Monday, August 22, 2011

I have a 4th Grader and a 1st Grader now!!!

The final grades are in and the report cards are complete!  My kids have had a fantastic year and I am so proud of them!!!  Now we can relax and have fun for a couple of weeks!

We are looking forward to the new year starting and I'm busy getting all of my materials ordered.  Ebay has seen a lot of me lately, and I've been lucky and have won quite a few great deals and saved some money!  We are making a couple of changes, but the biggest is that we've decided to change our Math Curriculum from A Beka to Math U See.  I'm very excited about this because everyone raves about this curriculum so much!  If it is as good as everyone says, my kids will be doing calculus before they hit puberty!  LOL  Just kidding, but they should be more than ready for high school math!

Here are their final report cards!


Genna 
3rd Grade
Subject 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
Math 96 95 97 94 96 A
Language Arts 100 98 97 100 99 A+
Reading 96 99 95 93 96 A
Handwriting 100 95 97 97 97 A
Spelling 105 95 99 100 100 A+
Social Studies 100 100 100 100 100 A+
Science 101 100 100 100 100 A+
Thomas
Kindergarten
Subject 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
Math 100 94 98 99 98 A+
Language Arts 99 95 98 100 98 A+
Reading 100 98 98 98 99 A+
Handwriting 97 93 93 93 94 A
Social Studies 100 100 100 100 100 A+
Science 100 100 100 100 100 A+

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

School Shootings, Supreme Court...Family Values

I was reading through some of Genna's new American History Textbook...it is written with a rather conservative view.  In the last chapter they discuss more recent history and they actually touch on the topic of prayer in public schools.  Obviously, this is an issue that I have a generally conservative view about.

They approached the topic by explaining that in some schools kids don't even say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore because of the words "Under God," which, by the way were added in 1954.  Well, they go on to explain how important Supreme Court Justices are to our great country's moral well-being.  And that much of the decline of family values relates back to the Supreme Court decision of the 1960's that ended Bible reading and prayer in public schools.  Since then more decisions have contributed to the moral decline.

I'll admit that I'm not a history lover but I am much more interested now that I'm 35 reading a 4th grade textbook.  LOL  No, seriously, my newly found interest has come as a parent who is concerned with the moral state of our society.

Locally, last week, teenagers were arrested for plotting a shooting/suicide on the first day of school.  It has really rocked our community to experience something like this so close to home, at a school where friends of nieces and nephews attend.  It is all so scary.  Why were things so bad for these kids?  And why did they have so little value for life?  This is happening quite frequently in recent years.  Why?  Is it the parents, the educators, or the counselors??  Or some combination?  Personally, as sad as I am for these parents, I also can't help but question whether they have parented with good moral values.  Thankfully, there was at least one other teenager who learned of the plot and notified police.

I'm thankful that I'm not currently sending my kids to school where they could end up in a situation like this without me there to at least attempt to protect them.  But I'm also scared.  No one should have to fear going to the place where they spend 36 weeks per year as a student or an employee.  And no parents should have to fear sending their child someplace that is supposed to be a "safe place."

Often you hear that these kids have been victimized (haven't heard anything about this local case).  And that is sad, too.  Why are kids lashing out at other kids?  Oh, let's see...I think we are back to parenting.  And, well, you know where I stand on that one.

This evening at the health club we were in a water aerobics class while Genna and Thomas were swimming.  They were swimming near us and in full view without getting in the way.  At one point Genna and another little girl were going to jump in the deeper end.  One of the ladies didn't want them to.  Therefore, she made up a rule that they were not allowed to because the life guards were not there.  LOL  Anyway, Genna had a less than sweet and respectful response.  She wasn't very ugly, but kinda huffed and rolled her eyes (she is good at this) after telling the lady that she promised it was okay.  I witnessed only her response.  I had no idea of what the rest of the conversation was until I talked with Genna later.  I made Genna march herself back over to the lady and apologize for being disrespectful in her response.  Then I discussed it at length when things were calmed down.  While I know that the lady was wrong, I also know that Genna's response was improper and explained some proper ways she could have responded.  That is called parenting.

I'm not praising myself.  I'd be praising myself if her response had been respectful!  :P  I'm just making the point that the little things matter.  I actually was given a few compliments on how I handled the situation and on how my kids behaved otherwise.  Helping with a younger child, equipment, etc.

