Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tessa Is Recognized

Last week Tessa was recognized in an awards assembly for getting straight A's on her report card.

In addition, she also was invited to become a member of Jr Beta club. Her Beta club induction ceremony was held last Thursday. This club requires that students keep their grades very high and do not have any disciplinary problems. We are very proud of all she has accomplished this year.

The first picture is of the awards ceremony. The second two pictures are of the beta induction ceremony where Tessa received her certificate and pin from the principal and vice principal.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I know that it is mid-January already, but I am not going to miss posting my resolutions this year.  My friend Susan told me that my new year's resolution should be to post my new year's resolutions. :) In making new year's resolutions, I like to review my ones from last year.  In thinking back, I thought I had completely failed at last year's goals.  But when I went back and reviewed my 4 goals from last year, I did better than I thought.  These were my last year's goals: 

1) Prioritize and stay on top of things better--I did better at this but still have a long ways to go.  My iphone calendar has been great though. It is really helping me stay more organized because I always have it with to put things in when I find out about them.
2) Exercise at least 4 days a week-I accomplished this one!! I have been running with my good friend Priya 5 days a week ever since last May.  It has been great!  The second part of this goal was to lose 8 more pounds which I didn't accomplish.  In fact, I gained some of what I had already lost back.  However, I was able to maintain my weight as long as I've been running.  Now, if I could only change my diet I could lose the rest.

3) Do regular piano lessons with the girls-I failed at this one. I did pretty good through maybe March and then didn't do anything except help them learn Christmas songs the rest of the year.  Alex did make good progress with his new teacher though, but quit at the end of December. He is continuing to work on hymns and Jesikah is now taking his spot with the new teacher.  Now, if I could only just teach Tessa...
4) De-clutter/de-junk and re-organize every room in the house and donate or sell things we no longer use--I made it probably half-way through the house on this one but didn't accomplish it.
As for last years, I would like to continue working on the ones I didn't accomplish and maintain the ones I did.
Now for my new goals...
1) Find ways to spend time with Alex every day-I want to build my relationship with Alex so I am determined to find ways to spend time together and at least have pleasant conversations.  If I don't accomplish an hour, I am ok with that as long as I have positive associations with him each day. I have already been doing this one and have seen improvement in our relationship although he does fight it. You may say, "what about the other kids?"  Well, I feel like I already have ways of spending time in place with all the others each day and each week, and those relationships aren't struggling.

2) Follow Through and Stop Nagging-I need to be better about following through with what I tell the kids and not constantly bug them about things they need to do.  Whether it is a consequence if they don't do something or a reward or whatever. I tend to easily be convinced to let them have a friend even if their jobs are not done even though that is the rule or not do something that I promised I would. I have been working on this one already and the kids are responding.  I am determined to stop nagging the kids and let the natural consequence or set consequence come.  This is something that we were taught in the parenting class I took last year.  It is a tough one for me because I want to keep reminding them so they don't have to face the consequence, but it gets me irritated and it gets them irritated and is many times the source of arguments.  I think that as long as the rules are in place and the consequence is followed through, it will be much more successful.

3) Complete my blog books for 2010 and 2011

Tessa's 5th Grade Dance

To motivate students to behave in 5th grade, the principal holds 2 parties or "dances" for all students who didn't get sent to the principal's office or kicked off the bus that semester.  They have pizza, soda, goodies, and then music, dancing, and don't forget friends!

The dancing isn't the boy-girl type, it is more like line dances or group dancing.  I asked Tessa if she would like me to come and help with the food, and she said yes.  The first half, I helped with the food, and the second half I went into the dance and watched and interacted with her.  It was fun and she was so happy I was there.  She kept coming over and talking to me or hugging me.  It made me feel grateful I decided to go.  She had a great time and loves dancing and being with her friends.

One thing that was kind of funny was that the boy next door had "asked her" to the dance.  It's funny how 5th graders do that since it isn't even a boy-girl thing.  Anyway, I guess Tessa said yes and then later wasn't sure what that meant.  Then the week before, she told him that she wanted to hang out with her friends and didn't want to feel like she just had to be with him during the dance.  She said she was nice about it, and he seemed fine.  I was glad that she thought it through and thought he might expect her to spend time with him.

I can't believe that she will be old enough to go to middle school next year.


