Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jonathan's Day

Little boys. Nothin' like them! After breakfast, Jonathan folded all of the washcloths for me.
He does a very nice job! Then he played with his Nerf gun for a little while before getting dressed for school, having lunch and getting on the bus for an afternoon at school.
Nerf bullets stuck on everything! He's a pretty good shot.
I picked him up from school and we took a few minutes to review the papers he brought home. I made dinner while he watched a little bit of PBS Kids on TV. After dinner we took the trash to the curb. He helped with that, too. It was such a beautiful fall afternoon, I felt like we needed to be outside for awhile, so we went to a local park. We took a walk in the woods to collect a few twigs and leaves for some fall crafts.
Of course, you have to test your balance by walking on a fallen log.
There was just enough time to go down the sliding board and swing for a bit before heading home.
There is still a few remnants of dinner on that face, so it was home for a bath, then to read this week's book to me before bedtime. I think he's had a pretty good day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken Rodeo!

What, you ask, is a chicken rodeo? I was asking the same question myself a few weeks ago when I signed Jonathan up to attend. This was the fifth annual chicken rodeo at our library, and I was too intrigued to stay home Saturday even though it was raining.
First, meet some of the contestants:
These are some of the chickens a local farmer brought to race with the kids. Kids were placed in pairs with a library staffer, and they chose a chicken for their race. The kids had to shoo their chicken to the finish line. Of course, the chickens had a mind of their own and didn't just run straight for the win!
Ready, set, go!

Going the wrong way there, little chicken!

Shoo her toward the finish line

Since there weren't as many kids in attendance, due to the rain, I'm sure, parents were invited to race, too. I can't believe I actually raced a chicken, in public, in the rain!. Jonathan didn't want to race with me, he wanted to challenge me.
We are ready to race

Jonathan finishes first, we're still coaxing ours along 
He & his chicken won first place in this race, my partners & I finished second. Oh, and I may have made a new friend. A lovely lady who was there with her children took the pictures of Jonathan & me racing. You never know who you will meet at a chicken rodeo!
I just love all the activities at our library, recently named the top library in Kentucky. As I have said before, it is so much more than books!
How did you spend your Saturday morning?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kindergarten Homework

When my older son was in kindergarten 33 years ago (oh my goodness has it really been that long??), they learned quite a bit, but it was also a time for the children to learn social skills and the rules of school--standing in line, raising their hand to speak, etc. None of the children in his class had been to preschool.
Things have certainly changed! Jonathan brings a homework packet home each Friday which is due back at school the following Friday. He's been in school four weeks and I have watched the work get more involved every week. This is the second week of bringing home a little reader, which he has to read to me every day. I sign a log, and the book and reading log goes back to school on Friday. This is this week's book, 8 pages long:

They do not read the book at school, so I have him try to read it to me first, and then I read it to him, and then back to him for the rest of the week. I worry that he has it memorized and is not really reading, so I made my own "flash cards" of words from the book. I use them to make sure he can recognize the words out of the context of the book--and without the help of illustrations. So far, so good!

I am still amazed at the level these kids are expected to learn. I guess it's time I realize my son is no longer a baby or toddler, but a capable little boy. I'm quite proud of him!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Science In The Park

It was a beautiful Friday morning, so it seemed like a perfect time to have a breakfast picnic before school. We packed fruit, yogurt and drinks, then made a quick stop at a nearby McDonald's for a hash brown, Jonathan's favorite. We were also having our science lesson, so I took along all our supplies.

We were studying cicadas. Jonathan found an exoskeleton on a tree in our yard and wanted to know more about them. I did some research to see what I could find out about the little guys. He enjoyed looking at it with his magnifying glass as I told him some interesting facts about them.
He wrote what he had observed in his journal, with me telling him how to spell the words.  He loves writing in his journal...
...and showing it off.
Then we each drew a cicada on a paper plate, colored it and cut it out. We took a walk in the park and chased a few butterflies, then it was back home to get ready for afternoon kindergarten. It was so much fun to have breakfast and science outdoors. I hope we can do this at least once more this fall.
I found these cool "I Love Science" pencils for my budding scientist at the Parent-Teacher Store. They have so many great pencils there in a variety of themes. I love browsing around in that store!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grandparents' Day at School

Today was Grandparents' Day at Jonathan's school. Grandparents were invited to an ice cream social and the bulletin board in each classroom featured pictures of grandparents with their grandchildren.
Jonathan has no living grandparents, so we invited dear family friends to attend as surrogate grandparents. They truly love Jonathan and treat him like a grandson. They attend all of his sports games and were there for his end of year preschool programs.
I am so thankful that Jonathan has these wonderful people in his life. We are blessed.
Bobby with Jonathan in his classroom