Is that what is missing in society?  And does responsible parenting automatically instill strong moral values?  Almost seems like you can't have one without the other.  And, how much does our Supreme Court contribute?  Can they really make such a drastic impact?  

Only 8 Lessons to go!

Well, as all of the poor regular school kids head back to school, (;-) j/k) we are so close to finishing that we can taste it!  :)  The kids and I are excited for the break we will be taking from August 24th until September 13th.  And, the extra special treat is that Kevin is taking 2 weeks vacation so we can spend lots of quality family time together!

We've chosen a year round approach to school...several days a week all year with a few breaks for holidays, visits to grandparents, vacations, sick days, etc.  Basically...complete freedom.  LOVE IT!  And we will be finished well ahead of my originally planned finish date!  A total of 11 months to finish up.  But here is the cool part.  There are 170 lessons in the main curriculum we use (A Beka) and we will start our next school year at lesson 40 because we won't have to review the lessons that were lost over 12 weeks of summer vacation!  :)  So, if we plan properly, next year we'll be done a whole 2 months sooner, and be starting the next year before everyone even heads back to school.

Last week we went to The Home School Cottage in Slidell, LA and found some outstanding deals there.  Also picked up some extras for History and Science that I will adapt to accommodate Thomas as a first grader.  I still can't believe it...my baby will be a first grader!  :(  And, while Genna has already been doing about half 4th grade work for a few months, now the 4th grade status is going to be official for her!  Time flies...and we have had fun.

I'm also picking up a new spelling curriculum for Thomas.  It is called "All About Spelling" and is only about $30, so even if your child is in Kindergarten or first grade it would be a great supplemental learning tool and would make for a fun and educational holiday or birthday gift.  It uses a multi-sensory teaching approach and comes with flash cards, magnets, etc.  It uses phonics, but also focuses on the rules of spelling.  Some of the rules were news to me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

American Idol Live & An Extraordinary Treat We Never Expected

Many of my facebook friends will be thinking, "Oh, joy, she is going to talk about this again!"  LOL  But, I have to, because it was THAT great of an experience for me...as a fan and, most importantly, as a mom.  Also, on facebook I didn't tell the whole story.  :)

I have to start with purchasing the tickets and watching the 2011 season of American Idol.  Genna and I are HUGE fans and American Idol is a family event!  Throughout the show Genna developed a bit of a crush on Scotty McCreery...like so many little girls.  We heard things like "I just love how the lights sparkle in his eyes!"  And when Scotty asked "Are you gonna kiss me or not" and I asked for her answer we got nothing but blushing!  If she ever reads this she will be a little mad at me!  LOL  Anyway, fast forward to buying the tickets.  I told her we had great seats and she said, "I just wish we were going to be close enough to touch them."  I explained that those tickets cost a LOT and that we were lucky to have the seats we had!

Finally, after waiting for over 2 months, last Friday, we started our concert experience riding over to New Orleans with our friend, Keith, and his 7yo daughter and 14yo niece.  We had Happy Meals on the way...never imagining the night would be SO happy!  Then when we got to the arena we had to separate since our seat were in different sections.

We found our seats and got settled.  Some of the top 24 locals were on the floor below us greeting people and taking photos with them.  Genna had a little moment where she was mad that she couldn't meet them.  Honestly, it was one of those moments when I was frustrated with her and fussed at her that she'd better change that way of thinking and be happy that she was a VERY lucky little girl!  *sigh*  Then, lo and behold, she had the chance to take a picture with Jovany Barreto.  As far as she was concerned the night was cool...she met someone fairly famous and was getting ready to watch a concert!

Here is her photo with Jovany:



Weellll...just as the concert was about to begin Ford ran a texting contest...we were to text in the name of our favorite American Idol Ford commercial.  The prize...backstage passes after the show!  We didn't even have to see the choices...we knew the answer, of course, was Zombies!  So, I texted in my answer...one time.

The concert starts.  I get a text from Ford..."Please respond with your e-mail to enter to win..."  I did.  Then I get another text..."Congrats, you won backstage passes after the show!  Text Neil ASAP to claim your prize tonight."  AAHHHH!  Here I am sitting here not even wanting to tell Genna yet.  Because, if I tell her and then it doesn't happen...Oh My!  I was in shock and I really didn't believe it.  I don't typically win stuff.  So, I texted Neil..."We have 5 people!!  Did we really win????"  Text comes back "What section are u sitting, seats?"  At this point Genna knows something is up because I'm texting and missing the concert!  I text back..."We are in section P row 11 seats 4 and 5...friends are in section Q."  Neil responds, "I will meet u there at intermission."  YAY!  I texted back..."OMG.  Most excited 10yo little girl ever sitting next to me!  Thank you SO much!!"

