Artsy

October 12, 2011

Kindergarten has brought us many hilarious dinner time stories and interesting projects. I really hope Scott’s teacher thinks we are some what capable parents because the stories he tells us makes me personally question my parenting abilities. We have our first parent teacher conference on Monday… I CAN’T WAIT. I have a feeling it will be quite insightful. This is one of the awesome projects that have come home…

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Yes. That says hot tub. And the picture depicts a “tank car” with full on guns, missiles, and bomb launchers. Fully equipped with a hot tub to soothe your achy battle muscles.

And Nate… Sweet Nate. I am sure I should double his teachers salary. He somehow gets pee on his clothes EVERY day. At home, totally fine. At school, pee clothes. Not accidents, just always gets pee every where while using the restroom. I hope Henry really is his friend. Nate seems to be the complete opposite of how I would have predicted “school Nate” to be.

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3 Soup Week

January 31, 2011

I kind of love Oklahoma weather. I, obviously, do not like winter, but if I had to plan out my perfect weather world it would be completely random. It would be 100 degrees on Monday, breezy and cool on Tuesday, 80’s on Wednesday, a quick snow storm on Thursday (just enough to appreciate the Monday’s and get in a quick snowman build) etc. I love that we had weather in the mid 70’s two days in a row and on Tuesday it is supposed to be a snow storm. However, I would go back to warm on Wednesday….I am not excited about the 17 degree high (pre wind chill) reality on Wednesday.

Can I just say that I think I have started a love affair with meat loaf? So good and so easy. I will say I prefer it in sandwich form and that is how I ate even on the first night. Mike and the kids loved it.

Can I also just say we have a kindergarten to go to next year?! I am so excited and feel such a sense of relief to know that everything is taken care of. I mean, as you know I have been obsessing for over a year. I really feel like we made the best decision for Scott and for our family. I think one of biggest adjustments will be Scott wearing collared shirts or has he calls them “handsome clothes” and oh man, that kid does not like handsome clothes. Go Patriots!

Feed Me

Monday: Chicken and Noodles (soupish)

Tuesday: Denise’s Delicious Soup (I am going to change it up and put it in the crock pot with stew meat instead of ground beef)

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner Eggs, Hash browns, Bacon, Fruit

Thursday: Egg Drop Soup (feelin’ fancy!) Chicken Fried Rice (adding green peas and shredded carrots)

Friday: Left overs

Saturday: Date Night

Sunday: Pizza Movie Night

If you are in Oklahoma, bundle up, hunker down and snuggle up to the fam.  If you aren’t in Oklahoma this week, just be happy for yourself.

I loved 2009. 2008 was the hardest year since Mike and I have been married so we were determined to make 2009 a year of fun, happiness, and priority focusing. And it was.  Our year in review…

Mike started his own business. A dream that he has had for a long time (AND it is doing great!)

Scott dominated his first session at gymnastics.

We moved back to Tulsa. My kids now think my parents house is their second home. We have made some wonderful new friends and have gotten to reconnect with old ones.

We spent the summer at the pool. Scott took swim lessons and was a pro at the diving board by the end of the summer.

We met my mom at Whole Foods every Monday of summer for lunch and grocery shopping.

We got to go to California twice for vacation and see Evyn and Ryan.

Mike actually learned how to have a vacation and relax!

I finished nursing my last baby. (thank goodness!)

Scott started preschool, switched preschools and it is still a constant battle.

Nate started walking and talking grunting and making himself even more dear to our hearts.

We had a double birthday pool party.

Mike and I celebrated being married 8 years.

Mike turned 30!

We made new traditions and clung to old ones.

We celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving with ones we love and unfortunately, away from others we love.

We kissed Uncle Richard goodbye as he moved to Spain.

I ran 3 races.

And more and more. I am happy to say I did very well on my New June Resolutions from last year! I don’t think I had a family over every single month but most months. Nate now LOVES reading, we pushed through hard stage and came out ahead! Now, on to 2010.

Like I have said before… I love making New Years Resolutions. So here they are….

