It’s the end of the school year, so the girls have started bringing home their work (what wasn’t already sent in the piles that come home every week). They brought some really awesome pieces this week that I need to share. I think they’re artists (in addition to geniuses).
This first one is just a fun piece of Jenny art:
Next an assignment inspired by Munch’s Scream. Cool, right?
Our favorite of Jenny’s, this very interesting mosaic. Lee’s planning to hang it in his office.
And finally, one of Reagan’s. I’m not sure what it is. She says it’s a skeleton. They were told to make it a happy skeleton, so…
Still a little creepy. And it’s shaking a maraca apparently, if you’re wondering about the music notes like I was.
Linking up with Greta and Sarah for #iPPP:Read More
The start of this week has been a little rough. This is the first week in four weeks that the girls have to go to school all week, and I have to go to work all week after being on vacation most of last week. And it’s cold. And Brinkley just won’t quite settle back into a sleeping routine – during the day or at night.
Jenny has done a great job of somewhat willingly waking up at 5:30 for school every morning, which I admit is tough – I would know since I have to wake up in order to wake her up. But she’s really struggled with it the last 3 weeks or so, and this week has been the worst. She can’t get out of bed. She stays in the shower forever. She falls back asleep after that. I think the problem is that she doesn’t go to sleep early enough at night, but she of course disagrees with me. Because she always disagrees with me. A bit of Jenny wisdom I’m overhearing in the kitchen right now as I type this and she’s getting ready for school: “I don’t think I like getting up, no matter how early I go to sleep.”
Anyway, last night I came home from a long busy work day and made dinner. And I realized how nice it is to come home from work and prepare dinner and actually have everyone like it. A small victory like that can really make my day so much better.
I put dinner on the table and the girls started eating, and they were so excited. (I knew it was one of their favorites.) I said, “Raise your hand if you love this dinner.”
And I got a pretty enthusiastic response. Brinkley didn’t raise his hand, but he did eat his whole bowl of pasta and seemed to like it.
Until he didn’t.
But we were done with dinner by then anyway.
Linking up with Greta and Julie:
My girls haven’t been quite as obsessed with decorating the house in handmade decorations for Halloween this year as they were last year (note: you’re going to want to look at last year’s insanity, for Dr. Dre and “felling Halloweeny”), but there’s still a surprise here and there like this one:
What we do have at our this year is this little pumpkin that Reagan got on a field trip to a local pumpkin patch:
I happen to like his twisty stem. But Reagan wrote a whole story about this pumpkin for school.
I know you can read her perfect handwriting if you want to, but I’ll type it out here in case you don’t feel like blowing up the picture.
My favorite part of our field trip was going to pick out our pumpkins. It was hard because I wanted to get a perfect pumpkin. Before he told us to go pick it out I was looking at one and while I was standing there I decided it was perfect, but sadly when he let us go, someone else got it. So I got a not so perfect one that was covered with warts but I still put it on my porch.
We have to keep bringing it inside because Brinky is trying to destroy it, but isn’t it cute? This story came home with some schoolwork yesterday, and I just love it.
And completely unrelated, a bonus cute boy picture:
Because why would you sit in a high chair when you can stand on it?
Now that we’re a little over a week into the school year, we’ve pretty much established our new morning routine. I’ll take you through it, with pictures.
5:30 – The alarm goes off. I hop out of bed (in a tired and grumpy way, probably not really hopping) to go wake up Jenny so she can take her shower. I stand in her room long enough to make sure she’s at least sitting up and won’t go back to sleep. On wonderful mornings, I then go back and lay in bed for a few more minutes of happiness while she takes her shower. But on most mornings Brinky is also waking up around this time, so I head downstairs with him.
We sit on the couch for a bit resting while we wait for everyone else. I refuse to give him a bottle before 6:00 because I think it encourages waking up early. Brinky was awake in this picture, but closed his eyes because of the camera phone flash. And I now notice he’s in his usual relaxing position, which means his hand is in my shirt. A little awkward. Sorry.
Jenny wakes up her dad when she gets out of the shower and then she finishes getting ready. When she comes downstairs, if I’m being nice, Brinky and I get up and spend time with her.
Here’s Jenny fixing her breakfast, and wearing a sweater of mine that she’s stolen. And Brinky wandering around the kitchen.
More Brinky because he was cracking me up, spinning around while he was drinking his bottle. Spinning around is one of his favorite things to do right now.