Meanwhile I had sent a text to Keith to tell him I thought I had won the passes.  He is up there doing the same thing...not wanting to get a little girl's hopes up.  It was almost like we just couldn't believe it until I had the passes in my hands!

We go on and enjoy the concert.  Intermission comes and Neil shows up.  Next to us there was a mom and two 13yo girls.  She jokingly said, "If you can get passes for us I'll PAY you!"  LOL  So, I just told them I'd see what I could do.  I actually had the nerve to ask for more passes!  And, guess what...he gave me two more and I knew the mom would totally trust me to watch over her daughter and her friend.  I thought those two precious girls were going to fall out of their seats!  And the mom was just so sweet and thankful.  Made me feel good...even though I only did what anyone should have done!

We go on and enjoy the concert.  But now Genna is saying "How much longer until we can meet them?" She was just a little excited.  All 5 girls were.  The concert was really entertaining...and they really are the most all around talented American Idols ever!

When the concert was over we found our way to where we needed to be.  Then we waited in the press box for a while.  Then we were filed into the greeting room.  We were last in line and I told the girls to stay that way!  We'd have more time with everyone if we weren't being rushed by people behind us.  We were in that room visiting with them for well over an hour.

I'll start from the beginning with photos.  :)

JACOB LUSK


LAUREN TURNER - TOP 24


NAIMA ADEDAPO


PIA TOSCANO
She is so tiny!


THIA MEGIA


I really like Thia and can't wait to watch her grow up!  She is adorable and extremely talented!!!


This hug happened when Genna met Lauren for the first time!  So sweet!!!!


And, here is Genna singing the chorus of her song for Lauren.
Genna wrote it herself and it is quite good.  :)
Lauren was blown away and couldn't believe that Genna is not even 10yo yet!


MISS LAUREN ALAINA


STEFANO LANGONE


CASEY ABRAMS


HALEY REINHART


PAUL McDONALD


OMG...SINGING FOR SCOTTY!!!
My favorite part of this photo is that you can tell he is smiling as she sings to him.


MR. SCOTTY McCREERY




Let me tell you...all of the youngest (Scotty, Lauren, and Thia) were just the sweetest kids!  I feel old calling them kids, but I have a nephew older than any of them!  They really came across just the way I pray Genna and Thomas will grow up to be...genuinely kind, fun-loving and caring.  And truly thankful for the place in which they have found themselves.  Oh, and extremely sweet and loving toward their moms, who are giving so much to be on tour with them.  I thanked each of these kids for being such great role models for our kids.

Toward the end of the time in that room we ended up spending more time with Lauren and her mom, Kristy.  It was so nice to meet her!  I thanked her, as well, for raising such a great girl!  You know what she did?  She pointed up to the sky and said "I have to thank Him...and my mom!"  I LOVED this response and told her so!  We talked for 20+ minutes.  It was fabulous!  It was "mom talk," too, which is funny to me.  We talked about raising kids, and the importance of God, for us, in that journey.  She and I could totally be friends!  LOL   

While talking with Lauren she reached over and caressed my purse and followed that with, "I Love Your Purse!"  I had seen this coming before I ever entered the room.  What can I say?  My Vizzini purse is gorgeous!  :)  I had already texted Paula Vizzini, purse designer, to see if I could give my purse away! And, so I did!  Lauren was shocked when I asked her if she wanted it!  LOL  I literally gave the girl my favorite purse off of my arm!  For a woman...that is a lot like giving someone the shirt off of your back!  Wouldn't you agree?

She showed her mom and her eyes got all starry...Lauren turned back and said "I'm not giving it to her, she'll steal it!"  LOL  She did give it to her mom, and when it was time for Lauren to leave to greet fans outside she ran back and said, "I'm sorry...but Momma, will you be sure to get my purse!"  So cute!

Here is Lauren with her new purse!
I sure hope we'll get to see pics of Lauren using her Vizzini in the future!


HAHA  And the night wouldn't have been complete if Genna wasn't asked to sing for Ms. Kristy, too!



You may have noticed that James Durbin was missing.  We didn't get to meet him.  That stinks, but we hope that he wasn't feeling sick or anything that night!  This tour is exhausting for this crew and you can see it on their faces!  "Thankful"...it just doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about them taking the time to meet and greet all of us and many more happy fans!