1. Decide on schooling for Scott. I want to have a decision made by the end of this school year.

2. Continue my cleaning schedule. I really love how organized and on top of things I feel.

3. Take a meal to a family or neighbor once a month. I have come to the realization that at this time in my life, volunteering away from my home and kids isn’t very realistic. So I am trying to think of ways I can give from where I am.

4. Start doing yoga again. I miss it! Nate is just going to have to buck up and deal for an hour (he has issues with child care). I am going to start going to a class on Monday mornings after we drop Scott off at school. I have Nate on the list for this Monday….

Mike and I also made a couple of family goals:

1. Start attending a church regularly and get involved in a small group. We kind of took the year off from organized religion (for many reasons… that is a whole blog in its own). We actually loved the break, but we are ready to jump in again. Honestly, it is mostly for our kids and for the small group support system aspect.

2. We are saying goodbye to the nickname Tots/Totsie. Nate is becoming Nate or Keener. (His full name is Nathan Keener)… We decided if we don’t do it now, he is going to end up being a fourth grader named Tots and that is not cool.

That is it! I am excited about 2010 and the new adventures it will bring. I am excited about turning 30, I shocked that Scott will turn 5, and I am ready to make this year even better than last.

Happy New Year!

Okay, heres the deal…. Last night, my parents kept the kiddos and Mike and I got to have date night. During drinks and appetizers I drove Mike crazy obsessing over schools. The conversation definitely ended in frustration. I take full responsibility. I know I am annoyingly analyzing the situation, but until I make a decision, I feel like it is hanging over my head. I feel like it is such a huge decision and a ginormous responsibility to put my children in the situation that best suits their needs and our wants as parents. Mike had the brilliant idea of putting down on paper, exactly what I want in a school. I may not find a situation that fits my every wish, but I need to know what I am willing to compromise on and what is non negotiable.  So here is me thinking out loud (and I need opinions, PLEASE let me know what you think!) ….

My wish list:

Safe enviroment

Quality Education

Small class size

Opportunity i.e. arts, music, language, sports, computer labs, community service etc

I know people disagree with me on this, but I am not a fan of all day kindergarten, in saying that… there is only one private school I know of that does not have full day kindergarten (out of all the public and private)

Teachers that want to be there (I have no idea how that can be measured!)

An environment that is creative and thriving not stagnant and monotonous

A classroom that a teacher can teach in and not just manage (ie. a class of 25 kindergarteners in which 5 have major behavior problems)

That is the jist of it.

There are 3 options for school (at least that I know of) Public, Private, Home school. I have my issues with all three.

Negatives:

Public- Large classrooms, teachers that can’t/don’t get fired when they probably should, No Child Left Behind (teaching to test scores), less control as a parent as to who your child is surrounded by, more behavior problems (emotional and behavior problems are not allowed to be diagnosed until 1st or 2nd grade)

Private- Surrounded by kids whose parents can send them to private school, depending on the school- it can be a public school on steroids, expensive- tuition, uniforms, all the extras, depending on the school- not the same athletic options

Home school- I personally, don’t know if I would be good at it, A LOT of togetherness, don’t get the experience of not being the center of attention, don’t get all the goodies that go along with a school (sports, arts, etc), don’t have the same opportunities to put into practice all that you have taught- tolerance, loving everyone, saying “no”, sharing, dealing with people they may not like, etc.

Positives

Public- free, larger school experience, more exposure to other cultures and families that are different from your own (actually, I am not really sure about this one…, I read an article talking about how school is one of the only institutions left that separates people based on income level, house location (which people tend to live by people that are the “same” as them), which also leads to cultural separation)

Private- more control, typically more parental involvement, smaller class size (smaller school size in general), can choose a school that teaches the same moral standards as your family, can kick people out/not accept people, by paying for school HOPEFULLY (depends on the school) you would get some of the extras that public schools are limited in now – arts, music etc, the ability to pick the school that best fits your child’s learning style

Home school- COMPLETE CONTROL over everything: who your child socializes with, what they are taught, the curriculum used, when you vacation…everything

At this point, I am leaning more towards private school but I am torn. I would love to hear thoughts and experiences from all sides!