Friday, December 18, 2009

What’s new in the hive:

I know I have been BAAADDDD about posting anything lately. It's been busy around here!!! :)

Let's see, what have we been up to? We had Sam's sister Donna and her kids and their boyfriends over for Thanksgiving, which was wonderful to have them visit for a few days!! The kids LOVED playing with Jess & Chelsea and their guys ... and of course they loved playing "hair salon" with Donna Donna who got the real hair dryer out for them to use! :) The turkey and food was great and we had a great time together.

Getting ready for dinner....

And the turkey doesn't come out much prettier than that...
Playing hair salon with Donna Donna :)

Addie did AWESOME with her cast for 4 weeks – she just got it taken off this Tuesday and let me tell you she was a TROOPER. She did NOT complain AT ALL about it (other than a few times it was itchy but we gave her Benadryl and she was fine). She didn’t complain that she couldn't ride her bike or do those kinds of things – she was amazing. I’m SO glad it was Addie who broke the bone and not Ave (sorry if you’re ever reading this honey) but Avery would have been a WRECK. Addie just goes with the flow. She didn’t even cry getting it taken off – the only time she cried was when it finally came off it was sore to move it – but she has had a whole arm cast for 4 weeks, they said that it was normal for her to feel uncomfortable for awhile. They gave us a sling for her to use for comfort, but by the end of the day – she was BACK to her old self! One thing she says, though, is “yeah, no more horsey for me. My dad says no more horsey.” LOL

They say the FUNNIEST things….OMG. I should have been writing them down because now I’ve forgotten but just a couple things they’ve said:

We were walking into a shoe store and Nana told the girls she was going to buy their shoes for them. Addie says “don’t be wediculous (ridiculous) Nana!” We nearly died laughing!

Earlier that day Nana was coloring or something with the girls and Avery came up and said “that’s creative, Nana..”

I'm going to have to come back to this post after I talk to Mom tomorrow to see what else she remembers them saying, they've sure said some funny things this month!

Zach's doing really great in school - he was student of the week this week so he was pretty excited about that. I guess he gets a pencil and gets to "lead the line." Oh, to be 5 and that be the major excitement!! :) He is doing good in all his subjects (and yes, in Kindergarten here - they have subjects. There is a 7 page (each page has 3 columns with small type font) of "curriculum objectives" that they expect the Kindergarten classes to go through by the end of the year. They keep them so busy doing "curriculum" stuff they don't even have time for music or PE classes once a week -- which I find crazy. Amazing that they give them a few minutes of recess a day!! Ok here is ONE of the objectives for Math.

K.15: The student will display objects and information; using object graphs, pictorial graphs and tables.

  1. Display data by arranging concrete objects into organized groups to form a simple object graph.
  2. Display data using pictorial representations of the data to form a simple pictorial graph (ex: picture graph of the types of shoes worn by students on a given day)
  3. Display information in tables, either in rows or columns (ex. a table showing the number of bunnies in one column and the number of ears in another column - or a table showing the time schedule for classroom activities.

That is just ONE of 18 "MATH OBJECTIVES". There are 4 English objectives that cover two full pages and each "objective" has sub-objectives (is that a word??) under it that go from a-f. For example: K.1-a) K.1-b) K.1-c) K.1-d) etc. There are 12 reading and writing objectives, 10 Science objectives (one of the categories is: Matter: The student will investigate and understand that the position, motion and physical properties of an object can be described.) There are 5 "sub" objectives (a-e) underneath that one objective. There are 9 "History and Social Science" objectives and there are also "Computer/Technology" objectives. Get this. By grade 5 they have to have these MINIMUM computer / technology skills:

1) Student will demonstrate a basic understanding of computer theory, including bits, bytes and binary logic.

2) The student will develop basic technology skills

  • Develop a basic technology vocabulary that includes using cursor, software, memory, disk drives, hard drives and CD ROM

  • Select and use technology appropriate to tasks Basic keyborarding skills

  • Operate peripheral devices (Huh??)

  • Apply technologies to strategies for problem solving and critical thinking.

3) The student will process, store, retrieve and transmit electronic information:

  • Use electronic encyclopedias, almanacs, indexes and catalogs

  • Use search strategies to retrieve electronic information using databases, CD ROMS, videodiscs and telecommunications.