The ride home was fun...the girls were still going on and on.  When we got home I uploaded the photos to share on facebook.  And about an hour later Genna came upstairs to me...she was hugging her 8x10 autographed photo and had big crocodile tears running down her cheeks.  I asked her what it was and hugged her and she literally sobbed..."This was just the BEST night of my life!!!"

And, I'm thinking Genna will stick with her love of music and performing!  The girl has guts...she sang with NO problem for them that night!  She blew me away!  :)

Happy times and memories that will last a lifetime!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Here is something you don't see every day!


Even at the Audubon Zoo this one is rare.  We were walking along and just watched as this bird picked up a rat and flew away with his lunch!  And...I snapped VERY quickly!!!  LOL



Because I couldn't decide which way I like it better you get to see it again!



My kids being goofballs...okay...you can come over anytime to see that!  :)

Pink beaked duck!



Two Headed Snake


Would NOT want to wake up with this guy staring at me!  LOL


I think this white alligator was posing with our kids!


Unlikely friends?  
I think this is the same bird from above.  And I took this before he picked up his "fly through lunch".  So, I have this dialogue in my head going on...
Bird:  "I'm getting hungry, I think I'll go over there for lunch."
Turtle:  "Whatever...I don't like rats!"


Beautiful and creepy all in one animal.


TINY TINY lizard


Genna holding the tiny lizard!


4 exhausted kids and 3 HUGE pancakes for dinner!  :)


"Hey, we want some pancakes!"  :)


Hope you enjoyed these!!  :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Did you hear that?

Not in this house, you didn't!  LOL

Nothing but silence here since the kids are off visiting Nana and Huckie for a few days.  It has been great!  We miss them, of course, but they are having a blast.

Today they are spending the late afternoon at the beach and having a sunset picnic followed by catching crabs in the surf when it gets dark!  They have been equipped with nets and flashlights for their adventure!  Fun stuff!

Then, tomorrow, they are going on a Pirate Cruise!  I can't wait to hear all about it!

Needless to say...they are being spoiled!!!  With everything...from the fun activities to the grocery list!  That's what grandparents are for, right?  :)

What have we been doing?  Well, I've traded in my "super suit" for "cleaning gloves" and I'm doing some leisurely cleaning.  I've realized..cleaning isn't so bad when no one is stopping you to ask for food or drink or entertainment!  Or when no one is coming behind you just to undo what you've done!  LOL  Kevin and I have had a couple of dates hanging out with friends, and for a couple of days we're just going to take the time to recharge before the kids come home.

When they get home we only have less than 20 lessons left until we'll be finished our school year!  Then Kevin is taking some vacation time and we'll spend a couple of weeks having family fun before we start school again after Labor Day.  Oh, and on this coming Friday, Genna and I are heading to see the American Idol Live Concert!!!  We are very excited!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Want your child to have awesome language skills??

It's so fun when something comes up that helps me realize that a particular curriculum has really worked well!  That happens daily, but some things (like really understanding all of the parts of a sentence) are less obvious.  I don't walk around having Genna label sentences in the grocery store, but I do have her do a lot of math for me.  Does that make sense?

Yesterday her spelling assignment was to find the subject and predicate of sentences.  She labeled the subject noun, the complete subject and the complete predicate with ZERO hesitation.  It was exciting for me.  She can actually lable much more including:  article adjectives, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, objects of the prepostion, and prepositional phrases. 

She learned all of this from Level 1 of Shurley English.  It is very reasonably priced and I'm telling you...even if you don't homeschool, do yourself and your child a favor and get it!  It moves very smoothly, especially for a 3rd grader.  Most days it doesn't take more than 10 - 15 minutes to complete a lesson.  The basis of the curriculum is a group of jingles...one for each part of the sentence.  Thomas joins us for this fun!  It also focuses on writing and other basic language skills.  Technically, it is for a 1st grader.  Genna did NOT learn anything like this in 1st grade!  My plan with Thomas, since I'll still be using his Abeka Language because of the phonics and reading comprehension, is to work through it slowly and take our time.  It will be interesting to see how fast he catches on.

Is cursive handwriting obsolete?