And then giving me this cute suspicious look. I just learned from my husband that he’s offended that I leave him in an undershirt and shorts to sleep and during the early morning hours, but I think it’s cute and comfortable. So there.
Jenny also had to get her first project ready to turn in this morning. It’s a poster board collage about her. She had to use photos and magazines to find things that she thinks represent her, fill the poster board (losing points for any white space, she told me repeatedly), and then cut it into a shape that represents her (a puzzle piece). She put it into this trash bag so it wouldn’t get messed up on the bus.
Brinky ran off to Lee’s office to say hello to him when he came downstairs after his shower. (No, we don’t let him drink that Cheerwine, but he loves the old bottles.)
All of this stuff is going on before 6:20, which is when Jenny heads out in the dark for the bus stop. Once she walks out the door, Brinky and I go wake up Reagan. She takes a few minutes to get ready and then joins us downstairs.
This morning she was wearing one of her new shirts – Best Sis Ever – she picked it out herself, which annoyed Jenny because she didn’t think Reagan could declare herself the best sister ever. They’re so nice to each other.
Reagan wanders around for awhile, getting ready, eating breakfast in the kitchen and watching Disney Channel on the TV in there, which is her favorite thing to do in the morning. About five minutes before it’s time for her to leave for the bus stop (she goes at 7:30), we’ll ask her if she’s done everything on her list. The answer is always no because she always forget something.
I like to spend a lot of this morning time while everyone’s getting ready spending time with Brinkley in the family room while he alternates between cuddling with me on the couch, hitting me with blocks, playing with his clocks, wandering around the room, eating his morning mini blueberry muffins, and drinking his morning bottle. I read or write blog posts when I can squeeze it in. Other than all that stuff going on, I’m kind of lazy in the mornings and then jump up about 7:20 or so and take 5 minutes to get ready for work so I can leave around the same time as Reagan or shortly after.
Are you so jealous of our school mornings?
I’m usually not a parent who truly complains about school supply lists. I actually think that our elementary school lists haven’t been too bad, though I sometimes don’t understand why we have to provide all the plastic bags and hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes ever made. But the middle school supply lists really seem like too much to me.
Here are a few items Jenny had on her supply lists from her various teachers:
- Four 1 ½ inch Binders – These are for her core classes (language arts, math, science and social studies). She has to carry these things around every day, and they’re loaded with even more supplies. These things are heavy and take up most of her backpack space.
- Dividers for each of the above binders – So forget the idea to get one big binder and just divide it by subject. Each of these binders has dividers. I’m not sure what each section is though.
- A pencil pouch in each binder – You know the kind of pencil pouches that have holes to be secured in the binder? Those. She has them in each binder, filled with everything she needs for that subject so that she can just pull out her binder and be ready. That’s kind of clever and convenient. But also heavy and expensive.
- A pocket portfolio – A big pocket portfolio with 5 – 6 pockets. This is for her French class because her teacher said she doesn’t like to punch holes.
- A hard cover spiral bound sketchbook – For art. Another heavy, relatively expensive item. That I watched her rip some pages out of last week when she didn’t like the way her sketch looked. I recommended that she practice on regular paper and then draw her final sketch in the sketchbook. I’m sure she won’t listen to me because she never does.
- A flash drive – For her computer applications class. I definitely didn’t need a flash drive when I was in school.
- Ear buds – Also for her computer class. She said they were provided with headphones in the computers at elementary school, but pointed out that sharing ear buds – that you stick inside your ear – is kind of gross.
- Dry erase markers – For math apparently? I guess so she can write on the whiteboard with her own markers?
- Spiral bound index cards – Not the pack of index cards I originally bought on sale. Spiral bound ones.
- Three composition notebooks – I’m not sure what she’s supposed to do in these composition notebooks that she can’t write on the reams of loose leaf paper we bought to fill all those binders, but apparently there’s some need for them.
That’s just a sampling of what she’s carrying in her heavy backpack each day (she weighed it – 15.5 pounds) since 6th graders don’t have lockers. Of course we also had to buy tons of loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, erasers, colored pencils, and glue sticks. And the usual boxes of tissues and hand sanitizer. And a scientific calculator. But don’t worry – she can access her textbooks online so she doesn’t need to worry about carrying them, too.
Does this seem like too much to you? And does it help you understand why I was annoyed when she asked me to go buy her a bunch of magazines for her first school project (a collage about her, using images cut out of magazines)?