  • Use local and wide are netoworks and modem-delivered services to access information from electronic databases

  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of various computer processing, storage, retrieval and transmission techniques.

4) The student will communicate through application software

  • Create a 1-2 page document using word processing skills, writing process steps and publishing programs.

  • Use simple computer graphics and integrate graphics into word-processed documents. Create simple databases and spreadsheets to manage information and create reports

  • Use local and worldwide network communication services.

Keep in mind that just the MINIMUM skills (and yes, MINIMUM is highlighted in the Kindergarten curriculum) that they must have by 5th grade. Is it just me or does that seem insane? I wonder what the hell comes after this - astrophysics in 6th grade??? Computer programming? Hacking? Where is the time to have FUN! He has homework every single night - YES, in KINDERGARTEN! I pulled out my Kindergarten "progress report" and the categories were like "getting along with other children", "acclimating well to school setting", "shares well". Amazing the difference in 20 years. Ok, maybe 30 years. :)

Anyway - other than that, the girls dance (ballet/tap) every Saturday. Ben is playing hockey and is in the playoffs in the fantasy football league he’s in with his dad! Kay is cheering (dancing) for the U of MN basketball team right now. Oh, and two exciting things for Kay - the U of MN Dance Team is the # 1 in the country (yeah!) and she's going to be dancing in a bowl game (The Insight Bowl) for the U on New Years Eve in Tempe, Arizona! Be sure to check your local line up that day to see if you can catch her in action!

Here's just a couple silly pictues I've taken recently - I haven't even been snapping away with my camera which just isn't like me!

The kids are ALL geared up for Christmas and we have been milking every bit of "Santa's watching" that we can! Oh as you can see we built a gingerbread house - um yeah, that's not something I *really* want to do EVER again - I fully understand now why my mother deprived us of this "old fashioned tradition" - it was a freaking mess, there was more candy on the floor, the walls wouldn't stay up, they were fighting over it. It was INSANE. I had a cocktail. It was the only way to survive it.

Christmas morning is going to be SOOOOOO cute this year - they each have something that they really want and I think this the first year where the girls really "understand" what is going to happen. Plus Nana will get to be here for the action which is really exciting!

Anyway I think you're all about caught up now in one long post! I'll try to do better!! :)

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and if I don't talk to you before then have a VERY MERRY Christmas!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zach's twin?

So.....this was Zach's Daddy 40 years ago and now Zach at the same age.... can you tell they're father & son??

Christmas pictures

Took the kids to get their pictures taken today … had to show ‘em off in their new Christmas outfits that Nana got them!  (Or as the kids say – their “church” clothes!)


 s42454ca114583_22 s42454ca114583_1 s42454ca114583_3 s42454ca114583_4 s42454ca114583_5 s42454ca114583_5_2 s42454ca114583_9_0 s42454ca114583_10 s42454ca114583_10_0 s42454ca114583_10_1 s42454ca114583_11   s42454ca114583_13 s42454ca114583_13_1 s42454ca114583_13_5 s42454ca114583_14 s42454ca114583_15 s42454ca114583_15_1 s42454ca114583_17 s42454ca114583_18 s42454ca114583_18_3 s42454ca114583_19 s42454ca114583_20 s42454ca114583_20_1 s42454ca114583_20_6

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Letter from Santa

Dear Zach, Addie and Avery,

Ho Ho's Santa here all the way from the North Pole! I just wanted to let you know that I got your Christmas lists and my elves have been hard at work trying to make you special presents! Simon has been reporting to me every day and he says that you have been pretty good little boys and girls, but he thinks you still have some work to do on your behavior before I come to your house on Christmas Eve night!

So remember to be good and listen to your Mom and Dad and make sure you clean up your room and put away your toys. No whining or crying and definitely no fighting! Make sure you share and are always kind to others. Oh and I almost forgot the most important thing - be sure that you all stay tucked in your own beds every night! That's one of Santa's most important rules!

Lots of love from the North Pole,

Santa Claus

PS: Don't forget to leave some reindeer food out the roof ... the reindeers get hungry from pulling my sleigh all around the world - especially Rudolph because he leads us with his bright red shiny nose!

See you soon!!