I've commented in earlier posts that for the last year Brandy and I have discussed how we are amazed at how cursive handwriting is still so heavily focused on in education.  Well, I don't know if she called someone or something, but someone heard us and agreed!  LOL  We are so smart.  Sometimes it amazes me.  ;-)

This morning I was half awake and my eyes popped opened when I heard a news story about how many states are phasing cursive handwriting out of their curriculum.  They will introduce typing at an earlier age since so many kids are carrying laptops instead of notebooks in the later grade.  I think it make perfect sense.  Cursive was a way to make the ink last longer!  LOL  Not an issue these days!

I have a feeling some will still insist that kids should learn to use cursive handwriting because of the romanticism.  It is like corks in wine bottles.  Screw caps work better, but most of the wine industry is not about to take the drama away from the bottle opening process.

I happen to agree...schools especially should be focusing on solid reading and math skills.  Typing is going to be much more important for this next generation.  Heck...we are making grocery lists on our cell phones!

Here I go...off to find a typing program for Genna and Thomas.  FYI...I will still teach cursive (Genna did that this year), but I won't stress myself or Thomas over it or push it too early.

Here is a news story from yesterday:

http://www.vancouversun.com/Indiana+drops+handwriting+from+school+curriculum/5070433/story.html

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Fonz!

Saw Henry Winkler on TV today and was so impressed with his passion about "learning challenges."  What he said is so true.

I'm cheering for him!  I love that he has used his fame to help raise awareness and teach the world that people with learning challenges can be brilliant, too.  Some may be brilliant artists, others may be brilliant business people, but for anyone it is important to accentuate the positives!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Science! Flowers and Pollination


We reviewed our Flowers and Pollination lesson yesterday...getting ready for our test.  I thought it would be interesting to show how I've adapted the lesson to incorporate Thomas, too.  Obviously, I don't expect him to remember some of the more scientific names.  But, he does really understand the material.  With him I've focused on pollen, stem, roots, petals, leaf, seed, male parts, female parts, and pollination.  I expect Genna to know the rest!  Having said that...I review this material with both of them and Thomas is learning even more than I expect!  :)

Through this science lesson we've labeled diagrams, observed pollination in progress in our own garden,  watched educational videos about pollination and plant reproduction.  It is all very interesting!  The kids are loving it.  :)

If you'd like to do this with your kids over the summer it is really easy to find great material online.  I just googled "parts of the flower" and found lots of free lessons and videos.  From that I created a study guide and a diagram for Genna.  She used the printed information (2 pages) to find answers to the study guide questions.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Disturbing Statistic

     I heard a former School Superintendent from D.C. on CNN the other night say that our kids are part of the first generation of children who are being less educated than their parents!  Well...first I felt a bit of relief because I could simply say, "Not my kids!"  However, I then thought of the vast majority of my friends and loved ones who are going to be effected by this ugly truth.  Because, the fact is that after the last 132 lessons I've done with my own children, I absolutely believe this statistic to be true and rather scary!  There is simply no way that one teacher could cover the material I've covered with 20+ students at once!  Not without help.

     How are things in our world going to get better if our kids are even dumber than us?  LOL  I'm being silly, and I don't think our kids (as a collective society) are going to be dumb.  But, there is some truth in my jest.  We are in such a mess right now and I was hoping that the next generation would be a reliable "plan C" for fixing things if we (the "plan B" 30/40 something parents) can't find a way to do it!  Let's face it...the "plan A" group is not doing the best job.

     There are lots of theories out there as to why this lack of education is happening.  I have a few thoughts myself.  One of them being that teachers (I've talked with some) feeling that they are forced to "dumb down" their curriculum because it would be too challenging for some of the kids.  I'm all for equal treatment, but it is a sad day when the bar gets lowered for fear that someone will be offended that their child can't reach it.  Everyone can't be completely equal in smarts or finances!  Someone has to dig the ditches and someone has to do the heart surgery.

     Another theory is that it has to do with costs of education.  I guess I can understand this, but I'm not buying it.  Others think it is because of distractions like video games, computers, TV, etc.

     Personally, I think that some societal woes are reeking more havoc than anyone has realized.

     There are two main societal problems.  One is the broken down family unit.  Simple as that.  I know several amazing single parents (you know who you are), and I simply don't know how they do it!  I cannot fathom being single and working and struggling and then coming home to homework.  The divorce rate is astronomically high because of immoral behaviors.  I'm in no way saying that no one should get a divorce.  I'm saying that so often people make choices that are immoral and subsequently their marriage ends in divorce.  To me it shows the kids that you can make very important promises and then break them because of something that is more attractive at that moment.  In other words, you do not have to commit and remain committed.  To anything.  Even one of the most important promises ever!  So, why would the kids be compelled to commit to education?