Having ice cream with Edie
Pictures of the three of them on the bulletin board at school

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bountiful Produce

One of my neighbors is a member of a produce co-op where she shares produce with several other families each week. She picks up her week's worth on Thursday mornings, and she never knows what she will get. She called this morning and graciously offered to share her bounty with me. We probably can't use all of this, so I will, in turn, share with a friend. I do see a pot of vegetable soup and some banana bread in my immediate future (and in my freezer!).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

It was a beautiful, sunny late summer morning. I had the ironing board up in the living room, working on ironing a stack of vintage linens for an upcoming antique show I was participating in. As I ironed I was watching the Today show. Suddenly Katie Couric and Matt Lauer  were telling us of a breaking news story, that what appeared to be an airplane had crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. No one knew what happened. A terrible accident? A plane crash? Air control mix-up? I was still watching just a few short minutes later when an airplane came in view and crashed into the side of the second tower. It quickly became clear something sinister was going on. I called my husband, an electrical inspector who was working in the field, to tell him what had happened. I decided to go on to my 11 A.M. appointment with my hair stylist. All eyes --and ears--were glued to a TV in the salon. I don't remember as clearly when the news broke of the Pentagon being hit or the plane going down in Pennsylvania. I do remember a feeling of disbelief and numbness as the day progressed.
Then came a call from my daughter-in-law. My son was on his way to work, sitting in a traffic jam on the interstate, when he was rear-ended by an uninsured kid going at least 60 MPH, who didn't even brake, knocking my son's SUV into two other cars ahead of him. Fortunately, my son escaped serious injury, but it added a personal stress to what was already a surreal day. We were giving thanks our son was going to be fine, while knowing so many sons and daughters, moms and dads, husbands and wives, would not be returning home that day.
I had the opportunity to visit New York with two of my sisters in the late 1990's, that's one of them in the above photo. She is sitting in one of the observation windows at the top of the World Trade Center. It was a very cloudy day, as you can see, and I thought it was like being in an airplane as you pass through the clouds. Cars on the street below looked like little Matchbox cars and people weren't visible. It is unimaginable to me what it must have been like when that building crumbled.
Today Jonathan and I attended a remembrance service here in our little community. That horrific day is a part of our nation's history and I wanted both of us to be there.
What is your story? Where we you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Farewell to Summer

Even though fall won't officially be here for another week or two, Labor Day always signals the end of summer. Last Sat. the temperature hovered around 100*, by Monday it had dropped 40*, so it's starting to feel like fall, too. It's time to take the Summer Fun list off the refrigerator and replace it with a Fall Fun list, which will be much shorter! I am really glad I made that list. We didn't accomplish everything, but that wasn't the point. It helped me focus on doing fun things with Jonathan, and it worked!
There's a lot of check marks on there and we did most everything. Some things just didn't work out, like going to a park in neighboring Ohio for a pontoon boat ride. They are only offered on week-ends, and road construction every week-end this summer had I-75 reduced to one lane of traffic. I decided a boat ride (which we did last year) was not worth the time we'd have to spend sitting in traffic.
Making a seasonal fun list is definitely something I will continue to do.  It serves as a visual reminder to make sure we don't let the seasons slip by without having a little fun and making lasting memories.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September: Getting Ready For Fall

September will be a demanding month! I really need to be focused this month as I get the house ready for fall--and winter. It feels like summer just began but it is rapidly coming to an end.
Aside from school, soccer practices and games, there is much to do. September is one of the best selling months of the year on eBay, so I need to work very hard this month getting Jonathan's outgrown fall clothes listed. As anyone who sells on eBay knows, it is very time consuming work!

I am working on a list of things I need to get done around the house, too. I have a lot to do outside to get things in shape for colder weather. I need to call my handyman to take care of my fall list, and I am hoping to get the shutters on the house painted sometime this fall. This may have to wait until spring, as I was planning to hire my neighbor's son for the job and he injured his knee in a high school football game and just had surgery last Monday.

I plan to give the house a good fall cleaning, especially closets, as I begin to transition the clothing from summer to fall. Cool mornings and warm afternoons make it difficult to dress this time of year! I have completed the coat closet already as well as the pantry.

September will also be a financially challenging month. My normal grocery budget will not be sufficient after losing all of my freezer stock last month. I'll be watching every penny this month!

If you also like to do fall cleaning, Amy at Living Locurto is offering a free fall cleaning to-do list printable. I'm a list maker so I love it, if you are a list maker, you will too!

Wish me luck as I try to stay focused and accomplish much during September. What plans do you have for this month?