate open for her. That was the only sign of change.  She would come cooing to the Handy Man at the end of the day to let her back in. We are relieved that she didn't linger miserably like so many old gals do.  I guess I thought she'd go on forever, so it was a bit of shock.
What a faithful provider she's been these many years.  We will miss our Snowy Girl.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Big Ten

Before the next Playdate is upon us, I  will catch-up to the last one, on Bean's 10th birthday.  I don't know how in the world he could be ten.  It is so neat to get to watch the process again with the littlest boys, but Bean, he keeps moving on.
Lighting a fire with matches is old news, but can he do it with a magnifying glass?
 Not bad for his first try. He got smoke, but no fire.  We agreed that he would could have gotten there if he cared to sit there not moving for awhile longer, but alas, there were cousins calling his name.
You can see the burned lint, which he saved.
 Ooooh, snakes.
 Um, excuse me, but can I have a bite of that hotdog?  Marshmallow?  Nothing?
 Happy birthday my handsome, creative, bright, grand boy.  Still my delight.

 Here we are photo bombing Ol' Henry and Gideon's picture- crazy kids.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Low Population Playdate

A week ago Saturday I played with poopies all day.  In a most rare turn of events, Rae let Mr. Smiley spend the day while she had an all day meeting. It was so much fun having him all to myself all morning.

 I had an appointment to get this wild mess on my head tamed some. Pappy met me there to lovey up the boy while I was getting some serious summer fuzzies whacked off. He was enthralled with the beauty shop.

 I went by moms so she could get a little squeeze.

 About five I exchanged my sweet boy for Bean and Bugg.  One day this summer I spent an afternoon with Ol' Mother Hubbard and the kidlets and I tried to see how many things we could make with biscuits.  We made pizza, monkey bread and garlic cheesy rolls.
Missy Bugg loves to cook, so I made monkey bread and garlic cheesy rolls with her and Bean as well.

 That week I received a fun package in the mail from a grandma I've met through blogging- KC
 Someone she knows wrote a book about a little red head and she sweetly thought of my little red head.
Bugg and I read it together.  The illustrations are so adorable.
We could certainly make a connection to this page, since my little girlies spend half their time in wedding garb and some of the boys too.

I let Bugg take the book before writing down the pertinent information. Sarah was in the book's title and was also the author's name.  Perhaps KC will jog my memory in a comment.
Thanks so much for thinking of us.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Thinking of Miss Kaye on her Special Day

Five Sisters,
How blessed are we
to find such love in  family

 Five Sisters
To cry, fuss, love, share
Know the other one is there

Five Sisters
Though from one we had to part,
She’s still right here, inside our heart.

Five Sisters,
Each a gift, I dearly love,
A special treasure from above

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back At It

Ahhhh, Friday.  First week of school down. Already behind on everything else.
So let's wrap up that last Playdate, finally.  Mr. Smiley thought it was time to venture down to the creek

He was as smitten with all the poopies flitting about and the breeze and leaves and the water as the rest of his cousins have been.

I've never known that mulberry to produce as long as it did this year.  This little missy never got her fill.

From quite a cutie to a stunning beauty.

Missy Toddles turned six months, so it was time for her tub pictures.  She loved splashing and entertaining us with her sparkling eyes and darling dimples and dancing eyes.

 So ends our long summer Playdates of 2014.  Miss Glitzy and I are already missing them.