     Which brings me to my next reason...materialism.  People are too materialistic.  I don't care what kind of shoes you wear or car you drive or how big your house is!  I want to see families that are good and solid!  Whether you live in a shack or a mansion...a solid family is more important.  I'm so lucky to be home with my kids.  And, I'm not going to lie...I really wish that more moms or dads would make the same choice to be home with their kids.  It's a huge responsibility!  And in many ways I'm not successful.  I don't always lead as a great example.  But I try.  And, ultimately, I feel that my kids are growing to understand the commitment I've made to them.  The same way I look back and remember that my mom made the same choice and Kevin's mom did, too.  And again...there I am...back at commitment.

      Our kids need to be shown that we should treat one another with respect, but also that it's okay for some people to be neurological surgeons while others contribute to society in another way that happens to require less education.  And that in order to do anything well in life, it requires commitment.  

     Last night Genna, Kevin and I were watching "Father of the Bride" and at the end Genna was crying.  I asked her why and she told us "Because, I can't imagine leaving you!"  THAT is solid.  THAT is richness!  THAT is a blessing like no other.  She is committed to us!  :)

Seriously...I never expected "Straight A" kids!

Call me crazy, but I never expected this...and I also don't pressure them at all about their grades!  They are earning A's across the board because, guess what....they know the material!  I just put together their report cards for the 3rd quarter.  I'm so excited!  And, I'm sorry if I seem to be bragging.  I'm just so proud!


Genna          
3rd Grade        
         
Subject   1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q
         
Math   96 95 97
Language Arts   100 98 97
Reading   96 99 95
Handwriting   100 95 97
Spelling   105 95 99
Social Studies   100 100 100
Science   101 100 100
         
         
         
Thomas         
Kindergarten        
         
Subject   1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q
         
Math   100 94 98
Language Arts   99 95 98
Reading   100 98 98
Handwriting   97 93 93
Social Studies   100 100 100
Science   100 100 100

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Congrats Genna!

Congratulations to our beautiful girl!  
She completed her 8th dance recital yesterday and did a fabulous job!  

Here is her tap number:


And here is her Jazz number: 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hear Thomas Reading

I did something fun and different with Thomas today.  This was in an effort to encourage more fluency in his reading while making it fun!  He loves Photobooth and it occurred to me that while I'm working with Genna on something he can record videos of himself reading and I can watch it later.  This is an AWESOME way to really know how he is doing!  Because no one is there with him to fix the errors.  I was happy to hear that most of the time he fixes them himself.  I think he is doing okay, but I can clearly see a few things we need to concentrate on.  For example...don't stop mid-sentence to go back to the other story for your silly ending!  That isn't fluent.  LOL  I told him he could be silly on the last word and he forgot.  So, he just stopped and went back.

The funny faces are also quite hysterical!

We are on lesson 126 out of 170 in our school year.  Just about three quarters of the way through.  YAY!

I was able to look at the 1st grade readers last weekend and was surprised to see that he is already capable of reading the first one!  Keeping in mind that much of each year of curriculum is based on lack of retention over the summer, I'm not completely surprised.

I've included the text below so you can read along.  :)  

video

Here are the stories:

PUFF

Jon got a big cat.
Jon will name his cat Puff.
The cat can lap its meal.
Lap, lap, lap!
Jon can pet Puff.

THE RED COAT

Mom made a red coat.
It fits the doll.
June likes the coat.
June gave Mom a kiss.
The doll got a big hug.

Monday, June 6, 2011

When I Leave My Camera at Home

When I leave my camera at home...I am not "above" looking like a major nerd while I walk around taking pictures with Thomas' Leapster Explorer!  LOL  Actually...many of these were taken by Thomas.

We had to head to New Orleans last week for a few errands.  The kids were so good while riding around for hours...not having fun.  They deserved this trip to the Aquarium of the Americas!   

This stingray was quite funny...he looked like he was "talking" to Thomas.


BIG crawfish  ;-)  


Parakeet Pointe







Seahorses...smart species...men carry the babies!  LOL


If you go the Aquarium in New Orleans you have to take a pic with the big frog!



Petting Stingrays




They are so cute!



Face to face with a gator!


Daaada...daaada...dada.dada.dada.dada


Jellyfish


Hanging with the sharks!


Swimming with them, too!  :P


OH NO!  SHARK!!