Jesikah had to turn in a math project this week on proportions. As is the "Jesikah way", she wanted to do something "fancy" even though it could have been something simple. :) She loves to bake, so she found a way to incorporate baking into it. She had to have an example of something that was proportional and not proportional.

She decided on cookies and milk. A giant round cookie and a small heart shaped cookie represented in-proportional while two jugs of milk in different sizes represented proportional.

It was the first time we have ever made a giant cookie. It was fun and a learning process. It turned out really good. One thing I learned is when you ask to buy a pizza box at Sam's club, they come in lots of 50! Yes I bought all 50 for only $14! Now what to do with the remaining 49... I can make giant cookies for valentines day, and every meal that I make for someone else will now be pizza until further notice! :)

Her project was due on Tuesday, and she didn't get to report until Friday.  I was a little irritated that the teacher didn't let her go first since hers was perishable.  But, this is the teacher that Alex had for Math in 7th grade.  And while I won't go into details, those of you who remember the teacher that was awful to Alex...this is the one.  That said, Jesikah hasn't had the same problems (thank heavens)!  Her teacher kept everything in the refrigerator, but Jesikah was pretty worried that the cookie would be stale, and I was too.  A cardboard box just doesn't keep cookies fresh even in the fridge.  In the end, it all worked out.  The cookie still tasted really good (according to Jesikah) and everyone loved having cookies and milk during school.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cold Campout

Alex went on a scout campout to Bodie farm this past Friday night to Saturday. They slept in the barn out there. He had a great time. He got a little cold, but he said that he was okay.

I think the temperature got down to the high teens that night. He said they had a lot of fun. He always has a lot of fun with his church friends and leaders. They played capture the flag and one of their leaders even brought his Christmas tree for them to burn. I think that was the most exciting event of the night! Here are a few pictures that I captured from his phone:
He said that his hot chocolate was too hot so he left it and went to play capture the flag.  When he got back it was frozen.

Their area inside the barn.  It looks like they have a snack shelf in the back there. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jarems awards

Every nine weeks Jarem's school has an awards assembly. Jarem did really well this nine weeks. He received the award for all A's, the art award, and a reading award. The art award only goes to one person per class so I was really proud of him. We'll see what Tessa gets tomorrow.

Its snowing!

I think this is our first real snow of the season. Here's a few pictures:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gingerbread marshmallows

I found some gingerbread marshmallows on sale at Walmart for $.37. They were still soft so I decided to buy them. I never knew the kids would have so much fun with little gingerbread marshmallows. Jarem and Tessa dressed them and put them in all kinds of different poses and configurations. They had so much fun with them. Jarem pretended they were two football teams in huddles going against each other. Tessa pretended hers were cheerleaders doing formations and cheering the football team on. All in all it was a well spent $.37.

Cricut and Vinyl

I finally tried using vinyl with my Cricut. I've had all the supplies for a while but I haven't dared try it. I was really surprised how easy it was. I cut out names for my new family home evening plaque. I was happy with results.

Cotton Candy

On Saturday, everyone worked really hard and we accomplished a lot of projects and cleaning around the house.  As a reward, we decided to treat the kids to Golden Corral for dinner (which is their favorite restaurant). To our surprise, cotton candy suddenly showed up on the dessert table as we were ready for dessert. I have been to Golden Corral many times in my life in many different places, but I have never seen cotton candy there before. 

It couldn't have been a better surprise for the kids. Cotton candy is one of Jesikah's all-time favorites, which she rarely gets. The girls discovered it first then Jarem was a close second.  Alex was watching them longingly, but was a little apprehensive because he wasn't sure if that was a little kid thing to do or not.  I helped him out by picking one up for him and bringing it over to him.  He seemed a little embarrassed at first, but he soon was enjoying it just as much as the rest of them, and he was the first one done! Alex loves anything with sugar so it didn't surprise me that he loved it so much.

Jarem with a cotton candy beard

Jarem using the tube as a horn
This was especially funny for any of you who have ever seen the Office episode where Michael sings the little song, "My horn can pierce the sky" when Dwight had bought up all the "princess unicorns" (which was the toy of the year for Christmas) to sell online.  Anyway, I guess you just have to see it.  Eric and his brother laughed about the episode for so long, and then we had to see it, so we watched it.  I didn't want the kids to see it because there was a couple of questionable things, but they really wanted to see "my horn can pierce the sky" part, so I let them see just that part and now it is kind of a family joke.